New cards and champions are being revealed everyday leading up to the Call of the Mountain expansion for Legends of Runeterra, which will introduce a whole new region and new cards for existing regions. The hype train is getting ever bigger and faster as we approach the release date on the 26th of August, when everyone can test out all their wildest ideas with the newest cards to construct a deck that suits their playstyle.
However, before we get to play with the cards ourselves, part of the fun is to theory-craft wild and crazy ideas with the cards that have already been revealed. Here’s what we think of two of the upcoming champions!
The first champion to be revealed alongside his supporting cards is Taric, a truly outrageous and glamorous guy. Taric’s main concept revolves around buffing units, allowing you to re-cast the same spell he receives onto a unit he ‘supports’, essentially doubling the value of your spells.
If we’ve learned anything from the likes of Karma and Heimerdinger when they ran rampant in the meta, then we know that allowing generation of high value for things you would already be doing in a normal game–that is, casting spells and buffing units–will make a deck incredibly strong in the hands of a good pilot.
One thing to really note about Taric and his effectiveness is the fact that he allows a spell to be copied onto an ally, which include slow speed spells and much more deadly burst speed spells, which don’t allow your opponent to respond.
You could potentially cast Suit Up! onto Taric, following up with Jury-Rig, then declaring an attack with Taric supporting Jury-Rig to buff it into a 4/4 unit. This leaves no opportunity for your opponent to respond besides killing Taric the moment he is summoned, which is actually quite hard to achieve if you summon Taric by round 4. After all, there aren’t many options for removing a 4-health unit by round 4 if you don’t have any spell mana banked, besides using Culling Strike, Thermogenic Beam or 2 Mystic Shots.
Some of the wild ideas people are making up on Reddit are frankly downright disgusting, such as the possibility of having infinite rally by casting Trickster onto Taric, which can then get endlessly re-casted on an ally when you attack with a rallied attack token.
All things considered, one thing I do like about Taric is how he has a pretty defined weakness, much like Shen. Taric will not be effective if you do not have any spells to cast on him, or if he does not have an ally to support.
There’s also a new keyword being introduced alongside Taric: Spellshield. Spellshield does what it says: it negates a spell that would otherwise affect the unit being targeted. This would mean big swings using spells could be less deadly if used right, as cards like Vengeance, Thermogenic Beam, and Death Mark could be stopped with clever use of Spellshield.
Lulu, just like Taric, is very faithful to her League of Legends counterpart in terms of design, and she plays on the ‘support’ archetype as well. She grows her supported ally to 4/4, allowing low-cost units to become a threat to your opponent. However, due to her relatively weak stats, Lulu will definitely need some support herself if she wants to survive long enough to level up, which can be done by supporting 3 allies.
Lulu’s leveled-up state will really provide a lot of additional play options. With Help, Pix! being generated at the start of every round, you can make an enemy vulnerable or create a barrier for an ally for the low cost of just 1 mana.
Lulu’s maximum potential might not be as insane as Taric’s, but she fits well into a much more aggro playstyle, which employs a lot of low-cost units to try and overwhelm the opponent as fast as possible. Lulu’s support effect will definitely make this strategy much more viable. I am expecting Lulu to play very well when paired with cheap challenger units, as you can kill off high-priority targets in the early game without having to sacrifice any of your own units.
It is also quite likely that Lulu will play very well with Taric, as both champions benefit from supporting and buffing units. A leveled-up Taric can also help with ensuring Lulu survives long enough to get the full benefit of Help, Pix!
As for her accompanying cards, there are set to be even more supports for this support archetype. Flower Child in particular feels like the low-cost support-oriented card the archetype needs, as it gets stronger every time it is supported, potentially becoming a huge nuisance if not dealt with quickly.
In conclusion, I can’t wait for the full release of this expansion and its many fun and new concepts to play around with. If you’d like to hear our thoughts on the rest of the new cards, then be sure to stay tuned for part 2 and 3 of this series.