Hi fellow deckbuilders, and welcome to our latest episode of the Deck Doctor series. Today we will work on the deck that features Aphelios – a champion that’s has been under the radar for quite a while.
This submission came from our Discord member Vince, who combined Chirean Sumpworkers with Targon, using the Crescendum Moon Weapon to reliably tutor and transform Chirean Sumpworkers into Sumpworks Posses.
The Sumpworkers have always been a gimmick in LoR and have never become neither popular nor competitive – much like Aphelios ever since his nerfs. In this Deck Doctor piece, we are going to explore a highly synergistic deck built around Aphelios and Sumpworkers, and maybe surprise an opponent or two while we are at it.
While submitting the decklist above, Vince attached a detailed explanation of his idea. The main thing the deck is looking to accomplish is to summon multiple Sumpworkers and transform them, bringing a ton of Elusive pressure to the board.
As such, 3 Chirean Sumpworkers, 3 Gifts from Beyond, and 3 Aphelios are at the core of the build. Alongside those, Iterative Improvement and Counterfeit Copies represent the best means to multiply the Sumpworkers.
Around this core of 15 cards, there are protective tools for our Chirean Sumpworkers in the form of Pale Cascade and Sunblessed Vigor, as we need to make sure a Sumpworker survives to transform it afterwards.
Vince also reported that they have been climbing steadily in the Platinum rank and that the matchup spread for the deck felt quite good, only identifying Scouts as a very tough opponent for the deck.
Before getting into any criticisms, I want to compliment Vince on his deckbuilding because it was honestly difficult for me to improve the list that was submitted.
Obviously, we aren’t working with a Tier 1 material here, so the power level will never feel competitive enough for high ranks or the Seasonals. But if we are talking merely on the axis of how far we can push the specific Sumpworker synergies, Vince really made it difficult for me to find significant areas of improvement.
Still, there wouldn’t be a Deck Doctor article if there were nothing to nitpick.
While I think the idea is very well-executed, I also feel like Vince tried too hard to make Diana work – and it took the deck away too far away from the main road.
In a deck like this, that is pushing for a specific synergy before the opponent can mount too much pressure, I feel like we can’t really afford the deckbuilding cost of Diana.
While Diana is a fine champion, we don’t have enough support to make her reliable. Even with 3 copies of Heavens Aligned, leveling Diania is still very hard. But the most important thing – she doesn’t meaningfully help us in advancing our win condition.
Upon their initial release, the Chirean Sumpworkers were most commonly played with Shadows Isles, which have numerous copying and multiplying effects to help with Sumpworker spam. However, in order to stay true to Vince’s idea, I kept the original concept of working around Aphelios as a key part of the deck.
As I said above, I thought Vince’s idea was already well-executed. Still, I felt there was an opportunity to make our supporting cards work in tune with the core of the deck even better.
Guiding Touch is a draw spell that also helps with survivability, whether it is our Nexus or our units. As we don’t run many units, I realized that I usually wanted to use my Nexus as a resource early on so I could focus on setting up my synergy rather than trying to stop my opponent. Healing in the form of Guiding Touch obviously helps with that, and I even tried to run more expensive healing effects in Targon – but it usually was too big of a loss of tempo.
The Station Archivist simply felt like a natural fit in the deck, as she has a great synergy with the Gifts From Beyond. Most of our spells cost 2 mana, making them cheap enough to be used alongside Archivist.
The toughest part was to figure out how to replace Diana. A mono-Aphelios deck was also a possibility. For now, I settled on Caitlyn as she is a solid champion that doesn’t need any help or deckbuilding cost to do her job.
On attacking turns, she protects herself with the Quick Attack and 3 points of Power, and as a blocker, she still has some value because she shuffles her Flashbomb Traps. This was the main difference I found compared to Diana, who didn’t really have any use on defensive turns.
Lastly, with our very limited defensive arsenal, the Flashbombs occasionally removing cheap units from our opponent is always a nice tempo boost in order to keep focusing on our own synergy.
Overall, compared to Vince’s list, I couldn’t say 100% that what I built is straight-up better. However, the direction I went will probably increase the consistency of the Chirean Sumpworker plan.
When we work with a highly synergistic concept, it isn’t easy to make changes as there is a very rigid part of the deck that we can’t really mess with. Most of my effort went into how to better surround the original idea and how to maximize the consistency.
As usual, I would like to thank everyone for their submissions and for making the #Deck-Doctor channel on our Discord a fun place to hang out and talk about weird brews and creative ways to play our favorite cards.
More episodes are coming in the future, and with some new cards on the horizon, your creative minds should get even more fuel very soon.
Until then, Good Game Everyone.