Feel the Rush Deck Guide & Matchups
Hello, Agigas here! I am a Master player since beta with several #4 peaks and tournament wins. I love sharing my knowledge about the game and I have been a regular writer at RuneterraCCG. I write in-depth deck guides, articles for tournament players, and curate our constantly updated Meta Tier List.
This particular guide you’re reading is part of our on-going series of articles. Click on the spoiler box below to learn more:
We intend to publish a total of 10 deck guides for the most popular archetypes of the Cosmic Creation meta that are aimed to help both ladder and tournament players.
The main focus of these guides will be on exploring the featured decks’ matchups. I will be evaluating how decks stand against each other and assign percentages to determine how favorable/unfavorable particular matchups are. Additionally, I will be providing in-depth advice on how to play out those matchups, how to mulligan, and will be laying out the tech options that exist.
While playing on the Ranked ladder, you can use this advice to strengthen your knowledge and boost your confidence piloting against popular meta decks. If you are a tournament player, the matchup tables provided in these articles will help you build optimal line-ups.
After this series is released, we also plan to tie everything together with the comprehensive matchups spreadsheet of Cosmic Creation meta based on the info provided in the articles.
Going forward, I intend to continue writing new guides for other archetypes that were not featured yet and adding them to the series, while also keeping previously published guides updated as much as possible. Over time, the purpose of this series is to include a competitive-oriented guide for every prominent deck in the meta, backed up by in-depth matchup info.
This guide is dedicated to Feel the Rush – a powerful control deck, that uses ramp tools to speed up the arrival of its huge late-game threats.
Freljord/Shadow Isles Control has always been a strong archetype and will probably always remain as such in the foreseeable future. It efficiently leverages a combination of strong removal, life-gain, ramp, and powerful late-game bombs.
In the past, the archetype went through many iterations regarding the way it finishes games (Anivia Control, Ledros OTK, Warmother’s Call). Since the introduction of Feel the Rush, the archetype acquired a solid finisher that is more effective than other options. Because this deck looks to cast high-cost and high-impact slow spells, it shines more when Deny is at a low play-rate.
In the early-to-mid game, this deck can deal with a swarm of small units thanks to its efficient board-clears, Avalanche and Withering Wail. It also plays some cheap units to help stabilize the board. Last but not least, it uses the early turns to play out ramp cards (Wyrding Stones, Catalyst of Aeons) to accelerate its win condition.
It is not the kind of a control deck that wants to slowly out-grind its opponent and gain complete control of the board. It finishes very decisively with its powerful Overwhelm champions, Feel the Rush, and Ledros. Atrocity is another finisher, especially against decks that have a hard time playing around it.
Feel the Rush archetype is mostly divided into 2 main versions of the deck: the Wyrding Stones version (featured in this article), and the Avarosan Trapper version (example).
- After playtesting and stats analysis, I think both versions are really good, and it is hard to say if one is objectively better than the other.
- Wyrding Stones is better against non-aggro archetypes that can’t easily remove Wyrding Stones. Wyrding Stones allow you to accelerate your late-game plan, making your deck feel smoothly.
- Avarosan Trapper is better in more aggressive matchups and against decks that can easily remove the Wyrding Stones. It allows you to go for a more midrange gameplan with a solid board presence earlier into the game.
I chose to feature a Wyrding Stones version in this guide because I think they are equally good, and personally, I like the Wyrding Stones version better. I feel like the Avarosan Trapper version can feel clunky and inconsistent at times. But this is very much a personal preference, and you can very much go for an Avarosan Trapper version if you like it better.
- In the early-to-mid game, play reactively. Because you are a control deck with many different reactive tools, it can be very overwhelming for the opponent to play around everything you could have. By playing reactively and passing often, you hide your intentions and make the game much harder to navigate for them. Once in the late game, you can look to play more proactively with your powerful threats.
- Plan for Feel the Rush and The Ruination. Because you can’t play Feel the Rush without spell mana, you should always think ahead to make sure you can play it when you need to. In board-centric matchups, the same goes for The Ruination, you need to represent it in those games as early as possible.
- Your removal can be used to push damage with Overwhelm. When they don’t find a better use, cards like Vengeance, Vile Feast, or Withering Wail can be cast to push more Nexus damage by using them on a unit blocking one of your Overwhelm champions.
General mulligan tips:
- Against aggressive decks, you want to look for early tools that slow them down and control their board. Avarosan Sentry, Kindly Taverkeeper, Vile Feast, Avalanche and Withering Wail are the main cards you’re looking for.
- Against slower archetypes, you want to find your ramp cards to accelerate toward your late game.
- Don’t be too afraid to keep The Ruination in board-centric matchups.
Be aware that these are just the general guidelines to help you understand the deck’s gameplan. Mulligans are very matchup-dependant – please refer to the matchup section below for more specific advice on mulligans against different meta decks.
Click on the box to read detailed info about a matchup of choice:
Mulligan for: Avalanche, Withering Wail, Wyrding Stones, Kindly Tavernkeeper, Trundle.
- Avoid blocking with Wyrding Stones without a Troll Chant support – they could finish it off with Go Hard.
- Let them assemble a wide board before using your board-wipe. If they play around it, you can take things slow and play out your other cards like Wyrding Stones, Kindly Tavernkeeper, and Trundle.
- TF can level up very fast, don’t let him live even if it means using a board-wipe on a smaller board.
- Once your Tryndamere is leveled-up, avoid playing FTR into their Ruination.
- They don’t have answers for Atrocity on level 1 Tryndamere. For other units, their only answer is Vengeance.
How to tech:
Vengeance, The Ruination
Mulligan for: Withering Wail, Avalanche, Vile Feast, Avarosan Sentry, Kindly Tavernkeeper.
- Discard Aggro is a very fast deck that looks to out-pace the opponent by playing cheap (or free) units and activating board-wide synergies (Crowd Favorite, Arena Battlecaster, Vision). Hence, your cheap board-wipes (Withering Wail, Avalanche) are insanely good against them.
- Wait until you can get the most out of your board-wipes. If they try to play around them and play slow, take your time and play ramp, units, and health-gain to stall out the game without using your board-wipes. This way they’ll be forced to eventually play right into them.
- It can be a good idea to nuke their board right before they could play a Crowd Favorite. On turn 4, it can be tough to deal both with their cheap units and a big Crowd Favorite. Later, you have The Ruination and your own big units.
- The other threat in their deck is Jinx. If you give her a few turns she can rapidly close out the game with the extra value and burn she provides. However, they have to empty their hand to level her, so if you remove her even with something over-costed like a Vengeance, you are in a very good spot.
- They can’t do anything about your late game, it is very easy to close things out.
- Atrocity is the easiest way to close out the game quickly, they have no way to prevent it (just be mindful of Get Excited).
How to tech:
Hapless Aristocrat, Avarosan Sentry, Grasp of the Undying, Sejuani
Harsh Winds, Wyrding Stones, Tryndamere
Mulligan for: The Ruination, Catalyst of Aeons, Wyrding Stones; Vengeance – if you already have a good hand.
- Their win condition is Star Spring, and they gain a lot of advantages from healing units. Go for trades and cast damage-based spells only if you can make sure their units die as a result.
- Do not underestimate their ability to beat you down. They have a lot of cheap units, and Star Shepherd can grow quickly.
- The Ruination is a key card and can single-handedly win the matchup sometimes. They don’t have great answers to it and can run out of things to do when you clear their board – they have a lot of buff spells that need units to be useful.
- They can use Bastion to save one of their units from The Ruination. Whenever you can, save up 2 extra mana for Vile Feast or Troll Chant to backup your Ruination.
- The early ramp will accelerate your gameplan a lot and they can’t punish you for that as they are not really an aggressive deck. However, don’t throw away your Wyrding Stones into their Boxtopus or Tahm Kench.
- In the late game, they will struggle to keep up with your powerful finishers.
- They can use Hush to delay your lethal with Overwhelm units and/or to deal with Tryndamere.
- They can buff Tahm Kench so that he can eat one of your big threats. Be careful about it, it also creates an excellent healing target for them and if they heal it with Soraka it can get their Star Spring stacked extremely fast.
- They don’t have an answer for Atrocity. The only thing they can do is heal their Nexus a bit with Guiding Touch.
How to tech:
The Ruination, It That Stares, Vengeance, Crumble
Withering Wail, Harsh Winds, Avalanche
Mulligan for: Vile Feast, Avalanche, Catalyst of Aeons, Avarosan Sentry; Wyrding Stones, Withering Wail, The Ruination, Trundle – if you have a good hand
- In the mid-game, their midrange units can be annoying to deal with. However, once you get to the late game, they don’t have a very good answer to Feel the Rush and can only delay it with freezes.
- Wyrding Stones is a great card that accelerates your gameplan at a cheap cost. However, be careful not to run into Trifarian Gloryseeker or Rimefang Wolf.
- You can effectively get rid of their low-health units (Trifarian Gloryseeker, Icevale Archer) with your damage-based removal. Beefy units like Enraged Yeti and Avarosan Hearthguard are a lot more annoying to deal with.
- The Ruination is your best card to deal with a wide board of large units. However, be aware that Ashe Noxus can develop quite a high amount of damage threats for cheap once you’ve tapped out (Trifarian Gloryseeker, Enraged Yeti, units buffed by Avarosan Hearthguard).
- Be very careful about Ashe. Harsh Winds can level her up and make your units unable to block. You don’t have any good answers to that.
How to tech:
Feel the Rush, Harsh Winds
Commander Ledros, Kindly Tavernkeeper
Mulligan for: Avarosan Sentry, Kindly Tavernkeeper, Vile Feast, Avalanche, Catalyst of Aeons, Withering Wail.
- In the first turns, you want to keep your health high and let them develop their board into an Avalanche/Withering Wail.
- A lot of their units have 3hp. Often Avalanche alone won’t be enough to clear their board, but it’s a very good setup to follow up with Withering Wail or Vile Feast during their attack.
- They have a relatively limited number of units and a lot of strong removals. If you manage to clear their units it will be hard for them to put you under pressure.
- Don’t count too much on big units like Trundle to defend you, they can deal with it and the likes very effectively with cards like Ravenous Flock or Arachnoid Sentry.
- In the mid-to-late game, they’ll try to find a big tempo turn with Arachnoid Sentry, Tri-beam Improbulator, and/or Flock, to push a lot of damage. To prevent that, don’t commit too much mana proactively and prioritize your control spells over your big units.
- In the late game, they’ll have trouble dealing with your powerful threats. However, be careful to not give them a big tempo turn when they can swing for a lot of damage because you used all your mana on 1 threat.
- If you get low on Nexus health, they can finish you with their insane amount of reach (Farron, Ezreal). Ezreal is hard to deal with, you often have to use Vengeance to get rid of him.
- Aim to use Atrocity on a high-health undamaged unit – they struggle to remove big full-health units at Fast speed.
How to tech:
Mulligan for: Catalyst of Aeons, Wyrding Stones, Trundle; Feel the Rush, Vengeance – if you have a good hand; The Ruination – if you have Catalyst of Aeons.
- Ramping faster means you transition into the late game faster. Gaining a tempo advantage this way matters a lot.
- Avalanche and other damage-based spells tend to have a low value in this matchup. Try to use them to remove the opponent’s Wyrding Stones in the early/mid-game.
- Atrocity is a very strong card in the matchup – it can close out the games where you’re ahead or steal some games where you’re behind. However, be careful about removal spells and Frostbites (Flash Freeze being the most obnoxious).
- Freezes are very powerful in the late game to gain a board advantage or to deny an Atrocity lethal.
- Feels the Rush is a key card of the matchup, being the first to cast it will often give you a huge advantage.
- Avoid leveling up your Tryndamere if you intend to cast Feel the Rush soon. If you do level up Tryndamere, your Feel the Rush will lose a lot of value and could be entirely negated by The Ruination.
- Commander Ledros is another very important card in the matchup. He is a recursive threat and his burn damage can help a lot when setting up a lethal. However, be mindful that playing him out can be a tempo loss on board because he provides less presence than other high-cost cards (level 1 Tryndamere, Feel the Rush).
How to tech:
Feel the Rush, Flash Freeze, Voices of the Old Ones
Withering Wail, Troll Chant, Avalanche, Kindly Tavernkeeper
*There exist numerous versions of Targon Plaza decks, the main two variations currently being Garen/Asol and Zoe/Asol. The advice in this section is mainly intended for use when facing the Garen/Asol version. Be sure to make adjustments when playing against another version.
Mulligan for: Catalyst of Aeons, Wyrding Stones, Trundle, Feel the Rush.
- During most parts of the game (the early, mid-game, and extreme late game) they do have more pressure than you. However, you do have a very distinct window at the ‘start of the late-game’ thanks to Feel the Rush.
- In the early game, look to ramp so you can get your big threats outs as early as possible. They have some units to pressure you, but they are still a pretty slow deck so you don’t need to defend yourself too much to survive.
- When they have The Grand Plaza out, try to find the right timing to play your Wyrding Stones. Playing it right after their attack will give it 2 turns of providing you with extra mana. You can also hold off on playing Stones until you have a total of 7 unit mana, this way you’ll be able to cast Feel The Rush next turn if you’ve banked 3 spell mana.
- If they pull too far ahead, The Ruination can help you reset the board.
- You should look to cast Feel the Rush as soon as possible, and use this burst of tempo to pressure them. If you go too slow, they might be able to find and cast Supernova and you’ll run out of threats.
- Once you’ve managed to get them low enough with Overwhelm units and/or Commander Ledros, Atrocity is a very potent finisher. Be aware of their healing (Starshaping, Guiding Touch) and interaction (Single Combat, which you can defeat with a freeze or removal, or Hush – if your unit is buffed).
- If you’ve missed your Feel the Rush window, things will get tougher as the game goes on. You don’t have as many late-game threats as them. If you’re losing your board pressure, try to keep their health low (Ledros is the key) and stall until you find an Atrocity.
How to tech:
Feel the Rush, Atrocity, Flash Freeze
Avalanche, Withering Wail
Mulligan for: Avarosan Sentry, Avalanche, Catalyst of Aeons, Kindly Tavernkeeper.
- Wyrding Stones is soft to their Challengers and Single Combat, and can also get punished by Rivershaper on turn 3.
- Pass a lot – if they pass back it’s often to your advantage, especially if they still have the attack token. Keeping mana open prevents them from going for a lot of plays during their attack.
- Vile Feast is a good counter to Barriers. However, it’s your single spell that they can use Nopeify on.
- Rivershaper can pose a lot of trouble and is a priority target for you to deal with. He provides them with a lot of value and helps find Deny.
- Kindly Tavernkeeper and Avarosan Sentry are good units to prevent Rivershaper from attacking freely in the first turns.
- Troll Chant can Deny them the draw if they don’t have a buff in response.
- Deny is a very powerful spell against your big spells like The Ruination and FTR.
- Don’t play around Deny in spots you have to cast your big spells to win/not lose. By playing around it too much you’re only giving them more time to find Deny.
- Forcing their Deny out can clear the way for your next big spell. For example, playing back to back Ruinations can be a very strong play.
How to tech:
Flash Freeze, Avarosan Sentry
Mulligan for: Avarosan Sentry, Avalanche, Vile Feast, Trundle, Kindly Taverkeeper; Flash Freeze, The Ruination – if you already have a good hand.
- They can’t beat your late-game plan, but they can put you under a lot of pressure early and win by tempo. While your ramp helps you getting to your late-game faster, it also costs a lot of initial tempo, allowing them to pressure you even more.
- Your efficient board-wipes (Avalanche, Withering Wail) are great answers to their flood of units. However, they get heavily countered by Ranger’s Resolve.
- You can try to bait them into using Ranger’s Resolve with Vile Feast.
- In the mid-to-late game, they tend to run low on value. The Ruination can deal with their entire board and a comeback is unlikely in these spots.
- A Frostbite has a lot of value when cast on a Scout as it will prevent both of its attacks.
- They have no answer for an Atrocity lethal – no healing, no removal, no attack debuff. Atrocity is a key card in close games where you can use it to kill them right before their final push.
- At 19 health, Ledros into Atrocity is lethal and they can’t really do anything about it.
How to tech:
Mulligan for: Wyrding Stones, Catalyst of Aeons, Trundle; Vengeance, The Ruination – if you already have a good hand.
- While their early game with Zoe and Mountain Goat can be obnoxious, they are not going to kill you through that alone. The real threat is coming later – and that is Lee Sin.
- Zoe is hard to remove if they can protect her from Vile Feast and Avalanche. She gives them an access to Equinox, which can counter your Wyrding Stones, and some other annoying plays. However don’t use your Lee Sin answers (Vengeance, Ruination) on Zoe even if she would level up.
- Focus in the early game on ramping so you can accelerate your gameplan, and use Avalanche to remove Zoe or Mountain Goat.
- Once they play Lee Sin the game would revolve around him entirely. They can level him up quickly and give him Overwhelm to easily kill you.
- The best way to beat them is to remove Lee Sin. Unfortunately, because of his innate Barrier and their counterspells, it’s easier said than done. Don’t wait until they tap under Deny mana because they never will, and try to remove him with Vengeance or The Ruination as soon as possible. Hope they run out of Deny before you run out of removals.
- If you can’t kill Lee Sin, you can instead try to race them with your big Overwhelm champions and Ledros. Their Hush can slow down that plan.
- Flash Freeze and Harsh Winds are your key spells to stall out their Lee Sin (whether it’s with the goal to allow for more time to remove him or to race). They can try to prevent freezes by using a pre-emptive Bastion (Moonglow can also work) so you should consider keeping your Troll Chant to remove the SpellShield.
How to tech:
Flash Freeze, Vengeance, Crumble
Withering Wail, Kindly Tavernkeeper
Feel the Rush has been one of the top meta decks for a very long time. It’s currently a bit less prevalent because of the direct nerfs to its units in patch 1.14 and, more recently, because of the nerf to TF Go Hard, which was one of FTR’s main targets. However, it is still a very strong deck and a great way to punish archetypes looking to flood the board, like Discard Aggro.
Like I said earlier, this guide is part of a series where I’ll go over all the top decks in the meta so you have all the resources needed to learn the deck you want and improve as a player. This series is my most ambitious project so far, I hope it will be helpful!
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