6 Decks to Counter Gangplank Sejuani Plunder – Patch 2.19

Hey, Agigas here!

Previously in this series of articles, we tackled Dragon, Lurk, and Zed Poppy, all at their prime. As we go further in the season, top decks get harder and harder to counter. Over the past several months, if there ever was an archetype we could call an ‘apex predator’, it is Gangplank Sejuani.

It wasn’t so easy to find counters to this deck, and even when playing a counter to Gangplank Sejuani you can still lose to it – this is the mark of a true Tier 1 king.

However, this doesn’t mean we should give up – with an 11% play rate on the ladder, Gangplank Sejuani is very popular, and having even a slightly favored matchup against them would drastically improve your climbing experience.

In this article, I will share with you my best picks to go against Gangplank Sejuani. First I will share some high-tier decks with a slightly favored matchup against Gangplank Sejuani – perfect for a consistent climb on the ladder. Then we will talk about some less popular archetypes, specialized in taking down the Plunder deck – they will overperform in this meta and are particularly good in tournaments.

All matchup win rate stats are from Mobalytics.


  • Win rate against Gangplank Sejuani: 54.3%

Zed Poppy has been one of the best decks in the meta for quite some time now. It has a lot of positive matchups, very few counters, and its slightly favored matchup against Gangplank Sejuani is the icing on the cake.

This deck is very aggressive and uses buffs and Elusive units to apply a huge pressure rapidly and top it off with Rallies. Its numerous combat tricks make it hard for the opponent to get rid of your threats, leading to a very straightforward game plan.

The archetype ran into a minor hurdle with the rise of Jayce Lux, but there is no doubt Zed Poppy is still one of the very best decks at the moment.

How to play against Gangplank Sejuani:

  • Mulligan for Zed, Ranger’s Resolve. Keep Nopeify! if you have Zed. Keep Gleenglade Duo if you have Ranger’s Resolve.
  • Because your game plan is so proactive, you’re rarely the one who needs to adapt to what your opponent does. Prioritise pushing damage and setting up a powerful Rally turn to finish the game.
  • Gangplank Sejuani can easily ping 1-health units with Make it Rain and Parrrley. Look to play around those, and avoid enabling a perfect Make it Rain for them.
  • Their other removal, Monster Harpoon, is harder to play against. This is a great target for your Nopeify!.
  • Plunder doesn’t have many Elusives of their own, their removal options are sparse. Also, they have no combat tricks to block Zed, no counters to deny you Rallies, and no healing. If you can keep your threats alive and pressure them, they’re likely to run out of answers.
  • Look to kill them very quickly. If they get to play a leveled Gangplank or Sejuani the game will suddenly get a lot harder.

Click here to read Zed Poppy In-Depth Deck Guide!


  • Win rate against Gangplank Sejuani: 53.6%

Zoe Lee isn’t played a lot right now, but it is still a very potent combo deck – a Tier 1 one in my opinion. As usual, I expect it to see its resurgence in the Seasonal, as the deck performs particularly well in tournaments.

This archetype looks to give Lee Sin the Overwhelm keyword to one-hit the opponent once Lee levels up. The deck packs a lot of defensive spells and buffs to prepare for Lee Sin and protect him.

With 6 effective copies of Eye of the Dragon (3 main deck cards, and 3 Gifts from Beyond), the deck is able to defend itself very well while setting up the Lee combo. Zoe enables our synergies thanks to her spell generation, all the while being herself an alternative win condition.

While Zoe Lee’s win rate against Gangplank Sejuani on stats isn’t too impressive, be aware that this is a pretty complex deck and matchup to play. The Zoe Lee player has a lot of agency in it, and the matchup will get more Lee-favored at a higher level.

How to play against Gangplank Sejuani:

  • Mulligan for Gifts from Beyond, Eye of the Dragon, Zoe, Lee Sin.
  • Gangplank Sejuani doesn’t have any Challengers and very few Elusives, making it very hard for them to play against Eye of the Dragon. Look to consistently activate them to stabilize your health total and work towards your Lee Sin combo.
  • At a first look, Sejuani might look like the perfect counter to Lee at level 2. However, the recall in Lee’s kick will still put them behind in tempo, making it hard for them to kill you. Instead of going all-in for the one turn kill, look to push damage progressively. If they drop too low on health, you can finish them through Sejuani by buffing Lee after he has been frozen.
  • It’s very hard for them to kill Lee. You mainly need to be careful about Monster Harpoon, especially when they play The Dreadway.
  • Think of potential cards that could be stolen from your deck with Nab effects. The surprise of a Nopeify! or Will of Ionia can change games.

Click here to read Zoe Lee In-Depth Deck Guide!


  • Win rate against Gangplank Sejuani: 56.4%

Turbo Thralls has always been considered as one of the great counters to Gangplank Sejuani and has seen a large resurgence lately thanks to that.

This archetype looks to play the Frozen Thrall landmark early in the game and leverage it through advances of their cooldowns (e.g. Clockwork Curator, Time in a Bottle), and duplications (Taliyah, Promising Future). The early onslaught of 8/8 Overwhelms is the payoff of the strategy, and often comes online too fast and is too hard to counter for midrange and control strategies with no way to destroy landmarks.

Before the Thralls come online, this deck is able to stabilize the board with well-stated units and several cheap AoE damage spells, perfect to deal with Plunder’s numerous small early units.

How to play against Gangplank Sejuani:

  • Mulligan for Frozen Thralls, Lissandra.
  • They don’t have any landmark removals. You are free to set up your Thrall turn as you want, and just need to avoid dying in the meantime.
  • A level 2 Sejuani is their only answer against multiple Thralls. Use Entomb from Three Sisters or Lissandra’s Entomb on her the turn before you push for lethal so they don’t get an opportunity to freeze your board with a Warning Shot or Make it Rain.
  • Lissandra is a particularly good blocker in the midgame against their numerous 1-damage pings and small units. Her level-up is also particularly good to prevent them from killing you with several Warning Shot’s and Make it Rain’s.

Click here to read Turbo Thralls In-Depth Deck Guide!


  • Win rate against Gangplank Sejuani: 51.1%

With Deep, we enter a different territory – now we are starting to look at really niche options, which have a lower play rate and arguably power level but are more specialized to take down Gangplank Sejuani.

Because the decks in this category are not played much right now, the sample sizes are extremely low. However, I am still very confident in their ability to counter Plunder, as they were already doing exactly that a few seasons ago.

The Deep archetype looks to use the Toss mechanic to rapidly go under 15 cards in the deck, and then unleash the devastating power of Sea Monsters. Nautilus is a key unit in the deck, allowing you to very quickly dominate the board once you’re Deep all the while removing the opponent’s key units with Devourer of the Depths.

How to play against Gangplank Sejuani:

  • Mulligan for Dreg Dredgers, Sea Scarab, Deadbloom Wanderer, Lure of the Depths.
  • The early part of the game plays out pretty much as any matchup for Deep. Build up a board and Toss your cards to progress toward Deep as fast possible.
  • Prevent them from triggering Plunder if possible to make their deck clunkier, slow down their champions level-up, or force them to use their Warning Shot.
  • Avoid setting up the perfect Make it Rain for them so you don’t fall behind early. Jaull Hunters can be particularly tricky to play against Parrrley and Make it Rain.
  • Once you get Deep, the game gets harder for them as they have no way of removing Nautilus.
  • Their counter to your massive units is Sejuani, as she will constantly freeze our board to win combat an prevent your aggression. Use Riptide or Nautilus’s Riptide on her to free the way.

  • Win rate against Gangplank Sejuani: 64.6%

So far, we’ve only looked at decks that are essentially only slightly favored against the Plunder archetype, with none of them going above 60% win rate in this matchup. Vladimir Braum, aka the Crimson archetype, however, is a truly specialized option.

This archetype revolves around your units getting damaged to activate the Crimson synergies. The Scargrounds is a key card in this deck, as it will quickly buff up our units’ attack to high numbers all the while giving them more survivability with Tough.

The deck takes a few turns to set up its synergies but is able to defend itself with well-stated units and cheap AoE damage effects, which remove the opponent’s units all the while triggering your synergies. Then, Braum, Vladimir, Scarmother Vrynna, and Basilisk Bloodseeker will quickly finish the game with direct Nexus damage and the Overwhelm keyword.

How to play against Gangplank Sejuani:

  • Mulligan for The Scargrounds – you really want to have one early. If you already have one, keep Crimson Bloodletter, Ruthless Raider, Braum.
  • Gangplank Sejuani is particularly good at pinging with Parrrley, Make it Rain, or Gangplank‘s level 2 attack effect. Those will often help you more than they’ll help them, especially if you give your units the Tough keyword with The Scargrounds.
  • While your units can handle damage pretty well, your Nexus can’t. Your only lifegain comes from level 2 Vladimir‘s ability, so you should be conservative with your health.
  • Level 2 Sejuani is their only way to stall you out once you’ve build up a threatening board. They don’t have counters or protection spells, so you can remove her quite easily with Scorched Earth or Three Sister‘s Entomb to land the final blow. If you already lowered their health enough, you can also kill them through Sejuani’s ability with your burn damage.

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Soraka TK created by Agigas • last updated 20 days ago
Combo
Midrange
  • Win rate against Gangplank Sejuani: 71.4%

For the last deck of this article, let’s talk about none other than the best counter to Gangplank Sejuani. While Soraka Tahm Kench has faded away from the meta, it is a seasoned archetype, and we’ve seen it make countless resurgences as a counter deck thanks to its polarising game plan.

Star Spring is the key card of the deck and the main win condition. The deck can essentially be divided into 2 parts that complete each other – the wounds (e.g. Tahm Kench, Boxtopus), and the heals (e.g. Soraka, Astral Protection).

Thanks to your unit’s high health pool and your protection spells, the opponent will have a hard time removing your key engines, and therefore the healing will continue until Star Spring wins you the game.

This deck is particularly strong at snowballing advantages. Soraka and Tahm Kench are both incredible engines when they stick to the board, and your heals further enable this snowball.

How to play against Gangplank Sejuani:

  • Mulligan for Star Spring. Taking too much time to find your Star Spring is your main lose condition. If you already have Star Spring, keep Crusty Codger, Boxtopus, and Soraka.
  • Just like Vladimir Braum, Soraka TK is particularly good at punishing decks with ping removals because of its ability to heal back units.
  • The main challenge with Soraka TK is to play precisely around the opponent’s removals. If your engine stick to the board, you should be in a great spot. However, your can’t afford to get them removed. Gangplank Sejunani’s main removal is Monster Harpoon, and you should play around it as much as possible.
  • Be careful not to drop too low on Nexus health, so you don’t get in range of their burn reach. Look to stabilize and stay healthy thanks to Broadbacked Protector.
  • Be careful about The Dreadway. Doubling their damage allow them to kill your big units, doubles their burn reach, and the Fearsome keyword can be dangerous. You want to have a Hush for it, and ideally eat it with Tahm Kench while it’s silenced.

Closing Words

As we can see in this article, Gangplank Sejuani is a deck truly deserving of its Tier 1 status and it isn’t so easy to counter it. However, we still found some great options to ease our climb, and include in interesting targeting lineups for tournaments.

Going forward, I expect Gangplank Sejuani to stick as one of the best decks of the meta. However, I also think that Zed Poppy’s play rate should rise back to Gangplank Sejuani’s level, crowning them as a duo of meta kings.

If you have any questions, feedback, or want to discuss those balance changes, I’ll be happy to read and answer you in the comments below! 

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Thanks for reading!

Agigas

LoR player with multiple tournament wins and #4 ladder peaks. Ascended Seasonal top 4. I love writing guides to share my experience with the game with the community!

1 Response

  1. Kassadin says:

    As much as I like Deep playing deck in a meta were we have Poppy/Zed and all those Bandle aggro deck just seems like masochism to me.

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