Empires of the Ascended LoR Card Impressions: Pre-Azir (Sand Soldier, Emperor’s Dais, and More)

Empires of the Ascended LoR Card Impressions: Pre-Azir (Sand Soldier, Emperor’s Dais, and More)

Day 12 of Empires of the Ascended (Azir Support Reveals)

Two more days, two more days! I’m Jordan “WhatAmI” Abronson and I’ve got the second to last set of spoilers for you before the Sun Disc drops on Wednesday.

Today’s reveals include Sand Soldiers, which if you play League of Legends, you’ll recognize from the champion Azir.

We saw Azir as part of the Empires of the Ascended video trailer, so we can probably expect him to show up over the next two days!

Let’s see what today’s brewing up for us.

Here are the new Shurima cards from Empires of the Ascended:

  • Dunekeeper/Sand Soldier (follower/follower)
  • Emperor’s Dais (landmark)
  • Sandcrafter (follower)
  • Desert’s Wrath (spell)
  • Inspiring Marshal (follower)
  • Sandstone Chimera (follower)

For more breakdowns from our experts, don’t miss Swim’s video below:

If you missed out on previous articles, check out the rest of the card reveals.

Dunekeeper/Sand Soldier

Dunekeeper (LoR Card) Sand Soldier (LoR Card)

  • Dune Keeper
    • 1 Mana 2|1 follower
    • Text: When I’m summoned, summon a Sand Soldier
  • Sand Soldier
    • 1 mana 1|1 follower, Ephemeral
    • Text: Nexus Strike: Deal 1 to the enemy Nexus.

This seems like an absolutely sweet one drop.

I can see this seeing play in aggro, midrange, or even potentially control style Shurima decks.

Unchecked it swings in for four damage on turn one and later it goes wide enough for one mana that it’s hard to block out effectively.

On defense, you are getting two blockers for one mana and often going to shut down or hard-stall an opponent’s attack.

Even beyond that, this dude gets sick synergy with any sacrifice effect along with Hecarim or even Endure.

Shurima was missing a power one drop and Dunekeeper delivers and with some to spare.

Emperor’s Dais

Emperor's Dais (LoR Card)

  • Emperor’s Dais
    • 2 mana landmark
    • Text: When Allies attack, summon an attacking Sand Soldier

So the first question that comes to mind is “Is this card better than Shark Chariot.”

And the answer I come up with is, “maaaybe?”

It’s going to always proc, so it gets a lot of bonus value out of rally effects, which hopefully makes up for the lesser damage output involved.

The second question however knocks on the door with “Is this Shark Chariot’s new best friend.”

To which the answer is “Oh Sun Disc, yes.”

We are seeing some serious Ephemeral aggro support out of these new reveals.

Will it be enough to take Hecarim’s power out of obscurity and make him a tier-one menace once more?

Only time will tell, but as anyone who was around in beta knows, danger-pony is not to be underestimated.

Sandcrafter

Sandcrafter (LoR Card)

  • Sandcrafter
    • 4 mana 3|5 follower
    • Text: Attack-Summon an attacking Sand Soldier.

I have to admit I am a little bit less hyped for this one.

Perhaps if there is a Sand Soldier archetype then this will be a key role-player, but I am not really seeing it outside of such.

Unlike the one drop, it’s slow at four mana and doesn’t block nearly as well, and unlike the landmark, it is susceptible to all sort of removal, including the new vulnerable granting effects Shurima is brimming with.

3|5 is a nice stat line to be sure, but I’m not sure the payoff here is going to be worth the four mana investment.

Shen this ain’t.

Desert’s Wrath

Desert's Wrath (LoR Card)

  • Desert’s Wrath
    • 4 mana Slow spell
    • Text: Grant allied Sand Soldiers everywhere +1|+0. Summon two Sand Soldiers.

Grumpy dunes over here let all of your Sand Soldiers do their best monkey impression, which is kind of sweet.

Again though, four mana is a pretty hefty price tag for something that mostly goes away at the end of the turn.

I think my verdict on this is the same as the last one.

If we see Sand Soldiers be a real thing, perhaps with some serious Azir support, then this could be a key cog in the machine.

If not, It’s hard to see this finding much of a home anywhere else.

Inspiring Marshal

Inspiring Marshal (LoR Card)

  • Inspiring Marshal
    • 5 mana 4|6 follower
    • Text: When you summon another ally give it +2|+0 this round.

This one is really interesting and immediately makes me think of playing it in a sort of swarm-style Jinx aggro deck.

The issue here is that the five mana cost basically immediately rules it out of contention.

“Five mana,” and “swarm enabler,” have really only worked together on one card, and Neverglade Collector was pretty chill with everybody already being in play.

It does make your Sand Soldiers big, and it does have a big butt so it can block and attack in combat pretty well, but I’ve got to say I am pretty iffy on this card’s viability.

Perhaps Azir will show up tomorrow and prove me wrong.

Sandstone Chimera

Sandstone Chimera (LoR Card)

  • Sandstone Chimera
    • 12 mana 6|6
    • Text: Reduce my cost by one for each time an ally attacked this game.

Big daddy flyboy here reads a lot like he wants to be a swarm-payoff.

You make your ridiculously wide swings on the first couple of turns and he can realistically come down close to free after a turn five or six attack.

The problem is that he’s missing keywords.

Without Elusive, Overwhelm, or even Fearsome, by the time in the game he gets to exist the “Payoff,” for all your hard work is just getting chump blocked all day or even out-scaled.

This is another really cool concept that seems to be working at cross-purposes to itself as far as actual deck building goes.

Crowd Favorite this ain’t folks, and unless there is a crazy midrange Sand Soldier deck that wants this card I’m not seeing it make much a splash.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t normally drop one of these but today I think it’s important.

Basically, all of the cards spoiled today with the possible exception of the one and two drops are saying “Azir is coming tomorrow, and he’s going to be big, get hyped.”

They all look pretty mediocre on their own but depending on the size of the payoffs that we see they could be synergy-enablers in an impressive Shurima deck headed up by bird-man general himself.

All this to say, tune in tomorrow for the finality of the Shurima spoilers and to understand perhaps a little better what payoffs we are actually working towards with the sandiness that we got today.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask WhatAmI during his streams (around 10AM PST basically every day).

WhatAmI streams at twitch.tv/xxwhatamixx around 10AM PST every day