4 Decks to Counter Iceborn Poros – Patch 3.0

Iceborn Poros is a linear deck that is extremely good at doing only one thing. If it can enforce its buffed Elusive plan - it wins, if not - it loses.

Hey everyone, den here.

The patch is only a few days old – but it looks like we already have a threat to rally against: Iceborn Legacy Poros.

Iceborn Poros is a linear deck that is extremely good at doing its one thing: mount a huge board of buffed Daring Poros to push for lethal. In order to do that efficiently and consistently, it sacrifices all of its flexibility. If it can enforce its Poro plan – it wins, if not – it loses.

As such, the decks we are going to feature here will be great at: 1) either beating that linear plan, or; 2) racing fast enough to ignore it completely and go under it.


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Kennen Ahri created by den • last updated 6 months ago
Tempo
Elusive
  • Why it’s good: Lots of Elusive units to block with – Can race the opponent with Ahri and Fae Bladetwirler.

Ahri Kennen was one of the best decks prior to the patch, and it remains so after. It also relies on Elusive units, which means it is pretty good at blocking all the Daring Poros.

Because of its very low curve, Ahri Kennen is also capable of mounting pressure before the Iceborn Legacy power spike. And while navigating defensive countermeasures can still be tricky, the deck is equipped well enough to eventually stabilize and regain the upper hand.

First of all, we have access to Kennen’s Mark of the Storm, which is a great tool in order to stop Poros from attacking us. If you have a chance, removing them with it before Iceborn Legacy gets cast is a perfect play.

Then, we have the Recall mechanic against a deck that has only 3 Mystic Shots as their interaction. This means we can use our Elusive blockers as phantom blockers and Recall them during combat, which will advance Ahri level-up while also generating value for us.

Lastly, with Ahri and the Fae Bladetwirler, we are can put pressure on our opponent and force them to be defensive. They run some freezes to stop our threats, but usually, they will be compelled to sacrifice a large part of their Elusive board.


  • Why it’s good: Lots of spells to remove Poros – Silence mechanic – Overwhelm to push for lethal.

While Pantheon doesn’t have any Elusive units, the deck can still stand its ground against decks relying on that keyword. Also, Targon is the region that has access to the Silence mechanic, which is quite exceptional at slowing down buffed-up units.

Blinded Mystic is a fine card in the deck on its own, as it helps grow our units through the Fated keyword. The Moonlight Affliction is more of a tech card that works almost like a Harsh Winds when played on 2 buffed-up Daring Poros.

Hush could be used in that role as well – but considering we often have to deal with several Poros at once, it felt like Moonlight Affliction is the better version of the effect.

We have a lot of other spells that come in handy in the matchup. Sharpsight, Single Combat and Cataclysm – all represent a potential removal of a Poro. Considering their deck is fully built around the Poro plan, their non-Poro units can be completely ignored when it comes to selecting targets for spells.

Another take on Pantheon that looks very good against Iceborn Legacy Poros is a Shyvana Pantheon deck shared by GrandpaRoji, who claims to have a 90% win rate in that particular matchup!


  • Why it’s good: High pressure – Pyke – Vulnerable keyword.

Already on the rise at the end of the last patch, Lurk preys on linear decks that can’t interact with the opponent. And that is exactly the essence of the Iceborn Legacy Poros.

Lurk is great at putting a huge amount of pressure on the opponent, but it also has a trick or two up its sleeve when it comes to removal options.

The dream is obviously to level up Pyke. The opponent has access to a Mystic Shot – which is not enough to deal with Pyke unless they stack 2 copies of it. Freeze is the only somewhat reliable answer – which they still have to draw into.

The Vulnerable keyword is powerful against our opponent, and the natural growth of our Lurkers should match the buffs from the Iceborn Legacy and guarantee us good trades.

Overall, since Lurk can’t directly interact with the Elusive keyword, it mostly aims to force the Poros into a defensive stance – which usually is a losing position for them to be in.


  • Why it’s good: Faster win condition – Fearsome keyword – No defensive tools in the Poros deck.

In this section, I’d like to talk not only about Spiders, but about the vast category of archetypes it represents: decks with the intent to hyper-aggressively go after the opposing Nexus.

The Iceborn Legacy Poro deck has a linear plan at the cost of interaction, so if a certain opposing deck can reach its own linear win condition faster, it can consistently beat Poros.

Compared to the first three archetypes on our list, I feel these kinds of decks do slightly worse – we don’t really have any specific countermeasures and just race to the finish line using our simple plan.

Spiders will look to abuse the Fearsome keyword, preventing blocks from Zaunite Urchin, Poro Herder, or Avarosan Sentry for example.

Another deck in this category, Pirate Aggro, can go wide early and then finish with Double Up and Noxian Fervor that the opponent will have no interaction against.

If we are talking about Draven Jinx, its plan is to go wide and use Visions to have a big damage push before switching to direct damage.

So, every burn deck has its unique way to enable maximum damage. Iceborn Poros are fairly easy to play against for these decks – you can play aggressively and almost recklessly – since you know the opponent can’t interact.


Closing Words

The Iceborn Legacy buff has clearly been one of the most impactful changes in the patch. Because of its natural synergy with the Daring Poro, players immediately saw the potential and the deck became incredibly popular in the span of a few hours.

Time is passing, so the players have started to adapt and now there are mixed opinions on the exact power of the deck. For now, the consensus looks to be that the deck is a great counter to slow strategies, but it is not unbeatable, finding its place at the bottom of Tier 1 or in high-Tier 2.

That’s all for today, I wish you all to have fun on the ladder, and may the Poros spare you!

Good game everyone.

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den

Den has been in love with strategy games for as long as he can remember, starting with the Heroes of Might and Magic series as a kid. Card games came around the middle school - Yugioh and then Magic. Hearthstone has been his real breakthrough and he has been a coach, writer, and caster on the French scene for many years now. Although it took him a bit to get into Legends or Runeterra, his EU Seasonal Tournament win was the perfect start to get involved in the community. He now coaches aspiring pro players and writes various articles on the game. Find him on Twitter at @den_CCG!

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