Bandle City started off as a control region with Darkness, quickly evolved into a midrange juggernaut with The Bandle Tree, and now, it has ventured into the burn territory, as the last days of EU Masters qualifications saw the rise of Poppy Ziggs.
The deck got popular very fast as it was the choice that offered very fast games but also a good counter to the super popular Nami decks.
While I’m not sure which player originated the deck, it definitely caught on quick and many competitors looking to grind towards the finish line turned to this fairly exotic pairing of champions.
What unites Poppy and Ziggs is that they do contribute a lot of damage. Ziggs will always deal at least 1 damage to the Nexus with its passive ability, and Poppy can turn a board of several small units into an unstoppable force.
Obviously built to play fast and get a lot of games done in a short amount of time, this deck features the classic Noxus Burn package of Decimate, Imperial Demolitionist and Noxian Fervor. The innovation comes from Bandle City, which provides a lot of direct damage tools across the Impact units, Lecturing Yordle, and the Inventive Chemist.
Burn is a very simple gameplan, but this deck has some fine nuances to it depending on how well the early game goes.
If our early curve of Legion Rearguard,
If our opponent has matched our early development, the plan slightly alters. For most aggressive, burn-oriented decks, this unfavorable early scenario usually means a loss. You expect running out of steam and falling short of closing out the game before the opponent turns a corner.
However, this is where the Bandle region shines in our deck, as Bandle City Mayor, Lecturing Yordle, Conchologist and Pokey Stick will help you stay in the game longer and keep pressuring the opponent. That, in turn, allows you more time to build up the board for a potential Poppy swing or simply to dig deeper into your deck to find direct damage.
The viability of the slower approach is what really separates Poppy Ziggs from other burn decks like Pirates. We obviously aren’t intentionally looking to slow things down, but it’s always a good thing to know we have some kind of versatility.
As proved by the last days of the EU Masters qualification, Poppy Ziggs has been an extremely convincing pick in order to grind a massive amount of LP in a short amount of time.
It shows an impressive 56% win rate over 2700 games, which is a sign that the deck can go the distance in this meta. However, we will have to see if the deck can keep it up now that more players expect it when queuing on the ladder.
At worst, the deck will always represent an option for tournaments if one would like to explore a Burn lineup, and it helps that neither Poppy or Ziggs are used in other burn-oriented archetypes.