Healing is Winning: Soraka and Targon Cards Analysis and Ratings

Healing has always been around in Legends of Runeterra… but never before it could win you a game outright. Now, we have a new ‘healing win condition’ introduced in the form of a Targon’s Landmark, and a really solid champion to go along with it. We have seen units that fit into this archetype from Call of the Mountain, but these spoilers here fully solidify this playstyle. Let’s dive in!

Here’s our rating scale:

Soraka – 3.5

I personally think Soraka is one of the most interesting champions we have seen since Rising Tides. She has a good stat line for her purpose, especially when leveled – a 2|7 for 3 mana is wild! She can also level while in your deck/hand, which means you can flip her and get her strongest ability (consistent card draw) online relatively quickly. Obviously, you can also fully buy into the healing archetype and try to win with the new Star Spring Landmark we will discuss later, but I think Soraka fits in a lot of other places as well. She’s just all around really solid, and this kind of a draw engine attached to a champion card is great. I think she will absolutely find a few different homes, and there is already so much support for her in Targon.

Soraka’s Wish – 2.0

This is a pretty useful spell and fits perfectly as Soraka’s champion spell. This will really only get run as a main-deck choice when you go truly all-in on the Star Spring win condition, making the card extremely narrow, but also extremely powerful at what it does. You can get a ton of healing in the right situation and come very close to fulfilling your win condition – all for 3 mana. Slow speed is the biggest downfall here, but I think it has to be there in order to allow for some counterplay.

Astral Protection – 2.0

This card really reminds me of Bloodsworn Pledge, which saw almost no play. That spell granted +0/+3 to two different units, also for 4 mana. Astral Protection is most likely better than Pledge, as it fits into the healing archetype at least. On top of that, both of these styles of cards will have more value in the new meta, as we will have things like Tahm Kench and Taric who can utilize the new Targon buff spell well. 

Stargazer – 2.5

This is one of the several alternative win conditions for the healing archetype. I think just relying on Star Spring to win the game is extremely risky, so you will need some other ways to finish the game. It could come in the form of some heavy hitters with Overwhelm, or possibly giving some of your units Elusive in order to sneak some damage through. On top of just fitting directly into the healing archetype, Stargazer also has a weird and strong enough effect to possibly make a splash elsewhere.

Star Spring – 2.0

Well, I have already mentioned this card quite a few times because it’s what this whole bunch of spoilers. I personally love alternate win conditions. They entice you to build in interesting ways, and they provide different ways to actually play out your matches. From my experience of other CCG’s I have played, alternative wincons have been great for the health of those games. I think Star Spring will breathe life into the game in a great way at first, and possibly even more so down the road, but I don’t think it will be super competitive instantly. And in the end, this is a 2.0 because it really only fits into 1 specific archetype.

Divergent Paths 3.0

This card makes me take Landmarks overall on a much more serious level. A tutor for a card you can potentially build your deck around is really important. 3 mana price and Fast speed are also pretty good, and the added ability to be able to counter your opponent’s Landmarks is strong. The viability of this brand new card type will obviously fully determine this spell’s viability, but at least in the first weeks of the season people will be trying them, so you’ll see plenty of Divergent Paths as well.

Spring Guardian – 2.5

This seems like a fair bit of value at 3 mana. You get another card in hand and still a decent body. Fully healing an ally in this archetype is great, but even outside of it could still find use. And this is only for 1 mana, which compensates for being Slow. Any card generation is normally pretty solid, and this spell is relatively useful in most decks. 

Crystal Ibex – 2.0

Targon now has 2 cards with the ability to grant Overwhelm. We have all seen the power of Zenith Blade – especially with Lee Sin. I don’t think Crystal Ibex will fit great into that deck, as it has the same cost as Lee Sin and isn’t a spell to help his level up condition. Still, having another card that is able to grant Overwhelm can be significant. On top of that, a 4|4 body with this strong of an effect is pretty solid. I don’t think this will see a ton of play but could possibly get splashed in a few decks.

Sneaky Zeebles – 1.5

This card confuses me the most out of this set because it does so many weird things. Having Elusive in Targon is pretty cool since before now you could really only find the keyword through Invoke within this faction. A 5-drop coming in at 3|3 stats isn’t the strongest, but then you get a strange but decent ability as well. You can stun your opponent’s units with 2 or less power, which is a pretty specific condition. This isn’t a skill, so it will trigger instantly when played. This sort of pairs with Leona and Yasuo. Overall this card does a lot, but doesn’t do any of it exceptionally well. 

Voices of the Old Ones – 4.0

This card scares me the most out of this entire set, hands down. This is a very strong ramping tool that fits so well into everything Trundle deck is already doing. This allows you to pick and choose which ramp cards you want to run, and most likely you don’t need to run them all. Saving spell mana to play this early will really speed you up while also helping your hand state. Even in the late game this is not a dead card as it can help you dig for some of your late-game stuff, even if it is pricey. This one will slot into a lot of the strong ramp decks we have already seen, and will be an absolute staple in those decks. 

The Howling Abyss – 1.5

There were a lot of negative takes in the community regarding this card. This effect is one of the strongest in the game. Getting a random leveled champion in your hand each turn sounds absolutely bonkers. There are some seriously strong ones you can get in this situation and some others that are just ok. Either way, it is an additional card each round! However, this can really only fit into ramp decks, because it is very slow. You need to use 7 generic mana to put this on the field and you don’t even get an immediate effect. You have to wait until the next round to even get a card back from this. Value at this slow of a pace probably won’t work consistently with how fast we have seen decks play.

Conclusion

These were some really hotly debated cards in these reveals over the past few days that shook up a lot of conversations – between the random champion generation making people feel like there was too much RNG being added to the game, and the Star Spring making players really scared of stall decks and having to run Landmark removal.

Overall, I try to stay positive with my reviews. We have seen the Legends of Runeterra Development Team consistently fine-tune their game, and it has always been a very enjoyable experience. If any of those fears come to fruition, I know the team will make the correct adjustments. With all that being said, I honestly do not share the same fears around these cards. My biggest fear is that the entire healing package falls short and ends up being another underperforming archetype that eventually has to receive buffs.

So what do you think? Are these Landmarks game breaking? Is Soraka underwhelming? Let me know as you continue the discussion!

Shane

Shane has played strategy card games since before he could read, thanks to his older brother teaching him how to memorize what each card did. Currently, he is the Host of the Twin Sunz Podcast, a Legends of Runeterra podcast and community with offerings for players of all levels of skill.

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