Rek’Sai Pyke is my choice for today’s Deck of the Day! The Lurkers have made a comeback early this season after its favored matchups gained popularity on the ladder after the recent balance update. The list provided in this article is by Zult – the first player to reach Masters in NA this season!
The archetype has been around since the Rise of the Underworlds expansion, but never really got to the place where it would be unanimously considered top-tier. Well, that’s until Patch 2.18 came out – now players are arguing whether or not this old Lurk archetype might actually be the new Tier 1 meta deck!
Lurkers didn’t really receive any buffs or nerfs to their cards in patch 2.18, but the meta shifting to matchups that favor Lurk – especially the Dragons matchup! – elevated the deck up in the competitive ladder environment.
Rek’Sai Pyke relies on early units like Sharkling, Xer’sai Hatchling, and Aspiring Chronomancer to activate Lurk early on in the game. The main objective isn’t really to push early damage, but to start working on activating Lurk which will buff up the power of all your Lurkers
Predict cards like Aspiring Chronomancer and Xer’sai Caller are crucial for the deck’s consistency. You’re usually looking to Predict on your attacking turn and then look for Rek’Sai or Pyke to place on the top of the deck.
Lurking with Pyke on top of your deck will allow you to transform it to
Lurking with Rek’Sai on the top of your deck will grant your Lurkers everywhere +1 | 0 – it’ll massively speed up the Power gains on your Lurkers, making it easier for Rek’Sai to level up, or allowing your Xerxa’Reth, The Undertitan activate its ability to gain Overwhelm and Spellshield.
Snapjaw Swarm acts as a Lurk trigger on a defensive turn when you don’t have the attack token. It can also be played alongside a Predict card or Call the Pack to ensure a Lurker is on the top of your deck.
Call the Pack comes in useful if you have a Rek’Sai or Pyke in hand, it allows you to place them on top of your deck before you attack with your units.
Your big Lurkers Xerxa’Reth, The Undertitan, and Xer’sai Dunebreaker are able to push in a lot of damage with the Overwhelm keyword. If you manage to level up Rek’Sai she’ll gain the Overwhelm keyword as well.
A leveled-up Pyke can threaten to clear the whole board. If the damage from your Death from Below levels up your Pyke, it will result in the summoned Pyke’s ability triggering and will begin chain-removing units off the board one by one.
An important interaction is the Bone Skewer played on Pyke. If Pyke is already leveled or about to level up upon the Strike, his ability will trigger as well – and after that he will return to the top of the deck.
However, as you’ve noticed, Zult’s list doesn’t run Bone Skewer main deck – he focuses on a more unit-centered plan where you have access to Bone Skewer only as a Pyke’s champion spell. Even so, a main deck Bone Skewer is still a solid choice to add if you prefer running an additional interaction card.
If you’ve set up a couple of Lurkers on board, Jaull-fish on turn 8 can be a game swinger that’ll turn the tides to your favor.
Lurk in the current meta is a great choice to pick up for the ladder. Although it struggles against aggressive burn decks that close out the game before you’re able to set up Lurk’s win condition, the deck performs well into some of the popular decks currently being played.
Shyvana Aurelion Sol is one of the top meta decks at the moment, and Lurk has a good matchup into it! It also is favored against Veigar Senna, Lee Sin, and Shellfolk decks that are popular choices on ladder and tournaments.
What’s also interesting is that Rek’Sai Pyke also beats decks that are trying to counter Shyvana Aurelion Sol, like Ashe LeBlanc and Lissandra Taliyah Turbo Thralls.
Overall it has a good matchup table, and if the meta remains the same as it is right now, Rek’Sai Pyke will probably remain a top-tier deck for this season.