Good evening card gamers. IzzetTinkerer here and I have the tools a warlord needs to conquer the meta.
Bandle City has brought a great number of go-wide decks, both with and without The Bandle Tree. If we’re looking at other staples of the environment – Zoe Nami can go either wide or tall with Elusives, and Draven Sion is another deck that relies on a heavy board presence alongside Sion.
I believe I have found a deck that is poised to work perfectly against these strategies. Swain Freljord control was always very strong since Lissandra and Blighted Ravine came out and it has a lot of excellent anti-meta tools for the current state of the game.
My take on the deck is heavily inspired by Runeterra caster and deckbuilder ImpetuousPanda. You can find his original version on his Twitter right here. It’s a very strong version that I initially started with, but it would be remiss of me not to tinker.
Swain Sejuani is a classic control deck.
The Freljord options for this type of playstyle have always been incredibly strong. The current selection of Blighted Ravine, Ice Shard, and Avalanche provides plenty of board wipes against the go-wide decks in the meta. There is nothing more satisfying than letting your Bandle opponent build up, then playing Avalanche, clearing the rest of their board, and levelling up your Swain.
This region combination provides a lot of toolbox choices. Three Sisters has been a card I’ve played at least one copy of in every Freljord deck, simply because of its versatility. All three modes have been incredibly helpful while testing this deck as well.
Additionally, you have access to the strongest pieces of single target removal in Legends of Runeterra right now: Scorched Earth and Ravenous Flock. The board-damaging effects and Arachnoid Sentry consistently enable Flock and Scorched Earth, and the latter pulls double duty, taking out Bandle Trees and Hexcore Foundries.
Avarosan Sentry is a chump-blocker that keeps you up on card advantage, and it is always a generally-good 2-drop. I find it hard to imagine a Swain deck without The Leviathan, which also synergizes here with Sejuani.
Speaking of whom, I believe Sejuani is a stronger support champion in this deck than Lissandra, featured in some old versions of Freljord Noxus control.
The swarm strategies in today’s meta really struggle when Sejuani consistently freezes their board with enablers like The Leviathan or Death’s Hand. She’s harder to level up in this deck than in the Bilgewater or PnZ Sejuani decks, but there’s enough tech to level her up consistently nevertheless.
Panda’s version varies from mine in a few ways. He was playing main-deck Flash Freeze, which helps against Draven Sion. I can see it being included to replace some Troll Chants or going down to one copy of Three Sisters. Panda is also playing Babbling Bjerg as a way to draw either Sejuani or The Leviathan. Personally, I’ve chosen to run Whispered Words, simply because it feels like a more versatile refill, as opposed to Bjerg who’s range is very narrow as a tutor.
During the mulligan phase, as with any control deck, you should tailor your hand to the matchup. Swain is usually worth keeping in most matchups, as are your single-target spells. Against a slower deck, like Darkness, you can send your sweepers away.
Control decks are notoriously difficult to pilot but very rewarding to play and win with. This shell of Freljord Noxus control is well-positioned in the current metagame as it looks to capitalise on the aggressive, swarm decks of the day.
There are many ways to build this deck, as we’ve seen in the changes I’ve made to Panda’s original list. I’ve found my own takes to be very well suited to my own style, but your build is entirely up to you.