Legends of Runeterra Rising Tides Decks You Need to Try
A new expansion means new decks to try out in Legends of Runeterra! So that’s what we’re up to this week. With Legends of Runeterra’s Rising Tides expansion, we have so many new decks to look at! Some are risky but powerful, some are complicated. Some are just obnoxious and easy to slap together and dominate the board. But which are the most interesting? That’s what we’re getting up to this week.
Do we have personal favorites? Oh my lanta yes. Lee Sin and Swain are probably my favorite champions to come out, with Gangplank and Miss Fortune being a very close follow-up. Miss Fortune’s leveled-up three “1 damage 3 times” can do some really messed up things, especially with Powder Kegs on board. That is, if her passive counts as a skill, anyway. They are a powerful team either way.
So let’s get started! This expansion brought with it all kinds of new mechanics, champions and cards, so you won’t want to miss out on that. Perhaps we should write a small piece that discusses new mechanics? One of the things I really love about this is the possibility of so many new Legends of Runeterra Rising Tides decks! This should be exactly what the game needs to shake it up.
However, some of them are pretty risky, if you ask me. I love the concept of [Deep] and [Toss], which obliterates non-champion cards in your deck. Then, when you have under 15 cards, these [Deep] followers/champions gain new, awesome abilities or stats. But at that point, it may be too late, unless you’re really locking down the board.
The Swain Train (Noxus/Piltover+Zaun Combo)
Okay, so my favorite faction in League of Legends is Noxus, so this deck being on top is probably not going to be that big of a shock. But you know what else I like about it? It’s cheap to build. Sure you need 5 champions, but we run 22 commons and 7 rares! No purple/epics to stress about! This is a deck that is very easy to put together, and it’s annoying!
One of the big features of this deck is [Nexus Strike]. We want to deal damage directly to the enemy Nexus no matter what, to set up Swain and Darius both leveling up. They are our lynchpins, but Draven helps a lot as well. We’re running two Dravens and only one Darius though, because of mana-cost, if I’m honest. Plus, Draven costs 3 mana, so we can drop him much faster and have him put in work and be a general distraction.
That’s what I love about this deck, it’s nice and easy to play. It can be countered, of course. All decks have an answer. But Swain’s level-up is great because we don’t have to have him “see” the non-combat damage we do. Nexus Strike, spells, anything that isn’t direct follower/champion damage is non-combat damage.
But what is our end game? What’s the plan? Swain, he always has a plan. There are cards I’d really like to include in this deck, but it’s just not going to work with this particular strategy. We want to nickel-and-dime the other player with as much constant free Nexus damage as we can, then swing lethal with Darius/Swain at our leisure. We want the other player to have to consider every single time they attack and ask if it’s worth it.
How Does It Work?
Almost every follower in this deck deals direct damage to the enemy Nexus, in some flavor or another. We have Legion Grenadier, who deals 2 damage to the enemy Nexus as his [Last Breath] (so when he dies). Crimson Disciple deals 2 damage to the enemy Nexus when he survives damage. That one’s a bit harder, but you can use your own “deal damage to ally/anything” to trigger this. Blade’s Edge and Mystic Shot could be used in a pinch if the other player’s followers are too strong.
This deck rewards you being aggressive, of course. We’re Noxus! Our whole gimmick is being an aggro jerk to anything weaker to us. Think of it as being the Ultimate Alpha Male Chad (that’s a thing still, right?). If it’s weaker than us, we crush it. As Magneto, in X-Men: The Last Stand said, “In chess, the pawns go first”.
So, we use our pawns (followers) to trigger as much Nexus damage as possible. We want to get that enemy Nexus to under 10 life as fast as possible. This will hopefully mean as soon as Darius drops onto the field, he’ll be leveled up. That means he’d drop as a 10/5 with Overwhelm! Between him and Swain’s leveled-up form hitting all enemies for 3 simply for a Nexus Strike, that’s filthy. Swain’s level-up is pretty easy too, that’s for sure.
Once we’ve got them both leveled up, that’s when the real fun begins. Swain stuns the strongest backrow enemy, anytime we deal non-combat damage. So spells like Decimate, Noxian Fervor, Get Excited!, Mystic Shot, and Blade’s Edge have insane value in the late game. Once he’s leveled up, you can just keep stunning their strongest minion, making it easier to get damage through. He has [Fearsome], so those weak followers can’t even stand in his path.
We’ll use him and Darius to make sure things get really moving. If I’m being honest, once Darius is on the board, if we have Draven axes lying about, we’ll spin those onto Darius to make him stronger. They can also be discarded as fodder for Get Excited!, which is always a fun time.
In fact, only a few of our followers don’t add to the “deal damage to the Nexus” flow. Why Legion Rearguard, you ask? And why three of him? Because he’s a 1-drop 3/2 that can’t block. If you get that in your starting hand, he’s wildly powerful against most of the other early-game options you’ll see. He’s there to force your opponent to block and lose useful early characters or start taking damage.
Used Cask Salesman doesn’t either, but he summons a pair of Caustic Casks. These deal 1 damage to both Nexus, meaning it will trigger Swain’s leveled-up form, and will also get you there faster, as well as help Darius level up. It would be satisfying to simply win by battering someone down with constant [Last Breath] and spell abilities, but that’s not always the way things will happen. Pay attention to what your spells do, and when you can use them to both damage the enemy Nexus, benefit yourself, and damge their Nexus again, that’s really just the most ideal situation.
Noxus does not need champions that don’t exist in their domain. I mean, that’s probably their tagline, but I’d like to sneak a Miss Fortune in if I could manage. I think her level-up passive would be incredible in this deck. But who are we running instead?
Draven (Noxus, 3-Cost, 3/3 Quick Attack): Draven’s here to set up our early game potential. He’s also there to give us discard fodder for Get Excited! Since it requires a discard. To level him up, you have to strike with two Spinning Axes. Simply playing him or striking (dealing damage) gives you a Spinning Axe on top of that. His leveled-up form is a 4/4 with Quick Attack and Overwhelm, so he still fits into your late game. With enough axes/buffs, he could be the game-winner before Darius even shows to the party.
Swain (Noxus, 5-Cost, 3/6 Fearsome): Ahh, Jericho Swain. Isn’t that such a cool name? When he hits the enemy Nexus, his [Nexus Trigger] procs, and he deals three additional damage to it. That makes his level up so easy, though you could get that done before he even shows up. You simply need to deal 12 non-combat damage during the game. With our gaggle of Nexus-damaging jerks, that’s going to be a breeze. When he levels up though, that’s when he shines. Whenever we deal non-combat damage to the enemy Nexus, you stun the Strongest backrow (non-combat) enemy. His Nexus Strike deals 3 damage to all enemies. He suddenly becomes a terrifying monster. He’s the real star of this deck.
Darius (Noxus, 6-Cost, 6/5, Overwhelm): Oh, Darius. If I could squeeze in another I would. He’s just mighty and powerful. As a 6/5 Overwhelm at his base, I’d rather hold him in hand, and wait until I can cast him as a 10/5 Overwhelm. If we already have our lower/weaker followers doing the job for us, there’s no sense in wasting his might. We want him to be the way we swing lethal in one go, after all. We can buff him too! There’s Transfusion, Spinning Axe, to make him as big as we please. We’re also running his Decimate spell to make this faster. He’s just a giant mountain of a man that smashes through anything weaker than him. Since he has Overwhelm, any excess damage is dealt to the Nexus. He almost always has excess damage.
Pretty much all of our cards are useful. In this deck, Seto, there are no bad cards. But what makes us go-go-go the most?
Crimson Disciple (Common 2-Cost Follower): Crimson Disciple is one of my favorite targets for Transfusion. If we have two of them in play, it’s better. Give one of them the 1 damage (triggering 2 damage), and buff the other. Then we use Noxian Fervor on the buffed one (dealing 3 damage to it, triggering 2 damage), and then dealing an extra 3 damage to anything (likely the Nexus). Through this, we spend 5 mana to deal 7 damage directly to the enemy Nexus. The other follower can be substituted for virtually anything else in this deck too. Even better if it’s one of the ones that die and deal damage to the Nexus. He’s one of the better minions in this deck, in that the longer he survives damage, the more valuable he is.
Noxian Fervor (Common 3-Cost Spell – Fast): Noxian Fervor is another fantastic card for this deck. We can use it to essentially sacrifice one of our [Last Breath] followers. Noxian Fervor, for 3 mana, deals 3 damage to an allied unit. So we swing with Legion Grenadier, and if they don’t block it, he deals 3 damage to their Nexus, and we Noxian Fervor him, to trigger his [Last Breath] anyway. He dies, dealing 2 damage in the process, and an extra 3 from Noxian Fervor. This is our “So you won’t kill our units? We’ll do it for you!” card.
Imperial Demolitionist (Common 2-Cost Follower): Okay, here it is. Here’s our best minion for triggering Last Breath! Imperial Demolitionist, when it’s played, deals 1 damage to an allied unit, to, in turn, deal 2 damage to the enemy Nexus. So we only play her when we know a Last Breath minion’s going to die. We can also trigger it on Legion Rearguard if he’s attacked and not blocked for some reason. She pairs nicely with Crimson Disciple too, since it’s only one damage, and he’ll easily survive that! If you can do this back to back, it’s even more damage. Then simply use Transfuse to keep him around a little longer, and deal more free damage.
Draven (3) x2
Swain (5) x3
Darius (6) x1
Blade’s Edge (1) x1
Mystic Shot (2) x3
Transfusion (2) x3
Get Excited! (3) x2
Noxian Fervor (3) x2
Decimate (5) x2
Draven’s Biggest Fan (1) x1
Legion Rearguard (1) x3
Legion Saboteur (1) x3
Boomcrew Rookie (2) x3
Crimson Disciple (2) x3
Imperial Demolitionist (2) x3
Legion Grenadier (2) x3
Used Cask Salesman (3) x2
You might be asking “Why not play those giant cards like The Leviathan that came out with Swain? Because this deck is about efficiency and making sure our minions die at the right time, that’s why! The Leviathan is simply too costly and too late-game for this deck. We want to go and go and go. The idea is that we win quickly without the opponent really getting too many chances to stop us. So what stops this deck cold? Constant recalls/stuns are pretty annoying. I can see Scout/Vulnerable being a threat. Decks that are heavy on Lee Sin could be frustrating, same with Shen. But as long as certain creatures are dying, I think it will all work out just fine. This deck is seeing a lot of love on the ladder, and I can see why. It’s powerful, it’s low-cost on both mana and casting cost. It has tons of upside and synergy.
Glory to Noxus!
Bannerman Scouts (Demacia/Bilgewater Midrange)
Miss Fortune/Quinn decks are all the rage right now, and adding Bannermen to the mix is a no-brainer. This isn’t a deck that wins fast, but you stay on tempo, building up and suddenly you’re ahead. Miss Fortune and Quinn have the same level-up requirement, and it might seem like a difficult one. They have to see you attack four+ times.
There has to be a way to make that go just a little bit faster. We don’t want to wait four turns to level her up and make this deck really start moving, now do we? What’s the solution? The new keyword [Scout] of course! We have Quinn and Grizzled Ranger for that purpose! Scout is a keyword that lets us Rally each turn when only Scouts attack. It essentially reliably gives us two attacks a round.
This makes Quinn and Miss Fortune a breeze, with even a few of these in play. The catch being they have to see you do it. You’ll want her in play to maximize her use, with that in mind. This isn’t really a complicated deck, thankfully. We have a lot of followers with a nice steady curve of costs, so we should always have something to play.
But what makes our Bannermen and Scouts successful? It’s time to discuss exactly that!
How Does It Work?
This mostly-Demacian deck is thankfully, pretty easy to use. We’re only running a handful of spells; the rest are followers and Champions. Our list of Champions is nice and short too. Miss Fortune and Quinn; that’s it! The idea behind this deck is to keep the board filled with creatures, so it’s easy to get those attacks through. Grizzled Rangers and Quinn are our Scouts to make leveling up Quinn/Miss Fortune just a bit faster.
We have a couple of possible Challengers too, to help make our Rally attack turns easier. That comes from Quinn’s Valor and Fleetfeather Tracker. We can use those to bop the things we are less excited about and have a nice aggressive early game. I don’t feel like aggression should be made until we’re ready to put Miss Fortune in play though.
What makes Miss Fortune so necessary though? When allies attack, she deals 1 damage to battling enemies and the enemy Nexus. But once she levels up, that 1 damage triggers three times! You attack, that triggers, and then whatever is alive gets killed by your minions. Plus we have Jagged Butcher, with a [Plunder] trigger that makes this worthwhile.
Plunder is new as well. If a unit has Plunder and is in play when the enemy Nexus is hit, their ability triggers. He’s a 2/2 for 1, and whenever Plunder happens, he gains +1/+1. Not until end of turn, mind. Having the two of them in play is a nightmare. How can we prevent those Scout units from dying though? We don’t want them to perish! Brightsteel Protector is a good shout! When he comes into play, a unit of yours gains Barrier, so you can use that to hopefully save the Grizzled Ranger.
The idea here is that we play creatures on curve, so we play something every turn, and swing when we can. Then, we start playing Vanguard Bannerman to give his allies +1/+1. The catch is, that it is a [Allegiance] power and requires the top card of your deck to match his region. We only have 9 Bilgewater cards in the deck, so this is likely to pop off.
Cithria the Bold exists to give our allies +1/+1 and Fearsome whenever she attacks. That’s a fantastic mid-game move to make those slowly strengthening allies that much more of a chore. If Miss Fortune’s in play and we’re attacking, we’re going to be whittling away at their army every turn. This is doubly dangerous with Scout! We send in the scouts, deal that free damage to any of their blockers/Nexus, and then can do it again the following part of the turn, thanks to Rally!
Just beat them down with our army that just never seems to end. For context, we’re running 30 followers, 6 champions, and 4 spells! That means we’re always, always going to have something useful to play! Most of them are 1-3 cost too, so the odds of being able to play a few things on a turn are pretty high.
If you’re worried about units dying, don’t be threatened! Citrus Couriers are here to heal us/our Nexus, and Ranger’s Resolve gives all allies [Tough] for a round (so they take 1 less damage). We’re only packing one, so use it wisely. Thankfully, it’s a spell that has Burst speed!
While Miss Fortune’s the star of the deck, let’s not ignore Quinn! When she’s leveled up (after seeing four attacks), she becomes a ⅘ Scout instead of a ¾ Scout. In her normal form, she only summons Valor (2/1 Challenger/Scout) when she’s summoned herself. The leveled-up form summons Valor every time she attacks, which immediately challenges the Strongest enemy on the board. We have plenty of Scout, and Valor will die for you, leaving your other units a bit safer in the long run.
Towards the mid-game, we should have both Miss Fortune and Quinn leveled-up, and the game is ready to end. If we can get a few back-to-back Vanguard Bannerman dropped, we can buff everyone. Thankfully, a fair amount of our deck is beefy. The Grizzled Rangers summon Loyal Badgerbears when they die, which are 4/4s on their own. We play these ourselves too! There’s also the War Chefs that, when they support an ally, they gain +1/+1 for this round. There isn’t a whole lot worse than a 4/4 becoming a 5/5 or 6/6, suddenly getting Fearsome, and swinging for the fences!
We aren’t trying to trick players or be sneaky. We hit them in the face, a lot in the early game. Anytime we have Scouts that can safely attack, we’re doing it. That way, we get that Rally trigger, and during the other players attack phase, we get our second attack phase! But bear in mind, it only happens once a turn, and you have to only attack with Scouts. So, you can just attack with one (Valor or Grizzled, say for example). Next turn, swing much harder.
Now, one of the downsides for me is Quinn. I love her, I love her abilities and bringing Valor. The major downside is her cost – 5 mana. We can’t use that Spell Mana to play her earlier, either. I wish we had a way to ramp her out faster. But we have lots of frontline, beefy units. One of the positives of this deck is we’re running 3 of every follower! Even if you kill one of them, another is on the way.
The early game is going to be setting up for Miss Fortune. We want to get her out early and start swinging with our Scouts to level her up. If she dies, hopefully, she dies after she levels up. That way, every other summoned Miss Fortune comes out swinging. As long as she’s in play, that leveled up form has you deal 1 damage 3 times to all blocking enemies and their Nexus. You can just swing with one thing (say, a Scout), trigger that 3 damage, and then on your next attack, swing heavier like we were doing earlier.
Or heck, you can just swing with one thing again, just to trigger the damage! Being able to deal damage simply by declaring an attack is so powerful. We’ll win eventually based just on that. That’s why I think we’re running so many followers. With Miss Fortune on the backline, we can guarantee damage.
Ideally, we’ll be attacking with Quinn first, trigger Rally, and then swing with packs like Badgerbears, Cithria the Bold, and War Chefs and maybe even Jagged Butcher. If we can get him in play on a turn we deal damage to the Nexus, he’s a 3/3 for 1! How can you not love that?
Champions and Key Cards
I love a nice simple deck that can win a few ways. We can simply bowl people over with constant rushes of strong mid-range creatures, or we can nickel-and-dime someone downturn after turn with a leveled-up Miss Fortune! So, let’s talk about what makes this thing really zoom.
Miss Fortune (Bilgewater, 3-Cost, 3/3): I wish her ability triggered for every ally that attacks. However, whenever allies as a whole attack, she deals 1 damage to battling enemies, and the enemy Nexus itself. This is doubly useful because we can well, to take a page out of her book, “double-up”. When we use Scout to trigger a second attack phase for us, we get that damage twice. So the faster Miss Fortune levels up, the faster we can guarantee 6 damage to the enemy Nexus every round! With it only having 20 health, it’s going to drop in no time. All we have to do is have Miss Fortune watch you attack 4 times. Scout’s going to cut that in half.
Quinn (Demacia, 5-Cost, ¾, Scout): Oh, Quinn. I wish she wasn’t a 5-cost. But that just means we play her when it’s a bit safer to do so. She’s a Scout, so she will help us easily trigger Miss Fortune’s passive, be it with her, or Valor. Valor’s mediocre when Quinn’s not leveled up. But when she has, after she sees you attack 4 times, that Valor is summoned every turn. It’s going to die every time since it Challenges the strongest enemy, but she comes back every time Quinn attacks! It’s brilliant. This pairing is just so strong. Having the two of them out at once is going to be terrifying.
Grizzled Ranger (4-Cost Uncommon Follower): This is a 4/1 for 4, which doesn’t sound so great. But consider that it comes with two benefits. The first is that it has Scout. Simply declaring an attack with this with only Scouts (even if it’s by itself) will trigger that Rally buff for your opponent’s part of the round. On top of that, when he dies, his [Last Breath] triggers, and he summons a Loyal Badgerbear. You get a 3-cost 4/4 for free. When you consider these two things, he’s very valuable. So you attack with him, he dies, and you get a 4/4 to attack with next turn. Or you attack with him, he doesn’t die, and you just attack again anyway.
Citrus Courier (6-Cost Uncommon Follower): Do you want that sweet [Scout] buff without having to attack with followers? That’s only a small part of what makes Citrus Courier so great! He has [Plunder]: Heal allies and your Nexus 3, then [Rally]. This triggers on a turn where you play him, and you dealt damage to the enemy Nexus. So by dealing 1 damage to the enemy Nexus, you heal your Nexus and allies, and get another attack! So, you can declare an attack with something (say the 4/4 Badgerbear) with MF out, trigger the damage to the Nexus, then cast Citrus Courier! You gain tons of upside and another attack!
Cithria the Bold (6-Cost Epic Follower): This is the beefed-up, more powerful version of Cithria of Cloudfield that we run in this deck as well! She’s not going to trigger anything useful for our [Scout] attacks. Instead, she’s what we want to attack with on those subsequent, extra attacks! When she attacks, other attacking allies gain +1/+1, and [Fearsome] for that turn! So, you swing with one Scout to make sure this extra attack comes up, then you swing hard and heavy with Cithria and friends, to get that massive payoff. She’s going to help clinch the win easier. She’s strong, and she makes her allies strong at least, for a time. You have to love Cithria the Bold.
Miss Fortune (3) x3
Quinn (5) x3
Cithria of Cloudfield (1) x3
Fleetfeather Tracker (1) x3
Jagged Butcher (1) x3
Brightsteel Protector (2) x3
War Chefs (2) x3
Loyal Badgerbear (3) x3
Grizzled Ranger (4) x3
Vanguard Bannerman (4) x3
Cithria the Bold (6) x3
Citrus Courier (6) x3
Radiant Strike (1) x1
Ranger’s Resolve (1) x1
Single Combat (2) x2
I love this style of combo deck! It’s counterable, by simply denying Miss Fortune and your Scout’s presence. If you get out-aggroed, it could also seal your fate. Tempo decks are fun, and while you don’t rely on spells and tricky nonsense, you do need to keep an eye on who you have available that has Scout. Don’t put all your Scouts out at once, because if you run out of them, you can’t get extra Rally attacks. That’s what makes this deck “go” so to speak. Through Scout, Miss Fortune and Quinn level up faster, and give you plenty of free damage, simply by declaring an attack, even if you know it won’t get through.
The Endless Deep (Bilgewater/Shadow Isles Late-Game)
At first, I was not sold on this deck. The notion of getting rid of cards in your deck to make your creatures bigger in the late game is kind of scary. But the more I think about it, the more I am excited about it. It’s in essence, a control deck designed around creatures and late-game power. How you ask? We want to control the pace of the game as best we can.
There are a lot of very strong followers in this deck, and we have a few options to stun/make something Vulnerable. Since these decks are 40 cards, we have some time before power really becomes ours. This deck is built around two mechanics: Deep and Toss. Deep makes creatures change when we’re at 15 or fewer cards, and Toss obliterates non-champion cards in your own deck.
So, we combine these two mechanics to thin our deck out and play Nautilus in the late game to get that win. To level him up, all we have to do is reach Deep status. Maokai is our other champion, and he’s a large part of keeping us in the game for the early phases. Whenever you play an ally each round, you Toss 2 and summon a Sapling. In order to level him up, you have to Toss 25 times, and/or have 25 units of yours die. So, between Saplings and Toss, he’s very easy to level up.
There’s something very nice about this deck though with Maokai. If we can level him up, he Obliterates the entire enemy deck, except for 4 non-champions. From there, you’re just going to win by decking them out! Hopefully! So, let’s talk about the briny deep.
How Does It Work?
This is not by any stretch an unstoppable deck. But it is one of the most powerful decks in the meta right now. You have to outlast the aggro/control decks by having units die and tossing consistently away from your deck.
Nautilus and Maokai create a great deal of fear though. The longer the game goes on, the easier it’s going to be for you to win. It’s all about using the power of your cards wisely. We have ways to make our creatures cheaper after all (if they’re Sea Monsters). Lure of the Depths, for example, lowers all Sea Monster ally costs everywhere by 1, and has you draw a Sea Monster on top of that!
We have card draw in Abyssal Eye, who has Elusive and Deep. We should probably talk about Deep though. What do we get when our deck hits “Deep Status”? These creatures gain +3/+3! So Abyssal Eye becomes a 6/6 Elusive creature, and whenever it hits the enemy Nexus you draw a card.
The longer the game goes on, we’re going to see some mighty rewards. Maokai’s our early-game champion if you ask me. Playing an ally a turn gives you the ability to Toss 2 cards out of your deck, and a Sapling. Those Saplings only exist to die for us and make that Maokai count go higher and higher. We then use the Saplings to harm the other player, forcing them into positions where they die and hopefully take something with them.
The Saplings themselves are 2/1 with Ephemeral and Challenger, so they’re amazing. They’re going to die that turn anyway, so take something with them if at all possible! So, early Maokai helps keep us in the game. What do we do to drag the game out longer though?
Lure of the Depths. Ye Been Warned is a spell that makes an enemy Vulnerable for a round, and if it dies, you draw a card. It’s slow speed though so be warned. Jettison is amazing at all stages of the game since it’s a 1-cost Burst Speed Spell that has you Toss 4 cards out of your deck. Riptide stuns an enemy and you shuffle that unit into the other player’s deck if an ally Nautilus is in play.
I have a feeling that more often than not, we’ll not be using that second part of the spell, except in the late game. Then we have Salvage which is double the value for 4 mana. You toss 2, then draw 2! However, not all of our creatures have the Sea Creature/Deep tag. That’s perfectly fine though.
But we have enough of them. We have Shipwreck Hoarder (7/5), Terror of the Tides (6/5) and Abyssal Eye (3/3). These all gain +3/+3 when the deck reaches Deep. I’m sure you might be asking “Well, we’re throwing away so many of these creatures! What can we do to make sure those come back somehow? They’re being Obliterated!”
Don’t worry, my fairweather friend, we have a solution. When Nautilus levels up, all Tossed allies that cost 4 or more mana are copied into your deck. So, they come back, whether you need to toss them again, or to simply play them for yourself! We’ll be lowering their costs too, but should not make them cost less than 4.
The most important thing to remember is that you must play patient with this deck. When you have lots of cards in hand/on the board, you can play aggressively. You want to hit Deep! You could win before that, but I wouldn’t try to rush into it. Rushing too much can seal your doom at the bottom of the sea. But there are dangers.
Decks that are too wildly fast can defeat you if you don’t keep a small army of creatures to hold the other player off. If you lose your Nautilus and Maokais too early, that is going to be very unpleasant. Because you have so many ways to lose them (say to Lee Sin bopping them over and over). Play safe, play patient.
Once we’re Deep, play Nautilus, copy the long-since past sea monsters, and resume drawing, playing, and laughing as you drag those foes down to the deep. Once that point happens, Nautilus goes from a 0/12 to a 13/13 (Tough/Fearsome as well). Once you trigger deep, almost everything that remains is a threat. In a perfect world, we’d get both Maokai and Nautilus leveled up simultaneously, play them both, and laugh as the other player loses a deck, and you become a horrifying terror.
That’s when the game starts to end. Play slow, play safe. Toss early to set up our “Deep” status. But don’t go too quickly, because you could wind up decking out without having anything to put on board. When you find that rhythm, you’ll drag people down under the waves with you.
Champions and Key Cards
What a wild deck this is. Our early game creatures exist to set up the board for the late game, and so do the spells. We don’t have a particularly fun or interesting early game, sadly. It’s a lot of well-timed tosses, and some Challenger units (Sapling, Jaull Hunters). The positive side about the Hunters, it creates a random Sea Monster in hand, and in theory, you can do that three times! If you do this before Lure of the Depths, we can make them more manageable to cast! So, let’s briefly discuss the champions, and the baseline Sea Creatures we’re running, before the random ones start showing up. They are our path to victory.
Maokai (Shadow Isles, 4-Cost, ¼): You want to play those low-cost minions when Maokai is on the board, just to trigger Toss 2, and summoning that Sapling. He’s a ¼ baseline, but his leveled up form is a ⅖ Regeneration monstrosity. He summons a Sapling every round, and upon that level up, the entire enemy deck is obliterated! Except for 4 non-champions, anyway. So, what happens if they have no non-champions left? Maybe it all goes away? Maokai is vile. If you manage to level him up, you can simply wait the other player out until they deck out. He’s about the same level as frustrating as the LoL Maokai is.
Nautilus (Bilgewater, 7-Cost, 0/12): 7 Mana? Good lord! Nautilus is one of my most-banned champs in League of Legends. He has no real abilities other than when he levels up. When he does, all Tossed allies that cost 4+ are copied back into your deck! Once you’re Deep (15 or fewer cards), he levels up and becomes a 13/13! Him being Tough/Fearsome is also nice, so 3 or fewer power creatures can’t block him, and he takes one less damage.
Terror of the Tides (8-Cost Epic Follower): Whoo doctor! We’re only running a single Terror of the Tides, but as one of our few sea creatures, he’s going to hit the board sooner or later. We want him to show up as a Deep Sea Creature, though. Why? Because he would be a 9/8! When he’s in play, all Sea Monster allies have [Fearsome]. When he attacks, enemies have -2/-0 for this round, which is gorgeous. He makes your Sea Monsters even more annoying, and is one of our main game-winners, next to Nautilus. Having these both in play at once is more or less going to seal someone’s doom.
Shipwreck Hoarder (7-Cost Epic Follower): Another monstrously powerful creature with Deep? You bet! He will be a 10/8 with Deep. When Shipwreck Hoarder is summoned, you Toss 2 as well, but you also shuffle 2 Treasures into the deck? What are treasures? These are generated spells that can go into your deck: Treasure Trove, Keelbreaker, and Platewyrm Egg. They’re all very powerful but are Slow Speed, so they can be countered, and have to be played during your turn out of combat. However, when these are tossed, they’re drawn into your hand, so no fear of them going away.
Devourer of the Depths (6-Cost Epic Follower): All three of these are Epics, which means the deck is pretty darn expensive. But it’s going to be worth it. What does this terrifying sea creature do? This 4/4 becomes a 7/7 that Obliterates something when played. What does it obliterate? An enemy creature with less health than him. So, it’s ideal for him to be played after you reach Deep status. That way, you can destroy a creature that has 7 or less health. Obliterate is used a lot here, so let’s talk about that briefly. When something is obliterated, it doesn’t count as dying. It gets no Last Breath, and cannot come back at all. It’s removed from the game completely. Just some food for thought, Shark Chariot.
Maokai (4) x3
Nautilus (7) x3
Jettison (1) x3
Ye Been Warned (1) x3
Lure of the Depths (3) x3
Riptide (4) x3
Salvage (4) x3
Dreg Dredgers (1) x3
Deadbloom Wanderer (3) x3
Jaull Hunters (3) x3
Abyssal Eye (5) x3
Devourer of the Depths (6) x3
Shipwreck Hoarder (7) x3
Terror of the Tides (8) x1
Frankly, I love this deck, expensive or not. It’s fun, and it’s strong, but it can be countered. Fast-paced, Ephemeral decks can put you down, with cards like Phantom Trickster and Neverglade. With timing and sound use of cards, you can stall the aggro decks so they lose their tempo, and your control of the game begins. Other than those decks that rush your Nexus immediately, this is one of the best decks in Legends of Runeterra Rising Tides expansion.
The secret is lasting until 15 or fewer cards in your deck, playing Nautilus and your other gigantic monsters. Elusive decks can harm you too, so be aware of how hard that’s going to be for you. Despite those bits of counter-play, this is incredibly fun and satisfying to make work.
Snowblind (Freljord/Demacia Mid-Range/Control)
Do you like it when you make your opponents creatures die without any penalty or recompense? Would you like to make a creature not only unkillable but it instakills any creature that blocks it that has 0 attack power? Perhaps on top of that, you’d like Frostbite engines, so you can reliably do this? Well friend, do I have just the deck for you! This deck is one I stumbled upon quite by accident, and good lord is it vile.
We have answers and moves for all steps of the game. One of the best parts of this game is utilized wisely in this deck too: Spell Mana. The ability to store up to 3 mana for use on spells makes some of your combos start to pop way faster. If your opponent isn’t running Ionia, you’re going to make them very, very sad.
We can do some ludicrous things in the mid to late game. With The Tuskraider, we can double the Power/Health of all allies in our deck, and then use Warmother’s Call to play them for free each round. That means we’re going to have potentially a 14/14 Tiana Crownguard, 10/10 Icy Yeti, and so much more. Plus Icy Yeti against weak minions? Then follow that with Winter’s Breath to blow up all those and Frostbite anything that remains?
Welcome to Black Sabbath’s hit, Snowblind.
How Does It Work?
Now, I know this is a “Freljord/Demacia” deck, but the only champs we run come from the land of ice and snow. In fact, out of our whole deck, 32 of the cards are Freljord, and eight are from Demacia. All of the Demacia cards are to set up the rest of our success. In particular, we want one copy of Unyielding Spirit in this deck. What’s it do? You grant an ally “I can’t take damage or die”. They can be detained/cleansed, but they can’t be killed in traditional senses.
It’s 8 mana, but it’s a Burst spell, so you can’t counter it. What do we want to do with it though? We want it on either Rimefang Wolf or Rimetusk Shaman. Rimefang Wolf kills 0 Power minions immediately when they strike them. So the more Frostbitten things create, the easier this is to do. We pair this with Judgment, to strike all enemy units. If we can say, Frostbite every enemy minion, they’re a board wipe with this spell. It’s not the “win condition” though.
But I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s hilariously fun and satisfying. Our strategy is to use our various Frostbite powers to shut down an opponent, and/or set up The Tuskraider/Warmother’s Call combo. Anivia can make that all but a guarantee, too.
Ashe is so important in this deck, so we want her leveled up ASAP. Why’s that? You have to Frostbite 5+ enemies, but she doesn’t have to “see” it, so she can come into play leveled up! For 4 mana, you get a 6/4 that Frostbites the Strongest enemy each time she attacks. But that’s not all! Enemies with 0 power can’t block! So you use your spells and creatures that Frostbite, and swing without any resistance!
So, consider that we get her leveled up. How many “Frostbite” options do we have? Well, let’s start with Sejuani. Her leveled up form Frostbites all enemies the first time they see you damage the enemy Nexus each round. With Anivia, you attack with her and the rest of your team then. She’ll trigger Sejuani’s ability, and the whole set of defenders/otherwise get immediately Frostbitten.
Now they do no damage! That could also make your opponent’s defenders unable to block. Flash Freeze, Harsh Winds, Winter’s Breath, Icevale Archer, Rimetusk Shaman, Icy Yeti, Sejuani, and Ashe all have some way to Frostbite. Heck, if we Unyielding Spirit your Rimetusk Shaman, he’ll Frostbite the Strongest enemy every single turn. So now that we know we have a ton of Frostbite options, what do we do with it? Well, Anivia rather springs to mind.
Anivia also triggers the Plunder of The Tuskraider. So, you want to damage their Nexus, then play The Tuskraider. What does it do? The allies in your deck double their Power and Health (and you draw a Sejuani if you didn’t have her already).
With Sejuani and Anivia, we make all the enemy units Frostbitten, reducing their power to 0 for the turn. What else can we do with that? Why, play Cithria the Bold, of course! She gives all attackers +1/+1 and [Fearsome] when she attacks as well. Fearsome makes it so units with 3 or lower power can’t block. If they’re all at 0, then, well. . . imagine swinging with a trio of 10/10s and the other player can’t block!
That’s what makes Warmother’s Call so stressful for your opponent to see. Now that everything is massive, you get an ally for free every single round. What do we want to do in the early game now that we know the overall strategy? Rushing our Enraged Yeti onto the board, via Yeti Yearling helps. When those Yearlings die, you shuffle two Enraged Yetis into the deck, which are 5/5s for 1!
So, I’m sorry my adorable friends. We need you to die ASAP. Rimetusk Shaman is key to our success in the early game too, so getting at least one in play is important. That way, we start shutting down creatures, and hopefully have a Rimefang Wolf to go alongside them. So we Frostbite their strongest unit and then Challenge it to instakill them.
Though we aren’t running Ionia, we still have a few control cards to play too, thanks to Demacia. Purify and Detain are the cards we hold to slow or completely stall an opponent’s success. In particular, if you can Detain an enemy onto an Unyielding Spirit creature, that’s better still. Detain removes a creature from the game until the detaining creature (one of yours) leaves play. Purify simply removes all of the text and keywords from a follower, making them ordinary.
You don’t have to cast Unyielding Spirit on your Wolf or Shaman though. Consider using it on Ashe or Sejuani! Having a leveled up Ashe that can’t be killed will make the game very unpleasant. Or you could pop it on a Cithria the Bold that’s been doubled through The Tuskraider! Then she’s a 12/12 that can’t be killed, and buffs everyone you attack with! Combine that with Ashe for maximum evil results.
If your opponent is running low-cost, low-power creatures, you have Avalanche, Winter’s Breath, and the Icy Yeti to deal with them quickly, fast, and in a hurry. Then we play Sejuani in the mid game to deal with them once and for all. Just make them all Frostbitten, swing without consequence, and laugh as they all perish.
But there is the Ionia recall/stun decks to worry about. Those are, in my estimation, the hardest decks to worry about. They can just bounce their allies back to their hand and replay them. It’s hard to keep them Frostbitten, which can slow you down. Not to mention they have all the fun counter play options. But if your opponent can’t cast Deny, Anivia+The Tuskraider is a guaranteed Plunder combo. Even if she dies/turns into Eggnivia, she’ll trigger that minimum 1 damage on their Nexus!
So, that’s our strategy. Frostbite as many enemies as we can, and set up for that mid to late game unblockable swing. With leveled-up Ashe in play, those Frostbitten units can’t even block. The more of them you can set up, or simply kill, the easier it’s going to be overall.
The original version of this deck did not run even one Sejuani, and I don’t get it. She’s so amazing, and if we can get her in play for free, that’s even better. Anivia makes sense, because she triggers one of our game-enders, as does Ashe. But Sejuani certainly makes gameplay a lot easier. So let’s talk about our trio of frozen friends!
Ashe (4-Cost, Freljord, 5/3): I already liked Ashe, but in Rising Tides, she’s even more annoying, thanks to adding Sejuani to the mix. But when this 5/3 for 4 attacks, the Strongest enemy gets Frostbitten (Power Reduced to 0). If you can activate multiple Frostbite procs a turn, you can use her in conjunction with other minions to make sure nobody on your side dies. Even better, if they only have one unit, it’s going to die, thanks to your Wolf. What makes her so great is her level up (Frostbite 5+ enemies). That also gives you a Crystal Arrow to cast next round.
Crystal Arrow (2 Cost, Slow Spell): Frostbite an enemy, then Frostbite enemies with 3 or less Health. Draw 1.
That’s ludicrous! Set that up on weak decks with her leveled up form to potentially win via one attack. Enemies who are Frostbitten, when leveled-up Ashe is in play, cannot block, after all. Think about it.
Sejuani (6-Cost, Freljord, ⅚): When you play Sejuani, an enemy receives both [Frostbite] AND [Vulnerable] for the round. That means they have 0 Power and can be forced to block. That unit is more or less guaranteed to die. She herself is a ⅚ Overwhelm, so damage that goes past Lethal hits the enemy Nexus. Swinging with her first can trigger her Leveled-Up power. The first time she sees you damage the enemy Nexus each round, Frostbite all enemies! So if she’s the first attacker, and gets damage through, the rest of the defenders are going to get mauled. How does she level up into a 6/7 Overwhelm though? Just damage the enemy Nexus in 5 different rounds this game! Play aggressive enough and this is simple.
Anivia (7-Cost, Freljord, 2/4): Anivia is a very simple unit, and exists for two combos in this deck. She triggers Sejuanis’ leveled-up passive and guarantees Plunder for The Tuskraider. How is it a guarantee? All she has to do is attack! Even if she gets Frostbitten, simply attacking deals 1 damage to all enemies, which includes the enemy Nexus. Pew. Pew. Guaranteed Double Stat Allies in the deck. She’s a 2/4 for 7 though, so you won’t be casting her early.
To level her up, you just have to last until turn 10! When you have 10 mana, you are Enlightened, and she levels up. She’s here to batter people with free damage, and trigger combos. If you can keep the other players minions Frostbitten, they can’t stop her from turning back to Anivia, either! When she dies, she revives into Eggnivia. Then you just have to keep her alive for a round, so she comes back to harass the other player even more. When leveled up, she hits for 2 to all enemies too, as a ⅗. She’s so key to this deck.
Warmother’s Call (12-Cost Epic Spell – Slow): We can cast this as early as turn 9, which is still… honestly pretty darn late. This is our “We absolutely must start winning” card, and boy does it facilitate that! If you’ve already triggered The Tuskraider, this is going to be hilarious. Every round (including the one where this is cast), you play for free a unit from your deck. It’s whichever one is next in the deck. So we want to get those Yeti Yearlings played and killed as soon as possible. This being so high-cost and being slow is dangerous. Against Ionia decks, make sure they can’t stop it from happening. But the ability to play a free ally every round from your deck cannot be underestimated.
The Tuskraider (8-Cost Epic Follower): So, The Tuskraider is new! They come with one heck of a strong [Plunder] trigger. To make that go off, you have to deal damage to the enemy Nexus before casting them. If you do, every ally in your deck has double the Power and Health they had before. Oh, if only your opponent would make you recall this unit. It would be dumb of them, but it would mean you get to trigger this again. We have so many 5/5 or 6/6s in this deck, the game is all but over once they start showing up as 10/10s for ONE MANA. Just shut it down at that point. When you pair it with Cithria the Bold, and Frostbite, game’s over.
Icy Yeti (7-Cost Epic Follower): I know, all of these key cards are Epic Rarity, and high-cost. That’s because this is not a fast-moving deck, per se’. A lot of our big moves are in the mid-game, and this is one of them. He’s even better if he shows up as a 10/10 though. But when Icy Yeti is summoned, you Frostbite enemies with 3 or less Health. This is another “Oh hey, with Ashe in play, the game is over” moves. Or at least, potentially over. Since Warmother’s Call “Summons”, this ability still triggers too! Icy Yeti is a great card all around, and against weak decks, it can all but spell disaster for the other player.
Ashe (4) x3
Sejuani (6) x1
Anivia (7) x2
Purify (2) x2
Flash Freeze (3) x3
Avalanche (4) x2
Bloodsworn Pledge (4) x2
Detain (5) x2
Harsh Winds (6) x1
Winter’s Breath (7) x1
Judgment (8) x1
Unyielding Spirit (8) x1
Warmother’s Call (12) x1
Yeti Yearling (1) x3
Icevale Archer (2) x2
Avarosan Trapper (3) x3
Rimefang Wolf (3) x3
Rimetusk Shaman (5) x3
Cithria the Bold (6) x1
Icy Yeti (7) x1
The Tuskraider (8) x1
Tianna Crownguard (8) x1
This deck is pretty reliant on things going your way from the outset, but it’s still a lot of fun. You have quite a few early game minions to get you to the mid-game power spike. Once you can reliably start hitting things with Frostbite, they’re going to be reluctant to play anything because you have so many ways to kill whatever they go for. Beware of heavy control though, because you can be out-aggroed, and counter-played. It’s fun, it’s disrespectful, and causes no end of chaos and frustration when you can Frostbite virtually anything your opponent uses the whole game. Even a mid-game wolf can be hilarious when you Frostbite their strongest ally, Challenge and kill it.
But also note one very important thing: Enemies that have been Frostbitten can be buffed after the fact. Just some food for thought. Don’t get caught slippin’ because you think everything is under control. A few Burst-speed buffs and you could throw.
Two Junglers Are Here Before You (Just Go Ahead Now)
I think the only champion this deck could be missing would be Karma. A deck that is reliant on lots of spells can always use a little Karma in their diet. But today, we’re just focusing on Vi and Lee Sin, a pair of junglers up to no good.
This is a deck designed to batter down the enemy Nexus by being a jerk, frankly. Leveled-up Lee Sin can hit their Nexus with virtually no restriction, thanks to simply casting spells. When he gains Challenger/Barrier and then challenges a minion, he’ll Dragon Strike it right into their Nexus. That way, both entities take damage! All we do is combine that with Vi’s leveled up form. Whenever she Strikes a unit, she deals five to the enemy Nexus.
So we pair those two dirty Challenger scum champs together, play a few spells, and then win the game! It won’t be very hard to do at all, I promise. We’re running tons of low cost, and frankly, low rarity spells to make sure we always have what we need to get the job done.
We have all the tools we need to just beat someone right in the face until their Nexus explodes. That’s the move. An absolute slew of low-cost spells that will help us control the board, and followers that will hold down the fort until Lee Sin and Vi start doing their work.
We can do so very much with this deck, and while this deck might seem or feel chaotic, it all builds towards one ultimate goal: Total Victory. We have creature removal, free damage, free card draw, buffs, you name it, we have it. We don’t want to cast them willy-nilly though. Planning, preparation, patience. The three Ps, as they were.
How Does It Work?
Perhaps my favorite thing about our champions here, we can level them up very easily. Vi just needs to “Strike” something for 10 or more damage. She’s baseline power 2 sure, but every time you cast a spell if she’s in hand or in play, she gains +1/+0. This caps at 8, so in theory, her first attack can level her up! She’s got Challenger, so she can pick a target she knows she’ll just demolish.
So how about Lee Sin? You just have to cast 7+ spells this game, and it doesn’t specify “He has to see it”. That means the longer the game goes on, the easier this is. Thanks to Spell Mana, this could be even easier! We only have one 4-cost spell in the deck, and it costs 2 less if you cast 2+ spells last round!
You know what it does? It’s Deep Meditation, and it draws two more spells! So we get even more stuff to absolutely batter the other player with. Let’s talk about what makes this deck go though. Our goal is to deal damage to the enemy Nexus simply by existing. We don’t get going until we have Vi and/or Lee Sin available, and leveled up.
Lee Sin, when he Challenges an enemy, Dragon Strikes the target. What that means, he Strikes both them and the Enemy Nexus. This represents his annoying kick in League of Legends. How does he gain Challenge? Cast a spell! Then you wait until things are set up, cast a Burst-Speed spell, and that will further grant him Barrier!
That’s why I say we wait until things are settled before we cast for Barrier. Barrier pops the first time you take damage for that turn, so we want to see if the other player has something shady to do first. Plus if we’re attacking with both Vi and Lee Sin, we can cast Ki Guardian on Vi to give her Barrier. If Lee Sin’s already got challenge this round, they’ll both gain Barrier as a result.
Leveled up Vi deals 5 damage whenever she strikes an enemy unit. As a minimum 10/6 with Tough/Challenge, she’s going to slam whatever she feels like. Then you combine that with potential Barrier, they’re going to live!
So let’s consider one turn. Lee Sin would be minimum 4/6, and Vi is a minimum 10/6. We can cast Twin Disciplines on Lee Sin to give him +3 attack (so he’s now 7/6). Then we cast Mystic Shot or Ki Guardian, to make sure Lee Sin has both traits he needs. He’ll hit the enemy Nexus for at least 7 damage, followed by Vi’s additional 5. That’s 12 damage out of 20, at the bare minimum with just two characters.
That isn’t even counting the other minions we could attack with! Our 6/6 Plaza Guardian, or the 4/2 Scales of the Dragon! That will also give us a Slow Spell, Dragon’s Protection, simply by casting him. Not to mention, we have a in-theory steady stream of Ephemeral/Lifesteal minions, through Eye of the Dragon. That minion gives us a Dragonling (2/1 Ephemeral/Lifesteal) if we cast 2+ spells last round.
We have 22 spells in this deck bare minimum, not counting the free/extra spells. That’s why I want Karma to fit in here somewhere! It wouldn’t work I don’t think, but I love it conceptually. Every spell in our deck makes this combo easier. We have Sonic Wave which gives an ally Challenger and also creates a fleeting Resonating Strike. That will cast 1 mana, and give +2 Attack at Burst Speed.
For 3 Mana, we gain the two spells we wanted to trigger, an ally gains +2/+0, one gains Challenger, and our fights became significantly easier. Also, consider that we have two casts of Flash of Brilliance in this deck. It gives us a random 6+ cost spell, and refills our spell mana. What if we gained Judgment?! Consider this perfect situation, if you will. We have Vi in play and Judgment in hand. Judgment has a battling ally strike all enemies. So if she strikes 4 opponents, she’ll damage the enemy Nexus for 20. That’s game over!
In theory, we could create an OTK that isn’t even possible in our deck! That’s not a guarantee, I’ll grant you. But it would be hilarious. Our non-champion followers exist to get us to that mid-game point where we can win the game. Claws of the Dragon, for example, gets summoned from your hand once you’ve played two spells this round. That’s instead of casting him for 2! As a 3/2 that can come out of nowhere, he’s very valuable in the early game.
Plaza Guardian might cost 10, but it goes down by 1 for each spell you’ve cast this game. We’re running 3, and by the time we’re ready to cast it, we could drop three of them for 1 mana each! As a 6/6 [Quick Attack], dropping these for 1 mana a piece is brilliant. I’ve also seen an alternate version of this deck that runs Chump Whumps, and some direct damage instead of control/buff options. I don’t care for that one quite as much. I think this one is more reliable.
At the end of the day, we want to have Lee Sin and Vi both leveled up. Hold spells to trigger your special abilities for Lee Sin, Challenge with both of them. If we can get them both Barrier each even better time. It’s honestly not too hard to put together.
If we’re looking for more spells, consider using your Retreats. You can use it on Scales of the Dragon, to bounce it back to hand. That creates a Fleeting Return, which lets you cast a 3-cost minion from your hand. That will give you another Dragon’s Protection, which gives +0/+3 permanently! You can do it a few times and buff your champions.
Take your time, use your spells to pick off minor threats, and buff your champions. Thermogenic Beam and Mystic Shot are our direct damage spells. It’s a pretty easy deck to build, and once you’ve learned when/where to use your Burst Speed spells, you can very easily win in one or two attacks on the enemy Nexus. It’s brilliant.
Champions and Key Cards
This is a deck that proves once and for all that “jungle is the most important role.” Anyone who tells you otherwise is:
- A liar
- About to get these hands
Lee Sin and Vi make this deck go, and are the whole reason for the season, as it were. Everything in this deck is built around making them go. So we hold out until they show up, and once they’re here, we start mowing the other player down without mercy.
Vi (5-Cost, Piltover Champion, ⅖): Vi sadly cannot show up immediately leveled up like Lee Sin and other champions may be able to. But you just hold her in hand until she’s a 10/5 with Challenger/Tough. So, you hold out, cast her as a 10/5 for 5, and make sure you have a Barrier for her once she’s ready to attack. You can get that level up immediately. She’s so strong. I don’t know if I think “Tough” should be her keyword. Maybe Onslaught? But I think it fits her either way. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part. She pairs great with Lee Sin to do damage to the other player’s Nexus without doing anything other than pounding the other player’s minions and champions into dust. When she levels up (after striking for 10 or more), anytime she strikes an enemy, she deals 5 to the enemy Nexus. G. G.
Lee Sin (6-Cost, Ionia Champion, 3/6): Lee Sin is so dumb. I can see him being nerfed one day. He’s a 3/6 for 6, which sounds high. But when you cast a spell, he gains Challenger for the round. If you cast another, he gains Barrier too! Leveling him up only requires you to cast 7 spells in the game. You can see from the decklist how bonkers easy that is. When he levels up, he becomes a 4/7. From there, anytime you Challenge an enemy with him, it Dragon’s Rages them (so it hits both the target and the Nexus). Pair that with Vi’s leveled-up form and we can win in one or two turns with little to no effort.
Sonic Wave (2-Cost Common Spell – Burst): Oh God, Sonic Wave. We can use this to give our Plaza Guardian [Challenger] on top of its already useful Quick Attack. Then, for 1 mana, we can give one of our other characters (or him) +2/+0 with Resonating Strike! Sure it’s Fleeting, so you have to use it this turn but it’s going to be worth it. It’s only one extra mana, so just plan around it. So you give an ally Challenger, it buffs Lee Sin, giving him Challenger, and the next spell (probably cast on him) gives him Barrier! It’s 100% value.
Ki Guardian (2-Cost Common Spell – Burst): Grant Barrier to an ally in hand. So we play this on our Vi while she’s still in hand. This will trigger Challenger/Barrier (whichever) on Lee Sin, even if we don’t have Vi in hand. It also lets us draw a card, and for two mana, that’s intense amounts of usefulness. We could get another low-cost mana spell to use! This is a card that sets us up for future success.
Deep Meditation (4-Cost Uncommon Spell – Burst): This is a 2-cost spell if you cast 2+ spells last round. That’s a running theme in this deck: cast two spells, and profit the next round. This card, at burst speed, lets you draw 2 other spells. This is incredible, because it’s Burst Speed, so we can do it during battle! We can do this to surprise the other player and suddenly give Lee Sin Barrier! Plus, having more spells in hand is never a bad thing.
Vi (5) x3
Lee Sin (6) x3
Thermogenic Beam (X) x3
Mystic Shot (2) x3
Ki Guardian (2) x2
Retreat (2) x3
Sonic Wave (2) x3
Flash of Brilliance (3) x2
Twin Disciples (3) x3
Deep Meditation (4) x3
Claws of the Dragon (2) x3
Eye of the Dragon (2) x3
Scales of the Dragon (3) x3
Plaza Guardian (10) x3
The only major downside to this deck is that you don’t win unless you have your champions. I mean, you can win with the Plaza Guardians, but it’s going to be harder against any other deck that’s running tons of allies. I think it could run into issues against some of the Ephemeral Decks because they run tons of damage before you can even get into a position to win. If the other player can manage to get rid of all of your Lee Sins and Vis before they make it into a level-up position, that would also be bad. Thankfully, we’re running three of each so that’s likely not going to happen.
I think the hardest part about this deck is learning when and what to cast spells on. Hoarding them until just the right moments is key, but very satisfying. Our ultimate goal is to just use Lee Sin and Vi to deal free damage on the enemy Nexus. It’s possible, and it’s pretty easy to do if you play with patience. Remember the 3 P’s.