Hello everyone, den here! Let’s not go off into a long-for-no-reason intro – let me just say that this sort of an article you’re about to read where I get to share day 1 spicy brews is outright the most fun to write for me during a reveal season.
Riot kindly provided me with access to the test server, so I have been able to play some of the decks I will share with you in this piece.
The original ideas behind these brews aren’t mine: some are from other content creators that were kind enough to share them with me, and others are concepts I saw online and tested afterwards myself.
So without more unnecessary talk, let’s get to the decks!
Everyone expects it, so let’s start with the main mechanic coming with this expansion: Lurkers.
From the playtesting I was able to do with the deck, I felt a bit underwhelmed with the mechanic as it really felt lacking when facing spell-heavy decks. It’s really early to say if the optimized Lurker lists will continue to suffer from this apparent weakness, but that certainly could be a long-term concern and a significant limitation to its power.
On a positive note, the Lurker mechanic is really smooth to activate as there are a lot of enablers for it – I never felt like I didn’t have enough density of Lurk in my deck. Once someone finds a more refined list, the Lurkers should have enough consistency to become a metagame deck.
For now, if you want to try your luck with the archetype, try to focus and play around your champions – Pyke really seems great at dealing with the opponent’s board, and Rek’Sai is quite menacing as your carry and finisher.
Looks like Zilean has finally found a champion ally that will be able to make sense of all of his Predicting.
The deck is still a work-in-progress, and most of the concepts in the deck are either completely – or the reiterations of ideas that we have tried but found lacking in the past. But in all honesty, this has been the most fun deck to play with during my run on the test server – it felt fresh and rewarding to pilot, and its concepts aren’t so easy to master in just a few hours.
After several attempts, this is the list I ended up with. It emphasizes tempo and holds off the opponent’s pressure until Ekko can come in, ideally already flipped. And boy, is he impressive when he is able to stick to the board, as the flurry of cards he gives access to makes it almost impossible to run out of gas while also threatening lethal damage at any time.
Protecting Ekko will be an issue, as neither PnZ nor Shurima are great in that area. We attempt to remedy that with Xenotype Researchers, combined with a very narrow pool of units – to maximize the chance of buffing our important ones early and consistently. Maybe a Soothsayer could find her way into the list eventually to help with protecting Ekko as well.
Khahiri the Returned can now reasonably act as the late-game threat in this archetype, but I haven’t used him much – so consider him a flexible option if you’re planning to test out the deck.
In Patch 2.11, we are getting a ton of new cards, but don’t sleep on the balance changes – and especially some of the reverts of the previous nerfs.
Some old archetypes might start seeing daylight again – for example, this deck above was always very dear to my friend, and one of the best players in the game, Ultraman. The list in this article comes from him as he kindly allowed me to share it.
Personally, I feel like Twisted Fate‘s nerf still is too much of a hindrance for the deck to truly function at the same level of power, but the possibility of an old archetype returning is something so very rare in today’s card games that I simply had to highlight it.
Largely inspired by the Matron Cithria decks that were going around in the previous metagame, this Atakhan list looks to adapt a similar gameplan. Atakhan, Bringer of Ruin is a huge finisher and should be reaching close to 20 points of attack reliably.
In the footsteps of similar heavy-damage combo decks of the past, the goal here would be to summon Atakhan and enhance him with an Elixir of Wrath so the buff gets further doubled when he attacks.
The rest of the deck aims at maintaining the board while dealing some chip damage and waiting for the main finisher to get us over the line. The one-of Darius can be used as a back-up target for the Spectral Matron and should also be able to deal some big damage.
This one was an obvious choice to include, and a lot of players have expressed a lot of love for the new Elnuk revealed. And although Poros and Yetis also got some support in the new cards – among the hairy friends, I’m going to highlight my favorites.
The deck’s concept is the same as the Elnuk decks of the past, – the idea is to slow down the early game in order to set up for a huge pay-off turn summoning multiple units with the Troop of Elnuks. Ezreal still benefits from a lot of spells in the deck – he will level up consistently and help with damaging the opponent.
Pack Mentality is an old card that I stumbled upon while doing my research and liked it a lot. Even though it is slow and opens you for some punishments, it also gives you a possibility of closing the game when the opponent thought they were safe.
The key thing for this archetype will be consistency, as drawing a bad hand or missing your Troop of Elnuks trigger can oftentimes result in a quick and bitter defeat. But that gives us a goal to strive for as we will undoubtedly keep on working on the Elnuks archetype in the future!
Here you have it, 5 decks to try on Day One that I had fun testing and talking about with other players. I’m sure you’ll find tons of other decks online – both on our website and on other resources.
Hope you’re as hyped as I am going into this new season! Wishing you a lot of fun in the coming days and may your wildest ideas get you some wins on the ladder!
Good game everyone,