As we see more and more cards from the upcoming expansion, rating them and theorycrafting gets easier. Today’s reveal had only a few cards, but among them also some of the wildest mechanics we have seen so far. Lissandra is bringing a horde of massive Thralls with her, and everyone should be worried!
So let’s dive in! In the first part of the article I’ll review all the spoilers and then I’ll sign off with a theorycrafted Lissandra deck. Here’s our rating scale for new cards:
- 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.
Lissandra – 3.5
There is a ton to unravel when looking at Lissandra. Between both of her levels, she gives you access to three other cards.
On top of that, she also has an extremely unique ability to give your Nexus Tough! This is absolutely massive versus burn decks that are pinging your Nexus with various sources of damage, as this will reduce that damage by 1 per source.
Lissandra is only a 3-cost, but her level-up condition will happen in fairly often – summoning 2 allies that cost 8 or more is not that hard of a task. This task becomes even easier by utilizing the new Frostguard Thralls, who just so happen to cost 8 mana.
When she does level she gives you access to one of – if not the most – powerful cards we have seen in Legends of Runeterra so far – Watcher. This card not only has insane stats, but it also has the ability to mill your opponent on-attack by obliterating the opponent’s deck.
You can make this unit cost 0 mana if you have summoned 4 or more allies that cost 8 or more, which you will already be at 2 if you have flipped Lissandra to get access to Watcher in the first place. Obviously, Lissandra will fit into some late-game archetypes and add a versatile unit and win condition that could give those decks a serious boost.
Entomb – 3.0
Obliterate at Fast speed is very intriguing. This card overall is just very interesting with its play patterns. How I am assuming it works is that you choose a unit to obliterate, and that unit can be an ally or an enemy. Then you summon the Frozen Tomb Landmark in its place, which the obliterated unit will reappear out of when the Countdown comes to 0.
This can be used as a defensive card to get around a spell or as a combo piece with Taliyah like how the Ancient Hourglass will be used, or even as a removal card that will temporarily get rid of a threat for a few turns. This card has a lot of combo potential and I believe someone much smarter than me will figure out how to abuse this card.
Ice Shard – 2.0
Getting this card as a Fleeting 0-cost spell from Lissandra every turn is solid, but as far as putting this into your deck, probably not as good.
It has obvious synergy with some Freljord cards like Scargrounds and the Scarthane package in general. In those decks this should see play and it should be a solid replacement for Death Lotus, as you will be able to damage things that are not just in battle.
Outside of that, and synergy with Vladimir, I doubt this sees play. Although as I type this my mind does wander – powering this up with kegs sounds very tempting.
Frozen Thrall – 2.0
Not only does Lissandra summon a free Frozen Thrall, but you can also put this card into your deck.
I think this has potential to be very competitive, but just in a specific deck.
Countdown 8 is a lot of time to stall through, but when you do the payoff comes in a massive 8/8 body with Overwhelm. Now if only there was a way to get these out quicker…
Draklorn Inquisitor – 2.0
Introducing the Draklorn Inquisitor, who at the Round End defrosts any of your Frozen Thralls that have their countdown at 4 or less. On top of this, he also summons a Frozen Thrall himself.
This is the exact card this archetype needed. A way to expedite the Frostguard Thralls allows you to quickly reach a point where you can pressure your win condition.
This also helps you level up Lissandra quicker, and get closer to having Watcher cost 0 since you will be summoning 8 cost thralls. This appears to be a narrow card, but a competitive one at that.
Three Sisters – 1.5
I really like the flavor of this card, allowing you to get the champion spell of either Ashe, Sejuani, or Lissandra.
It has a lot of flexibility since it can get vastly different types of spells.
This flexibility could be enough to earn the Three Sisters a deck slot, but in my opinion, this will not make the cut in a lot of decks.
Blighted Ravine – 3.0
I am riding pretty high on this one. I really like the idea of a delayed Avalanche, that also heals your nexus for 4.
Realistically since this does 2 to EVERYTHING, it will only net a heal of 2 on your own Nexus. But still, this can be really strong when your opponent is setting up their board.
This has the downside of being countered by Landmark removal, but the upside of avoiding things like Deny. I think this could take the place of Avalanche in a few decks.
Cold Resistance – 1.0
When it comes to investing in a 5-cost card that generates an empty mana crystal, I would much rather heal my Nexus for 3 instead of granting an ally +2 health.
I don’t see this taking the place of Catalyst of Aeons anytime soon, but I could be wrong!
The first champion I thought of when I saw Lissandra was Trundle. Her level-up condition is based around playing 8-cost units, and Trundle also powers up based on Beholding 8-cost units. When you add this together and see the synergy of the Frozen Thralls and the Watcher there is a lot of potential.
I started the base of this deck with the core of Shadow Isles and Freljord ramp/control decks. We still want to ramp and stall with this deck in order to get a ton of Thralls on the board, so that package will help us live till the late game.
We are fully in on the Thrall gameplan. Instead of using things like Feel the Rush or Warmother’s Call, our win condition comes from the Thralls themselves, Trundle, or the Watcher. Using the Draklorn Inquisitor we want to get this all on board as soon as possible, and as consistently as possible.
One really cool combo is with the Spectral Matron and the Watcher. Essentially you can sneak out an additional Watcher so now your opponent has to deal with 2 of them or pay the ultimate price of getting their deck obliterated.
If you are used to playing this archetype, this should be a natural fit for you to pick right up when the new expansion drops on March 3rd!