1.8 Patch: Call Of The Mountain – Part 2 – The Meta Shift

by | Aug 28, 2020 | Legends of Runeterra | 0 comments

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Hello! Kairux here once again for part 2 of my The Meta Shift series regarding the 1.8 Patch: Call of the Mountain. In this series, I talk about all the new stuff that comes along with the 1.8 patch. Part 1 is about the new keywords, part 2 is about the new champions, and part 3 is about the new notable non-champion cards.

The 1.8 patch brings us 7 new champions across 4 different factions. 4 of them are from Targon and Freljord, Ionia, and Shadow Isles all get 1 new champion each.

Let’s get right to it.

Image via Legends of Runeterra Facebook Page

Taric

Base: 4-mana cost. 2 / 4. Support: Give me and my supported ally Tough this round. Copy the last spell you cast on only me this round onto that ally. 

Level-up condition: I’ve seen you target or support allies 7+ times.

Flipped: 4-mana cost. 3 / 5. Support: My supported ally and I can’t take damage or die this round. Copy the last spell you cast on only me this round onto that ally.

Taric and his friends bring Support to the next level. An unflipped Taric and his supported ally will be difficult to deal with. The Tough keyword is one thing but what really makes Taric a high-value supporter is the spell-copying mechanic. You literally get twice the value on every buff card you give Taric as long as he supports another unit. While flipping him might take some time, the pay-off is huge. Its like having 2 free Unyielding Spirits during combat for that turn and that pretty much is a nightmare to trade against.

I also have to mention that the Support units from Targon that come with the 1.8 patch grants stats to units perpetually, as opposed to other regions where the additional stats expire after the round. This means that the value of these Support units stack up exponentially over time if they stay on the board.

Image via Legends of Runeterra Facebook Page

Lulu

Base: 3-mana cost. 2 / 3. Support: My supported ally grows up to 4 / 4 this round.

Level-up Condition: Our allies have been supported 3+ times.

Flipped: 3-mana cost. 3 / 4. Round Start: Create a Help, Pix! in hand. Support: My supported ally grows up to 5 / 5 this round.

Lulu is another Support Champion that came with the 1.8 patch. She can provide good early game pressure with her ability, converting small units into bigger threats. Moreover, flipping her won’t be too difficult especially if you have multiple Support units in your deck. Getting a Help, Pix! every round start can also be useful in protecting your units and taking down priority targets. During the late game, Whimsy! can be nifty in disabling bigger threats for only 4 mana. Whimsy! is also a Burst spell which means it can’t be stopped once it has been cast.

Image via Legends of Runeterra Facebook Page

Trundle

Base: 5-mana cost. 4 / 6. Regeneration. When I’m summoned, create an Ice Pillar in hand.

Level-up Condition: I’ve seen you play Ice Pillar.

Flipped: 5-mana cost. 5 / 7 Overwhelm. Regeneration. When I’m summoned, create an Ice Pillar in hand. Attack: Grant me +1 / +0 for each 8+ cost card you Behold.

It is difficult to get rid of Trundle once he’s on the board, sporting both high Health and regeneration. Flipping him is also not that difficult since you only need to drop Ice Pillar on turn 8, which means its virtually free unless its Play effect gets hit by a Deny. At the same time, Ice Pillar being in play also provides some utility. Trundle’s Champion spell – Icequake – is a board-wide removal spell that impairs the Attack of all the units left in its wake. It is meant to be used as a deterrent to stop a mounting offensive in its tracks.

Since Trundle and the other new Freljord units benefit from Behold, I can see them being incorporated in late-game Control decks as a mid-game threat. Kind of like how Braum works in Anivia decks a couple of patches back.

Image via Legends of Runeterra Facebook Page

Nocturne

Base: 4-mana cost. 5 / 3. Fearsome. Nightfall: Grant an enemy Vulnerable and give enemies -1 / -0 this round.

Level-up Condition: You’ve attacked with 5+ Nightfall allies.

Flipped: 4-mana cost. 6 / 4. Fearsome. Other allies have Fearsome. When you play a unit, give enemies -1 / -0 this round.

Nocturne is a highly offensive-oriented Champion. He has the means to reach a priority target upon being played on the board through the use of his ability to grant Vulnerable to any enemy unit. He’s especially deadly during the transition from early to mid-game. Nocturne’s strength compounds even more after he gets flipped, as you can essentially mount an unblockable offensive by exploiting the stacking nature of his ability in conjunction with Fearsome. This can also help defensively by lowering your opponent’s units’ overall damage output.

On the other hand, Nocturne’s most prominent weakness is his base form’s low health, making him an easy target for common 3-damage removal spells. To mitigate this, it might be best to either give him SpellShield or wait until he levels up before dropping him on the board.

Image via Legends of Runeterra Facebook Page

Leona

Base: 4-mana cost. 3 / 5. Daybreak: Stun the Strongest enemy.

Level-up Condition: You’ve activated Daybreak 4+ times.

Flipped: 4-mana cost. 4 / 6. Daybreak or when you activate another Stun the Strongest enemy.

I would like to start by saying that Leona’s card art is absolutely gorgeous. As I’ve mentioned in the last post, Solari’s motif looks amazingly regal. Not gonna lie, I find that her ability to be lackluster. Solar Flare gives her some defensive utility. She gets a great stat-line to compensate and leveling her up is also quite easy though. It isn’t impossible to play a flipped Leona once turn 4 hits. Probably the best thing that Leona brings to the table is Morning Light, her Champion spell. It has crazy synergy with Leona on the board along with a few other Daybreak units, creating a massive one-turn finishing push. It might be difficult to set the board up for a push like this but pulling it off helps you win games.

Image via Legends of Runeterra Facebook Page

Diana

Base: 2-mana cost. 2 / 2. Quick Attack. Nightfall: Give me Challenger this round.

Level-up Condition: You’ve activated Nightfall 4+ times.

Flipped: 2-mana cost. 3 / 3. Quick Attack. Nightfall or when you activate another Nightfall: Give me +2 / +0 and Challenger this round.

Diana is an offensive threat in the early game. She gets both Quick Attack and Challenger, a deadly combination of keywords as the unit that has them can pick out targets and eliminate them easily. The thing that deters Diana from being such a monster of a card is her low Health as she can easily get taken out by low-cost removal spells. It is quite easy to level Diana up as Nightfall can be chained to activate more than once per turn. This is also a reason why Diana can be a huge threat to priority targets once she’s flipped because she can keep stacking damage to finish off units without dying.

Since Diana’s weakness is her Health, I can see her being partnered with Lulu and Taric. Those Champions’ support cards can help her overcome her frailty. Giving Diana SpellShield also works wonders for her.

Image via Legends of Runeterra Facebook Page

Aurelion Sol

Base: 10-mana cost. 10 / 10. Fury. SpellShield. Play: Invoke a Celestial card that costs 7 or more. Round Start: Create a random Celestial card in hand.

Level-up Condition: Round End: Your allies have 20+ total power.

Flipped: 10-mana cost. 11 / 11. Fury. SpellShield. Play: Invoke a Celestial card that costs 7 or more. Round Start: Create a random Celestial card in hand. Your Celestial cards cost 0.

Aurelion Sol, an ancient entity that has been around since the creation of the world, totally deserves the overwhelming card that represents him. Some people say that him getting a SpellShield along with 10 Health is OP. While it is certainly strong, we have to understand that Aurelion Sol has one jarring weakness: he costs 10 mana. Dropping him means you can only have an excess of 3 mana, tops. Consequently, that leaves you a sitting duck especially if your opponent has been waiting for that moment. In order for you to prevent that from happening, you need to create ample space to make sure that Aurelion Sol and you survive a turn for you to maximize his usage.

If you think about it, Aurelion Sol shares many similarities with Nautilus. Both of them have huge stat-lines, they both enable a certain group, and games usually end 1 to 2 turns after they get dropped successfully. However, past all these similarities, some people are complaining about why Nautilus gets a higher stat-line than Aurelion Sol despite being 3-mana cost lower.  In my opinion, that 3 extra mana pays for the SpellShield and the ability to Invoke and create cards upon being played.

Up Next

There you have part 2 of my personal rundown of the 1.8 patch. The final part of this series will be about the new notable non-Champion cards and my personal favorites in the upcoming set.

Many thanks for indulging me in this post. I hope you enjoyed and learned something from this. If you want to read about other Legends of Runeterra content, you can find them here at Captain.

Until the next post. Ciao!

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