(UPDATE: As I was finishing out this piece, the new Champion was revealed which showcases that the gains given by "Grant" are permanent.)
It's official. The new expansion for Legends of Runeterra has been announced and it's name is "Call of the Mountain". The expansion will bring a slew of new Champions, a new region (Targon), and all the cards needed to make it work. This also marks the beginning of the new release schedule as it's being reported that the region will be spilt between 3 different expansions. One big one, coming August 26th, and two smaller ones to follow the subsequent months.
So far riot has teased quite a bit as you can see:
A new keyword: Spellshield
A new suspected Champion spell card: Bastion
And 3 new units -
Arbiter of the Peak
Tyari The Traveler
All of this is massive news as of course we were expecting a new key word, but Spellshield is definitely something tasty. And the speculation has already started. So I want to talk about what has been shown, what has been said, and what I think about it all.
So lets start with the unit cards. These particular cards are showing off the fact that Riot wants to give us more realistic play to support cards. As there are already many of them that don't see a lot of play. And with Arbiter Of The Peak, a 10 cost 6/6 card with Overwhelm, you get a card that finds it's cost reduced each time you support or target allies. And this is just an amazing card that I can see in a deck with Jae! Who allows you to draw a card each time he is targeted. Getting double work off the card. I still don't understand why supporting Jae doesn't count as a target, but that's a story for a different time. Either way I'm excited to play with this card. Because getting a 6/6 with Overwhelm for potentially 0 cost is freaking nuts. Especially if you have multiple. This can be a massive game changer.
This leads us to Tyari and Sojourners. Two support cards that bring some huge value. Because what's being stated is that their support is a permanent gain due to the wording. Which if this is the case, these cards are Nucking Futs! So first we have Tyari who grants said supported ally with +0/+2 which again permanent. I think of pairing this card with Fiora. And for 2 mana, it comes right before she hits the field. But then you have Mountain Sojourners. And damn is this card spicy. Even at 5 mana.
Mountain Sojourners is a 5 cost 2/5 that grants it's supported ally +2/+2. However, it doesn't end there. If the ally you're supporting has support. You're also gonna grant THAT ally +2/+2. And again I can only think of Fiora. And maybe that's because I'm using her for the first time, because Fizz ALSO comes to mind with this one, but damn. 5/5 Fiora with Quick Attack thanks to Legion Drummer. So you're looking at a 5/4 Legion Drummer, with a 5/5 Fiora with Quick Attack. And if the gains to Atk & Def is permanent shit is just rude.
And I don't know if Riot has confirmed these as permanent gains, but I find it hard to think that they would be. That has huge potential to really make things unbalanced. And if these buffs are permanent, then I can already see the extra gain second supported allies get being nerfed to +1/+1 or the card costing more. Because you just know people are waiting to break the Meta.
As stated with every New Expansion, comes new Keywords. And the first one to be revealed is Spellshield. An effect that the 3 cost Burst speed spell Bastion bestows on it's target. Th image below shows the text for what Spellshield does; and Spice anyone?
So basically Barrier for spells that ignore stat lines. Vengeance, Will of Ionia, Detain. GTFOH! However, if we're talking about wording this says "next enemy spell or skill that would AFFECT this unit." So where as others believe this only works against individual target spells or skills. I think this would protect against the likes of a Ruination or Avalanche to name a few. Because that's a spell, the Spellshielded card WOULD be affected. So it's really anyone's guess at this point. However, even if I'm proven to be wrong. Having protection again a Detain or Vengeance is really massive. Especially while having having something like a Barrier up, protecting you from damage. This is, as I like to say, game changing.
All of this drops August 26th, and it can't come soon enough. I didn't expect them to go all Heavy on support units, but I like it. And after seeing what the first revealed Champion can do, let me just say. The spicy is real and the heat being brought to the table is 5 star!