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Fizz Riven Deck Guide

Introduction

While it didn’t get any specific cards from the latest release apart from the Noxian Tellstone, a card that isn’t included in every list, Fizz Riven has made quite a comeback in the current patch, establishing itself as one of the premier combo decks in the metagame.

With its capacity to set up huge attacks, and builds different kind of threats to get to the opposing nexus, Fizz Riven is a bit of an oddball whether it is using the Overwhelm or Elusive keyword in an otherwise very midrange oriented metagame.


Decklist and Deck Tech

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Fizz Riven  created by den • last updated 6 days ago

Fizz Riven is one of those decks that is very easy to understand in terms of concepts, but quite difficult to pilot well.

In its essence, the deck isn’t really flexible, and looks to build the same gameplan each and every game. Early, we are playing not committal units, meaning that we are fine if the opponent manages to deal with those, but aren’t turning down any damage we can get from those. It is also very important to defend the board properly against an eventual aggressive opponent, as our deck can quickly get overwhelmed when falling behind early.

The big emphasis should be in the midgame, as this is where we should start advancing towards our big late game pushes for lethal. In this part of the game, we are looking to create enough pressure so that the opponent cannot start a damage race before we decide it. It is a combination of setting our win condition (generating Fragments, storing mana, dealing some chip damage, etc) and getting our opponent busy enough, so they can’t focus on theirs. Unless we managed to develop an Assistant Librarian, a good way to dominate the mid-game is to go wide on the board right before we want to set our big damage turn.

Through playing several cheap units in the same turn (Blade Squire, Yordle Squire, Conchologist, Runeweaver, etc) and playing with the fear of our opponent knowing we excel at dealing damages later on. We can force our opponent to adopt a very defensive stance, something that might prevent some damage from finding the opposing nexus, but which also buys us time to work on our lethal setup later on.

The last important unit in the midgame is Riven, which is usually played around turn 3 or 4. Riven is a card that can impact our game plan quite a bit, as her survival allows us to go for the Blade of the Exile early. With the opponent focusing on removing the champion, we are working on our plan of buying time to get a better set up in the later stages of the match.

Once in the late game, we are effectively a burn deck, and will purposefully ignore the opposing board as the only thing that matters is damage. In this phase of the game, we should be thinking all of our decisions with the intent to close the game sooner rather than later.

In this portion of the match, Fizz is the most influential card in our deck, as the 1 mana champion is one of, if not the most difficult card to defend against in the game. Paired with Papercraft Dragon, it becomes one of the biggest damage output in the current metagame, while also being a safe one to invest into.

Through the Elusive keyword, and its passive ability to deny cards targeting it, Fizz is the perfect unit to invest into. Also, thanks to its cheap cost, the champion allows us to be very flexible as to when we wish to develop him onto the board. This limits the window our opponent has to answer Fizz and allows us to prepare our big attacks without giving away too much information.


Tech Cards and Options

Noxian Tellstones

Flexible 1 mana spells are everything Fizz wants as a support tool, and the spells offered (Sharpened Resolve, Whirling Death, Weapons of the Lost) aren’t too bad for the deck, either.

As such, the Noxian Tellstones is a good card which could replace Trinket Trade if you feel the need for the offered spells. Usually because the deck can be very mana sensitive in the mid and late game, Trinket Trade is more flexible to use and does not grant Fleeting cards either.

Friendship!

Typically a 1-of in a lot of lists, Friendship! is a great defensive card in the deck. The problem I have with the card currently is the abundance of cheap spells in Shadows Isles and Noxus based decks. Even if the card can be a lifesaver at times, spending 4 mana to potentially get answered with a Vile Feast or a Disintegrate can be quite frustrating.

I feel it is safer to be a bit more patient and invest into Fizz, which is much easier to protect without the need of Friendship!

Flamespitter

A card that is a very rare inclusion in the list, but still makes sense if you think Fizz is worth mulliganing for every game.

With no other Elusive units in the deck, Flamespitter really only adds damage when played on a unit with Overwhelm as a keyword already. Most of the time, the card is worth picking on Conchologist or Trinket Trades as it contributes to the primary gameplan, but not impactful enough to be in the starting 40 compared to a Might for example.


General Tips

Keep the concept simple and the plays nuanced

Fizz Riven isn’t a deck that is looking to accomplish difficult concepts or build very intricate scenarios when it comes to how we want a game to unfold. In the end, we always look to build a unit that will push a ton of damage over a single or a couple of attacks (Ruined Reckoner allowing us to multi attack on the same turn).

The nuances of the deck come from what we want to invest into our early stages compared to how much gas we want when we will go for the kill. Whether we want to go all in on 1 unit or have enough resources to try to build 2 threats.

Before we get to that second stage of nuancing our thinking and trying to make the most difficult problem for our opponent to solve, we need to make sure our concept works.

Constantly count the damage on both sides of the table

This deck is a lot about being able to count the damage we are likely to deal before we actually commit the resources to do so.

Because this deck is very unbalanced in the way it is built, favoring the offensive at almost every level of its construction. We have to make sure we are always ahead in terms of have we imagine the game to unfold.

At the end of the day, we are looking to be the first one to get their opponent to 0 health. So even if it’s 5 rounds down the line, we need to make sure we know how and when we can or need to go for the kill.

Set a mental clock as early as possible

Based on your hand, but also what you know about your opponent’s speed to develop their strategy, you should be able to set a clock on when you envision you will go for the kill.

Obviously, this estimation will likely change during the course of the game, and the draws during the game should change your clock. However, doing so still improves your ability to pilot the deck, as it forces you to focus on the important thing, which is progressing towards your win condition.

Understand your opponent’s point of view

When playing a deck like Fizz Riven, you are looking to play your games as the aggressor every time. Logically, this means you expect your opponent to be reacting to you and looking to play as a counter to what your game plan is.

Usually, decks have 2 answers to Fizz Riven: Going wide on the board for an all-out race or trying to slow you down as much as possible until you run out of gas.

Understanding how the opponent can counter you, or at least try to, will make it much easier to plan your offensive and assess which cards are influential and which are dispensable. It allows you to know if you should expect to go for a race or space out resources to bait removals. It also tells you if you should develop onto the board or save some mana for spells during your attack turns, and many other things.


Matchups and Mulligan Guide

Shadow Isles Noxus – Elise Viego – Favored

Mulligan for: FizzRivenFae SproutWallop in a good hand

Mental Clock: Round 5 to 7

Matchup tips:

  • The Elusive keyword is something Elise Viego can heavily struggle with, making Fizz and Rainbowfish out of Fae Sprout our best options for the lethal push.
  • Wallop can buy us a lot of time to stay safe from Viego or a Legion Deserter’s attack, but we can’t do much about Atrocity.
  • We should create enough pressure so that Viego or Legion Deserter aren’t safe for the opponent to play. Be very aggressive to create the necessary pressure.
  • Don’t attack with a big unit without Overwhelm as to not give Disintegrate good value alongside a chum blocker.

Shadow Isles Bligewater – Deep – Favored

Mulligan for: FizzRivenPapercraft Dragon – Reforge Units – Fae Sprout

Mental Clock: Before Nautilus can be played leveled up ▶ Round 7 to 8

Matchup tips:

  • Deep can struggle a lot with the Elusive keyword until they get to play Abyssal Eye. Fizz early can net you quite a bit of chip damage, attacking regularly.
  • Devourer of the Depths is quite good for the opponent as we usually can buff our units’ attack but not their health. If we have enough pressure, they shouldn’t be able to invest 6 mana into the card.
  • Vengeance is the best way for Deep to answer any card that isn’t Fizz. If you find an early Assistant Librarian, you should be able to bait it out.
  • While we welcome any form of damage we can get, especially early in the game, be wary of activating the opponent’s Sea Scarab, especially for just a few damages the opponent could heal later on.

Noxus Piltover & Zaun – Ezreal Caitlyn – Slightly Favored

Mulligan for: FizzRivenFae Sprout

Mental Clock: Depends on whether we get Fizz. If we do, no rush, let’s set him up perfectly. If we don’t, we need to go fast before the opponent can remove and develop at the same time ▶ Round 5/6.

Matchup tips:

  • Caitlyn can become a nightmare for us very quickly if she can shuffle some bombs in our deck. Consider picking an answer with Conchologist or Trinket Trade.
  • Fizz is our only reliable unit for damage late in the game. Consider using the other units as removal bait once you have the champion in hand.
  • Fae Sprout is kept to find a Rainbow Fish and force more removal onto our units as they become Elusive.
  • Swarming the board early on can force the opponent to spend resources on our units instead of developing. It also gets in some chip damage for an easier push with Fizz later on.
  • Papercraft Dragon should be played at the end of a non-attacking turn so we can open attack then. Opening yourself to Arachnoid Sentry is often too much of a risk unless you have seen it played already.

Freljord Shurima – Thralls – Even

Mulligan for: FizzRivenAssistant Librarian – Keep a hand full of early unit for pressure.

Mental Clock: Before the Thralls are released ▶ Round 6 – 7

Matchup tips:

  • This matchup is a race towards both decks win condition, we have the better early game but it gets worse as time passes.
  • Friendship! can be very useful in this match up to deny a freeze effect the opponent uses to stop our big attack.
  • Wallop can buy us a turn denying a big Thralls attack, but this usually mean we have to end things on the very next turn.
  • Going wide early on gets us good damage but usually is met with Avalanche or Blighted Ravine on turn 3/4. The best mix is to manage to get Riven or to buff an Assistant Librarian to mitigate the AoE effect.

Demacia Runeterra – Galio Bard – Slightly Unfavored

Mulligan for: RivenAssistant LibrarianElixir of WrathFae Sprout – Reforge Units

Mental Clock: Before the opponent gets to Galio or locks the board down with too much stats ▶ Round 6 – 7

Matchup tips:

  • The Challenger units can quickly be a problem for us as it prevents us from growing our board from a turn to another. Look to store mana for a big combo turn rather than setting up over 2 or 3 rounds.
  • There is very limited removal in the opposing deck, meaning if we managed to grow a huge unit, it will likely get us a big hit.
  • Wallop is great offensively against Demacia, it removes a healthy blocker from a big Overwhelm unit we have when we look to push for lethal.
  • The Reforge cards are great before of Quick Attack mostly, allowing us to make the opposing blocks much more difficult to figure out.
  • Demacia plays some cheap combat tricks currently (Sharpsight or Ranger’s Resolve), consider keeping some mana when you attack to bluff some tricks of your own.

Noxus Runeterra – Annie Jhin – Unfavored

Mulligan for: Early units – Assistant LibrarianRiven

Mental Clock: Before we run out of health ▶ As early as possible

Matchup tips:

  • This is a matchup where we likely will get a slower start than our opponent. Our early unit will likely be used as a way to block and protect our health until we can think about getting our combo on the rails.
  • Assistant Librarian can be great to force the opponent into stunning rather than developing during our attack turns. Use it as a distraction while you develop on the side, or use it to push regular damage, buffing it with Reforged Fragment for cheap.
  • Fizz is great for the damage push as the opponent cannot answer them unless Jhin is on the board and Fizz is our weakest unit.
  • When going for you combo, do not play around anything else than a slow speed stun as a potential answer from your opponent. We do not have time to set up the perfect situation.

Closing Words

With a lot of Noxus based decks in the current metagame, one could worry about the potential of Fizz Riven. It is true, the Stun mechanic and the great removals Noxus possess makes the deck quite difficult to pilot at times.

Without Fizz, I feel like this deck would be unplayable, the removal just being too much to reliably get our combo off. With Fizz Though, we can punish Noxus based decks which rely on their removal to slowly grind the board and accept to play a defensive role.

Also, these defensives strategies are making Demacia and aggressive strategies, both soft counters to this deck, more difficult to play, creating a favorable environment for Fizz Riven. Just be careful of a change in the metagame and you should be all set to climb the ranks with this deck.

Have any questions regarding this guide ? Feel free to drop by our community discord or find me on Twitter. Thanks for reading, I hope this was helpful to some of you in your Fizz Riven adventure.

Good Game Everyone,

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den

Den has been in love with strategy games for as long as he can remember, starting with the Heroes of Might and Magic series as a kid. Card games came around the middle school - Yugioh and then Magic. Hearthstone has been his real breakthrough and he has been a coach, writer, and caster on the French scene for many years now. Although it took him a bit to get into Legends or Runeterra, his EU Seasonal Tournament win was the perfect start to get involved in the community. He now coaches aspiring pro players and writes various articles on the game. Find him on Twitter at @den_CCG!

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