A Curious Journey Impressions: Gnar

A Curious Journey Impressions: Gnar

A Curious Journey LoR Spoilers Day 8

Hey all, it’s Trevor “Shugo” Yung here with our final reveals for the new expansion, A Curious Journey!

Gnar has arrived to make an impact and will be lookin’ to transform the metagame. 😉

Here are the final cards of the new expansion:

  • Gnar (Bandle City + Freljord champion)
  • Wallop (Bandle City spell and Gnar’s champion spell)
  • Minitee (Bandle City follower)
  • Primal Strength (Bandle city spell)

For more impressions, check out the rest of our reveal articles for A Curious Journey.

Gnar

gnar level 1 (lor card 2-14)

  • Gnar (level 1)
    • 4 mana, 4|3 Yordle champion
    • Quick Attack
    • Strike: Create a Pokey Stick in hand or, if you have one, reduce its cost by 1.
    • Level Up – Round End: You’ve damaged the enemy Nexus this round.

Gnar comes down as a 4/3 Quick Attack for four, which is a respectful baseline. We’ve seen these stats with the newly buffed Kindred, but Gnar’s also got a Strike trigger to make him more aggressively slanted. Creating a Pokey Stick upon striking is insane! It doesn’t even require a Nexus Strike, and most notably, isn’t fleeting!

If you happen to already have one in hand he’ll reduce its cost. Unlike Zoe and Supercool Starchart, you’ll likely be maindecking Pokey Stick, so this will actually be relevant off the first hit. In some scenarios you’ll be hoping you don’t already have Pokey Stick so you get the free card. Other times, that -1 cost could make all the difference.

Following through with yesterday’s card reveals, Gnar retains the common Round End transform mechanic. In fact, it’s his level-up condition! Simply needing to damage the enemy Nexus in order to flip is extremely easy. You’ll almost always have control of this thanks to the created Pokey Sticks.

Once Gnar flips, he’ll grant the strongest enemy Vulnerable. This sets him up to challenge it down and Quick Attack it to death! And if the strongest enemy is a weak one, Overwhelm will help push damage through.

mega gnar (lor card 2-14)

  • Mega Gnar (Level 2)
    • 4 mana 6|5 Yordle champion
    • Quick Attack, Overwhelm
    • When I level up, grant the strongest enemy Vulnerable.
    • Round End: If I’ve seen you start the round with the attack token, transform me back into Gnar.

Gnar redefines how we experience champion level-ups. While Gnar flips easily, he’s the first champion that can revert to his level one form. This allows us to switch between generating Pokey Sticks and Quick Attack challenging foes. On the surface, Gnar’s set up to strike once before transforming back down. But the Round End won’t trigger if you gain the attack tokens during the round.. Rallys anyone? 😉

We’ll definitely see lots of experimentation with Gnar, even with multiple different regions. Gnar doesn’t require much support outside of some Nexus pings, and Bandle City has no trouble with that!

Wallop (Gnar’s Champion Spell)

wallop (lor card 2-14)

gnar's wallop (lor card)

  • Wallpop/Gnar’s Wallop
    • 3 mana Fast spell
    • Deal 1 to an enemy and Stun it.

Three mana to deal one damage and stun an enemy is the worst of both worlds. A one damage ping feels pretty bad at three mana, as does a basic stun. While combining the two gives some reasonable flexibility, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where you feel good casting this, at least over the many other options.

However, as Gnar’s champ spell, this is solid. We’re happy to have the flexibility in hand when its backside is a second copy of our champion. Do keep in mind that this can’t hit the Nexus, which is unfortunate as it doesn’t let Gnar and friends transform at Round End. Although a single stun is occasionally enough to open a window to strike through.

Minitee

minitee (lor card 2-14)

  • Minitee
    • 7 mana 6|6 follower
    • Round End: If you’ve damaged the enemy Nexus this round, transform me into Megatee.

megatee (lor card)

  • Megatee
    • 7 mana 8|8 follower
    • Impact
    • Round Start: Transform the strongest enemy into a 3|3 Mini-Minitee and Silence it. It can’t block.

We had Minimorph and Mini-Minitee. Now we have Minitee and Megatee. We’ve got a clunky 7-drop on the surface, but make no mistake, Megatee is a powerhouse! The Round Start ability is a built-in Minimorph that triggers EVERY TURN. Additionally, it prevents the Mini-Minitee from blocking!

While we’re unable to choose the target, having this as an immediate Round Start ability gets around SpellShield and denies any interaction. On attacking turns it lets you swing in with an 8/8 Impact. On defending turns you negate their strongest unit while presenting a huge blocker.

I know we don’t see a lot of 7-drops these days, but if we’re already paying six for Minimorph, why not pay seven for an 8/8 that casts it every turn!?

I know I’m exaggerating a bit here, but Minitee/Megatee is no joke, so be on the lookout as you approach turn seven and beyond.

Primal Strength

primal strength (lor card)

  • Primal Strength
    • 4 mana Burst spell
    • Grant an ally +2|+2 and Impact.

Our final card is a new combat trick with grant. It’s sort of like a weaker Stand Alone, but without the harsh restrictions. Offensively, Primal Strength represents an additional three damage. But as a defensive tool, this is pretty poor.

Four mana spells are in a tough spot these days. It’s hard to compete with the likes of Sharpsight, Troll Chant, and Twin Disciplines. Though having another trick in Bandle City does give it more options as a region.

I’m not convinced on this card, but it could see some mild experimentation as a one or two-of.

Bonus Deck: Gnar Noxus

shugo's gnarxus (lor deck 1-14)

Deck code: CECACAQDBEAQCBAIBACQUBYOC4Y2CANCAGTADKABAEBQGDICAECQVJABAIAQGBBOAEAQKCQP

[See Shugo’s Gnarxus deck details]

We’ve got a Bandle City/Noxus shell that’s reminiscent of Teemo Swain. Teemo’s here to help us transform Bitsy Lizard more reliably on turn two. The Puffcaps will also help enable our transforms on future turns without requiring a ping or attack.

Since pings are the name of the game, we’re adding some Ravenous Flocks as our premium removal. Arachnoid Sentry helps us buy time as our transformed units are quite weak the turn they come down.

Of course, we had to throw in some Culling Strikes in preparation for the Formidable decks we’re likely to see. 🙂

Shugo’s Productivity Thought of the Day

If you can discover your true passion, then the path of least resistance can lead to your greatest results.

The things we love most give us energy and allow us to grow with less effort.

Life’s a lot easier without resistance.

Thanks for reading! For more impressions, check out the rest of our reveal articles for A Curious Journey.