Dating back to the KDA event in October 2020, Feel The Rush was alongside Go Hard, 2 of the most impactful cards ever released in Legends of Runeterra. While Go Hard suffered a nerf a lost a lot of power level ever since, FTR keeps on being relevant as time passes, and could even claim the throne of the best deck of the current metagame when piloted perfectly.
It is weird to think that a control deck can really be that good. With archetypes like Mono Shurima or a card like Deny in today’s environment, one would think it shouldn’t be so hard to counter Trundle and Tryndamere’s dominance, yet those two have traveled the ages and are currently rocking a 6.6% play rate and a 56% win rate across all servers.
So what makes Feel The Rush so good?
First, there is one of the best late-game potential in the game, as almost no one wants to ever deal with two overwhelm giants, and the other huge Frejlord units joining them such as It That Stares and She Who Wonders. Because of this colossal amount of threats the deck can develop from turn 8 and on, most midrange or control opponents are forced to adopt an aggressive mindset in order to avoid the value that is the later stages of a match against Feel The Rush.
But now, let’s talk about what happens if you try to rush the deck down and focus on their nexus. Healing wise, the deck features 11 cards for a total of 30 potential extra health points (the 3 Blighted Ravines will deal 6 in return though) so you might want to think twice before trying to get a Feel The Rush nexus to 0 health without some solid pressure to back it up.
But if the board is the solution, then let’s talk about the deck’s AoE potential, as Frejlord and Shadow Isles are known as the best defensive combo in the game in terms of regions. There are up to 16 defensive cards in the deck, not including freeze effects, that can help Feel The Rush deal with the opposing board, and with a good mix of Avalanche, Vengeance or Buried in Ice, it is though to know what exactly is the best board to build in order to guarantee it will translate into damage.
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in the board, as not doing so would give the opponent time to ramp or develop chunky units like Trundle or It That Stares to help stabilize the board.
This question of how to efficiently tackle the deck is exactly what makes Feel The Rush special in the current environment. For now, Shurima is looking to be the best region to go against the Trundle / Tryndamere duo, out of the deck’s 8 worst matchups currently, only Scouts isn’t a Shurima deck. Cards like Ancient Hourglass and Rite of Negation are doing a huge amount of work in leveraging the more expensive removal Feel The Rush uses to control the board.
Outside Shurima though, the matchup table for Feel the Rush is looking incredible as the most popular decks in the current metagame (Ezreacl Caitlyn, Pirates, Draven Sion, Sentinel, Lux Jayce…) all are listed in the favorable category.
Techs and Options
Kindly Tavernkeeper: A solid healing option and a good blocker, the Tavernkeeper is a great unit to stabilize against aggressive decks. If you are facing a lot of Pirates or Spiders deck, consider switching out the freeze spells for some Kindly TavernKeepers.
Grasp of the Undying: A good tool if you have some specific targets at 3 health you want to remove, which you can’t with Avalanche or Blighted Ravine. The card still has the problem of possibly missing the healing if the target is removed before, which can happen a lot if the opponent is playing Noxian Fervor, Glimpse Beyond, or Ancient Hourglass.
Whithering Mist: A bad Avalanche but with some healing upsides, the card usually does not feel necessary because of Blighted Ravine being in the deck already. Against Burn heavy decks where healing is about the only thing that matters, you could need some more healing, making Whithering Mist or even Piercing Darkness a worthy card
The Ruination: The deck usually runs either Buried in Ice or the Ruination, and it is really up to what you expect to face when playing the deck and when you think you will need the card. Ruination is a more definite answer to the board, but will also affect your side of the table. Buried in Ice doesn’t remove your units, allowing us to push with our units, but only is a temporary solution unless you can play It That Stares the following turn.
Commander Ledros: A option to close the game against decks looking to counter our signature spell, Ledros keeps being a good, yet expensive alternate win condition. Most players don’t include it as Feel The Rush already is on the greedier side of the spectrum, but it could be considered if you face a lot of mirror matches.
General Tips :
Keep your eyes on the prize :
Although we spend the major part of a game in the defender’s role or at least looking like a fairly passive deck, we should never forget the end result we are playing for. At some point in the game, we need to be able to spend 12 mana in a slow spell, which basically gives our opponent a full turn of doing whatever they wish without us being able to be reactive.
If we keep defending without ever planning for the tempo change that is our win condition, we would be playing a control deck aiming to exhaust their opponent, not one looking to win through actual damage with our big units.
Although we can win games thanks to She Who Wonders destroying most of our opponent’s resources or running an aggressive deck out of cards, these are alternate and opportunistic kinds of win conditions.
Learn the amount of burn your opponent has access to :
Usually, once we manage to play Feel The Rush, the board should be fairly locked in our favor, leaving our opponent little to no choice other than trying to go directly for our nexus, unless they can defend against our champions of course.
Especially the turn we play our 12 mana spell, we are left defenseless, hence the need to know what to expect in terms of burn potential from the opponent. If you can heal back the next turn and deny a 2 turn set up for the opponent, it is not a problem either.
Master the art of passing and bluffing :
Most players who have faced Feel The Rush a couple of times know that you can’t really pass against the deck, as this only helps the deck get closer to its big turn. Because of this, there are a ton of opportunities for you to open your turn with a pass and get a bit of information about what your opponent plans to do with their turn.
There are times when your hand will look like a terrible game is in front of you. But kind in mind that your opponent doesn’t know what is in your hand and for him, you are still a very good deck at defending, one with numerous AoEs and healing potential. When you pass, you see a player that has nothing to do, but your opponent could see it as bait to get more value out of Avalanche or someone with fast speed spells like Withering Wails who is just waiting for its opponent to attack.
Adapt your mindset to the game state :
Feel The Rush is a deck that is looking for big tempo swings, especially as the game progresses and reaches the late game. As such, you should anticipate to also be able to change the way you see your role in the match-up depending on how the game advances.
There are 3 different phases to the game :
- The Ramp: We are looking to create a mana difference with our opponent while they still can’t pressure us with too many resources early in the game. Here, we should play greedy and look for any opportunity to gain some mana while taking as little risk as possible
- The Stop: The midgame is where most decks are shining. They can play their Champions, they have enough mana to play several cards in a turn, and are able to develop a board in a turn if we would overreact. In order to be able to play Feel The Rush in the best condition, we need to create a safe enough board, meaning we need to put a stop to what the opponent might try to build as we approach our key turn.
- The Kill: Once you start dominating the board and feature 8/8 or 10/10 units on your side of the battlefield, I don’t want to hear any control stuff anymore. Overwhelm is a damage keyword, a 10/10 unit deals a ton of damage, Atrocity is a finisher card, I want you to play like a Riven Viktor deck and not like a Shadow Isles Frejlord one.
Match up :
Mulligan: Ramp and clear only the Champions as a priority. Catalyst of Aeons – Faces of the Old Ones – Voices of the Old Ones – Feel The Rush
Match up Tips :
- Ezreal Caitlyn is a deck looking to interact a lot with its opponent in order to slow their development and level up Ezreal. As we barely play any unit in the early and midgame, we completely cancel their gameplan, forcing them to become a rush deck to avoid Feel The Rush being played
- You don’t have to do anything special in the match-up, stay safe from a potential on board onsault and advance towards Feel The Rush, which they can barely do a thing about outside Arachnoid Sentry.
- While most early units can be cleared with Avalanche or Blighted Ravine (House Spider, Ferros Financier, Arachnoid Sentry), Caitlyn, Archivist and Ezreal need to be dealt with a little more effort. Spending a Vengeance on a 3 mana champion isn’t the best thing but it is a good play in order to keep things at bay.
- As Ezreal should not level, the opponent doesn’t have that much burn available outside of Mystic Shot. A potential Shock Blast created by Ferros Financier is the next most likely possibility.
Mulligan: Ramp, Clear the Champions as a priority. Catalyst of Aeons – Faces of the Old Ones – Voices of the Old Ones – Feel The Rush
Match up Tips :
- Similarly to Ezreal Caitlyn, Jayce / Lux likes to adopt a defensive role in the early game and win with a leveled-up Lux doing most of the damage. If we keep a Vengeance ready to answer the Demacian champ, we should be looking great.
- Be careful to not let their board go too wide with cheap units before using an Avalanche or a Blighted Ravine, as it could offer them a cheap Remembrance. If possible, it is better to remove 2 units to keep the spell rather expensive.
- With Mystic shot and Shock Blast, the opponent has access to a bit of burn, likely 5 to 7 damage. If we can stay above this threshold, we should be safe to play Feel The Rush when we reach 12 mana
- She Who Wonders obliterates almost every unit in the opposing deck, leaving only Albus Ferros as a possibility in the opponent’s hand in terms of unit.
Mulligan: Defend until the opponent runs out of pressure tools. Avalanche, Vile Feast, Blighted Ravine, Whithering Wail
Match up Tips :
- Pirates is a deck built to go all in quite early in the match, so being able to land a good AoE on their burn should already destroy a lot of their resources. Also, remember that you can pass a lot to gather information as long as you don’t fear their attack too much
- It That Stares and healing back out of range of Decimates and Noxian Fervor are much more important than playing Feel The Rush in this match-up.
- Decimates being a slow-speed spell, we can react to it with our healing spells. The spell we need to be careful about is Noxian Fervor as it can answer a Whithering Wail or a Vile Feast
- Units with and 2 health should be easy to remove for us thanks to our AoE, the ones with 3+ health can require more resources and should be our focus when possible.
Mulligan: Ramp and Single target removal. Face of the Old Ones – Catalyst of Aeons – Vengeance – Flash Freeze – Buried in Ice
Match up Tips :
- It is quite hard to stop pantheon once they start snowballing. We need to stop them in their track so we can develop the board at some point, we can do it 2 ways :
- Trying to instantly remove their units before they can buff them to stop Pantheon’s level-up progress
- Let them invest a ton in a unit that we will Vengeance afterward hoping they cannot create another big fast enough
- Vile Feast is quite a bad removal in this matchup, the card is much better used to remove Pantheon’s spell shield once leveled up. It will open a Vengeance or Flash Freeze once he attacks.
- Feel The Rush is a pretty good way to fight the board, especially Tryndamere is a great blocker, thanks to the level up. It is often fine to just go for the fastest possible FTR and hope our opponent doesn’t kill us in the meantime.
- Buried in Ice on 7 into It That Stares on 8 can be a game-winning combo as it allows us to take the board back and pressure immediately. Otherwise, consider running Ruination for this specific match up
Mulligan: Rush to It That Stares. Face of the Old Ones – Catalyst of Aeons – Voices of the Old ones – It That Stares
Match up Tips :
- This match is a race between their Sun Disc and our ability to turn on the pressure as early as possible. It That Stares destroying their landmark obviously is our main win condition, but ramping also gets us closer to Feel The Rush or She Who Wonders to simply try to kill our opponent.
- With no direct damage, Mono Shurima is quite easy to anticipate in terms of damage output. Use your nexus as a resource to buy yourself some precious time, their Sun Disc’s countdown is the real number we care about.
- Quicksand can slow down our Overwhelm units quite a lot as for 3 mana, the opponent removes both Trundle’s and Tryndamere’s keywords. If possible, relying on She Who Wonders which will obliterate every unit except the 5 attack ones from their Devout or Naturalist is a more reliable plan
- With the change to the Sun Disc, now advancing for 9 when a champion levels up, we can play It That Stares before they complete the countdown. Just completely ignore Soothsayer being a card and switch to a pressure game plan if your opponent happens to play it.
- Ancient Hourglass is the other problem for us, as it can deny a 6 mana Vengeance for simply 2 mana. Most of the time, it is crazy to play the card pro-actively and simply hope they don’t have it, but as the game progresses, you might be forced to do so.
Mulligan: Rush to She Who Wonders. Face of the Old Ones – Catalyst of Aeons – Voices of the Old ones – She Who Wonders
Match up Tips :
- Taliyah Ziggs is a deck that can quickly burn us down once the champions are leveled up, something that can happen fairly quickly as we aren’t bringing any pressure onto our opponent. We need to ramp and fight on board as soon as possible to force them into a different game plan than simply summoning landmarks.
- Hexplosive Minefield is a great card for our opponent when we play Feel The Rush, but as time plays against us, we still need to play our signature spell and hope for the best in a lot of scenarios. She Who Wonders is our goal, but we can’t afford to be passive
- Ancient Hourglass is the other problem for us, as it can deny a 6 mana Vengeance for simply 2 mana. Most of the time, it is crazy to play the card proactively and simply hope they don’t have it, but as the game progresses, you might be forced to do so.
- The damage will eventually arrive if we don’t actively work towards turning the board in our favor. Accept the small damages in the early game to prevent the big ones later on.
Closing Words :
If Shurima wasn’t a popular region in the current metagame, Feel The Rush would be dominating the game and probably the uncontested best deck at the moment. The deck feels like it once again found a great build and shows that the Frejlord and Shadow Isles pairing keeps being on top of the defensive pairings in the game.
Combined with a powerful late-game potential, which is the perfect reward for being able to keep the opponent at bay for the bigger portion of the game, Feel The Rush gives this feeling of a well-rounded archetype, ready to perform on the ladder or during tournaments.
I must warn you though, that because of the duality that exists in the deck, the pilot is will often be responsible for the wins and losses and it can take a bit of time and adjustment to pinpoint the timings of when to change gears and become the aggressor in midrange matchups. But I assure you the deck is worth the struggle and the few losses you will suffer will adjust to the play style.
As usual, if you would have any questions about this guide or simply want to share your passion for the game, the RuneterraCCG discord is open to anyone! Feel free to tag me there if you need anything.
As for myself, you can find me on twitter, where I share my stories and decks about the card games I enjoy or help aspiring pro players get their foot in the door of competitive play.
Good game everyone