Bandle Tree Deck Guide

The Bandle Tree is one of the most dominant archetypes in this meta! The guide is updated for 'Between Worlds' Ranked season.

UPDATED FOR ‘BETWEEN WORLDS’ SEASON (PATCH 2.18)


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Bandle Tree Noxus created by Sorry • last updated 9 months ago
Midrange

Hello everyone, Sorry here! In this guide, I’m going to break down the Bandle Tree archetype, featuring Poppy, Fizz, and Noxus as the splash region.

This deck as a whole is built around The Bandle Tree landmark and the win condition it provides: once you’ve summoned 10 units from different regions, you’ll win the game.

Additionally, because the deck also runs a lot of cheap units that can swarm the board and stomp your opponent, you have a secondary win condition of just pushing Nexus damage with some raw aggression.

Cards that have the Manifest keyword – Bandle City Mayor and Loping Telescope – keep you from running out of gas and at the same time allow you to find units from regions you still need for the Bandle Tree condition.

Cards like House Spider and Bandle Commando also play a key role in advancing your landmark. House Spider is a Noxus card, but the Spiderling it summons is from the Shadow Isles. As for Bandle Commando, it generates a Hungry Owlcat unit that is from the Ionia region.

Later on in the game, you will be playing out The Bandle Tree landmark to finish your quest – it’ll create units from regions that you have been missing so far.

Fizz and Poppy are not your win conditions per se – they are mainly there to advance The Bandle Tree’s condition. Fizz is your Bilgewater unit, while Poppy checkmarks your need for the Demacia region. We’re only running 2 copies of each champion so that we can fit in other cards that can help our gameplan.

That said, Poppy’s effect of buffing all your units on the board as she attacks can be very useful to create a more formidable board presence.

The deck also runs a couple of removal cards like Ravenous Flock, Group Shot, and Buster Shot – all these are cheap spells that won’t slow down your board swarm.

 Techs and Options

  • Lulu: You’re not running Lulu for her supporting abilities, but merely for the region she represents – Ionia. A 1-of Lulu in the deck is a reasonable inclusion, just in case Bandle Commando doesn’t generate a Hungry Owlcat. You can switch out 1 Bandle Commando for Lulu.
  • Hidden Pathways: If you want more consistency in digging for your win condition, card draw is a good choice. You’re able to reduce the cost of this spell to 3 mana effortlessly due to the number of cards in the deck that can create other cards. You can cut a Minimorph or a Proto Poro for Hidden Pathways.

General Tips

  • Bandle City Mayor is an important card to play on turn 3

Bandle City Mayor is one of the key cards in your deck – not only does it allow you to Manifest into a unit that will help you fulfill your landmark’s condition, but it also reduces the cost of your multi-region units. Playing units with a discount means you can get to The Bandle Tree’s condition that much faster, or, alternatively, you can swarm and overwhelm your opponent that much easier.

  • Before playing The Bandle Tree, make sure you’ve played out all the units from the ‘missing regions’ that you have in you hand

Keep in mind, that The Bandle Tree could create a unit from a region that you have not played but already have in your hand. So, to increase the odds of getting a region you’re actually looking for, it’s best to play out all the cheap units from the regions you haven’t played yet, before turning to the help of The Bandle Tree.

  • The Bandle Tree is a heavy mana commitment – be careful when playing it

Playing The Bandle Tree to start creating units is your endgame plan. However, a 5-mana landmark that pretty much does nothing on the turn it’s played will set you back on tempo on that specific turn. Make sure you have a presence on the board capable of protecting the Nexus.

  • Keep track of the regions you have played

Although The Bandle Tree does provide information on which regions have been played, this information is only available if you actually have The Bandle Tree in your hand or on the board. You need to also manually keep track of the regions you’ve played in case you need to make a decision on which unit to pick during the Manifest and don’t have The Bandle Tree to check which regions you need.


Matchups

Mulligan for: Bandle City Mayor, Loping Telescope, House Spider, Bandle Commando.

  • You’ve got 2 viable win conditions in this matchup, aggressive game plan or The Bandle Tree win condition.
  • You’re able to go wide with units and focus on destroying their Nexus as fast as possible.
  • Cards like Ravenous Flock and Scorched Earth come in handy to remove units that might hinder your game plan. Ideal targets would be Shyvana, Screeching Dragon, Solari Sunforger, and Radiant Guardian.
  • Your opponent does not run any main deck cards to deal with The Bandle Tree, so it’s ideal work on fulfilling the win condition.
  • If your opponent has a couple of high-statted Dragons on the board they might try to set up for a Dragon’s Clutch and grant them +1|+1 and Overwhelm. Minimorph can be a game saver in this kind of situation to negate some of the Overwhelm damage.

Mulligan for: Aloof Travelers, Minimorph, Bandle City Mayor, The Bandle Tree, and Poppy.

  • You’re going against a combo deck that heavily relies on Lee Sin as a win condition.
  • Aloof Travelers is a great card to play before turn 5 (or right on turn 5 if you have the first action) to discard Lee Sin from your opponent’s hand.
  • Minimorph is a burst Lee Sin removal, it’s crucial to keep it in your opening hand. This matchup relies on dealing with Lee Sin early on before your opponent sets up their win condition.
  • It’ll be difficult for you to end the game aggressively with your units, Zoe Lee Sin can hold their own with Eye of The Dragon summoning Dragonlings.
  • Working on the completing the Bandle Tree win condition is your main objective. You can drop the landmark earlier than usual in this specific matchup without worrying about getting behind on tempo.

Mulligan for: Bandle City Mayor, Loping Telescope, House Spider, Bandle Commando, Aloof Travelers.

  • Aggro down your opponent. This matchup depends on your ability to impose a lot of pressure by swarming the board with cheap units.
  • Once Xerath is leveled up your opponent can start picking off your units. Be wary of Hexplosive Minefield as a developing punisher – you can end up with a couple of units removed and the rest stunned.
  • The Arsenal is their endgame a finisher, Minimorph is the perfect answer for it. If The Arsenal can get a Spellshield as one of its keywords, but you can remove it Pokey Stick, Group Shot, or Buster Shot.
  • Do not play Aloof Travelers in the early game – holding onto it until later stages of the game gives you a higher chance to discard The Arsenal out of their hand.
  • The Bandle Tree can removed by Desert Naturalist, so if you only have one Bandle Tree in hand – you should hold onto it until later in the game. This will make it harder for your opponent to play The Arsenal as in doing so they’ll tap out of mana to play Desert Naturalist.

Mulligan for: Bandle City Mayor, Loping Telescope, House Spider, Bandle Commando, Aloof Travelers, The Bandle Tree.

  • Your opponent’s win condition is to buff the damage of their Darkness and level up Veigar.
  • Luckily, Noxus provides us with Ravenous Flock that is capable of removing Veigar off the board. Minimorph can also act as a removal.
  • Do not let them stack up their Darkness too much – kill off Veigar and trade with Twisted Catalyzer the first chance you get.
  • Swarming the board and pushing in damage onto your opponent’s Nexus is an ideal way to win the game.
  • While going the aggressive route to win the game you’re actively working on getting your Bandle Tree’s condition fulfilled. Your opponent does not run any cards to remove your landmark, so it’s fairly safe to play and start generating units from regions you don’t have.
  • Watch out for turn 8 Dess & Ada, the Darkness created can wipe out your board.

Mulligan for: Bandle City Mayor, Loping Telescope, House Spider.

  • You can swarm the board with the assistance of Bandle City Mayor and play aggressively.
  • Pokey Stick can pick off their 1-health units off the board while also giving you a card draw.
  • Watch out for Death from Below, Buster Shot can come in handy to remove the summoned Pyke off the board.
  • Minimorph is usually a useful tool to deal with units that have the Overwhelm keyword or to stop Rek’Sai from leveling up. Make sure to play the Minimorph before Rek’Sai goes in for the attack or she’ll generate Lurk units in your opponent’s hand.
  • If your opponent Predicts with Aspiring Chronomancer or Xer’Sai Caller and is about to initiate an attack, you can play Aloof Travelers and force a draw. This will possibly ruin any plans they had if they predicted a Rek’Sai or a Pyke.

Mulligan For: Loping Telescope, Fizz, House Spider, Bomber Twins.

  • Try to keep up with your opponent’s early aggression, block as much as unit damage possible.
  • Pokey Stick and Group Shot are great tools to remove 1-health units such as Legion Saboteur or Inventive Chemist.
  • Keep in mind that your opponent runs Noxian Fervor, try to wait until they tap below 3 mana to commit a spell on a unit, or have a backup spell to bait the Noxian Fervor out.
  • Buster Shot is an effective tool to deal with your opponent’s Poppy. Your opponent can go wide with units and the last thing you need is a Poppy buffing up your opponent’s board.
  • Although you’re able to match your opponent’s board presence, Bandle Tree deck lacks the burn power that Poppy Ziggs runs. You’ll either have to finish the game by dominating the board or with The Bandle Tree.

Mulligan for: Bandle City Mayor, Loping Telescope, House Spider, Bandle Commando, Aloof Travelers, and Buster Shot.

  • You’re playing against a Rally deck, your opponent will attempt to take value trades and dominate the board presence.
  • Lulu and Poppy are both capable of buffing up other units to a point where you will be incapable of trading into them.
  • It is important that you try to take out both Poppy and Lulu, if unanswered they will level up and close out the game.
  • Your removal cards are perfect to pick off Lulu and Poppy, keep in mind that your opponent runs Ranger’s Resolve and Sharpsight as protection cards.
  • Expect a Rally card to be played at any time your opponent is holding 4 mana up and has a board presence. Don’t completely tap out of answers if it will leave you vulnerable to Rally.

Mulligan for: Bandle City Mayor, Loping Telescope, House Spider, Bandle Commando, Aloof Travelers.

  • Preserve your health and block units to deny your opponent a free damage onto the Nexus. This will slow down the level-up of their champions.
  • Be careful of Make it Rain, they can increase the damage of it with a Powder Keg from either Dreadway Deckhand or Gangplank.
  • Ravenous Flock is important to try and finish off either Gangplank or Sejuani, once they’re leveled they will be pushing in a lot of damage while putting a lot of pressure on the board with their abilities.
  • Plunder deck does not run any removal cards for landmarks, which means they won’t be able to deal with The Bandle Tree.
  • Aloof Travelers can discard your opponent’s champions or The Dreadway. Keep in mind, however, that Monster Harpoon is a 6 cost mana unless they have activated Plunder. You could wait until they lower the mana cost of Monster Harpoon before playing Aloof Travelers.

Mulligan for: Bandle City Mayor, Loping Telescope, House Spider, Bandle Commando, Bomber Twins, Group Shot.

  • Unlike Ezreal Draven, this deck is lighter on the direct damage and Overwhelm damage to win the game.
  • This means that as long as you’re Manifesting units and stopping Caitlyn from putting Flashbomb Traps into your deck, you should be able to prolong the game enough to summon 10 units from different regions.
  • Flashbomb Traps could do a lot of damage to your board – remove Caitlyn as soon as possible. A leveled-up Caitlyn can push in a lot of damage as well.
  • When playing Aloof Travelers remember that your opponent runs Lost Soul which will protect the Tri-beam Improbulator in their hand.
  • If you’re able to go wide you can potentially aggro down your opponent with your units.
  • Keep in mind that they run Scorched Earth in their deck, and number of copies can go higher or lower depending on popularity of landmark decks in the meta.

Mulligan for: Bandle City Mayor, Loping Telescope, House Spider, Bomber Twins, Group Shot.

  • Your opponent will try to go wide with units and start pushing in damage – luckily we can keep up with the board presence especially if you get a Bandle City Mayor by turn 3.
  • You might find yourself in the position where you are the aggressive deck – Ravenous Flock, Group Shot, and Buster Shot are cheap removal cards that can give you an edge over your opponent.
  • Try to preserve your health, your opponent will try to close out the game either with Sion or burn damage from Get Excited!.
  • Be careful of Survival Skills, your opponent could keep their strongest unit alive and deny you a good trade or a removal.
  • Minimorph is the best answer to Sion, it’ll shut down their ability to push Overwhelm damage.
  • Aloof Travelers is a solid card but its ability to discard the highest cost card from the opponent’s hand can turn out ineffective if they have a Lost Soul in hand – you’ll be giving your opponent a Twinblade Revenant. It’s wise to hold on to the Aloof Travelers until your opponent discards their Lost Soul themselves, which will increase your chances of discarding a Sion from their hand.
  • Draven Sion usually does not run Scorched Earth, which means The Bandle Tree should be safe on the board. Just make sure you don’t get aggroed down after you’ve commited to the 5-mana landmark.
  • It’s difficult for you to deal with Fearsome units, Twinblade Revenant is a problem as your opponent will keep playing a new Fearsome unit every time you manage to remove it from the board.

Mulligan for: House Spider, Bandle City Mayor, Loping Telescope.

  • Swarm the board with units and put pressure on your opponent early on. Force them to take blocks with Akshan and Sivir.
  • Outside of Golden Aegis and Cataclysm, your opponent does not have any source of damaging your Nexus once their attack turn is over.
  • The Absolver is the main thread you need to watch out for. If played on a leveled-up Sivir, the Overwhelm keyword from The Absolver’s Return will be shared with all of your opponent’s attacking units.
  • You can nullify their Sivir +The Absolver using these two methods: 
    • The first method is obviously to kill Sivir the first chance you get, but your opponent can have a second Sivir.
    • The second method is to remove the Spellshield and just ignore Sivir until your opponent commits The Absolver. If she’s damaged, Ravenous Flock or Scorched Earth can kill her mid-combat. All keywords she shared with attacking units will be lost. Minimorph is another tool to deal with her if you’ve removed the Spellshield, it’ll shut down your opponent’s attempt to close out the game.
  • Always watch out for Golden Aegis if your opponent is holding 4 mana up.
  • Your opponent can push in Overwhelm damage if they play Cataclysm.

Mulligan for: House Spider, Bandle City Mayor, Loping Telescope.

  • Be careful when swarming the board, your opponent can clear most of your low health units with Make it Rain or Twisted Fate‘s Red Card + Powder Keg.
  • Group Shot or Pokey Stick can be used on a Powder Keg to stop the damage increase on Make it Rain or Red Card.
  • Don’t commit a spell to kill Twisted Fate unless he’s about to level up. Your opponent playing another Twisted Fate Red Card from hand can impact the state of your board.
  • Twisted Fate Gangplank does not run any landmark removal. There is no threat on The Bandle Tree, but it’ll be extremely hard to fulfill the win condition before your opponent closes out the game.
  • Minimorph is important to deal with a Gangplank especially a leveled-up one, the Overwhelm keyword along with Gangplank’s ability will deal a lot of damage on their attack turn.
  • Aloof Travelers can discard either Gangplank or Double Up from your opponent’s hand, two cards you’ll be glad to see out of the way.
  • Killing a unit that’s being targeted by Double Up will negate the 4 damage towards your Nexus. It’ll be difficult though to have 5he resources to do so.

Mulligan for: House Spider, Bandle City Mayor, Loping Telescope, Buster Shot.

  • Your opponent will try to push damage with their Elusive units, Bandle Commando is your only Elusive unit in the deck.
  • Try to kill one health units like Greenglade Duo or Fleetfeather Tracker if they have a Young Witch on the board with Pokey Stick or Group Shot. Keep in mind your opponent does run Rangers Resolve to counter your play.
  • Buster Shot is a good method to remove either Zed or Poppy, if your opponent protects their champion with Sharpight or Twin Disciplines, Ravenous Flock is an effective follow up to remove the unit of the board.
  • It’ll be difficult to win with The Bandle Tree, your best bet is to remove their Elusive units off the board while pushing them to block your own units, eventually depleting them from resources.

Closing Words

Bandle Tree is currently one the popular meta decks on the competitive ladder and in tournaments, it performs fairly well into a lot of matchups and it’s easy to pick up!

The fact that you’re still able to win games against decks that can deal with The Bandle Tree landmark makes the deck solid into what should be very unfavored matchups.

Thanks for reading! If you’d like to keep up with me personally follow me on Twitter.

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Sorry

My name is Alaa, better known as Sorry or TricksterSorry. Legends of Runeterra competitive player, I enjoy playing tournaments and competing against top players.

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