Kailinn Exists: Winners and Losers
Kailinn is a serious curve ball to Godtear. It’s great. Usually, things break down into lanes because champions want to crush each others’ banners. Kailinn is unable to participate in this, so she is strangely free to ignore her own lane. This changes things up. With changes come winners and losers. Here are some of those.
Loser - Keera
Kailinn is very bad news for the dragon princess who is similar to yet legally distinct from Daenerys Targaryen. Keera is good because she can wreck people from a distance whilst demurely playing a banner game far behind the action. Kailinn gets right up in Keera’s fragile grill and murders her quickly. Kailinn cannot crush banners, but she can plant them. If the horse lady can do so while pushing Keera away with KOs, then Keera is pretty much hosed. Yes, Keera might KO Kailinn in return, but Kailinn has the edge. Even without a boon, Kailinn’s attacks have a 72% chance to hit Keera. If both hit, they will, on average, do 4 total damage. The Virtues have it from there.
The centaur queen can avoid the dragons with her ample speed and can also KO them efficiently. A Brutal Charge and a Flashing Blade into the same dragon are, on average, going to kill it. There’s also the ultimate which just does it with no dice. One theme you're going to notice in this article is that large followers are the big losers in the arrival of Kailinn.
Usually, if the opponent has a strong counter for one of your champions, a good strategy is to deploy away from the counter. If Kailinn counters a champion, however, they have no place to hide. This means that you’ve got a strong incentive to keep champions who are countered by Kailinn off the table entirely.
The more popular Kailinn gets, the harder it is to take Keera.That solidifies Rangosh as the go-to choice in the slayer class. Rangosh does bring five soft bandits, but he can spread them out and eat them himself in order to deny big maelstrom scoring binges. He’s also able to KO Kailinn pretty quickly and to dodge a lot of her attacks.
Loser - Shayle
Shayle is in trouble against Kailinn. I love Shayle so very much, so this makes me slightly
sad. I recognize, though, that our favorite rock mage needed to be put in check. So, I guess, it’s probably ok that Kailinn absolutely wrecks Shayle.
To be more specific, Kailinn wrecks Landslide. She can come at the golem from well outside earthquake range and easily hit his dodge of 2. Assuming no boons for either party, Kailinn will roll 12 total damage dice over the course of both attacks. You expect to roll 10 strikes on 12 dice. Subtract Landslide’s armor of 3 twice, and you end up expecting four damage. That’s enough. Or… Kailinn can just use her ultimate and kill Landslide without rolling any dice.
Kailinn can also make herself dodge 4 and thus only 45% likely to be hit by Earthquake. She can also make herself accurate enough to kill Shayle pretty effectively.
I almost feel bad for Shayle, but he’s honestly rude enough to deserve it.
Winner - Raith’Marid
In a dynamic similar to the one with Keera and Rangosh, Shayle’s demise at Kailinn’s hands solidifies Raith’s position. You probably don't want to bring Nia or Rattlebone into Kailinn. Styx has a somewhat better game into Kailinn than the other two champions with large followers because he and his hounds rely on dodge 4 to stay alive and Kailinn is not the most accurate. However, Kailinn’s potential to come out of nowhere and use her ultimate to dispatch a hound is not great for the reaper. So even though Raith is not ideal into Kailinn, he’s the best shaper option you’ve got in a Kailinn world.
Raith can at least get around the board to deny Kailinn’s flag even whilst planting one of his own. Banner advantage against Kailinn puts her in a position where she needs six clash phase steps just to break even. That’s tough, even for her.
Helena’s super power is that you cannot crush her banner. Kailinn’s weakness is that she cannot crush banners. In other words, Helena’s greatest asset is meaningless against Kailinn. Helena does, however, have six followers. Delicious.
The Rallied Peasants are dodge 4, which is good against Kailinn, but only while they are close to mama. Kailinn can reposition the Peasants without spending any of her attack actions, so it’s not too hard to separate them from Helena’s protective bubble. At 3/1, Kailinn can really demonstrate the violence inherent in the system and wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at her. Without boons, Brutal Charge has a 71% chance to KO a 3/1 peasant while Flashing Blade has an 85% chance. Helena can make it substantially harder if she can keep all the peasants right next to her, but that’s easier said than done when Kailinn can casually displace them three times per turn.
Winner: Sneaky Peet
Peet is also more attractive when Kailinn is in the mix. Peet and his stabbers are actually pretty survivable against 4/6. Without boons or blights, Kailinn’s two attacks have a combined expected damage of 2.43 into Peet. Meanwhile, Peet will average 2.73 damage to Kailinn per backstab. Brutal charge has less than a 20% chance of hitting a Peet or a Sneaky Stabber, and Flashing Blade is at only 41% to hit, so Kailinn would probably rather not fight a straight up battle with Peet. I'd probably still prefer Rangosh overall, but, Peet is probably a better counter to Kailinn. The gobbo is also not bad into Rangosh himself.
Loser: Deploying Second
Normally, deploying first is a problem. The opponent gets to fill each lane after the first player does, allowing the opponent to dictate each matchup. The first player can have their champions switch lanes, but this costs precious actions. Kailinn is so fast, though, that she does not care. Kailinn switches lanes easily enough that it’s usually not a problem for her to slide into her most favorable matchup. Kailinn allows you to just plunk her down somewhere central with your first deployment (since she can go anywhere). From there, the first player can deploy reactively. This flips the usual deployment dynamic.