Hello Runeterra, my name is Spaiikz and this is my first article on RuneterraCCG. My card game experience started in Hearthstone where I’ve been able to finish rank 1 on the EU ladder. As for Legends of Runeterra, I’ve regularly reached Masters since the beta season and peaked in the top 10 of ladder every season so far. I also represented team UK in LoR Masters Europe: Chronicles of Targon.
The Empires of the Ascended expansion just launched and we got plenty of new cards to play around with. This will be my guide for the new Ledros Timelines archetype.
With the new expansion, one of the most anticipated combos has been the Concurrent Timelines + Commander Ledros combo. The idea is to transform your Commander Ledros into The Dreadway, which would double the damage from Ledros’s play effect, resulting in an instant win if it goes through.
This combo means you have to be in Piltover and Zaun and Shadow Isles as your regions. The PnZ and SI combination is not particularly new. In fact, it is actually rather old in the form of Corina Control, which was a deck revolving around Corina Veraza. Corina Control has not seen much play for months but had a small resurgence in the weeks leading up to the Cosmic Creation Seasonal Tournament.
Now with the release of Concurrent Timelines there is some new hope for PnZ + SI control as an archetype, which is taking a slightly new direction.
On the release day of Empires of the Ascended some people played a spell-heavy version of the deck, featuring Corina Veraza. However, during my theorycraft I settled on a much more unit-heavy version. Corina Veraza was actually one of the weakest cards in Corina Control in the last season. So it just makes sense to rebuild it more around Concurrent Timelines and abuse the strong ‘Play’ abilities of units.
Overall, as of the time of writing, the unit-heavy version has performed better than the spell-heavy Corina version. Personally, I’m happy to say that my idea of Chempunk Shredder has been doing well and has caught on for other high-level players.
In the early to mid-game, the deck looks to slow down the opponent’s board development while generating some value through followers or card draw. Once you reach turn 9 you can try and OTK your opponent with the combo of transforming Commander Ledros into The Dreadway (you have a 60% chance to achieve that).
This version is running Cursed Keeper which can help generate tempo and contest early boards. Most games rely on stalling and using the OTK to win the game, but a few games can be won by transforming early game units into bigger followers and just beating down the opponent. However, this is not usually the main focus of the deck and is only done if you happen to get great followers to pick from early on.
The deck is running 3 Commander Ledros and plenty of card draw, so it should see at least 1 copy of Ledros by turn 9. If you draw 2 it is still fine as it will get you another shot at pulling off an OTK – if you missed your 60% chance on the first attempt or if the opponent managed to stop you.
- Play Concurrent Timelines at the right time.
While you want to keep Concurrent Timelines in your mulligan, you do NOT have to play it on turn 1. Elise and Cursed Keeper are both turn 2 plays. Elise can not transform and Cursed Keeper is often better as a sacrifice target. So if you have Cursed Keeper you might want to play it first and then use Concurrent Timelines, resulting in transforming your Blighted Caretaker, while also getting your 4/3 Escaped Abomination from Cursed Keeper. There are even scenarios where having the 3/1 from Fading Icon might be preferable over a random 2-cost follower due to its 3 attack.
- Pass, pass, pass.
I’m sure many people have told you this, but Runeterra is a game that overall favors the player reacting – and this is key in control decks. Especially those with a clear win condition like this deck. Figure out if you are the aggressor or not. For control decks you rarely are the aggressor which means that passing will usually benefit you. Pass to get more information or get closer to your OTK with Ledros if you can. Your opponent often has to make plays before you do in fear of going to turn 9 and just getting killed on the spot by Commander Ledros.
- Pay attention to Kindred mark while attacking and blocking.
The order in which you attack or block has probably never mattered more than with Kindred, due to their mark mechanic. It is very tricky and still has to be mastered by everyone. For example, during a block, leaving the weakest unit alive can be beneficial because Kindred will kill it at the end of the round anyway. During attacks against an opposing Kindred you want to place your weaker units at the end so that your opponent can’t Slay them and mark a bigger unit as a result.
- Go for the Ledros OTK at the right time.
The deck can win out of nowhere. This is something that probably will frustrate a lot of people, but you always have to keep this in mind. In Runeterra it is rare to actually win out of nowhere, but this deck can do it.
The choice is obvious that you should play Ledros when you are losing because 60% odds is better than 5% in those scenarios. The key is to understand the proper timing when the game is close. You have to think ahead and determine if playing Commander Ledros has better odds of winning the game than trying to control the board for a slow but inevitable victory.
Against TF Fizz, for example, when they have a few Elusives and threaten to kill you – you have to consider if it is better to try and clear the board with Withering Wail, winning as a classic control deck, or just slam down Ledros and pray for your 60% outcome.
- Concurrent Timelines is pretty much always kept as a 1-of, but mulligan away any additional copies of it. They have literally no use except as Rummage fodder. In aggro matchups where all you need is to stabilize the board, you might sometimes possibly toss even your only copy of Timelines – if you need Withering Wail,
Elise,and other anti-aggro cards. But even then it should be kept pretty much always.
- Commander Ledros can be kept against control decks and you shouldn’t be afraid of keeping it just because it costs 9 mana. In control-versus-control matchups, it often comes down to having specific key cards. Commander Ledros is one of those cards and has always been. You need a way to win before the other control player does and in this deck, it comes down to Commander – and you might need more than 1 Ledros to win the game in those matchups.
- Elise / Cursed Keeper / Fading Icon / Vile Feast / Withering Wail / Mystic Shot are all great game-stabilizer cards that help against aggressive matchups. They slow down the board and help you sustain against aggression, but can also be kept against most decks and not feel bad.
- Spirit Leech / Kindred are cards you generally can keep if you have a decent hand already. Those 2 cards provide value to your mid-game. Kindred controls the board, while Spirit Leech draws additional cards for little cost.
- Blighted Caretaker is in a unique spot, because it is pretty much only good against specific decks and if you have a good sacrifice target. It should only be kept if you have Fading Icon or Cursed Keeper to be the sacrifice target and you are going to get value out of the 2/1 challenging Saplings.
- Vengeance also does something no other card does in this deck. You can keep it if you are certain it is going to be of some value at some point in the game. A great example would be in the mirror to kill The Dreadway of your opponent.
Most other cards have no reason to be kept in the opening hand or there are just better cards to search for.
Thermogenic Beam has been a staple in many PnZ decks in the past and could definitely make its way into this deck due to its flexibility and the fact it can be good against many different units. The problem is that the card is slowly falling out of favor due to power creep and because it can clog your hand if you draw multiple. While it could make its way into the deck, I’m confident to say it will not be a 3-of like we have seen in the past.
Get Excited! gives more ways to make use of the discard fodder cards and kill a 3 health unit or finish off the enemy Nexus in clutch situations.
Subpurrsible would be a very spicy choice as a 5-drop which draws you a card and transforms with Concurrent Timelines. The main problem is that it is contesting Kindred and Chempunk Shredder at 5 mana and slots are getting tighter as mana cost is going up.
Ledros Timelines was performing very well on the release day – so much that some players started complaining. The deck is starting to fall off a little bit as other new archetypes are getting more refined and include more ways to deal with the OTK.
However, this does not mean that this deck in turn can not get more refined itself to stay in the meta or find a place in a winning tournament lineup. The archetype has some unique things going for it, which is something to look out for in a tournament lineup.
An example of such refinement that already happened is that many players anticipated that Concurrent Timelines would be a 1-of or 2-of at most, but it has rather shown that it is a staple 3-of for now. Another unexpected card which has made its way into the deck as a mainstay for now is Chempunk Shredder. This just shows that there is still a long way to go for this deck in terms of both card choices and piloting.
Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me on Twitter. Till next time Runeterra,