Deck of the Day: Gangplank Bandle
Hey, Mezume here! This time I have something very special for the Deck of the Day series, as this is a completely new archetype created by players in my testing/prepping group, Broken Ball and SparklingIceTea.
The idea of using Gangplank in a deck with a bunch of damage-dealing cards is nothing new. To my surprise, however, this concept has not been too deeply explored for Bandle City – a region that has access to a plethora of pings that can help Gangplank level very fast.
This list has gone through some iterations and there are a bunch of different possible card inclusions, but the one I featured above is what we have been playing most recently, with quite some success.
This is an aggressive deck and, at first glance, it might look like you want to play it out as fast as possible.
While it is true to an extent, there is a lot of finesse to how this deck actually plays. The win condition is dealing damage to the enemy Nexus – slowly and over multiple turns. The champions in this deck are quite crucial to fulfilling its gameplan.
With draw cards such as Hidden Pathways and Pokey Stick, Twisted Fate does have a chance to level up, but even just posing the threat of it means the opponent has to consider spending precious mana to remove him – giving us more time to slowly advance our main win condition.
TF can draw you an extra card, stall a Sion or Sparklefly with Gold Card, or clear a full board of small units with Red Card.
Gangplank, on the other hand, is the reason this deck exists. It is a fantastic finisher that usually levels around turn 6-7 and is capable of finishing the game thanks to his powerful ability.
The units in the deck mostly share one similar characteristic – they contribute damage. Impact is one of the ways that we are able to consistently advance our Gangplank’s level-up, but also get the enemy Nexus closer to 0.
Stone Stackers are very solid, and Tenor of Terror can be absolutely insane as it provides two bodies with Impact, which amounts to at least two points of damage.
Some cards in the deck are reminiscent of GP Sejuani Plunder – Crackshot Corsair and Make It Rain in particular – but Bandle City also adds its own flavor to the deck. Group Shot and Pokey Stick are obvious additions, as they work well in nearly every Bandle deck, but there is more.
Inventive Chemist might seem like just a mediocre inclusion until you realize that if you play it on your attacking turn, you’re guaranteed to damage the opposing Nexus with the Scrappy Bomb on the next, defensive turn. It is perfect for advancing Gangplank’s level-up condition, thus removing the need for Warning Shots or other specific narrow cards.
Finally, Lecturing Yordle brings Poison Darts which can remove low-HP blockers, deal extra damage to the enemy Nexus, and, on top of that, it has the potential to deal more direct damage should the opponent draw the Puffcaps.
The main misconception about the deck might be that it is a typical aggro deck – while really, it is more of a ‘Slow Burn’ concept, and it is not as helpless as an aggressive deck would be if you lose control of the board early on. You can wrestle it back with Make It Rain and Twisted Fate and there is a ton of damage and stalling tools in the deck.
As soon as I heard about the idea of Gangplank Bandle City, I was incredibly excited: Impact, Chemist, Lecturing Yordle, it all made so much sense. I watched the deck for a bit and then played it myself and fell in love. It is great fun to play, but it also feels powerful.
Coming down to earth: it does lose to Nami Zoe if they find so much as one of their Sparklefly‘s. Seeing as that is a large part of the meta, it definitely makes the list less attractive than it would be otherwise.
That said, it is winning many other matchups. It currently sports a 63% win rate over 200 games! That may be skewed by the games being played by our playtest group against players who did not know what to expect, it is still reasonable to assume the deck can at least be viable as an option – even if its place is not in Tier 1.
I recommend this deck to everyone who wants to try out something new and different – it takes a bit of time to get used to its playstyle, as many of the decisions have a different best choice than usual aggro decks, but it is definitely worth it!