Taliyah is now officially the latest addition to the ever-growing Legends of Runeterra champion roster! Riot has also unveiled a metric ton of new cards as well, so there’s definitely a lot of stuff for us to sink our teeth into! So, with that out of the way, let’s begin!
An empire is only as strong as its people.
— Legends of Runeterra (@PlayRuneterra) February 22, 2021
Legends of Runeterra | Taliyah Officially Revealed
Taliyah is a 5 mana champion from Shurima with 2 | 4. She also has a Play effect. Once she’s brought onto the board, you can summon an exact copy of an allied landmark. To level her up, you’ll need to summon at least 5 landmarks.
Once leveled up, she’ll grow to 3 | 5 and will attain an interesting Attack effect as well. She’ll deal 2 damage to any unit that’s blocking her attack. If that unit is removed from play or is gone for whatever reason, Taliyah will deal 2 damage to the enemy Nexus instead. If you happen to have a landmark on the board as well, this effect will happen two more times in succession. Overall, Taliyah seems interesting, but not all that powerful in the grand scheme of things. Especially not after we’ve gotten a glimpse at Jarvan IV and Renekton.
Sai Scout is a 3 mana unit from Shurima with 2 | 4. She also has a Play effect that’ll allow you to Predict. If you happen to pick a landmark during the prediction process, Sai Scout will gain Elusive as well. An interesting card, all things considered, and a fairly cheap one, to boot!
Desert Naturalist is a 4 mana unit from Shurima with 2 | 4. Her Play effect is simple: destroy a landmark. If it’s an allied one, you’ll summon a Grumpy Rockbear.
Grumpy Rockbear is a 5 mana unit from Shurima with 5 | 4. He doesn’t have any keyword or effect whatsoever. Summoning him through Desert Naturalist seems quite easy and getting a 5 | 4 brawler for cheap is definitely a huge boon for any upcoming Shurima-based decks!
Rock Hopper is a 2 mana unit from Shurima with 3 | 1. Once he’s brought onto the board, he’ll summon a Rolling Sands landmark as well. More on that below!
Taliyah’s Stoneweaving is a 1 mana Burst spell from Shurima. It’ll allow you to look at 3 random landmarks you can afford, and then pick one to create it in hand. It’ll also create a copy of Taliyah in your deck.
Unraveled Earth is 3 mana Burst spell from Shurima that’ll summon two Rolling Sands (landmarks) and allow you to draw a card.
Shaped Stone is a 1 mana Burst spell from Shurima that’ll give an allied unit +1 | +1 for the remainder of the round. If you’ve summoned at least one landmark during the game, that unit will gain +3 | +1 instead. Because this whole strategy relies so heavily on landmarks, you’ll almost always be able to eke out the second bonus, therefore making this card a whole lot more powerful than it might seem at first glance.
Rolling Sands is a 2 mana landmark from Shurima. When an enemy is summoned, this landmark will automatically be destroyed to grant said enemy Vulnerable. A very potent effect, but its viability will definitely hinge around its use-case scenario.
Salt Spire is a 4 mana landmark from Shurima with a Countdown value of 2. Once it reaches zero, it’ll summon a Grumpy Rockbear. Then, if you’ve summoned at least 4 landmarks throughout the game, your strongest unit will gain +2 | +2. Yet another interesting landmark that makes this whole Taliyah-based strategy relatively viable.
Hibernating Rockbear is a 2 mana landmark from Shurima with a Countdown effect of 3. Once it reaches zero, it’ll summon a Grumpy Rockbear.
Finally, there’s a spell and a landmark that are foreshadowing Zilean’s release.
Ancient Hourglass is a 2 mana Fast spell from Shurima that’ll obliterate an ally and summon a Statis Statue in its place. This, of course, is tied to the landmark itself.
Stasis Statue is a 2 mana landmark from Shurima with a Countdown effect of 1. Once it reaches zero, it’ll summon an exact copy of the obliterated unit it replaced.
Overall, it’s still a bit too early to predict whether Taliyah and her peculiar support cards will leave a mark on Legends of Runeterra. They’re interesting, but they don’t seem all that powerful when compared to a good chunk of existing strats and combinations. Still, it has many mechanisms of getting Grumpy Rockbear — along with a boatload of fascinating landmarks — so who knows, maybe it’s a sleeper OP?