Strong-Arm might just be one of the worst cards in Legends of Runeterra. This card is SO bad in fact, its hard to imagine someone using this card in their deck. So let’s take a deep dive.
Strong-Arm is a 6-mana slow spell from Bilgewater. The card has the plunder keyword, meaning it will only work if you have damaged the enemy Nexus this turn. Despite its high-cost and condition requirements, the effect “Place a follower in play into your hand,” is wildly underwhelming.
For 6 mana you can remove a card from the board, and then play it for full mana cost. But wait, you probably already had to spend mana to damage the nexus? When exactly are you supposed to play the card you put in your hand? The next turn makes this card way to slow to develop. The question is though, why is this card so hard to balance? Are their simple changes we can make to make the card playable, or even, good?
An obvious comparison is Vengeance from Shadow Isles. Vengeance kills a unit for 7-mana at fast speed. For one additional mana, you can play the spell at any time and kill any unit, including champions. When considering changes to Strong-Arm, one needs to make sure they are not creating “better/cheaper Vengeance”. The slow speed of Strong-Arm can be leveraged to increase its total power level despite it being one mana cheaper. The worst part of Strong-Arm is that it is not versatile so let’s tackle that first. Add versatility and keep it slow to differentiate it from Vengeance.
Most cards are given a buff when the Plunder condition is met, so perhaps we can add a non-plunder affect. Let’s start simple: Create a Jagged Butcher on the top of your deck. Great, we have established some value. Now let’s add in the plunder effect: “Place a follower in play into your hand. Draw 1.” This accomplishes a couple of things. It allows the card to have *some* value without the Plunder, and with the Plunder affect it allows the user to follow up the spell with a low cost unit like the Jagged Butcher. Conveniently, the only way to draw Jagged Butcher on the turn is to have plundered, so Jagged Butcher would get his plunder effect as well.
Perhaps my “solution” is inelegant, imbalanced, and possibly confusing. However, it still must beat what currently exists in the game. Currently, Strong-Arm is the least played card in Legends of Runeterra, and when it is included in the deck it has a win rate of 38.5%. Riot has stated they want every card to have at least one deck where it can be played effectively, as of now Strong-Arm is a dead card.
But we want to know what you think? Do you think Strong-Arm is the worst card in the game? Should it be changed? And if its not the worst card, be sure to tell us why in the comment section below or hit me up on Twitter: @Doughynut. And for more content and gameplay be sure to check me out on https://twitch.tv/xdoughynut.