Legends of Runeterra have revealed the first batch of new cards that will undoubtedly shake the meta on April 28 when the first expansion hits the live servers. We here at RuneterraCCG.com will closely follow the spoiler season and rate each new card!
Here’s how our rating system works:
- 5.0: Broken card. (Hecarim before the nerf).
- 4.0: Meta staple. (Zed, Karma, Deny, Cithria the Bold).
- 3.5: Good in multiple archetypes. (Stand Alone, Get Excited, Will of Ionia).
- 3.0: Archetype staple. (Corina Veraza, Anivia).
- 2.5: Role-player in some decks. (The Ruination, Fae Bladetwirler)
- 2.0: Niche card. Underpowered card, or tech card or currently from an unfleshed archetype. (Ren Shadowblade, Parade Electrorig).
- 1.0: Never sees play (Unstable Voltician, Basilisk Rider).
Now let’s dive in!
QUINN – 3.0
Quinn comes as 3/4 body with another 2/1 Challenger unit Valor, which is a very good deal by itself. It means she holds up to ‘Vanilla test’ as you effectively pay 5 mana for 5/5 in stats.
Meanwhile, the fact that her value is spread across two units means it is hard for your opponent to cleanly trade 1-for-1 with Quinn. Even if they kill the champion right upon arrival, Valor will remain on the board to provide some leftover value. Moreover, bounce effects like Will of Ionia is a ‘no-no’ because Quinn re-summons Valor every time she enters the battlefield.
At 4 toughness, there’s not a lot of spells that effectively deal with her – Quinn survives Get Excited, Grasp of the Undying and The Box. The best tool to trade up with her right now is Culling Strike. As for 3 power – it doesn’t seem a lot, but it is a quality breaking point for any unit as it allows to interact with Fearsomes.
Now let’s break down to her keyword, ‘Scout’. The first time only your Scout units attack each round, you will get attack token back – so it feels like a a conditional Rally effect.
How effective do we think Scout will be? Well, the keyword is probably at its best with open attacks. If say at the beginning of your attacking round you have Quinn/Valor and see a profitable enough attack – just do it, it’s free. After striking with her and Scout companions you can proceed with your current round as usual. Develop the board state and evaluate if you want to attack once again later.
However, it will be hard to get value from the mechanic on most board states unless Scout units have another special keywords that enable a somewhat ‘reckless’ attack. Scout units work well with Quick Attack, Elusive, Fearsome, Barrier and Last Breath – and also with buffs and debuffs like Back to Back and Harsh Winds. If Scout unit is able to survive or get value from his ‘free’ attack on any given round, this keyword feels very powerful.
I would say most people ‘think too big’ when evaluating Scout mechanic, like it is a full-blown Rally effect for your team. It is not – unless you have a full board of scouts, which will rarely happen. We should rather try to lower our expectations and ‘think small’ about Scout. The keyword can enable a free attack for the Scout unit itself and that’s it. In a sense it is much closer to Double Attack than to Rally.
That is not to say the mechanic cannot be abused. One of the ways to make it unfair is to combine it with Elusive – that way Scout units can strike a Nexus twice, almost guaranteed. I really doubt Riot will print a unit which combines the two keywords naturally – but there are Sumpworks Map in PnZ and Ghost in Ionia for us to have some fun with.
Okay, now getting back to Quinn – how good Scout is on her specifically? I would say – not particularly, precisely because she doesn’t have any other combat keywords that would enable a forced attack. Most times you will hold Quinn back and let Valor do the scouting.
(By the way, can we appreciate how fittingly the word ‘Scout’ describes the feeling of the mechanic? Scout units indeed engage in a preliminary combat, allowing the player to get some advantage before the main combat and better assess the situation.)
Valor most of the times will act as a pseudo-removal, going into combat alone and picking off vulnerable low-health targets just like Mystic Shot would. So, Quinn has a defensively-statted body and comes with a removal tool. Many pegged her as an aggro enabler at first, but is she actually a midrange/control champion?
Quinn’s level up condition is to attack 4 times with her on the board. Note that effectively you need 3 attacks, as she evolves instantly upon declaring 4th attack. With Scouts counting as a separate attack, in the best-case scenario Quinn will achieve her condition in three rounds (attacking, defensive, attacking).
Demacian ranger turns into a 4/5 body upon leveling up, and also summons Valor each time she attacks. Her bird companion automatically challenges the Strongest enemy unit, clearing the way for your team. In her Level 2 form, Quinn turns into a value machine, and how her Scout ability starts to really pay off!
All in all, the new Demacian champion doesn’t feel overpowered in my book. But it also has all the promising signs of a quality midrange unit that can potentially strengthen current Bannermen archetype. Quinn is a good value deal, while Valor adds some interaction – and the deck is in the market for that.
BLINDING ASSAULT – 1.0
I doubt it will ever be actually used in a game outside of being Quinn’s signature spell. Unless Fleetfeather Tracker is nerfed, there’s no reason to maindeck Blinding Assault. Increased mana cost doesn’t pay for added Scout tag on such a fragile unit that will almost never attack a second time over the course of his life.
GRIZZLED RANGER – 3.5, LOYAL BADGERBEAR – 3.0
Well, this is nuts! Grizzled Ranger is a great abuser of the Scout mechanic, as you’re heavily incentivized to attack with it right-away to get the 4/4 out of the deal. And guess what – Loyal Badgerbear can then attack the same turn your opponent traded with Ranger!
However, it is quite annoying that both Grizzled Ranger and Badgerbear can be chumped with Spiders and throwaway tokens until the end of time. Many early reviewers freaked out about Loyal Badgerbear’s stats in particular (who is actually not only a token but a maindeckable card, it seems). However, combat rules in Runeterra probably make it an okay card. It’s not Hearthstone, you cannot go face as you please, so 4 mana 7/7 comparisons are not really applicable.
Also, would you really cut, say, Laurent Protege from your Demacia midrange deck to fit in Loyal Badgerbear purely for his stats? Or Senna in Lucian decks? Or Vanguard Redeemer in dedicated sacrifice decks? That’s something that we would have to test out – but I won’t lie, 3 mana 4/4 in Demacia feels borderline broken.
GREENFANG WARDEN – 2.5
Once again, Barrier is very welcome addition on a Scout unit as it means you will almost always have one free attack with Warden. Also note the Elite tag. Battlesmith turn 2 into this out to feel very good. Follow it up with Bannermen on 4 – and it’s probably gg. Greenfang Warden can also drop from Swiftwing Lancer, which would be a nice acquisition.
GREATHORN COMPANION – 2.0
This one can utilize Scout mechanic to attack twice in a turn thanks to its bulky statline. However, it feels more like an Expedition card rather than some kind of a Constructed staple. 5-drop slot is crowded in Demacia with Garen and Quinn. You would also rather have Swiftwing Lancer or even Radiant Guardian in your deck. Greathorn Companion can drop from Rememberance though – I bet this will encompass the majority of cases when it actually appears on the battlefield.
Did these revealed cards make you all hyped up for the new set? Do you agree with the ratings? Stay tuned with us for more spoilers and ratings!