Hi, Random7HS here with a Deck of the Day article about this list with which I’ve recently hit Masters, going 21-9 during my final push.
This archetype was originally conceptualized by Cephalopod during Between Worlds expansion – at that time, it was using a pre-nerf Poppy. With it Cephalopod would go on to make it to the top 16 of the Seasonal Tournament, but soon the deck fell out of use after when Poppy received a nerf and the meta shifted to Ahri Kennen.
However, this season, Shellfolk is back in form! This newest iteration – Lux Gnar Shellfolk – is a deck that, just like its predecessor, takes advantage of Bandle City’s value generation and Demacia’s good cards.
Lux Shellfolk has two win conditions: either grinding your opponent out of cards, or beating them down with with Final Sparks or and For Demacia! as your finishers. Gnar fits in with both of these win conditions perfectly.
With Curious Shellfolk out on the board, Conchologist, Loping Telescope, and Trinket Trade all give you 2 cards each. Pranks allow you to look at your opponent’s hand and steal a cheaper copy of one of their cards. Lux further enhances this synergy by giving you free lasers to remove your opponent’s units for free every time you cast 6 mana worth of spells.
One of the biggest issues with Shellfolk decks is that burn and aggro don’t care about card advantage and just want to finish you off with direct damage spells. Radiant Guardian solves this issue by keeping your life total high as your opponent runs out of cards.
The second biggest issue with Shellfolk decks is that they often have trouble contesting the board early: Curious Shellfolk is a 6 mana card, Lux and Radiant Guardian both cost 5 mana… To combat this problem, Lux Shellfolk runs nine 2-drops, 3 Otterpuses, 2 Vanguard Sergeants, 3 Gnars, 3 Pokey Sticks, and 2 Single Combats.
Running these early game cards not only helps you make it to the late game, but it also feeds into the deck’s second win condition: getting on the board early and finishing your opponent off with either Lux lasers or For Demacia.
Many decks such as Bandle Tree can’t easily clear your board early, and you can often push early damage against them while efficiently trading off units. Once you summon Lux, you often present them with this choice: either spend all of the mana removing our Lux and leave the rest of our board up; or deal with our board and leave Lux alive. Either outcome is good for you.
Pranks play into this win condition by both slowing down your opponent’s spells and by feeding your Lux. For Demacia!, similarly, both threatens to end the game on the spot if your board is big enough and immediately gives Lux a Final Spark.
Lux Shellfolk is a deck with a lot of even matchups and a ton of player agency. Games mainly come down to decisions you’ve made during the game. Lux Shellfolk heavily rewards planning ahead and successfully executing a game plan.
Since its inception, Lux Shellfolk has been one of my favorite decks. I am happy to say that with the addition of Gnar, it is definitely viable right now. If you want a deck to climb with that forces you to think carefully about your moves, I would highly recommend Lux Shellfolk.
As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this deck!