A new take on the old Ezreal Draven archetype, Caitlyn Draven offers a more tempo, midgame-oriented gameplan, that is capable of efficiently slowing down and disrupting your opponent.
While Caitlyn doesn’t have the same game-ending potential Ezreal has once he is leveled up, she is a much better on-curve play. With Draven in the mix, the deck now has a total of six Quick Attack 3/3 units it can play on turn 3! Caitlyn’s synergy in the Tri-beam Improbulator is another reason why it was so easy slotting her in this deck.
This archetype is yet to truly have its shining moment in the meta, but we can see the deck evolving and improving week-to-week. Most notably, recently the players started to run Lost Soul replacing Captain Farron, further enabling Discard effects like Get Excited!
Just like with the Draven Ezreal build, we are playing an up-tempo deck, looking to dominate the opponent’s board while building our own, eventually creating an advantage that translates to Nexus damage.
What makes this kind of deck relevant in almost any metagame is its flexibility, being able to defend against more aggressive decks, but also to switch gears and pressure the slower ones.
Currently, the deck is used as a defensive option more often, efficiently slowing down archetypes like Bandle Tree or Nami decks thanks to the Noxus package of Ravenous Flock and Scorched Earth.
Against those opponents, the lack of healing can definitely be a problem, so we should focus on grinding our opponent out of resources early so as to not run into precarious situations later on because our health would be a concern.
These are the matchups where Caitlyn definitely makes her presence felt, the Flashbomb Traps being key in setting up easier clears and removing 1-health units – the ones we wouldn’t want to invest resources into dealing with otherwise.
As for slower matchups, the deck benefited a lot from the arrival of Beyond the Bandlewood, including various new cards like the Aloof Travelers, Lost Soul, or the Station Archivist.
All these new tools are helping the deck with finding long-term value while also allowing pressure-oriented gameplay. These cards will be key in out-tempoing defensive matchups but will also serve as insurance in faster matchups.
For now, Caitlyn Draven’s power is a bit restricted due to the popularity of the Draven Sion Discard archetype. This negative effect can be tracked along two axes – first, an unfavorable matchup against Discard affects its ladder play rate, and second, Discard is seen as the best Noxus Piltover pairing, which affects Caitlyn Draven’s appearance rate in tournament lineups.
And yet, for me, there’s no doubt, that it is still one of the top 5 decks in this metagame, whether we talk about an Ezreal or Caitlyn version. It is still a bit below the 50% win rate overall, but the deck is climbing up the ranks slowly as Discard is reducing in popularity.
Caitlyn looks to be the best pairing for Draven so far, her assistance in the high-tempo matchups offers more baseline value than a purely late-game focused Ezreal, who is only better in control matchups.
But the simple fact that this deck can switch its champions to adapt to the metagame is a testimony to its relevance in the current environment.