Best New Decks from Week 1 of Beyond the Bandlewood

Hello everyone, Sorry here! Beyond the Bandlewood expansion is finally out, bringing the new Bandle City region into the game, along with 9 new champions, and a lot of cards for us to have fun with.

I’ve been keeping a close eye on the decks players have been climbing with on the competitive ladder. The meta has yet to settle but there are already a couple of brand new archetypes that players have managed to reach Masters with.

In this article, I’ll talk about the new archetypes that have been performing well, and provide you the best lists that you can pick up and start your climb in the Beyond the Bandlewood season.


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Draven Sion created by Sorry • last updated 3 months ago
Aggro
  • Win rate: 55.4% in Plat+

Currently, it is one of the most popular decks in Ranked, with a 55% win rate on both American and European servers.

The new Discard deck got everyone’s attention after TheBlackBoss managed to become the first player to hit Master rank on the American server with it.

Draven Sion features a very aggressive gameplan that leverages Discard effects. You’re pushing in a lot of early damage with cheap units like Boom Baboon, Fallen Rider, and Draven.

Lost Soul can be a nightmare for the value it provides – every time you Discard it you gain a Twinblade Revenant with Challenger.

Survival Skills can come in handy when you need to protect one of your key units like Draven or Sion. It can also allow you to block an opponent’s unit with a Quick Attack keyword, in particular – champions like Sivir and Akshan.

Sion is your massive Overwhelm finisher. He always comes down already leveled – and if killed, he will come back as an Ephemeral Sion Returned and will Rally.

The archetype fairs well against the popular Sivir Demacia deck that has been a menace on the ladder for a while now, which makes Draven Sion the go-to climbing choice for a lot of players currently.


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Darkness created by Agigas • last updated 3 months ago
Control
Midrange
  • Win rate: 54.5% in Plat+

Darkness Control is another very popular new archetype that players have quickly picked up. The list has been refined to a point where players are consistently climbing to Master rank with it now and the archetype holds a positive win rate on the ladder.

Veigar Senna is a control deck that relies on prolonging the game, containing the opposing threats and buffing up the damage of your Darkness.

Veigar and Twisted Catalyzer are essential to increase the damage of Darkness. Veigar and Senna are both very important to your gameplan – they are your main win conditions. Stress Defense can be used as a defensive tool to keep your champions alive.

Senna allows you to play Darkness at Fast speed, making it much easier for you to play a control role in the game. Additionally, Senna acts as a consistent Darkness generator – with her, you will eventually out-value your opponent and take over the game.

Once Veigar is leveled he’ll allow you to target the opponent’s Nexus with your Darkness spells. In the late game your Darkness will be stacked, which means you’ll likely need only a couple of them to point at their Nexus and close out the game.

However, be aware that the deck is difficult to pilot and it will take you a lot of practice until you’re accustomed to it.


  • Win rate: 53.6% in Plat+

Ezreal Draven has been a popular archetype for a long time, and once Caitlyn came out she naturally replaced Ezreal.

By now, many players have taken the list and climbed up to Master rank with it. Grandodeo, captain of team Turkey in the recent EU Masters tournament, managed to get to Rank 1 on the European server playing Caitlyn Draven.

Caitlyn functions as an aggressive champion, that also helps you to control the board with the Flashbomb Traps she plants in the opponent’s deck.

Damaging units with the Flashbomb Traps also sets up a Ravenous Flock or a Scorched Earth play.

Her being a 3-drop champion fits the deck perfectly – she is another card that grows your Tri-beam Improbulators.

The deck functions similarly to the classic Ezreal Draven – so if you’ve got experience on that deck, Caitlyn Draven should be a very familiar archetype to pilot.

An important addition to the deck is Aloof Travelers. Currently, it is considered to be one of the strongest cards in the game for its ability to disrupt the opponent’s hand in a very meaningful way by discarding their highest-cost card.


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Zoe Nami created by Sorry • last updated 3 months ago
Elusive
  • Win rate: 53.2% in Plat+

If you’re a fan of Elusive strategies – well, I got good news for you! Zoe Nami is a new powerful deck has risen in Beyond the Bandlewood, and it has even brought back an old menace that is Wiggly Burblefish.

This archetype utilizes units with the Elusive keyword, and buffs them up with Nami and Fleet Admiral Shelly.

The deck can cast a lot of cheap spells – like Pale Cascade, Sunblessed Vigor, Gems (from Gift Giver and Mentor of the Stones) – to trigger the effects of Nami and Fleet Admiral Shelly.

Your Elusive units like Sparklefly, Zap Sprayfin, and Wiggly Burblefish will gain a lot of power to start threatening lethal damage.

Gifts from Beyond into Crescendum is a very scary play with Nami or Shelly on the board – it is guaranteed to summon Sparklefly, your only 2-drop follower in the deck, while triggering all your spell synergies.


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Fizz Nami created by Sorry • last updated 3 months ago
Elusive
  • Win rate: 52.4% in Plat+

Here we have another Nami Elusive deck similar to the Targon Bilgewater version, but it opts to use the new Bandle City region instead of Targon.

The main difference between the two lists is that the Bandle City version lacks the defensive tools Targon offers, but offers you a variety of other powerful cards – for example, Pokey Stick and Hidden Pathways to help you not run out of gas as easily.

The new Prank keyword can also come in handy to disrupt and slow down your opponent while gaining some actionable information on the cards in their hand.

Minimorph the new Bandle City spell that can shut down your opponent’s win condition unit (ex. Sion, Sejuani, Lee Sin). It’s expensive, but when it’s good, it’s game-winningly good.


Closing Words

It’s been less than a week since the release of Beyond the Bandlewood, and players continue to experiment with different archetypes to figure out new competitive decks. I’m confident that we’ll be seeing more archetypes rise in popularity in the upcoming days.

The lists above are the ones that performed well for players in the early days of the season, and they have absolutely proven that they can reach highest ranks.

Obviously, old decks like Akshan Sivir Demacia and Gangplank Sejuani remain solid picks to choose for your ladder climb.

Thanks for reading, and if you’d like to keep up with me personally, please follow me on Twitter.

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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