Originally written by Asher, fully updated by Agigas for ‘Between Worlds’ Ranked Season.
Draven Sion employs a fast midrange strategy where we look to apply early pressure and use Sion as a finisher on turn 7 or 8.
Most of our cards benefit from Discard and help level Sion in due time – on top of their inherent benefits. The infamous Zaunite Urchin + Sump Dredger + Rummage package works extremely well here with units such as Draven, Boom Baboon, Fallen Rider, and Lost Soul.
Our early/mid-game objective is to field as potent and wide a board as possible to prepare for Sion. It is important to note that this deck has incredible staying power thanks to its ability to recycle low-value cards like Draven’s Spinning Axes or Fallen Rider. Lost Soul stands out in his regard especially – he is effectively an infinite (albeit slow) value machine.
Once we arrive to turn 7, Sion will generally already be leveled. At that point, you should be also ahead on board and Sion will be nothing but the nail in the coffin. Your opponent will be presented with a lose-lose scenario: either deal with Sion and lose to the rest of your board or deal with your board and allow Sion to slam in for massive damage.
To finish games, the deck also packs numerous burn spells in Mystic Shot and Get Excited – these are very versatile tools and will help deal with the opponent’s key units or cross the finish line.
Tech and Options
- Noxian Fervor can replace Ravenous Flock if you opt for a version without Arachnoid Sentry. It also can be used to kill off your own Sion for a Rally proc, all the while giving even more burn reach.
- Draven’s Biggest Fan helps finding Draven in time, a core champion for your early gameplan. However, it doesn’t provide much to your deck when you already have Draven or draw his biggest fan in the late game.
- Reborn Grenadier is very synergistic with your discard effects, and can be summoned at Burst speed with Draven’s Spinning Axe, Rummage, or Poro Cannon. You can summon him either to push more damage, or to block and trade with an opponent’s unit. This card however doesn’t provide much value by itself and scales pretty bad into the late game.
- Master the art of Discard. There is a balance to be struck between your Discard enablers (ex. Grave Physician) and your discard payoffs (ex. Lost Soul). You must assess how many you have of each at the start of the game and also understand how many you are likely to draw.
- Look to push damage. Draven Sion can create a ton of pressure, and an opponent with a low amount of Nexus health against you is a dead opponent. With Sion and
Captain Farron’s Overwhelm keyword and our burn spells we have a massive burn reach. So look to create a powerful early board, use Boom Baboon‘s Flame Chompers do drag out the opponent’s best blocker, and create pressure and damage.
- Lookout for Sion’s level-up. Some versions level Sion easier than others. With the version presented in this guide it can regularly happen that you will be summoning a Sion who is still level 1.
- Sion’s level-up condition looks at the summoned and discarded units’ attack values. If your Sion is unleveled, look to play or discard high-attack units – discarding Farron to level up Sion and kill the opponent is a more common play than you would expect.
- Level 1 Sion’s attack gets higher for each card you’ve discarded, and his own attack counts toward his level-up condition when summoned. Therefore, consider discarding some cards before playing Sion if you’re missing a few attack points to level him up.
Survival Skills takes effect before the spell used to discard it resolves – even if that spell is burst speed! Don’t try to use Draven‘s Spinning Axe to discard Survival Skill in hopes that the attack boost it provides will change its target!
- Killing your own Sion is a viable and common line. Most of the time, the opponent will avoid killing your Sion so you don’t get the opportunity to Rally. With Ravenous Flock – combined with Mystic Shot if Sion still is undamaged, you can kill your own Sion to trigger the Rally after your first attack.
General Mulligan Tips:
- Zaunite Urchin, Boom Baboon, and Draven are all great keep to build a strong early board and leverage synergies.
- Keep Fallen Rider or Lost Soul if you already have discard effects. Keep Poro Cannon, Grave Physician, or Sump Dredger if you have discard payoffs. Ideally, you want your starting hand to have a nice balance of early discard effects and discard payoffs.
- Keep Sion only if you already have a good hand and are in a grindy matchup that can remove your Sion (ex: Minimorph).
- Survivall Skills is a very strong card to help block an attacking Pyke, or simply keep a unit alive. They don’t have anything to kill your unit through it, and against their high attack units, a 1-health unit is often just as good as a full health one.
- Pyke is their key champion and can help them turn the tide in the game if they stack up his attack quickly. Bone Skewer and Pyke’s Bone Skewer is their best and only tool to prevent Pyke from dying, look to use your Get Excited! when they tap out or as an answer to it.
- If you get them low enough in the midgame, there is nothing they can do about Sion. They have no stuns, no Minimorph. Moreover, because most of their units have a very high attack, it’s hard for them to block Sion without killing and leveling him up, giving you the Rally to finish the game right away.
- Look to keep Arachnoid Sentry for Rek’Sai. A stun on her will be an absolute disaster for them. You can also play Arachnoid Sentry to remove a blocker for the turn when you look to finish them off, or to prevent a Lurk trigger if they only have 1 attacker for the turn.
- The Bandle Tree archetype defends itself with the Bandle City board swarm, backed up with removals. Then, it wins the game thanks to The Bandle Tree win condition, which they can activate quite fast thanks to double-region units and created followers.
- This archetype is particularly soft to Fearsome attackers – almost all their units have less than 3 attack. In this matchup, the change to Twinblade Revenant was actually a buff. With Fallen Rider and Twinblade Revenant, you can often push a lot of Nexus damage, making it that much easier to finish them with Burn spells.
- They have no heal, no counter-spells. If you get them in your burn reach, you should be able to close the game. Their health total is crucial, avoid using burn spells on their units unless it allows you to push more damage through board pressure.
- They can answer Sion quite cleanly with Minimorph. However, it would cost them some tempo because you still get a 3/3 unit, so if you are ahead on board Sion will still help you to push more damage. A second Sion will often close the game if you didn’t manage to already kill them with Fearsomes, board pressure and burn spells.
- Because Captain Farron comes down with the Overwhelm keyword and a ton of burn reach, he will often be able to close the game. However, you should not keep him in your starting hand, first because you want to find your early Fearsome units, but also because Aloof Travelers would discard it – you want to topdeck Farron later.
- Zed Poppy is an aggressive archetype looking to create a high board pressure with Zed, Poppy, and Elusive units, and combine those with Relentless Pursuit and Golden Aegis.
- There are 2 ways of winning this matchups:
- You can race them with your early units. Because you have a lot of burn spells, they can’t afford to lose too much Nexus health. If you can force them to block your attackers with their key aggressive units, it will make the game much easier.
- You can adopt a more defensive stand and finish them with Sion. They have no counter play to Sion, and it should then be easy to finish them with burn reach if Sion doesn’t outright kill them.
- The difference between those 2 win conditions is mainly how you will use your burn spells. If you’re looking to pressure them early and force them to block, you want to keep your burn spells in hand to threaten to kill them if they go too low on Nexus health. On the opposite when you play defensively, look to use your removal to get rid of their key units.
- Choosing which route to go for will often come natural and will depend mostly on your draw. If you have a great early hand, look to apply pressure, and if it isn’t enough then you will switch for the defensive route.
- Be careful when using removals during their attack phase – they have a lot of combat tricks, and a Sharpsight could counter your removal all the while making them push more damage.
- Survival Skills and Arachnoid Sentry are great counters to Zed.
- Poro Cannon is a great defensive tools to save you a lot of Nexus health against their Elusive units. Look to block high-attack units with them and/or get a good trade with Greenglade Duo or Shadow Assassin.
- Deciding whether you should open-attack or develop is decisive. In general developping is strong against Elusive units because they don’t want to block, but Brightsteel Protector and Golden Aegis can be punishing.
- Boom Baboon’s Flame Chompers can help you play around those barriers by challenging the barrier unit.
- Neither of you has healing or counter spells, and you both have a lot of burn spells, therefore your Nexus health is very precious.
- If neither of you falls behind early on, you should end the mid game relatively healthy – you both can easily block each other’s Fearsome units and remove Draven. Then, the game will revolve around the “Sion dance”.
- When both players have Sion on board, attacking with your Sion will allow the opponent to Rally by blocking with their own Sion. Therefore, you ideally want your attack to kill the opponent, or to be able to survive their following attack.
- This Sion dance can get quite complex depending on the tools you have in hand and your amount of Nexus health, and is by far the most tricky part of the matchup.
- On the other end, if you’re the one getting attacked by a Sion, consider not blocking their Sion with your own Sion if you can’t win on your Rally – else the opponent will attack again, and with 2 attacks over one turn they’ll likely kill you.
- Boom Baboon‘s Flame Chompers or Arachnoid Sentry can break the Sion dance by challenging or stunning the opponent’s Sion, allowing you to go through with your own Sion without killing the opponent’s Sion. These are even better when used on Sion Returned to prevent the Ephemeral hit.
- Gangplank Sejuani looks to trigger consistently Plunder effects thanks to board pressure and direct Nexus damage, and level up Gangplank and Sejuani very quickly. Their champion will be very hard to beat once leveled, so look to deny them the ability to trigger Plunder as much as possible.
- Avoid having two 1-health units on board and nothing else – it would guarantee them the perfect Make it Rain.
- Don’t go too low on Nexus health, else they could combine Powder Kegs with Warning Shots to finish you without even giving you the chance to answer.
- They have no healing or counter spells – if you get them in your burn range and aren’t in theirs, you should have no problem finishing the game.
- Because of Sejuani, Sion tends to underperform in this matchup. However, you won’t always have other choices than play Sion and hope. If they don’t have Sejuani however, there are no other counters to Sion in their deck, so you should be able to push enough damage to get them in your burn reach.
- Keep track of your cards stolen with their Nab cards – Yordle Grifter and Black Market Merchant. These can give them access to answers and threats you would not expect, such a Arachnoid Sentry against your Sion or burn spells to kill you.
- Darkness is a deck playing Veigar and Senna and a large Darkness-synergies package to generate cheap and powerful Darknesses. You are extremely unlikely to out-grind them, so you will play the role of the aggressor and look to get them in your burn reach and kill them before they can stabilise the board and heal.
- Darkness has the tools to deal with Sion via Minimorph and Stress Defense, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Throughout the game they can meet our offense and only slightly follow behind in terms of value and tempo. Don’t count on Sion to bail you out, not on his own merit.
- Ravenous Flock with Arachnoid Sentry is a nice combo to get rid of Veigar or Senna.
Survival Skillsto block and kill their Senna.
Draven Sion ruled the last season, and, despite a nerf to Draven and a change to Twinblade Revenant, it is still a very solid Tier 1 deck.
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