Top 9 Cards & Honorable Mentions of the Worldwalker Expansion
Hello, Agigas here!
Now that a very exciting spoiler season has just ended, I wanted to review some of the most promising cards that are coming in the “Worldwalker” expansion.
The evaluations and ratings given to the cards in this article are, of course, still pretty speculative. In the coming weeks, some of the new cards are going to pleasantly surprise us, while some others will disappoint. But still, we can already start forming some early conclusions to get a head start in the new season.
We’ll start with the honorable mentions, which will improve decks or create new ones but didn’t make it to the top 9. Those are in no particular order.
- Harrowing Return is a very scary spell in the Mistwraith archetype. Not only does it give access to even more Mistwraiths, but it also gives the opponent a harder time to block because of the attack debuff combined with the Fearsome keyword. While Mistwraith hasn’t been popular for quite some time, I would expect players to give it another chance with Harrowing Return.
- Summoning a burst speed unit is very valuable, as it allows for a great open-attack or a surprise blocker. Eye of Nagakabouros gets this ability on top of a draw 2 effect, making it a valuable spell not only for the Illaoi archetype but also for other Bilgewater decks looking to draw.
- Captive Greyback is a powerful Overwhelm attacker. Unblocked, the unit will represent 5 damage to the opponent’s face. It is also a difficult unit to block, as any blocker with 3 or less health will get removed before dealing damage. However, it is not a great blocker itself.
- Ravenbloom Conservatory‘s payoff is pretty great, as it makes it much easier to control the board or even finish games with buffed units and burn damage. Moreover, the countdown will quickly be achieved in decks with lots of cheap slow/fast spells and skill effects, such as Brokenball’s Annie/Viktor day 1 build.
- Megatusk and Undergrowth will help the Deep archetype to stay high on nexus health and survive until the Sea Monsters’ onslaught rain down on the opponent.
- Byrd, the Bellringer is a very good 1-cost unit in decks that are able to benefit from stats buffs. While this isn’t the spiciest card, it will be a solid supporting card for Bard archetypes and could make its way into other Bandle City decks.
Top 9 Cards of the Worldwalker Expansion
9 – Demacian Tellstones
With this expansion, all regions but Freljord get their own Tellstone card.
All are very flexible, which is definitely a great asset to seeing competitive play. However, most of them don’t come near the power level of Freljord’s Three Sisters.
That said, the Demacian Tellstones stands out to me for its ability to switch between protection for a key unit, removal, or a board-wide buff. It feels like this Tellstone can massively impact games in 3 different ways, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it get a spot into Demacian decks able to benefit from all 3 effects.
8 – Illaoi
With its large health pool, Illaoi is rather difficult to get rid of, and the champion’s ability to grow its attack stat combined with the Overwhelm keyword makes her a dangerous threat.
Her level up is particularly powerful in the spawn archetype, enabling Illaoi to attack without the fear of dying in combat and making the Tentacle grow much faster.
However, Illaoi needs the Tentacle to grow strong to really have any impact and therefore is a very snowball-oriented champion. If the Tentacle is small, Illaoi will be weak and will have a difficult time attacking into the opponent’s board or leveling up.
All in all, this champion is quite straightforward and its success will be closely related to how good the Spawn mechanic ends up.
7 – Esmus, Breath of the World
With this unit, the buffs stack up very quickly. The Chime planted guaranteed that you get at least one even if Esmus gets removed, and the opponent doesn’t have a removal or elusive blocker, the buffs will keep on coming.
Therefore, this card fits particularly well in decks able to make great use of those buffs. Units with strong keywords, such as Elusive, and Bards archetypes, immediately come to mind.
Finally, with its good health pool and Elusive keyword, Esmus is also a good buff target itself, which is a very good upside as it will be played along with a lot of buffs, such as Chimes.
6 – Harbinger of Thralls
The Turbo Thralls archetype, once dominant, hasn’t been played much competitively in recent times because of its weak early turns and inconsistency.
Harbinger of Thralls will serve both as an early blocker and as an additional way to get a Frozen Thrall onto the board early enough.
Moreover, the card is also versatile, as it will be able to advance your Frozen Thralls when needed, making the archetype even less clunky.
Harbinger of Thralls is perfectly suited to help Turbo Thralls cover its biggest current weaknesses, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the archetype see play once again in the Worldwalker expansion because of it.
5 – The Winding Light
With its massive Nightfall effect, The Winding Light seems to be an amazing finisher for the Targon, in particular for the Nightfall archetype.
With Diana and Nocturne both having a high attack stat, the Overwhelm keyword will be particularly strong at finishing games. Moreover, the archetype also is able to flood the board, making great use of a board-wide buff.
Other archetypes than Nightfall looking for a top-end finisher could be interested in the Winding Light. However, they will need some cheap spells to be able to reliably trigger its nightfall effect.
4 – Jhin
Jhin’s origin is particularly wide, as a large number of followers have skills. This allows for a very large amount of different decks, and Jhin will likely take some time before revealing his full potential. The origin alone can enable some terrifying archetypes, such as the Annie Jhin burn archetype.
In an archetype with stun synergies, Jhin makes great use of his on-attack effect, and we could easily imagine Jhin pairing well with Yasuo, especially as his origin helps get more stuns out if Jhin is on the board.
Jhin can also be built around focusing more on his level-up requirement, which isn’t easy to fulfill quickly in most decks. Once leveled up, Jhin will be able to attack without fearing blockers thanks to the quick attack keyword, and the 4-damage on-attack ability will devastate the opponent’s board with some stuns.
There are many ways to leverage Jhin, and no matter which one you chose, the virtuoso will be a key part of the deck.
3 – Disintegrate
While Noxus already has some great removal spells, such as Ravenous Flock and Scorched Earth, it still had one major flaw – the region had trouble removing a full-health large unit over the course of one priority, as Flock and Scorched Earth needed you to damage the unit beforehand.
Disintegrate negates this flaw, as you are able to play it with the damaging spell on the same stack to destroy the unit.
While Disintegrate requires more immediate commitment than Ravenous Flock or Scorched Earth, as you need to play it before damaging the unit, it is very cheap.
As such, Disintegrate shall join the ranks of the premium Noxian removals, especially when Fated units or other go-big archetypes such as Bard are running around.
2 – Bard
While Jhin’s origin enables a very high diversity of builds, Bard’s is much more restrictive, as bard’s decks will mostly be mono-regions splashing a couple of cards from the Chime package.
However, his origin is also Bard’s main strength. Getting 3 Chimes at every round start right from the start of the game is very impressive, and the buffs will quickly stack up, especially if you’re able to draw a lot.
As such, Bard is looking quite terrifying with units able to leverage buffs with keywords (e.g. Elusive) or abilities (e.g. Zed).
While the Bard card itself isn’t particularly impressive, it does help accelerating the buffs and it has good stats to receive buffs.
The level-up requirement isn’t quick to fulfill, but it isn’t hard as it will naturally happen in any Bard deck with a bunch of other buffs.
The fact that Bard can hit the board already leveled in the late game makes the champion much better, as he then becomes even better as a buffing machine.
1 – Annie
While the community’s opinion on Bard is on the rise, Annie still holds the number one spot.
Thanks to her cheap cost, she is a champion that quickly hit the board and start generating pressure – up until now, every 1-cost champions have seen serious competitive play.
With her ability, Annie is very difficult to block early on, as a blocker with 2 or less health would die before hitting back. This allow her to easily push early damage, making it a strong champion for aggressive decks.
Annie’s main flow is that she very weak on defensive turns, and can be prey to the Challenger or Vulnerable keywords. However, thank to her low cost, this is likely not too big of a downside.
Her level-up is quite easy to fulfill, especially if you build around it and/or get her on the board on turn 1. Once leveled, Tibbers gives a great value to the card, which already did its job as a 1-cost unit.
Not only Annie is an impressive standalone card, she also finds strong synergies with non-combat damage, Skill synergies, and Stun synergies.
Overall, this expansion’s power level seems rather high, with many new decks looking quite competitive and some strong additions to help existing archetypes.
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