A Song of Ice and Fire: Sejuani/Miss Fortune Tempo Deck Guide
Hello everyone! Ranik here, and today I have a deck tech in store for you all with one of my favorite archetypes since the release of Rising Tides. Tempo Sejuani have established itself as a top-tier meta deck since Patch 1.2 and has been successful climbing ladder as well as securing high finishes in tournaments. In this article, I’ll cover the overall gameplan of the archetype and then dive into specific card choices and matchup strategies.
At its core, the Sejuani/Miss Fortune archetype is a tempo strategy that seeks to control the board, make favorable trades, and chip damage through to the enemy Nexus. It looks to close games out with its big finishers such as Sejuani, Riptide Rex, or Citrus Courier in conjunction with a decent board state.
The follower package, paired with Miss Fortune, is robust and protects against early aggressive strategies while setting up for the mid- and late-game by reaching Sejuani’s level up condition. Meanwhile, the curve is strong enough to provide pressure against other midrange and control lists.
In the early game, you will want to leverage your cheap followers to make the most efficient trades possible. Ideally, you will also want to damage the enemy Nexus as frequently as possible to level Sejuani earlier, but keep in mind that this is a tempo/board dominance deck at heart. If you are sacrificing board presence just to chip the Nexus for 1, it may not be worth it.
The archetype comes in two main variants – one that relies on card stealing (‘klepto’) synergies of Pilfered Goods and Black Market Merchant; the other forfeits the value gains of pilfering in order to provide more efficient tempo-driven early game. Depending on the version of the deck that you are running, you will either start strong with a relatively aggressive board or stall until late game where you can leverage your opponent’s cards (and your finishers) against them.
DECK CODE: CEBQOAQGAUFRKFRNHI7ACAIBCYBQEAICAYDQEAIBAECACAQGDQAQGAQGBAIRI
DECK CODE: CEBQUAQGAUFRIFQ4EEWTCOR6AEAQCFQCAIAQEBYAAEAQEBQR
In general, I find that the tempo package is more effective in a determined meta where you can more or less expect the matchups and the decklists you will face. Meanwhile, the klepto package is more effective in an unstable meta, where your opponents are trying new things and may not have a precise gameplan. In the end, both variant are very powerful, and your choice of the particular decklist often comes down to whatever playstyle you like the most.
- 3x Sejuani: Sejuani is arguably the most powerful champion in the game right now and provides the perfect late game for a tempo deck like this. Before leveling up, she often acts as a removal spell and provides Overwhelm damage to surpass pesky blockers. After she levels up, she can incapacitate the entire opposing board at Burst or Fast speed with support from the likes of Warning Shot and Make It Rain. Her statline makes her difficult to deal with and Will of Ionia is probably the only soft counter to Sejuani in the current meta.
- 3x Miss Fortune: Miss Fortune is a perfect addition to this deck’s early game. She makes blocking a bit of a nightmare for your opponent while simultaneously guaranteeing that you damage the enemy Nexus. She isn’t the easiest champion to level up, but with the help of Scout units that isn’t impossible in this deck. Overall MF is cheap, well-statted, and makes your attacks no-brainers in most situations.
- 3x Jagged Butcher, 3x Omen Hawk: Jagged Butcher is the solid turn one play and later he is frequently a 1-mana 3|3 in this deck. It’s a strong follower and often shores up the early game against aggressive decks. Meanwhile, Omen Hawk buffs your top units which can swing tempo in your favor down the line. It also serves as a perfect blocker in the early game.
- 3x Hired Gun: The one thing this deck lacks is targeted removal. We don’t have access to things like Thermogenic Beam, Vengeance, or even Mystic Shot. Enter Hired Gun. A solid 2-drop, Hired Gun is a decent body with a powerful effect. Permanently giving the strongest enemy unit Vulnerable can help you swing the boardstate in your favor.
- 3x Make It Rain: Make It Rain is about as close as we get to a proper targeted removal spell in this deck. Fortunately, it is an efficient spell that can deal with early blockers and chip into the Nexus all on its own as well.
- 3x Yordle Grifter: Yordle Grifter is the strongest Allegiance card in the game in its own right. In this deck, he’s an all-star. He’s a decent body at 3|3 and generates a Warning Shot which will trigger Plunder and help level Sejuani. When you can proc the Allegiance ability, he also replaces himself. What’s not to love?
- 3x Fury of the North: Many top players agree that Fury is just a straight-up better Ripost. At 4 mana, it can either help you trade up with your opponent or save your unit and push some more damage. Fury is an important tool for maintaining tempo advantage and keep your opponent on the back foot.
- 3x Island Navigator: Scout paired with Miss Fortune is incredible as it helps meet her level up condition more reliably. Providing extra attacks is beneficial when racing. On top of that, a 2|4 for 4 that also summons a 1-drop is decent value.
- 2x Riptide Rex: Rex is a solid late game play. He acts as a potential board wipe, assists in leveling Sejuani (if you haven’t already done so), and if you have managed your opponent’s board well he may even just finish off your opponent. Not to mention he is a 7|4 body. Just remember that you need to Plunder to activate his Cannon Barrage ability.
- Black Market Merchant: Black Market Merchant is a standard body for two mana and heavily increases the value of Pilfered Goods. It is the staple if you want to run the Klepto package.
- Pilfered Goods: Without BMM Pilfered Goods loses a decent bit of value and can be looked at as a part of that two-piece combo. If you’re running Merchant, run 3 Pilfered Goods otherwise it isn’t worth playing.
- Warning Shot: It’s a 3-of if you’re running the full Klepto package, othewise look to make cuts. Removing most of your Plunder cards means that Warning Shot is a card that you don’t want to see frequently. As far as Sejuani’s level-up quest/payoff are concerned, the Tempo package has more followers to push through damage in the early and mid games.
- Razorscale Hunter: Island Navigator aside, Razorscale is the next best Scout follower in Bilgewater for this deck and permanently giving an opposing unit Vulnerable is massive for maintaining tempo. It’s a big body that is hard for most removal to deal with. And since it is a 5-cost, it serves to fill out your curve a bit.
- Ruthless Raider: To avoid losing tempo and aggression in the early game, Ruthless Raider replaces BMM here. It’s an aggressively statted unit that survives most early game removal (Make It Rain, Vile Feast, Parrrley, etc). Overwhelm will often force damage through regardless of blockers on turn 2 or 3 – which is very useful for Sejuani level-up.
- Elixir of Iron: With additional X|1s added to the list, Elixir of Iron is an efficient method of keeping your units alive without sacrificing much tempo in most situations.
- Petty Officer: Petty Officer is most often generating a 1-drop as this deck can’t take advantage of the Powder Keg in most situations, but it helps you go wide when that matters.
- Citrus Courier: The Courier is powerful when timed properly and can save games. As I mentioned previously, extra attacks can be extremely powerful in this deck given it’s often very strong board hold and MF’s quest. Paired with Island Navigator or the other Scouts in the Tempo package, it can be devastating. I haven’t found a better card in this slot, but as a 1-of the Courier has room to be flexed out.
Early game, you will want to rely on Make It Rain, Miss Fortune, and Overwhelm units to remove their blockers and chip through damage. Unfortunately, our region combination limits our ability to deal with They Who Endure. We have only two options there:
- Close the game out before they can find TWE
- Hold Warning Shot for a leveled up Sejuani to Frostbite their threats so you can close out the game.
Neverglade Collector proves troublesome as well and will need to be a priority target for Hired Gun (if you can set it up) and Razorscale Hunter. With those problematic cards in mind, you should be able to manage tempo and continue to chip damage through. Luckily the majority of their units have rather low health, so Riptide Rex can clean up the board nicely and chip away at the Nexus as well.
In general, the matchup should be slightly in your favor if you’re running a tempo-version, and unfavorable if you’re on the Klepto variant. Play around their few problem cards, maintain tempo and focus on chipping them down.
If your running either the Tempo or Klepto package, the general mulligan guidelines are the same (as for all the other matchups below). The only specific tip for the Klepto variant concerns Black Market Merchant/Pilfered Goods combo. If you’re up against an aggressive deck, don’t keep any of those cards, they are too slow. If you’re in a slower matchup where you can possibly outgreed your opponent (ex. Heimer or mirror) you can keep Merchant and/or Goods depending on the state of your hand.
This matchup should favor us as we can produce early threats and maintain a board presence. They often take turns 1 and 2 off to ensure value or protection for Heimerdinger. Take advantage of their slower starts by playing your early aggressive units and chipping in as much damage as you can before they start to mount a defense.
We are fortunate enough to have removal for Heimer that in the form of Vulnerable. Save your Hired Guns and Razorscale Hunters to get him out of the way early and prevent your opponent from generating too much value. Make It Rain, Riptide Rex, and Miss Fortune are great answers for their plethora of X|1s should you find yourself unable to answer Heimerdinger quickly.
Mulligan for: Omen Hawk, Jagged Butcher, Hired Gun, Miss Fortune, Petty Officer
Get ready to race! Deep can be a tough matchup if you reach the late game so you will want to be aggressive early and focus on dominating the board. They only have a few options for early plays (Dreg Dredgers, Thorny Toad, Jaull Hunters, Deadbloom Wanderer, and Maokai). Dreg Dredgers and Jaull Hunters are perfect targets for Make It Rain. Deadbloom trades into most of your early followers and the Lifesteal isn’t usually enough to set our plan back very far.
Maokai and Thorny Toad can be annoying to remove and Maokai’s Saplings will hinder our plan quite a bit as the game progresses. As such, I recommend saving your Vulnerability effects for him or apply enough pressure that they need to block with him.
Aim to close the game as early as possible by leveraging your Scouts for extra attacks. Should you find yourself in the late game against Deep your chances to win drop off a cliff, but it is still possible, more so for the Klepto version. A leveled up Sejuani can Frostbite their board and keep you alive while simultaneously blanking Atrocity. But our deck isn’t suited to deal with lots of high health units so you will ideally want to close the game out before they can secure the board.
This is a slightly unvafourable matchup for Tempo version, but evens out if you’re running a Klepto variant. The infamous Fiora + Unyielding Spirit combination can be a blowout. We don’t have a clean way to deal with it. Instead, we rely on using Vulnerable to pull Unyielding units out of the way of our big attackers so we can force more damage through before they can close the game.
The matchup is tempo dependent as both decks rely on efficient trading. In general, the Bannerman deck has a more reliable curve and better statlines across their units. Look for ways to get an edge on tempo throughout the match such as using Elixir of Iron and Fury of the North to blank a Single Combat for a solid 2-for-1.
Treat this matchup as a marathon, not a sprint. Avoid making bad trades and keep your units alive where you can. Also, pay attention to mana trading. If you can spend 1 mana on an Elixir of Iron to save your 2-drop while killing their 2-drop and blanking a Single Combat, you are up 1 mana on the exchange (you spent 3 mana while your opponent spent 4) and you came out ahead on board. These little “mana trades” may not seem like a lot, but from a tempo perspective, they can keep the ball in your court.
Sejuani is massive in this matchup for making efficient trades and turning off your opponent’s attacks. Leveling her up is also one of our main win conditions against Demacia.
Thank the heavens for 1-drops! Despite the strong early start for Burn, our 1-drop package and strong curve — mixed with Make It Rain — allow us to survive the early game with our Nexus mostly intact. Ideally, we want to preserve our Nexus as much as possible through blocks and removal before switching roles to be the aggressors ourselves.
Ruthless Raider is a key card in the matchup as it trades with all of their early units and removes Boomcrew Rookie all on its own. It also deals with Crimson Disciple cleanly (provided they don’t have a Transfusion lingering in hand).
Direct Nexus damage can be a problem but also can’t be played around with this deck since we have no way to interact with it. Put pressure on them to force their damage spells to target our units, which we can protect with the likes of Elixir of Iron and Fury of the North.
Preserve your Nexus where you can and chip them down as they run out of resources. Kindly Tavernkeeper can be a great tech if you’re suddenly finding yourself in too many Burn battles on the ladder.
Sejuani/Miss Fortune Mirror
In the mirror match tempo is king. Both players are looking to level Sejuani, chip in damage, and make efficient trades. The Tempo version of the deck is favored over the Klepto version because it has a faster gameplan and can more effectively deal with opposing units. The Klepto version often sacrifices tempo to maximize the value of a Pilfered Goods or Black Market Merchant so be sure to take full advantage of that.
The extra Scouts that the Tempo package offers will provide you with a strong board presence and allow you to take a more aggressive approach to the matchup than the klepto counterpart can support. Occasionally the Klepto package will (literally) steal wins from you, but all in all the Tempo package is a better choice for the mirror.
Watch out for Sejuani and Riptide Rex in the late game. Sejuani can effectively stifle our gameplan so it is often best to open attack on 6 before the opponent has the chance to play her. Rex can be a massive tempo swing for your opponent if the game lasts long enough for him to be played. Ultimately, you should aim to use your aggression and extra units to push as much early damage through. You are far more capable of closing the game in the first 6 turns than the klepto version and every turn you give them in the late game is an opportunity for them to turn it around.
According to recent stats, the Tempo version of the deck boasts a 55.5% winrate over 9917 matches, while the Klepto version has 54.8% over 23057 games. Those are both very impressive winrates and they are also quite trustwothy with a sample size that large. The archetype is a strong pick for ladder and tournaments both, as it has potential against most other popular decks currently.
Sejuani and Miss Fortune pair nicely together to create a strong tempo build that can keep your opponent reeling for most of the game. Against both aggressive and controlling, the archetype can shine due to its ability to adapt well to either of these situations. When playing against aggressive decks you can take a defensive approach to stall out and wait for your late game bombs to clean up the match. For control matchups, you can use your smooth curve to play more aggressively and close things out early.
Other midrange decks, such as Bannerman and Deep can prove troublesome as you aren’t able to adapt as easily to them. Bannerman curves out more reliably than you and their units outscale yours making the late game rather difficult. Maintain tempo, make favorable trades, and you might be able to pull off a win. Deep is a race. If they draw well or you are otherwise not able to be aggressive and force bad trades on their part, you likely won’t be able to stop them.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this guide and I hope you found it useful! Give it a try on ladder or in your next tournament and let me know how you like the deck!