The new Legends of Runeterra expansion, Beyond the Bandlewood, is upon us. This expansion introduces the tenth and final region of the game, Bandle City. The expansion brings a whimsical fairytale vibe to the digital card game, with a trailer that is reminiscent of early 2000s animation.
And fittingly enough, the cards included in this new set introduce cheeky hijinks and outlandish synergies for players to tinker with. New mechanics and keywords such as pranks, multi-region cards, impact, and manifest all speak to the playful, wacky theme within the expansion.
Beyond the Bandlewood also uncorks a whole lot of possibilities in terms of deckbuilding, and here are some deck archetypes supported by the new cards.
With the new champions Veigar and Senna, it looks like a deck all about the card Darkness will be more than viable.
Darkness is a created card, which means it isn’t collectible, and can only be made through playing other cards. At the start of a match, Darkness will cost 3 mana and deals 2 damage to an enemy.
As the match progresses, with cards that reduce the cost of Darkness, increase its damage, and even let players target the opponent’s Nexus with it, the deck becomes a monster in the late-game. This deck can reduce the opponent’s Nexus from 20 health to 0 in a single turn while still having mana left to spare.
The discard deck archetype gets a bunch of new toys to play with. Before this expansion, the most viable discard decks are aggro in nature. They’re fast, mean, and seek to overwhelm opponents before they can get a firm footing in the match.
With the new champion Sion, and cards that give players more resources and ammunition when discarded, discard decks are much more sustainable. This allows discard decks to go for a more midrange, and to be more nuanced in play rather than being a one-trick pony.
Beyond the Bandlewood introduces players to multi-region cards, with powerful enough support that it’s not just a gimmick, but a really solid archetype.
The adorable Yordles come together, with new champion Tristana leading the charge, and swarm their opponents with huge attacks. A Yordles deck has never been this synergistic before, and Yordles have never hit harder than this.
Not only that, The Bandle Tree is a card that wins players the game if they’ve summoned units from all 10 regions over the course of the match. Sure, it is unlikely to happen before the Yordles shatter the opponent’s Nexus, but it’d be a really awesome way to win.
Talk about annoying. Drawing cards usually feels good in collectible card games, but what if those cards are laced with annoying negative effects? Each trap doesn’t seem to do much, either 1 damage to a random enemy unit or 1 damage to the opponent’s Nexus.
But, all the damage takes its toll as the match drags on. Add some elusive units into the equation, and the deck starts to bare its fangs. The traps archetype is a deck that plays the sadistic long game, patiently waiting for the opponent to crack under the pressure or for a well-placed sniper shot with the new champion Caitlyn to end the match in dramatic fashion.
Landmarks used to be cards that players want to keep around to reap their full benefits. What if the benefits still apply when the landmarks get destroyed? What if destroying landmarks makes other units stronger? What if enemy units get nuked when players destroy their own landmarks?
With this new set, decks revolving around the idea of landmark destruction are now possible. Boasting big, scary units that become increasingly unstoppable, playing against this archetype is facing a countdown timer.
Beyond the Bandlewood offers so many creative, outlandish mechanics and cards to play with, and we can’t wait to see how the meta shapes up in the weeks to come.