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| 19. February 2021

Legends of Runeterra | New Empires of the Ascended Cards Revealed, Slated for Release on March 3

The hotly anticipated Legends of Runeterra expansion Empires of the Ascended is scheduled to hit live servers on March 3rd, so mark your calendars! And, by the looks of it, we should be in for one heck of a ride! In any case, its official release is right around the corner, which means spoiler season has now begun!

In true Riot fashion, we’ve just been given a short glimpse of what’s to come — and what a spectacular glimpse it is. But before we delve any deeper into the nitty-gritty, take a look for yourself:

Talk about setting the tone! Exceptional stuff, as always!

Legends of Runeterra | Empires of the Ascended Cards

What would an expansion reveal be without a couple of brand-new cards for us to sink our teeth into? As always, Riot delivered, and handily so. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s begin!

Ascended’s Rise is a 7 mana Slow spell that’ll level up all level 1 Ascended allies. By the looks of it, champions from Shurima will wield quite a lot of power (especially once leveled up). This card seems strong, but we can only deduce so much at this point in time. In any case, it’ll definitely come in handy for the Shuriman Landmark we’ll talk about down below!

Golden Ambassador is a 4 mana unit from Shurima with 3 | 2. It also comes with an Allegiance passive that’ll allow you to draw a champion and grant it +2 | +2. A very solid card that doesn’t cost all that much, and will probably a key “player” in future Shurima-based decks.

Voice of the Risen is a 4 mana unit from Shurima with 3 | 4. If you’ve leveled a champion, your allied units will receive +2 | 0.

Devoted Council is a 4 mana unit with 1 | 6 with a Round Start passive. If you’ve leveled a champion at least once during the duel, your current champions will get healed for 2 and so will your Nexus. This card seems a bit broken, although it’s still a bit too early to know for sure. With 6 HP, it won’t be all that easy to eliminate either, at least through battle.

Esteemed Hierophant is a 3 mana unit from Shurima with 3 | 4. Once summoned, it’ll advance your Buried Sun Disc for 2 rounds. More on that below!

Destined Poro is a 1 mana Poro from Shurima with 1 | 1 and a Round Start passive. If you’ve leveled a champion, this Poro will transform into Exalted Poro.

Exalted Poro is a 1 mana Poro with 2 | 2. The interesting part about this one is that it’ll automatically be assigned 3 random keywords. So, while its base stats of 1 | 1 aren’t all that impressive, you can definitely luck out if RNG happens to be on your side!

Restored Sun Disc is a 0 mana spell that’ll immediately draw 1 of all your Ascendants. For the rest of the game, your level 2 Ascendants are level 3. The true power of this card will only become discernible once we have more information regarding the many Shuriman Ascendants who are heading are way.

A brand-new, Shurima-related keyword!

New Keyword — Countdown

Finally, we have a Shuriman Landmark that looks mighty powerful (and probably integral to any upcoming Shurima-based deck). And again, there’s still so much that we don’t know, but at least we’ll find out sooner rather than later.

Buried Sun Disc is a 1 mana Landmark from Shurima. At the start of the game, you’ll draw an instance of this card if all of your cards are Shuriman. We can therefore rightfully assume that you’ll always have this card on turn one. And yes, you can always combine Shurima with another region, but by the looks of it, this deck will thrive on its own.

The Countdown keyword is pretty simple. At the start of each round, the card imbued with it will count down 1. At 0, the card will automatically be destroyed, and the Countdown effect will be activated. The Buried Sun Disc has a Countdown timer of 25, meaning you’ll have to wait for 25 rounds before activating its effect — which is to activate the aforementioned Restored Sun Disc.

Fortunately, Buried Sun Disc comes with a built-in catalyst which is good, seeing how most duels don’t last for 25 rounds. Whenever an allied Ascendant levels up, the Buried Sun Disc will advance 10 rounds. This means that you can level up two Ascendants, wait five more rounds, and you’ll be good to go. Leveling up your champions, therefore, will of paramount importance. If you manage to pull it off (and it shouldn’t be too hard, frankly), then you’ll be able to harness the effect of Restored Sun Disc with staggering ease.

It seems like Shuriman Ascendants will get a serious boost in power once leveled up. Getting them on the board and empowering them as soon as possible will be the main goal of Shurima-based decks. So far, these cards have been less about any overly complex in-game mechanics and more about sheer tempo and pace. And it all looks mighty fun, that’s for sure!

Closing Remarks

Needless to say, Empires of the Ascended looks like a devilishly good time! And that’s especially true if you’re into the whole Shurima mythos! It’s impossible not to commend Riot for the incredible pace at which they’re churning out content. After all, Aphelios was released mere weeks ago! Fortunately for everyone involved, this is just the start of spoiler season, and we’ll be back tomorrow with new cards to break down! And, who knows, maybe we’ll even get a sneak peak at one of the many Shuriman champions, too!