The official Legends of Runeterra stream showcased Kayn, one of the five new champions coming to Runneterra in the Darkin Saga: Awakening expansion.
We also had a look at different Equipment cards for different regions, each Equipment card grants stats and possibly keywords to units it attaches to. Unlike Attach units, Equipment cards can be played using spell mana.
In this article, I’ll cover Kayn and the new cards that were revealed along with him. I’ll rate each card and share my opinion on them, let’s get started!
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.
Kayn – 4.0
Kayn’s Runeterran Origin allows you to put any Cultist cards in your deck. Additionally, playing 3 Cultist units draws a Kayn from the deck. That in itself is a massive advantage, making sure you’ll have your champion ready to play or at least a second copy in case Kayn dies.
At first glance, a 5 mana cost champion with 2|5 stats doesn’t feel appealing, but the Auto-Equip The Darkin Scyth will increase the champion’s Power by 1 on the attack.
Kayn’s level-up condition requires you to attack twice with him, which feels easily achievable, especially with the Challenger keyword. His signature spell, Kayn’s Shadow Step, synergizes perfectly with his level-up requirement, allowing you to level him up on the same turn or on defensive turns.
As for his level up, Kayn will recall back to hand on level up, similar to Katarina, but can be replayed for zero mana! On play, you’ll get to transform Kayn into either Rhaast or The Shadow Assasin.
Both transformations have the challenger keyword and the same 3|6 stats. As for the differences, Rhaast has the Overwhelm keyword, Corrupted Scythe, and can fully heal himself and your Nexus by 2 when he kills an enemy. Whereas The Shadow Assasin has the Elusive keyword and Shadow Scythe.
Just looking at Rhaast’s healing ability, it gives him an advantage over The Shadow Assasin, and will probably be the more popular transformation. Moreover, Elusive doesn’t really pair well with the Challenger keyword, you’re not looking to challenge and kill units when playing Elusive units on the board, you’d rather slam the Nexus directly and try to close out the game.
The Shadow Assasin will probably be a suitable choice to end the game as fast as possible with the assistance of the Elusive keyword, while Rhaast is more of a board presence unit, that wants to take control of the board.
Forsaken Baccai – 4.5
Looking at the stats, Forsaken Baccai is a good 1 drop. The card’s ability to predict and potentially gain +1|+1 if you choose a Darkin or an Equipment raises it to the top tier.
One mana 3|2 unit that allows you to find a specific card that sets up for future plays is an amazing addition to a deck’s consistency.
Ranger-Knight Defector – 3.0
Ranger-Knight Defector having the Scout keyword gives it the potential to become problematic on the board if combined with an Equipment card or a keyword like Overwhelm or Elusive.
The tough keyword gives an extra layer of protection, making it difficult for blockers to deal with it.
Tempting Prospect – 4.0
A great cycling card for the Demacia region! The Demacia region lacks reliable card draw, and although Tempting Prospect isn’t providing additional card advantage, the ability to predict and find a specific follower or Equipment that helps you advance your game plan is perfect for Demacia decks.
Furious Wielder – 2.0
A Noxus strike card that can only be played on an Equipped ally. It’s a bit expensive that will probably not see much play except in Kayn or specific Noxus decks that want to control the board.
It resembles Bloody Business, which doesn’t really see much play due to the nature of Noxus archetypes preferring an aggressive play style over removing units off the board.
The Darkin Balista – 3.5
A cheap Equipment card that grants you +2|0. It’s a great tool to push more damage, enable card abilities that require an Equipped unit, and has a unique secondary ability for late game.
Instead of using it as an Equipment card, you can spend 8 mana to summon Naganeka of Zuretta, a 5|13 unit with the Overwhelm keyword. Naganeka of Zuretta and the strongest opponent’s unit will strike each other at the end of the turn. Naganeka of Zuretta’s high health will be beneficial to win those combats especially if you increase its Power with an Equipment card.
Draconic Bands – 2.0
It’s a nice stat buff with a Furry keyword, but if the unit doesn’t have a keyword like Overwhelm or Elusive to use those stats efficiently, the card feels underwhelming for its cost.
“My Bearer is a Dragon” doesn’t feel appealing but that might change with more new cards revealed for this expansion that can put good use to Dragon units.
Heedless Resurrection – 4.0
Another strong card added to the Shurima region’s arsenal. Reviving your strongest allied champion can be a game swinger and possibly set up a win condition. I can see it being run outside of Kayn decks in archetypes like Mono Shurima, Viego, or Renekton decks.
In most cases, you’ll activate the cost reduction of the card by playing an Equipment card before you have to cast this spell.
Jagged Cutlass – 2.5
Will most likely be limited to Plunder decks that can take advantage of the mana reduction.
The additional stats from Jagged Cutlass will find use when played on Overwhelm units.
It’s difficult to see this card played in other Bilgewater decks that don’t rely on Plunder, a 3 mana +2|+1 with no keywords isn’t worth it in most scenarios.
Great Hammers – 4.0
One of the best Equipment cards so far! A 2 mana cost +2|0 that grants the Overwhelm keyword.
The Overwhelm keyword is the reason this card is strong. It can be a game changer and sets up one of your buffy units to close out the game.
Great Hammer might be just the card to breed new archetypes that will rely on Overwhelm damage as a win condition.
It acts similar to Might, but the Equipment card’s stats and Pverwhelm keyword stick on the unit and if that unit is killed, Great Hammers can be replayed on another unit.
Buried Armory – 3.5
An extremely strong landmark that’s cheap to play and sets up for later plays. The Equipment card it creates, Treasure of the Sands is cheap for the +4|+4 stats it provides.
This can come in handy with Renekton decks that rely heavily on stat buff to push Overwhelm damage.
You’re usually not looking to play the card until mid-game, so countdown 2 is perfect if you can drop the landmark on the board early on in the game.
Momentous Choice – 3.5
A versatile card that can either be played offensively or defensively. It does require you to Equip an ally as a condition to double its effect.
It’s a cheap +2 stat either Power of Health which might see play in decks that either want to protect key units or Elusive decks that want to push additional damage.
Important to note, that if the condition is met, a copy of the card is replayed again on the same unit. This effect comes in handy to trigger conditions of some cards like Warlord’s Palace or potentially new cards we’ll be seeing in the expansion reveal.
Shadowblade Fanatic – 2.5
So far, cards that create Shadow Fiend haven’t seen much play in various different metas.
Shadowblade Fanatic has underwhelming stats for its mana cost but the Quick Attack makes sure you won’t easily lose your unit to a blocker.
I don’t really see Shadowblade Fanatic becoming a popular card in different archetypes, his effect might only be useful in aggressive-style decks that want an extra unit to go wide on the board.
Mistfall – 3.0
You’re losing tempo early on but will gain value later on in the game with Mistfall.
The Equipment draw gives a card advantage and with the 1 spell mana refill, and +1|0, you’ll slowly gain an advantage over your opponent.
Mistfall requires a deck capable of playing many Equipment cards for the landmark to be worth adding to the deck.
Noxian Defector – 2.5
An interesting card that heavily relies on another unit on the board to be worth playing. That unit also has to be equipped for Noxian Defector’s attack Power to grow. If the other unit is dealt with before the attack is committed, Noxian Defector is too weak to go for a swing.
The card’s Quick Attack keyword is its saving grace, it’ll be difficult to block and kill and will probably force a spell to deal with it.
Gatalyst V 1.0 – 1.5
Gatalyst V 1.0 is limited to archetypes that rely on burn damage as their win condition.
The card doesn’t provide any stats to the equipped units and if that unit is killed you’ll lose on the additional damage you’re trying to deal with Gatalyst.
It could potentially work in a Tri-Beam deck like Caitlyn Ezreal that relies on 3 cost cards and a lot of damage spells.
Loaded Vessel – 1.5
An expensive value card for the late game. The 2 damage can be useful to kill a pesky unit but you’ll need to set up for more damage if you’re trying to draw more cards.
You’ll have to wait until the next turn to draw those cards and they will be fleeting, forcing you to play them on that specific turn.
This card is perfect for archetypes that run cheap cards and want a method to replenish their hand. Nami Twisted Fate is the first deck that comes to mind that might find this card handy.
Hexbliterator – 1.0
Underwhelming card. The Obliterate factor can be useful against specific decks capable of reviving their units but overall doesn’t feel worth it in a ladder deck.
It’s expensive and you’ll probably have to combo it with another card to kill a key high-health unit on your opponent’s board.
Silence and Suppress – 1.5
Will only feel useful against specific archetypes that use high-cost Equipment. Silence and Suppress might end up being a brick in hand against archetypes that don’t rely on Equipment and the Silence is just not enough to justify its addition to the deck.
However, if the upcoming meta is Equipment heavy, then Silence and Suppress might see play.
The Equipment cards are an interesting addition to the game that will definitely be included in a lot of archetypes, presenting a new approach to playing the game.
Kayn seems promising, Rhaast is extremely strong and we’ll most likely be the popular choice over The Shadow Assasin.
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