Top 10 Cards from A Curious Journey
Hey everyone, Kuvira here! It’s been exactly one week since the new set “A Curious Journey” got released and players have had enough time to experiment with all the new cards and create lots of fun new archetypes.
The meta has not settled yet but we’ve got a pretty good idea of the general power level of all the new cards.
Today I’m making a top 10 of the strongest cards from the last set using data and opinions that I’ve gathered throughout this week.
Note, as you look through the article you’ll see Meta Stats references. Here are the column categories for reference since the screenshots may be cut off if the card was in the middle of the list:
#10: Assistant Librarian
Assistant Librarian is a 2 mana 2|2 Fae with the Fated keyword and a really strong effect, it draws a card on Nexus Strike.
The keyword Fated on such a cheap unit coupled with Nexus Strike is incredibly important. Blocking Fated units can be very scary since they’re almost guaranteed to win the combat trade when used with cheap Burst speed spells like Sharpsight or Pale Cascade. Assistant Librarian also works with all the other Fae-related spells and units.
Here’s an example of a deck that gets the most out of Assistant Librarian:
It’s important to note that Overwhelm damage will always trigger Nexus Strike so Zenith Blade and Crystal Ibex are great combos with Assistant Librarian.
#9: Vulpine Wanderer
Vulpine Wander is the only new Frejlord card that makes it in this top 10 and probably is the only competitive one from the whole Udyr batch of cards.
It’s a 2 mana 2|2 follower that creates a Stance Swap.
Stance Swap is a 3 mana Slow speed spell that lets you choose between multiple stances:
- Wildclaw Stance grants +2 attack and Overwhelm to a unit, this can be used as a way to put pressure or finish games.
- Ram Stance deals 1 damage to everything except the targeted ally unit, it’s a great spell to deal with wide boards vs aggression.
- Boar Stance grants +2 health and regeneration to a unit, this is great on a Challenger unit or any unit that needs to attack.
- Bear Stance grants +2|+2 to an ally, it’s a classic situational buff.
The flexibility of all these stances, from the board wipe to the overwhelm finisher makes Vulpine Wanderer a must in every Frejlord Midrange deck including all the Udyr decks.
This is a good example of a Frejlord Midrange list that uses Vulpine Wanderer well:
#8: Durand Sculptor
Durand Sculptor is one of the Galio Durand Followers released this set. It’s a 2 mana 2|2 follower with a simple but powerful effect, it grants every other summoned unit +1 health.
This card does well in Galio decks as a way to buff formidable units, effectively granting them +1|+1 but can also be used in any Demacia deck that tries to swarm like the Demacia version of Yordles in Arms.
Currently, the best deck that uses Durand Sculptor is again Scouts:
Granting MF 1 Health is crucial and makes her harder to remove. The generated value with units like Marai Warden, Island Navigator, and Quinn is also huge since all of them summon 2 units.
Durand Sculptor is somewhat like a Ranger’s Resolve in this list.
# 7: Grandfather Fae
Grandfather Fae is a 2 mana 1|2 Fae follower that creates an Owl Cat when summoned, he also has a permanent effect that grants all Fae units +1 attack on summon including the Owl Cat he generates.
Overall this card on its own generates a good amount of value, a total of 4|3 stats for 2 mana. It is similar to House Spider but with a much higher value ceiling.
Grandfather Fae card is a must include in all Fae decks, the amount of attack it gives, especially when double drawn puts lots of pressure on the opponent. It also swings Fearsome matchups since all Fae gain enough attack to block.
The fact that this card is a multi-region Ionia/Bandle City makes it shine in Bandle Tree, Yordles in Arms, and even Tristana decks.
In this deck, Grandfather Fae represents a trigger for Yordles in Arms, a Fearsome blocker, and a way to go wide.
# 6: Wallop
Wallop is Gnar’s Champion spell, like all the other champion spells it is also a main-able card. It’s a 3 mana Fast speed Stun that also deals 1 to the unit.
Bandle City is a region that somewhat lacked open attack punishers, they had to use at least 6 mana (Minimorph) to stop a big unit on an open attack. Wallop gives Bandle another layer of protection and a great way to slow down the opponent’s game plan for only 3 mana.
In Gnar Swain, for example, the combination of Arachnoid Sentry as a development punisher and Wallop for open attacks makes it very hard for the opponent to deal damage with attacks.
# 5: Gleaming Lantern
Like Poros, Elnuks, and Yordles, in this set we’ve got a new tribe, Faes. Gleaming lantern is a 3 mana 3|3 Fae follower with an effect that makes the first Fae unit you play each round cost 2 less.
This card needs to be removed as soon as it is played because of the amount of value it generates and how much it accelerates games.
Coupled with wide board payoff cards like Yordles in Arms or Golden Aegis, Gleaming Lantern is a major threat.
# 4: Papercraft Dragon:
This is one of the multiple Fae units released on this set and probably is the best one of them all.
Papercraft Dragon is a 5 mana 2|2 Double Attack attach unit. Attach is one of the 2 new keywords from this set, it reads:
Play me on an ally to give it my stats and keywords while I’m attached, when that ally leaves play, recall me.
Double Attack is a very rare and scary keyword, when coupled with Overwhelm these two keywords can easily OTK the opponent since the first strike removes the unit(while dealing overwhelm damage) and the second strike hits the nexus for full damage.
One of the things that makes this card so strong is the fact that when the buffed unit leaves the board, Papercraft Dragon goes back to the hand, meaning that you can replay it on another unit and restart your combo whenever you want.
It is also very important to note that Silence and Minimorph do not remove the 2|2 buff nor the double attack, meaning that you can give overwhelm to the unit after they try to stop it and still threaten to finish the game.
Papercraft Dragon gave birth to multiple fun OTK decks that are still highly competitive if not tier 1. Currently, the two best Papercraft Dragon decks are Gnar Akshan and Fizz Riven :
# 3: Shield of Durand
Shield of Durand is the new hot protection spell in Demacia. It’s a 3 mana Burst speed health buff that GRANTS +0|+3 this turn and +0|+2 on the next round start. This makes it worth a total of 5 health stats for only 3 mana. When combined with a formidable unit this represents a +5|+5 buff again for only 3 mana.
This card is what makes Galio decks playable and can single-handedly win games when used on the right unit.
This is a great example of a Galio deck that utilizes this card to its full potential when combined with healing:
# 2: Petricite Broadwing
Another good Demacia Challenger? YEP. It’s a 0|3 Challenger with formidable that can be played on turn 2 it is the only 2 drop Challenger unit that doesn’t die to Mystic Shot. The formidable keyword makes a unit deal damage equal to its health instead of attack.
Petricite Broadwing shines in Galio decks, with cards like Durand Protege, Durand Architect, Durand Sculptor, and especially Shield of Durand. Combined with all these cards Petricite Broadwing can single-handedly win games on its own.
On top of having a very high-value ceiling, Petricite Broadwing’s value floor is also extremely high, this 2 mana 3|3 Challenger can be played in basically any Demacia deck regardless of the speed of the deck or archetype. That explains its 63.8% inclusion rate in Demacia decks.
One of the best decks that use Petricite Broadwing this meta is Scouts with a very solid win rate:
# 1: Gnar
Gnar is the king of the meta right now, he’s seeing play in 57.5% of Bandle City decks which is extremely high for a champion to make it in so many different archetypes within the same region. He’s also the second-highest played card in the whole game, coming in right after Pokey Stick.
He represents everything you want in a champion, easy to level up, great stats/keywords, Great keyword, insanely high-value floor, and ceiling, creates a cheap removal spell that draws one and grants Vulnerable to remove a big threat, can finish games with his Overwhelm on his level up…
As you can see, Gnar just does it all, the flexibility of the card being in both Frejlord and Bandle City regions meaning you can play gnar with Frejlord + X or Bandle City + X adds to his insane power level.
When combined with protection spells like Troll Chant or Sharpsight Gnar becomes very hard to remove with spells like Get Excited, The Box, Grasp of The Undying, Darkness, etc…
Even if you try to remove him with Challenger units he’ll at least always get a pokey stick out from his strike effect which ends up being either even for the gnar player or better in terms of value.
The only effective way to deal with Gnar is to use hard removal cards like Vengeance, Sunburst, or Minimorph, and since all these spells cost 6 mana while gnar is only 4, dealing with him usually ends up in a lost value trade.
Gnar can be played with literally any Bandle City or Frejlord deck, but the strongest ladder deck that uses him in my opinion is Trundle Timelines:
I hope you guys enjoyed this top 10. Feel free to DM me on Twitter if you have any questions about this article or just want to talk about LoR stuff!