The new expansion Forces From Beyond was released with three new champions coming to Legends of Runeterra: Kai’sa, Gwen and Evelynn. These three bring new mechanics and keywords to the game. The champions are respectively from Shurima, Shadow Isles and Runeterra.
Kai’sa, Daughter of the Void
Kai’sa was just an ordinary girl, from a small village in Shurima, until one day the Void came upon the city. It swallowed the whole village, including her. When she woke up, she saw herself inside the Void, lost. Other people had survived too, but soon they were all devoured by darkness.
Alone, she tried fighting against the monsters of that place, but one of them latched onto her like a second skin. With time, Kai’sa began to adapt to it, using it as a shield and weapon. The days of survival became years and her new skin became an integral part of her. This way, she became a Void hunter, dedicated to protecting Runeterra from this other world.
In League of Legends, Kai’sa is a markswoman. She has her passive Second Skin, which allows her to evolve her abilities and make her attacks better. Besides that, she has Icathian Rain to deal damage to multiple enemies, Void Seeker which fires off a long range beam and Supercharger, which increases her movement speed and can become stronger and make her invisible in case it is evolved. Her ultimate, Killer Instinct, allows her to teletransport to an enemy marked by her.
In Legends of Runeterra, Kai’sa had her skills simplified a bit and adapted to the region she is in. Second Skin allows Kai’sa to copy allies’ keywords, which synergizes well with the new keyword Evolve, which grants +2/+2 to the allies that have this keyword after 6 positive unique keywords come into play in the game, be it keywords available at summoning, or granted keywords.
She still has ability Icathian Rain to deal damage. Supercharge and Void Seeker came as spells, the first being the champion spell, and as Shurima doesn’t match Elusive, they opted to grant Spellshield with it. Void Seeker, just as in League, deals more damage after you’ve evolved.
The champion synergizes with keywords, so she works in different ways in each region she is matched with. Demacia can offer up Scout, Fury or Challenger, which are interesting combinations with the Quick Attack she has at summon.
Other possibilities are Ionia for Elusive or Noxus and Freljord for Overwhelm. In Piltover&Zaun and Targon, she can have many keywords offered through Viktor and Pantheon, but her best match might be with Evelynn, which was designed as her pair.
The other cards from Kai’sa’s package offer nothing really new. They all take advantage of the possibilities her deck can offer. They all have low stats, but all of them have the potential of being granted +2/+2 with the Evolve keyword.
Belvethi Elder and Void Blaster help Kai’sa reach her level up condition and also offer her options of keywords. As for Hive Herald and Void Abomination, they compensate for her playstyle’s development throughout the game by offering finishers. However, they might not see much play besides decks with this champion. A big highlight is also the spell Supercharge, which fits many big finishers that can bring Shurima along, such as Lee Sin, Viego and Nasus.
Of the three champions, Kai’sa is probably the weakest. She is very dependent on her deck so it might take a while to see strong decks with her being built and played. But she is probably not too weak to ever see play, so if you’re a fan of this champion, you can relax!
Gwen, The Hallowed Seamstress
Gwen was created by Isolde, before she met Viego. In the past, Isolde was only a simple seamstress who made a doll to keep herself company. They spent the days together, the lifeless doll being played by Isolde, as if she was sewing the clothes and then they ate together.
But for a long period of time, Gwen was in the dark, stored and replaced by Viego. Until a thousand years later she saw herself on a beach, but this time she was a real person, and not only just a doll. A fragment of Isolde’s soul had given her life, but it also made her become a target for Viego’s black mist. Fortunately, Isolde’s soul equipped Gwen with an ability also: the Sacred Mist, from the times the Shadow Isles were the Blessed Isles. The mist allowed her to use her maker’s tools: needle, thread and scissors, which became weapons that can purify the darkness that Viego created. With this new way of fighting, Gwen left to explore and protect Runeterra.
In League of Legends, Gwen is a fighter that uses her passive A Thousand Cuts to strengthen her attacks, dealing extra damage and healing her. She also has Snip Snip!, which is an attack that allows her to cuts enemies in front of her with her scissors, Skip ‘N Slash which allows her to dash in a short direction and Needlework, her ultimate, which hurls multiple needles. Finally, she can protect herself by using her Hallowed Mist to prevent her from being hit by certain effects.
In Legends of Runeterra, we had an adaptation of her skills. The protection from Hallowed Mist didn’t fit Shadow Isles as a region, so it wasn’t accepted as part of her kit. A Thousand Cuts got in as an effect in Hallowed, allowing the increase of your attackers’ power, but also got in as part of the skill ability Snip Snip! which drains health from the enemy Nexus. Needlework and Skip ‘N Slash didn’t come to her kit in this game.
Gwen must match regions such as Demacia and Noxus really well, which allow for multiple attacks through cards such as Golden Aegis, Cataclysm and Ruined Reckoner, which take advantage of the Hallowed buffs. But she also works really well with decks that want one or two units with strengthened attacks, such as Overwhelm or Elusive units, so Ionia can also be a match for her.
A champion that should work with her is Viego himself, to take advantage of the Hallowed strengthened attacks, and as he is in her same region, this could allow for more flexibility in choosing a second region to your deck.
This champion also came along with other cards in her set. They all work really well with her, but some really add up to other archetypes.
Boisterous Host is a nice 1 mana card to any deck that uses Shadow Isles. Strike Up the Band can be used in ephemeral decks that want to summon many units, such as Hecarim/Lucian or Hecarim with Ionia. Ghostly Paramour should work with decks that are control and Eternal Dancers can see some interesting combos.
Gwen has many different playstyles and potential to take part in other control and midrange decks. She should have potential as the season goes on, but might not be too powerful, just at the right spot to see play.
Evelynn, Agony’s Embrace
Evelynn is one of the many demons existing in Runeterra. She feeds off people's suffering. When she came to, she didn’t have an exact form and barely had any conscience. But, with the Runic Wars, a great destructive event that happened in the world, she started to vibrate with joy and started to evolve.
When the wars ended, she had to adapt to the new world and started trying to gain a physical form that could attract humans. When she developed her female form, she started to hunt. She would attract humans to a torturing end to end her hunger, but it was never enough and she was always looking for more.
In League of Legends, she is an assassin. Her passive is Demon Shade, which grants her invisibility so she can approach her enemies. Her skills are Hate Spike, which deals damage in a straight line many times, Allure which charms a victim and increases the damage they receive and Whiplash, which allows her to close in on an enemy.
Her ultimate, Last Caress, deals a lot of damage to weakened foes and warps her to safety, usually after slaying an enemy.
In Legends of Runeterra, Evelynn lost much of her identity as a champion. Her focus became purely on the story of her victims being absorbed by her, but she creates her own victims through her Origin mechanic ability Agony’s Embrace and her followers. Her skills that were translated from one game to another were Last Caress as her champ spell, which has the same effect as her League ultimate of protecting and striking, Hate Spike which fits the Husks really well by having the same damage effect and Allure which creates a Husk, as if it is already charmed.
All cards in Evelynn’s set create Husks and most work very well with her, but also in other decks. Domination can be used in any deck that has a lot of 1 mana allies, such as Azir/Irelia or aggro decks. Sultur is the most basic unit and works well in any slay deck for its efficiency in cost, and maybe the same goes for Vora. The other cards shouldn’t see much play in decks outside of Evelynn’s decks, except maybe if you try a combo with Steem and Void Abomination.
Evelynn bases her power off keywords distribution and extra stats. Considering the game’s history, this is an excellent win condition. Though she is the most boring champion considering how her design was translated into Legends of Runeterra, she will probably be very powerful and a great craft, especially early in the season.
But besides these champions, the expansion also brought a lot of other cards that can be used in other archetypes, so we will see many new decks popping up. Which of them are you most anxious to play?