4 Decks to Try on Day 1 of Guardians of the Ancient Expansion

Den brings you four fun brews that he got the chance to playtest during yesterday's early access event.

Hi everyone, den at the writing desk, working on my favorite type of article: a collection of decks to try on Day 1 of a new release!

While a lot of people are claiming that Thresh Nasus will still be the top dog in the incoming metagame, there still is a lot of spice that can come out of this patch, and all 3 latest champions are capable of making some new decks viable.

So while it is obvious that picking some Deep, Lissandra Trundle, or Thresh Nasus will net you good results on the ladder, let’s go a more interesting route and imagine what the new contenders to these decks could look like.

Thanks to Riot France, I was a part of the Guardians of the Ancient early access event and had the chance to playtest all the decks mentioned below yesterday. They are still nothing close to a finished product of course, but it matters that this time I’ll be talking about decks I actually played a bit with. 

For readers who speak French (or if you would find an over-enthusiastic guy talking in a foreign language entertaining, that also works), you can watch videos about these decks on my Youtube channel.

Irelia Miss Fortune created by Rainmaker • last updated 3 years ago

The Scouts archetype has been Miss Fortune’s home for a very long time now. And while she might have seen some play in the Pirate build alongside Gangplank, there is no denying she is at her best when paired with the Demacian army.

With Irelia bringing a new multi-attack mechanic into the game, Miss Fortune could very well be lured into taking her services to Ionia. Blade Dance allows the deck to attack several times per turn, and Recall synergies are a way to protect our units.

If you have been following other players’ insights on what they’ve got the chance to try during their early access, you might have seen Irelia being paired with Azir (here’s an example), as the two share a similar level-up condition and work in the same direction. Personally, I like the pairing with Miss Fortune better as Ionia has ways to protect her with cards like Nopeify! or Syncopation.

What Irelia’s best pairing will be is still up in the air, and even when the perfect solution will be found, the way to build the deck might still be contested considering how much help Irelia received in this release.

Leona Malphite created by Rainmaker • last updated 3 years ago

I am honestly not sure how the Leona Malphite duo will end up looking like as a deck, but I know that Eye of the Ra-Horak is good enough to push that deck into something viable.

So far, besides my Shadow Isles variant, I’ve seen at least 2 other different region pairings that also make sense for the deck.

Noxus has a good stun package for example, and this is the list that I’ve spotted on Shane’s Twitter, who is a host of the Twin Sunz Podcast and a fellow writer on RuneterraCCG. Another take on the deck could be to go full landmark synergy and pair Targon with Shurima to try and abuse the new units like Earth Elemental and Stonebreaker, who will be serving as enforcers to close the game out with their damage.

All those possibilities existing are a great sign for the duo and it shows that there is a lot to explore before finding the best possible option.

The reason why I went with Invokes is to add some flexibility to a build that would otherwise just rely on curving and dropping units one after another. The Invokes can be used in various ways and they complement stuns nicely, paying you off for slowing down the game with big Celestials, The Messenger draw, or Elusives to chip away your opponent’s health.

Chirean Sumpworker will probably fall short of having its own dedicated deck, as the card is a bit weak to be the center of attention of our opponent at all times. However, it’s still a lot of fun to see how far we can push its mechanic.

With this list that is very committed towards summoning the Chirean Posse as soon as possible, it’s easy to realize how good the card can be if transformed consistently each and every game. This feels like a good starting point which leaves the question open as to which distraction to use in order to safely develop the Sumpworker. 

Zilean Renekton created by Rainmaker • last updated 3 years ago

I’ll be honest about this one, it is probably currently the worst deck on this list – simply because of how difficult it is to play with and build around Zilean efficiently.

My goal with this idea was to use the newly boosted Predict mechanic and give Renekton some consistency. Meanwhile, Zilean helps with the overall goal but also slows down aggressive decks with his Time Bombs.

While the deck looks fantastic when everything goes as planned, there are other times when Zilean can also feel like he is just sitting on the board doing nothing. This is probably just a concept at this point and one that doesn’t exploit Zilean to the fullest.

The Chronokeeper definitely looks like the trickiest champion of the new bunch to make work. For now, he looks like a very good support tool for a carry like Renekton, but once we learn how to use Zilean more efficiently, he might become a leader on his own.


There we have it, folks, 4 decks to explore in order to get a feel of what the new champions might be able to do. Once again, these are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is possible to do and with time, we should find more ways to refine the concepts around the new cards.

As usual, feel free to drop by our Discord to discuss your decks with the community or join me on Twitter if you’d like to get in touch or see what’s next for me.

On Friday, I’ll have the chance to take part in the returning Fight Night tournament series, which was on a break during the Seasonal Tournament weekends. This should be the starting point of the next metagame as seasoned players from EU and NA battle it out.

Good game everyone, 



Den has been in love with strategy games for as long as he can remember, starting with the Heroes of Might and Magic series as a kid. Card games came around the middle school - Yugioh and then Magic. Hearthstone has been his real breakthrough and he has been a coach, writer, and caster on the French scene for many years now. Although it took him a bit to get into Legends or Runeterra, his EU Seasonal Tournament win was the perfect start to get involved in the community. He now coaches aspiring pro players and writes various articles on the game. Find him on Twitter at @den_CCG!

Articles: 131