Masters Decks from Week 1 – A Curious Journey
It’s been almost a week since the Curious Journey expansion has been out, and there are plenty of competitive players that have already made it to Master rank!
I’ve been watching the Ranked ladder closely and keeping tabs on who made it, as well as tracking the decks they’ve used for the majority of their climb.
In today’s article, I’ll share with you a collection of proven lists that players from all three shards piloted up to Master rank during the very first week of the season – maybe you’ll find something fitting your play style and make the climb as well!
Kicking it off with Fizz Gnar Yordles in Arms deck! This archetype originally ran Lulu, but with Gnar’s addition to the game, the champion is just too good not to add in the deck. Both FaintHD and Floppymudkip managed to hit Master rank with Fizz Gnar only a couple of days after the season’s start.
The archetype relies on swarming the board with cheap units and trying to sneak as much damage as it can. Yordles in Arms empowers your whole board with additional stats, and the fact that your units are relatively cheap means it won’t be difficult for you to set up for a wide board before you commit the spell.
Cards like Mystic Shot and Get Excited! are your burn damage to finish off the game once you’ve put your opponent’s Nexus at a low health total.
Akshan Gnar, a deck I’ve already featured once and talked about its potential in this article seems to be performing splendidly in the hands of xxWhatAmIxx. The player from the America shard managed not only to reach Master rank with this list but also hit the top No.1 spot with.
Akshan Gnar Papercraft operates on two win conditions: one of which is to swarm the board with cheap units and smack the Nexus, whereas the other win condition is to use the Overwhelm and Double Attack keywords to set up a one-shot kill and win the game.
Papercraft Dragon attached to either Ruin Runner or
Who would have thought a Concurrent Timelines deck would perform so outstandingly well! America shard player, 4LW, piloted Gnar Trundle all the way to Master rank (check out this longer breakdown of the deck by Agigas).
The deck heavily relies on
From there, you’ll gain the ability to transform units that you play to one of the 3 different choices. Turning value units like Loping Telescope, Boom Baboon, and Aloof Travelers into stronger followers while also activating their unique abilities is the main idea of the deck.
The most important interaction is Trundle‘s Ice Pillar: this 8-cost card can transform into something like Captain Farron or The Leviathan while refunding the 8 mana you just spent!
You’re pretty much playing like a value deck that will eventually run your opponent out of resources. You also have the ability to set up for a one-sided board clear by playing Buried in Ice and following it up with It That Stares on the next turn to destroy all the entombed units.
No surprises as to what we have here – it is Ricko Rex with a new Overwhelm deck he climbed to Masters rank with! Gnar Darius Freljord Noxus deck seems to be performing well on the competitive ladder, holding a 52% win rate overall.
The deck relies on cheap early units like
The earlier you draw Ancient Yeti – the better, playing a cheap mana cost 5|5 Overwhelm can set up for a strong attack that catches your opponent off-guard.
Whirling Death and Decisive Maneuver are usually saved as mid-combat plays, the ability to “remove” a blocker will allow your Overwhelm unit to deal full damage straight to the Nexus, possibly ending the game.
Ezreal Draven is a blast from the past, played by EMEA shard player Ragnarosich. It’s fascinating to see an old deck, that fell out of meta after the multiple nerfs it received, once again making it to Master rank fighting against all the new decks.
Ezreal Draven operates on multiple win conditions, the first and most obvious is board control, setting up a Tri-beam Improbulator that puts you ahead on tempo – and then you just swing for the Nexus.
Ezreal acts as a second win condition – the deck runs a lot of spells, some that can target two units like
Finally, Captain Farron is an 8|8 unit with the Overwhelm keyword – he cannot be allowed to attack or the game is most likely over. On top of that, Farron creates 2
The renowned LoR deck innovator Teal Red from the APAC shard is back with a new concept – Lulu Yuumi Gnar Demacia deck, which looks to be an aggressive archetype.
The deck swarms the board with cheap units, then Yuumi comes in handy to buff up a key unit on the board. And it doesn’t have to be Gnar really – Challenger units like
Quick Quill is usually played on Challenger units, the Quick Attack and additional stats will make it difficult for your opponent to deal with it, allowing you to pick off your opponent’s unit while keeping yours safe.
Once you’ve set up a wide board of units,
To add insult to injury, Golden Aegis and Relentless Pursuit allow you to attack a second time – into your opponent’s board that is likely already in shambles.
ASOLid roamer from the EMEA shard played
Fizz Riven is a combo deck that relies on the Overwhelm keyword to strike the Nexus and set up for a lethal attack. Riven is your Blade Fragment generator – once leveled she can gain a lot of Power which you’ll use to your advantage once you give her the Overwhelm keyword through
Papercraft Dragon played on your key damage unit sets up for a Double Attack that can close out the game. Another card you can combo with your Overwhelm unit is Ruined Reckoner which sets up for another attack with Midnight Raid.
Fizz acts as your Elusive threat – if you fail to set up a buffed-up Overwhelm unit, the little fishy yorlde can gain a lot of stats from cheap spells like Elixir of Wrath.
This Gnar Sejuani deck that takes advantage of the Transform units was played by Venndulum, who made Master rank on the America shard.
The deck runs a lot of cards that can poke the opponent’s Nexus: Inventive Chemist,
Damaging the opponent’s Nexus is important in this deck for two reasons, the first is to transform units such as Teenydactyl and Spotted Toad, the second is to level-up Sejuani and start freezing the opponent’s board.
The deck looks to dominate the board with units, deal Overwhelm damage with Gnar and Sejuani, and close out the game with poke damage with Terrordactyl.
Oneiric took this Teemo Tristana Gnar Bandle City Demacia deck to the ladder, making it to Masters.
The deck wants to swarm the board with cheap units, Grandfather Fae, Loping Telescope. Bandle City Mayor will make sure you don’t run out of gas early on in the game.
Leveling up Tristana isn’t a difficult task, as you run many cheap multi-region units. A leveled-up Tristana will start increasing the Power of your cheap units, allowing for a more aggressive board.
Yordles in Arms is a win condition that you’ll be setting up, +4|+4 on all units is a powerful play, especially when combined with Golden Aegis.
Unlike Fizz Gnar Yordles in Arms, this deck does not run any burn tools like Mystic Shot and Get Excited, you will be relying on your board dominance to win the game.
To be honest, I tried my best not to make it all Gnar decks, but the meta is currently simply infested with Gnar. The multi-region champion fits in most meta decks right now, along with the insane value he provides.
It was difficult to find players that opted to ignore Gnar early in the season and attempt their ladder climb with something else. I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a champion dominate the meta as much as Gnar did, especially since the multi-region allows for more adaptability depending on the archetype.
Nonetheless, Gnar decks right now do feel entertaining to play and the decks listed above are all solid choices to make your climb to Master rank!