Sivir Review and Theorycraft
Hey, it’s Mezume with another batch of card ratings and reviews!
Over the last two days, we’ve been hit with Sivir and her supporting package, but we’ve also seen what I like to call the ‘variety drop’. That is 17 cards from non-Shurima regions in the game that are mostly unrelated to other releases and instead bring support to some of the existing archetypes.
Seeing how large of a drop we’ve had over these two days, I will try to keep it short for the variety drop and focus mostly on the Sivir release!
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.
Sivir – 4.0
So far, the best-statted champions included the likes of Draven with his 3/3 Quick Attack and Yasuo with 4/4 Quick Attack. Sivir throws all that out of the window, being a 4-mana 5/3 with not only Quick Attack, but also SpellShield.
Even if we just completely ignore her level-up and all the accompanying cards, she can be dropped on turn 4 and attack (or open attack on turn 5) with no way for the opponent to block – in a similar way to Draven, except she is also immune to efficient removal.
Being able to attack safely on-curve isn’t be-all-end-all for a champion, but this means that she is very desirable for any midrange strategy that has a free champion slot. Additionally, you don’t need to go out of your way to level her up. Dealing 35 damage over the course of the game is not that difficult, as it will happen naturally through combat and direct damage. The pay-off is quite high, as you grant your whole board the keywords that Sivir currently has.
The package for Sivir synergizes great with her level 2 ability, and Quick Attack + Spellshield means additional stats or keywords are great on her. All in all, she seems to be a really powerful champion that does not have too much of a deckbuilding cost; and I expect, and hope, to see her in a lot of decks!
I believe it is quite likely that tomorrow we might see some more support for Sivir in another region in a similar vein to how Lissandra and Taliyah as well as Jarvan IV and Renekton had some synergies. With that said, I would still like to explore what kind of a list Sivir and be played in with what we already know.
Personally, I believe that she is a great card to slot into any midrange deck that looks to overpower the opponent in the mid-game, due to the fact that she generates quite a lot of pressure thanks to her offensive stats and keywords.
There are two main ways I see Sivir slotting into decks. One is a more controlling build with Aphelios, and the other – this one I decided to include here – is a more aggressive list where she pairs with Renekton to handily take down the enemy Nexus.
Quick Attack on her works very well with Vulnerable on enemies, which is also great with Overwhelm units. This deck makes use of another card revealed today, the Ruin Runner – another strong unit capable of consistently hitting the enemy Nexus.
With the aggressive Noxus shell, this strategy should be able to overpower the enemy in the early game, while also keeping an advantage on the board thanks to cards like Sivir,
Ricochet – 2.0
Ricochet deals a total of 5 damage for either 6 or 3 mana, but it does so to completely random targets, including the enemy Nexus. That means it is much more difficult to control than Make it Rain and even at 3 mana it might completely whiff.
While it does synergize with Sivir’s level up, the most noteworthy synergy here is being able to buff its damage with Funsmith. Either way, it does not seem like a very powerful card, especially at Slow speed.
Boomerang Blade – 2.0
Another spell at Slow speed, which is never a good sign for a card that does not have a huge effect. It can’t target the enemies, but just strikes the Weakest and Strongest one – this is another downside.
It is best used on allies that have SpellShield and a high attack, which seems to be the direction you’re meant to take with a Sivir deck. Sadly, I believe it might not cut it even for the lists that want to build around the Reputation keyword.
Payday – 2.5
Being able to choose out of 3 options has proven to be very powerful in Legends of Runeterra so far and that’s what Lucky Find does. Payday being at Focus speed allows you to open-attack while granting an ally a keyword or stats of your choice and has additional synergy with Sivir. While it cannot grant Elusive, it still has quite some strong keywords in the pool, such as Overwhelm, Tough, and Challenger.
Cards that grant keywords are costed differently, with Chain Vest costing 1 and Confront 3. The flexibility Lucky Find provides is most likely worth the 2 mana on Payday and the card can find its way into decks that want this kind of flexibility or can make good use of some of the keywords. Overwhelm, Spellshield, and Challenger will probably be the most sought-after choices. The downside is that this is a fairly low-impact card and you are dedicating a whole card slot to granting a single keyword with no further upside.
Inner Sanctum – 2.0
This card suffers from many of the same problems that Payday has: dedicating a whole card slot to granting a keyword or small amount of stats outside of combat is not generally the most desirable – hence why cards like Chain Vest and Confront do not see play.
Because Lucky Finds are Fleeting, you will need to use them the turn Inner Sanctum resolves, making it really awkward if your opponent can keep your board clear. Overall, I believe I would rather have Payday in my deck, as it is much more reliable.
Waking Sands – 1.5
A 2 mana 5/2 Ephemeral, even if you can use spell mana to summon it is just not a good card.
Potential future synergies or being used with Ephemeral strategies make it a little better, as does the 5+ attack synergy, but in the end, it is currently just a weak card.
Sandswept Tomb – 2.0
The effect is quite nice, especially considering the synergy with Reputation, Overwhelm, and Ephemerals, but it costs a whole 5 mana and it only really gets enough value when you’ve attacked 3 times, which is simply way too slow to be worth playing.
Callous Bonecrusher – 2.0
Having 3 health at 4 mana means the card needs to have some really good text or keywords to make it into decks. This one’s only upside is having a large attack stat, meaning it can be played in combination with cards such as Might or Kato The Arm.
Sadly, we’ve seen how weak Wrathful Rider is even though it has Challenger and Callous Bonecrusher is likely to go down the same path. Its Reputation effect is sweet and can help in developing some nasty attacks later in the game, but still too little to make it worthy of a deck slot.
Ruin Runner – 4.5
Every Overwhelm player can rejoice – Ruin Runner will fit in every Overwhelm deck featuring Shurima, as it is a true powerhouse for that sort of archetype. Nearly guaranteed to attack due to its Spellshield, it is also a great buff target, as it cannot be Hushed or Quicksanded easily.
Having 6 attack is also really good, as it means it will get some damage through; while the 4 health on top of Spellshield means it is really difficult to remove via direct damage spells. Overall, I see this as the strongest follower in the Sivir batch and I will be astonished if it does not see play in aggressive Overwhelm strategies.
First Targon cards we see in the Empires of the Ascended are not looking like they are going to make their way into the meta. Destiny’s Call is a commitment of 8 mana that cannot be used as a combat trick (aside from cheese strategies such as using it on Claws of the Dragon before declaring blocks). It has possible uses in Elusive or Overwhelm decks, but it doesn’t seem stellar.
Startipped Peak might look good at first glance, as Celestials are powerful, but one of the main strengths of Invoking is being able to adapt to a situation. This landmark will often provide you with weak options (especially given the low-cost pool) and you will also only get the Celestial cards 2 turns after you’ve played it.
Possibly the strongest region in the game at the moment (best regards to Twisted Fate) is getting two completely different cards. Lost Riches is very clearly Deep support, but.. I don’t see it seeing any play at all. Spending 4 mana to draw a treasure makes it pretty much a worse Salvage, as by the time you even have treasures in your deck, Salvage is most likely drawing or tossing one as well. The second part of the text makes this a bit better, but quite likely still not enough to make Deep playable at the highest level.
Loaded Dice is interesting; the main clear-cut combo is with Powder Pandemonium, but the card can fit in all sort of Plunder strategies. Sadly, the cost is likely slightly too high and it will turn out to be too slow to make a bigger impact.
The opposite of Bilgewater – the lowest power level region, carried on the shoulders of Shen and Lee Sin, gets two interesting cards that have us wait in anticipation of what may happen when its champion gets revealed (even if it might not be this expansion). Shadow Apprentice is an interesting one, as it is clearly supposed to be a fit for Ephemeral decks, but.. a 1-mana 2/2 Elusive is just not looking overly strong. Perhaps we can see more support for such an archetype when Ionia cards get revealed.
Field Musicians are a great metaphor for Ionia as a whole. It is a card that’s very akin to The Veiled Temple, but with a more difficult requirement for a similar and possibly a bit better effect. I believe if Ionia gets some cheap units that are able to trigger this easily, Field Musicians has a high potential and could one day have a spot in a competitive deck.
P&Z continues to do its own thing with even more funky and cheesy cards. Production Surge is a great way to use up mana that you would waste otherwise, but what we need to take into account is that turrets are generally worth less than their mana cost. That means it is a card you want to use when you really have nothing better to do with your mana; but what is important here is that in LoR, you rarely want to be using all your mana, unless your opponent taps out first.
Concurrent Timelines is possibly the cheesiest card Runeterra has ever seen. In the right shell it is possible to just win the game outright; let me just mention Commander Ledros turning into The Dreadway for a 1-card OTK. It has some deckbuilding cost, as once you play it, you can’t go back, but overall a fantastic spell.
Noxus got the most support for old archetypes. Crimson Bloodletter is a new 1-drop for the Crimson Scars deck, which will continue to be fun in Expeditions and much less fun in ladder. It is an interesting card, but with no additional support, that’s all it can be.
Strength in Numbers wants to push the Legion Marauder list into more people’s deck libraries, but I suspect it will only do so for the first few days, until it will be largely forgotten. Sadly, the card’s numbers are not as strong as the name would imply.
Shrieking Spinner is another card that’s meant to synergize with an existing deck and it has the highest chance of being relevant. 2/5 for 4-mana isn’t great, but it gets the extra attack itself, so it can continue growing, while letting your board trade up and threaten more damage. Definitely has potential to be playable.
Following Kindred release, the remaining two cards seem to have gone the way of tribal synergies. Soulspinner is a 3 mana 4/3 Fearsome for all intents and purposes, as it is unlikely none of your units will die if you’re playing a Spider deck. Counting in the fact that it benefits from the numerous Spider synergies in the game, this card can be alright as a final spot filler in the list, but not much more than that.
Sea Scarab is another Deep synergy card after Lost Riches. While decent in being able to accelerate your ramp, it has multiple downsides and just its existence is a nerf to cards like Jaull Hunters and The Slaughter Docks. I would most likely rather stay away from Deep unless it gets more support and Sea Scarab is far from changing my mind. That said, Maokai can like this card much more than Nautilus, and it might find a home there.
If there is one thing I know is that I don’t want Dragon Chow to be a good card. It’s just cruel. On a serious and happier note, however, I don’t think it’s strong enough to be played. It’s a 1-mana 0/3 that conditionally draws a card and lets a Dragon get a fury stack, but that is most likely not worth the card slot in your deck. It is noteworthy that it has some additional Shyvana synergy, as it helps her level up, but as long as Dragon decks are not viable, this will not see play.
Towering Stonehorn is a 6-mana 7/7. With an upside! In another region I’d like to say it’s a great card, but in Demacia it has to fight for its spot against the likes of Cithria the Bold. It is a great target for buffs and the only way to get rid of it is via combat or instant kill spells. Overall though, it is just a bunch of stats that gets chump blocked most of the time.
Two new buff spells for Freljord is a welcome sight after seeing a reveal entirely focused on a control gameplan. Ancestral Boon is in a way akin to Shared Spoils, where the regular effect is rather average, with a catch to make it really good. Once you’ve reached Enlightened, the +2/+2 for all allies in your deck is really strong, but even in a ramp deck, that happens on turn 7 or 8 at the earliest, meaning it will not be as meaningful as you might like. It can be great, however, with effects such as Warmother’s Call, nullifying the potential of pulling dead cards like Wyrding Stones or Avarosan Sentry, as their stats will be increased to a more acceptable level.
Spoils of War is pretty weak giving only +1/+2 and Plunder is rarely going to be procced pre-combat unless in a list dedicated to it. If there is a way to make this consistently a +2/+4, then the card is really strong, but otherwise it will not see much play.
This was a long one, as it included tons of cards due to the large variety drop we had the day before. Overall, the Sivir package seems a bit underwhelming currently, but that could just as well change if we see more support for it; really excited for the next few days! She is a fantastic champion herself, luckily, and even if her support is not the best, we should still see her a lot in the meta.
In my last review on Taliyah, I said that Shurima was shaping up to be one of the most interesting regions, and seeing another few batches of cards, I have to stand by those words. The upcoming expansion appears to be one of the best we’ve got so far, and I can’t wait to try these cards in just a few days!