Hello everyone! Den here for my favorite piece to write: decks to try on the first day of the new expansion!
Before we get any further and start talking about the various ideas, as always I’d like to offer a little disclaimer.
An introduction of a whole new region is about the biggest change the meta can experience. As such, you need to take the decks below – as well as all the other builds you will see online in the first days of the release – and think about the concept they are trying to push rather than blindly follow the lists presented.
There is no doubt all the early ideas will need some refinement and thorough playtesting in order to reach their competitive level.
With that said, Bandle City offers a ton of possibilities to work with, whether it is new concepts to explore or old archetypes we can revisit thanks to a plethora of new cards added to their arsenal.
Hoping this could inspire you, and wishing you a nice discovery period for the new metagame – let’s talk decks!
Months ago, Fizz was terrorizing the ladder alongside Twisted Fate – united to create one of the best decks in the history of the game. That deck got nerfed and Fizz has not been a competitive champion ever since, while Bilgewater was mostly all about Pirates and the Sea Monsters lately.
With the arrival of Nami, Fizz finally has a partner looking to abuse the spell synergies. And Nami brought pretty good followers with her as well!
The goal is simple: abuse the spell synergies with Fizz, Starlit Seer, and the Fleet Admiral Shelly in order to build the biggest board you can, and leverage the Elusive keyword to smash into the opponent’s Nexus.
In the form of Make it Rain, the deck also has one of the best cheap removals in the game, and it can be supported by
For the longest time, Teemo has been feeling very much alone when it comes to his love for Traps. We were usually pairing him with either
Caitlyn might finally be the partner that Teemo has been waiting for his whole life – she helps in setting up your Trap win condition, but also could serve as a great payoff once leveled up.
The build is very reminiscent of the Puffcaps deck that shined in the past. However, the brand new inclusions of Caitlyn and Corina, Mastermind could make the deck much more than just an occasional surprise pick.
Caitlyn will act as a midrange field general, pressuring the opponent thanks to her Quick Attack keyword and helping in the removal department with her Flashbomb Traps.
Corina is the finisher of the deck with her extremely scary Volatile Bloom ability. However, if you’re not in a position to be aggressive, she can help shuffle more Traps into the opponent’s deck and hopefully alleviate pressure while setting up for some future synergies.
The rest of the deck is based on the old stalling tactic Frejlord and Piltover execute so well, mixing removal and freezes to keep the opponent at bay while we plant Traps into their decks.
Aloof Travelers is an interesting inclusion over 2-drops like Avarosan Sentry or Veteran Investigator. Forced draw obviously helps, but the hand disruption effect could also play a huge part when so many decks actually rely on their high-costed finishers to seal the deal.
In my Sion review article, I went with a midrange approach to the Discard mechanic, trying to use Sion in a deck that wouldn’t be looking for a quick win but instead build incredible payoff turns.
Although I believe the Vi + Sion pairing could be something interesting, the Discard mechanic naturally wants you to leverage its very impressive early game rather than incentivizes midrange builds.
The core of the deck is the classic Discard Aggro archetype you might’ve encountered on the ladder during the last season, but this version is much less board-centric.
With the additions of Reborn Grenadier, Salt and Stitches, and Fallen Rider, this list can allow for some outstanding explosive starts, making a full-on ‘burn your Nexus down’ plan into a new viable path for Discard Aggro.
The new Most Wanted card can also reinforce this route – it does a similar job to Augmented Experimenter, but as a 5 mana spell. The Ancient Warmonger could be used either to push damage with Overwhelm or simply as a combat trick.
And because there is that incredible burst potential, let’s not forget about Decimate that will often help close things out.
Overall, this new Burn-oriented take on a Discard arcehtype could be a great week 1 deck to race other lists that are still trying to figure out their optimal 40-card builds.
Tristana is the star of the show in this Allegiance deck, while Fizz is just another solid multi-region unit.
Trist alongside the new Yordles in Arms spell are the 2 core finishers in this list that will rely on building the board and forcing our opponent to react to us.
Bandle City actually has lots of units that can easily snowball into a threatening board. Some of the units, like Bandle Commando or Bandle City Mayor, are giving us more gas in hand while others, like Tenor of Terror or Poro Sled, come with additional bodies in tow.
With a leveled Tristana granting Impact to your wide board, the opponent might easily find themselves unable to contain all that pressure.
Relentless Pursuit and Ranger’s Resolve help this strategy that relies on the board dominance. The new Stress Defense spell is a very nice protection card as well, especially considering that Tristana keeps her attack buffs even after she is transformed to 1/6.
Purpleberry Shake can also be considered in the deck, and it can definitely replace the Ranger’s Resolve for better Allegiance odds or if the meta would require more answers for single-target removals.
Lulu Zed has been a well-known quantity during these last few weeks, rising to Tier 1 spot and becoming one of the most popular decks of the Rise of the Underworlds Seasonal Tournament.
With Poppy entering the frame, Zed might have to start worrying about his spot in the list. Poppy might very well replace him, acting as a mass-buff for the other units, while Zed’s tendency was to try and win on his own.
The twist is that there is another non-champion unit that can do a similar job to Zed – it’s the Pompous Cavalier.
Whether or not this new take on the deck is better than the previous is yet to be seen, but the Pompous Cavalier has the potential to add some diversity to the archetype.
A long time ago, people were wondering if Piltover could replace Bilgewater as the best region to pair Shadow Isles with for the Go Hard Archetype. Hexcore Foundry, Ezreal, and the cheap removal from PnZ looked tempting indeed, but Bilgewater ended up winning out as the better pairing back then, mostly due to the strength of the pre-nerfed Twisted Fate and Zap Sprayfin.
With Senna being introduced into the game as a champion, most of us have seen the connection with Go Hard and the incredible potential that a Fast-speed Pack Your Bags promises.
I’ve seen a lot of region combinations being proposed to leverage the interaction between Senna and Go Hard, pairing SI with Bilgewater (for TF), Ionia (for Karma), Shurima (for Zilean) – but the one I think has the highest ceiling is the PnZ Go Hard version.
Station Archivist and Practical Perfectionist are the two cards that could help a lot in finding our Go Hards faster and making the deck more reliable. Also, the Aloof Travelers could be very nice in this deck as it allows us to draw but also to snipe the opponent’s win condition with its discard effect.
Overall, I think this deck might be one of the most polished among the ones presented in this article, and most of its cards are already working towards the clear goal while also presenting a ton of interactive tools to slow down our opponent.
While other new decks might still need a good chunk of research and development time, Go Hard could be one of the early rising archetypes in the first week of the expansion.
The new landmark synergy around Ziggs incentivizes you to push for an aggressive game plan and unit-buffing strategies, something that should work wonderfully with the Ruin Runner and the newly-released Waste Walker.
The concept of this deck is simple: we are playing landmarks to advance our Ziggs and to buff up Waste Walker for a big midrange pressure that the opponent can’t ignore.
Once we have damaged the opponent’s Nexus enough, Ruin Runner should be able to come in and close things out reaching double-digit points of attack thanks to Unleashed Energy,
The rest of the deck can be used to build tempo and annoy our opponent while setting up a good situation for our carries to come in.
A lot of cards could help this idea, like Rite of Negation, for example, as a protective option. Sivir as a second champ can add some more pressure as well – but since I tried to maximize the concept of buffing Overwhelm units, she didn’t make the cut.
Bandle City offers a ton of new things to work with, and there’s a lot of exciting deck-building opportunities – in this article, I had the space to explore only a small portion of them.
Sadly, since no balance changes to existing cards will be introduced alongside the new cards being released, there is a risk that none of these decks end up on par with the current meta kings. But the sheer amount of ideas that the community has already come up with and theorycrafted suggests that it will take quite a while to figure out what is good and what isn’t.
I personally enter this expansion with a lot of optimism as to the rising decks we might see, and I feel Worlds are going to be amazing to watch and play in.
If you would like to share your excitement about the expansion, show some of your brews, or simply chat with the RuneterraCCG community, feel free to join us on Discord.
Good game everyone,