Looking for some ways to break the routine of Ranked grind? This article will help you spice it up! We cover a bunch of fresh off-meta builds, enabled by the Rising Tides set: a new way to utilize Professor von Yipp in combination with Bilgewater, an updated version of the Shiraza overwhelm one-hit-kill combo and more!
‘Swain’s Undead Army’
This deck takes advantage of Shadow Isle’s ability to directly damage the Nexus in order to support Swain. For this goal we utilize Phantom Prankster and her bigger brother, Neverglade Collector. Both will damage the enemy Nexus by one each time an ally dies, and Noxus just so happens to also have many ways to sacrifice your followers for the greater good. Cards like Noxian Fervor and Transfusion can easily kill your Last Breath followers just as well as Shadow Isles’s Glimpse Beyond or Ravenous Butcher. Noxus even comes with another useful target for your spells in the form of Legion Grenadier. Playing this deck, you can level up Swain reliably and also have a convenient way to trigger his stun ability at any time.
Keep in mind, that you should always try to have Cursed Keeper in your starting hand, because then you will have a very powerful combo tool for all of your self damage cards. Your primary ways of leveling up Swain will be Crimson Disciple, Noxian Fervor and Withering Wail. Phantom Prankster and Neverglade Collector can also help with leveling up Swain but are a little too slow for that, they are more useful when combined with the leveled up version of the Noxian Grand General.
Professor von Yipp decks have existed for a pretty long time but with the new expansion they finally got some support. The Bilgewater region came with some interesting cards for decks that want to spam 1 mana units. Fizz is a new 1 mana champion who has a lot more staying power than Teemo and we also got 2 brand new spells which spawn random 1 mana units, Jailbreak and Double Trouble. Jagged Taskmaster provides another way besides Professor von Yipp of powering up your units, by giving all 1 mana allies everywhere 1 power.
Another good support card for our hordes of 1 mana allies is Suit Up!. The permanent stat increase it gives to our weak units is quite impressive and enables us to trade better in combat. Suit Up! synergizes especially well with Fizz and makes him less reliant on his ability for survival. It’s still very important to not get too greedy with spamming your unit-spells. Even with Suit Up! in the deck, your followers are still very vulnerable towards a Withering Wail or Make It Rain. You also have no good way of saving Professor von Yipp from the enemies removal, so you should only play him if your opponent can’t counter him this round.
Always keep in mind that sequencing is very important in this deck. You will probably want to save your Double Trouble or Scrapdash Assembly for when Professor von Yipp is on the board. Also make sure that you have some spare mana for spells when your Fizz is on the board, so you can deny the enemies targeted removal.
‘Saplings of War’
Maokai has some utility outside of toss decks as he can also serve as a engine for ephemeral decks. This deck is an alternative way of playing the Shadow Isles ephemeral package and uses They Who Endure + Atrocity combo as secondary finsiher besides Hecarim. The goal of this deck is simple, dump your ephemeral saplings into the furnace and power up Hecarim as well as They Who Endure at the same time.
Shark Chariot serves as a power up for our saplings, generating a additional threat on your attacking turns and leveling up Hecarim at the same time. Avarosan Sentry gives us card draw but can also serve as an additional target for Ravenous Butcher or Blighted Caretaker. Make sure to save your Flash Freeze’s for when your Hecarim is threatened by a blocker. You need to attack with Hecarim at every opportunity to take advantage of his ability, so Flash Freeze will keep him alive longer against opponents with strong blockers. Flash Freeze will also come in handy when you go up against a Demacia deck, as it weakens their Single Combat.
Noxus decks which focus on Overwhelm synergy with Kato The Arm and Shiraza always had trouble finding success, mostly because when Shiraza dies your entire plan goes bust. This weakness seems to have been partly remedeed and Kato no longer needs to be as sad as before when Shiraza dies. Ionia got some new cards which provide us with new powerful Overhelm targets! Horns of the Dragon has double attack, which means that overwhelm guarantees than none of his power goes to waste and leveled up Lee Sin will strike the Nexus after kicking his opponent away when given overwhelm.
You may notice that this deck has multiple ways of setting up one hit kills, as the power of some of your allies is effectively doubled through Overwhelm. Combining Horns of the Dragon with Kato The Arm and the 1 mana Elixir of Wrath enables him to deal 20 damage to the enemies Nexus on turn 6. Cards that support this one-hit-kill strategy are Sonic Wave, a cheap spell which allows our Overwhelm units to pick a low health target and also helps Lee Sin level up at the same time. Draven will also help Lee Sin level up by generating 0 mana token spells and he is a decent target for Kato.
The downside of a strategy such as this, which focuses on powering up allies, is that it’s very prone to stall cards like Will of Ionia or strong removal such as Thermogenic Beam. Our counters for the opponents answers are Spirit’s Refuge, Deny, Twin Disciplines and Transfusion. Make sure you spend your mana carefully, so you don’t find yourself in a situation where you can’t use any of your protection spells. This can be difficult, because this deck’s core units are rather expensive, so you should try to bank your mana before round 6.
In order to survive the early game you will want to play House Spider, so you can generate a few chump blockers. You may also consider replacing Crimson Disciple with Navor Highwayman for the same purpose.
This deck has become somewhat infamous for it’s ability to freeze your opponents board every single round with the combined power of Sejuani and Mushrooms. The plan is the same as every other Teemo deck, you put lots of Puffcaps in your opponents deck and then hope he draws some ever round. In this deck however you get the added benefit of leveling up Sejuani every time a Puffcap blows up and when she reaches level 2, Sejuani will freeze all enemies whenever your opponent draws a card, hopefully.
Boomcrew Rookie acts as a additional Sejuani trigger in the early game, so you have an alternative in case you don’t draw Teemo. Starlit Seer is used in combination with the cheap Mushroom Cloud spell generated by your Chump Whumps and Clump of Whumps. Plunder shouldn’t be too hard to trigger so we also run Shared Spoils for additional card draw.
This deck also uses Veteran Investigator instead of Avarosan Sentry, as our prime card draw unit. The reason for this is that Veteran Investigator will also force the opponent to draw a card, increasing the chance of drawing into puffcaps and triggering Sejuani’s ability. You will run into trouble however when your opponent runs lots of elusive units, in which case you might find it difficult to hit the Nexus with your Teemo. You also have no way to stall out the game, which makes it harder to win on puffcaps alone before the enemy burns down your Nexus.