Legends of Runeterra Empires of the Ascended Decks to Try
Empires of the Ascended is here, and since it has arrived, it’s time to look at decks in Legends of Runeterra! I want to focus here on decks that utilize the new cards in some capacity or another. I do not think they will all have Shurima champions in them though. Other factions got some really interesting cards as well, like Shadow Isles’ addition of Kindred. She’s going to make certain decks very happy. I also want to look at possibilities for Lissandra, as she’s going to be a powerhouse if she gets rolling. Watcher obliterating the enemy deck fills me with a joy that I cannot explain here.
Some of these will probably be fairly obvious, given how the internet has gone (Possible OTK Ledros/Timelines Combo, Shurima Azir), but I like the idea of Azir/Hecarim too! He practically creates value for Ephemeral decks with his Sand Soldiers. How would you like to be virtually guaranteed a Shark Chariot every single attack phase? It’s already pretty easy to do, but it’s easier than ever now. Empires of the Ascended cards will be in a variety of Legends of Runeterra decks, I can promise you that. I’m not sure what deck I’m going to focus on for my personal time, but I’ve got a few in mind. You’ll see them all here, that’s for sure!
Whether any of these decks dominate the LoR landscape, remains to be seen. The expansion only dropped last week, so I’ve had some time to look around and think about what I like in the community/what I want to see flourish. But I can’t think of any better way to start than with my emperor and yours, the Lord of the Sands, Azir! We didn’t get to reveal him when he showed up, so we’ll talk about him in this deck (and possibly others).
Behold, The Emperor (Azir/Renekton Deck)
The aim here is of course, that Restored Sun Disc. Since this is a Solo-Region deck, we can immediately draw this into our starting hand. Sure, it has a Countdown of 25. But we can make it pop off a bit faster than it sounds. You can, in theory, get your Renekton and Azir to Level 3 by Turn 5, but it takes a little look and doing. But it’s possible! The Empires of the Ascended decks are all crazy in Legends of Runeterra, but not like this. Azir’s Level 3 form literally changes your deck into a game-ender deck – The Emperor’s Deck.
It swaps your deck for new cards, cards that can more or less all just end the game in a variety of ways. A solid mix of Champions, Followers, and Spells, Azir/Renekton can do so much. This is a mid-game deck, so you’re not going to win on turn 3. But by turn 5-6, we should hopefully be set up to decimate someone’s field. There is a perfect hand to start with, but we aren’t going to count on that. But it would be hilarious and brutal.
We want Azir, Renekton, and Ascended’s Rise. That will set us up to get the Restored Sun’s Disc on turn 5, provided our opponent doesn’t destroy it. This deck only runs one, but it should be fast enough to where it’s not going to matter.
How’s It Work?
I’m really sad we missed out on talking about Azir. He’s a 3-cost Champion and comes into play as a ⅕. When allies attack, you summon an attacking Sand Soldier, which is a great way to add aggression to your deck. It also plays into his Level Up. When you’ve summoned 10 units, Azir levels up. Level 2 Azir becomes a 2/6, and whenever allies attack, you still summon a Sand Soldier. When you summon an ally, give both Azir and that ally +1/+0 for the round. Like all Ascended champions, it requires a Restored Sun Disc to Level up to Level 3.
Level 3 Azir, as I said, you replace your deck with the Emperor’s Deck and draw a card. Now, when allies attack, you summon an attacking Sandstone Charger. We’ll cover those cards soon enough. But why do we want the aforementioned cards (Azir, Renekton, Ascended’s Rise) in our starting hand? Because we’ll be guaranteed to have a Buried Sun Disc to play on turn 1.
We’re going to store our mana other than that for Turn 5. We play Azir and Buried Sun Disc on turn 3. Turn 4, we drop Renekton. Turn 5, we use the spare mana we had stored for Ascended’s Rise. It’s a 7-cost spell, but it levels up your Level 1 Ascended Champions. Now we have Level 2 Azir and Renekton. With Restored Sun’s Disc at 20 from turns passing, we should be ready to go. You can also play Buried Sun Disc on turn 1 if you have no fear, also.
If it goes entirely to plan, on Turn 5, we have Level 3 Azir and Renekton, and the writing is on the wall. We do have other cards to keep the game going if things don’t go to plan, don’t worry. We can still win if it doesn’t pop off that way. Aspiring Chronomancer is a Predict card, which lets us pick from 1 of 3 cards to put on top of your deck. We can keep the game at our pace with Rock Hopper dropping those fun Roiling Sands cards.
If things are not going your way, Golden Ambassador draws a champion and grants it +2/+2, provided your next card is a Shurima (Allegiance), which it 100% will be. We have hard hitters like our 4/6 Rampaging Baccai, which has Overwhelm. If you’ve slain 4+ units this game when it comes into play, this and an enemy strike each other.
We have the card draw with the Preservarium Landmark, which when it counts down to zero (from 2), you draw 1, and you draw 1 when it comes into play. We can use the Ancient Hourglass to obliterate an ally and create a Stasis Statue in its place. Then that will bring back the initial creature back, which, for my money, is going to be Golden Ambassador or Xenotype Researchers. Xenotype gives 3 random allies in your deck +3/+3, so to do it twice is fantastic.
But the ideal way to win is by hitting a Restored Sun Disc. What do you get with the Emperor’s Deck? I’ll keep it brief and just describe the cards.
- Emperor’s Guard (2-Cost Follower): A 5/4 Fearsome for 2, when it’s summoned, draw a card.
- Golden Herald (5-Cost Follower): A 6/6, Upon Play and Round Start, summon 2 Sand Soldiers and grant them +2/+2. Wow.
- Eternal Gladiator (7-Cost Follower): Now this is something. A 10/7 with Barrier, Draw 1 when summoned. Round End: The Strongest enemy and this strike each other.
- General’s Palace (5-Cost Landmark): Enemies are Vulnerable, period. At the start of each round, Rally.
- Emperor’s Prosperity (2-Cost Spell, Burst): Easy enough: Draw 2.
- Crumbling Sands (4-Cost Spell, Fast): Obliterate an enemy follower. Draw 1. So. Much. Draw.
- Shimmering Mirage (3-Cost Spell, Burst): Summon an exact copy of an ally. It’s Ephemeral. Draw 1. Huzzah, more Golden Herald.
- Sandstorm (9-Cost Spell, Slow): Obliterate 3 enemy units or Landmarks. Mmm. Delicious destruction.
- Ascended’s Call (10-Cost Spell, Slow): Rally. Summon Renekton and Nasus. Immediately Level them up to 3.
All of these spells feel like game-winners. Personally, the best one is Ascended’s Call. If you drop that, the enemy is going to lose. Honestly, just putting Azir and Renekton into play and leveling them up is strong enough. I would consider, if you’re worried, putting an extra Buried Sun Disc in, perhaps for an Ancient Preparations.
Azir (3) x3
Renekton (4) x3
Ancient Preparations (1) x3
Buried Sun Disc (1) x1
Preservarium (2) x3
Aspiring Chronomancer (2) x3
Rock Hopper (2) x3
Xenotype Researchers (3) x3
Desert Naturalist (4) x1
Golden Ambassador (4) x3
Rampaging Baccai (5) x2
Exhaust (1) x2
Shaped Stone (1) x3
Ancient Hourglass (2) x2
Quicksand (3) x3
Ascended’s Rise (7) x2
This deck feels risky, but that combo is just too good to resist. You’ve got so many solid followers, champions, and spells regardless. You can still win the day with value cards, buffing the allies in your deck, and swarm the other player down. But let’s be real: We want that turn 5 godlike draw. It’s possible to do even if it’s not your turn 5 play. The Emperor’s Deck is powerful at any phase of the game. It has a ton of draw and culminates with Level 3 Champions (more of them, if you already have two in play). I’m excited to see what this can do.
Concurrent Timelines OTK Combo Deck (Elise/Kindred Shadow Isles/Piltover Combo)
This is a combo that a friend linked to me, and there are apparently a few ways to go about it. Personally, I like the Elise and Kindred deck, just because it’s a great deck to control the flow of the game so you can get to the OTK. Through the power of Concurrent Timelines, an exciting Piltover/Zaun card. It’s an effect that lasts for the rest of the game, and your opponent can do nothing about it if it gets into play. That’s why it’s so important to drop it on turn one. We do this before our opponent can use any counterspells.
What’s so great about Concurrent Timelines? For the rest of the game, the first time you play a follower each round, pick 1 of 3 followers with the same cost to transform it into. So we can take our creatures and potentially make them something better – or get the same creature again maybe. This is important, because if the creature has an ability that triggers when it’s on stack (as it’s being cast), that ability will still proc regardless. We get the next creature before the old creature fully resolves. So with Commander Ledros’ “Deal damage to the enemy Nexus equal to half its Health, rounded up”, that sits on the stack but doesn’t resolve.
That’s not a game-winner, but it hurts. But we have a potential combo through Concurrent Timelines to turn it into an OTK. It doesn’t have every single time sadly, because we have a chance. We spend most of the game whittling the other player down, setting up our Champions, and setting ourselves up for success. Then we play Commander Ledros, and if all goes well, we win immediately. I was talking to someone else that said it’s a very high chance to get the card we want since it will give us another 9-drop. Roughly 60-70% chance, but don’t quote me on that.
But what do we have to make all this kick off? Let’s talk about it.
How’s It Work?
We absolutely want to play Concurrent Timelines as soon as humanly possible. It only triggers on the first follower each turn, so you can use it on stuff you don’t care as much about (or cards that we want to trigger an ability and leave). It doesn’t work on Champions either, so we still get Elise and Kindred, our new pal in the Shadow Isles. Here’s what we’re looking for though. An early game (turn 1 hopefully) Concurrent Timelines, then we just need to hold out until Commander Ledros is ready to cast. We cast Commander Ledros as the first follower for a turn.
Hopefully, he doesn’t get countered though. If he resolves, he transforms into 1 of 3 creatures. Ideally, we want The Dreadway from Bilgewater. It’s a 4/8 for 9 with Fearsome. It doubles all damage dealt by our spells, skills and abilities. Oh and you can draw a Gangplank too. That won’t happen though. The Dreadway’s ability triggers before Commander Ledros turning 50% of the enemies Nexus into 100% of its Health. Thus, an OTK. Game over.
Kindred is a big part of our strategy, making sure we get rid of the opponent’s minions each round. We just have to make sure we have the capacity to slay targets. In order to “slay” a target, it has to die via combat damage, spell damage, or a direct kill effect. No other things count as a “slay”. She levels up by seeing you slay two units with her Mark. The mark triggers the first time you slay a unit each round. When you do this, she marks the Weakest enemy. At Round End, she kills anyone with a Mark.
So we can use some of our direct kill effects to trigger this easily. She goes from a 4/4 for 5, to a 5/5 for 5 and both have Quick Attack. Now the first time you slay a unit each round, she gains +2/+2, and she marks the Weakest enemy. She still kills enemies that are marked at Round End too. So she gets bigger and bigger, and by the time it’s too late, she is a must-block threat. She’s a great card to win with if our combo doesn’t kick-off.
We have lots of creatures that benefit us when they die, and we can simply put them in harm’s way. Elise for example creates a Spider each time she attacks. Vile Feast also drains 1 from a unit to create a Spiderling. We just need 3+ Spiderlings to level up Elise. She’s our early game threat. She’s now a 4/3 with Fearsome/Challenger, and all other Spider Allies have Challenger and Fearsome. We can use these to pick off inconvenient threats or make sure something gets slain.
If we want to make sure a creature is slain, we have Mystic Shot for our enemies, and Glimpse Beyond for our allies. We can sacrifice our Cursed Keeper to Glimpse Beyond, which lets us draw 2 cards, and it creates an Escaped Abomination (4/3). Conversely, we can use the Prey that Fading Icon summons. We can use Vile Feast on that as well. It kills a unit and creates another (a 1/1 Spiderling). Blighted Caretaker also kills an ally when summoned to also summon 2 Saplings. Chump Whump will also give us some Mushroom Clouds to drop into our deck. Nobody escapes the Shrooms. If you thought we were out of ways to kill allies, you’d be wrong! We also have Spirit Leech which kills an ally to draw 2 (as a 4/1).
Even if Ledros doesn’t become a copy of The Dreadway, The Rekindler still should bring him back. He “transforms”, but I’m pretty sure that still counts as a death. You just have to carefully plan what you play when, so you can get good stuff from your Concurrent Timelines. Since our creatures trigger abilities when summoned, you should still get the Mushrooms, the kill ally to draw cards, et cetera. The Rekindler is a 7-cost, so we should get something good for him too. But at the end of the day, we want to see the OTK. If not, we can use all those kill effects, spaced out so Kindred gets bigger and bigger.
Once we have 9-mana, you should be all set up to win the game. Kindred should be enough, hopefully to make sure our opponent has no options, and to use our creatures wisely as blockers and attackers, forcing the other player to deal with threats. We could in theory win before the OTK even happens, but it’s so satisfying to watch trigger.
Elise (2) x3
Kindred (5) x3
Cursed Keeper (1) x2
Fading Icon (2) x3
Blighted Caretaker (3) x3
Chump Whump (4) x2
Spirit Leech (4) x3
Chempunk Shredder (5) x2
The Rekindler (7) x1
Commander Ledros (9) x2
Rummage (1) x2
Glimpse Beyond (2) x2
Mystic Shot (2) x3
Vile Feast (2) x3
Withering Wail (5) x2
Vengeance (7) x1
While risky, this is a deck that’s a genuine load of fun. You can win without the OTK, and through Concurrent Timelines, you can see other exciting cards, depending on what follower you are casting first each turn. It’s a deck that’s a little chaotic, but if you like taking risks and figuring out the best way to get things going based on what you transform, it’s the deck for you. I think it’s got a lot of possibilities, and there are other ways to make the deck, that’s for sure.
There’s an alternate way to build it that my friend in question, Red, turned me towards. Instead of running lots of followers, it mostly runs spells to slow the game down until you get the Ledros going. It also runs Corina Veraza to potentially win the game. Between these and Hexcore Foundry to give both players an extra card draw each turn. It’s a completely different strategy, so I may come back to this later in the blog.
LeBlanc is Useful? She is With Ashe! (Noxus/Freljord Midrange)
I thought LeBlanc was going to be terrible, let me be clear from the outset. Out of all of the champions to go in the Legends of Runeterra Empires of the Ascended decks, I didn’t expect to see much of LeBlanc. She just felt kind of bland to me. A bit hard to figure out a spot for, but I was wrong. So very wrong. As I dove back into Legends of Runeterra, I ran into a Noxus/Freljord deck built around Ashe. But it also ran a copy of LeBlanc, where once she levels up, the game is just about over.
She’s not a key to the deck, as the deck works just fine without her. But getting her is incredibly satisfying, as you can use her Mirror Image to copy either Ashe or Captain Farron to seal your opponent’s doom with the greatest of ease. It’s not a very hard deck to pilot, and Ashe feels like she’s in a very good place right now.
The idea behind the deck is to have LeBlanc see us do 15+ damage so she can level up. The downside is that she’s a 5/2. Admittedly, she has Quick Attack, but she’s well within striking range of Mystic Strike to easily see her killed. We’ve got a lot of Frostbite for combat to help us out, and a quick buff, Troll Chant to help her survive random damage spells/abilities.
Even without her, we’ll do just fine, but it makes the deck very dangerous. Why? Whenever Level 2 LeBlanc sees you deal 15+ damage, she creates a Mirror Image in your hand. If you already have one there, reduce its cost by 1 instead. This damage doesn’t specify where it goes to, either. You, your units, your opponent/followers, it all adds up. It adds up fast. We use this Mirror Image on Captain Farron to make even more Decimate cards to cast on our opponent.
How’s It Work?
I won’t lie, this deck absolutely stomped the snot out of me the other day. I had the game won, bringing someone down to about 6 life. I needed one more turn to close it out, but then the Decimates fell on my face. It was so many, I didn’t even know how to react, other than being split wide open. It’s a very cut-and-dry deck.
We can bully the other player down with the Kato the Arm support as well, especially when we pair it with someone that has Quick Attack. We can use them with any of our big, 5+ power units. The Omen Hawk will help, as it makes our next two units in the deck gain +1/+1. Suddenly, that 5/2 LeBlanc is an 8/2 with Quick Attack/Overwhelm! Now she has to be blocked and probably has too much damage to even get a strike back in return. This deck is built around doing lots of damage, and also Frostbiting people a lot. If LeBlanc sees that 15+ damage, she’ll level up and grant you that Mirror Image. When we get our Captain Farron, that’s what we want to spend that on. If you get multiple triggers of the ability, you can make it cost less and less.
But how do we utilize Ashe? You could clone Level 2 Ashe as well, to get a 6/4 for that turn, but I wouldn’t really do it unless we’re sure it’s going to win. Ashe levels up when you Frostbite 5+ enemies. She Frostbites the Strongest enemy whenever she attacks, but we can help set that up much faster. When she levels up, she also creates a Crystal Arrow on the top of your deck. It Frostbites an enemy, and all other enemies with 3 or less Health, and draws a card.
This is especially useful because Level 2 Ashe prevents Enemies with 0 Power from blocking. So we Frostbite targets, prevent them from blocking and just overwhelm them with damage. The more opportunities for Frostbite we have, the more damage we do without receiving recompense/return damage. That makes Frostbite cards incredibly important to our deck. Ashe can come out as a Level 2, thankfully.
The classic Icevale Archer Frostbites someone when it comes into play, for example. Flash Freeze applies Frostbite at Burst Speed for 3 mana also. Harsh Winds also Frostbites 2 enemies for 6 mana, at Burst Speed. So we have plenty of chances to do it. Try to make sure it’s done for the right reasons (an aggressive creature coming in, making sure you’ll defeat an enemy while saving yours). When we’ve got LeBlanc out, we can also use creatures like Trifarian Gloryseeker to deal damage to something, while also removing a threat. It’s a 5/1 Challenger for 2 that can’t block. So we use it to immediately eliminate something early while stacking damage for LeBlanc.
We can get extra damage going through Avarosan Trapper’s Enraged Yeti, which spawns within the top three cards of your deck. We can remove threats that are Frozen, with Culling Strike. It kills a unit with 3 or less Power. Since Frostbite puts their Power at 0, well. . .
If we need to help get LeBlanc her level faster, we also have the spell Bloody Business. For 4 mana, this Fast Spell has an ally with 5+ Power strike an enemy. If we use this on something Frostbitten, it’s free 5+ damage to go to your LeBlanc setup. Whispered Words is also new and helps us draw cards. Normally it’s a 4-cost at Burst, but if you’ve dealt 5 damage at least 4 times this game, it now costs 2 instead! All this culminates into us casting Captain Farron and Mirror Imaging them.
Decimate is a 5-cost Slow Speed spell, that deals 4 damage to the enemy Nexus. So with this, we get at least 4 Decimates, totaling 12 damage to the enemy Nexus. If we just use the above to get it into killing range, the two Decimates will be enough. Just remember that we have extra options if we can’t manage to slow the other player down. If it means we’re just deleting their creatures over and over, eventually, we will overcome them.
We have another card that can really lock this game down. If you’ve Frostbitten/weakened the enemy board, and you have at least 1 (but hopefully more) 5+ Power unit, you can cast Reckoning. If you do, cast this, and it kills all units that are 4 or less power. A potential board wipe, but it can also hurt you. We also have some card draw to help if we have 5+ power units, in the form of a Trifarian Assessor. When we cast them, we draw 1 for each 5+ power ally we have. So this could turn into real value.
LeBlanc (3) x3
Ashe (4) x3
Omen Hawk (1) x2
Icevale Archer (2) x3
Trifarian Gloryseeker (2) x3
Avarosan Trapper (3) x3
Kato the Arm (5) x3
Trifarian Assessor (5) x3
Captain Farron (8) x1
Elixir of Iron (1) x1
Troll Chant (2) x3-
Culling Strike (2) x3
Flash Freeze (2) x2
Bloody Business (4) x2
Whispered Words (4) x2
Harsh Winds (6) x2
Reckoning (6) x1
This is a deck that I have not personally used, but I like the concept of it. I’ve seen it used against me though and so I know it works well. You just have to put in the time and work with damaging and harassing enemy units and taking damage on them yourself (as long as LeBlanc is out). I think Ashe is pretty undervalued anyway, and this deck puts her to fantastic use. You can easily win before Captain Farron’s ever an issue, too. The constant harassment with the slows and a possible cloned Ashe can really just melt someone’s whole frontline. From there, we just deal damage until we win! It’s not a hard one to pilot, I think.
Lissandra’s Watcher Is Infuriating (Shurima/Freljord Control)
Lissandra is such an interesting champion. She’s packing a ridiculous, normally impossible to cast – normally. We can make him cost 0 thanks to his own passive, or with the spell Revitalizing Roar. Whichever comes first will be the way we go. It’s a control deck where we slow the pace and look to get that Watcher cast. Instead of a 17-cost creature, we’re shooting for 0 instead. It’s not too hard to get Lissandra to level 2. You just need to summon 2 allies that costs 8+. There are so many lower-cost creatures and spells that can facilitate that.
We even have some ways to stop Landmark shenanigans, thanks to the Desert Naturalist, and the Rite of Negation for a counter option. No, I don’t mean Pact of Negation – that’s MTG. It’s a counter that requires you to kill an ally or destroy a Mana Gem. If you’re ahead of the curve somehow, it’s not so bad. Our big decisive way to win though is through Watcher. After all, if you can’t draw, you lose immediately, like in MTG Arena. So what does this Watcher do? An 11/17 for 17, it costs 0 if you’ve summoned 4+ allies that cost 8+ this game. When you attack with it, it Obliterates the enemy deck. From there, you can just pass turn.
It doesn’t even matter if it hits the other player. As soon as they go to draw, that’s the end of the ride for them. It’s horrifying, and it’s not really that hard to get going. We can make plenty of 8+ cost creatures to get things popping off, don’t you worry my friend. It’s honestly pretty easy. Even if we have to sacrifice our Lissandra to make that happen. She will be back, of course.
How’s It Work?
Lissandra is the star here. A 3-cost Freljord Champion, and a ⅔. When she’s summoned, she summons a Frozen Thrall. Frozen Thrall is a 1-cost Landmark, and has a Countdown: 8. When it gets to 0, you summon a Frostguard Thrall, which is an 8/8 Overwhelm for 8. So how can we get to another one of these in a reasonable pace? Ancient Hourglass is here to help. It lets us Obliterate an ally, and summon a Stasis Statue in its place. We can either use this on a completed Frostguard Thrall, or on Lissandra herself.
Doing it to Lissandra makes this trigger earlier, not having to wait for the 8 turns to get an 8/8 in play and re-summon him. Instead, we get two Frozen Thralls, back to back. We also need to see a Darklorn Inquisitor as fast as possible. A 5-cost creature, it summons a Frozen Thrall when he comes into play. There’s another very important feature. At Round End, if a Countdown of your Frozen Thralls is 4 or less, advance them immediately to 0. This gives us faster 8/8s and makes it easier to Level Up Lissandra. From that point, we need two more Frozen Thralls/or other 8-cost creatures.
From here, Three Sisters, a 1-cost Burst Spellwill come in handy. It creates a Fleeting Flash Freeze, Fury of the North, or Entomb in hand. We’ll be wanting Entomb, because it Obliterates a unit and summons a Frozen Tomb in its place. After a Countdown of 2, it summons an exact copy of the Obliterated unit you replaced. So we use it on the 8/8, and make yet another copy of it. It still says “Summon”, so it counts. Ancient Hourglass does the same thing, so we can use this as well to make copies. After the first two, Lissandra Levels Up. She’s now a ¾ with Tough, and also makes your Nexus Tough. So both take 1 less damage. She creates a Fleeting 0-cost Ice Shard every Round too. Ice Shard deals 1 damage to everything, so it deals 0 to her and your Nexus. You can use this to win if you’d like, but it’s tedious.
When she Levels up, you create a Watcher in hand. So you can make it 0 by having summoned 4+ 8-cost minions. Conversely, we can wait until we have 10 mana. Revitalizing Roar is a 7-cost Spell, and normally you pick a unit to reveal in your hand. It heals your Nexus equal to its power. If you’re Enlightened (have 10 mana), you reduce its cost to 0. So you heal your Nexus for 11, and now have the ability to cast him for 0 regardless.
Doing this on your turn is preferable, especially if your opponent doesn’t have the mana to instantly kill him. All we need to do is declare an attack with Watcher to obliterate your opponent’s deck. We can use our Ice Shard spam to deal 1 to everything every turn (multiple times occasionally), to make sure we always have the power to keep the board clear. We also have Spirit Fire which gives enemies -2/-0 and “Round End: Deal 2 to me” this Round. So we have plenty of area damage to slow the game down, and 8/8 creatures to harass/block with.
We have some card draw to make this all go faster too. Preservarium is a Landmark that has you Draw 1 when summoned, and when Countdown 2 ends, we draw another 1. We can also use Rite of Calling to kill an ally or destroy a Mana Gem to draw a Champion. On the positive side, it does grant us a Lissandra. Aspiring Chronomancer also features Predict. It lets us choose one of three cards to put on top of our deck. The Landmark Ancient Preparations does the same and lets us create a Clockling.
That’s pretty much the whole deck in a nutshell. We slowly deal damage to the enemies, summon a small army of 8/8s, and finally, hit the other player with the Watcher. It doesn’t even have to be quick. As long as you can survive the enemy onslaught, you can win when you’re at 1 life. It can certainly happen. Once the Watcher swings, that’s the end of the game.
Lissandra (3) x3
Ancient Preparations (1) x3
Preservarium (2) x3
Aspiring Chronomancer (2) x3
Kindly Tavernkeeper (3) x3
Desert Naturalist (4) x3
Draklorn Inquisitor (5) x3
Rite of Calling (0) x2
Three Sisters (1) x3
Ancient Hourglass (2) x2
Troll Chant (2) x3
Ice Shard (3) x3
Rite of Negation (4) x2
Revitalizing Roar (7) x1
Spirit Fire (7) x3
This is another deck that can be played in a few ways. Another popular way is Solo Freljord, using Lissandra and Trundle. That deck has the advantage of being one faction and has room for mana ramp and more 8+ drops. But I like this more for the Predict, the card draw, and the ability to help duplicate creatures faster. We can potentially get things going much faster I think, with Freljord/Shurima. I can’t wait to see if it winds up dominating people on the ladder.
Overwhelming Force Is The Only Force (Shurima/Freljord Midrange Overwhelm)
You know one of the best things about card games? BIG. NUMBERS. Overwhelming players with so much force that there’s nothing they can do but accept the inevitable defeat. That’s what is best in life. We run people down with this deck, at all phases of the game. The early game is built around our creatures applying pressure, and once mid-game hits and our big champions drop, the game’s done for. Ideally, we drop Sejuani as a Level 2 immediately. It’s harder for Sivir and impossible for Renekton, but that will be just fine.
Everything in this deck is a terror. Hopefully, our starting hand has one of those three Ancient Yeti cards in it too. Each turn it stays there, its cost reduces by 1. So in a few turns, it goes from a 7-cost (5/5 Overwhelm) to a 3 or 4. Even if our early game isn’t filled with huge numbers, we can use abilities like Predict to help facilitate that or employ a variety of landmarks to help fill the gaps. Then the mid-game happens. Big numbers start dropping like bombs, we buff our units and swing for serious damage.
The concept is that we poke them down aggressively early, and force players to block and lose units, to just deal nickel-and-dime levels of damage. Then when Renekton and Sejuani drop, that Overwhelm damage is really going to hurt. We just have to damage the enemy Nexus in 5 different rounds. Easier in a deck with Teemo, but more satisfying here.
Sadly, this isn’t a deck where we get a Level 3 Renekton, but honestly? We don’t need it here. We’ve got enough friends to make this thing kick off juuuuuuust right. We’ve also got a few very solid ways to make enemies Vulnerable, so we can Overwhelm through weaker targets, easily clearing Nexus damage. It’s a blast, this deck.
How’s It Work?
This deck is all about the mid-game. Our early game sets up for it, then we start swinging for super-big numbers. The best things to see in our early game/starting hand are Ancient Yeti, Xenotype Researchers, and Ancient Preparations. Ancient Preparations is a Landmark we’ve discussed already. It Predicts, and after a Countdown of 2, it summons a Clockling. In essence, we get a free 2/2 creature, so it’s something we can swing with. Xenotype Researchers is a 3/3 for 3, and when it summons, it randomly grants 3 creatures in your deck +3/+3. That’s a lot of 3s.
Hopefully, this lands on our Champions, or something like Alpha Wildclaw, to make it go from a 7/6 Overwhelm for 6 to a 10/9 for 6. We’re running 3 Xenotypes, so we don’t want to be shy about playing them. Ancient Yeti, as we explained, starts as a 7-cost, but goes down at the end of each Round. The ability to drop this as a 3 or 4 cost is really undeniably good. It has to be in your hand to get that benefit though.
Aspiring Chronomancer in the early game also Predicts for us, which is never bad. This can help us fish for a solid champion to play that we haven’t drawn into quite yet. Rock Hopper is also key. A 3/1 for 2, it summons a Roiling Sands when it comes in. Roiling Sands is one of our ways to give a creature Vulnerable. When an enemy is summoned, you destroy the Sands to grant that enemy Vulnerable. This can force an opponent to misplay, deciding not to play a key card because it will be able to eliminated with ease.
A turn-5 Ruin Runner would be excellent as well. A 6/4 for 5 mana, it has Overwhelm and Barrier, giving it free damage in essence. However, on turn 4, hopefully, we can drop a Renekton to start the level up process. When he Challenges an enemy, you give him +2/+1 for the round (4/4 base). Our ability to grant things Vulnerable helps with that passive. Exhaust does the same, granting a minion -2/-0 and Vulnerable (for the round).
It shouldn’t take Renekton long to deal 12+ damage, especially with Vulnerability. Two turns if all goes well. His Level 2 form makes him a 5/5 with Overwhelm and attacking grants him a temporary +3/+3. We can stack other buffs on top of that as well if we’d like. He’s a part of our game winning swings, of course.
Thankfully, Sivir doesn’t have to be out to level up. You just have to deal 35 damage. She’s a 5/3 for 4 though, with Quick Attack and Spellshield. She levels up by just us being aggressive. When she does though, she becomes a 6/4 with the same powers. However, when she’s attacking, she shares her keywords with other allies. That means all those Overwhelm creatures now also have Quick Attack and Barrier. It’s going to be really easy to win the game at that point. We just need a little more oomph, some Chutzpah, if you will.
Hello, Sejuani! If we can just deal damage to the enemy Nexus on 5 different turns, that’s all it takes to bring him from a ⅚ Overwhelm to a 6/7 Overwhelm. When you drop her, you give an enemy Frostbite and Vulnerable for the round, making it a great time to swing with Renekton. Her Level 2 form reads “Each round, the first time you damage the enemy Nexus, Frostbite all enemies.”
So when we declare an attack with her, the first Overwhelm unit will hit, get damage through, and thus, all enemy units get hit with Frostbite. It’s another way to ensure we take as little damage as possible, while also inflicting the most.
We pair these aggressive cards with buffs like Shaped Stone (Give an ally +1/+1, but if we’ve summoned a Landmark this game, give them +3/+1) and Troll Chant (Give an ally +0/+2 and an enemy -2/-0 for the round). Ideally, by mid-game, we’ve already poked a bit of damage through. So when we start getting a few Champions in play, we can just swing for lethal immediately (or as close to immedately as possible). It’s violent, aggressive, and most of all, fun.
Renekton (4) x3
Sivir (4) x2
Sejuani (6) x1
Ancient Preparations (1) x3
Aspiring Chronomancer (2) x3
Rock Hopper (2) x3
Xenotype Researchers (3) x3
Ruin Runner (5) x3
Alpha Wildclaw (6) x3
Ancient Yeti (7) x3
Exhaust (1) x3
Shaped Stone (1) x3
Three Sisters (1) x2
Ruthless Predator (2) x2
Troll Chant (2) x3
I’m not sold on Sivir like I am Sejuani, so I might switch those numbers around. We’ll see. But I love the deck, and I think Renekton has what it takes to be a serious winner in a variety of decks. If you can whittle someone’s life down just a little, when the mid-game comes around, you can deny someone an entire late game. We can just throw down lots of damage, thanks to Overwhelm, and high stats. It’s incredibly satisfying to see work, that’s for sure. As far as Legends of Runeterra Empires of the Ascended decks go, I think this one’s a winner.
Scouting the Sands (Azir/Lucian Scout Deck)
This might be one of the fastest, most frustrating aggro decks in the whole meta right now. Azir and Lucian have the power to hit Level 2 very quickly, and always have a stream of creatures you can just throw away in combat. Sand Soldiers are strong, but Ephemeral so their only purpose is to swing and force your opponent to block them or take damage. Sure, they’re 1/1s, but when they hit the enemy Nexus, they deal an additional 1 damage to it. So that means 2 damage from a creature that we aren’t going to actually pay mana for.
Level 2 Azir makes this even better because when you summon an ally, both it and Azir receive +1/+0 for the turn. We can do so much with this. Inspiring Marshall makes this even scarier, giving an ally +2/+0 for the round when summoned. Of course, then there’s Cithria the Bold which does even more. This deck is so frustrating to see, but if you’re looking for an Aggro deck you could do far worse. It might be my favorite aggro deck right now. We summon lots of free units, make them stronger, and Rally to do it again!
Heck, with enough Sand Soldiers, we can level Azir on turn 3 or 4 easily enough. A turn-2 Emperor’s Dais can do a lot for us. After all, anytime allies attack, you summon an attacking Sand Soldier, so free damage! But what does this deck need to do to win? Not a whole lot, as it turns out!
How’s It Work?
We also really want a turn 2 or 3 Lucian to come into play. This deck is so powerful for leveling him up. He just needs to see 4+ allies die (or a Senna, but she’s not in the deck). Sand Soldiers die anyway, so we don’t really have to sacrifice anything. We just have to be aggressive, and we could get a level up off of one attack, depending on how it works out. Lucian’s so powerful because of his Level 2 form. Each Round, the first time an ally dies, Rally.
That means we can attack twice on our turn, and even on our opponent’s turn. When your opponent attacks, you can throw a unit away, so they die. This gives you Rally, so you can attack during your opponent’s turn. You can do it again on your turn, thanks to Emperor’s Dais. You can probably see what makes this deck so fast now. By turn 5, we should have both our champions leveled up, if they’re in play. With low costs (2 and 3), they’re easy to drop.
By turn 4, hopefully, our attacks are so numerous that our opponent has a hard time dealing with it. That damage really adds up. This is another deck I’ve suffered against in the past week or so. It’s so strong. We want to turn-2 an Emperor’s Dais to make sure we keep making Sand Soldiers to attack with. A turn-2 Lucian definitely helps. Azir doesn’t need to be out to level, and we can in theory make enough creatures to level him up by turn 3.
Our only real reliable to Rally comes from Level 2 Lucian. However, we do have a really fun combo to trigger an extra Rally if needed. Blinding Assault is a 2-cost spell that summons Valor, Quinn’s trusty bird pal. It has Scout, so if it attacks alone, it triggers Rally. We can use this with Cataclysm to trigger an extra attack. Cataclysm is a 3-cost spell (Slow Speed) that gives an ally a free attack, Challenging an enemy. So we send in Valor, and sadly he will probably die. But that’s okay because he’ll Rally, and give us yet another attack! They’re both Slow Spells though.
Another card we definitely want to keep in the early game/starting hand is Grizzled Ranger. It’s our primary Scout card. A 4-cost, its Last Breath summons a Loyal Badgerbear. That will reward us with that fun ¾ creature for free. More important than Lucian, I want to see Azir in that starting hand. We can level up Lucian easily, so drawing into him will be fine. But if we can start with Azir, Emperor’s Dais, and either Blinding Assault or Grizzled Ranger, that will set us up to start dealing serious damage.
So we set up that early game to flood the board with those annoying Sand Soldiers. I’m also hoping for a turn-6 Cithria The Bold, since attacking grants other attackers +1/+1 and Fearsome for the round. If our opponent is weak, we can just swing for free, let a Sand Soldier die, Rally, and do it again. We have a few options to defend our attackers, to keep them alive, while still letting the Soldiers perish. Brightsteel Protector, when played grants an ally Barrier. Hi, Scouts! Ranger’s Resolve grants allies Tough, and Sharpsight grants an ally +2/+2 and the power to block Elusive units for a round.
Finally, if all else fails, Relentless Pursuit just grants us immediate Rally. If we’ve had a particularly violent round with lots of deaths, we can cast Remembrance for less than 6 mana (1 less per ally that died), which summons a random 5-cost Demacian. Just another way to put some damage on the board. It’s a very aggressive deck where we Rally, swing over and over and put incredible damage out quickly. We always have threats thanks to at least one attacker, and Emperor’s Dais will pump out Soldiers.
That’s what we want. To swing as often as possible, making sure the opponent falls to the endless sand of Shurima.
Lucian (2) x3
Azir (3) x3
Ancient Preparations (1) x3
Emperor’s Dais (2) x3
Dunekeeper (1) x3
Fleetfeather Tracker (1) x2
Brightsteel Protector (2) x2
Grizzled Ranger (4) x3
Inspiring Marshal (5) x1
Cithria the Bold (6) x2
Ranger’s Resolve (1) x1
Shaped Stone (1) x3
Blinding Assault (2) x3
Sharpsight (2) x1
Cataclysm (3) x3
Relentless Pursuit (3) x1
Remembrance (6) x3
Out of the top decks in the meta, this is probably the strongest deck that uses Shurima so heavily. That is bound to change as time passes, but right now? This is probably the best of the Shurima decks that came to Legends of Runeterra via the Empires of the Ascended expansion. It’s so fast, and it hits hard reliably. There’s a real chance your opponent perishes early under the weight of constant Sand Soldiers. Level 2 Azir means they are guaranteed, must-respond threats, which could mean your stronger, real threats get through instead. I love this deck.
Go Fish! (Fizz/Twisted Combo Deck)
This. Deck. Makes. My. Blood. Boil. I cannot stress enough how annoying it is. It receives nothing new from the Empires of the Ascended expansion for Legends of Runeterra, but it’s still one of the best decks. We have a pair of obnoxiously powerful combos in the deck, and one of them is really easy: Elusive damage! This is a deck I saw a lot of in the last season, so I’m really upset that it’s still so strong. That might be because I can’t get myself to utilize Twisted Fate though. I’m willing to accept that.
We need to level up Twisted Fate as fast as possible for the other, to just batter the other player with him. So now, each round, the first three times we play a card, we play a Destiny Card, which has a variety of powerful, frustrating effects. Conversely, we just slam the other player with Elusive damage. This is a deck where the player has to keep track of what kind of possible damage you have. If you keep track of this, you will know exactly how many turns you need to slam them with Elusive creatures. Thus, you keep as many of them alive as you need, and get the victory. Either win condition really requires you to be keeping track of the game. It’s not an aggro deck where you can just laugh and swing every single turn.
How’s It Work?
Probably the most popular of the powerful decks in Legends of Runeterra, it doesn’t utilize really any new cards. It’s again, one of those “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” situations. We level up Twisted Fate as fast as humanly possible, and draw all kinds of cards. From there, we win through our flood of Elusive creatures. Like Fizz! He’s so easy to level. We just have to cast six spells! He doesn’t have to see it, and they don’t even have to be unique. Ballistic Bot is going to make that so much easier too.
His ability to create an Ignition spell (deal 1 damage to enemy Nexus) every turn is underrated. Plus he has Augment, so every time we play a created spell he gains +1/+0. Twisted Fate, Wiggly Burblefish, Poro Cannon, and Iterative Improvement all create cards. Oh, and Level 2 Fizz also creates a Chum the Waters upon hitting the enemy Nexus. It’s very easy to make a Level 2 Fizz or a big damage Ballistic Bot. At least it doesn’t gain +1/+1 instead, yeah?
We want a turn-4 Twisted Fate, and then we want to do as much card drawing as possible. Playing TF gives us a Destiny Card to use, each having their own powers. Blue Card is the one we’re probably going to look for, though the others are also useful. Pick what’s best for the situation. If you’re in a good place and just want card draw? Blue is the way to go.
- Blue Card: Refill 1 Spell Mana, Draw 1
- Gold Card: Deal 2 and Stun the Strongest Enemy
- Red Card: Deal 1 to all enemies and the enemy Nexus (What makes him work so well with Swain)
These are all 0-cost to boot and Fast Speed. To level up Twisted Fate, we have to draw 8+ cards. The Blue Card will help facilitate that. Rummage has us Discard 2 to Draw 2 also, and if we have exactly 1 other card in hand, discard that to draw 1. But even better, we have Pick a Card. At first glance, it seems kind of mediocre. You put a card in your hand, to draw 3 cards at the start of the next Round. They also get fleeting, so they only last a turn. That’s when you cast Stress Testing. That removes Fleeting from all cards in hand! Now you get to keep them.
So that’s a card for turn (at least), and then 2-3 cards on top. It’s going to be very fast going, leveling him up Twisted Fate. Zap Sprayfin helps too. He’s a 4-cost 2/2 with Elusive/Attune (Refill 1 spell mana when summoned), and he has you draw a spell that costs 3 or less from the deck. So as you can see, we can level up TF in just a couple of turns or so, as long as we’re cranking out draw spells.
In theory, Wiggly Burblefish will also help. In theory, that is. Its a 3/1 Elusive that costs 6. But its cost goes down by 1 for each spell you’ve cast this game. When summoned, it creates a 1-cost spell in your regions in your hand. So in theory, this could produce another way to draw. For example, we could pull another Rummage! If you have no Fleeting cards in hand, you could use one of your Discard effects to pitch Stress Testing (say, so Get Excited!) to instead draw a Fleeting card. Again, card draw!
I’ve read that one of the keys to this deck is keeping track of how many cards you can draw across 1-2 turns. That way you know if you need to rely on Pick a Card/Zap Sprayfin to get the job done. It’s a thinking person’s deck, that’s for sure. You also want to track the potential damage of your creatures, so you can predict when the game is going to be safely over. But what makes this deck so strong is all the draw it has. You’re able to pretty reliably draw your deck pretty much every game. You won’t run out of resources/ways to win the game.
Between your removal (Mystic Shot, Get Excited), and your near-infinite draw possibilities, you’ll get what’s needed. You even have a card to beef up your attackers, in Suit Up, which makes a creature now a 4/4. It also costs 2 less on the turn you cast it. So what is so great about our level 2 champs? What do they do when the threshold is crossed?
Twisted Fate is now a 3/3 Quick Attack, and each Round, the first 3 times you play a card, he plays a Destiny Card. We can deal so much damage/get so much free draw this way, it’s unrealistic and honestly, kind of unfair. Fizz is now a 3/2 and has the same ability he always had. When you cast a spell, stop all enemy spells and skills targeting Fizz, and give him Elusive for the round. You don’t even have to cast a counter! You wait until your Fizz is being targeted, and then you just make him hop, skip, and jump away. He doesn’t even have to have stuff targeting him to use this power. And again, when he hits the enemy Nexus, he creates a Chum the Waters in hand.
A 4-cost Slow Spell, it grants an enemy Vulnerable and summons Longtooth (5/4 Overwhelm). With how easy these two pop off and become Level 2, our card draw, and responses to threats, we can easily overwhelm someone with so much ELusive damage. Make sure you keep track of what you can do though, so the opponent dies reliably and on time. Nothing worse than being off by 1 point and losing for it.
Fizz (1) x3
Twisted Fate (4) x3
Zaunite Urchin (1) x3
Ballistic Bot (2) x3
Zap Sprayfin (4) x3
Wiggly Burblefish (6) x3
Poro Cannon (0) x3
Rummage (1) x3
Stress Testing (1) x2
Iterative Improvement (2) x3
Mystic Shot (2) x3
Get Excited! (3) x2
Pick a Card (3) x3
SUit Up! (4) x3
One of the hardest decks for me to play against, it’s one I’m learning as we speak (to play with). I also love Iterative Improvement into Wiggly Burblefish to make even more frustrating Burblefish. It also adds more cards to our hand and increases our overall damage output. It’s a fast-paced deck, and once you’ve figured out how to make it work for you, it should really dominate the meta. Sure, there’s Discard, Pirates, Go Hard, and more at the highest ranks, but this is by far the most satisfying to watch pop off. I think you’ll like it as much as I am.