Legends of Runeterra: Noxus Region Guide
Welcome to our deep-dive on Noxus! In this guide, we’ll cover Noxus champions, its signature mechanics that make it unique, and some of its synergies with other regions.
Our goal is that you leave this article fully understanding how Noxus likes to play and be able to come up with some ideas of your own for how to build the best decks with our Legends of Runeterra deck builder. Check out our other articles that explore Bilgewater, Demacia, Freljord, Ionia, Piltover & Zaun, Shadow Isles, and Targon.
“Noxus is a powerful empire with a fearsome reputation. To those beyond its borders, Noxus is brutal, expansionist and threatening, yet those who look beyond its warlike exterior see an unusually inclusive society, where the strengths and talents of its people are respected and cultivated. Its people were once a fierce reaver culture until they stormed the ancient city that now lies at the heart of their empire. Under threat from all sides, they aggressively took the fight to their enemies, pushing their borders outward with every passing year. This struggle for survival has made the Noxians a deeply proud people who value strength above all, though that strength can manifest by many different means. Anyone can rise to a position of power and respect within Noxus if they display the necessary aptitude, regardless of social standing, background, homeland, or wealth.” – from Universe.
Noxians value strength above all else and this is reflected in the strategies of their decks. This flavor is constantly repeated in various mechanics found throughout the faction’s cards. If you’re looking to attack with reckless abandon, overwhelm your opponents, and test your might then choose Noxus.
Noxus Update for the Rising Tides Expansion
The first Legends of Runeterra expansion, the Rising Tides, brings ten new Noxus cards including one champion, Swain.
We’ve written a separate article on our Master player’s first impressions on Swain so be sure to check that out to learn more about him!
Noxus received a lot of good things this set. Unlike other regions, they aren’t getting any brand new keywords.
Instead, they’re getting better tools to help them accomplish what they were already trying to do with even more relentless burn damage and potent removal options.
Death’s Hand does a great job exemplifying this by simultaneously acting as removal and face damage.
For fans of Vladimir who tried to make his self-damage archetype work, you’ll be getting a really powerful early game card 2 mana card in Imperial Demolitionist.
Yasuo has found new success when paired with Noxus’s aggression and Stun cards.
Lastly, if you were a fan of Draven + Ezreal decks lists, Swain is entering the fold as an ideal third champion for the archetype.
Here’s an early list created by EG Swim:
Deck code: CEBQEAIDCQPAEAQDAQEAMAIEAEIRWHZUGYBAEAQDAMDQEAIEE45ACAQBAQSDC
To find other new Noxus deck types that are being crafted by players for the Rising Tides set, head to our Deck Library!
General Noxus Overview
The following sections were created at the time of the core set’s launch and are meant for newer players learning about how generally Noxus works.
Be sure to check our meta report if you’re looking for the best Noxus decks.
Mechanics and Playstyle
Inflicting Damage on Allies for Value
Noxus flavor has a big focus on seeking glory and strength whatever the cost. To capture this feeling, Noxus features cards that deal damage to their own units to give themselves benefit.
For example, Transfusion requires you to deal 1 damage to an ally in order for another ally +2|+2. As a Burst spell, this can be handy for making sure your minion comes out alive in a trade it would have otherwise died in since Burst spells can be played at any time and cannot be responded to.
Noxus is home to famous strategists such as Swain (who isn’t in LoR yet, unfortunately). As such, you will be rewarded for thinking ahead and making sure that the small losses you suffer lead to even bigger gains.
Aggression Over Everything
Many Noxus units are aggressively statted (typically higher Power than their Health) or over-statted units relative to their cost that have the drawback of not being able to block.
This allows them to play aggressively and put pressure early on since you’ll often have better offensive units, especially in the early game. If your opponent isn’t prepared, you may be able to win outright with an opening blitz of aggression.
This plays into the idea that Noxus is primarily an aggressive and reckless faction with units that will run you over if you are slow at deploying defenders to deal with their low health. Decks like Ramp Freljord can struggle against this unless they tech in and draw their AoE.
Fight Dirty with Stuns
Noxians do whatever it takes to get the win. Although the region doesn’t have the best direct removal options, it does have enough Stuns to create openings to allow your attackers to get through.
Cards like Decisive Maneuver and Intimidating Roar can create openings by bypassing pesky blockers and giving an opening for your attackers that can often end the match.
Overwhelm and Decimate
Noxus has a lot of cards focused around pushing through damage in combat. By combining their removal and stunning options with Overwhelm, they can push through large amounts of damage even when their opponents attempt to block.
Overwhelm is a card effect that causes excess damage dealt to an enemy blocker to be inflicted on the enemy Nexus. Brutal cards like Battering Ram can quickly run away with a match if your opponent doesn’t have an answer.
This gives Noxus a unique feel from the other factions because a lot of their cards force them to play on a knife’s edge but unlike Shadow Isles, their units don’t get any second chances. If Overwhelm isn’t enough, Noxus also has some burn options to finish off opponents that are still hanging on for dear life with direct Nexus damage from cards like Crimson Disciple (shown earlier) or Decimate.
With aggressive cards in the early game followed by Overwhelm and spells like Decimate in the mid to late game, Noxus is able to keep the pain coming. If an enemy doesn’t have heals, you can often outrace them to finish them off before they can destroy your Nexus.
In this section, we’ll discuss the Noxus champions in order from lowest mana cost to highest (Swain was covered earlier).
If you’re unfamiliar with how champions work, check out our LoR mechanics guide.
The TL: DR is:
- Every deck can have up to 6 total champions, only 3 of the same kind.
- Champions fulfill conditions to level up.
- When they level up, they become stronger and gain new abilities. Leveling up causes all copies to level up.
- Only one copy of a specific champion can be on the board at once. If you draw other copies while a champion is on the board, they will transform into a spell form until that champion is removed. Playing the spell will shuffle the champion back into your deck instead of going to the graveyard.
LoR does a great job of replicating the feel of walking the tightrope of Draven and his Spinning Axe shenanigans. If you’re able to properly balance discarding cards in the name of offensive force, you can often overpower and enemy to finish a match with force. He starts off as a 3-cost 3|3 with Quick Attack, meaning that his damage will apply before his blocker’s instead of simultaneously.
For example, if Draven attacks and is blocked by a 3|3, the 3|3 will die before Draven takes damage. He also has the ability, “Play or Strike: Create a Spinning Axe in hand.”.
This means that Draven is played and when he strikes, he creates a Spinning Axe card. Spinning Axes cost 0 mana and have a Burst speed. Burst spells can be played before, during, and after combat. This is a nice +1 Power buff on command but it costs 1 discarded card.
To level up, Draven must be buffed with Spinning Axe and strike while equipped with an Axe two times. Strikes proc whenever a unit deals damage with their power, so it can be fulfilled when attacking OR blocking.
Draven Leveled Up
When leveled up, Draven gains +1| +1 and will now create 2 Spinning Axes when he’s played or strikes. This means that you can simply discard the other Spinning Axe while still getting a free buff if you have other cards you want to keep.
Draven’s Champion Spell
If you have a Draven on the field and draw another, it will transform into Draven’s Confront. As a Fast spell, it can be cast in combat to force a favorable fight between one of your units and an enemy’s.
Since you’ll likely have Spinning Axes at the ready, you can create some pretty good opportunities to clear out any last blockers that are stopping your heavy-hitters.
Similar to her feel on Summoner’s Rift, Katarina can strike quickly and from creative angles in LoR. She starts off as a 3-cost 3|2 with Quick Attack like Draven.
She doesn’t have any other abilities in her starting form because all it takes for her to level up is to strike once. If you’re able to play her in the early game, it’s pretty easy to level her up since she can effectively strike and survive against most low-cost units in combat.
Katarina Leveled Up
Once she’s leveled up, Katarina gains +1 Power and create additional pressure by allowing you to attack more often than you usually could.
This is because she has a new ability, “Play: Ready our attack”, meaning that as soon as she is played from hand, she activates an additional Attack Turn.
This means that if you have maximum mana (10), you can swing with your units three times. The first time with your Attack Token, the second due to Katarina’s Play (4 mana), and a third due to Katarina’s Play (4 mana).
Katarina’s Champion Spell
Katarina’s spell form is Katarina’s Death Lotus. This allows you to empower the Noxus units that benefit from taking damage or help you get the edge in combat trades.
Similar to how Vladimir must use health to cast his spells on Summoner’s Rift, his LOR form revolves around hurting his allies to harm the enemy.
Vladimir excels when you have a good amount of healthy allied units on the board. These are sort of rare in Noxus so you’ll have to consider building Vlad decks with other regions that use high health, like Freljord. Every time Vlad attacks, he uses a skill called Crimson Pact. It basically converts 1 Health from all other allied units into direct damage.
So if you have 4 other allied units, you will deal 4 damage to the enemy Nexus. After 6 allies survive damage, Vladimir will level up.
Vladimir Leveled Up
When Vladimir levels up, he gains +1|+1 and has Regeneration. Regeneration causes Vladimir to heal to full at the beginning of each round.
This means that if he took 4 damage during combat, he’d return back to being a 6|6 at the beginning of the next round.
Vladimir’s Champion Spell
Vlad’s champion spell is another Transfusion spell, similar to the one discussed earlier in the signature characteristics section. Use it to increase your offensive power or activate other effects that benefit from allied damage.
Darius is a ruthless finisher who can really bring it home for Noxus decks. Similar to his execute playstyle in LoL, Darius is at his most fearsome when his opponent has low health.
Even before he levels up, Darius is quite the threat as a 6|5 with Overwhelm. In Legends of Runeterra, the max and starting Nexus health is 20 so it usually isn’t difficult to get your opponent down to 10 or less HP with all the tools Noxus has.
Darius Leveled Up
Once he levels up, Darius’s Power DOUBLES which is insane with Overwhelm. If an opponent doesn’t have beefy blockers or some removal, the clock is ticking as Darius can end the game in another turn or two.
Darius’s Champion Spell
Darius’s Decimate, although a Slow card (meaning it can only be played before or after combat), can often be the last oomph you need to finish an opponent off in the mid to late game, especially since you have Darius on board.
Remember that in LoR, all unused mana is saved up to a max of three spell mana (a separate mana bank that can only be used on spells). Since Darius’s Decimate is a spell, you’ll often get it at a discounted rate.
Synergies with Other Regions
In Legends of Runeterra there are many, many synergies to take advantage of by strategically pairing with other regions. In this section, we’ll be discussing a few of them for Noxus but there are definitely way more.
Use our Deck Builder to experiment and let us know in the comment section below what you think would work!
Ionia (Katarina + Yasuo)
Yasuo is the perfect champion for this archetype since he’s built around Stun and Recall. Noxus looks to supplement this synergy with Katarina who is champion that can continually Recall to trigger effects.
When leveled up, Yasuo strikes units that are stunned or recalled. This helps clear the field for Katarina and other Noxus threats to push through and hit the enemy Nexus.
Shadow Isles (Darius + Elise)
Shadow Isles can combine with Noxus to create powerful spider tribal decks. They use buffs, Fearsome, Overwhelm, and burn to relentlessly push through damage until their opponent is dead. Fearsome is an effect that causes a unit to be unblockable by units under 3 Power.
Elise looks to use the Fearsome mechanic and her endless wave of spider minions to chip away at the opponent’s life total in the early game and mid game.
Since Spiders can have a hard time pushing through damage in the mid to late game when units can take multiple attacks from spiders and still live, Noxus can use its large creatures with Overwhelm, like Darius, to finish off the job.
Piltover & Zaun (Draven + Jinx)
If you’re looking to go fast and get excited, play Draven and Jinx. These champions combine to fit in a reckless discard deck. They use cards that trigger when discarded to play out their hand quickly.
Draven generates buff cards that push extra damage and can be used to quickly discard other cards in your hand. Once you run out of cards, Jinx triggers (when leveled up) and starts generating large burn spells like Super Mega Death Rocket that you can use to push through even more damage.
This explosive combination brings out the reckless side of both Noxus and Piltover & Zaun. It may be inconsistent at times, but it will definitely be a fun archetype that can straight up run people over with the right draws.
Freljord (Vladimir + Braum)
This synergy allows Noxus to play the value game. By combining Noxus cards that trigger benefits when allies survive damage, with beefy units like Braum from Freljord, you’ll have a massive supply of Health to convert into damage.
Since Vlad hurts his allies to hurt the enemy Nexus when he attacks, and Braum wants to take the pain to level up, they make a great combo. After leveling up, Braum becomes a 0|7 that generates Mighty Poros every time he takes damage.
The idea is to repeatedly trigger these effects to generate enough value to overwhelm your opponent. This makes it possible for Noxus to utilize effects that generate card advantage and repeated value to really grind it out.
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