Our Thoughts on Tahm Kench’s Card Reveal Package (Call of the Mountain)
Here are the newly revealed cards for CoTM:
- Tahm Kench (Bilgewater champion)
- Tahm Kench’s Bayou Brunch (Bilgewater spell, Tahm Kench’s champion spell)
- An Acquired Taste (Bilgewater spell)
- Wise Fry (Bilgewater unit)
- Shakedown (Bilgewater spell)
We’ll be giving our first impressions for every card and covering the different archetypes that Tahm Kench may be seen in (ranked by competitive viability).
Tahm is a super interesting new concept: every turn he gets an Acquired Taste, which he can use to Capture an opponent unit (in exchange for some HP), which they can only get back if Tahm dies.
When he’s captured 3 units (usually through Acquired Taste or his champ spell Bayou Brunch), he’ll level up, which will immediately Obliterate any opponent’s captured units, and release any allies that have been captured.
Keep in mind, releasing a unit just resummons a base copy of that unit, so it will lose any statuses, activate any summon effects, but NOT activate play effects, which means units like Boxtopus and Crusty Codger will come out at FULL health.
The goal is to try to use Tahm as board control and removal, while keeping him alive through the health cost of Acquired Taste by giving him healing or Bayou Brunches, until he’s able to level up.
Here are 4 ways to use Tahm Kench, ordered roughly by competitive viability:
1. Tahm Kench + Soraka
We don’t know how Soraka will work yet exactly; only that she’ll be in Targon and will have a healing synergy, but this seems like the developer intended way to play Tahm.
Combine with Gems for healing (Mountain Goat is great since the buff) and Bastion to keep Tahm protected. Tahm Kench’s support units also work super well with all the healing.
2. Tahm Kench + Freljord
Freljord actually has an amazing toolbox to support Tahm Kench’s archetype. Kindly Tavernkeeper to heal up your damaged units, Take Heart will always be turned on, not to mention cheap combat tricks like Troll Chant are really great here.
Augur of the Old Ones is a crazy combo that can make your Tahm unkillable over several turns. Lastly, Frostbites work really well with Tahm’s Acquired Taste.
3. Tahm Kench + Demacia
…Alright this one is probably getting a bit into the “experimental” territory. But in Demacia we can use Detain to give Tahm more level up triggers without sacrificing his HP. Chain Vest is also a hilarious way to try to keep Tahm’s health high over time.
And for the particularly brave, we can always attempt Unyielding Spirit to immortalize our Tahm to victory. Last but not least, Barriers work really well with Tahm’s Acquired Taste.
4. Tahm Kench + ….Discard?
Because Acquired Taste is given every turn, we can use them as a replenishable source of discard fodder instead of actually using them.
Combine with cards like Spacey Sketcher, Draven’s Axes, or most likely, the P&Z discard bundle for payoff.
Tahm Kench’s Bayou Brunch
Bayou Brunch is an interesting card. This allows Tahm to heal up in between snacks and is also Tahm’s champ spell, so additional copies of Tahm will help synergize with the game plan.
Outside of Tahm decks, this does have some ability to combo with Bilgewater’s built-in Elusive gameplan; take a power Elusive like Lounging Lizard or Golden Narwhal, and give it a big buff of one of your blockable units to push for Elusive lethals.
Dealing 1 damage to all of your existing units to gain +1|0 for each damaged unit just seems underwhelming. Even though this unit has Overwhelm built in, decks that want to be aggro generally have low health stats to begin with ranging from 1-3.
Overall, dealing that 1 extra bit of damage to your already low health units will only hurt you and make you more susceptible to their removals.
The “Vulnerable” keyword has been has been somewhat interesting for the game. You’re able to effectively remove units from the board through battle and disrupt your opponent’s game plan.
Good cases of this are when you’re able to make Zed or Miss Fortune vulnerable because they want to stick on the board and gain value on your attacking turns. They don’t want to be blocking your opponent’s attacks.
The best decks for Shakedown to hit are Undying decks and Ezreal decks; Undying lets us turn our non-blocking units into removal, and Ezreal with Shakedown gives 2 targets for Ez’s level up, as well as being a burst finisher option.
That being said, dealing 2 damage to your own units to make two of your opponents units vulnerable just doesn’t seem all that great given the current card pool.
Thanks for reading! Keep an eye out for the rest of our analysis as more cards come out and be sure to revisit our previous impressions for the set.