Sleeping? No, Awakening! This is the first Legends of Runeterra chapter of the Darkin Saga, where they introduce the first Darkin Champ Kayn, a new type of card called Equipment, and new mechanics! On top of all that we’ve gotten Jax, Master Yi, Ornn, and the first-ever Legends of Runeterra exclusive champ, Norra – let's take a look at some decks with these new champions!
Jornn: Jax Ornn
Let's start with a deck with two new champions right off the bat!
Here we have Jax Ornn, where one champion’s package will provide the weapons and the other will buff them. Ornn and his package make use of the new vocab: Forge.
While Forge can be used on a unit without an Equipment, using it on an Equipment will allow you to transfer those stats to a unit later on. With Jax coming down with The Light of Icathia – which grants him Quick Attack, and Overwhelm if he levels up – buffing that Equipment up will make Jax a huge threat, and afterwards will do the same for any unit that Equips The Light of Icathia.
Ornn on his own can be a huge finisher too: if he levels up and gets an attack in, your opponent will have to deal with at minimum a 7/7 Ornn and Spirit of the Ram attacking them. Jax (level 2) can also reach an insane amount of stats on his own, depending on the other equipped allies while he attacks, and with his package of Improvise followers, there shouldn’t be a lack of Equipped units.
For spells, we play a lot of combat tricks like Troll Chant and the new Catch! which will let you burst out an equipment from hand or just give a unit +1/+1, and we also play three copies of Blades of the Fallen, which will effectively replace a unit if it is about to die, and keep their equipment on the board.
Moon Portals: Norra Aphelios
Well, I know everyone loved Afaelieos back in the day – let’s try a similar version!
Norra and her portals are the RNG-crazy kind of thing that people either love or hate. Mysterious Portal is a new type of Boon that, when drawn, summons a random follower that costs between two and three mana – and if Norra is leveled up, the range of the cost of the unit summoned increases to between four and seven!
All it takes to level her is to summon 6+ created units, and there are lots of ways in the deck to create or summon units, such as Grandfather Fae , Bandle City Mayor, Crescendum, or any of the Mysterious Portal creations.
Thanks to those Mysterious Portal creations, your board should almost always have a unit or two, and with Junk Construct and The Tea Maker being Fae cards, Gleaming Lantern will discount them! Cherry on top: once you have a nice, wide board, you can throw down a Sneezy Biggledust! and overwhelm the opponent. I’ve also added two copies of Eclectic Collection because it’s my favorite card on this set, and it works really well with your constantly full board!
Great Master Lee: Master Yi Lee Sin
Master Yi is a really interesting card. I found it a bit hard to find a spot for him in a deck, but initially what came to mind was Lee Sin, Nami, and Akshan. I am not a fan of Lee Sin at all, but I figured I’d take a stab at building some sort of Lee Sin Noxus deck to make use of the new Overwhelm Equipment Great Hammers. It will work well with Lee Sin and Master Yi since they both can do a crazy amount of damage as the game goes on.
Other cards I’ve included are protection spells like Twin Disciplines, Deny, the new Momentous Choice which can count as a two-in-one spell, some draw in the form of Deep Meditation and Vastayan Disciple (which is a unit who becomes a spell), and finally some cheap spells like Sonic Wave, Wuju Style, and to some extent Runeweaver which can create Blade Fragments. I’m not sure exactly how Runeweaver will feel, but it could be subbed out for more Wuju Styles – I just felt we needed some more units in case we don’t draw Eye of the Dragon.
PAYN: Pantheon Yuumi Kayn
Finally we have Kayn! The first champion revealed, the last to be built!
I thought pairing Kayn with the Fated cards and Pantheon would be nice, since Momentous Choice is a great buff card to me, and Forsaken Baccai and Ranger-Knight Defector are pretty solid Cultist cards. protection cards like Pale Cascade and Bastion will also help keep Kayn alive while he strikes down the enemy.
Wandering Shepherd is really nice for Fated because it will proc the buff and give an Equipment as well, and if you happen to give Upcycled Rake or Fishawhack to a giant Fated unit, things can get out of hand quickly. To build upon that, Sharesies lets you… share that Equipment and lets the unit keep the stats and keywords for the round… and will trigger Fated on both units if they both have it!
The Darkin Lodestone is a support Equipment that will grant the supported unit +1/+1, which is really helpful to put on a big Fated unit. And later you can play it as Horazi, which is really helpful instead of just being a dead Equipment in the late game.
While Pantheon can level really quickly in this deck, Camphor, the Doubt is a card that also gets going quickly. And if it hits the board with Spellshield, Overwhelm, and Challenger, giving it an Equipment will make it 10x more scary since it isn’t the easiest card to remove.
There you have it, 4 new decks with 5 new champs! I think this expansion is one of the more hyped ones, since we just came from a meta where there were a couple of clear powerhouses, and I think players are ready for a breath of fresh air. I’m really excited to see how Equipments end up being on the power scale, and if any of the old decks will still be an issue in the first few days… guess we’ll have to wait for the next Meta Monday report from Leer.
And if you're curious about how I come up and brew these ideas, here's how:
Thanks for reading! =)
About the Author
Playing LoR since beta, consistent masters player. LoR Dreamhack Champion/Aegis Season 0 Champion(BEAU) and other high-level tournament win/top cuts. Crazy deck builder, omega cracked player. I like garlic bread.
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