I’m not going to lie to you, readers; I am not the most high-level Runeterra player that you’ll ever meet. Now, when it comes to playing armchair quarterback and telling other players what they should have done, while watching them on my computer screen, from the comfort of my bed? I’m amazing at that! However, I do still like to play a fair bit myself, and I always enjoy encountering decks on the ladder that are a bit of a unique brew. So imagine my delight (and eventual horror) when I was playing the other day and suddenly my opponent decimated my entire board with Corina Veraza!
I did some digging after that match, and sure enough, I learned that this was a deck that was starting to see some fringe popularity. Corina had seen some play around the time of the game’s open beta launch, when everyone was still figuring out what was good, but that was as a supporting piece in Heimerdinger control decks. This time, she’s the star of her own show, and she just so happens to have a pretty beefy supporting actor on the stage along with her.
Champions & Followers
It’s not often that you’ll find a deck where Elise isn’t number one or number two on the marquee, but she’s relegated to the role of bit player here so that Corina – along with the spider queen’s Shadow Isle brethren, Commander Ledros – can take the spotlight. The core concept here is pretty simple: since Corina is going to obliterate the top five cards of your deck when you cast her, and deal damage to all enemies based on the number of spells that get obliterated that way, you want to fill your deck up with as many spells as you can, in order to get maximum value from her ability. Among those spells, you’re also going to want a whole suite of removal, so that you can keep up in the early game without getting aggro’d down by decks like Elusives and Bannerman.
Commander Ledros is your premier win-con against other control decks, with his ability to slice the HP of your opponent’s Nexus in half being nearly impossible to prevent, and the fact that he’ll just pop right back to your hand if he gets removed from the board. That means you can windmill him back down onto the table again next turn, and by that point, you shouldn’t be too far off from being able to burn away your opponent’s remaining life total with some of the spells you have in hand, or even just a Corina.
Even with the importance placed on spells, the deck does typically run a few extra units, beyond the Corina/Ledros core. As mentioned earlier, Elise is a sensible Champion to run in this build, with her ability to help defend against early-game aggression from opponents. There’s also a spider sub-theme to the deck, as you may have noticed, with three copies of Frenzied Skitterer making the cut in the list that we’re using here. It is possible, on rare occasions, that you’ll be able to just beat down your opponent with an army of spiders, but Skitterer is really in here because it can help soften the damage that might otherwise be done by an opponent’s board swinging in, reducing the attack power of each enemy unit by one, for a turn. Plus, it provides a handy body for blocking, and that’s also appreciated.
As for your spells, you have a whole host of options to choose from, especially in Shadow Isles and P&Z. The early-game removal here is key, which is why you see Mystic Shot, Vile Feast, Get Excited!, and the always-flexible Thermogenic Beam. These are some of the most efficient, low-cost removal spells in the game, and they’re typically what you want to be drawing into for the first few turns, so that you’ll hopefully have an answer for whatever units your opponent tries to stick to the board.
As the game progresses, you’ll want to pick up some of the heavier removal spells that we have at our disposal. Grasp of the Undying not only can remove a threat, but it’ll give us some valuable lifegain as well. Vengeance isn’t fancy, but it’s a clean kill on any unit in the game, to help get rid of any bigger units you might encounter, especially those pesky Garens. Then, of course, there are the board clears. Withering Wail is great against any aggro deck, and, like Grasp, gives us more life so that we have more time to close the game out. And if you thought that Vengeance was a great deal for killing a single unit, for the low cost of two extra mana, how would you like to kill all of your opponent’s units? At that price, how could you say no?!
If you want the long and short of it, this deck might not be the easiest to pilot at first, either, but it is a fun take on control that’s different from some of the other decks that you may have already given a spin. If you are a player who likes to slow things down and keep your opponent at your mercy, I’d wholly recommend giving this deck a try! If all else fails, at least play it until you get the sweet satisfaction of casting a Corina, and watching your opponent Poro-emote in despair as their board of beefy, midrange threats suddenly disappears.