‘Bestow’ Lab Guide: Strategy Tips and Best Decks
Welcome to the first Spring Blossom Lab: Bestow! In this new interesting take on the mode, you want your units to die often, pass on their stats, until you create an unstoppable juggernaut to defeat your opponent in one shot! In this guide I intend to cover the basic ruleset and strategy of the new mode, and I will also provide you with detailed breakdowns for each of the six preconstructed decks available in this Lab.
- Duration: 2 weeks, July 22 – August 5;
- No entry fee, unlimited play;
- No constructed deck required to enter.
- Standard XP for play: 200 XP per win, 100 XP per loss (changes to 50 XP after fifth loss in a single day);
- Special Labs Quests could be received as Daily Quests: ‘Play a Labs game’ for 1000 XP and ‘Win a Labs game’ for 1500 XP.
- Labs wins also advance the progress of Spirit Blossom Event Quests and grant your 1 Petal for each win (4 Petals for the first PvP win of each day)
- Each player picks from 6 pre-constructed decks;
- Each player starts at 30 life;
- When your unit dies, its stats are granted to another random unit in your hand.
- Attack and block often, as your primary goal is to pass your units’ stats along and snowball into a game ending threat.
- You want to keep units with keywords such as Overwhelm and Elusive in your hand for as long as possible to set up buffs being passed onto them.
- Going all-in on one unit is safer than usual as there is very little unconditional removal in decks. For example, Vengeance is not present in any of them and the closest thing to that are probably Noxian Guillotine spell and the Obliterate ability from Devourer of the Depths.
Rating Preconstructed Decks
Below is a description of every deck available in the Lab, ranked in my opinion from worst to best.
6. ‘Scar Tissue’
Champions: Vladimir, Braum
Scar Tissue uses the self-harm package of Crimson Disciple, Crimson Curator and Crimson Awakener; along with other cards that benefit from being damaged such as Unscarred Reaver, Scarthane Steffen, Braum, and Scarmother Vrynna to aggressively push into your opponent. Your units will usually die with low health and high power so be prepared for your Bestow stats to provide substantially more attack than health. Noxian Guillotine is a great removal in this deck as it can kill a large unit that has been slightly damaged and can be chained to provide multiple removal spells in one turn.
Scarmother Vrynna is the only card in the deck that has Overwhelm and is the preferred target for the Bestow buffs. Vladimir is also a good recipient of the buffs as he has Regeneration to make him hard to remove; his ability can trigger your units’ self-harm abilities and the Drain can swing the life counts in your favor. However, since the starting life totals are higher than normal, and one-shot kills are common in this Lab, small life fluctuations aren’t as relevant. The deck does feature Pack Mentality as an additional way to grant stats and Overwhelm to your units to push through that last little bit of damage.
5. ‘Noble Sacrifice’
Champions: Kalista, Lucian
This deck goes wide and wants their units to die. A lot. Dawnspeakers is a key card in this deck as it that builds up your board with deaths, translating into more even Bestow stats to pass on. Having ways to kill your own units on command such as Blighted Caretaker, Chronicler of Ruin, and Glimpse from Beyond make your Bestow engines rolling and let Dawnspeakers trigger every turn. The deck also provides some ways to recur your units in the form of Kalista and Mist’s Call.
Noble Sacrifice does not have any units that have Overwhelm or Elusive, but it does have a way to grant Fearsome in the form of Cithria the Bold to bypass chump blockers that are everywhere in this Lab. Silverwing Vanguard is another great choice to receive the Bestow buffs as it creates an exact copy of itself on the board, stats and all. It also has Challenger so you can use it to eat up any pesky units in your way or force a trade to pass your buffs on.
4. ‘Take the Initiative’
The way this deck generates Bestow stats is by attacking often with Scout units and trading in combat repeatedly. Challenger, Vulnerable and Single Combat help you force trades to get your Bestow train going.
Concerted Strike is a bit of an awkward card, as the nature of Bestow means that once you use it, it will create a bigger threat in the opponent’s hand. I would advise you to use Concerted Strike to target key engines or save it for late game threats that have Elusive or Overwhelm, as those are common ways for people to close out games.
There is only one unit in this deck that has Overwhelm to take advantage of the Bestow buffs, and that’s a leveled-up Miss Fortune. You may not always be able to level up your Miss Fortune, so the more consistent targets for your Bestow buffs are your Elusive threats: Prowling Cutthroat and Bubble Bear. From there, protect your finisher with Prismatic Barrier, or Unyielding Spirit, and use Relentless Pursuit to push through for the win!
3. ‘Pile o’ Poros’
Champions: Sejuani, Braum
This deck has Poros! Lots of ‘em! You aim to flood the board with cheap units such as Lonely Poro and friends, Avarosan Sentry and Omen Hawk. Poro Herder draws you more Poros, and Poro Snax gives Poros a global buff. Typically, you don’t want to start letting your Poros die until you cast at least one Snax to get more bang for your buck.
Another unique thing about this deck is that it features a Frostbite package with Caught in the Cold, Icevale Archer, Flash Freeze and Sejuani. This allows you to cripple your opponent’s Bestow stacked units, halting a would be attack or being able to charge into your opponent without fear of retaliation. Remember that a unit Bestows the stats that it had when it dies, so a unit afflicted with Frostbite would pass on 0 attack.
Preferred recipients of the Bestow buffs are: Mighty Poro, Daring Poro, Heart of the Fluft, Sejuani, and best of all Scarmaiden Reaver. Scarmaiden Reaver is the standout recipient as it has both Overwhelm to push through damage and Regeneration to make it difficult to remove without killing it in one shot. If you’re going all in on Heart of the Fluft, make sure that it absorbs at least a Daring or Mighty Poro to gain Elusive, or Overwhelm respectively. Without either of those keywords, your opponent can just put blockers in front of it all day.
2. ‘Certain Death’
Champions: Hecarim, Zed
Ephemeral units’ drawback of dying after just one attack is mitigated by the very nature of this Lab, as the stats will be passed on to another unit in your hand. Developing a Soul Shepherd to buff your Ephemeral units generates an amazing amount of Bestow stats, and recursive threats such as Shark Chariot and Silent Shadowseer provide you with a near endless stream of Ephemeral units.
I found that the Harrowing is best used on defense to create more blockers and buff your hand for your next attacking turn. Using the Harrowing on attack once you’ve developed a Hecarim, Zed, or multiple Shark Chariots makes you unable to take advantage of all the units generated due board width limitations. And even when you have an empty field when you use the Harrowing, if your attack doesn’t kill your opponent you won’t have much mana left over to cast anything else to defend yourself with.
Both Champions in this deck are great targets for the Bestow buffs. Zed essentially doubles the Bestow buffs when he creates his Living Shadow, and it’s guaranteed to pass on its stats due to being Ephemeral. Hecarim has Overwhelm which makes him a great threat when buffed and increases his survivability, as he needs to be on the field to give Ephemeral units an attack buff in his leveled-up form.
This deck has been nerfed very soon after the launch of the Lab, when it used to stomp on the competition. Even now, this deck is still very good overall, but not as overpowered as it was when it had Kinkou Lifeblade.
1. ‘Nothin’ but Powder Monkeys’
Champions: Vi & Fizz
This deck aims to use Professor von Yipp to buff a plethora of expendable 1-cost minions to rack up Bestow stats. Monkey Idol is an excellent card in this archetype as the Powder Monkeys it creates benefit from Professor von Yipp and they’re guaranteed to die as they’re Ephemeral, giving you a Bestow buff generating engine.
The preferred cards you want to be stacking Bestow buffs on are your Elusive threats such as Fizz and Zap Sprayfin. However, the card that I believe is the most valuable to stack Bestow on is Devourer of the Depths. Its ability, Obliterate, does not kill an enemy unit, so it denies your opponent Bestow stats! A well-timed Devourer of Depths onto your opponent’s unit that has plenty of Bestow buffs will put your opponent significantly behind, as they must start building up Bestow all over again. Try to weaken your opponent’s largest unit as much as possible to ensure that the Obliterate goes off without a hitch.