Legends of Runeterra


Legends of Runeterra: Dreamlit Paths Review - Variety Pack

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In this article, I'll analyze all the cards from the Dreamlit Paths expansion that weren't tied to any of the new champions. As usual, I'll split this review into two articles: this is only part 1 of my review of the new cards!

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Legends of Runeterra's new expansion, Dreamlit Paths, is finally here! As usual, I'll share with you what I think of each new card, and give them the rating they deserve (according to me, of course!).

I'll grade them from ★☆☆☆☆ (one star) to ★★★★★ (five stars):

★☆☆☆☆: Awful Card - This card won't be in any archetype because it currently doesn't fit any, and might even make some decks worse.

★★☆☆☆: Bad Card - This card may show up in a few extremely specific decks, but, in general, won't be relevant to the meta.


★★★☆☆: Good Card - This card will play in meta decks, and might even show up often in games, but it isn't necessarily strong.

★★★★☆: Great Card - This card will play in many meta decks and will certainly be very popular because it's incredibly powerful.

★★★★★: Meta-Defining Card - This card is so strong it might define the meta (you're either playing with it, or answering it).

This article was based entirely on my 4-year experience casting and playing LoR professionally.

Note: I reviewed and rated these cards according to the Standard format. I might even mention the Eternal format here and there, but, otherwise, assume I'm talking about these cards in the context of Standard. We won't discuss Path of Champions because I don't play that game mode.

Tell us in the comment section which cards you think will be the strongest!

Let's get to it!

We listed the new cards according to their regions to make it easier to read this review.


The Arena's Greatest

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Rating: ★★★★☆

The first card I'll review is a new type of landmark: a Story. This is a new type of card Riot introduced in this expansion.

Official definition of what Stories are.
Official definition of what Stories are.

The Arena's Greatest is extremely flexible because you can use it both offensively and aggressively. You can buff one of your units on your defensive turn (if your opponent passes priority to you by developing a unit), and this way stop your opponent from attacking you. They won't want to risk their unit if they might lose it to your buffed blocker.

Not to mention that this card, all on its own, might be the light at the end of the tunnel for Noxus' aggressive archetype in this expansion, considering Noxus will very likely once again turn into a control region.

It is nice to see Noxus got flexible, cheap cards like this one, as they may be useful in a wide variety of decks.

As for Eternal, this card may even be incredible there because Noxus is indeed an extremely aggressive region in that format.

Blighted Battleaxe

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Rating: ★★★★☆

This equipment is the epitome of Noxus aggression, and may be incredibly useful on a unit with an aggressive keyword like Overwhelm, or even Elusive.

In any case, you'll lose stats after every turn you don't attack with the unit equipped with Blighted Battleaxe - this refers to all your defensive turns; the turns your opponent has the attack token by default.

This card may be great in Noxus Freljord Overwhelm decks just because it is extremely cheap. The issue is that the Overwhelm archetype has lost some important cards in this rotation, and it might not even be that strong in the meta overall. This means this equipment might be much better in Eternal rather than Standard.

Still, I'll give Blighted Battleaxe a good rating because it is one of the few cards that gives a unit +3/+3 for only 2 mana, and that's a lot of stats for this mana cost.


Yeti Handler

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Rating: ★★★★☆

I only gave this card four stars because the discard archetype will hardly be meta next season, considering some of its main cards rotated to Eternal - this card actually deserved five stars. Even though Jinx is still in Standard, I don't believe she can carry, all by herself, this game style to the top tiers of the meta.

However, Yeti Handler may, potentially, carry the entire archetype on its back. If discard decks really make their triumphant return to the meta, it will all be because of this follower.

The amount of stats he creates on the board is incredible - and all for only 4 mana. We're talking about 6/7 stats divided into two units.

It isn't too difficult to discard cards in LoR: many cards actively want you to discard them, and a lot of them are still in Standard. They'll work really well with Yeti Handler, and that is one of the reasons why this card almost got a five-star rating.

I'm quite satisfied with this card. It shows us that Riot is willing to work with an open meta - a meta that lets us play relatively weak archetypes that just got new, strong cards in this expansion.

Piltover & Zaun

The Candlelit Prayer

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Rating: ★★★★★

This card has barely been released, and it is already a "staple" for Janna lists. Even though these lists were relatively weak in Standard in the past few months, now that the 2024 rotation gave us a smaller card pool, this archetype may once again become a strong option for players.

The Candlelit Prayer might catapult this success even more.

It really helps you regulate the mana curve of Janna lists if you draw poorly, and also helps you set up explosive turns by reducing the cost of a few cards in Janna's package, like Windborne Mariner.

The Candlelit Prayer lets Piltover & Zaun players snowball all the value they extract out of their cards turn after turn, and the only way to stop them is by destroying their landmarks.

Drawing and updrafting cards for free (when you activate this card's act II and III) is absurdly strong. It will certainly be an extremely relevant effect in the meta.

Soaring Cartographer

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Rating: ★★★★☆

This card is a tutor (albeit indirectly) in Janna lists for any card you want. In the Eternal format, it might even be a straight-up tutor for some combo piece in a specific deck - one that may even be created in a not so distant future because this card exists now.

The cards in Janna lists that either cost less or the more than Soaring Cartographer are usually the engines of this archetype, like Maryam, Temple Caretaker and Sunken Temple. So, you're guaranteed to have at least one playable unit or card after you play Soaring Cartographer, no matter which turn it is, which means you'll always be able to maintain a stable game rhythm if you play this card in Janna lists.

Not to mention, it also helps you draw Windborne Mariner early on, which is one of the most important cards in this archetype.



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Rating: ★★★☆☆

This card has a lot of potential, and isn't bad, even though it is the lowest-rated card in this article so far.

The problem with Malmutation is that it costs a lot of mana, it is a slow-speed spell, and it needs to target an ally to work. All these conditions mean it is harder to make this card work in general.

Other than that, it is clear this spell will be great in Jayce lists, as you'll Transform all your board into Albus Ferros, for instance. Still, it is an expensive combo, and probably won't see that much play even though it is relatively strong.


The Emperor's Army

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Rating: ★★★★★

Even though Shurima lost many great cards in the 2024 rotation, it got what it is probably the best card in this set.

The Emperor's Army is an extremely well-rounded card that fits, really well, basically everything Shurima wants to do as a region. It may see play in every Shurima deck from now on because it gives you blockers, Predicts, and also sets up strong attacks for you - all for the cheap price of only 2 mana.

In Eternal, this landmark will probably be broken, considering we can play Azir Irelia in this format.

Sun Disc decks might become even more popular because of this card, which, as the other cards we'll see next, will carry Shurima on their backs in this expansion.

Sunborn Summoning

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Rating: ★★★★★

There's not much to say about this card other than: Broken.

Tutoring cards is incredibly strong in Runeterra, even more if you tutor champions. For 3 mana, you get to choose the champion you want to draw, and that's extremely strong for the Sun Disc archetype, considering many times you'll lose games because you didn't draw the champions you needed.

Not to mention, this spell is incredibly powerful in basically any Shurima deck because it is a very relevant mechanic in all decks of the game.

You may even build decks with Shurima as a support region just to use this card and enable some combo.

Empire Reconstructor

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Empire Reconstructor's effect is a bit too narrow, which may mean it will be harder to make it work. However, in practice, it might not be that difficult to get value out of its effect, which brings back landmarks. Even more because this effect really fits Azir and Stories in general.

This card's true value may be in its incredibly strong, aggressive stats (great for an attacker); you might even be able to use it as a blocker. Not to mention, it blocks Elusive units, which is also relevant because this keyword is Shurima's greatest weakness. Since Shurima isn't the greatest at removing units, it makes sense to give it a unit with Sharpsight.

Shadow Isles and Bandle City

We'll discuss these regions a bit more in our next article, which will go over the rest of the new cards and should be out pretty soon. Both of these regions got Vex, so, in my next article, I'll go over each new champion and their packages in more detail.


(We'll update this section as soon as part 2 of the Dreamlit Paths review comes out!)

We decided to split these articles in two to make it easier both for you to read and for me to write.


Eager Dedicant

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

This unit seems quite interesting in the Janna Nilah archetype.

Its cost may make for its 1 health. Besides the fact that this is a really terrible stat line for a unit that wants to attack, it also means that any card that can block Brash units can stop this unit and kill it in the process.

What'll tell us whether this card is strong in the meta or not is how many 3-health units are seeing play. As I believe we'll have a lot of them because of the new keyword, Spirit, Eager Dedicant might only be strong early on, when it will hardly have a lot of attack power, considering you won't have that much mana to draw lots of cards at this point in the game.

Additionally, this unit might be too unstable in the meta because it is excellent against a few decks and terrible against others, which may make Janna lists a bit inconsistent. For those reasons, it deserves an average rating of 3 stars.

The Pit Champion

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Rating: ★★★★☆

In truth, this card deserves, like, 3.5 stars.

It is strong, but only three turns after you play it.

Unfortunately, I can't think of a proper way to use this landmark's act I and II, even though they're interesting. Its act III, which gives you 3 Coins, is so strong that players will probably activate the first two acts without actually needing them just to get to act III faster. For this reason, we can't give this card 4 stars: it doesn't do much apart from its third effect.

Obviously, you'll try to build a deck that does take advantage of this landmark's acts, but, even then, I don't believe this type of deck will be more efficient than the version that only ignores its first two effects, and instead plays around the Coins you'll get through its act III.

Bilgewater seems to be a bit stuck to Nilah archetypes for now, and this card, even though it may see play in these decks, doesn't really fit these lists directly, and that is one of the reasons why it won't be that strong.

In any case, this card will give you an insane amount of value. 3 extra mana is a lot, and may be what you need to come back or even literally win matches.

Mercenary Manners

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

This spell doesn't really fit in with the rest of the cards in this expansion. So far, the cards in this expansion have averaged pretty high in terms of power level, which means this expansion has been, so far, one of the most powerful expansions we've ever had in terms of raw power.

Unfortunately, we all know that, in practice, stealing a follower (not a champion), for only one turn, isn't that strong. Not to mention, you can only steal this follower if they have 3 health or less.

This effect might not be what Bilgewater wants right now. As we've mentioned before, this region is really stuck to Nilah lists, and this effect certainly has nothing to do with this archetype.


I analyzed this effect in another article, in which I discuss the top 5 most forgotten Shadow Isles cards - if you want to check it out, click herelink outside website.


Once again, this is one of the regions we'll discuss in part 2 of our Dreamlit Paths review, which should be out soon. Demacia got Lux: Illuminated, so we'll discuss her and her package in our next article.


Brynhir Thundersong

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Even though this card has an extremely creative, interesting effect, the value it tries to create on the board is vulnerable to landmark removal (which will likely be very popular in the meta because of Stories).

Brynhir's main targets will usually be cards that cost 4 or more mana. As her landmark's countdown is equal to the cost of the unit you choose in your hand, your opponent might have enough time to remove your landmark from the board.

Additionally, because you’ll obliterate a unit from your hand, you'll lose it too if your opponent destroys your landmark - and this will be terrible.

In any case, this card is great to summon units practically for free on your board, which means you'll be able to play at a faster game pace. Your opponent will have to deal with your board very early on.

Glacial Fell

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Glacial Fell is extremely situational. It may be just an option to heal one of your dying units, other than actively seeing play in another archetype with more synergies. Even then, it won't be the best Freljord card you can use to protect your units.

In terms of combo, I don't see much use for this spell because it is extremely redundant in Formidable archetypes, and it seems a bit difficult to fit it in a Freljord list that can work with a Formidable unit.

I'd say Udyr is the best target for this spell, but, as he was rotated, Glacial Fell won't be very relevant in the meta.

The Poro Parade

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Rating: ★★★★☆

This landmark, just like all other Stories, is remarkable, and might once again put Neeko Warden of the Tribes archetypes on the competitive map.

Each effect this card has really matches Neeko decks. The only problem is how you'll fit this card into your mana curve, considering you usually play units practically every turn with this deck, and respect the deck's mana curve.

If you're attacking on odds, this card is great because you won't have to block your opponent on turn 3. Then, you'll be free to play The Poro Parade.

Ultrasoft Poro

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Rating: ★★★★☆

A card that heals your Nexus might just be what Neeko needed in her archetype.

Her lists are known for struggling against decks that ignore your board and only deal damage to your Nexus directly - we always wished for just a little bit of healing. Now, you can actually heal while playing this archetype.


I estimate you'll always get at least 1 or 2 points of healing - if you manage to get more than this, it will be great, and if you heal over 4 points, it will be extremely broken. It will all depend on your early game.

Against Midrange matchups, if your opponent curved better than you, this card might not be this strong. In these games, you'll always have less units on the board. As a result, you'll probably not play three copies of this card in your decks. One or two copies might be enough.


We'll also discuss Ionia in part 2 of our review of Dreamlit Paths. Ionia got Lillia, so we'll discuss her and her new package of cards a bit more in part 2 of our review.


Veiled Blessings

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Even though this card really matches this expansion, it is quite average. It is the type of card that is popular just because it has a modern effect that fits whatever's happening in LoR nowadays. However, it isn't, by far, the best card in its deck.

It may be useful to fill a space in Targon lists that support a Spirit-focused strategy.

It also really matches Taric, who will also probably be powerful in this meta. With this card and this champion in mind, we may just have found a good pair for Lux: Illuminated.

Dragonsong Dreamer

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Rating: ★★★★☆

This card might reignite Standard lists that focus on Celestial cards.

Evoking a Celestial card has always been a really slow play; with Dragonsong Dreamer, you'll get defensive value by summoning a Dragonling on the board when you Evoke.

This way, you won't lose "tempo" and also force your opponent to deal with this unit really early on; otherwise, no early game threat will be able to get to you as long as this card is on the board and you keep Evoking Celestials.

This card addresses some of the issues Celestial lists have, and, for this reason, it may be quite relevant for Targon.

The Smokescaled Host

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

This landmark might be one of the most interesting cards for Targon in this expansion.

You may think discarding cards doesn't fit Targon's region identity. However, now that Mountain Goat has returned from rotation, Targon can once again create Gems, and they're perfect as discard fodder.

So, this landmark may give you two giant Celestials, and then reduce their cost by 5 mana.

The greatest issue with this card is that it will discount a random card in your hand. Even though you can choose the best time you want to activate this effect, it might be extremely difficult to do it consistently with a hand that can actually use this effect to the fullest.

Due to this RNG, it is tough to give it more than 3 stars, even though I know it may win many games after it reduces the cost of an expensive, valuable card in your hand.

Final Words

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