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Yangzera's Thoughts on the New Variety Set

Yangzera shares his thoughts on the new cards that aren't 8 mana 24/24 overwhelms.

Hello everyone, Yangzera here and after sleeping on the changes and new cards for a night I’m ready to give some honest un-biased thoughts about them. This will be divided in two articles, one talking about the balance changes and the other talking about the new cards. Let’s get started then, shall we?

Enraged Firespitter

Enraged Firespitter Spitfire

This is certainly an interesting card, but I don’t know if it’s very strong, to be quite honest. Even with the small SwainSwain buff, I don’t see this unit making the cut because it has such low health. Pretty much all big guys today would just be better off with their health and power flipped, and Firespitter is no exception. Eight damage is too much overkill and four health just dies to a lot of stuff(looking at you, Howling GaleHowling Gale).

Chemtech Drake

Chemtech Drake

Chemtech Drake is the second elemental dragon from League of Legends to gain its LoR version, and he looks really cool, but his effect is kind of gimmicky. I can only see this card working in some kind of SeraphineSeraphine deck – in standard – as a slower, weirder EzrealEzreal that gives you access to some burn to finish off the game. That’s still kind of coping a little bit, though, as you’d need to first fill up your hand and then draw enough cards to kill the opponent while not decking out yourself, which is difficult to see happening in a game. It requires some amount of mana cheating to be turned into an actual win condition the same turn it’s played, and that’s why I’m not high on this card anymore.

Dune Swallower

Dune Swallower

While looking big at first, I think that this card is just not it. Maybe, just maybe, it could be decent in a deck that really wants to abuse DarkinthrallDarkinthralls from The Darkin BloodlettersThe Darkin Bloodletters or it could work in a Vaults of HeliaVaults of Helia type of deck as the 5 drop slot, but I don’t quite see these being very strong given Freljord went untouched and got the broken card of the set.

Spectral Ironhound

Spectral Ironhound Thousand-Clawed Deathwinder

This is some pretty good support for the self-slay archetype in Shadow Isles, which is the centerpoint of the region, and it should be noted that Spectral IronhoundSpectral Ironhound can be Soul CleaverSoul Cleaverd. The unit that comes out of it is pretty big and there is merit to trying to play it, but that just isn’t making the cut against Freljord. In Vaults of HeliaVaults of Helia decks where you can cheat this out without the play cost, it’s occupying the 6 mana slot that NasusNasus is in, so that’s just inexcusable. It does have some synergy with Harrowing ReturnHarrowing Return, so maybe there is something to be cooked up there.

The Kingfisher

The Kingfisher

This looks like a very strong card on paper and could be the payoff for Demacia Sigil of the StormSigil of the Storm people have been hoping for.It’s funny that it can tutor champions like VayneVayne, PantheonPantheon, Jarvan IVJarvan IV and rally on top of it, and it should be mentioned that Jarvan’s self summon effect with this boat on board will trigger an instant rally. After the Champions' StrengthChampions nerf, there could be potential for this card to take its place on the top end of decks.

Portia the Peculiar

Portia the Peculiar

The fact that this card manifests the Titanic makes it much better, since you only want the high impact play/summon effect ones. I don’t know if you want to rely on this card to pull specific cards always since you could be better off just playing them instead of relying on random generation. So far, the best average pool for this card is in eternal, but standard gives you more chances at hitting the new Freljord titanic, Tianna and big Cithria. If bandle city in standard wasn’t so aggressive maybe this card would be playable.

Trusty Adnere

Trusty Adnere

This is the best card to cook with from this small set since it has the most potential. You can do funny pink IllaoiIllaoi things with it or just grow them into another decently sized unit for damage threat. There would be much more potential if the Aviarists had any base keyword, but that would be kind of too OP. Overall I like this card and there should be something cool to do with it.

Veiled Protector

Veiled Protector

There was an argument for this card being ran in Targon Invoke decks because of how it keeps healing you with discounted big celestials, but with the Cosmic CallCosmic Call unprint there’s no shot – at least in my opinion – that targon invoke is seeing good play again, and this card sadly does not reprint Cosmic Call.

Sefirsa, Scourge of the Deep

Sefirsa, Scourge of the Deep

This is an interesting card at face value, but when you take into consideration LoR’s game rules, it doesn’t look great. The main issue is that this card doesn’t work with mana discounts, since those discounts are lingering effects in play, so when for example a 6 drop that’s been reduced to 0 due to Lure of the DepthsLure of the Depths plus NautilusNautilus, for example, you simply don’t get a card and if it costs 1, you will get a 1 drop, not a 6 drop. That being said, the card has interesting synergy with CoinCoins and it will flood the board pretty fast in a JackJack SettSett kind of deck, but I don’t think this is what was holding the deck back against other bigger midrange strategies. You’d need to play some pretty heavy units for this to hold its ground on standard, and eternal is simply out of question for this slow of a card.

Boadir of Blackened Ice

Boadir of Blackened Ice

8 mana(that you cheat out for 6 or 7) 24/24 overwhelm LOL.

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