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Ahri Review and Theorycraft

Hey, Agigas here! Today I’m happy to come to you with my ratings for the last reveal day for the Magic Misadventures expansion.

I was very hyped about Ahri being introduced in Legends of Runeterra, as the champion has always been one of the symbols of League of Legends and an overall very beloved character. Therefore, I went into her reveal with high expectations – and I was not disappointed.

Here’s our rating scale:

  • 5.0: Meta-defining card, should prove itself as a staple in multiple top-tier archetypes.
  • 4.0: Archetype staple, or auto-include in multiple archetypes.
  • 3.0: A solid playable, could serve as a staple for some archetypes.
  • 2.0: Could be used for specific synergies, or to counter some decks.
  • 1.0: Unlikely to find its place in the meta.

Ahri – 4.0

First of all, Ahri has excellent stats right at level 1. With her 3 health points, she is difficult to deal with, and her Recall archetype can easily punish an opponent that would overcommit resources to remove her.

Ahri’s design is very unique and interesting, as the unit swapping every time she attacks will create interesting decisions and patterns. Because she gets to swap right after her strike with a Quick Attack, she won’t receive any damage from her first blocker, and will instead immediately move on to fight the next one.

Because her attack stat is quite low, attacking with Ahri might be difficult past the first few turns without any additional enablers. However, an attack buff – or even a threat of attack buffs will make things a lot easier.

You can also follow Ahri with an Elusive attacker – the opponent most likely won’t be able to block it, so Ahri will get to strike twice without any interference. Dancing Droplet looks like an obvious pairing with Ahri, being both a cheap Elusive unit and a Recall payoff at the same time.

For her level-up condition, Ahri seems to be quite demanding. Recalling 6 units is no small task and will take quite some time, even if Ahri does help fulfilling it faster herself. Still, we’re getting quite a few interesting Recall effects this expansion, and in her archetype, I expect Ahri to level fairly consistently when given enough time.

At level 2, Ahri becomes really oppressive as she will keep swapping places and hitting with Quick Attack until there are no more attackers to her right. On a wide board, this will be devastating, and the fact she recalls all of your units will be an upside in her archetype – especially when we factor in the discount on the bounced units.

Overall, Ahri seems to do a lot for her cost. She is hard to remove, consistent in a deck built around her, finds strong synergies with cards in the game, and her level 2 effect seems really impressive on a 2-cost champion.

Her downside is that she isn’t the most versatile champion – I don’t expect her to see any play outside of tempo-oriented Recall archetypes. There is quite a variety of possible decklists possible for that style of deck, but if Recall ends up underwhelming as an archetype, Ahri would for sure suffer a lot from it.

That said, I’m gonna side with the believers on this one. I expect Ahri and the overall expansion to make Recall archetypes a lot stronger, and I think that she could push them into the meta.


For theorycrafting with Ahri, I went with, in my opinion, the most obvious pairing, Kennen. The two champions have an amazing synergy together, as they curve well into each other, and both are a great fit into the Recall archetype.

This pairing only requires Ionia – thanks to Kennen being a double-region unit, and therefore there is a large variety of directions we can go in. Bandle City-based lists also benefit from Kennen’s package, for example, so they do sound like a good choice as well.

However, I personally decided to go for an Allegiance Ionia deck, as I think Kinkou Wayfinder goes really well with the many strong 1-cost units the archetype wants to play and synergizes well with Recalls.

With lots of Recalls, Kennen and Ahri should both level up fairly consistently and quickly, and we leverage the Ionian protection tools to keep them alive. That’s where the deck really gets to shine, as both these champions become really oppressive for their cost, and should end games quickly.

This deck features a large amount of draw, especially when you are able to go off with Dancing Droplet, and a large number of cheap units, giving the deck the ability to replay them after the Recalls.

I’m overall quite high on this decklist and I think there is a lot of potential in the Ahri Kennen pairing, though the low amount of removals in Ionia and the weakness to board wipes could make some matchups quite difficult.


The Mourned – 4.0

Cheap Elusive units have made a name for themselves in this game, and when I see The Mourned, my first instinct is to try to fit it in a Rally Elusive deck.

This card looks quite comparable to Navori Bladescout in my opinion, but instead of keeping a 2/1 non-Elusive body after the attack, you get to bounce it and do it again. The Mourned is less synergistic with Rallies but can be played on defensive turns and grows Greenglade Duo.

This overall sounds like a pretty good deal to me, unless you’re facing an aggressive matchup and really need a blocker.

The Mourned also fits in Recall synergies. She goes particularly well with Ahri as she accelerates her level-up condition and has the Elusive keyword, and can also level Kennen.

If the archetype ends up being competitive, The Mourned should be a part of it.


Woodland Keeper – 2.5

Once again, it was Navori Bladescout that originally showed us that the Elusive keyword, even when only for a single turn and on a weak-statted body, should not be underestimated.

Woodland Keeper is pretty much a bigger Navori Bladescout, and credit where credit is due, she hits like a truck.

However, this kind of effect needs to be abused with decks with a critical mass of Elusive units, and I’m not confident Woodland Keeper will find a spot in those decks, which are already stacked with high-quality cards.


Pathless Ancient – 1.0

In my opinion, Pathless Ancient is what Claws of the Dragon is to the spell archetype. Sure that’s a great body for 2 mana, but with no keyword, this card isn’t a good payoff for the archetype.

In high-synergy decks such as the Recall archetype, we need to have lots of enablers to make sure we don’t brick, and therefore the payoff spots are limited to really powerful effects.

Pathless Ancient is not an enabler, and it’s a really small payoff, therefore I don’t see it being played even if its own archetype ends up competitive.


Memory’s Cloak – 2.5

No matter the power level of the card, Memory’s Cloak is a spell we’ll have to live with and think about when playing against an Ionia deck. The card can go in pretty much any Ionia unit-based deck, and can suddenly change the way a game plays out.

That said, I don’t think Memory’s Cloak is a good card compared to the counter-spells Ionia already has. This is too situational compared to Deny, and too expensive compared to Nopeify!.

In a meta with more high-cost single target removals, such as Vengeance, Memory’s Cloak could play a role. But right now, I don’t think we will see that card often.


Nine Lives – 2.0

Liminal Guardian

The Time Has Come was quite hyped-up at its reveal as a burst-summon of 2 units. Burst-speed followers are very interesting and can lead to very strong attacking or defensive plays. However, the card never saw competitive play because the stats of the units were too underwhelming for 5 mana.

Nine Lives is pretty much a better version of it. The stats played are better, we find a small Recall synergy, and there is no condition on the card. That said, the stats are still a bit underwhelming, and this effect doesn’t really contribute to any deck’s game plan.

Overall I don’t think a better The Time Has Come will see a lot of competitive play even though this is an interesting card.


God-Willow Seedling – 3.0

When I look at God-Willow Seedling, I think of Kennen. This card really helps to level up the Ionian yordle, and I expect quite a lot of Kennen decks to try this landmark.

However, God-Willow Seedling isn’t limited to one synergy and goes pretty well with lots of powerful summon effects.

Overall, this card is pretty similar to Go Get It. Granted, that spell can be played as protection and offers the mana discount on the recalled unit – but Seedling’s effect does not go on the stack, has a lower cost, and an extra copy of a unit summoned after 2 turns. This is a trade I’m willing to make, and with high-synergy decks, this looks better than Go Get It to me.

That said, God-Willow Seedling is quite a large tempo loss, and your synergies need to be on-point for it to be worth playing. This is very early to say whether or not some deck will hit that mark, but I’m overall excited about the card.


Sai’Nen Thousand-Tailed – 2.0

In pretty much any card game I play, I’m always obsessed about drawing more – and despite that, I’m still really not high on this card.

6 mana for a unit is really high by today’s standards, and chances are – you won’t get to play the 2 cards you drew in a lot of matchups.

The board-wide buff pushes the card in a totally different direction, but once again, is over-costed.

Sai’Nen Thousand-Tailed seems to go in 2 very different directions at the same time, and while this card will always have an impact, I’m afraid it will very often be too slow.


Windsinger – 1.5

Once again, 6-cost units need to be really impactful to find their place in the meta.

While Windsinger has the body attached to the Recall effect, this just doesn’t seem enough to consider playing it over cheaper, Fast-speed spells, such as Will of Ionia.


Charm – 2.0

The vulnerable keyword is pretty interesting in Ionia, as the region features quite a lot of strong Quick Attack units to leverage it.

However, Charm is simply too costly both in mana and value to consider playing it without Recall synergies – you really need to make the Recall effect an upside, not a downside.

Even in its own archetype, I am not optimistic for Charm. There are stronger Recall effects in the game – and this seems quite situational and expensive.

I think that even if the Recall archetype ends up competitive, Charm won’t find a spot in it.


Children of the Forest – 1.5

At 8 mana I would expect a spell to be very impressive, especially when it needs some prior setup.

However, Children of the Forest won’t be able to finish games on the spot even if you got to Recall a bunch of really big units, and it doesn’t fit in the tempo-oriented Recall archetype either.

I really don’t get what’s the point of the card, and while it could look cool from time to time, I feel like it doesn’t fit anything and isn’t a good build-around.


Closing Words

While today’s reveals got quite a bunch of underwhelming cards, there are some very interesting designs and a few cards that should print their mark on the upcoming meta. I’m especially impressed with Ahri, as she could very well push Recall archetypes into competitiveness along with Kennen.

This has been a very intense reveal season – the highs of Ahri reveals, the lows of Yordle Explorer drama – and I’m really curious to see how all this will unfold. I will be publishing my speculation about the top 5 cards of the expansion and full-expansion ratings tomorrow, so if you’re interested stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!

Agigas

LoR player with multiple tournament wins and #4 ladder peaks. Ascended Seasonal top 4. I love writing guides to share my experience with the game with the community!

2 Responses

  1. JustAChris says:

    I like the Ahri/Kennen deck. Was thinking along some similar lines myself as far as Elusives and so on.

    Why go with Otterpuss, though? I thought Navori Bladescout was a standout for the position with the recall synergy.

  2. Agigas says:

    Navori Bladescout is a good option too, the elusive keyword is good with Ahri. That said, I like Otterpus quite a lot in this deck. The Attune keyword and the prank generation are really valuable and work well with recall. I think pranks are very strong in this tempo-oriented archetype, not only for increasing the opponent’s costs, but also to gain knowledge about their hand.

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