Legends of Runeterra: Monuments of Power has officially released today. As part of the second expansion out of three from the Call of the Mountain set, 40 new cards will be available for players to collect. While the amount of cards being released is fewer than before, every player will still seek to find which cards can impact the meta.
Here are the 10 best cards to make an impact on the upcoming ranked meta.
10) Noxkraya Arena
Current optimized builds of Noxus are streamlined to be aggressive without much room for deviation from outside of that strategy. Noxkraya Arena has a chance to find glory on the ladder by spawning more midrange builds of Noxus that fight viciously, and Noxkraya Arena accentuates and pushes that build forward.
Demacia and Freljord would appreciate effects like these since those regions have units with high stats, even Regeneration sometimes like Garen and Scarmaiden Reaver. Additionally both regions have ways to skew combat in their favor, with effects like Tough and Frostbite.
9) Divergent Paths and Scorched Earth
While the initial set of Landmarks have a small chance of carving a spot for themselves on the ladder since there’s so few of them, these two Landmark removal cards are the strongest out of all the other new options of dealing with the newest mechanic. This is mainly due to the fact of their dual-purpose nature and what they represent for the future design of Landmarks as a whole.
Looking at both cards’ individual options and how they rank up against other cards is vital in judging them. Divergent Paths’ ability to tutor Landmarks is expensive at three mana, and Scorched Earth is a worse version of Noxian Guillotine. But since both cards have the chance to destroy opposing Landmarks or do their first effect, they always have a chance to find use somewhere on most deck inclusions, especially if Landmarks become popular.
8) Eclipse Dragon
Eclipse Dragon brings an interesting dynamic to the Daybreak and Nightfall mechanics by pairing both keywords onto the same card. While players have theorized the possibilities of getting both effects activated at the same time with the help of Rahvun, both effects of Eclipse Dragon are individually good.
On the Daybreak side, being able to reduce the cost of a Dragon or Celestial by two can lead to interesting mana-cheating opportunities. The most prominent example is playing Eclipse Dragon on turn seven followed by an Aurelion Sol on turn eight. While Aurelion has been nerfed recently, anytime you are able to play him before turn 10 leaves your opponent in a difficult situation to deal with him due to his massive health alongside his SpellShield.
The Nightfall half of Eclipse Dragon is also powerful in high value controlling matchups. If you find yourself in a late-game scenario where you need to muster more threats you can play Eclipse Dragon as a card later in the turn to obtain another card for the opponent to deal with. While there are 30 different results that Eclipse Dragon can muster (eight dragons and 22 Celestial cards), on average you are bound to find an expensive unit over janky spells that might be difficult to use effectively.
Aside from pushing Aurelion Sol strategies forward, Eclipse Dragon can serve as another curve topper for Dragon-based Demacian strategies.
7) Fortune Croaker
Ever since Bilgewater’s inclusion in Rising Tides, the region has had multitudes of options from aggressive strategies in Noxus to midrange strategies using Swain or Scouts in Demacia, and even combo thanks to Smooth Soloist. Fortune Croaker is a potent two-mana card that can help build upon and slot easily into any of those strategies. The self damage gives Swain extra credit towards level up, the draw keeps aggressive strategies fueled up, and the damage taken gives a potential opportunity to be healed by Soraka.
Already comparable to the Celestial card The Messenger, this Fortune Croaker has a clear path to make a splash on the ranked ladder.
6) Dragonguard Lookout
With the descent of Demacia’s Dragons, Demacia has obtained the ability to use the Behold mechanic, with their requirement requiring a Dragon either in play or on board to activate. Out of the two Demacian Behold cards added, Dragonguard’s Lookout is ridiculously potent.
Rally as an effect is highly valued due to the surprise amount of burst a player is able to achieve with it the stronger their board is. The newer Dragons introduced with Monuments of Power require multiple rounds of attacking to find success, and Dragonguard Lookout assists in that while also providing a sizable body to bolster your board.
5) Crusty Codger and Boxtopus
Since both of these cards are functionally similar and bound to find spots together in the same lists, the Crusty Codger and Boxtopus deserve to be paired on this list. Both are strong units with ridiculous stats for their mana that damage themselves to bring their stats inline into what you would expect from most units for their cost.
While this effect seems redundant, there are undeniable benefits that occur when this activation occurs. These self damage effects help both level up Vladimir and Swain just in Noxus, and leaving themselves damaged also gives Soraka an opportunity to heal to gain more value.
Crusty Codger and Boxtopus are individually good units, and the ability to make Swain more consistent, or give new life for hyper aggressive Vladimir decks seem daunting.
Deny is up there in terms of being one of LoR’s most iconic cards. The impact it has had on the game, both when it was at three mana and even after being nerfed to cost four, cannot be ignored. While Nopeify is more narrow in terms of what targets it can hit, the fact that Nopeify costs half of what Deny can add onto an archetype of hyper aggressive Ionia decks.
While Elusive Ionian strategies existed before their key cards got nerfed in both Noxus and Freljord, Nopeify has a very healthy chance of spawning them once more. Even if Nopeify doesn’t have the same chance to make you more mana positive against your opponent like it’s original counterpart does, this card’s strength cannot be denied.
3) Stony Suppressor
Demacian Midrange lists have always had a prominent presence on the ranked ladder. Even during times when they were strong and didn’t top the ladder, Demacia was never too far behind the best. While Demacia Midrange has gone through many iterations, from Bannerman to Scouts to Elites, one weakness in the archetype was always common no matter the build: Spells.
Stony Suppressor is a meta tech choice that is strong individually, but stronger when the user followers ladder trends closely. If Stony Suppressor finds more broad inclusions into Demacian decks despite the meta, she is most likely to be found in Bannerman or Demacia decks that prioritize stat buffs.
2) Vaults of Helia
While half of the Landmarks that have been revealed have random effects, Vaults of Helia is one of the few that let you control your deck in an interesting way. Ever since Eggnivia’s health nerf, and the rise of the usage of Obliterate from Targon, it has been tough for her to find a spot in the meta. With Vaults of Helia, being able to find consistent death triggers, while effectively drawing through your deck and cheating out a ton of mana will be a powerful snowball effect that most opponents will have difficulty dealing with.
The main way for opponents to counter Vaults of Helia directly, aside from direct removal from cards, is to be able to kill any unit played afterwards instantly. But this can be difficult without Challengers or attack tokens.
With only three champions arriving in the newest expansion, the newcomers need to be able to bring either flashiness or consistency to the table to make a competitive impact. Out of the three, Soraka has the greatest chance at shaping up the meta with both old Call of the Mountain and new Monuments of Power cards alike. Soraka’s level-up condition is relatively easy to complete since she doesn’t need to be on board to achieve it. There are also multiple avenues that she can go to reach leveling up.
Through Targon, she can use the Gem package, healing effects like Guiding Touch or Resplendent Stellacorn, and the new Star Spring. In Freljord, there are multiple units with Regeneration like Braum or Scarmaiden Reaver. All of these allows Soraka players to take risky value trades and accrue card advantage from her leveled-up state.
While Soraka does sound potent when she can find ideal scenarios and takeover games, there are definable weaknesses that opponents can take advantage of. While Soraka can provide healing to units, saving removal and combat tricks will let those decks destroy every unit in one hit, preventing Soraka from performing her role.
Collect these cards and try them for yourself now that LoR: Monuments of Power has officially released on PC and Mobile.