Many members of the community, as well as creators and influencers, agree that this single card has pushed the power level of Bandle City too far.
The comparison that people are drawing with this card is with Battlesmith in Demacia.
Swim summed up why Explorer is much stronger than Battlesmith on Twitter:
“The Elite tag is attached to mostly mediocre units. The Yordle tag isn’t.” Swim correctly points out that Bandle Burn plays 22 Yordles out of its 40 simply because they’re good cards. With an additional +1/+1, this deck becomes incredibly tough to contest on board.
Alanzq, widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, simply read Yordle Explorer on stream, shook his head, and ended the stream. Watch the clip of that for yourself right here.
Reddit user PassMyGuard started a very interesting discussion when Yordle Explorer was revealed. They said: “So Bandle city’s identity is discard, swarm, buff, hard removal, burn, alt win con control, card draw, and manifest. At this point, it’s not even that it’s OP. Why does it get to do everything?”
This Reddit discussion had many speculate that things that Bandle City doesn’t have, namely Frostbites and Healing, may be added to the region when we see Gnar and Yuumi printed.
Mogwai also expressed his concern when Yordle Captain was spoiled, and announced he will be focusing on Teamfight Tactics for the time being until the balance issues are sorted out.
Rubin Zoo, Game Designer and Live Design Team Member on Legends of Runeterra had seen Yordle Explorer long before any of us players. He was aware that the power level of Explorer and had this to say on his stream on Sunday:
Obviously it’s a very-very strong card, I’m super nervous about it – I’ll be honest.
Going into the spoiler season I was like: ‘Man, when they see this card people are going to lose it.’ – and it’s how that happened. We’ll see how it plays out, and if there’s a need for some adjustments.
It is a problem when cards come out to reinforce some existing archetypes that are already good decks, and this is what happening with Yordle Explorer.
I wonder if for us, there’s a different approach where, during the Live Design patch, we also go in and actually adjust some cards like this that are coming from future releases.
I can talk to DeadboltDoris tomorrow (LoR Senior Game designer) and just float the idea, like – “Hey, given that Yordles are already top decks, could we potentially find the change for Yordle Explorer?”. I can talk to him tomorrow – but can’t promise that anything is going to come out of that.
This gives us players the smallest shred of hope that there may be fixes and rebalances coming alongside the Magic Misadventures cards but we can’t be so sure if they will be coming.
The printing of Yordle Captain and Yordle Explorer will push a lot of powerful stats and grindy board states onto the metagame whether we want them or not. Strong Poppy decks will be even stronger now that more than three quarters of the units those decks play will receive +1/+1.
We can only see how far the Yordle Explorer will venture as it enters Legends of Runeterra on December 8th.