Ashe Noxus Deck Guide & Matchups

Hello, Agigas here! I am a Master player since beta with several #4 peaks and tournament wins. I love sharing my knowledge about the game and I have been a regular writer at RuneterraCCG. I write in-depth deck guides, articles for tournament players, and curate our constantly updated Meta Tier List.

This particular guide you’re reading is part of our on-going series of guides on meta decks. You can find all the other guides and a matchup table on this page.

This guide is dedicated to Ashe Noxus – an old powerhouse that was recently revitalized thanks to the TF Go Hard nerf.


Archetype: Midrange

Ashe Noxus is the perfect example of a midrange archetype. It packs a ton of value, boasts powerful board presence with strong finishers, and runs some removal for the opponent’s key threats. This deck also leverages Frostbite effects to set up for good trades and to enhance Culling Strike and Reckoning.

Ashe Noxus also puts a strong emphasis on the synergies around 5+ attack units. Trifarian Assessor provides a massive card advantage given that you have a strong board, sometimes drawing upwards of four cards. Avarosan Hearthguard further increases the value of each unit in your deck, boosting the power of your draws.

Ashe’s ability to freeze an opponent’s unit on-attack is amazing to set up good trades. Once she’s leveled up, she is one of the most powerful finishers in the game. With the high amount of Frostbite effects that you run, it is very easy to set up an OTK and prevent the entire opponent’s board from blocking.

Captain Farron is another powerful finisher of the deck. He won’t OTK a 20-health opponent as Ashe can, but he adds a solid board presence and some reach. He can help finish off an opponent that has already lost some Nexus health previously due to the pressure of your other strong midrange units.

Sejuani won’t level up in this deck often, but she is already strong in her level 1 form. She is more of an enabler and a removal than a payoff card in our deck.

Ashe Noxus has been one of the premium midrange archetypes for a very long time and still is one of the top dogs. The recent nerf of TF Go Hard, one of its worse matchups, revitalized this deck on the ladder. It is also a very popular tournament deck that can target some popular matchups like the Demacia midrange decks.


General Tips

  • Make good use of Frostbites from Ashe and Icevale Archer. There are many Frostbite synergies in your deck you should play for with these units. Aim to combine Ashe and Icevale Archer with your Challenger units (Trifarian Gloryseeker, Rimefang Wolf) or with your removals (Culling Strike, Reckoning). Icevale Archer’s freeze can also be used defensively.
  • Avoid using Culling Strike on a unit of lesser importance. You don’t have many removals, and Culling Strike is certainly the most flexible one. Outside of specific situations, keep it to deal with a real threat (a key champion, a very big unit, etc.), in conjunction with a freeze if needed.
  • Keep track of Ashe’s level-up condition. Look for opportunities to level-up her in a single turn to attack for a surprising lethal. Harsh Winds is expensive but can really make the OTK a lot easier.
  • ALL 0-attack units can’t block against level 2 Ashe. It means that not only Frostbitten units can’t block you, but also the units that have 0 base attack (ex: Wyrding Stones), and units de-buffed to 0 attack by a Troll Chant.

General matchup tips:

  • Avarosan Trapper is a staple of Ashe Noxus, it enables your 5+ attack synergies with the Enraged Yeti and gives you a lot of tempo. You should always keep it and actively mulligan for it.
  • Brittle Steel is a great tempo spell that will win you trades in matchups where they aim to contest you in early turns.
  • Ashe is a great unit to keep in most matchups – she is instrumental to both the snowball and the win condition. Her value in the opening hand rises even further if you already have a Challenger unit to pair her with.
  • In slower matchups, keep Avarosan Hearthguard. You want to make sure you play him on turn 5, so the value of your entire deck increases. It also makes your Trifarian Assessors have 5 attack so that they will draw even from themselves.

Be aware that these are just the general guidelines to help you understand the deck’s gameplan. Mulligans are very matchup-dependant – please refer to the matchup section below for more specific advice on mulligans against different meta decks.


Matchups

Click on the box to read detailed info about a matchup of choice:

Mulligan for: Avarosan Trapper, Brittle Steel, Rimefang Wolf, Trifarian Gloryseeker, Ashe.

Matchup tips:

  • They play for tempo and value with the intention to snowball their board – just like you. However, they have a hard time against Frostbites.
  • Avoid using Frostbite proactively when they could play Riposte as an answer.
  • Culling Strike is a great answer to Shen, but avoid using it when they could answer it with Sharpsight or Nopeify.
  • Rimefang Wolf kills through Barrier if the unit he strikes has 0 attack.
  • Shen plus a Challenger unit gives them a lot of value and tempo, try to prevent this synergy. Remove the Challenger or Shen, play a big unit to block Shen, play Icevale Archer to freeze the Challenger before it attacks.
  • They don’t have many targets for Nopeify and Deny, so they tend to accumulate them in hand. Culling Strike, Reckoning, and Ashe’s Crystal arrow are your only deniable spells.
  • Once you’re ahead on the board thanks to Frosbites and tempo plays, be offensive and try to find a lethal. While you do have a very powerful late game, Brightsteel Formation can make their board pretty much invincible, so you want to finish the game before they can try to come back with it.

Mulligan for: Avarosan Trapper, Culling Strike, Reckoning, Ashe; Troll Chant – if you already have good hand.

Matchup tips:

  • They don’t do much without Soraka or Kench, and both die to your Culling Strike.
  • Reckoning often clears all of their units. One 5+ attack unit on your side is enough to cast Reckoning, they have no way of preventing it.
  • Their protection against Culling Strike/Reckoning are Pale Cascade or Bastion; you can deny those with Troll Chant or Flash Freeze.
  • Their Hush can be used on their own frozen units or on Ashe if you go for the leveled-up Ashe finish.
  • Their win condition is to make a Tahm Kench stick and eat all of your 5+ attack units. Soraka also helps with providing them a lot of value. Have a way to remove them.

Mulligan for: Avarosan Trapper, Culling Strike, Trifarian Gloryseeker; Ashe, Troll Chant, Reckoning – if you have a good hand.

Matchup tips:

  • They can’t keep up with your mid/late game, so if you can survive the early – you’re in a good spot. However, with Plaza, they can try to go toe-to-toe with you, especially if you’ve failed to play a good Assessor.
  • Miss Fortune is a very powerful champion and can win games if not dealt with.
    • Culling strike is your best answer. They can prevent it with Sharpsight (counter it by Flash Freeze and Troll Chant) or Riposte (counter it by Brittle Steel and Flash Freeze).
    • If you’re afraid of Sharpsight in response to your Culling Strike, you can pre-emptively freeze MF with Brittle Steel or Icevale Archer.
    • Trifarian Gloryseeker can also deal with Miss Fortune. Be aware that if you didn’t open-attack the opponent can play Brightsteel Protector to protect her.
  • Be careful when playing out Trifarian Gloryseeker. You don’t want the opponent to kill it with a Challenger unit + MF trigger. Try to play it and attack with it immediately.
  • A well-timed Reckoning can win this matchup, they have no way of making it fizzle so their only answers are buffs. Try to make them play into it.

Mulligan for: Ashe, Trifarian Gloryseeker, Avarosan Trapper, Brittle Steel.

Matchup tips:

  • They can use Pale Cascade or Hush their own unit to deny you a good trade with a freeze.
  • Avoid using Frostbite spells in the early game (except for Brittle Steel). Flash Freeze and Harsh Winds will be highly valuable to stall out Lee Sin later.
  • They don’t have easy ways to remove Ashe early. Play her on-curve and use her to put them under pressure. Be careful not to trade her for a Mountain Goat or a Pale Cascade and use combat tricks to back her up.
  • Trifarian Gloryseeker is a solid answer for Zoe and Sparklefly.
  • While you should have an advantage in the early game, Lee Sin is a very potent threat for them later. They have more protection spells than you have removals so it can be very tough to get rid of him. However, if you can stall him out with freezes, you should be able to win through your powerful board.
    • They can use Bastion to prevent you from freezing Lee Sin. Troll Chant is a great counter to that, so consider keeping it for that purpose and not using it as a combat trick.
    • Having Ashe on the board is useful for advancing your gameplan, but also because your other Ashe’s in hand will transform into Ashe’s Flash Freeze, which is the best counter to a Lee Sin lethal.

Mulligan for: Ashe, Avarosan Trapper, Trifarian Gloryseeker, Brittle Steel; Icevale Archer – if you have Trifarian Gloryseeker.

Matchup tips:

  • This matchup is often very tempo-driven. Once one player pulls ahead it can be very hard for the other to come back.
  • Try to back up your Trifarian Gloryseeker with freezes so you can take good trades. Brittle Steel is a very strong tempo play.
  • Ashe can be protected against Challengers by freezes, so she can be hard to remove. She is a very strong champion to snowball the game and find a lethal.
    • Going for the Ashe lethal isn’t guaranteed to work because of their freezes, but forcing the opponent to use freezes outside of trades is already a huge advantage.
  • Try to freeze an Ashe or a big unit to use your Culling Strike on. They can’t save a unit from Culling Strike.
  • Having slightly bigger units than the opponent is very advantageous. Ashe Noxus doesn’t have combat tricks that buff attack and don’t run ‘small’ removal to finish off a damaged unit.
    • If the game drags on, Avarosan Hearthguards can give you 6/6 units, making the board very hard to contest for the opponent.
    • Troll Chant is a very strong mid-game trick when 5/5 units are fighting. Set up a good situation for your own Troll Chant and avoid running into the opponent’s Troll Chant.
  • Reckoning can be tough to use in the mirror, and it also gets countered by freezes.

Mulligan for: Avarosan Trapper, Culling Strike, Trifarian Gloryseeker; Brittle Steel, Troll Chant, Rimefang Wold if you have a good hand.

Matchup tips:

  • Their win condition is to burn you with shrooms and level 2 Ezreal. Be very conservative with your health points.
  • Teemo, Ezreal, and Puffcap Peddler should be removed as soon as possible.
    • You can let Teemo on board as long as you make sure he doesn’t hit you thanks to your freezes.
    • Challengers can help you control their key units. However, be aware they can save their unit with a Freeze or Troll Chant.
    • Culling Strike is a reliable way to deal with those units.
  • Reckoning can be a very strong card when they tap out, none of their units survives it.
    • However, be very careful with it if they have mana up. They can freeze or Troll Chant your units so they also die from your Reckoning, or straight-up make your Reckoning fizzle if you don’t have enough 5+ attack units.
  • In the late game, their burn damage stacks up quickly with shrooms and Hexcore Foundry. Be decisive and try to force their freezes out so you can finish them with a leveled-up Ashe attack.
  • In the late game, play your Avarosan Trapper to create a shroom-free card in the top cards of your deck.
  • Farron is a very effective win condition once you get them to 8 health points, they don’t have any healing or way to prevent burn damage.

Mulligan for: Avarosan Trapper, Avarosan Hearthguard, Avarosan Sentry; Brittle Steel – if you already have a good hand.

Matchup tips:

  • Both decks are midrange and have no healing. You both are playing for tempo and value.
  • To win this matchup, you can beat them on either tempo or value – depending on the texture of their draw.
    • The Value plan is often the most likely route for you. Avarosan Hearthguard is a key part of it and can create absurd value with Trifarian Assessor.
    • The Tempo plan can work when you can leverage cards such as Avarosan Trapper, Brittle Steel, and Captain Farron.
    • However, in most cases, you have to mix tempo and value plans as having a big board is essentially your way of creating value.
  • Be careful about Draven’s Axes: they can give back attack to a frozen unit in crucial spots (ex. when trading with Trifarian Gloryseeker, or to gain a blocker against a leveled Ashe). Axes can also make Culling Strike fizzle.
  • If you’ve played Sejuani and have no other units, Arachnoid Sentry will make you waste your Sejuani’s ability.
  • Keep Culling Strike for Ezreal, or for Farron (with a freeze).
  • Farron’s Decimates can often represent enough damage for a lethal – this is true for both decks. However, casting Decimates costs a lot of tempo, which can give the other player enough time to win through the board.

Mulligan for: Avarosan Trapper, Ashe, Avarosan Hearthguard, Culling Strike.

Matchup tips:

  • They have very powerful finishers – if they stay in control they are favored in the late game. Your goal should be to find a window to get ahead on tempo in the mid-game, snowball on it and push nexus damage.
  • Avarosan Trapper is a key card in the matchup. The Enraged Yeti will give you the tempo needed to pressure them, and they won’t like dealing with 5/5’s. They have a much easier time handling either low-health units (Withering Wail, Avalanche, Vile Feast) or very big ones (Vengeance, The Ruination).
  • Once you’re ahead on board, be careful about The Ruination. Force them to use it when you can instantly re-develop and push damage with high-attack units (Enraged Yeti, Trifarian Assessor)
  • Culling Strike is a very powerful removal. You can use it to get rid of their Wyrding Stones to slow down their plan. You can kill Trundle by combining Culling Strike with a freeze or Troll Chant.
  • In the late game, your freezes are a great way to stall out their finishers. Be mindful of Atrocity.
  • If you have them low on life, Captain Farron can be a great finisher. However, be aware that they run healing. Ashe is the most reliable finisher, as they can’t do much if you attack with a strong board and a level 2 Ashe.

Mulligan for: Avarosan Trapper, Culling Strike, Reckoning.

Matchup tips:

  • Avoid playing 1-health early units if you can’t protect them from Go Hard.
  • TF is the priority target for Culling Strike. You can also use it on Zap Sprayfin.
  • If they are slow at stacking Go Hard you can try to take full control of the board and find a lethal before Pack Your Bags.
  • If they go too fast with their Go Hard and/or if you can’t find lethal in time, focus on surviving Pack Your Bags. They can run out of gas after Pack Your Bags because they will keep drawing a lot of low-impact Go Hard’s. It can give you a window to come back on board and find a lethal.
  • A well-timed Reckoning is your best shot to upset the matchup. It can give you a shot at lethal if they are slow to find Pack Your Bags, or give you more time if they do find Pack Your Bags.
  • They don’t have good tools to stop a leveled-up Ashe lethal.

Mulligan for: Avarosan Trapper, Avarosan Hearthguard, Avarosan Sentry; Troll Chant, Ashe if you have Avarosan Trapper.

Matchup tips:

  • In the late game, they are able to finish while keeping a strong control of the board with multiple Anivias. Your goal should be to find a window to get ahead on tempo in the mid-game, snowball on it and push nexus damage.
  • Avarosan Trapper is a key card in the matchup. The Enraged Yeti will give you the tempo needed to pressure them, and they don’t like dealing with 5/5’s. They have a much easier time handling either low-health units (Withering Wail, Avalanche, Vile Feast) or very big ones (Vengeance, The Ruination).
  • Once you’re ahead on board, be careful about The Ruination. Force them to use it when you can instantly re-develop and push damage with high-attack units (Enraged Yeti, Trifarian Assessor)
  • Ashe is a great finisher, but be aware they can stall your attack even without blocking with Anivia’s Harsh Winds.
  • If you have them low on life, Captain Farron is another great finisher. However, be aware that they run healing.

Mulligan for: Avarosan Sentry, Icevale Archer, Avarosan Trapper, Brittle Steel; Reckoning, Troll Chant – if you have a good hand.

Matchup tips:

  • Discard Aggro is an extremely aggressive deck that looks to out-pace the opponent. Their early board flood is extremely powerful, you need to set-up potent defenses and stop the bleeding ASAP.
    • Cheap cards (Avarosan Sentry, Icevale Archer, Brittle Steel) are your best ways to limit the damage early. Avarosan Trapper is also great at helping you get some control of the board, even though the Enraged Yeti sometimes comes down too late.
    • Reckoning is often the card that will help you take back control of the game, as it’s your only card that can deal with wide boards. They do have a few 0-cost burst attack buffs (Draven’s Spinning Axe, Vision), but often it won’t be enough. Be careful that if you cast a Reckoning with only one 5+ attack unit out that is somewhat low on health, they can counter your spell with Get Excited.
  • After you’ve stabilized the board, their main threat that’s left is Jinx. She can easily burn you out very quickly with rockets. If possible, try to put pressure on them fast so they don’t have time to find her. Alternatively, set up a play to remove her: Culling Strike or Reckoning with a Freeze or Troll Chant; or a unit to remove her in combat like Trifarian Gloryseeker or Sejuani (though this can be clunky).

Mulligan for: Trifarian Gloryseeker, Avarosan Trapper, Rimefang Wolf, Culling Strike, Reckoning; Ashe, Troll Chant if you have a good hand.

Matchup tips:

  • You have no elusive blocker. Hence, it is very hard to survive their elusive onslaught.
  • Your best way to steal the game is with a well-timed Reckoning.
    • If you’re low on 5+ attack units on board, be aware that they have removals (Mystic Shot, Get excited) to try to make it fizzle.
  • In early turn, keep your Culling Strike for their TF. They can level him up extremely fast.
    • Without the attack token, Culling Strike is your only way to deal with an early TF.
  • With their high amount of draw and small units, they can chump block your units for a very long time. Leveling up Ashe is often your quickest way to finish the game.

Conclusion

Thanks to its strong midrange plan, Ashe Noxus has been one of the most powerful decks for a very long time. In some metas, it has truly been dominant. It can attack certain archetypes – like most Demacia decks – which means Ashe Noxus always stays relevant in tournaments. But because it is such a polarizing deck, it can have its low moments – like the one during the recent Go Hard meta. Still, never count this deck out, and it’s always a matter of time before the meta turns and the Ashe deck gets back its Tier 1 spot.

Like I said earlier, this guide is part of a series where I’ll go over all the top decks in the meta so you have all the resources needed to learn the deck you want and improve as a player. This series is my most ambitious project so far, I hope it will be helpful!

If you have a question, want to share feedback, or discuss this guide, I’ll be happy to answer you in the comments below and in this dedicated Reddit post! 😉

If you like my content and don’t want to miss out on anything, you can follow me on Twitter, where I share every article I make, but also my tournament performances, my most successful decks, etc… 😄

Thanks for reading!

Agigas

I am a master player since Beta, with several #4 peaks and tournaments win (EU DoR 2, NA DoR 13, GiantSlayer). I am also TSM/Blitz.gg LoR consultant. I love writing guides to share my experience with the game with the community!

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