LoR Fundamentals Guide: How to Mulligan

LoR Fundamentals Guide: How to Mulligan

How to Mulligan in Legends of Runeterra

Hi everyone, it’s Silverfuse and Precipic here to talk about how to mulligan in Runeterra.

Mulliganing is an incredibly important skill that is super skill testing, it’s probably the single decision that has the biggest impact on your win rate in-game.

If you want to practice your mulligan, you can do so for any deck using the Starting Hand Simulator at our LoR site.

Just hit the hand button found at the top right of any deck’s page:

Test Mulligan (LoR button)

Throughout this article, we’ll be using the Starting Hand Simulator to demonstrate our mulligan concepts.

To effectively mulligan, however, you need to think about quite a few things

  1. Firstly, you need to think about what your early turns look like, how they will play out, and if your hand is an effective early plan.
  2. Secondly, you need to think about how your cards synergize with each other, do you need certain tools to enable your cards to be powerful.
  3. Thirdly you need to know what the power cards in any given matchup are, this could be cards like Champions, powerful spells like Ruination, big units like Captain Farron, or super-efficient removal like Thermogenic Beams.
  4. Lastly, you need to have a plan to win the game with any given hand, if your hand is just a pile of removal and no way to actually win the game you are going to struggle heavily.

Know What Your Opponent is Playing

You can often have an idea of what your opponent is playing through their region and champion choices.

You will want to figure out if your opponent is playing an aggressive, midrange, control, or combo deck.

From there, every decision you make should be informed by a general gameplan you are trying to take.

How to Mulligan Example 1

If your hand is already good and has cards that already form the early game plan, then you can afford to keep other key, more greedy cards for the matchup.

For example, in this hand, House Spider and Draven are your key early game cards.

This means that you can keep Ezreal. A Mystic Shot can be kept for interaction or pitched for something else depending on the match-up.

How to Mulligan Example 2

Against control lists, you can afford to keep slower cards if you are a slower deck.

Against aggressive lists, you need to keep your lower-cost cards to play defensively to survive the early game.

Know Your Opponent’s Deck to Plan For the Early Game

For example, in this Ezreal Draven Slow Burn list, against a slower deck such as Anivia, you will want to keep Captain Farron which is used to close out the game.

Slow Burn (LoR deck, 2-5)

Whereas against an aggressive list, you would want to get rid of Captain Farron as it won’t have any board presence in the early game.

Decks that rely on powerful cards for their game plan will have deep mulligans.

For example, Fiora and Shen naturally rely on Fiora and Shen to win the game.

How to Mulligan Example 3

This means that you have to mulligan hard for them.

This is also similar to Lee Sin decks where you hard mulliganing for Lee Sin and Eye of the Dragon.

Lee Sin level 1 (LoR card)Eye of the Dragon (LoR Card)

In Zoe decks, you will want to consider pitching everything for Zoe.

This is also the same for Miss Fortune Scouts which heavily relies on Miss Fortune where you will want to mulligan deep for her.

If you are lucky enough to already have the champ or power card that you need, then you can consider your early game more and mulligan for that.

In this hand simulator, you would keep Shen and ship everything else as Shen is your power card. You would be hoping to find cards that synergize with Shen and ideally find Fiora.

Know Your Win Condition Based on the Matchup

This is a hand simulator for Trundle Tryndamere Feel the Rush.

For this deck, it is incredibly important to know what your win condition is for each deck.

How to Mulligan Example 4

Against an aggressive list, your removal is inefficient except for Withering Wail and Avalanche.

Withering Wail (LoR card)

So, on this hand, you would want to toss the Ruination and Vengeance.

Wyrding Stones also isn’t helpful for you as you need to be able to keep healthy with cards such as Tavern Keeper.

You would only keep Catalyst of Aeons to ramp and heal while looking for your better removal.

Against Scouts, Ruination is a huge blowout tool that will often win you the game.

The Ruination (LoR Card)

Demacia doesn’t have recovery against a board wipe. This is why you would want to keep Ruination in your starting hand.

Vengeance is too slow and inefficient so you will get rid of it.

Finally, you will want to keep one piece of ramp.

For this match-up, the Catalyst is the pick as the heal is helpful and uses spell mana which means you have more room to play units such as Tavern Keeper or perhaps an Avalanche if you roll into it.

Catalyst of Aeons (LoR card)

Stones can be fine if you don’t have Catalyst and have something such as a Trundle to ramp into.

Against an Anivia deck that will put you on a timer, you will not find much use out of the removal spells Ruination and Vengeance.

It is also important to find a way to close out the game against other control lists that put you on a timer.

So, you will want to only keep one piece of ramp which would be the Catalyst, and hope to find a Feel the Rush or Ledros instead to finish the game.

Feel The Rush (LoR Card) Commander Ledros (LoR card)

If you are in a mirror match up though, you will want to consider holding onto both pieces of ramp as the player who ramps and plays their game finishing cards such as Feel the Rush is more likely to win.

This makes the ramp much more important in the control matchups than in the aggressive matchups.

Overall, the 4 points to keep in mind when mulliganing are as such:
  1. Have a gameplan (How will you be getting ahead and ending the game)
  2. Keep Combos (Such has Ballistic Bot creating an Ignition for you to discard with your Sump Dredger or keeping a Ravenous Butcher to go with your Cursed Keeper)
  3. Keep power cards (such as Fiora or Twisted Fate or Avalanche against aggressive opponents)
  4. Keep cards that give you board presence (In aggressive decks, you will want to keep one drops or mulligan hard for 1 drop. If you are a control deck, you will most likely want to find removal. If you are a combo deck, then you will want a way to stabilize the early board. For example, in Ionian combo decks, you will always want to keep Eye of the Dragon)

Mulliganing is an underrated skill that with a bit of extra knowledge can improve your win rate by more than you’d expect.

The difference between having a game plan and how to mulligan to get the highest chances of that game plan going smoothly will be beneficial.

Hope you found our guide useful and see you on the ladder!

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