Beyond the Bandlewood lands tomorrow and with it a new region: Bandle City! As well as the new Impact and Manifest keywords and the multi-region cards, there will be 126 cards coming to Runeterra! Unsure what to play on the first day? Not to worry, as we have singled out these 6 decks for you to try on the first day of the expansion. Enjoy!
First up we have a powerhouse of a deck brought to you by Sion! Sion is a huge late-game threat that will close out games using overwhelm damage and has synergy with the discard archetype, levelling up when you discard or summon a mass of units, which presents a more midrange gameplan than we are used to seeing with previous discard decks. Once levelled, he can summon a Sion Returned on Last Breath to attack for huge damage twice in one round!
Pairing Zion with PnZ is the obvious choice because it has access to most of the discard effects in the game - although Shadow Isles is another option for last breath synergy. Sion’s support cards, such as Reborn Grenadier and Ancient Warmonger provide payoff for discarding, while Grave Physician and Lost Soul are your value engines to ensure you don’t run out of steam when you land Sion.
The PnZ cards in this list all provide some way of discarding a card, and the rest of the cards are high value cards such as Whispered Words or Captain Farron. Draven is in this deck because he can discard cards early on and providing the best partner to Sion. It remains to be seen how quickly Sion will be able to level up in this list, but it is a great list against slower control decks because of the value generation and inevitability of your late-game cards.
Elusives are back in Bilgewater! In case you missed the joys of Twisted Fate Fizz, this list is sure to down your opponents with the cheap elusive and spells, buffing your board with the help of new champion Nami. Nami grants stat buffs when you cast spells, so it's just as well both Bandle City and Bilgewater provide cheap spells.
In this list, the cheap spells consist of Trinket Trade, Purpleberry Shake (my personal favourite) and Yordle Squire’s tiny weapons. Using these spells can activate both your champions Fizz and Nami, as well as followers such as Marai Songstress and Fleet Admiral Shelly, not to mention Wiggly Burblefish. Draw cards in Pokey Stick and Zap Sprayfin can ensure you don’t run out of steam - increase these to 3-offs if you are experiencing more control than usual on ladder.
Taliyah Malphite recieved a lot of support with this expansion. Herald of the Magus is the standout card, potentially giving your champions overwhelm and ensuring they are a more reliable finisher. Akshan is in this list instead of 1 Malphite, but this can easily be changed depending on the meta. Some of the new cards in this list include Endless Devout and Waste Walker, which both provide great tempo on or following turn 3 to improve aggresive match-ups, of which this deck struggled against in the past.
Other than the few new cards, this deck is roughly the same as Taliyah Malphite lists of the past - but these cards could prove the difference if this deck is to become meta. It also ranks as the cheapest deck to craft compared to the other lists in the article, so it is worth a go if you don't want to commit all your wildcards at once!
We couldn’t leave out a Darkness list from this article. Veigar and Senna both have some way of generating Darkness - a 3 cost spell that deals 2 to an enemy. The idea behind this deck is to improve the quality of your Darkness’ - either by reducing the costs or increasing the damage dealt of each copy. Eventually, you can progress towards your win condition of levelling Veigar. Grand Overseer Veigar is potentially game winning - allowing you to target the enemy nexus with your Darkness’.
It in inevitable, therefore, that most of the cards in the deck will synergise with Darkness in some way. Aside from the standard Darkness generators, cards such as Twisted Catalyzer and Veigar will increase the output of your Darkness’, while Stilted Robemaker can reduce the cost of all copies of your Darkness for maximum efficiency.
The rest of the cards slow down the opponents game plan and have synergy with another new champion, Senna. Senna has the unique ability of being able to accelerate all of your Slow speed spells that either damage or kill to Fast Speed. This opens up the possibility of casting The Ruination at Fast speed, or using Senna’s champion spell, Dawning Shadow which ends up becoming a better Vengeance when Senna is on the board. Of course, Senna will also speed up your Darkness’ to fast speed. Withering Mist and Piercing Darkness have also been included to slow down your opponent’s gameplan.
The Beyond the Bandlewood expansion introduced a new type of trap - Flashbomb Traps. Similar to Poison Puffcaps, the aim is to plant as many of these traps into your opponent’s deck. Caitlyn and Teemo seem like a natural pairing, especially with their support cards that give you more ways to trap your opponent’s decks.
New cards in Puffcap Pup and Lecturing Yordle promote a more midrange game plan then what we are used to seeing in Teemo Ezreal, so much so that we have removed Puffcap Peddler from the deck entirely. Instead, this deck generates pressure with units that also provide the added benefit of planting traps. Ava Achiever and Corina, Mastermind are potential finishers in this list - both have the potential to double traps in the enemy deck in some way - so we have opted for 2 of each.
Last but not least we have the most recent champions revealed, Xerath and Ziggs. Both of these champions have identical level-up requirements in destroying allied landmarks, and the multi-region Ziggs suggests Bandle City and Shurima are the best regions for these two champions.
Cheap landmarks are needed to ensure Xerath and Ziggs level up as quickly as possible, and cards such as Hexplosive Minefield and Ancient Preparations reinforce this. Ruinous Acolyte is an alternative way of destroying your landmarks - you can run up to 6 of these with Construct of Desolation and they will keep buffing each other in a similar fashion to Mistwraiths as long as you have landmarks to destroy.
Rock Hopper and Unraveled Earth also help speed up the level up process of your champions, and it's also important to keep destroying landmarks once both Xerath and Ziggs have levelled up. Risen Altar and The Arsenal are your potential win conditions; they both summon large units with useful keywords. The Arsenal is slightly less reliable, but if you have destroyed 4+ allied landmarks you have a good chance of rolling Elusive or Overwhelm - the two keywords that will close out the game.
That’s all for now, hopefully these decks will give you some inspiration on your first crafts of the Beyond the Bandlewood expansion. What will you be trying out in the upcoming expansion?