We have a total of 21 versatile cards that we've hand-picked, guaranteed to give you a fighting chance no matter what your playstyle.
Let's jump right in with an aggressive selection.
Starting with Aggro cards, these three are already looking like the core of a top meta deck.
Swain is a slower-paced Aggro card, but he's capable of ending games on his own once you've dealt 12 non-combat damage. His leveled up version can clear an entire board with one attack, which has to be respected.
Last but not least, Noxian Fervor has excellent synergy with Swain as it deals a total of 6 non-combat damage in a single card. It can also be a great counter to an opponent's spell or Challenger unit.
Next up we have three brilliant Control cards that are seeing play in a variety of decks, even some that focus elsewhere but splash Ionia in for these three.
Eye of the Dragon is pretty much the perfect card for control decks to push back against aggression. It has great stats for its cost but the Dragonlings it summons help top up your Nexus health nicely.
Deep Meditation is a decent spell as a 4-mana card that draws two, but it's very easy to get the discount in spell-based control decks, bringing its cost down to an insane 2 mana.
Concussive Palm functions a lot like Will of Ionia, removing a threat for a turn for 4 mana. The big difference here is that Concussive Palm also summons a unit, which is even better at combating Aggro decks.
These three cards are already seeing lots of play in Demacian Midrange decks, with very good reason.
Grizzled Ranger has decent stats and the Scout keyword, plus it summons a Loyal Badgerbear when it dies! This essentially gives you a free attack to force out a block from your opponent before swinging with Badgerbear.
Loyal Badgerbear has a very solid stat line as a 4/4 for 3-mana, which is unprecedented for Legends of Runeterra without card text that gives it a downside.
Genevieve Elmheart is a big combo piece for aggressive Midrange/Scout decks. The +1/+1 buff to your board plus Scout and Challenger keywords makes her extremely potent.
These cards are all useful at drawing extra cards, which is one of the most powerful tools in any card game.
Salvage is perfect for decks that revolve around the Toss and Deep mechanics, but don't discredit it for other Bilgewater builds. The ability to draw two and thin your deck means this is seeing play elsewhere, too.
Twisted Fate is probably the most versatile Champion currently in the game. His ability to draw, stun, or deal wide damage when played is extremely useful, and he can take over games when he's leveled — which also requires draws. Synergy!
Pick a Card, on top of being Twisted Fate's Champion Spell, is being played in multiple early versions of decks for its incredible draw potential. It might take a turn for the payoff to appear, but drawing four-card on your following turn is not to be taken lightly.
These three also synergize nicely with our next group of cards worth crafting: the Pilfer Package.
One of the new mechanics added in the Rising Tides Expansion is drawing cards from the enemy's deck. These three cards are all widely used for their ability to pilfer cards from your opponent.
Yordle Grifter is the Allegiance card for the Bilgewater region, which is often worth playing just for the free copy of Warning Shot that it creates — this is an easy way of activating Plunder effects.
Pilfered Goods is the star of the show, here. It's a 2-mana spell that can reliably steal two cards off the top of your opponent's deck. What's not to love?
Black Market Merchant has a nice effect on its own, pilfering one card from your opponent if the Plunder condition is met. Combined with either of the other two cards in the package, though, and you start to generate some crazy value.
These three Bilgewater cards are already staples — versatile cards that are must-includes — in multiple archetypes and show no signs of being replaced. They're also all Common rarity, so they're cheap to craft!
Hired Gun has a nice health stat of 3, with a valuable effect of granting the Strongest enemy the Vulnerable keyword.
Dreadway Deckhand is the cheapest way of quickly summoning Powder Kegs to increase your damage effects, while also functioning as a psuedo-House Spider (they both summon two bodies for 2 mana, which can be useful to slow down Aggro decks.)
These final three may not be considered as widely versatile — or at least, not a staple in multiple archetypes — but they're still a flexible option to craft.
Ember Maiden has been overlooked so far, as everyone is playing Bilgewater decks, but the ability to damage the Nexus on multiple turns being attached to a follower is a big deal, and this card will definitely be relevant when the meta settles.
Pool Shark is a nice, cheap 1-drop that helps you set up to draw next turn. It's seen a lot of play in early builds of a few archetypes, and the Common rarity means it's cheap to craft.
Finally, Zap Sprayfin is Rising Tides' equivalent of Shadow Assassin — a staple in many existing decks. It's a relatively cheap Elusive that draws you a card, and this will see play in quite a few Bilgewater decks for that reason.
That's it for the best cards to craft in Rising Tides. For more on Legends of Runeterra, check out our dedicated page for a range of useful guides aimed at all skill levels!