Beyond the Bandlewood LoR Card Impressions: Xerath

Beyond the Bandlewood LoR Card Impressions: Xerath

Beyond the Bandlewood LoR Spoilers Day 13

It’s Trevor “Shugo” Yung here and today we’ve got a busy schedule.

Forget Bandlewood.

We’re back in Shurima to explore a ton of new landmarks!

If you think we’ve forgotten about the Ascended, think again…Xerath is here!

  • Xerath (Shurima champion)
  • Rite of the Arcane (Shurima spell and Xerath’s champion spell)
  • Endless Devout (Shurima follower)
  • Risen Altar (Shurima landmark)
  • Herald of the Magus (Shurima follower)
  • Waste Walker (Shurima follower)
  • Construct of Desolation (Shurima follower)
  • Ruinous Acolyte (Shurima follower)
  • Obelisk of Power (Shurima landmark)
  • Sandseer (Shurima follower)
  • Unleashed Energy (Shurima follower)
  • Servitude of Desolation (Shurima follower)

To follow along with past and future Bandlewood card reveals, just click here.

Xerath

xerath level 1 (lor card)

  • Xerath (level 1)
    • 4 mana 3|3 champion
    • Text – When an allied landmark is destroyed, deal 1 to the weakest enemy.
    • Level up – You’ve destroyed 4 allied landmarks this game.

xerath level 2 (lor card)

  • Xerath (level 2)
    • 4 mana 4|4 follower
    • Text – When an allied landmark is destroyed, deal 3 to the weakest enemy.
    • Level up – You’ve restored the Sun Disc.

xerath level 3 (lor card)

  • Xerath (level 3)
    • 4 mana 5|9 champion
      • Text – Round Start: Deal 5 to the weakest enemy and the enemy Nexus. If an enemy unit would die, Obliterate it instead.

It’s finally time for more Mono Shurima support. Xerath is here bringing a larger focus on Landmarks to the archetype.

As a four mana 3/3 his stats aren’t great, but he’s clearly meant to be built with countdown synergy.

In order to take advantage of Xerath we’ll need cheap landmarks and ways to destroy them. Rock Hopper is excellent as the opponent will undoubtedly have to break the Roiling Sands.

Unraveled Earth could actually make sense for the same reason. Countdowns are generally slow, so having Roiling Sands could help speed up the levelling process.

At level one Xerath is quite lackluster. We often have little control over when a landmark is destroyed.

Timing countdowns for the right moment isn’t always doable, and even so our payoff is a measly one damage.

We can’t even aim that damage as it always hits the weakest enemy.

There are some new cards that destroy our own landmarks for value, but overall our focus should be flipping Xerath over.

Since Xerath’s level-up condition doesn’t require him to see landmarks being destroyed, we’ll likely want to just level him before he’s ever played.

This way we can save more of our self-destroy effects for when he’s flipped and trigger his ability multiple times.

While we still can’t aim the damage, dealing three is a big deal and gives us a real payoff for our troubles.

As for the Mono Shurima archetype, it’s hard to say how Xerath will fit in. Xerath requires an even higher deck building cost as his entire premise is built around landmarks.

He also competes with Renekton as a 4-drop. It won’t be an immediate inclusion, but I’m sure we’ll see lots of experimenting to find the new version. There’s no denying Ascended Xerath is awesome, but we’ve got a lot of work to get there!

Rite of the Arcane

rite of the arcane  (lor card)

  • Rite of the Arcane
    • 3 mana Slow spell
    • Text – Destroy an allied landmark or one of your mana gems to deal 4 to an enemy unit.

Alright we’ve got some real support for the new “destroy your landmarks” game plan.

Rite of the Arcane is a three mana deal four, provided we have the landmark fodder to support it.

It’s similar to Black Spear in how there’s an additional cost, but it does give the flexibility to destroy your own mana gem when necessary.

We’ll have to see if there’s enough landmark fodder to warrant the effect, but if so, Rite of the Arcane is a worthy inclusion.

Endless Devout

endless devout (lor card)

  • Endless Devout 
    • 3 mana 3|3 follower
    • Text – Last Breath: Summon a Sarcophagus

sarcophagus (lor card)

  • Sarcophagus
    • 1 mana landmark
    • Text – Countdown 3 or when I’m destroyed: summon a Restored Devout.

restored devout (lor card)

  • Restored Devout
    • 1 mana 5|3
    • Fearsome

We’ve got a new unit that inherently summons a landmark. Blue Sentinel and Rock Hopper have already proven their worth, and Endless Devout has potential to do the same.

These types of cards are super important because they provide landmark synergy without the huge tempo loss.

A 3/3 for three mana is absolutely fine, plus it provides not only fodder but mid-late value.

The Sarcophagus can be used as fodder for Rite of the Arcane while additionally summoning a 5/3 Fearsome.

This is an excellent payoff for landmark decks.

There’s a chance we’ll see Endless Devout in less synergistic builds, but without ways to destroy the Sarcophagus I think it’ll be too slow.

Keep in mind Endless Devout needs to die first, and that won’t always happen immediately.

Risen Altar

risen altar (lor card)

  • Risen Altar 
    • 6 mana landmark
    • Text – Countdown 3 or when I’m destroyed: Summon a Dami’yin the Unbound.

dami'yin the unbound (lor card)

  • Dami’yin the Unbound
    • 7 mana 7|6
    • Overwhelm, Spellshield

Risen Altar is the ultimate payoff for the self-destroy landmark archetype.

If you’re able to break it before the countdown, you get essentially an Alpha Wildclaw except with Spellshield! And you all thought Ruin Runner is scary…

Jokes aside, this is a pretty good payoff in the right build.

However, without a way to immediately destroy it you’ll be paying six mana to do nothing for that turn.

That sucks, so be careful with this one.

Herald of the Magus

herald of the magus (lor card)

  • Herald of the Magus
    • 5 mana 4|4 folower
    • Text – When I’m summoned, if you’ve destroyed 4+ allied landmarks this game, grant your champions everywhere +2|+2 and Overwhelm.

Enough about Xerath, Herald of the Magus looks like a great card for Taliyah Malphite.

Taliyah Malphite already has the ability to level-up Taliya on curve, so there’s clearly enough landmark synergy within.

However, the most notable difference is you must have destroyed four landmarks.

That’s a lot more difficult than Taliyah, as you’ll often flip her by copying a landmark with her play effect.

That being said, if you can play Herald of the Magus later on you’ll grant a huge buff to your champions.

Taliyah Malphite can struggle with chump blocks, so the Overwhelm is extremely important.

It even works great with Taliyah’s ability as you’ll ping six damage to the enemy, then be able to strike through with Overwhelm.

We’ll have to see if the deck can afford another clunky 5-drop, but it does look great on paper.

Waste Walker

waste walker (lor card)

  • Waste Walker
    • 3 mana 3|3
    • Overwhelm
    • Text – When an allied landmark is destroyed, grant me +1|+1.

A three mana 3/3 Overwhelm? Sure I’ll bite. It can grow to a 4/4? Awesome. Wait, that’s not limited to one time!?

Waste Walker is a scary card. This isn’t your typical slow countdown type.. Waste Walker is a real beater.

Simply curve it after Rock Hopper, then when they proc the Roiling Sands it becomes a 4/4.

The health buff is extremely important as it prevents it from being traded with easily.

You can kind of compare this to Crescent Guardian, except you trade power for durability.

I’m not sure where this card fits just yet as Taliyah Malphite typically has a slower game plan.

Perhaps a more aggressive list with Chip, Rock Hopper, and Akshan.

Construct of Desolation

construct of desolation (lor card)

  • Construct of Desolation
    • 1 mana Burst spell
    • Text – Create a Ruinous Acolyte or an Obelisk of Power in hand.

This card was clearly designed for a Ruinous Acolyte deck and likely serves no further purpose.

Obelisk of Power does work well with them, so it’s nice to have the flexibility. Outside of this, don’t play Construct of Desolation.

Ruinous Acolyte

ruinous acolyte (lor card)

  • Ruinous Acolyte
    • 2 mana 2|1
    • Fearsome
    • Text – Play: Destroy an allied landmark to grant allied Ruinous Acolytes everywhere +1|+1.

We’ve got another Mistwraith/Legion Marauder type card added to Runeterra. However, I can’t get on board with this one.

At a baseline, we have a 2/1 Fearsome for two mana; bad. If we trigger its play effect to destroy our own landmark, we get a 3/2 Fearsome…so Arachnoid Horror…

I don’t think there’s enough landmark fodder to justify playing this.

You’re going to run out fast, and Ruinous Acolytes will stop growing. Just play Mistwraiths instead.

Obelisk of Power

obelisk of power (lor card)

  • Obelisk of Power
    • 1 mana landmark
    • Text – Countdown 3 or when I’m summoned or destroyed: Grant the strongest ally +2|+0.

Now this is a neat support card. What makes this unique is it triggers on summon, countdown, or destroy.

You can play it early to buff a unit to deal more damage or make a favourable trade. Paired with Fearsomes or Elusives it could put on some real pressure fast.

Primarily we have more support for Xerath’s archetype so we’ll likely see it there as a cheap enabler.

There’s often a home for cheap utility cards, so keep an eye out for this one.

Sandseer

sandseer (lor card)

  • Sandseer
    • 5 mana 5|4 follower
    • Fearsome
    • Text – Play: Draw 1. If you drew a landmark, repeat this effect.

Fair enough statline for its cost, has Fearsome, and replaces itself. Even has a chance to draw more than one card.

Pretty solid card at a baseline, but the biggest problem is its mana cost. Sandseer competes with Taliyah in the 5-drop slot.

We also have Herald of the Magus to consider.

This makes it hard to fit into most landmark decks to gain additional payoff.

However, the card is totally fine even just drawing one. Decent chance of seeing competitive play.

Unleashed Energy

unleashed energy (lor card)

  • Unleashed Energy
    • 3 mana Burst spell
    • Text -Give an ally +2|+1 this round or destroy an allied landmark to give an ally +4|+2 this round.

Without destroying a landmark this combat trick is laughable. We pay three mana for an extremely subpar buff.

Destroying a landmark makes a clear difference if we can afford it.

There’s some cute synergy with Obelisk of Power as we could potentially grant +6 power at burst speed.

Unleashed Energy is also a burst speed enabler for Risen Altar, allowing you to summon Dami’yin immediately for an open attack.

While there are some explosive play patterns this will require a massive deck building cost to support it.

So maybe skip this and just play Shaped Stone instead.

Servitude of Desolation

servitude of desolation (lor card)

  • Servitude of Desolation
    • 7 mana Burst spell
    • Text – Summon a Stasis Statue to store all allied units and landmarks that died or were destroyed this round inside.

This is a tough card to evaluate. Seven mana is a lot, but the ability is remarkably powerful.

At Burst speed this card can’t be prevented and could allow us to revive our board. Or can it?

Don’t forget the Stasis Statue is still vulnerable. While there aren’t a ton of landmark removal options, if this card does see play, people will lookout for it.

Scorched Earth answers this clean at less than half the cost of Servitude of Desolation.

But more importantly, your opponent can play around it. Just like with The Ruination, we can’t always afford to save it for the perfect moment.

If the opponent removes one target at a time and passes the turn, you’ll get minimal value.

I’m sure we’ll see some good “Gotcha!” moments, but it’s hard to imagine it’ll make the meta.

Bonus Deck: Xerath Akshan

shugos xerath akshan (lor deck)

[See Xerath Akshan deck details]

This deck aims to be aggressive with early powerhouses like Chip and Waste Walker.

Akshan and Rock Hopper function as enablers for your aggression so you can curve out efficiently.

Xerath may be out of place here but does provide a mid-late game removal engine to pair with all our self-destroy landmark effects.

Sandseer and Preservarium help sustain our card advantage and Risen Alter + Unleashed Energy can end the game with a bang!

We’re revealing the new Beyond the Bandlewood cards every day at our spoiler page. To build decks with the new cards, head to our Deck Builder.