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Gnar Sejuani + Ballistic Bot: Augmented Overwhelm

  • Origins

When we think of Overwhelm decks, we think of Noxus, Freljord, and Shurima.

Noxus provides some well-statted Overwhelm units, the best aggressive 1-drops, and combat tricks like Might, Whirling Death, and Decisive Maneuver.

Shurima is home to some of the most efficient midrange units, while Ruin Runner is one of the best Overwhelm threats in the game and the perfect target for cards like Battle Fury and Whirling Death.

Freljord is the region with the highest density of playable beefy Overwhelm units and it provides the best finisher for Overwhelm decks – Battle Fury. This region does lack great early game, so their its builds often feel a bit slower and have been falling out of flavor lately.

But with the addition of Gnar to the game this season, we have seen the resurgence of Freljord-based Overwhelm decks (for example, see this Masters Gnar Darius list by Ricko Rex).

Following this trend, I decided to combine the Freljord Overwhelm package with an unexpected region – Piltover. It is an unusual pairing for an Overwhelm deck, but I am going to make my case that this splash might be the best one.

Ballistic Bot + Gnar has proven to be an amazing combination in Piltover + Bandle city decks already, and after adding in some PnZ burn staples and the Flame Chompers! synergy, the deck exceeded my expectations and got me to Master with an 80% win rate!

  • Gameplan

You are an Overwhelm-based midrange deck – so your gameplan is very straightforward.

Unlike classic Overwhelm variants, you have a bit weaker early game, so you should plan with the expectation to deal most of your damage in the midgame with huge swings. To close out the game, you can resort to either burn damage or another big swing backed up by Battle Fury.

Thanks to Flame Chompers! and Gnar’s level-up blocking into you is even harder than usual. There are a lot of lists right now that can’t properly deal with Sejuani ‘s level-up, so play accordingly and you should have an easy time shutting down decks like Yordle in Arms, Scouts, and classic Overwhelms.

With Mega Gnar, your PnZ tools, Three Sisters, and Sejuani you have a surprising amount of interaction, so don’t be afraid of taking other midrange decks to the late game and outvaluing them.

Now let’s talk about Ballistic Bot, which is probably the best card in the deck. You may think I am exaggerating here, but it does provide an astonishing amount of value and countless synergies.

Ballistic Bot works great with both of our champions. Leveling Gnar is trivial – all you need is to cast Ignition. The synergy with Sejuani is what makes this version stand out particularly – as opposed to Noxus and Shurima Overwhelm lists.

Thanks to Ballistic Bot and the new card Tusk Speaker, leveling Sejuani on-curve is very much the norm for this deck, and with tools available, you can consistently then trigger her passive at Fast speed, which shut downs many decks.

Also, Ballistic Bot provides additional reach – and when you combine all Ignitions, Mystic Shots and Overwhelm damage output, it adds up.

Lastly, Ballistic Bot can reach insane attack numbers, and thanks to Vulpine Wanderer’s generated Wildclaw Stance and Flame Chompers!, its possible to get him to connect with the opposing Nexus.

Kepp in mind, that, unlike many other Ballistic Bot decks, you are supposed to cast Ignitions rather than discard them – although in a pinch, he does provide discard fodder for Get Excited! and Zaunite Urchin. Don’t be afraid of delaying development in order to cast an Ignition.

In the mulligan you always want Ballistic Bot. You want to play him on turn two over any aggressive 2-drop like Ruthless Raider, especially if you’re attacking on evens. Look for Tusk Speaker when you are attacking on odds as he can easily get two Sejuani triggers and curves nicely into a turn 3 Ballistic Bot.

Zaunite Urchin and Ancient Yeti are always good to have. With a good curve, Gnar is great and so is Troll Chant vs midrange decks.

  • Verdict

As I’ve mentioned in the intro, the deck did exceed my initial expectations and got me to Masters with a 17-4 record.

It is indeed a bit slower than your average Overwhelm deck but you get rewarded with a way more flexible gameplan. In my opinion this version is on par – if not better – than the classic lists that are more one-dimensional, and is definitely a Tier 1 contender.

So, If you are a fan of the Overwhelm playstyle, or you are simply looking for a strong flexible deck to climb with, this list is definitely for you!

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