5 Early Access Deck Builds for The Darkin Saga: Domination

With just a few hours left until the new expansion goes live, Raphterra shares 5 Early Access deck builds for The Darkin Saga: Domination!


Hey there, Raphterra here! I’ve once again been fortunate enough to be part of the Early Access Event for the The Darkin Saga: Domination expansion.

This expansion has a lot to offer in terms of deckbuilding possibilities! In this article, I’m sharing five deck builds that I experimented with in the early access server. Take note that these decks are still in the experimentation phase and may require further refining.

After reading this article, I’d recommend that you check out my Set Review for The Darkin Saga: Domination. I wrote the set review yesterday before I had the chance to play the new cards. Some cards turned out to be way better or way worse than what I initially thought!

As usual, once I find decks that work for me in ranked ladder, my deck guides will be coming right after!

Can Varus Bring Back Evolve? – Varus Akshan Kai’sa

I mentioned in my Set Review for The Darkin Saga: Domination that I think Varus will be the weakest among the three new champions in the expansion. After playing with him for some games, I still stand by my prediction.

I found Varus to be too slow to level up, and he doesn’t have much impact on the game even if you do manage to complete his level-up requirement. I personally don’t recommend playing Varus for ranked ladder unless you really love the champion. If you’re still looking to use the Darkin Archer for your climb, here’s the Varus deck list that I played with in the early access event.

This is a deck that wants to use Cultist units with multiple keywords to quickly progress Kai’sa‘s evolution. Blooming Cultist, Keeper of the Box, and Ranger-Knight Defector all have great keywords for Kai’sa and Void Abomination. The Unending Wave and The Expanse’s Protection are cheap utility tools that Kai’sa can take advantage of. The Expanse’s Protection is very similar with pre-nerfed Ancient Hourglass, while The Unending Wave is a faster alternative to Preservarium.

Bringing Back Targon P&Z – Seraphine Viktor Targon

Seraphine has a lot of potential as a champion as long as she’s paired up with alternate win conditions. I decided to build Seraphine with Viktor and Subpurrsible, two cards that can win games on their own. Viktor can apply pressure with his keywords while we wait and work for Seraphine‘s level up. The deck plays and creates multiple cards with different names, so it won’t be difficult to complete Subpurrsible‘s requirement.

I initially started with Ionia P&Z as my region pairing, but I found that there weren’t many Ionia cards that work well with Level 2 Seraphine. Targon was much more synergistic with Guiding Touch and Pale Cascade serving as great refill tools in the late game. Sunburst is a very efficient removal tool against most midrange threats.

I’m pretty certain that this won’t be the most optimized version of the deck. I’ve also faced Shurima variants that abuse Level 2 Seraphine with The Absolver and Curse of the Tomb. Those decks might end up becoming the best shell for Seraphine, but I didn’t have enough time to test them out myself.

Before we move on, I’d like to mention that I probably overrated Drum Solo in my set review. I ended up cutting it from this list because forcefully activating Flow ended up being too awkward and inconvenient. Pale Cascade and Guiding Touch were more consistent as draw options.

Hallowed Rally V2 – Vayne Gwen

Finally, we’ve arrived to my new favorite champion: Vayne! Playing Vayne was extremely fun and satisfying. She’s way stronger that I thought she would be, and I can easily see her being part of a high-tier meta deck. Vayne provides high value with every turn that she can stay alive. She fits in several strategies, and a good starting point is to pair her up with Gwen‘s Hallowed package.

This deck uses Vayne‘s Tumble to attack multiple times, similar to how Red Gwen uses Katarina and Ruined Reckoner. Gwen and Eternal Dancers can snowball quickly with Vayne‘s Tumble if you are able to accumulate Hallowed stacks. I’m running two copies of Faithful Wolfdog since it should be fairly easy to reduce its cost in this deck.

The Darkin Halberd and The Darkin Aegis aren’t the best weapons in terms of synergy with Vayne and Gwen, but they aren’t too bad since you can equip them for free with Tumble. Taarosh can win some games that go on for too long, while Joraal can setup powerful open attacks. The rest of the build is very similar to Gwen Katarina. We have Glimpse Beyond for card draw and The Harrowing to blow out wins in the late game.

Fated Works With Everything? – Vayne Pantheon

Vayne Pantheon is a no-brainer when theorycrafting Vayne decks. For the past patches, I played a lot of Pantheon Yuumi and created Pantheon Fiora. It’s a lock that I’ll try pairing Pantheon with Vayne! Tumble triggers Fated procs and we have access to The Darkin Lodestone, the best equipment in the game.

For this version, I decided to incorporate more weaponmasters and equipments to get the most out of Vayne‘s Tumble. Adding two copies of Combat Cook and a copy of The Darkin Aegis should hopefully be enough for this purpose. Two copies of The Expanse’s Protection is another no-brainer upgrade for Pantheon Fated.

Given how successful Pantheon Fiora was in Patch 3.16, I’m expecting Pantheon Vayne to be quite decent as well. This would be my recommendation if you want a deck with a solid, consistent gameplan early in the expansion.

PTSD – Turbo Twisted Fate Fizz

The final deck in this article is my initial take on an old archetype that I’m expecting to make a resurgence in Patch 3.17: Turbo P&Z Twisted Fate! Twisted Fate received a lot of love in The Darkin Saga: Domination, mainly with the release of The Unending Wave and Drum Solo. I actually included these two cards in my list of the best new cards in the new expansion. The Unending Wave was as good as I thought it was, but I definitely overestimated the power level of Drum Solo. I’m even considering cutting Drum Solo to one copy and just going with more copies of Rummage.

All these draw cards allow Twisted Fate to level up quickly in this build. I’m also running two copies of The Darkin Harpoon / Ibaaros to have an alternate win condition for games that go late. However, in the few games that I played, I usually won through Elusive or Burn damage way before Turn 9. A full set of Mystic Shot and Get Excited! were often enough to finish off any remaining Nexus health.

Nami might have been gutted in the patch, but Twisted Fate, Fleet Admiral Shelly and Wiggly Burblefish still carry the flag of Bilgewater Elusives!

Closing Words

That’s it for the list! At this point, I think we are all just excited to start playing the new patch. I will probably be spamming Vayne decks non-stop for the next days, so stay tuned for my next deck guide. Good luck climbing, and hopefully we all reach our LOR goals in The Darkin Saga: Domination!

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on YouTube, Discord, or Twitter!

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