Deck of the Day: Taliyah Akshan
When Akshan first came out, he immediately stood out as a very flexible champion that would end up fitting in a lot of different decks.
At first, he mostly saw play paired with Ionia in combo decks with either Lee Sin or Sivir. Those archetypes are currently very strong, with huge blowout potential and a lot of protection.
I wanted to take a different approach of having a bit more strong and consistent mid-game, while also having a similarly strong end-game punch. I landed on the pairing of Taliyah and Akshan.
After the most recent Taliyah buffs, she is finally feeling like a solid champion but the cards that I wanted to bring in the most were Chip, Ground Slam, and Stonebreaker. They are three of my favorite cards from my time playing Taliyah and Malphite and they have some serious new synergy with Akshan and his support tools.
So let’s dive in and talk about the gameplan as we pair some of the unique landmark-focused cards of Targon with Akshan!
This Akshan deck is not all-in on the combo as some others tend to play. We actually care a lot about all of our units, in order to have an incredibly strong early and mid-game.
Since we have early access to Vulnerable, we can trade very efficiently. Chip is an almost guaranteed 3/3 on turn 2 (we have Akshan, Rock Hopper, and 6 landmarks below 2 cost), and Akshan has Quick Attack, which is a very neat combo with Vulnerable.
We also have some solid direct removal in Ground Slam and Stonebreaker, which is rare to have for Targon+Shurima region pairing. These really help us solidify our midrange advantage.
Our main win condition is using The Absolver after leveling up one of our champions for a huge damage swing.
Speaking of our champions, they are both extremely important for this deck and have insane synergy with each other and the rest of the list. Both can level while in your deck (if you get a Warlord’s Palace out for Akshan by other means) and they also both level relatively easily. Even though we don’t have a ton of advance or self target spells for Akshan’s level condition, he still transforms consistently, and Taliyah levels pretty much every game as well.
Our big payoff for this deck is twofold. Firstly, I mentioned using The Absolver for huge damage. This can be massive on Taliyah so she can get Overwhelm, which allows her to kill her defender most of the time with her stone-throwing ability, then smash through to the Nexus.
Our other biggest payoff is duplicating Akshan’s landmarks for crazy powerful effects. If you duplicate the Warlord’s Palace, you can at Focus speed do quite a few things. Most of the time you simply Predict and draw a card twice, which is an insane card advantage. Other times you will want to summon the 5/2 Sandstone Chargers for a big attack.
But the craziest thing to pull off is duplicating the Sentinel’s Hoard, and getting two really powerful effects. Typically I find myself drawing 2 cards, and then also giving my champions everywhere +2/+2 and Spellshield.
We have a very consistent mulligan strategy that can apply to pretty much every matchup. Essentially, we always keep Ancient Preparations, Chip, and Akshan. Other great cards to keep as well are Rock Hopper, Merciless Hunter, and the Vekauran Vagabond.
- Verdict: 8 out of 10
This is honestly one of the most fun and competitive decks I have made in the last several months.
I know on the surface it may look a bit wonky, but I promise the play patterns and synergies here are nothing to laugh at. Please give it a shot!