During the reveal season for ‘A Curious Journey’ expansion, Udyr was one of the harder champions to evaluate.
He has no natural keywords and is quite understated, so many thought he would be dead on arrival. Others saw his versatility as a big boon. Now that we are a few days into the newest Legends of Runeterra release, we can begin to circle back on our reveal season predictions.
In this article, my goal is to present you with some of the most promising Udyr decks so far. Here, I’m going to include the statistically best builds, as well as offer up some of the other unique brews that I have been working on or have seen around the community.
Personally, I believe Udyr has a relatively high skill cap due to how many minute decisions you must make each game with him, and every time you use Stance Swap. This leads me to believe that he will have a relatively low win percentage for a little while as the community gets used to his playstyle, but also as the meta settles.
This archetype is currently statistically the best Udyr deck, getting very close to a 50 percent win rate on the ladder, and above you can find my current version of it.
The pairing of Udyr and Galio is meant to utilize the power of Freljord’s health buffs alongside with Demacia’s Formidable. The deck utilizes a very strong midrange beatdown gameplan. It can trade very efficiently with almost any deck as it uses strong buffs like Elixir of Iron, Troll Chant, and Shield of Durand.
Udyr fits perfectly into this gameplan, as his Boar Stance can give your Formidable units a nice health buff but also the extremely important Regeneration. We can also use Vulpine Wanderer and Hyala Allseer for additional Stance access, and Udyr plays an extremely important role in reducing Stances’ cost and producing more of them.
Puffball Panda takes a different approach to Udyr by utilizing a different synergy focused more around Ram Stance. Of course, any Udyr deck will have access to all his Stances but it is smart to build your deck with one or two in mind.
This deck really tries to level up both of its champions by consistently poking the opposing Nexus and every unit on the board. This widespread damage will level Swain up quickly and help you keep the board clear of threats.
Like most Swain decks, your win condition will be getting The Leviathan and Swain on the board and controlling the game from there. Udyr offers another win condition in the fact that he can buff himself or another ally significantly, and since this deck will often level Udyr, he will get even larger.
One cool combo is giving Swain Overwhelm with the Wildclaw Stance so that his Nexus Strike effect can happen even when he is blocked. There are a lot of options to adjust this deck toward whatever the meta will settle down as, so I want to keep my eye on it as we further progress into the season.
That’s it, just after two decks, we’ve already run out of Udyr archetypes with somewhat decent stats. I have to warn you – from now on, we are deep into brews territory. The sample sizes for the decks here are low, but I have the faith that the directions explored do have the potential.
Starting with Udyr Taric, this deck began when my good friend and editor for this wonderful site Rainmaker shared the idea of this champion pairing with me. I took that and ran with it, pairing Fated with Stances. Taric being able to double-cast a Stance is a really strong combo, especially when the Stance costs 0 mana!
This is an aggressive midrange deck that wants to stay on the offense as its board continues to grow in strength. Targon allows you to have a few tricks up your sleeves – like extra unit protection with Bastion, and access to Silence which has extremely good value with all these unit buffing decks running around.
Our main finisher outside of buffing our units is Wrath of the Freljord, who allows us to remove a lot of potential blockers from our opponent.
This list was created by Ace Bombastiko and piloted to a third place finish in EU Fight Night, a tournament hosted by Giant Slayer.
This list utilizes similar synergy to the Swain Udyr list, as it is using Noxus and Freljord and is focused on Ram Stance. In this deck, however, Ram Stance synergizes extremely well with The Scargrounds since once your units take damage, they will be tough and continue to gain more power.
There is a lot of consistency in the early game of this deck, as it can deal with aggro very well, have a strong early board presence, and set up easily.
The end game will require you to utilize your Stances to the maximum potential, opting for Overwhelm when you need to close out the game, or Regeneration when you need to keep an important unit on the board.
Gnar and Udyr were meant to be paired from the design standpoint, but so far this archetype is not doing well at all, and Runeterra.AR shows a disappointing 38.64% win rate.
I wanted to explore why this could be so I whipped up a list and started playing. I noticed a few things.
Firstly, the condition that comes with the transforming units is certainly not free as many thought it would be. It is similar to Plunder in many ways. You have to play purposely to trigger this effect, and sometimes that means taking lines of play that are not the most optimal.
On top of this, we don’t have a whole lot of tricks. Essentially we are just trying to build up a board while having some units transform. The deck seems very fair, and nothing stood out as all that incredible.
There are turns that feel great with Gnar, and your units transforming, but honestly Udyr feels like a complete afterthought in this archetype. Out of all of these decks, this by far utilizes him the least.
I hope this article brings Udyr fans some joy and hope that their favorite champion can eventually find a home in the meta.
Personally, I believe there is still more to Udyr that needs to be uncovered. He is a very flexible champion that requires a lot of decision-making skills for optimal play.
I am not sure if any of the lists above will end up being his best towards the end of the season, but they are a great starting point roughly a week into the release of A Curious Journey.