Legends of Runeterra Monuments of Power Decks to Try
Whenever a new card game expansion comes out, the first thing that comes to my mind is, “What kind of new, horrifying decks are out there?” I ask myself what I can do for myself and what are other people cooking up? That’s the best part. With Legends of Runeterra’s Monuments of Power expansion, there are tons of new decks to think about and a new card type to also consider. If you want to know more about those new Landmarks, we have you covered. So don’t you worry about that, my friends.
We’re going to focus on Legends of Runeterra Monuments of Power decks that feature the new champions (Tahm Kench, Shyvana, Soraka) and those new Landmarks. You’re probably going to see a few combinations as the weeks go on – I want to experiment with more than just one Soraka deck, for example. I’m going to lead off with one and see if we can’t fine-tune some Healing Shenanigans as the time goes on.
But we have some awesome new possible deck archetypes coming in this expansion! The big fear is that it may take a while to see them pop off. Remember when Deep decks showed up nobody knew what to do with them? I worry that might happen with Demacia Dragon decks. I hope not, because they look really horrifying and strong – that’s what I want.
Unlike certain other card games that I love, Legends of Runeterra can nerf power cards instead of simply having to ban them. Ahh, if only MTG Arena were only a digital game too. But that’s not what you’re here for. You aren’t here for thinly-veiled shade and salt; you want awesome decks! I can’t promise these will be Tier 1, must-play decks because the expansion isn’t even out when I started this.
But we’re gonna see what decks look the most fun as we sally forth and gear up for Legends of Runeterra’s Monuments of Power. We’ll be coming back to the actual meta with whatever decks are strongest, but this week, we’re focusing on new decks.
Soraka + Trundle = GG EZ Healing Wins (Freljord/Targon Healing Deck)
This is one of the Legends of Runeterra Monuments of Power decks that makes me think of is Wish by Plentakill and Badminister (Parody of B.O.B.’s Airplanes). It’s no big secret to anyone that knows me, that Star Spring is my favorite card in Legends of Runeterra, at least in Monuments of Power. Maybe top 5 in the whole game. Cards that give you an alternate, near-unstoppable win condition fill me with glee, every single time. As long as the other player doesn’t pack removal for the card, or we can keep one in play/in hand, we can win without actually focusing on the other player’s Nexus! What does it do though?
Star Spring is a Landmark that triggers a heal on all damaged allies at the End of Round. Then, if it’s seen you heal 22+ damage from your allies by then, you win the game! So what can we do to make sure we always stay healing? We need to blend aggression with constant heals. That’s where Regeneration comes in! After all, it heals a unit to full at the end of each round. There are other ways to do this, like with Bilgewater‘s various “play and take damage” units. But I like this one more. I may include that as an alternate somewhere down the line. The downside to this deck is direct removal can really put us out of the game. We put our faith in particular followers/champions, so cards that directly remove those from play can be our doom. It’s not impossible at that point, but Noxian Guillotine and cards like it can be very frustrating. That being said, I love the concept of this deck immensely. The only thing I think it might be missing is Wish, but drawing into an extra Soraka will fix that just fine.
Let’s talk about this deck!
How Does It Work?
Our overall strategy is to outlast the other player and constantly heal. We’re going to use followers that get buffed when they survive damage, and then heal them afterward. It’s bad to have units that rely on taking damage in most cases. It makes it easier to pick off and ruin the strategy. Thankfully, we have a ton of buffs and heals to make the most of these units! We’ve also got units like Star Shepherd that start off weak, but can become ferocious in a matter of turns.
After all, it is a 0/3 for 1, but gains +2/+0 anytime you heal an ally. Once Star Spring is out, this could turn into a ton of damage every turn. What we want to do is get units out like Tarkaz the Tribeless, because he injures every unit in play for 1 damage anytime he attacks. It means we’re able to consistently damage with Tarkaz, and heal with Star Spring every single turn.
That’s our basic game loop. We heal our units, to make sure Star Spring is giving us heals and setting up our win condition. It has to see you do the healing though. That means it can’t be in your deck. It has to be in play, or in your hand. I’d want it in play for the heals though.
Let’s take this one step at a time though. First, let’s look at our damaging/damaged units. What do we have on offer?
I Will Survive:
Hello, Scarmother Vrynna! It’s nice to see you! She’s a ⅜ for 6, and anytime she survives damage, she gains +3/+0. She’s also got [Overwhelm], so extra damage goes through. Bear in mind that Star Shrine takes up a creature slot, so we have to plan carefully. So whether she gets hurt by another player or one of our cards, she grows. We also have Scarthane Steffen, as a 3-cost 2/4, that gains +3/+0 whenever they take damage.
We don’t necessarily need Tarkaz the Tribeless in play, but he is awesome. Do we have an alternative?
Ember Maiden is a 3/2 for 3, that deals 1 damage to EVERYTHING on each Round Start. The downside to her is that she harms herself too. You want to use her when you have reliable heals on board. You can use Soraka as a support, have Star Shrine in play, or simply cast spells on her to buff/heal her. We’ll be covering those soon. So Ember Maiden’s another great key to keep this going.
While Trundle doesn’t truly fit into this deck archetype, since he doesn’t buff when he takes damage, he has [Regeneration]. That automatically makes him valuable in this deck. He does grow in his leveled up form though. He levels up after playing an Ice Pillar. Level 2 Trundle gains +1/+0 for each 8+ cost card he [Beholds] each turn. That’s not going to be as prevalent here. I love him in this deck because he contributes to our win through Regeneration. Each turn he survives with Star Shrine in play, the closer we get to winning.
We also have Broadbacked Protector to make sure we always have a damaged unit to heal. Each Round, we heal our Nexus 3, and then deal damage to the Protector based on how much was healed. As a 2/7 for 4, this is going to be very valuable. If we can keep him alive, we can keep healing more and more for Star Shrine. He’s the ideal partner for Soraka before she levels up (as she heals for 4 upon supporting).
Speaking of which, what are our awesome buff/heal spells? How do we keep these assorted jerks alive?
Stars, Guide Us:
First off, Take Heart gives a damaged ally +3/+3. That in and of itself is going to be easy to cast, and is a Burst Speed spell, making it even better! Guiding Touch heals an ally or the Nexus for 2 and also lets us draw 1. As a 2-cost Burst Spell, that’s 100% worth it. Stargazer is kind of a buff unit. For 4 mana, we get a ¾ that grants an ally [Elusive] whenever that damaged ally was healed. You can use this to ping someone down if you need to if you don’t want to wait on Star Shrine to give you the win.
Soraka is also useful here. When you support a unit with her (as a ⅙ for 3), she heals herself and the ally for 4 life. When we’ve healed damaged allies 4+ times, she levels up. Level 2 Soraka heals her and her supported ally for full every time they attack together. It’s important to note that Star Shrine doesn’t count the number of times you heal, but the amount.
Keep that in mind for Soraka. She becomes a 2/7 at that point. You may draw a second Soraka, who would then add Wish to your hand. A 3-cost Slow Spell, it heals all damaged allies to full and shuffles a Soraka into your deck. How could I forget Astral Projection though? A 4-cost Burst Spell, it heals an ally for 4, and grants it +0/+4! It could very easily be your game-winning card, with timing.
Finally, there’s Bloodsworn Pledge as a 4-cost Burst Spell. Two allies gain +0/+3, keeping those damaged units in the game much longer. So all told, we want to get one or two of those damage units in play, Star Shrine, and slow the game down and heal every single turn. We don’t need to be aggressive. Poke when you can and when it’s safe, just in case your Star Shrine dies. In that case, we’re going to want to use those big units we’ve made, and start swinging for big-time numbers. It won’t be hard.
Keep some of those buff cards in hand, just in case you need them in combat!
Soraka (3) x3
Trundle (5) x3
Guiding Touch (2) x3
Take Heart (3) x3
Astral Projection (4) x3
Bloodsworn Pledge (4) x2
Star Shrine (4) x3
Star Shepherd (1) x3
Ember Maiden (3) x3
Scarthane Steffen (3) x3
Broadbacked Protector (4) x3
Stargazer (4) x2
Tarkaz the Tribeless (5) x3
Scarmother Vrynna (6) x3
Between this deck and Soraka/Kench, it’s my favorite concept from this expansion. It can be stopped with heavy creature removal, but once we get rolling, the heals just don’t stop. I love decks that have unique win conditions, and it definitely fits the bill. Decks that don’t rely on removal are going to have a hard time against us. After all, we want our units to take damage, because we can, in many cases, prevent them from dying. If you send something that might deal lethal damage, and suddenly it gains +4 life and heals for 4? That’s demoralizing. You’re gonna like this one, I think, friends.
Cosmic Dragons, Fiery Dragons (Targon/Demacia Dragons Midrange)
Are Dragons being majorly forced for Monuments of Power decks in Legends of Runeterra? It’s hard to say at this point. But Demacia has plenty of Dragons right now, thanks to this latest expansion. Shyvana is now available to play, and she came with a series of pretty interesting dragons. They might be slow, but they’re powerful, very powerful. The idea is that we can drop dragons a bit earlier, and get more value out of them than normal that way.
Since we’d be mostly using Dragons for damage in this deck, it should be very easy to level up Shyvana and get some major damage out of her and others. We’ve got a few tools to get an advantage with dragons, with cards like Dragonguard Lieutenant for example. We’ve also got allies to lower the cost of Dragons, thanks to cards like Herald of Dragons. It’s a deck that has some interesting potential, but I worry it might be too slow. But that’s what I said about Aurelion Sol/Trundle, and that deck turned out pretty fun too.
We’re running Aurelion Sol in this deck too because he’s horrifyingly powerful. Sadly, we aren’t packing this deck with more Celestials. Instead, we’ll be getting those through Aurelion Sol himself. With a requirement of Allies having 25+ attack power, we should have enough powerful monsters to make that happen. Sol on his own has 10, The Infinite Mindsplitter has 8, and Inviolus Vox has 5. We’re also going to run enough buffs to make that viable instead of unlikely.
With Shyvana and Inviolus Vox, we could get some of our Fury allies powerful with the quickness. We’ll go into that soon though.
How Does It Work?
The idea behind this deck is to cheat out as many powerful dragons as fast as possible. Several of them have Fury or will gain Fury. So we have several spells that let our Units strike enemies. That way, we trigger Fury often – if a creature with Fury kills an enemy, that Fury unit gains +1/+1 permanently. So we want to really abuse this as much as possible. If we can cast Concerted Strike with two of our Fury creatures, so much the better! In an ideal world, we’ll get an early The Infinite Mindsplitter and start buffing him.
However, we don’t have the healing that a Targon deck might normally have. I’m still thinking about Shyvana/Soraka, mind. I think it could be a lot of fun, and really annoying. Overall, we have a few cards that will start getting us Dragons, making sure we can play them a bit faster than normal. We want to be faster than the tempo of the game.
From there, we’re going to hammer the other player with tons of damage. The faster we level up Shyvana and Aurelion Sol, the better. Shyvana levels up when she’s seen Dragons on our side deal 12+ damage. That can be done in one turn if you have the right dragons in play. Just bear in mind that she has to see it. She’s also a Dragon, so she counts towards it. When she levels up, she becomes Dragon Shyvana.
Then, when she attacks, she gains a temporary +2/+2, and we get a Fleeting Strafing Strike for the turn. A Fast Spell, Strafing Strike lets us make an ally of ours strike an enemy. Then, if our attacking ally is a Dragon, heal it for 2 life. See why that’s so useful? It’s a constant source of healing as long as we can stay on the offensive. Plus, ideally, we’ll use this on enemies we can easily kill to rack up +1/+1 counters for our Fury monsters – like Shyvana herself!
This is a deck that gets out of control very fast. It’s a little on the slow side to start, but once it picks up-tempo, that’s it. Let’s briefly touch on how we can get moving quickly though.
How To Train Your (Violent) Dragon:
Our dragons aren’t, generally speaking, cheap. We don’t want to wait for five or six turns to really get going. The faster, the better. So a turn 2 Herald of Dragons could really set us on the way. It makes all of our Dragon allies cost 1 less. We could pop them out back to back to really help too. But the bad thing is, they’re not very strong (1/1). So try and keep some spell mana around to buff them in a pinch.
Egghead Researcher is a little stronger, and also costs 2 mana. This ⅓ little nerd creates a random Dragon in our hand when summoned. So he’s potentially going to give us something we don’t have in our deck. Or we could get Shyvana faster. Either is pretty much a blessing. We’ve also got a 3-cost Burst spell in Dragon’s Clutch. It has one of two effects: Draw 2 different Dragons, or grant Dragon allies +1/+1. In the early game, of course, you want to draw into dragons.
As the game drags on though (get it? GET IT?), we’re going to want to buff our pals just a little bit. This can be done in combat, as a Burst Spell. It may be the difference between a Dragon winning a fight and growing, or falling to a Shark, or Shadow, or Garen. In a way, Guiding Touch helps too. It heals a unit or our Nexus for 2 and gives us a card draw. Any card draw means we get to dragons faster, and that’s a good thing. But once we get friends on the board, we want to take advantage of their strength.
We need to make Fury creatures bigger for our Champions’ level-ups. We want them to be as powerful as humanly possible (dragonly possible? I’m still workshopping that one). So we’ve got plenty of buffs to keep dragons alive and make sure they have as much attack power/damage dealing power as possible.
Think Like Smaug:
“My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!” – The Hobbit
We want our allies to be huge and powerful at all times. Those dorky little humans have no idea what they’re up against when Dragons start flying down from the heavens, with their promise of doom. The first cards we’ll go through are the “Strike” cards. These are the ones that allow us to strike an enemy and they hit us back. This allows us to eliminate minions without entering combat, and also buffs our Fury units, as long as they kill something and survive.
- Single Combat: A Fast spell (2 mana), an ally and enemy strike each other. Simple enough, cheap, and Fast.
- Concerted Strike: A much better Fast spell (5) mana. This lets us pick an enemy, and two of our allies Strike it. The enemy does not get a retaliation hit.
- Strafing Strike (technically): This comes to our deck through Dragon Shyvana. It’s a 3-cost Fleeting Fast spell. It will have an ally and enemy Strike each other, and if our unit was a Dragon, heal it for 2.
We have three options here, and one technically can show up every turn (Strafing Strike). These are how we make our Fury monsters grow more and more. Target something weak and blast them. It’s even better if you can do it in response to combat. Opponents attacking with something weak but Elusive? Shoot it out of the sky! Or you can use Sharpsight to give an ally +2/+2 and the ability to block Elusive units for the turn. That’s at Burst Speed, so they can’t respond to it either! Love. It.
Pale Cascade has Nightfall, so we don’t want to cast it as our first spell. If we don’t, it lets us draw a card. Otherwise, it’s a Burst Speed spell for 2 mana, and gives an ally +2/+1 for a turn. With these tools at our disposal, we’re going to speed through dropping dragons, buffing them, and start splattering the ground with our foes.
Shyvana (4) x3
Aurelion Sol (10) x3
Herald of Dragons (2) x3
Dragonguard Lieutenant (2) x3
Egghead Researcher (2) x3
Whiteflame Protector (4) x3
Screeching Dragon (5) x3
Inviolus Vox (6) x2
The Infinite Mindsplitter (8) x2
Single Combat (2) x3
Guiding Touch( 2) x3
Sharpsight (2) x3
Pale Cascade (2) x3
Dragon’s Clutch (3) x2
Concerted Strike (5) x3
This is not a strategy-heavy deck. We use our spells in response to situations or to set up kills. We make our dragons bigger and stronger, and hopefully, level up Shyvana/Aurelion Sol fast. Aurelion Sol will give us way more tools and spells we can drop for free, thanks to the might of Celestials. This is a deck I have a lot of high hopes for, but it’s far from perfect. It looks like if we get it going, it’s going to spiral out of control and stomp people into bits. Creature removal is a threat, but we will almost always have more dragons to buff and stomp through weak enemies.
Sunday Morning Brunch (Bilgewater/Freljord Midrange Combo)
Tahm Kench is one of my simultaneous favorite/least favorite champions in League of Legends. From a lore/kit perspective, I think he’s outstanding. But playing against him? Absolutely nightmarish. But he’s going to be an absolute hoot in Legends of Runeterra, so when Monuments of Power revealed him, I couldn’t wait to see some new decks pop up. Now, if only Legends of Runeterra had a Fling-style card, we’d really be in business with this deck. Fling is an MTG Arena card type. We sacrifice a creature and deal their damage to a target. If it’s in Legends of Runeterra, I’ve sadly missed it.
Our key to success is [Overwhelm]. We want to make one or two of our creatures (preferably one) as big as humanly possible. Then we just rampage over the top of someone’s face. We can do this with a few cards, but just a few stand out to make this as deadly as we can manage. We’ve picked Freljord to go with Bilgewater because of Augur of the Old Ones, primarily. His ability to grant [Regeneration] and [Overwhelm] cannot be understated. It’s such a power move.
The demon of the bayou is too strong with cards like Bayou Brunch. We can gobble up someone strong, grow stronger, and then give Kench Overwhelm/Regeneration. We want to be able to smash someone’s Nexus down in one hit, but if we can safely punch it every turn until we win, that works too. This is a deck concept that I’m really getting to love, the more I think about it.
But one thing really threw me off, and it’s Bayou Brunch itself. I wish they’d add “permanently” to the card’s text. That way we know for sure that you don’t lose the stats when you inevitably release your friend. If we get a Level 2 Tahm Kench, we can essentially execute an enemy minion every single turn safely, thanks to Regeneration. It would be very frustrating to deal with, I can see it in my mind’s eye.
How Does It Work?
Our ultimate goal is to smash someone to bits with a huge, unstoppable force of nature. That means we have to make a proverbial Deal with the Devil. That’s where Tahm Kench comes into play. The River King is older than the oldest denizen of Valoran, and he’s always willing to strike up a deal. They don’t come cheap though. He’s my favorite way to win with this deck, too. Each Round, he creates An Acquired Taste in your hand, to consume an enemy unit. The enemy strikes him, and then he captures said enemy.
It’s a great way to keep enemies off the board, after all. The trouble is, he takes damage from it. That’s where the second part of the combo comes into play: Augur of the Old Ones. He’s a troll that, when played, you Behold an 8+ cost card, he grants an ally the power of the Trolls: Overwhelm and Regeneration. Now, we slap that on top of Kench, and he heals to full every single turn. As long as he survives the turn, he can gobble up an enemy for 2 mana.
From there, he levels up. Once he’s he’s captured 3+ units, he levels up. Any enemies caught within him are Obliterated, and all allies are freed back onto the board. You might be asking “How do we capture allies though?” and if you relax, I’ll tell you! Bayou Brunch is the next piece of this snack-filled puzzle. For 3 mana, you can have one ally Capture another ally. In this case, we have Tahm Kench capture our biggest ally (hopefully something like Uzgar the Ancient). Bayou Brunch also grants the ally who did the capturing the consumed creature’s stats.
If we do this on Level 1 Kench (2/6) and capture Uzgar the Ancient (7/7), Kench becomes a 9/13, hopefully with Regen/Overwhelm already. Thankfully, if we don’t have a creature that’s huge, we can fix that. This deck packs Battle Fury to give an ally +8/+4, for 8 mana. It’s also a Burst Spell, so it can’t be responded to. Ideally, we don’t want to cast Battle Fury on Tahm Kench though. Why? That way, we can get the ability twice for one cast!
We start Bayou Brunch, which is a slow spell. Wait for the other player to not respond to it. If they don’t have a response, we cast Battle Fury on top of it. I know that that’s Very Expensive (™), clocking in at 11 mana. But it can be the absolute exclamation point on the game. That’s the move we make when it’s time to win the game. If we do this on Uzgar, he becomes a 16/11 with Challenger/Regen. We gobble him up and swing with our now over 20 power Tahm Kench. Upon attacking with Level 2 Kench, we spit Uzgar back out and Obliterate anyone we’ve captured.
However, we have to set the board up to make this happen. Thankfully, we’ve got more than one possibility in terms of creatures we can pick to buff/consume. We can also take our time, and just eat the other player’s minions over and over until they have no defenders. This isn’t a deck with a lot of threat responses though. We rely on having big, beefy followers to make sure we don’t need stuff like that.
Take a Swim With Me:
Tahm Kench is the ideal card to power up though. His ability to obliterate enemies in his level 2 form means we want to constantly be consuming enemies and swinging with him. So with that, Bayou Brunch makes him the most ideal target too. When Level 2 Kench attacks, he releases his allies, so we can cast Brunch on him again to get those stats a second, third, or even fourth time. Technically we have five copies of Bayou Brunch in the deck. It’s the spell we get if we draw Tahm Kench, and he’s already in play.
So we attack with him, release the ally, buff them again with one of our handy spells, and, and eat them again. After all, Bayou Brunch is only a 3-cost. So let’s abuse it while we can. If we let the target get damaged, we can cast Take Heart on them to give them +3/+3. Or we can cast it on Tahm Kench before Regeneration kicks in if we’ve played Augur of the Old Ones.
That’s the big loop here. We want to use Tahm Kench and cast our capture unit spell, An Acquired Taste whenever it’s safe. Be careful though, because we don’t want Kench to die. So keep a large unit in hand/in play (8+ cost) so Augur of the Old Ones gives him what he needs. Here are our big hitters to consider:
- Uzgar the Ancient: He’s a 7/7 Challenger/Regen unit for 8. That’s incredible. Using him as a Bayou Brunch target is great, especially because you can spit him back out and use him in combat again.
- Augur of the Old Ones: A 5/5 Overwhelm/Regeneration unit for 6? That’s insane value.
- Trundle: 4/6 Regeneration for 5 that’s easy to level up. You just have to play that Ice Pillar.
- Tahm Kench: The star of the show. He’s only a 2/6, but Bayou Brunch and any of these bruisers will make him a force to be reckoned with.
Control and Buffs:
We have a few cards that can be used to control and slow down the game. We can also use these to pull in units to defeat them. The fewer followers/champions the other player has, the easier it is for us to win after all. Hired Gun gives the Strongest enemy unit Vulnerable, so we can drag it in and kill it (hopefully). Ye Been Warned is a Slow Spell that gives an enemy Vulnerable for this round, and if they die this round, you draw a card. We do love card draw.
Flash Freeze should be used in conjunction with Hired Gun. It’s a Burst Spell that Freezes an enemy, so now they have 0 Attack Power for the turn. Drag it in, kill it, and take no damage in the process. It’s also great to use when Capturing an enemy unit so you can safely take something and stuff it in Tahm’s belly.
If we want to easily keep something in our hand to Behold (for Troll Scavenger/Augur of the Old Ones), just cast Trundle, and use the Ice Pillar he makes. That way you can easily behold to get +3/+0 for Troll Scavenger, and a guaranteed buff from Augur.
Tahm Kench (4) x3
Trundle (5) x3
Hired Gun (2) x3
Troll Scavenger (2) x3
Avarosan Trapper (3) x3
Troll Ravager (4) x3
Augur of the Old Ones (6) x3
Uzgar the Ancient (8) x2
Ye Been Warned (1) x3
Troll Chant (2) x3
Bayou Brunch (3) x3
Flash Freeze (3) x2
Take Heart (3) x2
Battle Fury (8) x3
You have to be careful, because if you lose Tahm Kench with a bunch of things in his belly, that can be bad. But I adore the concept of this deck. You just overwhelm someone with one superior creature. You could probably also put Tryndamere in the deck if you want, as yet another Bayou Brunch target/win condition, without much issue. I just like the deck how it is. We have cards to remove chump blockers, and we have ways to make Tahm Kench an Overwhelming, Regenerating, Gigantic Force of Death (™). This is one of my favorite new concepts to come to Legends of Runeterra, and I can’t wait to see what other people are doing with The River King.
Vaults of the Living Dead (Freljord/Shadow Isles Vaults Combo)
Vaults of Helia can cheat out really high-cost, powerful units without much work. If we can combine it with Anivia, we can sacrifice Anivia, bring her back through her Passive, and get a much stronger minion. We could pull The Rekindler, Trydndamere, or Commander Ledros without expending mana! So we mana ramp into the Vaults and hold off the other player until it’s time to obliterate them with tons of damage. Heck, we can sacrifice Tryndamere, get his free level up, and then get The Rekindler as a result.
We also run a pair of options to bring something back from the dead. I’d like to run The Harrowing in the deck though. I found two very similar Legends of Runeterra Monuments of Power decks for this, but opted for this one, instead of the Fiora/Shyvana Dragon Vaults deck. I love that concept more, but I’ve had bad luck using Fiora, on a personal note. Surviving with that deck just feels harder to me.
What could slow this deck down is the same thing that always stops Anivia – cards like Hush, or anything else that can silence it. We let Anivia die for the cause, and as a response, the other player drops the Burst Spell Hush, and she dies without becoming an Egg. Now, we’ll still get a free unit through Vaults of Helia, but it ruins our ability to keep doing things like that.
I’m not sold on this being an unbeatable monster deck, but I love the concept of it. We’ve got plenty of stuff to get through the early game. Once we hit the Mid-Game, things kick-off. Since we can’t use Spell Mana on Landmarks, we’ll have to play carefully until turn 5 (unless we get a Wyrding Stone out).
What do the Vaults of Helia grant us? Outof.cards has the keys to the kingdom today.
How Does It Work?
Vaults of Helia is a card that fascinates me a great deal. When I started thinking about it, my immediate thought would be in an Ephemeral Deck where we could just bring back creatures over and over again with zero effort. But this is the first thing I laid my eyes upon: Freljord/Shadow Isles creature ramp. The idea behind is that we’re going to use the Vaults and follow-up with cards like Anivia. We sacrifice Anivia, bring something out stronger, get Anivia back to keep harassing the other player.
We keep sacrificing our biggest creature and get something else in response. This way, we can cheat Tryndamere out easier, and then he’s going to die to Vaults in order to level him up, bring him back, and cheat out something even bigger! That means we’ll probably get The Rekindler or Commander Ledros. Honestly, if we can kill off Tryndamere, get him back, swing again, and kill him off again and get Ledros? That would be the best-case-scenario. Why?
Because The Rekindler revives our Strongest dead Allied Champion. So we get a free Tryndamere back again. It’s absolutely filthy. We can do so much damage across that two-turn span. If things drag out even further, we have some fun combos remaining. Commander Ledros basically cuts the enemy Nexus’ life total in half. Playing him deals damage to the enemy Nexus, equal to its Health rounded up. As a 9/6 for 9, it also has [Last Breath], which brings it back to our hand.
We cast the original for free, so now we can just play the original from our hand. It’s also key to stock up some Spell Mana. What I wonder about, is can we use Mist’s Call to bring back Commander Ledros, even if he returns to our hand? He technically died this turn, so it’s something I want to experiment with. I don’t play a lot of Shadow Isles, I’m afraid. Regardless, that’s still two back-to-back Ledros triggers.
That, between constant Anivia damage, Tryndamere’s returning to life over and over, we can do so much here. Mist’s Call can revive an ally that died this round, so we can get back whatever died to Vaults of Helia to use them again. That’s what makes this deck so dangerous. We have reliable, constant damage flooding onto the board, usually right after Turn 5 begins.
Set Up and Survive:
We have a lot of early-game cards to help us draw into what we need, or simply live long enough to be a threat. Wyrding Stones and Catalyst of Aeons are our mana ramp cards, but I prefer the Stones. They take up a minion slot, and constantly ramp our mana, so it’s very useful. Catalyst of Aeons on the other hand is a 5-cost Burst, that gives us an empty Mana Gem and also heals the Nexus for 3. So use whichever is more necessary.
Kindly Tavernkeeper is a sound chump blocker and also heals an ally or your Nexus for 3. So again, something to slow down an aggressive opponent’s pace. Flash Freeze frostbites an enemy, which is great to either slow someone down or to make a situation where a blocker is safe to get a kill with no repercussions.
We also have a great way to kill weak minions, which also heals us. Withering Wail is a Fast Spell for 5 that deals 1 to all enemies and also heals our Nexus for 3. So I try to space out those “and heal” cards until I need them.
Of course, the Freljord staple of Avalanche is in the deck. If it kills our own, it’s not the worst, but it hits everyone for 2. We have Mist’s Call and similar to get our allies back. In fact, we can pair that with Ancient Crocolith. In order to cast the 4-cost 7/7, we need to kill off two allies. We get rid of things we don’t know (or things that let us draw, like Avarosan Sentry). If we sacrifice something valuable, we just summon them back to life with Mist’s Call.
The early game also gives us Hapless Aristocrat and Vile Feast for the purpose of early game spiderlings. They’re useful to block or to use as sacrificial fodder for the Crocolith. Getting a turn-4 7/7 is nothing to sneeze at, friends.
What Do We Do With the Landmark?
Vaults of Helia is our Landmark, so it takes up a creature spot. It’s a five-cost Landmark that triggers at the start of every round. We kill our most expensive ally, to summon an ally from our deck that costs 1 more. So even if we get board wiped, we can, in theory, come back. Just play a minion and next round, he’ll trigger the course of events that summons something else. One of my favorite things to sacrifice has to be Tryndamere since comes back at least once.
That’s our gameplay loop right there. We use Vaults, after Anivia. She dies to bring something more expensive out. That means we now get a 7-cost creature for free, and Anivia comes back. From there, we get The Rekindler, as our only 7-cost. If Eggnivia survives the round, it comes back and levels up, and is only that much stronger. Now she deals 2 damage to all enemies and the enemy Nexus, instead of just 1.
Then we use Vaults to sacrifice The Rekindler to pull Tryndamere for free. If we want, we can bring The Rekindler back with Mists, but it won’t be necessary. We play aggressive with Tryndamere, because he’s going to die and level next turn, giving us Commander Ledros in the process. Then we cut their Nexus’ life in half, and probably swing game. That’s the secret!
Anivia (6) x3
Tryndamere (8) x3
Vaults of Helia (5) x3
Hapless Aristocrat (1) x2
Avarosan Sentry (2) x1
Kindly Tavernkeeper (3) x3
Wyrding Stones (3) x3
Ancient Crocolith (4) x1
Avarosan Hearthguard (5) x1
The Rekindler (7) x3
Commander Ledros (9) x1
Vile Feast (2) x3
Mist’s Call (3) x1
Flash Freeze (3) x1
Avalanche (4) x3
Withering Wail (5) x3
Catalyst of Aeons (5) x3
Vengeance (7) x2
Because of how this deck works, you do not want Ledros/The Rekindler/Tryndamere in your starting hand. You want to naturally fetch those from your deck with Vaults of Helia, of course. We’ve only got one Ledros, so we definitely don’t want to see him. The others are 3x in the deck, so it’s less of a stressor. But we don’t want big cards to start. We want mana ramp, Vaults, and Anivia to come early. This is a deck you have to think about a little to get going, but once the combo is set up, you will ramp into lots of power, and tons of damage. It just dumpsters out pain at a rapid pace in the mid/late game. Getting huge units before you’re able to, or simply pulling them without the random chance of card draws is brilliant. Looks great, feels awesome. I think you’ll enjoy this one.
Now, whether or not it fits into the meta as a Tier 1 or 2 deck, we’ll know that soon enough too.