Ziggs Review and Theorycraft

Ziggs is ready to blow up some landmarks! Check out Shane's breakdown of the last champion coming in the Beyond the Bandlewood expansion!

Since we found out that Ziggs was designed by RubinZoo – the beautiful mind that brought you Aphelios, Viego, and Akshan – we knew Ziggs would be packing a punch.

I have to admit, I am slightly disappointed to see him in a pre-designed archetype with Xerath, but the more time I spend thinking about Ziggs, the more flexible I think he could be, especially since he is a dual-region champion.

Now let’s get to the ratings and the theorycrafting. This will be a blast!

  • 5.0: Meta-defining card, should prove 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: Could be used for specific synergies, or to counter some decks.
  • 1.0: Unlikely to find its place in the meta.

Ziggs – 3.0 

For reasons we are still unsure of, Ziggs ended up as Shurima champion. Previously, hardly anything in the lore suggested that he has an affinity for the vast desert!

But what’s important, since Ziggs is a yordle, he also predictably has a Bandle City identity. He is a flexible dual-region card, which all the deckbuilders out there I’m sure will appreciate.

He has obvious synergy with Xerath as they both have the same level-up condition. However, I believe Ziggs is more versatile – unlike Xerath, he has a solid stat-line for 3 mana and additionally provides a really strong on-attack skill that can push some chip damage.

Ziggs can level up while in your deck or hand, and in a dedicated list, you will be able to do it consistently, after which his skill becomes even stronger.

There are a few decks that I could imagine would want Ziggs. And if the whole landmark destruction madness pans out, Ziggs will be a staple in that deck.


Up first, I have the pre-designed archetype that features Xerath, Ziggs, and their love for destroying your landmarks.

I paired Shurima with Bandle City so I could play with a few fancy toys from the newest region. There is actually quite a lot of deck-building flexibility here and I was surprised by that. Shurima received a ton of useful cards with this expansion!

Our game plan is to quickly level both of our champions while keeping up on tempo with some strong units.

We have to manage our board space very carefully. We have a ton of landmarks, and even though we will be destroying them constantly, we will feel somewhat constrained by the board limit.

We don’t have a huge top-end finisher in this list, so in order to succeed we need to maintain board advantage using our removal and keep pushing steady chip damage.


Getting away from the landmark synergy, here I wanted to try and really push the power of Ziggs’s on-attack skill Short Fuse, as well as to show off some of the new spells and units from the upcoming expansion.

The main gimmick here is using Funsmith to increase the damage of all your skills and spells. Additionally, there is a lot of value to be gained from new cards like Conchologist, Station Archivist, and of course Pokey Stick.

We really have no shot at leveling Ziggs, but with a Funsmith out, he actually does a lot of work even in his level 1 form, especially when you pair him with the strong removals of Piltover and Zaun!

Our game plan is to keep deleting everything on the opposing side of the board with our removals while working towards a level 2 Ezreal.


Bouncing Bomb – 2.0

Dealing 2 damage for 3 mana and at Slow speed doesn’t seem like the strongest removal spell.

The added flexibility of being able to deal 1 damage to two separate units does help justify this slightly, but without a boost to damage from something like a Powder Keg, it does feel on the weaker side.

It is important to note that Bandle City does not have a lot of direct removal, so this card could still possibly end up playing an important role for the region.


Inventive Chemist – 3.0

Scrappy Bomb

One of the biggest problems with landmark strategies is that you have to spend unit mana on cards that can’t block/attack.

However, when it comes to units that generate landmarks – like Rock Hopper and Akshan to name a few – among those, we’ve seen a lot of power.

The Inventive Chemist is perfect for the archetype as it functions as a 1-drop just fine, but also provides a nice landmark that you can destroy and get some value out of.

My least favorite part about this card is that it is in Bandle City and not in Shurima.


Bomber Twins – 2.5

Here we have another multi-region yordle that has synergy inside multiple archetypes.

These twins have fine stats and generate a cheap landmark on-summon. Card advantage it provides will always be appreciated, even if it isn’t a perfect unit.

There are plenty of solid landmarks 2 mana or less that you will be happy about, although sometimes you will end up with duds.


Safety Inspector – 2.0

Inspection Passed!

I really love this card, but it will have a very narrow and specific use.

In order to get value from this card, you’ll need to consistently have landmarks lying around that you are willing to blow up late in the game.

This really only fits the pre-designed archetype of Xerath and Ziggs. On top of that, this is a ‘Round Start’ ability, which means you don’t even get access to Inspection Passed! until turn 7 at the earliest.

That being said, dealing 3 damage to anything, including the opposing Nexus, is huge!


The Arsenal – 1.5

Like the Safety Inspector, this card feels restricted.

On top of that, The Arsenal has a great deal of randomness to it which I don’t love.

Realistically you will be blowing up a lot of landmarks throughout your games, so The Arsenal should get some seriously good keywords.

But on turn 8 you are looking to finish the game with either Elusive or Overwhelm. Lifesteal could also help stabilize.

And if you don’t get any of these, which will happen occasionally, then what is your 8-drop really doing for you?


Explosive Minefield – 3.0

Anytime you see the word Stun on a card you know some Yasuo fanboys out there are screaming with joy.

Bandle City does have some other Stun cards as well, but I’m not really interested in exploring the Yasuo route.

What this card is good for is playing into the landmark synergy while also offering you some serious tempo through its Stun effect that can be triggered twice.

It’s also important to note that this effect can go through Spellshields, which could come in clutch. 


Mega Inferno Bomb – 1.5

Unless I am missing something, this card is pretty bad.

7 mana and Slow to deal 2 damage to your opponent’s board, and not even affecting their Nexus.

There are some niche bonuses to having the damage happen in two separate instances (Kegs and Funsmith), but there is also a counter like Tough.

This just seems like one of the most overpriced cards I have ever seen. 


Yordle Contraption – 1.0

I know most regions have at least some landmark removal by now, but this one feels pretty weird.

Obviously, just destroying a landmark for 5 mana at Slow speed is pretty awful. There are very few spots where it will feel like a positive trade.

On the other hand, creating 2 multi-region followers is interesting for use in The Bandle Tree archetype. But still, at 5 mana and slow, that price is just too steep for my liking. 


Conclusion 

My initial gut reaction to Ziggs was a bit on the lower levels of excitement, especially when compared with all the previous crazy reveals we’ve had.

However, after digging through the card pool I realized there are multiple ways to build even his pre-designed archetype, let alone brewing with Ziggs outside of that.

Even though I think his supporting cast has some of the weakest cards revealed yet, there are some hidden gems in this reveal.

I hope you have a blast playing with this absolutely explosive yordle! 

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Shane

Shane has played strategy card games since before he could read, thanks to his older brother teaching him how to memorize what each card did. Currently, he is the Host of the Twin Sunz Podcast, a Legends of Runeterra podcast and community with offerings for players of all levels of skill.

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