LeBlanc Review and Theorycraft
Hi Random7HS here with a breakdown of the newly revealed Noxus champion LeBlanc and her supporting cards. Here’s our rating scale used in this article:
- 5.0: Meta-defining card, proven 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: Can be used for specific synergies, or to counter some decks.
- 1.0: Doesn’t find its place in the meta.
I’ll be completely honest. I was a bit underwhelmed when I first saw LeBlanc, expecting something of a more intricate design based on her abilities in League. If you exclude LeBlanc’s level up, she is basically a Senna, Sentinel of Light with 1 extra attack. However, that 1 extra attack means that LeBlanc combos with Trifarian Assessor and the new keyword, Reputation.
Once LeBlanc levels up, she creates a Mirror Image every time she sees you deal 15 damage. Once leveled, this card is very similar in nature to champions like Zoe, Lux, and Aphelios that periodically generates value.
LeBlanc is a bit more similar to Lux in this regard, as both Zoe and Aphelios start gaining value before leveling up. Unfortunately, compared to Lux, LeBlanc requires a bit more of a board presence to trigger, so the level-up will more often feel like a ‘win more’.
LeBlanc’s saving grace is that she doesn’t actually need to level to be useful. 5 power with Quick Attack is nothing to scoff at and demands an answer unless your opponent has enough units to chump block LeBlanc every turn.
LeBlanc’s biggest issue is that, with only 2 HP, she can be removed by a myriad of cheap removal such as Death’s Hand, Mystic Shot, and Diana. LeBlanc can also be answered by combat tricks like Frostbites, Barriers, and even Hush.
Overall, I could easily see LeBlanc being run in Ashe Noxus or Targon Noxus. Because of the threat density for both of these decks, if unanswered, LeBlanc can easily level by turn 5. Additionally, Ashe Noxus and Targon Noxus run protection in the forms of Troll Chant and Pale Cascade, respectively. In Ashe Noxus specifically, LeBlanc is a free draw with Trifarian Assessor.
Outside of these two decks, LeBlanc’s playability ultimately depends on how much early game removal and chump blockers there are in the meta. Right now both of these are a bit high, but if the meta shifts, I could easily see LeBlanc being played as a stat-stick.
Sigil of Malice 1.5
This card has the exact same effect as Mystic Shot except that it costs twice as much mana until Reputation is triggered. If this card was in a different region with less removal, I could see it being played in this meta because of how important Twisted Fate removal is. However, Noxus already has Death’s Hand and Culling Strike.
The other issue with Sigil is that you probably won’t be able to trigger Reputation until mid-game, at which point mana starts to matter a bit less. Outside of Twisted Fate and aggro decks, 2 damage removal starts to fall off during the mid-game, and Sigil of Malice is a card that most decks will almost always mulligan away.
Sigil’s saving grace is that the top deck right now, Twisted Fate Fizz, outside of leveling Twisted Fate early, usually doesn’t come online until turns 6-8. By then, a dedicated Reputation deck should have Reputation online and 1 mana kill a Wiggly Burblefish is not bad. However, in these decks, Reckoning seems preferable against Twisted Fate Fizz.
Sigil of Malice, unfortunately, seems like a mediocre card without a good home. In order to be played, there must be a viable Reputation deck that needs a 2 damage fast speed removal spell after Reputation is triggered. In all other decks, Death’s Hand is simply better.
Mimic – 1.5
Mimic is similar to Spell Thief except it can copy your own spells. You also only can copy spells from your opponent that are on the stack, you can’t steal burst spells from your opponent, and the copied spell is Fleeting.
Because of its high mana cost, I don’t think Mimic is playable in decks that cannot trigger Reputation by turns 5 or 6. In decks that can trigger Reputation, I’m not sure which spells would be valuable enough to spend an extra mana copying, except maybe Might or Bloody Business.
Additionally, because the generated card is Fleeting, copying removal spells becomes significantly less powerful since you can’t save them for later use.
When I first saw Spell Thief, I thought it was pretty bad in a Go Hard meta, but the meta quickly shifted away from Go Hard and Spell Thief became significantly better.
In the current meta, I can’t see a deck that would play Mimic. Maybe, if the meta becomes significantly more midrange focused and there is a viable Reputation deck, I could see Mimic being played to steal Single Combat, Concerted Strike, Homecoming, Deny, and
Black Rose Spy – 3.0
I really like Black Rose Spy and want her to be playable, but the design seems somewhat anti-synergistic.
On one hand, Black Rose Spy is really good at copying late-game bombs like Tryndamere and units buffed with Battle Fury. On the other hand, Black Rose Spy requires that you strike first, so you generally have to play Black Rose Spy after an attack. In most Noxus Freljord decks that play Tryndamere and Battle Fury, if you swing with that amount of power – you’re probably already winning.
Black Rose Spy, however, does cost 2 mana, and 2 mana to copy a potentially much higher-cost card is a really strong tempo play.
Worst case, Black Rose Spy is a 2 mana 3/2, which is by no means bad.
I think that any deck that can consistently trigger Black Rose Spy mid-game will try to fit in at least one or two copies of her for tempo.
Bloody Business – 3.0
Bloody Business, at first glance, looks very similar to Concerted Strike except it costs one mana less and can only target one of your own units with at least 5 power.
However, 4 mana deal 5 damage is nothing to laugh at, even if it can only be used situationally. I could see this card being a staple in any non-aggro deck that can reliably have a 5-attack target to make use of.
I’m not yet sure what a viable Reputation deck would look like – if one exists at all – but it’s worth noting that Bloody Business fulfills one of the four strikes required for Reputation to trigger.
Thorn of the Rose – 2.0
Thorn of the Rose, however, does have some major upsides compared to Guile. It has a 5/1 body, and once you play her, your opponent has to open-attack or fear playing into Guile.
The biggest impediment to Thorn of the Rose seeing play is Arachnoid Sentry. It has 1 extra HP and has a stun that comes down immediately without needing to pay extra mana.
The major upsides of Thorn of the Rose compared with Arachnoid Sentry is that it generates a card that can be discarded and it has 2 more attack, which can be relevant for trading into beefier units, forcing blocks, and achieving Reputation or damage-conditions from level-ups of champions like LeBlanc and Sivir.
Overall, I think Thorn of the Rose will pretty much only see play in metas in which having 5 attack is better than the extra survivability or in metas where preemptively having a body before playing the stun is better than the surprise factor and better stats of Sentry.
Whispered Words – 4.0
Whispered Words is probably the best Noxus card revealed yesterday. Even in decks that cannot trigger Reputation, this card is really good.
At 4 mana, this spell is equivalent to Salvage in non-Deep decks except it doesn’t reveal two cards to the opponent. Decks like Twisted Fate Swain used to already play Salvage and can now play Whispered Words instead.
In general, any card that generates card advantage will find play in both slower midrange decks and burn decks that run out of steam quickly. I do not expect Whispered Words to be an exception.
Whispered Word’s viability unfortunately is a bit lower in faster metas and the meta is one of the fastest it has been. Additionally, the main midrange Noxus decks in the meta right now are Ashe Noxus and Draven Ezreal, which already have Trifarian Assessor and Rummage, respectively.
Despite this, I definitely expect Whispered Words to find its way into the meta eventually.
If you were watching the Americas Seasonal Tournament cast, Boulevard mentioned that he thought that LeBlanc could replace Riven in Ashe Noxus decks. Adel actually made it to the finals of the SEA Seasonal Tournament with an Ashe Katarina deck. As mentioned earlier, I think that this deck is the perfect home for LeBlanc. I’m not too sure of the ratios yet, but I could a deck like the one above being played.
Targon Noxus aggro pops up every now and then in certain metas. LeBlanc can be used to replace Draven in this deck because of the 2 extra attack. The list above is very unrefined and it may be better to play invoke cards with Starry Scamp.
Sivir LeBlanc seems to be one of the more natural pairings. Both have 5 Power and Quick Attack and both level by dealing damage. Unfortunately, this concept is probably the one I have the least amount of faith in. I posted my first attempt here, but I suspect that it will need a lot of refining before being ladder-viable.
LeBlanc and her supports all seem like they will be on the fringe side of the meta for the most part. However, I could definitely see many of the cards being played in dark-horse decks once the cards come out and we have more time to experiment.
Like always, thanks for reading! I’ll be happy to answer any question, comment or feedback down below or on Reddit!