The Best Legends of Runeterra Decks In Guardians of the Ancient
We’ve spent a little time waiting on Guardians of the Ancient to shake up, so it’s time to look at the best Legends of Runeterra decks for May 2021! There’s a huge difference between “fun” decks and “the best” decks in a card game. This is especially true when you want to be competitive. Can any deck win in a CCG? Of course, it absolutely can. You can take anything to the top if you’re creative and lucky enough. But there are decks that stand head-and-shoulders above all the others and with good reason. I’m very curious to see if any of the Guardians of the Ancient cards and decks we highlighted for Legends of Runeterra wound up being overpowered.
I can confirm that at least one of them did, and it was a pretty new concept (dubbed by some as Aggro-Combo). At least one of the decks features a new champion. Can you guess which? Spoiler, it’s Irelia! Now, we may not see a ton of Guardians of the Ancient cards in these decks, but the designs here are the ones that are actually winning in the game right now. The meta has shaken up in a really interesting way. A lot of Shurima decks are in the top right now, and there are a ton of Tier 2 decks. A trio of deck archetypes stands above them, though.
I’ll cover the three best decks and a selection of the Tier 2 decks that also stand a great chance at winning you games. I’m excited to see so much growth for Legends of Runeterra, that’s for sure. We’ve got some fun decks, that also stomp people in efficient ways, and that’s what I’m after. When I look for deck types, I want it to be efficient, but I also want it to feel enjoyable to play. No game archetype feels unplayable right now, which is something MTG Arena may not be able to say. With that said, let’s look at the best of the best!
The Order is Given (Again)! (Ionia/Shurima Aggro):
That’s right, friends! Azir and Irelia are probably the strongest deck right now! Easily top-three, as one of the Tier 1/S-Tier decks going for Legends of Runeterra, thanks to Guardians of the Ancient! I’m so glad that a deck I pinned to be ludicrously powerful actually is! I don’t always nail it, but this one? Oh yeah. It appears to be a faster version of the deck too.
Do you want to play fast, and just obliterate people? Overwhelm people with constant temporary units, and swing with more units than your opponent can possibly answer. Eventually, they’re going to run out of blockers, and we’re just going to win! The games you play with this deck will likely be incredibly fast. We’re not going to win in one big turn but split it across a few turns. Both factions bring the same thing to the table: Unrealistic amounts of damage.
How’s It Work?
Irelia brings new stuff to the game though! We’ve talked about it before, but Blade Dance is a new keyword. In brief, when you play a Blade Dance keyworded card, whatever the number next to it is, you create that many Blade cards. They’re 1/1s that are obliterated at the end of combat. These Blade Dance minions get their own attack immediately. You don’t even have to have the Attack Token! You can get several attacks in one turn thanks to dropping more than one Blade Dance card a turn. Ribbon Dancer and Blossoming Blade both come together for that purpose.
Ribbon Dancer costs 2 mana for a 2/1 Blade Dance: 1, and Blossoming Blade is a 4-cost 3/3, that Blade Dances for 2. We can also Recall these cards with spells like Homecoming, Retreat, and Lead and Follow, to re-do these Blade Dances for extra pressure. Heck, Lead and Follow grants a Flawless Duet, so you can do even more damage!
Homecoming at least also makes your opponent recall a unit or landmark too, and at 4 mana, that’s a steal. We actually really want to recall stuff in this deck! We can also use Retreat to recall and ally, and create a Fleeting Return in hand. Return is a 1-cost spell that summons an ally that costs 3 or less from your hand. That means you can bounce Blossoming Blade back to hand, and drop that spare Ribbon Dancer back onto the field!
Conversely, you can use it to play Azir or Irelia. Both of these champions hinge on us attacking often. Irelia levels up after 12+ allies have attacked. You can probably see that it’s not hard at all to get allies attacking. Between the Blade Dance and Emperor’s Dais, we can hit both champs level-ups easily. Emperor’s Dais is a 2-cost Landmark that has you summon an attacking Sand Soldier whenever allies attack. Having this out before Blade Dance means we get an extra attacker every time! If that 1/1 hits the enemy Nexus, it deals an extra 1 damage.
Azir leveling up requires you to summon 10 units. All of these Blades and Sand Soldiers do get summoned. They all count for both champions. Irelia is already a 3/2 Quick Attack, and creates a Flawless Duet in your hand when summoned, and on Round Start (if you have the attack token). Flawless Duet is a spell for 1 mana that has you Blade Dance: 2. Every time you can attack, you get to Blade Dance, regardless of what else you have going on.
When she levels up though, that is when she’s truly terrifying. Now she’s a 4/3 Quick Attack, and she still creates that Flawless Duet. However, when allies attack, she also creates a copy of Bladesurge for you to cast. Bladesurge swaps Irelia with an ally and costs 0 mana. You can set her up to not be blocked, or use her to defeat something with ease.
Or consider this: Every single time you Blade Dance, you can put her in instead! Now your opponent has to stress about 4 damage going through multiple times a turn before your actual take goes down. That probably sounds really frustrating. But what if we combine it with Azir?
You want Azir out as soon as possible too. Whenever your allies attack, you summon an attacking Sand Soldier just like Emperor’s Dais. You don’t really have to swing with many creatures in this deck, thanks to all of our temporary goons. When he levels up though, he also grants allies summoned a temporary +1/+0. Now those Blades and Sand Soldiers are 2/1s instead of 1/1s! This is a deck we bully people around with without reservation.
In the mid-game, when we’re ready to really win, we want to cast Inspiring Marshal. A 4/6 for 5, it grants allies summoned a +2/+0 bonus for the round. So if we have Level 2 Azir and her in play, and we cast a Blade Dance, each Blade is a 4/1! From there, the game is pretty much over. We have some classic Ionian cards too like Greenglade Duo, which is an Elusive 2/1, and gains +1/+0 for the round when you summon an ally. So we use her after spamming a few Blade Dances and get some Elusive (probably big Elusive) damage through. That in turn, creates even more Sand Soldiers. Sparring Student also is amazing early on, because it gains +1/+1 for each summoned minion for the round. As a 1/1 for 1, this can be scary in the early to mid-game.
At all stages of the game, we apply a ton of pressure and push people around. We do damage constantly and can bounce cards back to our hands to do it again and again. We also have a sneaky way to drop damage, with Shaped Stone. A Burst Spell for 1, if we have summoned a Landmark this game, instead of it granting +1/+1 for the round, it grants +3/+1. We can do so much in this deck. It’s fast-paced and really successful. I adore it.
- Azir (3) x3
- Irelia (3) x3
- Emperor’s Dais (2) x3
- Dancing Droplet (1) x3
- Dunekeeper (1) x3
- Sparring Student (1) x3
- Greenglade Duo (2) x3
- Ribbon Dancer (3) x2
- Blossoming Blade (4) x3
- Inspiring Marshall (5) x3
- Shaped Stone (1) x3
- Lead and Follow (2) x3
- Retreat (2) x1
- Syncopation (2) x1
- Homecoming (4) x3
This might be my favorite aggro deck in Legends of Runeterra’s entire lifespan. Thanks to Guardians of the Ancient, Legends of Runeterra’s decks have really been shaken up, and this is the best of all of them as of May 2021. I’m shocked we haven’t heard rumors of nerfs for this deck yet. Each turn, you pretty much always have a play to make. Thanks to the constant return/recall cards, we can just keep setting up combos over and over. It’s going to be very easy to play Azir and Irelia both as Level 2 upon first cast, and that’s just beautiful. You don’t really need to attack with a lot of regular followers, but if you summon enough extra allies in a turn, the Greenglade/Sparring Student will be a major threat. Ideally, you’re going to want Emperor’s Dais and Azir in your starting hand, perhaps Dunekeeper also for yet another Sand Soldier.
Nasus Controls Life and Death (Shurima/Shadow Isles Midrange):
Of course, Nasus is going to be in another of the top decks in Legends of Runeterra since his drop in Guardians of the Ancient. He has infinite growth, provided you can keep killing units. We combine him with Thresh, who can simply drag him out of the deck and put him into play, hopefully, strong enough to just win the game. It’s not quite as fast as previous aggro decks, but in my estimation, it’s much safer. This is a deck that uses a bunch of fun death effects and then smashes someone into tiny bits with Nasus.
It’s a deck that runs under the motto “Everyone dies”, as said succinctly by Lance Archer. You don’t even really have to get his damage through at all! You can simply sacrifice him to Atrocity. The important thing to note that Nasus gains +1/+1 from every slain enemy. It doesn’t matter the source of the damage/ability, as long as the allies/enemies die. Now, Slay does not trigger through Ephemeral effects. That would simply be too powerful. We can’t just throw Shark Chariot in over and over and let it win the game for us. So it’s not even in the deck!
We aren’t bothering with Ephemeral, because it does us no good. We want to have some manner of control in how we remove threats. We constantly eliminate our opponent’s threats and sacrifice our own to set up fantastic mid-to-late game bombs. We have quite a few new cards in the deck too, showing me that they are absolutely worth running. What do we want from the deck though?
How’s It Work?
Just about everything in this deck facilitates making Nasus as powerful as possible. He’s a 6-cost 2/2 Fearsome though, which sounds awful at first. He gains +1/+1 for each unit you’ve slain this game and levels up after he’s struck for 10+ damage. Ideally, we can use him for one attack and level him up. Level Two Nasus then becomes a 3/3 with Fearsome and Shield. He still gains the +1/+1 for each slain enemy, but now enemies have -1/-0 as long as Nasus is in play.
So every single time an enemy dies in the game, and we have a hand in it, Nasus gains +1/+1, no matter where he is. He doesn’t have to witness it. This includes strikes (combat damage), spell damage, or direct removal (kill spells). This helps our Thresh too, who is a 5-cost champion. He’s a 3/6 Challenger, and once he’s seen 6 units die (regardless of the reason), he levels up. The first time Level 2 Thresh attacks this game, he summons another attacking champ from our deck or hand. Since we have one other, we’re likely going to pull Nasus.
So our whole strategy is to control the flow of the game through violence. We also have a Rite of Calling to pull a champion out of our deck, by killing an ally or destroying a mana gem. In most cases, we want to destroy an ally for this, and cards like it (Rite of Negation). Glimpse Beyond, Vile Feast and Black Spear are all back too as classics. Glimpse Beyond has us kill an ally to draw 2, Vile Feast can drain 1 from a unit to give us a Spiderling, and if someone dies in a turn, we can cast Black Spear to deal 4 damage to a target. Rite of Negation is fairly new, and it kills an ally or destroys a mana gem to stop all enemy Fast Spells, Slow Spells, and Skills. It costs 4 mana as a Fast Spell and is a great control spell. We can also use it to help boost Thresh/Nasus!
The next question is, do we have units that reward us for killing them? Or at least have disposable allies that we won’t be doing anything with? Why of course! Blighted Caretaker kills an ally to summon two Saplings. The Saplings have Challenger and Ephemeral, so you have to use them this turn. Try to set them out only on turns you can attack. That way you can strike with them and see them off the board. Or otherwise, if you have the spare mana, and have spells that need a sacrifice, you’re good to go.
Some of our allies also need to kill for effects. Ravenous Butcher also requires you to kill an ally to summon him. However, he’s still a 3/2 for 0, so it’s worth it. Spirit Leech needs to kill an ally when you play him, but you draw two cards. Since it’s a 4/1 for 4, it’s likely going to get one good attack in before it dies. That’s what we want. Cursed Keeper is also a great target for these types of minions. Since it summons an Escaped Abomination when it dies, thanks to Last Breath, we want it to perish.
Speaking of new cards, The Wings and The Wave is a really interesting 0/1 for 1. When you play it, it becomes one of two cards: First Wave or Last Wind. First Wave summons a Prey minion and is still a 0/1. Last Wind is a 3/3 and requires you to kill an ally to play him. So you play whichever you need at that moment.
Dunekeeper also summons a Sand Soldier with him, so we have it as another thing to block/attack with to make sure someone perishes. If we can get an early (turn 1) Baccai Reaper, it could help us win too. It’s a ½ Fearsome, and it gains +1/+0 anytime we slay a unit. It could become a massive threat, but it’s easy to eliminate thanks to only having two hp.
We spend our game killing enemies and our own allies as often as possible. If we can get Thresh out and then level him up, we can pull a mighty Nasus right out of our deck. If we attack with Nasus, try and put him at the end of your lineup when at all possible. He can still gain +1/+1 counters while in combat. It’s any time you slay someone, so bear that in mind. You can also use mid-combat spells to remove threats and buff him too.
What’s our end game though? It’s Nasus, of course. He can come in as a 20/20 without a doubt. We can attack with him, or, if we know it’s safe, we can spend 7 mana and cast Atrocity. You kill an ally and deal its Power in damage to any target. We get a 20/20 Nasus, sacrifice him, and immediately win! That’s all you have to do. Just keep a watch on how many things you’ve slain, so you can accurately judge what you have to do. You can use the other Atrocity on Baccai Reaper in the early game if you’d like if it’s strong enough. That way you really put someone on the back foot. If your opponent only has weak creatures, we can use him as a way to push damage and the same for Nasus.
Before the other player knows it, we win! With enough time and patience, we could Level 2 Thresh with full mana, cast Atrocity, and immediately win the game
- Thresh (5) x3
- Nasus (6) x3
- Ravenous Butcher (0) x2
- Baccai Reaper (1) x3
- Dunekeeper (1) x3
- The WIngs and The Wave (1) x1
- Cursed Keeper (2) x3
- Fading Icon (2) x2
- Blighted Caretaker (3) x2
- Merciless Hunter (3) x3
- Spirit Leech (4) x3
- Rite of Calling (0) x1
- Glimpse Beyond (2) x3
- VIle Feast (2) x3
- Black Spear (3) x1
- Rite of Negation (4) x2
- Atrocity (7) x2
I had a feeling (again) that Nasus would go great in Shadow Isles decks. A faction built on death, and a champion that needs things to die to feed his unlimited strength? Oh yes. The longer the game goes on, the stronger Nasus can be, but ideally, in a perfect world, it won’t go on too long. We control the state of the game, and make our opponent paranoid. Every turn could be their last. If they know what our strategy is, they might be hesitant to block our minions, because we want them to die. It will only make our victory easier. It puts them in a real Catch-22 situation, and that’s why I like it. You don’t have to wait on Atrocity either. You can just kill any of their potential blockers (anyone that Fearsome can be blocked by) and then swing on Nasus. It’s easy, and it’s honestly a blast. I’m such a big fan of the deck, and I’m glad it’s top tier right now.
Slow Ride, Take It Easy (Noxus/Piltover Spell Burn):
I’m fairly certain I used a deck similar to this in my last Legends of Runeterra best decks list, and in May 2021, the cards have not changed much for it. It didn’t need it though, because Ezreal and Captain Farron are still much too strong to ignore. It’s one of the other absolute top decks in the meta. Level Two Ezreal’s ability to simply overwhelm someone with damage simply by casting spells is going to pay big dividends in this deck.
A chunk of our followers grant us spells, once, if not every turn. Then we have a huge chunk of low-cost, high-efficiency spells. We just need to target enemies 6+ times with our spells to make Level 2 Ezreal. It’s going to be very easy to do. Draven’s here to help us with spells too. His Spinning Axes help him level up, and with Level Two Ez in play, it also means damage, no matter what. We’ve got a good amount of card draw in the deck too. I like the deck, but it’s personally not as fun for me. I respect it, and I’ve lost to it a fair number of times.
So what do these two jerks do together?
How’s It Work?
Our win condition is to just melt someone’s Nexus with raw damage. We can either spam pointless spells/removal spells/damage spells onto our opponent’s enemies, and zap them again and again with the Level Two Ezreal passive, or we can just drop a pair of Decimates. Captain Farron creates two of them in hand when you summon the 8/8 for 8 (with Overwhelm).
Since Ezreal is so important, let’s talk about why. He’s a ⅓ for 3 with Elusive, which is already good. When he deals damage to the enemy Nexus, his Nexus Strike grants a fleeting Mystic Shot in hand. It’s a 2-cost Fast Spell that deals 2 damage to a target. After you target six spells onto enemies, he levels up. He still has the Nexus Strike, too. But now, when you cast a spell, deal 1 to the enemy Nexus. If it targeted an enemy, deal 2 to the enemy Nexus instead!
Now when you stun an enemy with a spell, the enemy Nexus is hit for 2. Suddenly, a repeat casting of Noxian Guillotine is a serious threat. As a 3-cost spell that kills a damaged unit, and creates a Fleeting copy, you can do it a few times, and get 2-6 damage relatively easy. Of course, it’s predicated on your opponent having damaged cards. Say hello to cards like Mystic Shot and Statikk Shock! Statikk Shock deals 1 to an enemy or the enemy Nexus, and 1 to another, while also drawing a card.
The great part about Ez is that he doesn’t have to be in play to trigger his level up. We also have Ballistic Bot as one of the most important early game cards. He’s a ⅓ that creates a copy of Ignition in your hand every Round. With Augment, he gains +1/+0 each time you cast a created card. Between him and Ez, you’re going to really get a big follower. Ignition is a 1-cost spell that deals 1 to the enemy Nexus, so it’s always worth a cast. Even better in the mid-game, when it also gets another damage from Nexus.
Thorn of the Rose is a 5/1 for 3, which creates Guile in hand. So that’s yet another near free spell! It’s a 1-cost spell that Stuns an enemy. We’ve got early game cards too like House Spider and Arachnoid Sentry, and Sump Dredger to discard a card to draw a card.
But what about Draven? Why is he in the deck? It’s because he’s low-cost, and also is an immediate threat. When you play him or Strike with him, he creates a Spinning Axe in hand. You need to strike with two Spinning Axes, so someone afflicted by the axe. Spinning Axe is a 0-cost Burst Spell. You have to discard a card to use it, and it gives an ally +1/+0 for the turn. Yet another way to power up Ez! If we get Level Two Draven, we get a 4/4 Quick Attack/Overwhelm card, that creates 2 Spinning Axes upon Play or Strike.
Draven simply being on the board is a threat. He’s a great attacker and blocker if need be, but he’s a threat. We’ve got a lot of classic spells in the deck too. Thermogenic Beam, the 0-cost that requires you to spend all your mana to deal that much damage to a card, for example. Ravenous Flock that deals 4 damage to a unit if it’s damaged or Stunned, and that’s easy to get. If you have extraneous cards, you can discard 2 to draw 2 with Rummage, which also has you discard 1 to draw 1, if that’s all you have left.
If we need to target a weak card, Culling Strike slays a unit that has 3 or less Power. The most interesting card to me though is Tri-beam Improbulator. A 4-cost spell that deals 1 damage to a unit and summons a 1-cost minion, those both go up every time you cast a 3-cost card. This card has to be in hand for that to trigger though. So both champs, a few of our spells and our followers mean it can certainly buff itself. It’s just a fun card that can nearly always have value.
Your win conditions are Level Two Ez and Captain Farron though. You get Ez and spam spells, you get Captain Farron, and now you have two Decimates. Decimate does 4 damage to the enemy Nexus, for 5 mana. Getting a pair of these is a huge chunk. It’s half the enemy Nexus life if you have Level Two Ez out. That’s what makes the deck go. You can hold out with a big hand, and dump everything in one turn and win. Lots of Mystic Shots, Decimates, stuff like that and just win.
- Draven (3) x3
- Ezreal (3) x3
- Ballistic Bot (2) x1
- House Spider (2) x3
- Arachnoid Sentry (3) x3
- Sump Dredger (3) x3
- Thorn of the Rose (3) x2
- Captain Farron (8) x2
- Thermogenic Beam (0) x3
- Ravenous Flock (1) x3
- Rummage (1) x2
- Mystic Shot (2) x3
- Culling Strike (3) x2
- Noxian Guillotine (3) x2
- Statikk Shock (4) x2
- Tri-beam Improbulator (4) x3
Early game Spiders, followed by Ez can really set you up for success. It’s up to you to use your spells wisely, but you have every single one is useful. Ping away at the other player’s Nexus at any opportunity, and once Level Two Ezreal is in play, you can get tons of free damage. It’s not a deck that moves quickly though. You take your time and whittle away at the other player until they simply fall under the weight of your never-ending spells. There are always more on the way. Thanks to Ezreal giving us extra Mystic Shots, we’re never out of options.
The Watcher is Well. . . Watching (Freljord/Shadow Isles Control):
One of the positives that’s also a negative for Legends of Runeterra is that no cards have rotated out. This means concepts that are powerful can remain powerful from time to time. Like Ezreal/Draven, it’s not exactly a deck that was hurting. With Lissandra coming to the game earlier this year, with her came The Watcher. It’s a horrifying card that obliterates your opponent’s deck, so they have no more access to cards, and thus, victory is secured. But we need to get it into play, that’s the thing. It doesn’t fit in just any deck.
Well, it can, but it’s better in a control situation. We want a deck that’s good and slow. It’s powerful, but there’s always a way to remove enemy threats. We create our Frozen Thralls, wait them out to become mighty 8/8s, and then it’s only a matter of time before The Watcher descends upon the world. Lissandra/Trundle is without a doubt the strongest control deck in the meta right now for my money. This is great because I adore control decks. I love complicated combos, sure. But anyone who has been reading my blogs over the last year or so knows where my real loyalty lies: control.
That’s all I really want in a deck. Life gain, board clear, and a really really annoying win condition. Say “Hello” to huge creatures, and the colossal forgotten one, The Watcher! This is a deck for people that like to take their time and react to their opponents. That’s the way I live to play. It’s perfect for me. Lissandra is the True Queen of Freljord.
How’s It Work?
There is so much great stuff in this deck, but our goal is to get The Watcher. He’s not a card that’s in the deck, so it’s not an issue. We just have to level up Lissandra. Most of our deck is built around spells though. That’s why it’s imperative to let your opponent take the first move in most situations. Don’t go wasting spells. Instead, stock up your spell mana so you can make big plays when you need. We’ve got lots of control options for the aggro decks too.
Getting an early Blighted Ravine also helps keep us in the game. We’re going to take damage in this deck, but that’s fine. Blighted Ravine heals the Nexus for 4 when summoned, so try and play it at the right times. It has a Countdown: 1, and when it pops, everything takes 2! A great way to eliminate a very aggressive early board.
But don’t forget, for the late game we also have the classic Shadow Isles removal cards. Withering Wail, Vengeance, and if you really need to wipe the board before winning, The Ruination. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that though. We’re going to take our time and win this one. We can also heal with Kindly Tavernkeeper, and he’s a fantastic card to duplicate with Fading Memories. We want as much life back as possible.
Vile Feast, Grasp of the Undying both serve to eliminate threats, and we’ve got quite a few Frostbite effects to prevent damage from coming through. We also run cards like Avalanche to slow down low-life aggro decks. Icevale Archer is here for that, and we can copy him if we wish, with Fading Memories and Spectral Matron. However, Spectral Matron has bigger targets, since it can copy any ally in your hand. For example, we can use it to cheese out a Level 2 Lissandra.
In order to level up, you need to summon 2 8+ cost followers. That’s the rub, it says “summon”. When she (Lissandra) is summoned, you create a 1-cost Frozen Thrall, which is a Landmark. It has Countdown: 8, and when it’s up, you summon a Frozen Thrall. It’s an 8/8 Overwhelm for 8, so that’s one done. That’s going to take a while though. When you’ve got 8 mana, you can cast Spectral Matron, and when played, you pick an ally in hand to summon a copy of, with Ephemeral. Before that, we want to put Trundle into play.
He’s going to put an 8-cost Ice Pillar in hand. He levels up when you play an Ice Pillar. So we use Spectral Matron to summon a copy of it into play, immediately leveling up Trundle. We’ll talk about what makes him great shortly. That would be two 8+ cost cards played, so Lissandra levels up. She becomes a ¾ with Tough, and also grants your Nexus Tough. Now it takes 1 less damage. At the start of each round, she creates a Fleeting, 0-cost Ice Shard in hand. You also receive the 17-cost Watcher.
The Watcher costs 0 if you’ve played 4 8+ cards this game. Otherwise, you can’t cast him, no matter what. He’s too expensive! That waiting Frozen Thrall will be a third, and you can cast the Ice Pillar for 8+ card #4. The Watcher is an 11/17, and when it attacks, it completely Obliterates the enemy deck, so it’s totally removed from the game. That’s it, game over for them. There’s no coming back from that if you ask me.
Now, that’s not the only way to get The Watcher out easily. You can Frozen Thrall and Ice Pillar to level Lissandra up. Then you cast Spectral Matron to play The Watcher for free from your hand! It’s got Ephemeral, so only do this on your attack. That way, you remove your opponent’s deck around turn 8. Babbling Bjerg can also help, by drawing into Spectral Matron for me. On top of the 8/8s, a potential The Watcher, we also have Trundle.
Level 2 Trundle is a ⅚ with Overwhelm/Regen, and attacking with him grants him +1/+0 for each 8+ card you Behold. That means for each 8+ in play and in your hand, he gains a permanent +1 to his attack. Since he regenerates at the end of turn, he’s a constant threat. He’s how we distract the other player, setting up for that The Watcher play. When that happens, most people I’ve seen simply give up. They can’t draw, so they lose.
- Lissandra (3) x3
- Trundle (5) x3
- Blighted Ravine (4) x3
- Avarosan Sentry (2) x2
- Icevale Archer (2) x1
- Kindly Tavernkeeper (3) x3
- Babbling Bjerg (4) x1
- Spectral Matron (8) x3
- Fading Memories (0) x3
- Entreat (2) x2
- Glimpse Beyond (2) x1
- Vile Feast (2) x3
- Flash Freeze (3) x2
- Avalanche (4) x3
- Grasp of the Undying (5) x1
- Withering Wail (5) x3
- Vengeance (7) x2
- The Ruination (9) x1
As a very reactive deck, I like it a lot. We’ve got one-use creatures that can then be fodder for Glimpse Beyond, for example. We’ve got Entreat to pull a champ out of the deck, so we fill in a gap we’re needing to fill. We take our time here, patiently waiting out a perfect situation. Then play The Watcher, and the game’s over! At that point, we’re going to have so much damage our opponent will just be bowled over. At that point, it really doesn’t matter what we do, so may as well swing with as many big creatures as you can. As long as we can outlast someone’s early game aggression, and respond with the right removal, it’s going to be just fine.
OVERWHELM THEM WITH BIG NUMBERS (Shurima/Freljord Overwhelm):
Sure, control is great. Nobody is arguing against that. Nobody with sense, anyway. What is also fun is having the biggest creatures you can possibly use, and overwhelm someone, literally, with big numbers. Shurima/Freljord does exactly that. It’s not a very slow deck, either. We’re looking towards a mid-game victory. The best thing we can hope for though in our opening hand, in my opinion, is Ancient Yeti. It costs 7 to start, but for each Round End, it lowers by 1. A few turns in, and we can drop a 5/5 Overwhelm for 3 or 4!
Unlike most decks I run, this has three champions, and they’re all important. Sivir, Sejuani, and Renekton stand out as some of the champs that can do some serious numbers in this deck. You want to play very aggressively in the early game, getting some damage. That way, when our big creatures hit the board, we just sweep the other player away. Then in the late game, we pick one of our Overwhelm creatures, and we cast Battle Fury, and just win in one blow. We’re also doing some sneaky shenanigans to Frostbite all enemies and win without needing to stress.
How’s It Work?
Oh, Ancient Yeti. Seeing this in my opening hand always makes me glad. The early game is going to be likely using cards like Omen Hawk and Rock Hopper. Or we can play a turn-2 Ruthless Raider to have a 3/1 Overwhelm/Tough. Omen Hawk is such a great card though. Since when it’s summoned, it gives the top two allies in your deck +1/+1, there’s always a benefit. Since most of our cards are wonderful, there are no bad picks to get the +1/+1.
An early Preservarium is also nice because it has us draw 2 cards across its lifetime. Almost every follower/champion we have includes Overwhelm at some point. We use this, in conjunction with some ways to give enemies Vulnerable, to slay whatever offends us the most. We don’t need to have all three of our champions out at once, but each brings something useful. Level Two Sivir shares her keywords with her allies (Quick Attack/Shield) when she attacks. Renekton gains +3/+3 when he attacks (until the end of the round). Sejuani Frostbites all enemies the first time you damage the enemy Nexus.
Speaking of which, I wanted to talk about that because it’s my favorite champion ability in the deck. When we’re ready to win, here’s what we do. Get enough big boys on the field, and make sure you’re holding an Ice Shard. It’s a Fast Spell for 3, and it deals 1 to Everything. We hit the enemy Nexus, Frostbite all our enemies, and then we declare an attack.
They still might put something in play, but it’s not going to matter at that point. We just run someone down with big numbers. How do we level up those Champions though? Sejuani just has to damage the enemy Nexus in 5 different rounds. With all these Overwhelm cards, we just push the other player around. Renekton has to deal 12+ damage, and he gains +2/+1 when he Challenges an enemy. As a 4/4 Overwhelm, it’s not too hard to make this happen either. We don’t have any Challenge cards in the deck, but we do have Vulnerable. It’s not clear to me if that would work the same way. Sivir is much harder, I think. You have to deal 35+ damage to get her to level up. I don’t hate it, but by the time she’s Level 2, the game is nearly over hopefully.
This is not a complex deck either. We play aggressive creatures, that have a lot of power. We have some buff spells like Troll Chant, Shaped Stone and Battle Fury. That’s our big game-winner if you ask me. It’s an 8-cost Burst Spell, so you play it when you know someone will deal the right amount of game-winning damage. How? It gives an ally +8/+4! It doesn’t go away either! With the proper mana sorting, you could drop it on someone early, and cast another later in the game. But with cards like Merciless Hunter (3-cost Fearsome, grants an enemy Vulnerable 4/3) and the classic 7/6 Overwhelm Alpha Wildclaw, we can just shred through people.
- Renekton (4) x3
- Sivir (4) x1
- Sejuani (6) x2
- Preservarium (2) x2
- Omen Hawk (1) x2
- Rock Hopper (2) x3
- Ruthless Raider (2) x2
- Merciless Hunter (3) x3
- Ruin Runner (5) x3
- Alpha Wildclaw (6) x2
- Ancient Yeti (7) x3
- Exhaust (1) x3
- Shaped Stone (1) x3
- Troll Chant (2) x3
- Ice Shard (3) x2
- Battle Fury (8) x3
I didn’t speak as much about this deck, admittedly. It’s a very easy concept. We play low-cost, high-power minions early, get as much damage as we possibly can on the other player. We push them around and make them block at moments they don’t want to. Then we get damage through anyway thanks to Overwhelm. Then when the Big Guns (™) drop, we just sweep the remnants of our foes Nexus’ away. I like to wait for Battle Fury until the other player has picked blockers, so I’m guaranteed it all goes through. Swinging with a 16/16 Overwhelm Renekton is so satisfying.
Frozen 3: Now With Marauders (Freljord/Noxus Midrange):
Is this the first deck I’ve used LeBlanc in? It sure feels like it. She comes with a really interesting power though, if you can get her to Level Two (she’s seen you deal 15+ damage). For that, you really want her on the board early. She’s powerful, but I like Ashe more in this deck. After all, this is a deck where we want to Frostbite a lot of enemies, and then overwhelm them with damage. We’re going to abuse the other player with Frost skills/abilities, and spam as many Legion Marauders as possible. That’s why we want LeBlanc.
Level Two LeBlanc can duplicate minions that have 5+ power, and it won’t take much to have 5 power Legion Marauders. Summoning a Legion Marauder gives us a to give all Legion Marauders everywhere +1/+1! So we duplicate them, cast Strength in Numbers to summon two more of them, to buff all of them again. Or we can use her to duplicate Trifarian Gloryseeker to make more Challenger 5/1s! Through that, we just pick off threats, especially if they’ve been Frostbitten. It’s a really interesting deck, and not one I’ve personally experimented with.
How’s It Work?
We don’t want our opponents to have anything big and scary. Did your opponent swing hard with something big early? Then just slap it with Flash Freeze! If it’s a low-health, high-power ally, maybe throw Brittle Steel onto it, at Burst Speed. It Frostbites an enemy with 3 or less Health. Frostbite puts a card’s power down to 0. Doing this consistently can help Ashe level up with a quickness. We also have Icevale Archer to help us go on the offensive early, or stop an enemy from attacking when you don’t want them to.
Ashe is critical though. A 5/3 for 4, when she attacks, she Frostbites the Strongest enemy. When you’ve Frostbitten 5+ enemies, she levels up and creates a Crystal Arrow on the top of your deck. Crystal Arrow costs 2 and is Slow Speed. That means she can Frostbite an enemy and all other enemies with 3 or less Health. It also draws a card! Level 2 Ashe still has her Frostbite power. But she also makes enemies with 0 power unable to block!
If we could use the Crystal Arrow at the right time, freeze the entire enemy line, we can slap someone down in one big attack. You combine this with LeBlanc, who is a 5/2 with Quick Attack for 3. You can use her early to sneak damage out and get her leveled up. When she levels up, she becomes a 6/3 Quick Attack. Each time she sees you deal 15+ damage, create a Mirror Image in hand. If you’ve already got one, you reduce its cost by 1 instead.
This means we can get really annoying ways to copy cards. Mirror Image costs 2 and is Slow. It summons an exact Ephemeral copy of an ally that has 5+ power. It could be her, it could be Ashe. Or it could be our other major way of dealing damage, Legion Marauder. They’re the big way we want to win. A 3/2 for 2, whenever it Attacks, all Legion Marauders everywhere gain +1/+1. We combine this with Frostbite to make sure they take as little damage as possible.
We can buff them with Elixir of Iron (+0/+2 this round) and Troll Chant (+0/+2 and give enemy temporary -0/-2). We combine these, making our allies +5 power. Then we use Ashe’s Crystal Arrow to Flashfreeze a whole enemy line. From there, we cast Reckoning, which makes all units with 4 or less power die if we have a 5+ power ally. That would take 8 mana total, but they’re both spells so we can use Spell Mana. A couple of Marauders, Ashe, and LeBlanc would seal our opponent’s doom. Strength in Numbers can help us buff the Legion Marauders too. Since it summons two copies of them, with the current stats, we can just swing hard. If our opponent has been broken, and we need another attack, we can instead cast Shunpo to do 2 damage to an enemy and then Rally.
We could do both of those spells in one turn, but it would have to be turn 10, with full Spell Mana. So that’s probably not likely. Would it be incredible? Oh absolutely. We’ve got sort of control spells too. We can kill a unit with 3 or less Power, with 3 mana in Culling Strike. Frostbite something, and then chop ‘em down. No matter how big they were, now they’re gone.
It’s not really a control deck, but we keep a strong tempo. The sooner we can get that 3-cost Legion Marauder in play, the better. We can attack with it, Flash Freeze whatever blocks him, and then get free stat buffs. Then anytime we play another or copy them, we can make them even bigger. While we’re not a “Scout” deck, we can Rally through Shunpo. Once we have an edge, we can cast this, and get a second attack, to make things that much harder to deal with. We keep the right targets Frosted up, and we just abuse the other player.
- LeBlanc (3) x3
- Ashe (4) x3
- Avarosan Sentry (2) x3
- Icevale Archer (2) x3
- Trifarian GLoryseeker (2) x3
- Legion Marauder (3) x3
- Brittle Steel (1) x3
- Elixir of Iron (1) x2
- Troll Chant (2) x3
- Culling Strike (3) x3
- Flash Freeze (3) x1
- Whispered Words (4) x3
- Shunpo (5) x2
- Reckoning (6) x2
- Strength in Numbers (8) x3
This is such a neat deck. It’s not going to be the biggest world-beater, because we’ve already covered that. I like the idea of playing sneaky, carefully laying down these icy traps, and overwhelming someone with basically, Naruto’s Kage Bunshin no Jutsu. We buff our Marauders and keep making clones of them, temporary or otherwise. Then, when the time is right, we swing as hard as we humanly can, and could easily hammer someone down into the ground like a tent spike in just one blow.