Hey, it’s Mezume here! In this article, I will bring you the guide for one of the wildest decks out there that was born in Patch 3.0 – ARAM Spiders. It’s got everything – board swarm, control tools, and an incredibly fun landmark in The Howling Abyss.
ARAM Spiders is a midrange deck that is sometimes disguised as control, focused on abusing the power of the Burst speed Iceborn Legacy. It does so with the use of multiple Spiderling-generating cards that also double up as control tools. Its secondary win condition, The Howling Abyss, is how those control and stalling tools are turned into a victory.
In the early game, the strategy is completely dependent on your opponent. If you have the time to only focus on your own gameplan, it is ideal to leave enough mana up to have the capability to use Iceborn Legacy as early as possible – preferably on a Spiderling created by one of the early plays. That said, often you will be facing more aggressive matchups, in which you want to try and slow the game down with cards like Hapless Aristocrat, Vile Feast, or – in some cases – The Box.
Being a midrange deck, that midgame is where we enjoy our most fun activities. Iceborn Legacy will come into play at this time, allowing us to start pumping out 3/3 or even 5/5 Spiders out of cheap cards.
This is also where you can play Brood Awakening, an extremely versatile card. If you’ve been too pressured to use Iceborn Legacy, this can be a great stalling tool; while if you did buff your Spiderlings, it’s 9/9 in stats for a mere 6 mana. Trundle is another card you can drop here, as his renewed 4/6 statline is capable of stopping some attacks or simply trading up.
In the late game, your Spiderlings will always remain relevant, as you can make them even bigger using multiple copies of Iceborn Legacy. This is also where your alternative win condition – The Howling Abyss – takes off. If you managed to survive this long, few decks can outlast you. For these stages of the game, you are also equipped with powerful removals, such as Vengeance, The Ruination, as well as combinations of other cards like Withering Mist and
So how do you actually win the game? In a myriad of ways! A wide board of Spiderlings can lead you to victory just as much as leveled champions coming off of The Howling Abyss. Against aggressive decks, you might simply outlast them and run them out of resources with your removal.
Techs and Options
- Withering Wail
One of the top anti-aggro cards that can be teched in if you want to be even more resilient against aggro decks. That said, it requires a very specific meta to want to include multiple copies of it.
- Commander Ledros + Atrocity
The ultimate finisher can be played instead of playing The Howling Abyss. Ledros always comes coupled with Atrocity, however, so you need to find a few more slots inside your deck. Atrocity can also be used on a big Spider for a surprise lethal in a deck that otherwise has no way to deal direct Nexus damage outside of the delayed one through
The Blighted Ravine.
- Plan your Iceborn Legacy turns.
One of your main conditions is to be able to buff your units with Iceborn Legacy. Make sure that you have planned ahead enough to ensure you have at least one Spiderling and enough mana to play the card. This means keeping in mind your opponent’s ways to kill Elise or prevent your Vile Feast from happening.
- Figure out your win condition for the matchup.
The way you will play the game will be vastly different depending on what opponent you’re facing. Sometimes you will play for a wide board with Iceborn Legacy, in other games Iceborn Legacy won’t be important at all.
- Trundle is simply a strong unit.
You do not have to play around Trundle and his level-up at all at most times. It can happen naturally, but you can often just slam him on the board and have him take some trades, as opposed to thinking about keeping him alive until you can play the pillar.
- Plan your removal ahead.
Blighted Ravine and The Ruination are great cards, but they tend to be slightly counterproductive in this deck – after all, you want to have a bunch of big spiders on the board. Make sure you plan around playing them so that you don’t end up hurting yourself just as much as your opponent.
General mulligan tips:
- Iceborn Legacy is one of the best cards in your deck – but you have to be wary when you keep it in mulligan. Only do so if you already have some sort of an early play that creates a Spiderling.
- The units in your deck are all good keeps, but not all at the same time. Keeping at least 1 or 2 in your mulligan should be enough to get you through the early game.
- Your dream is to get some early Spiderling cards, alongside Iceborn Legacy. Brood Awakening can be a great keep in slower matchups, especially if your hand is already looking good.
- Spider Aggro is a fairly one-dimensional deck that is looking to rush you down early. Avoid taking extra damage to your Nexus whenever possible.
- Fearsome units can be your demise – that should be the target for your Vile Feast, as well as other removal.
- Frenzied Skitterer could help them get through even a board of buffed Spiderlings – try not to develop and keep mana up if you expect them to drop it. The Box is a great counter to Skitterer turns.
- Dropping Blighted Ravine can force them to halt development on your offensive turns; in turn making them have to risk developing into The Box the turn after.
- Your win condition is to outlast them and finish them off with buffed Spiderlings.
- Unlike most FRSI versions, we are fairly low on AoE removal spells. Make sure your The Box is used to its full potential – either against an early Ahri, or a Kinkou Wayfinder turn.
- Try to keep up 2 mana at all times when your opponent might play Homecoming – that way you can force them to use it on a less desirable target than Dancing Droplet or Shadow Assassin.
- Levelling Elise can be a great win condition, as the Challenger and Fearsome keywords can either mean a full board wipe, or simply lethal damage.
- While you lack Elusive blockers, you have access to one of the strongest removal against Kennen Ahri – The Blighted Ravine. Using it on offensive turns will make them have to commit into The Box the following turn and simply buy you more time to progress own gameplan.
- They don’t have many ways to deal with a board of large Spiderlings, so if you stall the game enough to build one, the game is likely to be over quite fast.
- Just like in the FtR matchup, The Box could completely shut you down – watch out how you play your Brood Awakening!
- Kill Veigar on sight to prevent the opponent from buffing Darkness. Sadly, you do not have many clean ways of doing so – sometimes a Vengeance will have to do.
Howling Abysscan be a great card in this matchup, but beware of playing it against a full mana opponent. If they can drop an unanswered Veigar because you committed all your mana, the game will be an uphill battle.
- While they have quite a bit of removal, you should be able to eventually pump out enough threats to overwhelm them – just make sure to do it faster than their Darkness grows!
- The mirror is a race to play as many Iceborn Legacies as possible, as fast as possible. If one side cannot find theirs, it is likely game over.
- Watch out not to trigger Crawling Sensation if that might let them level Elise – she can make or break this matchup, especially in the early stages of the game.
- Even if you’ve lost the Iceborn Legacy race, don’t panic. You will be able to chump block a lot, as long as you make sure you kill off Elise. So don’t let her level up!
- On turn 3, make sure to consider offering your opponent a pass. They will either have to delay their Catalyst of Aeons or give you a free turn by spending 5 of their mana on it.
- The Ruination can shut down some of your plays, but you can always trade up with it – be considerate of how you develop in the later stages of the game.
- The Box is a complete shutdown for Brood Awakening. Consider only playing it when you have a clear read that they are not holding it or if you can buff your spiders with another Iceborn Legacy.
- Feel the Rush can be scary, but you can deal with it in a myriad of ways! First of all, you can double Vengeance or simply use Ruination – but it’s also such a big mana commitment on their side, that you can progress your own gameplan, while holding Vengeance to counter the inevitable Atrocity.
- You want to make sure that they aren’t able to build a big board of beefy units through your removal spells, while pressuring them with your own Spiderlings. They will give you some time to progress your own gameplan, as theirs only ramps up in the midgame.
- Keep in mind the extra buffs from Fated keyword – your damage-based removal is likely to fail if they have any mana up.
- If they have the mana for Bastion, make sure you can pop the Spellshield after committing Vengeance. Vengeance itself is one of your strongest tools, alongside
Ruination, to deal with the large threats on their side.
- Do not overcommit mana into a potential Rally play.
- Try to remove as many
Daring Porosas possible through Vile Feast as you can.
- The Box is the only thing stopping your opponent from developing a ton of buffed Daring Poros – make sure to play with it well.
- Your best bet to win is to get your own Spiderlings buffed as fast as possible. If they need to use their Daring Poros to block, you might just be on the right track!
- Force them into awkward weaker attacks by holding up
Ruinationmana whenever possible – this will give you some extra time to set up your own.
There are a lot of interesting decks in the current meta, but Aram Spiders might be the most bizarre out of them – with its unique gameplay patterns as well as the multiple different win conditions.
Personally, I had a small break from the game and coming back and trying this list out was a lot of fun, so I cannot recommend this deck enough – it is both powerful as well as tons of fun to play!