Welcome to TLG’s card analysis for the Call of the Mountain expansion! Our team members have joined forces to rate all of the new cards on a scale of 0 to 5 stars, and we used the results to give you an idea of where (or not) to spend your wild cards on the first day of the expansion.
We grouped the most interesting cards in tiers of overall power level instead of giving every single card a rating in this article. It will feature the best cards in the set as well as the worst, but keep in mind that all of this is merely opinion-based (although that opinion is the fruit of the work of several top-level players, with over 200 years of collective card game experience).
With this out of the way, it is time for our Call of the Mountain cards tier list!
If you have any questions, feel free to drop by our Discord.
Consultants: Zezetel, Ultraman_CCG, Taytwo38, Dartill, Minuano, Kuvira, DaddysHome, Saucekay, xKozmic, IPingUListen, Plzdonhakme, Rattlingbones, GlopNA
Table of Contents
Tier 0 (rating > 4.75 stars)
Stalking Shadows is the only tier 0 card on this list, and for good reason. It is a 2 mana burst spell that essentially reads “draw 2 cards from your deck with no condition to activate. Also, you get to pick the card you want out of a few”. Yes, it can only get you a unit, and the second copy will be ephemeral, but getting to find the card you need in a certain situation makes this card too versatile to pass on. We can already imagine using it to dig for a win condition like Commander Ledros, or even just to get an additional copy of a card with a powerful Play or Summon effect like The Rekindler.
Tier 1 (4.75 > rating > 4.25 stars)
The first card featured in tier 1 is actually a champion card. Lulu is dangerously close to tier 0 and she is the only champion from the expansion to be rated that high. 3 health for a 3-mana support unit is fairly solid and should ensure she sticks around when dropped on curve. She is also incredibly easy to level up, as she doesn’t even need to see her allies being supported.
When leveled up, she will be even harder to kill, on top of providing you with constant value with Help, Pix! Just pair her with early Challenger units and watch her destroy your opponent’s board, hopes, and dreams, while she laughs devilishly at their demise.
The Solari cards appear to be really strong right off the gate. Many 1 mana 2/2 units are already played in aggressive and midrange decks, even when this is all they have to provide. One of the highest turn 1 tempo plays in the game is a combination of Warning Shot and Jagged Butcher, which requires you to spend two cards for a 3/3. Here, Solari Soldier will reach this statline on turn 1 by default, and even if the buff isn’t permanent, the damage will have been done. It also makes the card more relevant during later turns, applying pressure for cheap or adding a solid blocker to your ranks.
The same thing can be said about Solari Shieldbearer, who can both attack without fear of removal on turn 2 or completely shut down an enemy attack - even from some of the best 2 drops in the game, like Lucian. Rahvun replaces himself as soon as he gets played, and adds a strong card to your hand most of the time, as Daybreak cards are generally pretty good. His static ability is the icing on the cake at this point.
The Lunari also get some powerful tools of their own. Nightfall isn’t as easy to activate as Daybreak, but Lunari Duskbringer is here to make sure that you have efficient ways to trigger it. They can be an enabler themselves, being a 1 cost card in the first place, but they also generate in your hand a 1 cost spell that will refund itself on your next Nightfall unit. It can also be used to cheat a unit one turn sooner with spell mana, which really is no small detail.
Pale Cascade works perfectly with Challenger units like Diana, giving them extra punch the turn they are played while also replacing itself in the process.
As another 2 mana burst spell that replaces itself, Guiding touch is a very versatile tool. Whether you need to use it as a Health Potion to recover HP, or as an Elixir of Iron to turn a trade in your favor, the card will never be dead in your hand, as you can also just cycle it to dig through your deck.
Speaking of Elixir of Iron, Troll Chant can basically act as a double Elixir of Iron that will either prevent 4 damage to an ally, or 2 damage to 2 allies. Knowing the power that lies in a single Elixir of Iron, there is no doubt that this card will see a lot of play in Freljord shells.
Finally, we have Mentor of the Stones, who is an absolute value machine. His weak body means he will most likely die from a removal spell, or after a single attack, but his job will have already been done. Three free cards in your hand are nothing to scoff at and if you manage to land a buff on an ally before he dies, he will have largely made up for his meager 3 mana cost.
Troll Chant and Lulu aside, most of the tier 1 cards introduced in the Call of the Mountain expansion are from Targon themselves, which is a good sign, as every new region needs to have some powerful tools to have a chance of being viable right off the bat.
Tier 2 (4.25 > rating > 3.5 stars)
It is interesting to note that every non-Lulu champion from the expansion ended up in tier 2 after our rating spree. This means they should all be playable without being overpowered and will require good deck-building skills to make the most out of them. You can go ahead and craft your favorite champion when the expansion hits, as they are all very likely to find their niche in the meta at some point. The following cards are also safe crafts that you are likely to see being included in several decks.
Honorable mentions that barely made it to Tier 2
Once again, we have several cards from Targon in this tier, which will probably make it to several archetypes involving the region and are worth crafting early on. The Shadow Isles are the big winners of this expansion, with 3 very good tools to add to their already plentiful collection. Bilgewater also gains a solid Plunder enabler that will hopefully lead to the birth of new decks in the region.
Every card that wasn’t mentioned in this article (and that also isn’t mentioned in the following section) is in the category of ‘playable, but not great’. You should see them being played every now and then within their specific archetype, but they probably won’t revolutionize the meta. What we will mention though, are the cards that are so terrible that we don’t expect them to ever see play (in their current states), so let’s go for a top 10 of the worst cards of the expansion.
The worst 10 cards of Call of the Mountain
(Do not craft unless you want to practice advanced memery)
Porofly makes the list as an honorable mention because it is the obligatory regional 1 mana Poro. Just like all of his peers, he was doomed to be terrible, so it would be unfair to blame him for it. Besides, it would sadden many members of our team, as well as of the community to see a Poro at the very bottom of the list.
The card has a terrible statline (the same one as Academy Prodigy, actually), and will die in a single hit, that is if it even manages to land one. If it does, it will replace itself with a single gem, which is still too low value to ever be worth it.
It doesn’t look like Freljord’s ramp tools are getting any better with the expansion. 2 health is too little, as the card will die to a removal spell or a challenger card without ever doing anything. It is useless when drawn late in the game and even if you have it early on, you also need to have at least one unplayable card in your hand to activate its conditional ability. Buff ramp when?
This is a terrible board wipe. You are paying twice the cost of an Avalanche for 1 more damage, and you also hit your own board with the attack debuff. The Ruination does a much better job for only one more mana.
Duskrider is too costly for what he does, his ability only triggers at Nightfall and most of the time won’t represent that big of a buff. This card is looking like a worse version of Iron Harbinger, which is already hardly the best tool the Shadow Isles have in stock.
Featuring a very weak defensive statline for 7 mana, Basilisk Bloodseeker’s effect is also really subpar. You could use it with Scarmother Vrynna as a meme win condition, but that is basically it.
This card is designed to be a survival tool against aggressive decks for ramp and/or control types of decks. The problem is, you can’t afford to spend 7 mana only to heal against these decks, as you will just end up taking more damage on the way back. Not only is the card’s tempo before turn 10 terrible, but its Enlightened effect is also very disappointing, as you will by definition have enough mana to play your big card in the first place.
This card sure looks very appealing: spending only 3 mana to draw up to 4 cards? And at Burst speed? Except it’s not. If you want the spell to have some level of consistency, you need to make a Poro, Yeti, and Elnuk deck, which are 3 notoriously bad tribes, and with no synergy between each other on top of that.
The Messenger, admittedly, is a good Celestial card - but it’s not worth spending a card to shuffle 5 of them into your deck. By the time you draw them (IF you draw them), their 2/2 statline will be almost irrelevant. Weak tempo plays like this remind you of what Counterfeit Copies does best, memeing.
Passage Unearned is yet another card with a very appealing effect. It completely shuts down specific cards like The Harrowing, making it incredibly valuable in fringe scenarios. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Legends of Runeterra doesn’t have a sideboard system, and main decking this card means you are willing to risk having a dead card in your deck/hand for the entirety of the game. Maybe it will find some niche in certain tournament metas, but this card should not be included in any ladder decks.
Boasting one of the most mediocre stat lines for its cost in the entire game, Fledgling Stellacorn is the worst card from the Call of the Mountain expansion, if not from Legends of Runeterra as a whole. To make up for its stats, 2 keywords were slapped onto it. Unfortunately, these keywords don’t even synergize with it. Fledgling Stellacorn has Lifesteal but no strength to use it and it is overall so weak that nobody is going to waste a removal spell on it anyway, reducing the usefulness of its Spellshield to a nice visual effect.