Day 9 of Guardians of the Ancient Reveals: Irelia
The end is here and the last is certainly not the least.
My name is Jordan “WhatAmI” Abronson and today I’ve got some sharp ones for you, prominently featuring a certain long-awaited blade mistress. Let’s see what she’s got.
You can theorycraft new decks with these cards right now by heading to the Deck Builder.
Lastly, to keep up with our previous expert impressions, click here.
Here are the new Ionia cards from the Guardians of the Ancient expansion:
- Irelia (champion)
- Vanguard’s Edge (spell and Irelia’s champion spell)
- Lead and Follow (spell)
For more expert impressions, be sure to also check out Swim’s video!
- 3 mana 3|2 Quick Attack champion
- Text: When I’m summoned or Round Start: if you have the attack token, create a Flawless Duet in Hand
- Level Up: 12+ Allies have attacked
- Irelia level 2
- 3 mana 4|3 Quick Attack champion
- Text: When I’m summoned or Round Start if you have the attack token, create a Flawless Duet in hand. When Allies attack create a Bladesurge in hand
- Flawless Duet
- 1 mana Fleeting Slow spell
- Text: Blade Dance 2.
- 0 mana Fleeting Burst spell
- Text: Swap Irelia with an ally
Holy dancing blades Batman, that is an awful lot of text.
Let’s try to break down the different parts here so we can get a passing understanding of exactly what this cool new champion does.
First and simplest she’s a three-mana three power Quick Attack unit.
Her health point being two means she’ll still die to a Mystic Shot or an Avalanche so Draven she ain’t, but we’ve seen how much pressure this type of unit can apply in the early game. Don’t underestimate this stat line.
Second, when you summon her, or anytime after that you have the attack token you get to pay one mana to Blade Dance two.
Blade Dance here means that you create that many blades attacking your opponent in a free attack.
Not that impressive by itself, but the question is what can we do with it?
Third, when she levels up, she can both protect herself from targeted enemy removal or jump around in combat. Both extremely powerful abilities.
My first thought on Irelia is that she is extremely synergistic but really needs a supporting cast to do well.
I’m looking at Azir, Miss Fortune, or potentially even Quinn or Garen to step up to the plate here and help her out.
With the right team and set up she could be an extremely formidable and tricky aggressive champion, but I think it’s going to take some serious testing to figure out exactly where this dangerous beauty fits in.
Vanguard’s Edge/Irelia’s Vanguard’s Edge
- Vanguards Edge
- 7 mana Slow spell
- Text: Blade Dance 3 pick an ally to attack with the Blades
Ok, so on one hand seven mana is an awful lot.
On the other, this is kind of like Rally in Ionia.
I seriously doubt this card will be good enough despite that, but every time an effect gets color-shifted like this it’s important to keep an eye on it.
And as Irelia’s champion spell this will definitely cause its share of blowouts.
Lead and Follow/Flawless Duet
- Lead and Follow
- 2 mana Fast spell
- Text: Recall an Ally to create a Flawless Duet in hand
This is another card that, just like Irelia, definitely isn’t good enough on its own.
However the more and cheaper blade dance effects there are the better Azir and Miss Fortune specifically sound.
This one being able to trigger on spell mana alone is another point in its favor.
Also in decks like the ones we are talking about where we are almost as much a combo deck as an aggro deck, points of protection are very important.
This spell fills multiple roles, even if it doesn’t fill them perfectly, and so it could definitely see play in the right archetype.
So I noticed something interesting about Irelia and the Blades in general.
They only Obliterate themselves if they successfully leave combat, such as if they aren’t blocked.
Potentially, this means that they can be used to feed into massive They Who Endures in the late game.
Deck Code: CECAGBACAECQ6BIBAIDASEJMGIAQEAQKAEAQCIQDAICAEBALAIAQENBZAEAQCBIA
This idea is probably too spicy to be competitive, but there’s something in me that always goes back to this card.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask WhatAmI during his streams (around 10AM PST basically every day).