Hello, it’s Mezume here! Since Path of Champions has been added to Legends of Runeterra, we have been publishing different champions guides in order to help and prepare you for what each run awaits. In this guide, I will tackle the newest addition to the mode – Gnar!
I will begin by introducing you to the general gameplan of his starter deck. After that, we’ll go over the best Powers and Relic Items to pick from, as well as which Reinforcements are best to look out for.
I will also touch on the Reputation breakpoints, as there are a few which can affect the way you approach the game.
Finally, I will provide tips specific for Gnar on each of the specific adventures. If you are looking for more generic tips, you can check both my first guide on Jinx’s adventure and Den’s article about the mode!
Gnar’s starting deck is an overall synergistic list with just a couple of oddballs here in there (looking at you, Mighty Poro). It plays a nice curve of Impact followers, combined with transform units to create a pleasant to play archetype.
While most of the cards are powerful and form a strong backbone for whatever deck you will plan to create from there on, it is worth mentioning that the best transform follower – Teenydactyl – is not included in the starting list. This makes some encounters a bit more difficult, as it reduces your consistency of triggering transformations as easy as you’d like.
Pretty much every card in your deck will be useful at one point or the other! Even Mighty Poro can help your here and there, while Wallop can stop some unfair things from happening from your enemy’s side. The top-end is awesome, with Giga Gromp and Megatee able to carry you to victory in some difficult matchups.
When it comes to fleshing out your deck, remember that you’re playing Bandle City – which means there is little that does not fit. The obvious synergies are with Sejuani, Gangplank, as well as Swain, while more aggressive pairings also yield good results – think Ziggs, Akshan and so on. Gnar likes cards that can damage the enemy Nexus, as well as low mana-curves – but as I said before, it is Bandle City, so think ambitious.
I encourage you to experiment as much as you can, as Gnar really is a fun card to play with! My favourite adventure was when I got to play Gnar with Yasuo on the Nautilus map. I also picked up the “Hold It!” power, which stuns the strongest enemy at Round Start – it was hilarious, as Yasuo was completely taking over every single game.
|1||0||0||Begin your Adventure||Complete adventures to gain Reputation and unlock your champion’s potential!|
|2||50||50||Studded Leather (+1 | +1)||Begin every adventure with Studded Leather.|
|3||50||100||+50 Gold||Begin every adventure with an extra 50 gold.|
|4||75||175||+2 Rerolls||Begin every adventure with 2 additional Rerolls.|
|5||75||250||Random Starting Item||Begin each adventure with a random Common Item on a card in your deck.|
|6||100||350||Common Relic Slot||Gain a slot for a Common Relic Item.|
|7||100||450||Cut Cards||You can now cut cards at the Healer.|
|8||125||575||New starting Power||Round End: If you damaged the enemy nexus this round, grant your units Impact.|
|9||125||700||+10% Rare Powers||You have a 10% additional chance to find Rare Powers.|
|10||150||850||+50 Gold||Begin every adventure with an extra 50 gold.|
|11||150||1000||Rare Relic Slot||Upgrade to a slot for a Rare or Common Relic Item.|
|12||200||1200||+2 Rerolls||Begin every adventure with 2 additional Rerolls.|
|13||200||1400||+10% Gold||You earn 10% additional gold during adventures.|
|14||250||1650||Common Relic Slot||Gain a slot for a Common Relic Item.|
|15||250||1900||+1 Revive||Begin every adventure with 1 Revive. It will save you if you lose a combat!|
|16||300||2200||+10% Rare Items||You have a 10% additional chance to find Rare Items.|
|17||300||2500||Random Starting Item||Begin each adventure with a random Rare Item on a card in your deck.|
|18||400||2900||Upgraded Starting Power||Round End: If you damaged the enemy nexus this round, grant your units Impact twice.|
|19||400||3300||+10% Gold||You earn 10% additional gold during adventures.|
|20||500||3800||Rare Relic Slot||Upgrade to a slot for a Rare or Common Relic Item.|
|21||500||4300||5% Epic Items||You have a 5% additional chance to find Epic Items.|
|22||750||5050||+1 Mana||You begin every battle with an extra mana gem.|
At first glance, the starting power Gnar gets at level 8 looks fairly unexciting – Impact is great to have, but it is still just a strictly offensive keyword that does not help you establish board control in any way.
That said, I was extremely surprised by how much this evaluation changed when I got to play with it. It allows you to approach deck-building slightly differently and promotes a much more aggressive approach, with swarming the board being one of the win conditions. Once you get Impact on 4+ units, you’ll know what I am talking about!
There is not much to say about the upgraded version of this power, except that it single-handedly wins you games where you get a good early game start. Double Impact means that you can deal up to 12 damage without your attacks even connecting to the Nexus at all.
This is absurd and works wonders if you manage to build your strategy around it. That said, it can be slightly underwhelming if you go the slower route, as many of the more difficult bosses have ways to heal.
All the champions with Quick Attack end up working well with similar items. As such level 1 Gnar benefits from attack buffs heavily, but there is another layer to him – he also gets Overwhelm in his
You will definitely be looking for Relic items that buff your attack, such as Caulfield’s Warhammer (+2/+1), as well as The Bounty Hunter’s Renown (+1/+1 for every 200 gold).
With all that said, Gnar also has an ability that synergizes with some other items. Because he wants to level as fast as possible, but your deck also wants to play on curve, you will not often have the luxury to back him up with a Pokey Stick to guarantee a level up.
This is why one of my favourite Relic Items on him is actually a Common Relic – it is the Dreadway Chase Gun (When I’m summoned, create 2 Warning Shots in hand). The Warning Shots can be used both for his own level up, as well as for triggering other transform units in your deck – or even synergizing with other champs such as Sejuani or Gangplank.
As I said earlier, I encourage you to try out all the potential crazy and insane ideas you might have. It is extremely fun to do so when it comes to Gnar, because his starting deck is quite powerful, letting you play around with lots of ideas, without risking an instant loss.
The clear cut good choices are Sejuani and Gangplank, as they both work very well with transform effects, due to their level-ups also needing you to hit the enemy Nexus each round. They also both come with Overwhelm, giving you extra finishing power. Alternatively, some aggressive and burn style reinforcements can work wonders as well.
Finally, some of the Ionian cards can work quite well in the deck, as they can help you stall out the defensive turns, in order to be able to safely get your transform effects going. Yasuo also has legs in this format and some starting powers synergize with him very well, and our deck already has Wallop! That said, you can mix and match and enjoy your time – Gnar really allows for multiple combinations!
Choosing the Powers is extremely dependent on the adventure that you are in – you will want different ones for Nautilus than for Zed, and usually a completely different one for the Ezreal adventure.
They will also often depend on what cards you have already added to the deck. That said, when choosing your first Power, you do not have the full picture of where your list is headed.
Some of my favourite generic powers that work in every setting are Duelist (When you summon an ally, give it Challenger this round), New Student (Game Start: Summon a Sparring Student) and Out the Gates (Game Start: Summon a 2 cost unit from your deck).
The latter two are great for Gnar, as they let you start doing damage early and give you a wider board to be able to transform units even easier. Out the Gates can also get you a Bitsy Lizard and, if you have the attack token, net a 0 mana 3/4 by round 2.
Many other powers can work situationally. As I said before, I managed to make a crazy Gnar Yasuo deck using the Hold It power. Disarmed (Enemies have -1/-0) is a great choice if you’ve picked up some Fearsome units, while Flexible Gameplan (Game Start: Draw 2) is my favourite choice in the Ezreal adventure. As usual though, once you’re comfortable with the deck and the adventures – play around and enjoy the exploration!
Boss and Adventure Tips
The regular encounters in this adventure are still extremely basic – the main difficulty comes from the two bosses: Poppy and Lulu.
- There is very little threat outside of the board she will try to build. You should be able to build yours much, much faster, as you curve out stronger and your units are bigger.
- Try to trade aggressively to minimize Poppy’s buffs – thanks to Impact, this will also cause your transform units to become their stronger forms.
- Whimsy, Lulu’s passive that transforms your strongest follower into a Squirrel, can be quite a nuisance, as you tend to play just one unit per turn with your starting deck.
- There is a way to abuse Whimsy, however, through a fun interaction with your Giga Gromp: its transformation effect triggers when it momentarily transforms at the end of the turn back from the Squirrel – dealing 1 damage to entire enemy’s board.
- Use your Wallop preventively to stop Lulu from attacking to save some points of health.
This is the first adventure where the non-boss encounters feel quite impactful. This is because they all have some ways to damage your units and Nexus. With Gnar’s deck, you lack healing, so make sure to watch your Nexus health!
- Swain has a fair bit of removal, but does very little in terms of offensive power – to win this battle, do not fall too low on health on previous encounters.
- Swain’s Fearsome is not a problem at all – you run tons of big units that are able to block him favourably.
- Try to avoid putting your important units in Ravenous Flock range – that could be your demise!
- Kegs in this matchup can be dangerous, but you have an easy way to deal with them. Gnar creates Pokey Sticks – try to keep them for the purpose of dealing with Powder Kegs.
- Getting rid of Gangplank and The Dreadway is not easy with your deck – timing Gnar’s level-up as well as using Wallop on Gangplank pre-combat can be crucial to success.
- Watch out for the Dreadway summon when he reaches 20HP – make sure you can remove the upcoming Gangplank instantly and kill his Nexus right after.
By this adventure, we will progress our Reputation and have access to additional rerolls at the very least, or even more perks if you have been farming Reputation! This lets you roll to tailor your additional powers for the encounters, making non-boss fights quite trivial.
- While your curve is not very high, you do have some finishers, so you are fairly well-positioned in this fight. That said, still picking up expensive units like Sejuani can be great for this encounter.
- Megatee is crazy good in this fight – ensure it transforms ASAP and Karma and her Enlightened units won’t achieve anything at all.
- Once you have some transformed units that stuck to the board, there is little Karma can do to come back. Out of the champions I played, Gnar had the easiest time against Karma.
- Your initial deck has nearly no way to remove Ezreal – picking up some removal or Challenger/Vulnerable units can be a gamechanger.
- Statikk Shock kills your 1-drops, but all the other units survive. As usual – try to bait the AI into playing it before you play your 1 health units.
- Once they get an access to the Trueshot Barrage, you are on the clock. Win the game ASAP through Mega Gnar.
- Wallop is a great way to stop Ezreal from creating a Mystic Shot, as you don’t have Elusive units – it is likely best saved for that purpose.
The non-boss encounters in this adventure are one of the hardest, but the large units in my deck made it much easier with Gnar – still, be wary as some mistakes can really lead to an abrupt end to your adventure.
- With the abundance of Challengers, she can pick off transform units before they turn into their better forms. Try to prevent this by waiting out an attack.
- Fiora is powerful, but she can be stalled well with Wallop. On top of that, she will always be the strongest unit, so Gnar should make her Vulnerable on level-up!
- Eventually, you will naturally get a stronger board, as your units transform into overstatted monsters that Fiora cannot deal with. Simply make sure you don’t lose before that happens.
- Because of the passive in the fight, you need to try to chump block his units – that should not be too difficult, as you have a plenty of units that can do it. Even more so, you can often simply trade up.
- Zed‘s high mana cost means that you are able to get ahead on the board by the time he comes down. If you can level Gnar in such a way that you give Zed vulnerable, the game is won from there.
- Make sure to Wallop Zed whenever he comes down – you don’t want to have to double chump block or lose 15-20 health in one turn.
The encounters in this adventure can be quite difficult – I found that choosing the encounters based on Freljord followers here has been generally the easier path.
- This is a fairly straightforward encounter. Sejuani plays large units, but because you’re playing Gnar and Bandle City.. you’re going to play bigger and better ones.
- Your gameplan for this encounter is quite simple: level up Gnar when you can, trade favourably with cards like Lava Lizard and Giga Gromp and have Megatee slowly turn your opponent’s board into a herd of Mini-Minitees.
- Use Wallop to save yourself if a big Overwhelm unit gets out of control.
- I got a very free win on this fight when I managed to play Yasuo with the Hold It power.. So maybe try that too!
- It can be difficult with your starter deck, so try to find ways to do unfair things through rewards and reinforcements. This is the first encounter where your units actually will NOT be the biggest ones.
- Dealing with Nautilus instantly through kill or Recall effects is pretty much necessary – if you let him get cheap Sea Monsters out, the game is over.
- Your starting power can do quite a lot, especially when it is upgraded – it could push the game over the edge before Nautilus can come down, or just the turn he does.
Fitting for the final adventure, the non-boss encounters feel appropriately difficult. In many of them, you will be on edge and lose a significant chunk of your health if you are not careful. The random keyword can surprise you in the worst possible moments, while some of the encounters simply include strong decks.
- The Sand Soldiers’ buff is quite frustrating, especially considering that you are, by nature, weaker on defense. That said, you can equip Gnar with an item that lets you grow every time you survive damage to turn it in your favour.
- Pokey Stick is your insurance against unlucky Sand Soldier buffs. Always keep one in hand, which shouldn’t be too difficult, to ensure you don’t lose a ton of HP or let the opponent heal.
- While it is a difficult fight, your job is still pretty simple in theory – outrace Azir before his Soldiers become too overwhelming for you to handle. Gnar is a great way of doing so and so are other transform units.
- This fight felt really difficult. Viktor comes down so early and so powerful that a little bit of luck is required with his keyword rolls.
- Gnar is your win condition – this late into adventure you should have a lot of stats on him, so level him ASAP, make Viktor vulnerable and kill him.
- One other way to win is to stall. Use Wallop, use whatever you can find along the way until round 7, when you can drop down the Minitee. If you can make it Megatee, you’ve definitely mega-won. It is quite crazy how many ways to win you can find in Bandle, isn’t it?
Gnar’s Path of Champions was awesome for me – it is my favourite champion after all!
Bandle City just feels like it has answers to everything – Gnar won me many games and the ones it couldn’t? Megatee did the work by turning all the big units into harmless 3/3s.
The mode is really relaxing and I really enjoy playing it from time to time, even when I don’t feel like playing Ranked. Definitely great job on that one by the LoR team!