Legends of Runeterra Decks to Try in the Beyond the Bandlewood Expansion
Legends of Runeterra Beyond the Bandlewood is here, and that means it’s time to look at new decks! The advent of Multi-Region cards means there are so many more ways to figure out a powerful combo. There are new meta ideas that I want to primarily explore in this blog. We’ve got nine new champions and I want to cover as many of them as possible. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. From new mechanics, new champions, and new deck archetypes, it’s a great time for Legends of Runeterra. It’s uncertain if these are going to dominate the meta, but that’s something I want to return to in a couple of weeks.
If you missed out on the card reveals, we’ve got you covered here. Perhaps one of the most interesting things to me was seeing a regular follower now being a champion – Senna! So of course we’re gonna look at a Senna deck. I think she’ll fit nicely in with Veigar. There are champion combos that I think are naturally going to come out of this and be powerful. Veigar Senna, Fizz Nami, Lucian Poppy, Caitlyn Teemo are just some examples. I have a feeling that Teemo/Caitlyn is going to be absolutely maddening. Every card you draw is going to be a game of Russian Roulette. Puffcaps, Flashbangs, over and over. This might be the most interesting expansion to me personally.
So let’s talk about it!
Darkness! Darkness is Everywhere! (Veigar/Senna Control Deck)
Darkness is a very interesting card. Darkness is a 3-cost Slow Spell and deals 2 to an enemy. That sounds mediocre, right? Well, when you have Level Two Veigar (Grand Overseer Veigar), your Darkness can target anything! On top of that, for as long as you have Veigar in play, Darkness, no matter where it is, grants 1 extra damage. So if you wait out 15-20 turns (if you need to), you can potentially one-shot the other player’s Nexus. That’s hypothetical though.
So what about that 3 mana? We need to make it cost less, if possible. That way we can cast these frequently and keep control of the game. We do have a follower that can reduce the cost of all of our Darkness spells, so we can drop it to about 0 Mana. So why bring Senna along? She makes our Slow spells become Fast, and she also creates Darkness spells, if we don’t have any in hand. We also have a few creatures that create a Darkness spell if we don’t already have it. So we can get Darkness casts until we get Veigar online. His level-up isn’t too bad with all of this in mind.
How Does It Work?
Our goal is to bombard the other player with as much darkness as humanly possible. The only real downside for me is quite a few of the cards are mana intensive. Veigar and Senna cost ⅘ Mana a piece, and Senna can’t level up until she’s in play. Veigar however, can in theory level up before he even shows up. Now, it’s not likely in this deck, but it’s possible. It requires us to hold a Darkness in hand (thanks to Darkbulb Acolyte). Then we need to constantly attack with Twisted Catalyzer.
That and we need to also constantly create those Darkness spells. So it’s not going to really happen until Veigar shows up and that’s fine. We have some excellent control spells to slow the game down, that’s for sure. A few of our units are new and get buffed when we slay an enemy with a spell. Demacian Sentinel is the biggest bargain of the two. A ½ for 1 with Fearsome, the first time you slay a unit with a spell, she grants +2/+1.
Buhru Sentinel is the next “slay something and get buffed” card. A 3/3 Fearsome for 3, the first time you slay a unit with a spell, they gain +2/+1. These cards are great ways to be aggressive in the early game if you have a spell that can slay someone. Vile Feast, The Box, these both work. If you have a Darkness, it can too. So let’s talk about how this deck really goes. We need Veigar and Senna. When you summon Veigar, he creates a Darkness in hand if you don’t have one. Each Round Start, you grant your Darkness everywhere +1 Damage.
Normally it’s a Slow Spell that does 2 damage. But with time and patience, it grows. With Senna, it becomes a Fast Spell. Senna, on top of that, summons a Darkness into your hand and when she’s attacking. So you should cast a Darkness before you play her. Make sure you get a fresh one if you need to remove an enemy threat. When you’ve done 12+ damage with Darkness spells, you can level up Veigar.
The great part about Senna (on top of the other stuff), is that our Darkness now casts at Fast Speed. That means you can cast it before, during, and after combat. You declare an attack with her, pop some spell mana and blast someone with Darkness. You just have to deal damage with it, doesn’t matter to whom. Once you’ve slain 3 enemy units with spells (or an allied Lucian dies) she levels up. It’s very easy to get her leveled up. You could in theory defeat three+ enemies in one go! Withering Wail hits all enemies for 1 damage, so it could be enough. With Senna in play, you can just keep using Darkness spells.
Another way to do this is to cast The Box. It deals 3 damage to each enemy summoned this round. Do it on your opponent’s turn, and just deflate an aggressive move. Level Two Senna still has Quick Attack and is now a 5/5. She still has the other abilities. Now your damage and kill spells are Fast and cost 1 less. This includes Darkness. We’re hoping to cast at least one Stilted Robemaker, but ideally all three. A ¾ for 4, makes all Darkness spells everywhere cost 1 less. If you can make it cost 0 mana, suddenly, we’re on a roll. Attack with Senna, get a Darkness, cast it. Since every turn Veigar is out it gains +1 spell damage, it’s more terrifying.
The goal is to get Grand Overseer Veigar and keep him alive. We keep him alive by constantly denying our opponents a board. Plenty of Darkness spells and removal spells. Once Level Two Veigar hits the board, it’s the end of the game. Hopefully. We’ve hopefully spent the game buffing our Darkness spells, making them do tons of damage, and cost as little as possible. In a perfect world, we’ve got 0-cost Darkness spells that hit for 10+ damage.
From there, take careful aim, and just bombard the other with Darkness bombs. The downside is that if we lose our access to darkness spells, we’re at a disadvantage. At least in a pinch, we’ve got cards like The Ruination to decimate the board, Vengeance to eliminate one unit, and Piercing Darkness to drain 5 from another unit.
Veigar (4) x3
Senna (5) x3
Demacian Slayer (1) x3
Darkbulb Acolyte (2) x3
Twisted Catalyst (2) x3
Buhru Sentinel (3) x3
Stilted Robemaker (4) x3
Vile Feast (2) x3
The Box (4) x1
Hidden Pathways (5) x3
Withering Wail (5) x3
Piercing Darkness (6) x3
Vengeance (7) x3
The Ruination (9) x3
Overall, I’m a fan of this deck. I still think it needs something to make it really go. I’d consider swapping the Demacian Slayer with Darkbulb Acolyte instead. It costs 2 mana instead of 1, but it creates a Darkness if you don’t have one in hand already. So it’s a very useful card. Wizened Wizard is also powerful since it refills 1 Spell Mana each Round Start. If you need another “create a Darkness card”, consider Solari Sentinel, which you could slot in for the Buhru Sentinel. I was really torn between these two if I could be honest. As far as Beyond the Bandlewood decks go in Legends of Runeterra, I really like this one. I like the potential to play safe and slow, and suddenly destroy someone in one hit.
Make Your Opponent Hate Card Draw (Caitlyn/Teemo Combo Deck)
Do you want your opponent to never want a card to draw ever again? Do you or someone you know hate Teemo, but somehow wish he was more irritating? Well, look no further than Caitlyn/Teemo! She just drops shots and adds more annoying cards into your opponents’ deck, called Flashbomb Traps. However, unlike Teemo, hers drop into the top 10 cards in the enemy deck. Since she’s a 3/3 Quick Attack, she’s going to be very safe in the early game. Since we aren’t running any buffs, we have to be a little creative.
Hexcore Foundry is going to help, and so will a few neat “draw” spells. Our opponent’s going to perish by simply drawing cards and feeling bad about it. That’s what makes this deck so great. Caitlyn’s not enough though. That’s why we also have Teemo! We’ve got even more cards that produce Poison Puffcaps in the opponents’ deck! Beyond the Bandlewood was incredibly kind to both Teemo and Caitlyn. Not only do we not fear our opponent drawing cards, but we also want them to. We’re even going to help them do it!
How Does It Work?
If you’ve come to these blog posts in the past, you’re familiar with Teemo decks. He floods your opponent’s deck with Poison Puffcaps. Whenever he strikes the enemy Nexus, he puts 5 Poison Puffcaps on random cards in the enemy deck. Since he’s Elusive, it’s very easy. However, he’s a 1/1 for 1, so he’s easy to kill. This means we need more ways to do this! He levels up when you’ve planted 15+ Poison Puffcaps, but he doesn’t have to see it.
We combine this with Caitlyn, who plants 2 Flashbomb Traps into your opponent’s deck (in the top 10 cards) whenever she strikes anyone. She has Quick Attack and is a 3/3, so she’s a bit sturdier. When your opponent draws a card with Poison Puffcaps or Flashbomb Traps on them, they take 1 damage to their Nexus per Trap.
That’s why AVA Achiever is so powerful. A 4/4 for 6, it puts 3 Poison Puffcaps on random cards in the enemy deck when summoned, and on Round End. So even if you aren’t attacking, they’re suffering. On top of that, Traps on enemy cards are doubled when activated. We combo this with Level Two Teemo. Level Two Teemo is a 2/2 Elusive, and when he strikes the enemy Nexus, he doubles the Poison Puffcaps in the enemy deck.
You can probably already see where this is going. We could see our opponent draw into a card, and suddenly take 5-6 damage without much difficulty. In addition, we have Puffcap Peddler, a classic Teemo deck card. Whenever you cast a spell, you plant 3 Poison Puffcaps on random cards in the enemy deck through the Peddler. We have plenty of low-cost spells, many of which affect our win condition. Since we want the other player to draw cards once our combo is set up, we can cast Insider Knowledge. Both players draw 2, on a 3-cost Fast Spell.
Though a bit more expensive, Most Wanted is a Slow Speed spell for 5 mana. But you pick a player to discard their lowest cost card. Then they draw 3! Once you’ve got lots of traps in the enemy deck, you certainly want to cast it on them. Aloof Travelers helps in its own special way. A new Yordle, both players draw 1 when it’s summoned, then your opponent discards their highest-cost card. How else can we put more stuff in our opponent’s deck? Justice Rider for 4 mana is here to serve. Anytime our opponent draws, you plant 1 Flashbomb Trap within the top 10 cards of their deck. Suddenly, all this draw is dangerous in a different way. The enemy will defeat themselves. Sure it’s dangerous for them to get more cards, but when drawing deals 4-5 damage, it’s a whole other matter.
Teemo (1) x3
Caitlyn (3) x3
Hexcore Foundry (3) x3
Puffcap Pup (2) x3
Sting Officer (2) x3
Puffcap Peddler (3) x3
Aloof Travelers (4) x3
Chump Whump (4) x3
Justice Rider (4) x3
AVA Achiever (6) x2
Mystic Shot (2) x3
Insider Knowledge (3) x3
Piltover Peacemaker (3) x3
Most Wanted (5) x2
I absolutely hate and love this deck in equal amounts. It’s infuriating! You can get started on the first few turns. A turn-1 Teemo into a turn-2 Puffcap Pup is very threatening. Then on turn 3, a Sting Officer or Puffcap Peddler, and things will spiral out of control further. It’s not going to take much time to make your opponent spiral out of control, taking damage every turn. Do I want to see the other player doing something like this? Absolutely not. Will I? Yeah, probably. I think this will see play in some fashion or another.
Take a Dip; The Water’s Fine (Fizz/Nami Aggro)
There are a lot of ways to build Nami/Fizz, that’s for sure. Some people like to run a 50/50 blend of followers/spells. Others, like me, would rather have more spells. The idea is we run some Elusive creatures, so we can just slap people mostly without any retaliation. Then we constantly cast spells, to make sure our opponent can’t defeat them in combat. Since casting spells ultimately makes us more powerful, we really only need a couple of allies to swing with.
Lots of recall function, direct damage, and counterplay await you in this deck. We can also buff our allies through more than just Nami. Fleet Admiral Shelly was a card I immediately flagged for use. For every two spells, you play in a round grants all other allies +1/+1? Oh yes.
How Does It Work?
This deck is really all about Nami. She grants your allies a buff (one at a time) whenever you cast a spell. As long as your ally isn’t Immobile, she buffs. So let’s talk about her first. A ⅔ for 3 with Attune (grants you 1 spell mana when cast), she’s a wonderful champion. When you cast a spell, grant +1/+0 to your weakest other ally that isn’t Immobile. So she can’t buff herself. So we aren’t going to attack with Nami. We protect her at all costs. You level up with her when you’ve gained 7+ Spell Mana this game, but she doesn’t have to witness it. If you play it slow and safe the first few turns, you can easily get that.
Just make sure you’re using what you have, so you can gain more. When you level up Nami, she’s a ¾ Attune. Suddenly, Nami is way more terrifying. She grants +2/+1 to the weakest other ally that isn’t Immobile, whenever you cast a spell. The hard part is balancing spamming spells versus keeping cards close to your chest. For example, you might want to hold some mana to bounce Nami or Fizz back if we need to.
Your attackers are a few, but they will be mighty. Since Nami will buff our weakest ally, eventually, even our weakest can be a titan. It doesn’t matter what kind of spell, either. Someone throws away 7 mana to kill Marai Songstress, now that she’s like 10/9? Cast Deny and put the kibosh on that. So who are we fighting with?
Fizz, of course. He doesn’t have Elusive, but when you cast a spell, stop all enemy spells and skills targeting him and give him Elusive for the round. So honestly, you don’t have to cast Deny when he’s at risk. Just cast a 0-cost Warning Shot. Deal 1 damage to the enemy Nexus, and now Fizz stops anything targeting him by the enemy! It says all spells, so that’s amazing.
Speaking of Marai Songstress, she’s a 2-cost follower, and if you cast a spell the round she’s cast, she comes into play with Elusive. So cast something before her, then put her into play. She’ll keep Elusive, and is another attacker. A 3/2 for that will grow? Love her. Zap Sprayfin is also an incredible card. A 2/2 for 4, but it has Elusive and Attune (1 more spell mana). When it’s summoned, you draw a spell from your deck that costs 3 or less! More. Spells. More. Buffs. Get wild!
A new Rare card, Fleet Admiral Shelly is for the mid-game when we can afford to drop two spells a turn. For 5 mana, it’s a 3/3 Elusive/Attune. For every two spells you play in a round, grant other allies +1/+1. Deep Meditation would be great with this towards the mid-game. It costs 2 less if you cast 2+ spells last round, and you draw 2 other spells (for 3 mana if you meet the requirements).
We have a nice variety of spells when it comes to this deck. 25 spells, varying from 0-5 mana. So with Spell Mana, we can do a lot. If we want damage, we can use Warning Shot or Make It Rain. If we need to recall a unit of ours for safety, there’s Lead and Follow, Homecoming and Will of Ionia. At least Homecoming also lets you recall an opponent’s card. Who would we want to Recall though? Probably Nami, to avoid her being killed, or an ally that isn’t wildly buffed (that we don’t have another copy of).
We also have counterspells in Nopeify! And Deny. Finally, we can even swap allies around with Syncopation! This is great if your opponent decides to challenge someone that’s weak. Fix their little red wagon! If we’re looking to just cast spells, an ally to bounce back would be Zap Sprayfin because it means you draw another spell. Fizz isn’t a terrible idea either. If we get Level Two Fizz, hes’ gonna be a real threat. All we have to do to level him up is cast 6+ spells. When he strikes the enemy Nexus as Level Two Fizz, we create a Chum the Waters spell in hand. Chum the Waters is a slow spell for 4, and summons Longtooth, and grants an enemy Vulnerable. Longtooth is a 5/2 Overwhelm. Pick something soft and squishy, and chomp it!
How do we win? We keep those steady buffs coming, and attack with one or two Elusives as is safe to do until we win. We can honestly just attack with all of the ones we have out, provided the other player has no Elusives. If they do, bounce them, or swap people around to make sure we win!
Fizz (1) x3
Nami (3) x3
Marai Songstress (2) x3
Zap Sprayfin (4) x3
Fleet Admiral Shelly (5) x3
Warning Shot (0) x2
Lead and Follow (2) x3
Make it Rain (2) x3
Nopeify! (2) x3
Syncopation (2) x3
Deny (4) x3
Homecoming (4) x2
Deep Meditation (5) x3
Will of Ionia (5) x3
Fizz is a lot of fun, and I’m a huge fan of what Nami can do. You can adjust the spells to fit your gameplay style for this Legends of Runeterra Bandlewood deck, that’s easily done. Just make sure you have enough options to really keep your few creatures alive. Elusive’s still a very strong way to play, but I think it will run into difficult hurdles to cross. Mostly, this comes from faster, stronger aggro decks. I have a feeling Noxus aggro or Shadow Isles undead shenanigans might overcome it. That’s still a hypothetical situation for me, but I’m a fan anyway.
Draven and Sion Are Best Friends (Piltover/Noxus Aggro)
Of course, Draven and Sion are best friends! Sion is looking to discard, and Draven’s got an engine to make that easy! Of course, Noxus also has a lot of new, interesting discard cards to help make Sion become Level Two Sion as fast as possible. Depending on when we get to Sion and discard him, we can have a 10/6. That’s because Sion gets +1/+0 (Cap of +7) for each card you discard. Then when you discard him, he goes back into your deck and grants your strongest ally Overwhelm. It doesn’t say “until the end of the Round” either.
It’s a deck with a lot of very quick, painful damage, and we’re going to discard cards to get more cards or get better cards. We’ve got cards that create copies of themselves when discarded, and cards that make better things when discarded. We combine these with classic Piltover/Noxus “discard to get X” spells, and we’re in business. We’re doing non-stop damage with this deck and just push people around.
How Does It Work?
Now, you may be asking yourself “Why Sion? He’s so expensive!” Yes, he’s a 7-cost Champion. I’d still like to have him in my starting hand though. He doesn’t have to “see” us discard, but we want to make him be discarded. As a 3/6 Overwhelm for 7, we’ve already talked about what he does. He can come into play as a 10/6. In order to level him up, we need to discard or summon 35+ power worth of creatures. This creates a very interesting dichotomy.
We have to balance carefully what we discard and what we summon. When you reach that point, you get Level Two Sion, who is a 10/6. If you play him and he has that +7 on him, he’s now a 17/6 Overwhelm. When he dies, you trigger Last Breath and get Sion Returned. Sion Returned is a 10/4 Overwhelm/Ephemeral, so that’s even more damage.
Since we are no doubt dealing damage in the early game through creatures, Level Two Sion could be an OTK for us. Consider the Survival Skills spell also. If cast, your allies can’t drop below 1 health this round (as a 5-cost Slow Spell). That’s dangerous because it can be stopped/countered. Conversely, you can discard it through other means. If you discard it, your Strongest ally can’t drop below 1 health this round. Sion’s most likely going to be that ally. Now we attack with it, do tons of damage, and win the game!
We have to get to that point though. What makes Draven so good in this deck though? Well, he’s Draven! He also has a pretty solid way to level up through discard. When you play or strike with him, you create a Spinning Axe in hand. When you’ve struck with two of them, he levels up. To use a Spinning Axe, you discard a card. It’s a 0-cost Burst spell, so it’s easy to set up. Have him attack when your opponent is weak to get another one of the axes. Strike with both at once, and get Level Two Draven. Level Two Draven goes from a 3/3 Quick Attack to a 4/4 Quick Attack/Overwhelm and creates 2 Spinning Axes on Play/Strike.
He just makes sure we have an aggressive early-game option and a way to discard cards on the way to Level Two Sion. It’s not always easy to know what to discard though. We have some new options that will be, for a lack of a better word, optimal. Reborn Grenadier, for example, is a 1/1 Ephemeral. To play it, you discard a card. Or if you discard him, you summon an exact copy of him. He’s an excellent discard option for just about anything.
Fallen Rider, a 3/1 for 2 is another amazing discard pick. When he’s discarded, you create a Risen Rider in hand. He also counts for 3 strength towards your Sion Total. Risen Rider is a 4/2 Fearsome for 2, so it’s even better if you ask me. Keep in mind, it’s summon or discard for Sion’s level up and he doesn’t have to witness it. If you’re already not hurting for cards on board (or it’s early and you can’t afford him), discard Ancient Warmonger. A 5/5 Overwhelm, it grants your strongest ally +2/+0 when discarded.
If you have a hand full of cards like this somehow, why not consider Augmented Experimenter? A 3/3 for 6, you discard your whole hand when you play him, and draw 3 cards, then deal 3 to an enemy. Be aware of what’s in hand before you do this though. You don’t want to accidentally get rid of something useful.
We have the classic Draven/Jinx cards too though – Get Excited, Rummage, Poro Cannon as discard options. They all provide a benefit while discarding something to help trigger Sion. You just discard and summon creatures, hopefully continually picking and getting rid of Sion again and again. The bigger he is, the faster this is going to go. Then, we want to keep making aggressive, pushy attacks with what’s onboard. Whittle them down to put them in Sion range.
When the time is right, attack with Sion, discard Survival Skills, and secure the game!
Draven (3) x3
Sion (7) x3
Followers: Draven’s Biggest Fan (1) x2
Reborn Grenadier (1) x3
Zaunite Urchin (1) x3
Boom Baboon (2) x3
Fallen Rider (2) x3
Sump Dredger (3) x3
Ancient Warmonger (5) x3
Augmented Experimenter (6) x1
Poro Cannon (0) x3
Rummage (1) x2
Mystic Shot (2) x2
Get Excited! (3) x3
Survival Skills (5) x3
I have seen a few iterations of this one too, but I like this build overall. You can be really pushy and aggressive with it. The key is to know when to summon and when to discard things, but that comes with time I think. Certain followers just work better as discard fodder, and their abilities make it clear. But we’ve got control spells for damage (Mystic Shot, Get Excited), sneaky little jerk creatures (Poro Cannon), and Survival Skills to round it out. If you have enough mana to hard cast it, and you know your opponent can’t stop it, just hard cast it, and swing out, so your opponent has no choice but to take some potentially lethal damage. My favorite way to play this Legends of Runeterra Bandlewood deck is with a little patience and a little aggression, to make sure we bomb them down in one hit with Sion.
Poppy and Garen Bulldoze Battlefields (Demacia Tempo/Midrange)
When you just want to smash people into bits and pieces, look no further than Demacia. We don’t even need outside factions! We just need the good people of Demacia to see this one through. With Poppy being Multi-Region, she still counts as a Demacian! An incredible pairing, her and Garen. I could see her working incredibly well in Elusive decks, just to make your weak Elusives stronger, but right now, we’re looking at just tempo/midrange deck. It feels kind of aggro too. The downside is that the deck really doesn’t do anything ground-breaking. We don’t have any real new cards other than Poppy in the deck.
So with that in mind, I’ll keep this deck pretty brief. It’s a spotlight for the newest Yordle in the Demacian army, and that’s okay. We have no major strategy. We batter the other player with a near-endless supply of heavy-duty followers.
How Does It Work?
Demacian-only Tempo is a pretty simple concept. We play allies that buff each other and just swing as violently as possible. Poppy is really going to help too. She’s a 4/3 for 4, and when she’s attacked with allies 3 times, she levels up. We can rally to make that a little faster too (Relentless Pursuit). When she attacks, her and all allies with equal or less power to her gain +1/+1 permanently. As a 4/3 that will then become a 5/4, she’s going to make pretty much everyone grow in strength.
Level Two Poppy can be a nightmare too. Now she’s a baseline 5/4 Impact. When she attacks, her and all allies with equal or less power than her receive +2/+2 and Impact. Horrifying. So whenever people with Impact strike, they deal 1 damage to the enemy Nexus. That’s going to stack up fast. In the early game, you might want to attack with her and grant her Sharpsight. The spell gives an ally +2/+2 and “I can block units with Elusive” for the round. This is to make sure she may survive fights.
She’s not the only way to make our allies bigger though or protect Poppy. Brightsteel Protector gives an ally Barrier for the turn, so try to play her when Poppy is going to swing. We have a few Elites too, so we had to run Battlesmith. Whenever we play an Elite, they gain +1/+1. Okay, so I lied. There’s a tiny bit of planning. Penitent Squire grants you the spell Tattered Banner if you Behold a unit in our faction. That means in play or in our hand. Tattered Banner is a 1-cost Burst Spell, and the next time you summon an ally this round, grant it Challenger.
Let’s say you put it on Garen, our other Champion. An Elite, he’ll gain +1/+1 from Battlesmith, and he already has Regeneration. With Challenger, he can pick his target, and make sure the 5/5 Elite will always win trades. We can also use Concerted Strike with him, as Garen only needs 2 Strikes to level up. Concerted Strike has you pick an enemy, and two allies strike it. Level Two Garen spells the end of your opponent. He’s a 6/6 Regeneration, and at Round Start, you Rally. Rally will give you an Attack Token if you don’t have one. You’re going to suddenly be on a non-stop offensive.
Now we just want our Vanguard Bannerman and Cithria the Bold. The Bannerman grants other allies +1/+1 if our top card on our deck is Demacia (which is 100% guaranteed). We definitely want the better Cithria, Cithria the Bold. A 6/6 for 6, when she attacks, other attacking allies gain +1/+1 and Fearsome for the round. If our foes got weak followers/champions, we’re just going to steamroll them at this point. You just push people around without remorse.
Poppy (4) x3
Garen (5) x3
Cithria of Cloudfield (1) x2
Fleetfeather Tracker (1) x3
Penitent Squire (1) x3
Battlesmith 92) x3
Brightsteel Protector (2) x3
Vanguard Defender (2) x3
Vanguard Redeemer (3) x2
Vanguard Bannerman (4) x3
Cithria the Bold (6) x3
Sharpsight (2) x3
Relentless Pursuit (3) x3
Concerted Strike (5) x3
It’s a very satisfying deck, and Poppy really adds some heft to it. Out of all of these Bandlewood decks for Legends of Runeterra, this is probably the easiest to pilot. Play allies, buff them, swing out. You could probably slot one or two followers out for some Demacian spell buffs if you want, but I don’t think it’s necessary. It is fun to play though and so exciting to see your allies just trample over the other player no matter what they field. The bigger Poppy gets, the bigger her allies get. She triggers the +1/+1 when she declares an attack, so cast Sharpshooter beforehand if someone is at her same power level. It’s going to be hard for her to buff Garen, but it could happen.
Tristana and Her Magical Multi-Region Friends (Bandle City/Ionia Deck)
I couldn’t decide where to put Tristana. She’d do great in a multi-Yordle deck, that’s for sure. She’s so great with other Yordles/multi-region cards in play. In fact, she needs the multi-region function! Thankfully there are more than enough Bandle City cards that go to other regions too. She’s an Impact champ, and since Impact can stack, we can just slap people’s Nexus with pretty free damage. Plus we have exciting, fun buff spells from Bandle City and Ionia!
Ionia’s the best partnership I think. We’ve got lots of annoying counterplay in that faction, and that’s what we need. Then we have a potential game-winning bomb in Yordles in Arms to make our young-and-hungry Yordles get +4/+4. We’re going to have cast/summon cards from 4+ regions way before that. Our multi-region cards come from Bandle City, Freljord, Mt. Targon, Noxus, Piltover & Zaun, Shadow Isles, and Ionia. We’re not going to be stressed about that.
How Does It Work?
Tristana gains +1/+0 for every multi-region you’ve summoned in this game, so that can be a very big number. Then when you summon a multi-region ally, it gains +1/+0. Our allies don’t really hit hard for the most part. We’ve got some pretty low-cost, high-value cards though. For example, if we turn one Proto Poro, it’s a 1/1 Impact, so we can get 2 damage potentially. We’ve also got a Bandle Commando who has Elusive. The longer it remains on-field and hits the enemy Nexus, we get more allies.
Nexus Strike for Bandle Commando creates a Hungry Owlcat in hand. Since Hungry Owlcats are multi-region, we keep growing our impending Tristana. These Owlcats are 2/1s for 1 and have Spellshield. They only exist to be attack fodder/defense fodder. With Tristana in play, they become 4/1s, which is even better.
Loping Telescope is in a similar lens, as it Manifests a random Celestial that costs 3 or less, Epic, or multi-region follower. Since it Manifests, it appears in your hand. An excellent way to just get more allies, and hopefully multi-region ones. On turn 3, I really want to get Bandle City Mayor in play. A 2/2, it makes your multi-region allies cost 1 less, and Manifests a multi-region follower into your hand.
If someone’s going to target him, we can use Stress Defense (sets stats to ⅙ for the turn) or Purpleberry Shake (set stats to 3/3 for the turn). I like these as responses for cards that can get buffed elsewhere. Any permanent buffs they get stack. Tristana’s kind of a weird card. She gains +1/+0 for each multi-region card you play before she is played. Then, the multi-region allies you play after her gain +1/+0.
Once you play 4+ multi-region allies, she becomes Level Two Tristana. She doesn’t have to witness them either. Then she also grants them Impact in addition to the +1/+0. She goes from a ¼ Quick Attack to a 2/4 Quick Attack. This means you have to balance when you play her. So we can slowly but surely get damage out on our opponent. Tristana can come into play as a 10/4 or something if she really wants.
We have some sneaky ways to get an easy win too. We want Level Two Tristana as soon as possible to get Impact damage. It will help. My personal favorite wincon is the Bandle Gunners+Dawn and Dusk combo. Bandle Gunners is a 7/7 for 8 with Spellshield. When summoned if you’ve summoned units from 4+ regions this game, she receives Impact 4 times. Swing with her safely, and then next turn, cast Dawn and Dusk. Better if you can Deny their potential counter. Do this on your next attack phase, mind.
Dawn and Dusk is a slow spell for 6, and it summons two exact copies of an ally. They’re Ephemeral. Now you have three 7/7s with 4x Impact. That should be more than enough damage to secure a win. Otherwise, you’re going to be swinging repeatedly with Impact, hopefully, have a near-endless supply of allies and buffs.
Tristana (3) x3
Proto Poro (1) x2
Bandle Commando (2) x3
Loping Telescope (2) x3
Arena Kingpin (3) x2
Bandle City Mayor (3) x3
Aloof Travelers (4) x2
Gruff Grenadier (4) x3
Tenor of Terror (4) x3
Furious Faefolk (7) x1
Bandle Gunners (8) x1
Purpleberry Shake (1) x1
Pokey Stick (2) x2
Syncopation (2) x1
Flurry of Fists (3) x1
Stress Defense (3) x2
Twin Disciplines (3) x2
Deny (4) x1
Hidden pathways (5) x1
Yordles in Arms (5) x1
Dawn and Dusk (6) x1
Treasured Trash (10) x1
I’m torn on this deck. I feel like we can do more with Tristana. For example, Tristana/Poppy might be a whole heap of fun. Tristana is just very restrictive, as she’s Bandle City only and not multi-region. So we have to plan very carefully. Her whole gameplay is playing safe and careful until you can blast someone into bits. I love the Gunners/Dawn and Dusk combo, myself. You can combine this with Furious Faefolk, who does something similar. When summoned, this 5/4 Quick Attack gains Impactx4 if you’ve dealt damage to the enemy Nexus 4+ times. So we can use that to weaken the enemy Nexus and finish it off with the Gunners. Quite a few of our allies (and a few spells) just give us more allies to play. It really adds up to non-stop pressure. This is one of the Legends of Runeterra Bandlewood decks that have potential, but it could be a heap of fun.
Xerath Really Commands the Shurima Sands (Xerath/Taliyah Midrange)
This is an idea that could simply just be a lot of fun. Xerath’s Level Three bonus is wild. 5 damage each round starts to the weakest enemy and to the enemy Nexus. It’s pure, unbridled damage. All we have to do is get the Buried Sun Disc to its restored state. Since every card in the deck is Shuriman, we start with Buried Sun Disc in hand. Now, we only have Xerath in terms of champions, but he’s frankly all we should need. I’ve considered putting Rite of Calling into this deck just to draw him. That’s entirely up to you but I thought about it. I wish that Rite would destroy a Landmark.
Perhaps that would be too strong in this deck. We’re going to slow the game down a bit and apply pressure with a nice collection of followers. Then, we get Level Two Xerath and then Level Three Xerath. Level Two Xerath is neat because he still destroys enemy followers (potentially) by destroying allied landmarks. But Level Three Xerath just bombards the other player. Hopefully, we get a Waste Walker early. It will let us buff it anytime we destroy an allied landmark, leading us to have a nice powerful attacker.
However, one of our champions isn’t Ascended: Taliyah. But she’s a Shurima champ and is also based on Landmarks. So we certainly want her around. When she’s played, for example, she summons a copy of one of your Landmarks. When we’ve summoned 5+ of them, she levels up. Her Level Two Taliyah form will help us deal damage to get things popping off.
How Does It Work?
Xerath is pretty easy to level, to be honest. You just have to destroy 4+ Allied Landmarks. Level 3 requires the Sun Disc restoring. Level 1 Xerath is okay. A 3/3 for 4, when an allied landmark is destroyed, deal 1 to the weakest enemy. Then, when we destroy the 4+ allied landmarks, he becomes Level Two Xerath, a 4/4. When an allied landmark is destroyed now, we deal 3 to the weakest enemy. Okay, getting better. When we restored the Sun Disc, it becomes Level Three Xerath. Now a 5/9, each Round Start, it deals 5 to the weakest enemy and the enemy Nexus. If an enemy unit would die, Obliterate it instead. Now that is power. Hopefully, we get to the end of the game before that.
Getting him to level 2 will thus, reduce the Sun Disc timer by 10 points. Since we can turn-1 the Sun Disc, it will get to the end just a bit faster. Now, it’s going to be a little harder, since we only have one champion. Each round the Buried Sun Disc lowers by 1 point, starting at 25. At 0, it is destroyed and becomes Restored Sun Disc.
It will immediately draw 1 of each of your Ascended allies, and whenever you play a level 2 Ascended ally, it is now automatically level 3. So while Taliyah won’t benefit from this, all of this ties together neatly. So sadly she won’t be drawn from a Restored Sun Disc, and that’s perfectly fine. We want a Landmark in play (other than Sun Disc) when we play Taliyah though. This is because we create a copy of one. When it’s summoned, it moves Taliyah’s level-up (though she can level up without being in play), and when it’s destroyed, it aids Xerath.
What does Taliyah do though? She’s a ⅗ when she comes into play and only makes that summoned copy. When she levels up after 5+ summoned landmarks, she becomes a 4/6. Now, when she attacks, deal 2 damage to her blocker 3 times. If the target is dead or gone, deal 2 to the enemy Nexus instead. That is likely to just crush whatever she attacks before it ever gets to her damage. Now, Herald of the Magus also works well with the two of them, before we cover Landmarks.
When this 4/4 for 5 is summoned, if you’ve destroyed 4+ allied landmarks this game, grant your champions everywhere +2/+2 and Overwhelm. Now we have a 6/8 and a potential 7/11 in Level Three Xerath. But how do we destroy allied landmarks? That doesn’t make much sense! Except that it does, my friends! When a Countdown Landmark hits 0, it’s destroyed. In addition, several of our landmarks still provide a buff if destroyed early. Obelisk of Power is a solid example. A Countdown 3 for 1, it grants the strongest ally +2/+0 when the timer ends or it’s destroyed.
Perservarium grants 1 card to draw when summoned, and when its Countdown: 2 ends, draw another. You don’t want to destroy this one early. Risen Altar is our other “please destroy early” card. When its Countdown 3 ends, or it’s destroyed early, summon Dami’yin the Unbound. That gives us a 7/6 Overwhelm/Spellshield, which is incredible.
So how do we destroy landmarks? That comes from new cards like Unleashed Energy. A 3-cost Burst spell, it grants an ally +2/+1 this round, or +4/+2 this round if we choose to destroy an allied landmark. We’ve also got a new ally that does something similar. A 2/1 for 2 is the Ruinous Acolyte, who also has Fearsome. When we play it, we destroy an allied landmark, and that grants all allied Ruinous Acolytes everywhere +1/+1. We can make these become very strong later in the game. Desert Naturalist also destroys a Landmark when played. If it’s allied, we gain a Grumpy Rockbear.
Huzzah, a free 5/4 ally! We’ve got so many Landmarks to summon too. Rock Hopper for example summons a Roiling Sands Landmark whenever it’s summoned. This Landmark is destroyed whenever your opponent summons a unit. This also grants it Vulnerable. Unraveled Earth is a 3-cost Burst spell that gives us 2 Roiling Sands too, and draws a card. This leads us to Endless Devout which is a 3/3 for 3. When it dies, summon another Landmark, Sarcophagus. It features Countdown 3 or when destroyed: Summon a Restored Devout. Ultimately it gives us a summoned Landmark, a destroyed Landmark, and a free 5/3 with Fearsome.
Ideally, we want to get Xerath after or right as we’re hitting Level Two with him. That way all these free Landmarks don’t go to waste. We can use him to clatter our opponent’s weak creatures, then swing with Taliyah, getting more free damage. If the game goes on too long, we use Xerath to just carpet bomb the other player’s Nexus until we win.
Xerath (4) x3
Buried Sun Disc (1) x1
Obelisk of Power (1) x2
Preservarium (2) x3
Risen Altar (6) x1
Rock Hopper (2) x3
Ruinous Acolyte (2) x3
Endless Devout (3) x3
Waste Walker (3) x3
Desert Naturalist (4) x2
Herald o the Magus (5) x3
Shaped Stone (1) x3
Unleashed (3) x3
Unraveled Earth (3) x2
Rite of Negation (4) x2
This is a sort of interesting deck. You can control the flow of the game by constantly battering your opponent’s creatures with Xerath. It’s a midrange deck, so about halfway through the game, we’ve probably put enough pressure down to win the game. If things get dicey we can still win with Level Three Xerath, but Taliyah’s just going to batter someone down. We also have buffs for her to make sure she wins trades more often than not. It’s not a deck I’m personally likely to play, but I like the idea enough to talk about it. Or. . . we could run Ziggs/Xerath! It doesn’t run Disc, since it’s Bandle City as well. But I think it’s fun enough to mention.
Ziggs and Xerath: Friends Forever (Shurima/Bandle City Control Deck)
Quite a few of these cards are used in the previous deck. It’s a similar strategy, without waiting on Level Three Xerath. Once again, it’s built around destroying allied Landmarks, but there’s a serious difference. Ziggs and Xerath have an identical level-up condition: destroying 4+ allied landmarks. Neither of them has to see it either. We can win the game without doing much, if any attacking, thanks to Ziggs! So we’re gonna focus on exactly what’s going on here with him.
We have 13 cards that can create additional Landmarks in one way or another. Then we have the Minefield and Preservarium. Since almost all of these are incredibly cheap when it comes to mana, we’re going to have no problem making the mid-game damage just rattle off. You can really run either one, but I think this one’s going to be far more satisfying.
How Does It Work?
Oh, Ziggs, you adorable, bomb-toting weirdo. Normally, when he attacks, he deals 1 immediate damage to the blocker, and to the enemy Nexus. If we can keep the enemy from having stronger units than us, he just picks and whittles away at the enemy Nexus. When he’s leveled up, he goes from a ¾, to a ⅘. If only he had Quick Attack, he’d be truly terrifying. Now when he attacks, he deals 2 damage to the blocker and the enemy Nexus.
But there’s more! Now, when an allied landmark is destroyed, deal 2 damage to the enemy Nexus. So those allies that create Landmarks are suddenly very valuable. We can keep playing them, destroying them, and getting damage in! We’ve got a new Landmark in this deck that is a pretty useful control piece: Explosive Minefield. When it’s summoned or destroyed, you stun the strongest enemy. It doesn’t have a timer on it, so you can trigger it whenever it’s convenient.
For example, if your opponent has only one potential blocker, you can attack with Ziggs, cast Unleashed Energy, and buff him/stun the target/deal a lot of damage. You destroy your Hexplosive Minefield and give Ziggs +4/+2 for the round. Or you could do it on The Arsenal in the late game. An 8/6 for 8, has a random keyword for each allied landmark that you destroyed in this game.
We’ve got a lot of useful Landmark combos here too. We can cast Ancient Hourglass to obliterate an ally. Then we get a 1-countdown Landmark, Stasis Statue. When it winds down to 0, you summon an exact copy of the Obliterated unit they replaced. We can use this to replace one of our Landmark-summoning allies. Like Inventive Chemist, that summons a Scrappy Bomb Landmark.
It has a Countdown: 3 or when destroyed: Deal 1 to the enemy Nexus. With Level Two Ziggs, this is 2 damage for the Bomb, 2 for the Stasis Statue, and 1 from the Bomb, right in one package. Bomber Twins creates a random Landmark that costs 2 or less as another example. So as you can see, we can easily start stacking damage right as soon as Ziggs hits level 2. There’s no waiting. Combine it with Level Two Xerath who bombs weak enemies for 3 damage, so we have a nice clean field to take advantage of.
Between those units, Rock Hopper, Endless Devout, and spells like Unraveled Earth, we have so many ways to just crank out Landmarks to get rid of. We also use Perservarium, because why not? Who doesn’t like card draw? We can win with brute force like with The Arsenal, or we can just nickel and dime them down with Ziggs and Xerath. This is the deck I prefer to the other, to be honest.
Ziggs (3) x3
Xerath (4) x3
Explosive Minefield (1) x2
Perservarium (2) x2
Inventive CHemist (1) x2
Bomber Twins (2) x2
Rock Hopper (2) x3
Ruinous Acolyte (2) x2
Endless Devout (3) x3
Waste Walker (3) x2
Desert Naturalist (4) x3
The Arsenal (8) x2
Ancient Hourglass (2) x2
Rite of the Arcane (3) x3
Unleashed Energy 93) x3
Unraveled Earth (3) x2
Rite of Negation (4) x1
It’s very satisfying to just rattle off damage non-stop with this deck. You’ve got so many allies to take damage for you or to play hyper-aggressive and make your opponent block them out. Careful about how you play the Landmarks though. You want to get the 4 done, then get Ziggs/Xerath into play. Now you heartlessly bombard the other people with 2 damage Landmarks. Ancient Hourglass is so powerful in this deck, in my estimation. I feel this might be a hard matchup for really aggressive decks, but if you get the upper hand and start bombing the other player? It’s a wrap. If the player can’t heal, you can win out in the end. We’re running some big hitters too, with Waste Walker and The Arsenal, so if your opponent loses their forces, we can just slap their Nexus down. It’ll be like kicking over a sandcastle on the beach.