Hello there, Raphterra here! Today’s piece will be the first entry in Regional Patch Wishlists, a new article series where I feature sets of cards that I’d like to see buffed from each region. This article will be covering my personal buff candidates and recommendations for Freljord, a region that has been on the weaker side of Runeterra in the recent patches. Some Freljord decks are seeing competitive play from time to time (Feel The Rush, Sejuani Gangplank), but for the most part, several of its other archetypes have been underwhelming.
Riot has been continuously buffing Freljord for the past patches, with the latest update bringing targeted buffs to Shatter, Rimefang Wolf, Troll Scavenger, Bone Club, and Spirits Unleashed. The change to Spirits Unleashed was the most impactful among these buffs, as it resulted in the creation of Jinx Freljord Poros and it revamped a classic archetype in Gangplank Sejuani. The rest of the buffs haven’t impacted the meta game yet, but I think all of them are steps in the right direction for Freljord. I believe the region is just a few more impactful changes away from becoming one of the stronger regions in Runeterra.
Please take note that for these changes, I will be going out of my way to buff cards until I think that they are strong enough for climbing ranked ladder. There is no way for me to test my proposed changes, so some of these might turn out to be overpowered or negligible if implemented. With that in mind, I will be including options for stronger (power-boost) or weaker (fail-safe) versions of each card.
With that out of the way, let’s start with the list!
Improving Freljord’s Early Game
In my opinion, one of Freljord‘s major weaknesses is the lack of strong, impactful early game units. This makes most midrange Freljord decks extremely vulnerable to fast, aggressive strategies. Just as an example, Ashe Noxus Frostbite has been receiving multiple buffs for several patches now. However, the deck still struggles in ranked ladder due to its highly unfavored matchup against aggressive decks.
Enraged Yeti – Play: Draw 1
Avarosan Trapper was one of the best cards in the game a long time ago, but it has been left behind with LOR’s recent expansions. Shuffling an Enraged Yeti into the deck is too slow of a play for the evolving meta game. This is especially true in the late game. Playing Avarosan Trapper late is often a curse more than a blessing since it would mean that you’re going to draw a low-impact unit in your next turns.
Adding a “Play: Draw 1” effect to Enraged Yeti makes it so that playing Avarosan Trapper won’t ruin your deck’s tempo at any stage of the game. This would also be a nice overall buff to Yeti archetypes running Abominable Guardian and Tall Tales.
Fail-safe: If this turns out to be too powerful, Avarosan Trapper‘s stats can be adjusted to compensate.
Avarosan Marksman – 2c 2/1; Play: Deal 1 to anything.
This change hopefully gives Freljord decks more options for units to play in the first two turns. This version of Avarosan Marksman would be a viable card for builds looking to stave off fast aggro decks. It may also synergize with Freljord‘s Nexus damage archetypes like Sejuani Plunder or Gnar Transform.
Power-boost: If this turns out to be too weak, Avarosan Marksman‘s stats can be increased to 2/2.
The Trolls Are Going To War!
These changes aim to revamp Trundle‘s Behold Troll archetype. Troll Scavenger recently received a buff to its stats, but other Behold cards like Troll Ravager and Augur of the Old Ones are still not viable competitively.
Augur of the Old Ones – 6c 5/5 Regeneration; Play and Round Start: If you Behold an 8+ cost card, create a 0-cost Troll Gifts in hand.
Augur of the Old Ones is currently too slow and too expensive for what it does. It’s not worth to build a deck around its mediocre Behold payoff. This is a very cool change that could create several decks revolving around the Regeneration keyword.. Tahm Kench Freljord no longer a meme? This change is also very thematic with the card’s flavor text!
“It is said that very few trolls are taught the chants of the Old Ones, and that those who know them can call on their forebears to imbue their brethren with exceptional strength.“
Uzgar the Ancient – I have Overwhelm if you have 4+ allies with Regeneration. Round End: Grant +1/+1 to all allies with Regeneration.
Uzgar the Ancient is included in Trundle‘s follower package; I believe he was supposed to be one of the archetypes’ Behold enablers. However, Uzgar the Ancient‘s power level isn’t enough to justify running him as a maindecked card. This change makes him an actual late-game finisher and also gives him direct synergy with my version of Augur of the Old Ones.
Power-boost: If this turns out to be too weak, you can either reduce the number of allies required for Uzgar to gain Overwhelm, or increase the stats he grants to allies with Regeneration.
Ramping Up The Enlightened Archetype
Freljord has been pretty good at ramping up mana gems with Faces of the Old Ones and Catalyst of Aeons. However, this gameplan is often used only in decks running Feel The Rush as the late game win-condition. These changes aim to give Freljord more reasons and payoffs to build decks that revolve around ramping up mana gems.
Feral Mystic – 2c 2/3; Round Start: If you are Enlightened, grant me +3/+3.
I’m starting with a change to Feral Mystic. This buff gives Feral Mystic better early trading potential into smaller units, and will hopefully make it an enticing late game option for Enlightened decks.
Fail-safe: If this turns out to be too strong, revert Feral Mystic‘s stats to 2/2.
Ancestral Boon – Enlightened: Instead, grant all allies in your deck +2/+2 and draw 2.
Ancestral Boon can often feel bad to play, even when you’re Enlightened. Ramping up mana gems often results in huge setbacks in tempo and card advantage. Adding a draw effect makes Ancestral Boon feel better to play, as you can immediate reap its Enlightened benefits.
Fail-safe: If this turns out to be too strong, increase Ancestral Boon‘s mana cost to 3.
Wings of the Cryophoenix – 8c Slow; Deal 2 to ALL units. Enlightened: Heal your Nexus 2. If you have an Anivia in your deck, summon a copy of it.
For a long time now, Anivia has been living in the shadows of Feel The Rush, the superior late-game strategy. This change aims to give Anivia decks a more consistent late game. Wings of the Cryophoenix also becomes an alternative powerful late game spell for Freljord. Being an 8-cost spell allows it to potentially synergize with Freljord‘s Behold cards.
Fail-safe: If this turns out to be too strong, increase Wings of the Cryophoenix‘s mana cost to 9.
Other Variety Changes
The following are variety changes and upgrades to Freljord’s other existing archetypes.
The Scargrounds – 2c
The Scargrounds is a fan-favorite landmark even if it hasn’t had its chance to shine in high-tiers. This cost-reduction may allow the landmark to see play in more competitive decks. Copium for Vladimir fans!
Fail-safe: If this turns out to be too strong, revert the change.
Rimetusk Shaman – Play and Round Start: Frostbite the strongest enemy.
A list of Freljord buffs will never be complete without an upgrade to Frostbite. This change will give Rimetusk Shaman more impact on the turn that she’s summoned. This may also make Frozen in Fear and Rimefang Denmother more enticing as Frostbite finishers.
Fail-safe: If this turns out to be too strong, reduce Rimetusk Shaman‘s health to 3 or 2.
The Tuskraider – Plunder: Grant me Overwhelm and double the Power and Health of allies in your deck.
The Tuskraider has an extremely powerful effect, but having a vanilla 7/7 body makes it a big tempo loss on Turn 8. Granting it Overwhelm upon Plunder should allow this card to become an independent threat on its own.
Power-boost: If this change turns out to be too weak, give The Tuskraider an innate Overwhelm keyword.
That’s it for the my Freljord Patch Wishlist! In the next part of this series, I will be featuring my buff wishlists for Demacia. What other changes would you like to see for the Freljord region?