Legends of Runeterra just came out with a new update, and I’ll be reviewing over them design and balance wise. These photos are not mine, but rather taken from /u/xKozmic on the LoR subreddit. There will be links to these in the bottom.
Diana | Strength: 3/5 | Design: 4/5
Diana seems okay, 2 attack not being that great for a quick attack unit. Challenger makes it so she’s an efficient way to deal with 1-3 drops, but only for one round. This makes it a bit weird, since Nightfall means you have to play a card before her, which usually means you’ll play her on turn 3 or 4, which isn’t the most optimal for her 2 attack. However, her leveled up form is extremely powerful, being essentially a 2 mana 5|3 challenger with quick attack. So it’s likely you’ll never play Diana as just a base 2 mana 2|2 with quick attack, and try to be patient for her level up.
Also I’d like to mention Poro Cannon is one of my favourite cards design wise. Maybe this’ll fit in my Poro deck that I’ve been trying so hard to work with.
Leona | Strength: 5/5 | Design: 4/5
So, opposite of Nightfall and Diana, Leona seems like a strong card that’s relatively difficult to remove. This card seems really strong in a Yasuo deck, since Leona offers an alternative win condition, while synergizing extremely well with Yasuo. In general, Leona is a solid card to put in many decks, having great stats and a great effect. Design wise Leona isn’t that complex, she’s a big bulky lady that provides crowd control, being perfectly fit into a card.
Nocturne | Strength: 5/5 | Design: 5/5
First off, the flavor of this card is amazing. He has amazing synergy with Fearsome units, and probably terrifying in Fearsome decks. He’s likely to be insanely strong, with Risen Mists being an absurd card. His stats in general are pretty high for a Fearsome unit with a strong effect, so it’s very likely Nocturne will see play as an aggro card. His leveled up form is also bonkers. I’d compare it to Hecarim’s leveled up form, being a great way to end a game. Though, it’s major downside is you have to commit a lot to the board, so going against, for example, another Shadow Isles player means you’ll have to wait for Ruination to not be an option.
Lulu | Strength: 3/5 | Design: 5/5
In League, Lulu was one of my favourite champions, and she’s finally a card! Design wise, I think they did a fantastic job with her support ability being great at increasing the size of smaller units. Her support spell also feels very fitting with Pix having different effects if you cast it on an ally or an enemy. Balance wise though, Lulu feels weak to me. As a 3 mana support card, having only 3 health makes it really easy to just kill her. It’d also feel sort of bad to invest a lot of spells to keep Lulu alive, since her effect doesn’t really feel that strong. Her leveled up form does make up for that, giving you a 1 mana burst barrier to keep her alive, which can make her really annoying to deal with. So, you’re probably only going to play her in a support deck that can level her quickly, and no where else.
I will mention, Whimsy is insane. It is an insanely strong card to effectively remove a follower. It’s major downside is it can’t hit champions, but that’d probably push it from a strong card to over tuned.
So far, we got some good cards and “okay” cards. On the bright side, all the cards so far seem playable and will probably find their place in one deck or another, even if it won’t be meta. This honestly makes me insanely happy, since Riot had stated design wise they want to push every card to be at least playable, which is most certainly a difficult task. In comparison to Hearthstone, where dusting is expensive, and a lot of cards suck.