Legends Of Runeterra: The Problem With Leona

Do you remember when Leona got announced and I called her: "a Champion that doesn't really have any redeeming qualities whatsoever. With a level effect that is probably the most boring in the game"? Well I was wrong...but barely. Yet, I was also right, but for the wrong reasons. Let me explain.

Lets start with how I was wrong. Leona is solid card. A 4 drop, 3/5, with a Daybreak effect that allows her to Stun the strongest enemy unit upon entry. "Daybreak", meaning she has to be played first in the round in order to get this off. However, more times than not you're leading off with her after she's leveled. And at this point she's a 4/6 with an effect that state every time you activate a Daybreak ability. Stun the strongest enemy unit. (Or something to that effect).

This is particularly dope when you have Rahvun on field, who makes it that your Daybreak effects always pop. And when the machine works it's glorious. You're summoning 1 or 2 cost cards that get a stat buff for the round they enter. Or you can fire off the big boys for an AOE stat buff and ability procs. Or the ultimate Silence and Destroy card. When things go right with her it's legit.

And that brings us back to my original impressions of her. Because though I was wrong about her potential, I was right about her usefulness. See, unlike Swain, who when leveled automatically stuns the highest enemy unit upon nexus damage. Leona's stun is interactive. Meaning you can deny it. Or if the target has Spellshield, the stun is negated. Why?

The point I keep making is that if you look at some of the strongest followers they have non-interactive effect. Minotaur Reckoner, Rimefang Shaman, and The Infinite Mindsplitter. They stun with no regard for Deny or Spellshield. So why does this champion fall victim to so many counters?

Additionally, on a side note. Fizz, when the TARGET of Leona's effect. Has zero interaction. Why? How? That goes against the text of Fizz's card. As well as the way Leona's effect currently works. You can't make something partially interactive. If Deny works and Spellshield works. Then Fizz works.

And the point people like to bring up when I mention this is that Twisted Fate is the same with his stun. And yes, he is. And I still think that Fizz, when the SOLE target of Yellow card, should be able to negate. It doesn't make sense other wise.

But I digress. What makes matters worst with Leona is that all of the spells built around her

are slow speed. Lets look at a card like Morning Light. A 5 mana spell spell that gives all units you control +2/+2. It also has a Daybreak effect that procs every other unit's Daybreak effect. Why not make that fast speed? You still get the Deny. It still has to be played first for it's secondary effect. Hell make it a 6 cost card or even a 7. Back to Back cost 6 and it's BURST speed and gives +3/+3. Decisive Maneuver stuns a unit and gives all allies +2 attack. In an overwhelm deck that is super clutch. Making all Leona spells slow renders them not quite useless; but high risk, high reward cards. Which is basically Leona's whole thing. High risk. And there isn't anything wrong with that. However, I just don't feel like Leona's pay off is that great. Correct me if I'm wrong.

If you were to tell me that she stuns for as long as she was in play like Mindsplitter. Then yeah, interaction makes sense. Give me a chance to avoid that curse. (Swain has Fearsome and upon nexus strike does three to the nexus and every enemy unit. That's a champion.) Or, Leona, (when leveled) if upon attacking or Nexus Strike she Silenced the strongest unit or follower. That interaction with stun not only makes sense to allow the interaction, but it would give Zenith Blade some value in Leona decks. Because currently, outside of making Lee Sin or Zed overwhelm Gods. It has no particular value. Over Might especially.

And sure maybe these suggested fixes aren't fully polished. And might make Leona "OP". However, and I hate to go back on another thing I said, but maybe Grapplr was partially right. Because Leona is just too fair. And I get how that sounds like the dumbest thing ever. Trust me I hate myself of even thinking it. But, when you look at cards like Sejuani or Gangplank they are easy to flip and become a frustrating problem. Jinx, Anivia, Kalista? Problems. Hell even Commander Ledros, a follower, hits the board and no matter how good you were playing, unless you have a Deny, he's halving your Nexus. And these are just a handful of amazing useful cards.

Then we look at Leona, when flipped, has to have you activate a Daybreak card, to maybe stun a unit. And if you haven't managed to summon or keep on field a Rahvun, then Leona only gets one shot a round. And even if she gets this shot off, what is she swinging for? 4?And that's where one can see, the card is underwhelming.

So I hope she gets a buff soon. Because I honestly would love to use her and build a deck around her. But right now the cost of playing her is just too damn high.