The Top 10 Bandlewood Cards Worth Crafting
Hey, it’s Trevor “Shugo” Yung here and today I’m bringing you my top 10 list of Bandlewood cards that are worth crafting!
While there’s a ton of awesome new cards to play with, some of us have limited resources to experiment with.
If you’ve been saving up those shards/wildcards before committing to the craft, then look no further!
A few things to note before we get into it.
- The goal of this list is to prioritize universally useful cards. Most of these cards can either fit into multiple archetypes, or offer great deck-building potential.
- I’ve excluded Champions as most of these are tailored towards a particular archetype. Besides, there are no rules when it comes to Champions. Craft what you like!
- These cards are in no particular order.
…Pokey Stick..? That’s actually a card? Yep, and it came outta nowhere as the final reveal before the patch. This caught us all by surprise as it wasn’t even properly showcased, but regardless we’re happy to have it!
You know how regions have their staple core spells? Shadow Isles has Glimpse Beyond, Demacia has Single Combat, Bilgewater has Make it Rain, etc. Pokey Stick is that card for Bandle City.
It’s useful in basically every deck as a cheap removal spell that replaces itself. When the meta calls for one damage “pings”, Pokey Stick is the absolute premium answer.
Having the option to target anything ensures Pokey Stick is always useful. Even if we have to target the Nexus to cycle it away, it comes at a low cost. Heck, we’ve done that with Statikk Shock plenty of times and that’s far less efficient.
To top it off, Pokey Stick is a great find off of Manifest and helps round out the consistency.
This little fella has caused quite the commotion in the community. While certainly adorable, Otterpus provides a ton of utility for a simple one-mana follower.
You gain hand disruption, a 1|1 blocker, and free information right from the first turn! Attune ensures you can Prank from the get-go, and if you hit a spell you’ve effectively removed a card from their hand.
The +2 cost is brutal for decks that rely on their spells. With Bandle City’s limited card pool it’s hard to not justify running Otterpus.
Pranks have more than proven themselves useful. The fact they can be played from turn one makes it near impossible to avoid.
Best suggestion? Mulligan away your spells and hope you don’t draw them. When you do, don’t be afraid to cast them or they’ll inevitably become unplayable.
3. Piercing Darkness
We’re finally getting introduced to some powerful slow spells. Piercing Darkness brings a new tool for the Shadow Isles control archetypes.
Drain is extremely important as it allows us to not only remove a threat but additionally recover off of it. This helps make up for its speed as the healing buys us time to regain tempo.
Where this card really shines is alongside Senna. Accelerating to fast speed makes Piercing Darkness usable reactively.
Instead of dying to a Decimate you can cast it in response and heal first. In desperate times you can even target your own units to better ensure the healing.
A 2|2 for two mana that generates a card of our choice is already an excellent baseline. But the real potential lies in the region combinations.
Take Shadow Isles for example. Vile Feast, Glimpse Beyond, Black Spear, and Unspeakable Horror are all great choices. However, we gain access to some unique spells we’d otherwise never include in our deck.
Mist’s Call and Splinter Soul are both highly situational, but very powerful at the right moment. You can revive a champion or retrigger a valuable summon effect.
Passage Unearned has always been specifically a tech card that’s dead in most matchups, but amazing in others. That’s another spell you have access to at no cost other than running Conchologist.
This card provides so much value that’s otherwise not normally seen, and I’ve only touched on just one region example!
Bandle City also has excellent cheap spells so you’re almost always getting something useful. I’ll leave the rest for you to explore.
5. Purpleberry Shake
You know all those obnoxious combat tricks you hate to play against? Sharpsight, Troll Chant, Twin Discipline, etc.
Well, how about one that costs ONLY ONE MANA!?
Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but there’s no denying that Purpleberry Shake is Bandle City’s staple buff spell.
At one mana it’s so efficient and can help protect any units with sub-three health. In some cases, it’s actually just a one mana Sharpsight.
While it does have its limitations with mid-larger-sized units, it still functions as cheap protection and spell trigger.
6. Station Archivist
Wow, talk about value. Station Archivist is a spellcaster’s dream! The ability to effectively select and draw a spell from your deck is beyond what’s normally capable.
Of course, we’re limited to a fleeting copy, but assuming we’re casting the spell on that turn, it’s a small drawback.
Go Hard is the obvious spell of choice due to its cheap cost and our desire to cast it multiple times.
We get to generate more copies into our deck and also find them easier. Outside of this, being able to find cheap answers like Mystic Shot is invaluable.
There’s a fair deck building cost to effectively use Station Archivist, similar to how Stalking Shadows required a heavier unit base to be consistent.
What makes Station Archivist special is its potential to work with every single future spell that’s released. We could be looking at a devastating combo piece for all we know.
7. Stress Defense
Stress Defense is essentially Bandle City’s version of Hush. It stops big combo shenanigans while doubling as an emergency protection spell.
Six health is no joke, so it’s not uncommon to target your own unit to survive damage.
The flexibility is what makes this card so great. It’s also at the perfect mana cost, allowing us to Manifest it with Conchologist.
While its inclusion will be meta-dependent, it’s undoubtedly a staple consideration when building with Bandle City.
8. Hidden Pathways
This card is almost as crazy as pre-nerfed Deep Meditation. While it won’t reach that two mana cost, drawing two cards for three mana is exceptional.
Instead of having a clause that checks for reduced cost each turn, we simply need to create two cards to enable the discount all game.
Bandle City as a region makes this a cakewalk, so it’s almost impossible for Hidden Pathways to be offline.
Hidden Pathways does just what we want without any adjustments.
While some “draw spells” are limited to finding a certain card type, Hidden Pathways is just a straight-up draw two.
This means it functions in every archetype provided you meet its create-two requirement. Absolutely insane card and a must-have for most Bandle City decks.
9. Rite of the Arcane
Okay, I know this one’s very deck-dependent, but it’s hard to not include a three mana four damage spell. With the right synergies, it also works towards level-up progress and enables landmarks that you want to be destroyed.
Unlike most removal with two targets, this one is hard to interrupt. There are few effective ways to reactively destroy the landmark barring something like Scorched Earth.
Just like past Shurima spells, it also has the ability to destroy a mana gem if needed. Three mana four damage is where it’s at, so be sure to add this to your list of spells to play around.
10. Fleet Admiral Shelly
I wasn’t planning to include any Epic cards as most of these are very archetype exclusive. While this is mostly true for Fleet Admiral Shelly, I just had to break the rules because this card is CRAZY.
Don’t be fooled by its mediocre stats. Shelly is a massive threat that can buff your entire board (except itself) at burst speed. With Pranks and other cheap generated spells, it’s easy to get immediate value.
If you bank at least one spell mana by turn five, you can play Fleet Admiral Shelly and threaten to double spell thanks to its Attune. Zero cost spells get even nastier but for practical sake, it’ll mostly be one to two mana spells.
Alongside Nami things just get wild as you’re multi-buffing everything constantly. Since Shelly doesn’t grow itself, it’s often the weakest target on board.
This works in your favor as Nami can buff Shelly to keep outside of removal range.
We’ve also seen it played alongside Targon’s Sparklefly shell. With Gems, Pale Cascade, and Sunblessed Vigor there’s never a shortage of spells.
Don’t sleep on Shelly!
I hope you enjoyed my list of top 10 worthy crafts for Beyond the Bandlewood. Don’t forget, this is just a guide for those with finite resources so that you have the building blocks of the expansion.
There’s a ton of archetype-specific cards to try, so be sure to explore whatever interests you most!
Shugo’s Productivity Thought of the Day
How much of your life is lived on autopilot? If you stopped to ask yourself “What do I want to do right now?”, would it match what you’re actually doing?
Take control of your time. Reevaluate each moment and follow your own course. It’s too easy to drift off into nowhere.