Hi everyone, den at the theorycraft desk!
Today, our “decks to try piece” will be a bit different, as we will feature archetypes that have existed as well as decks that never reached a competitive status but gained a lot from the upcoming patch. The reason for this mix is the rule change that will be happening later today regarding how the “cast” effect will resolve. If you missed it, make to go read the patch note here.
This change in how this interaction plays out should completely change the way the game is played, and obviously, also affect the overall power level of some champions. I’m sure you probably have seen a lot of takes on this update, so I won’t elaborate too much on my personal opinion. Let’s just say that proactive decks should be at their best in the new environment.
In order to illustrate who has the most to gain from this rule change, but also to feature which buffs I liked the most in the patch, I crafted 4 decks ready for battle later today.
Ezreal might the single best card to benefit from the rule change, as the champion can now burn the opponent’s nexus as a burst effect, preventing any type of removal from happening before the damage resolves.
While Ezreal Caitlyn is going strong currently, and Ezreal Swain could also become a thing in the future, I wanted to put the emphasis on the damage potential the new rule opens up to the Piltover & Zaun champ.
The deck also gets another unit buffed, as the Puffcap Peddler will now shuffle the traps at the moment you play the card, meaning the opponent won’t be able to remove it as a counterplay.
For those who might not have been around during the deck’s golden era, Teemo Ezreal is kind of a gimmick, as it was routinely countered by aggro or burn decks as soon as it got popular. Its game plan of filling the opponent’s deck with Puffcaps was usually too slow to be reliable, and with few threats for the opponent to be worried about, it was thought to keep Ezreal, Teemo, or a Puffcap Pedler on board for several turns.
With the new rule though, we might be surprised by the amount of guaranteed damage the deck now has access to, and Teemo Ezreal could be the new burn deck terrorizing the ladder before we realize it.
Just like Ezreal, Nami is a champion with the capacity to end a game on the spot, if she could resolve her passive ability. Well now, she can, and this means we are guaranteed to spread her and Fleet Admiral Shelly’s buff before our opponent can remove them from the board.
This simple change in the rule book should bring a ton of consistency to those decks, and allow the pilot to plan ahead and direct the buffs much more consistently than it was up until this point. Also, the deck could afford to hold Nami for a much longer time in hand and know that even if the opponent has an easy answer ready for her, we would still get some value as long as there is another unit next to her.
In addition to simply making the deck much more reliable in the way it accomplishes its game plan, Fizz Nami also gains the benefit of becoming much more flexible in the cards the deck can play.
In this build, I included mostly classic cards that I played in the past in the archetype. With the guarantee that I will be able to land buffs from now on, more exotic cards like Bubble Bear or Prowling Cutthroat could find their way into the deck, as these elusive units are only interesting if I managed to get a buff on them.
While I picked Fizz Nami just like I could have picked the more recent Nami Twisted Fate, I believe the champion has a lot to benefit from the announcement made in Patch 3.6.0 and could finally come back to relevancy after her nerfs following the Nami Zoe season really made the champion difficult to abuse.
Both Ashe and LeBlanc are amongst the champions who got the most significant upgrade in the patch. LeBlanc now creates a Mirror Image upon leveling and Ashe doesn’t need a Frostbite to advance her level up but simply a reduction to 0 attack, making a card like Troll Chant a great ally for Ashe.
Both champions can work in a lot of different synergies. The old Frostbite shell, a Yeti deck, a Reputation deck or this Marauders build, there is a ton of possibilities to try in order to find what will work best for LeBlanc and Ashe.
In my opinion, the core of the strategy for a deck using both these champions should be to try and level them up quickly, neither champion being particularly good at level 1. Once leveled up, there is a ton that can be done with either champion as LeBlanc unlocks a lot of potential Value thanks to her Mirror Image and Ashe can create very difficult setups to navigate when defending with unusable units.
The Marauders are feeling like a good settlement to abuse both leveled champions, as they can push a ton of damage if Ashe backs them up, but can also receive more buffs from an extra Marauder created by Leblanc’s Mirror Image.
Most other cards in the deck could be considered utility and should help with either draw, board control, or explosiveness once looking to close the game out.
Udyr Akshan is an archetype firstborn in our deck-doctor series, back when Udyr was released and no one would consider the Frejlord champion remotely playable.
A huge buff later and the archetype might finally be able to expand to something else than just a deckbuilding series on our website, as Udyr probably is the most reworked champion of the patch, and most likely the most improved as well.
With a new card (Inner Beast) and a condition to level up that looks much more on par with what Udyr tries to accomplish, the deck is looking like a much more cohesive unit than it could be in the past.
Still looking like the perfect target for the Stances, and overall a great champion in today’s game, Akshan provides early game stability and consistency to the deck with its basic and leveled landmarks. Paired with the Vulnerable mechanic, he should allow for some early trades and allow us to buy enough time to set up our mid to late game.
Udyr actually looks like a real endgame threat now, as the champion should reliably level up, and paired with the Vekauran Bruiser, represents a unit we can invest on, both for a value or a tempo gameplan thanks to cards like Desert Duel or Grappling Hook.
At first a little disappointed when looking at most of the buffs, a lot of champions are looking like they just got something they shouldn’t have waited so long to get in the first place, I found a lot of things I like a lot in this patch.
Udyr, LeBlanc or even Garen changes seem like they make a lot of sense and could help these champions fight back to some form of competitively, or at least like they really deserve to be built around in a dedicated deck.
As for the rule change, I am part of the worried ones, but I also embrace the change and give a lot of credit to the developers for trying something new. I would have liked it to be at the start of a new season, where adjustments would be easier to make, but that is nitpicking.
As I usually write in my pieces about changes in LoR, what is the most important in the end is to give the community the feeling that a new patch is bringing something new to the game, and that things keep moving. And whether we like it or not, Patch 3.6.0 definitely is a big move for Legends of Runeterra.
Want to come and share your opinion on the Patch? Feel free to join us on discord! Got a crazy deck and want me to review it and maybe feature it in an upcoming article? Come to the deck-doctor channel and share it with us!
Good Game Everyone!