Beyond the Bandlewood LoR Spoilers Day 6
It’s Trevor “Shugo” Yung here and today’s the day. Day six of Bandlewood brings us our first new champion…Poppy!
She’ll be supporting both Bandle City and Demacia and is sure to make an impact! Let’s dive in!
To follow along with past and future Bandlewood card reveals, just click here.
Here are the new cards from today’s Beyond the Bandlewood reveal:
- Poppy level 1-2 (Bandlewood + Demacia Champion)
- Keeper’s Verdict (Bandlewood spell)
- Yordle Ranger (Bandlewood + Demacia follower)
- Pompous Cavalier (Bandlewood + Demacia follower)
- Yordle Smith (Bandlewood follower)
- Stress Defense (Bandlewood spell)
- Heroic Charge (Bandlewood spell)
- Yordle Squire (Bandlewood follower)
- Tiny Spear (Bandlewood spell)
- Tiny Shield (Bandlewood spell)
- Poppy (level 1)
- 4 mana 4|3 champion
- Text: Attack: Grant me and all allies with equal or less power than me +1}+1
- Level up: I’ve attacked with allies 3 times
Starting off we have a 4/3 for four mana. There’s no immediate play or summon effect, nor any form or protection.
What we do have is the threat of attack. As soon as Poppy declares an attack, she’ll grant a +1|+1 buff to all allies, except for those with more power than her.
As a 4-drop, she fills a similar role to Vanguard Bannerman. The key difference of course is requiring the attack to gain value instead of an Allegiance trigger.
What gives Poppy huge potential is the ability to retrigger the effect multiple times. Alongside rallies, scouts, and free attacks.
It’s possible to do this more than once per turn! We’ll have easy access to most of these since Poppy is also in Demacia.
When we consider buff targets, one of the best ways to utilize this is with Elusives. Granting stats to units that get chump blocked reduces the value, unless favourably winning combat.
With Elusives, the additional power goes directly to the Nexus while the health keeps them safer from removal.
Elusives naturally have lower base stats, so it’s likely Poppy can continuously buff all of them.
If you want a place to begin theorycrafting, there’s a good chance it’s with Elusives.
- Poppy (level 2)
- 4 mana 5|4 champion
- Text: Attack: Grant me and all allies with equal or less power than me +2|+2 and Impact
Although we’ll have to see what else the expansion brings!
Poppy is incredibly powerful in her level two form. However, this comes at the cost of a very difficult level-up condition.
She will require other units on board in order to fulfill it, which isn’t always possible.
Having to go into combat three times herself is already a challenge.
While she does hit 5/4 off her first trigger, she’s quite vulnerable to removal with only three initial health.
We’re going to want some ways to protect her. Thanks again to Demacia, she’s in the right region for it!
- Keeper’s Verdict
- 6 mana Slow spell
- Text: Place an enemy unit on top of the enemy deck.
Next, we have Poppy’s champion spell. Keeper’s Verdict kinda fits in between Will of Ionia and Sunk Cost, but unfortunately leans more towards the latter.
Expensive Slow spells have rarely proven themselves and I think the verdict is clear on this one.
While this can effectively hit any unit, champions included, it’s only a temporary answer. They get the card back; next turn at the latest.
In most cases with Will of Ionia, the opponent can’t afford or bother to re-play the unit that same turn. So what’s the difference?
Oh yeah, Will of Ionia is Fast speed and only costs four mana. The only time we’ll see this is when it’s double drawn as a champ spell.
In those times, it could serve a decent use. Otherwise, avoid Keeper’s Verdict.
- Yordle Ranger
- 6 mana 5|5 follower
- Text: Attack: Grant me and all allies with equal or less power than me +0|+1.
Yordle Ranger brings us a half-Poppy effect, also granting stats upon attack. What’s nice here is the Scout keyword; giving us the potential to stack up health buffs faster.
Genevieve Elmheart is a similar comparison. Again like Poppy, we’re trading immediate summon value for on-attack value.
Yordle Ranger attacks as a 5/6 which will likely survive one block. However, without Challenger it becomes a lot more difficult to Scout regularly.
While there’s some potential here, I’m not certain it will replace more prevalent 6-drops like Cithria.
- Pompous Cavalier
- 3 mana 1|1 follower
- Double Attack
Woah this is scary. While a three mana 1/1 may seem like a joke, this is the first time we’ve had access to Double Attack at this cheap of cost.
Pompous Cavalier is an incredible buff target and could potentially find itself a role as a combo piece.
Horns of the Dragon was overlooked on release but later found a niche as an additional win condition in Lee Sin decks (basically the 4th copy of Lee Sin).
Pompous Cavalier being dual region only increases his potential usability. He may not find a home initially, but keep an eye out because if there’s a combo deck someone will find it.
- Yordle Smith
- 2 mana 2|2 follower
- Text: Attack: Give all allies with equal or less Power than me Quick Attack this round
Another Yordle just waiting to be buffed. This guy has some crazy potential. We’ve all felt the wrath of Sivir granting Quick Attack to the entire board.
That requires a leveled up champion…but Yordle Smith just does that from the get-go!?
He’ll definitely need an attack boost to get the job done, but at the very least we have a two-mana 2/2 with Quick Attack.
That’s playable enough on its own, and with the right support you’ll outright win combat.
Thankfully not a dual region card, so there’ll be some deck-building restrictions if you want to take full advantage of him.
- Stress Defense
- 3 mana Burst spell
- Text: Set a unit’s stats to 1|6 this round.
Quite possibly the best Bandle City card thus far. We have essentially the “Hush” of the region, except Stress Defense doubles as a protection spell.
This card is incredibly flexible. You can use it on either your own units, or theirs. We’re not restricted to just followers either. Nasus + Atrocity?
Nah, you’re a 1|6 now. Get Excited targeting Poppy? Nope, she’s a 1|6.
There are so many situations where Stress Defense can find value. It may present the odd awkward moment where you need to neutralize their threat, but the extra health prevents you from killing it.
Though the trade-off is worth it for its powerful flexibility. “Setting” stats is also unique as it removes damage.
This negates cards like Ravenous Flock and Scorched Earth.
Be prepared to play around this card on day one. We’ll definitely be seeing it at least in some capacity. It’s a fantastic card.
- Heroic Charge
- 5 mana Slow spell
- Text: An ally strikes an enemy. If it survives, Stun it.
This is a bit of an awkward one. Heroic Charge is between a Siphoning Strike and Ground Slam. Siphoning Strike, while a fantastic champion spell, never really slotted well on its own.
Ground Slam is a decent card, but its ability to stun is mostly relevant due to its reactive speed.
Proactive stuns just aren’t anywhere near as valuable, except with cards like Arachnoid Sentry that provide an additional body on the same action.
We already have other expensive strike spells like Wild Claws and Molten Breath that never see play. Unfortunately, Heroic Charge is no better.
Yordle Squire + Tiny Spear + Tiny Shield
- Yordle Squire
- 1 mana 2|1 follower
- Text: Play: Create a Tiny Spear or a Tiny Shield in hand
- Tiny Spear
- 1 mana Focus spell
- Text: Grant an ally +1|+0
- Tiny Shield
- 1 mana Focus spell
- Text: Grant an ally +0|+1
We’ve got another promising 1-drop with Yordle Squire. You’ve heard me say this a lot, but cards that generate other cards almost always have a place in Runeterra.
Especially followers at one mana. The statline is right on par with what we’d want.
Then we get a free permanent buff spell alongside it. Sign me up!
Cheap spells almost always have a home, even in decks that don’t abuse multiple spell triggers.
If you need a 1-drop in Bandle City it’ll be hard not to opt for Yordle Squire.
Shugo’s Productivity Thought of the Day
Your mind can be your greatest ally or your worst enemy. If you lose to yourself you’ll lose to everyone. But if you’re aligned with yourself, nothing can stop you!