Hey, it’s Mezume here! In the days following the release of the latest patch, we’ve all been trying out Jayce in multiple ways. In this guide, I will go in-depth on one of my personal favourites – Jayce Heimerdinger with Bandle City, focusing on Tech synergies! The deck personally reminds me a little of my all-time favourite Zoe Vi/Veimer Targon, so I am very excited to present the guide to you.
This is a midrange deck focused on abusing the Tech synergies, as well as Heimerdinger’s ability to pump out multiple turrets. Jayce can act as both an additional win condition through the Acceleration Gate to buff up a wide board, as well as simply a removal tool with Challenger – similar to another P&Z champion, Vi.
The early game objective is to stem any potential bleeding caused by aggro decks with multiple low-cost cards such as Adaptatron 3000, Otterpus and removal spells. In slower matchups, you will often want to keep some spell mana during those turns in order to be able to drop an early Heimerdinger with a few casts of Flash of Brilliance or other spells.
As a midrange deck, midgame is where we shine: Jayce comes down to help us stabilize, Shock Blast threatens enemy development, and Hextech Handler can come down to buff up your Adaptatrons and future Heimerdinger turrets. Speaking of whom, if you have had an opportunity to save up some mana in the early game, Heimer is likely to come down on turn 5 or 6, instantly creating a few turrets to start off.
The later the game goes, the more threat you can generate with Heimerdinger, and while it can be difficult to protect him, you have multiple ways to generate turrets at Fast or Burst speed. This is scarier than usual due to the existence of Hextech Handler, which means the turrets are no longer vulnerable to pings. Hidden Pathways ensures that you will not fall behind on value even in the later stages of the game, while Minimorph provides you with an insurance against decks with few powerful threats, such as Lee Sin or Sejuani.
To finish the game, you can level Jayce and use Acceleration Gate to buff up a full board, or simply out-tempo your opponent. If Heimerdinger survives a few turns, there is little chance they can come back from both the tempo and value deficit they are likely to be in.
Tech and Options
As the deck is fairly new and a very open concept, there are multiple versions of it – pairing with different regions or simply using a different approach for finishing off the game. In this part, however, I want to focus on the Bandle City pairing in particular.
- Forge or Techs? One way to approach changing the deck is for it to be a bit more diversified in terms of play patterns – but also less synergistic. This would be by removing heavy Tech synergy such as Adaptatron 3000 and Hextech Handler and instead including Forge Worker and The Forge of Tomorrow.
Assembly Line.This card is a good potential inclusion if you want to get on the board a little bit more in the early stages, protecting yourself against “dry” hands with no early units. That said, it lacks Tech synergy and can be redundant, as we already run Production Surge.
- Albus Ferros. With this many 6+ cost spells in the deck, Albus Ferros can be an interesting choice as a 1-of to finish off games. He works well against slower decks that aren’t able to remove large units – and the fact he draws Jayce makes him a worthy play even if the opponent can remove him.
- Jayce is very disposable. While he is a great win condition and ideally you want him to stay on board until he is levelled – or even wait to play him until then, he is also a great removal tool. Sometimes the best play is just running him straight into another 4-health unit.
- Heimerdinger can be a tempo play. Despite his game-winning capabilities, Heimer is actually great even if you just get 2 or 3 turrets out of him. Especially in faster matchups, playing him with just one Flash of Brilliance and another spell can create enough of a board to stave off the aggression. This is especially good against decks with Fearsome threats, as turrets are great Fearsome blockers – especially after at least one Hextech Handler came down with a triggered effect.
- Keep track of how much damage you can do. While you are not a burn deck and care for board first and foremost, there is a ton of damage potential. Between Elusive, Fearsome and Overwhelm turrets, Shock Blast and Mystic Shot, you can threaten lethal damage easily.
- Take your time with Ferros Financier. Being able to choose out of 3 6+ cost mana spells is extremely powerful. These are the strongest spells in the game and some of them could turn the game on its head. Do not insta-pick a choice, even if it seems the best at first glance. Look at your hand, think of your gameplan for the next few turns, try to predict your opponent’s win conditions and their own gameplan. Give yourself time to think and only choose when you are certain.
General mulligan tips
- In some matchups, you want to keep Adaptatron 3000, in others Otterpus – but you always want a 1-drop against aggressive decks.
- Production Surge is a great way to activate Hextech Handler on turn 3 in slower matchups – but beware of cards like Make It Rain or Withering Wail.
- Jayce and Heimerdinger are both keeps with a good hand – they’re both powerful and crucial to the deck’s gameplan.
- As with most slower midrange decks, you are looking to find the balance between tempo and value in your mulligan. Keeping three 1-drops and Ferros Financier might seem great, but you’re likely to get outvalued by anything that’s not aggro. In the same vein, keeping Heimerdinger and 3 Flashes of Brilliance is a huge gamble that can heavily backfire.
- This can be a frustrating matchup, because they have answers to nearly everything we do. Heimerdinger dies to Ravenous Flock, Aloof Travelers can discard our Minimorph and Lecturing Yordle is a direct counter to 1-health units; like our turrets. Luckily, we have all the answers.
- Hextech Handler’s effect single-handedly makes this matchup favourable. Your turrets will now survive most of their removal, while Handler itself is difficult to remove, due to Quick Attack preventing it from being damaged on offense.
- The Leviathan is the main win condition of their deck, but in reality, he will often only show up on the board to be turned into a 3/3. Make sure to keep that Minimorph for this boat or else you might find yourself at a disadvantage.
- Ferros Financier’s spells can be useful to cast, but they can also provide protection against Aloof Travelers – just see Financier’s effect as “draw a card later” instead!
- This is a fairly slow matchup, so keep in mind that you simply have time. Do not rush to put down that Heimerdinger – instead have some backup spells like Flash of Brilliance, Hidden Pathways or even Heimerdinger’s Progress Day to instantly generate turrets.
- Removal is crucial to have in the early game – whether it is Mystic Shot or Thermogenic Beam, it is your only way to prevent a Risen Rider smacking your Nexus for 4 damage on turn 2.
- Because of the lack of pings, 1 health units are a pain to deal with for Draven Sion. This is the reason both Heimerdinger and Production Surge are key in the matchup. You want Production Surge to go as wide as possible, as if you can block their attacks, there is little they can do to win.
- Heimerdinger is quite safe against versions with no Ravenous Flock – and even against those with the Sentry + Flock combo, he has the time to create enough turrets to take over the board.
- Most high cost spells are really good in the matchup. Shock Blast nearly always removes two units or forces out Survival Skills, while Minimorph deals with Sion cleanly. You want to ensure a board state that lets you spend 6 mana on their Sion ahead of time, so keep that in mind!
- Playing against Lurk is rather straightforward no matter what deck you are playing. Make sure not to fall behind in the early game – mulligan heavily for your cheap units to trade into their high attack fragile Lurkers. Pokey Stick and Thermogenic Beam are great against
Xer’Sai Hatchling. Rek’Saiis a threat, but all you need to deal with her is Minimorph. Simply save it.
- Heimerdinger provides you with endless blockers, until they finally completely run out of value. Make sure you do not play him right into
Death From Below, unless you have some Fast and Burst spells to instantly create some turrets.
- Ferros Financier can pull great cards for you in this matchup! Trueshot Barrage is a great way to deal with multiple threats, while an extra Minimorph lets you be more liberal with its usage.
- Poppy and Zed are both crucial to the deck’s success, so ensure you have ways to remove them as soon as they come down. While using Thermogenic Beam, try to use extra mana to ensure a kill even through Sharpsight or Twin Disciplines.
- Jayce is a fantastic card in the matchup – his Challenger can threaten Elusives and champions alike and will often force them to pass their turn or be extremely inefficient. Use that to your advantage!
- When playing around protection, such as Sharpsight,
Nopeifyor Twin Disciplines, ask yourself how much it can hurt you if they do have it. Sometimes going for the kill on the champion is the right thing even if it’s not guaranteed through those cards – especially when they would have to tap under Rally mana to protect Poppy or Zed.
- Pranks hold high value in the matchup, as you could increase the cost of their protection spells – or make their units Vulnerable.
- With the multitude of pings on their side, cards such as Otterpus can be pretty weak early on. Instead, you want to focus on empowering your turrets with Hextech Handler to get them out of range of those pesky 1 damage spells.
- As always against Plunder, ensuring they cannot trigger their champion level up condition – or at least have to spend additional resources to do so – is essential. Try to block all units whenever it is reasonable, even if the trades are not ideal. If their champions are not levelled fast enough, you can take over the board with buffed up turrets.
- Minimorph has a ton of good targets in the matchup, so you need to figure out which one is the best on a case-by-case basis. Sejuani is the most likely target, as she has more health than Gangplank and is useful for your opponent even when you have the attack token.
- Ferros Financier can bail you out of many difficult situations. Extra minimorphs are always welcome, while Hextech Transmogulator allows for some absolutely wild board states if you are able to target The Dreadway with it – either transforming it into a 1/1, or your own Otterpus into a win condition.
- This one is all about staving off the early board swarm. Use your cheap units in combination with removal spells to take as little damage as possible.
- Poppy can be dangerous if their board is full, so offer trades on offence and use your removal proactively – but be wary of Noxian Fervor.
- Jayce can kill a Ziggs on offence, as well as trade with Poppy on defence. Abuse his ability to trade up to create board advantages while preventing the maximum possible damage to the Nexus.
- There is no healing in your deck, so you will eventually have to destroy their Nexus before they destroy yours. Pay attention to when you can turn the gameplan from defensive to offensive safely – but do so before getting in the damage range of a double Decimate or Decimate and Noxian Fervor.
- Do not let Darkness get extra damage. This means you need to try and find Thermogenic Beam or Mystic Shot to kill Twisted Catalyzer, but also that you might have to play the game of chicken whenever the opponent holds 4 unit mana. Bluffing Thermogenic Beam to keep them from playing Veigar is a great play – so is holding back on spending your attack token when you have Jayce in hand.
- They play multiple pings, so if possible, hold off on playing Production Surge until you have either triggered the Hextech Handler buff, or have an Adaptatron with Tough on the board.
- Removing Heimerdinger can be a pain for them, if you don’t let them power up their Darkness. The only cards you have to worry about are 6 mana – Minimorph and, in some versions, Piercing Darkness. Try to hit those with Prank!
Jayce came out and took the game by storm – paired with Lux, Heimerdinger and tons of different region combinations. He is a powerful card, but many of his decks remain quite unrefined or misunderstood. The archetype covered in this article one is likely my favourite and I like it to the point where I am heavily considering bringing it to the Seasonal.
The stats are not kind to it, as it is well below 50% win rate, but what has to be considered is that there are multiple weaker versions of it polluting the data. On top of that, this archetype is not for everyone – slower midrange decks like this one tend to be more difficult to play and that tends to reduce their winrate by a few additional percentage points.
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