Matron Cithria – Competitive Archetype or a Meme?
Hello everyone! Sorry here. In this article I’ll be exploring with you the Matron Cithria combo and the various decks that make use of it.
I’ll explain how this archetype works, take a deep dive into the different builds players are running, and I’ll try to figure out the best version to play right now in the current meta. I’ll also share my thoughts on each version and how I view the deck in a competitive atmosphere, whether on the ladder or in tournaments.
Matron Cithria is a midrange combo archetype that utilizes the new 10-mana unit Cithria, Lady of Clouds. The deck is pretty straightforward – you build a board, take favorable trades, and transition into your finisher which is Matron Cithria combo.
Cithria is a 10 mana unit, but we can use Spectral Matron to cheat her out earlier and trigger her effect giving us a threatening board that can end the game. The Challenger keyword granted to all our units allows us to pull opponent’s units into combat in order to either push lethal damage or cripple their board presence to the point where it will be impossible for them to come back.
There are three prominent version of the archtypes that see play on the ladder: Elise Mobilize, Shyvana Dark Scourge Mask Mother and Kalista Sacrifice. Besides Matron and Cithria themselves, important cards we see common across all three versions are:
- Radiant Guardian: a solid unit in the current meta against aggro decks, especially Azir Irelia, due to the Lifesteal it provides and the Tough keyword.
- Stalking Shadows: You’re usually trying to pull Spectral Matron or Cithria, Lady of Clouds to set up for your combo play.
- Oblivious Islander: A neat unit that allows you to play your Spectral Matron a turn earlier, or set up for a Cithria, Lady of Clouds on turn 9. It can also be played on other units such as Cursed Keeper,
Dark Scourge, or The Undying.
This is the earliest version of the deck created by TealRed, it runs Mobilize in order to reduce the cost of the units in hand. The main unit you’re looking to hit with it is Spectral Matron which will allow you to play her earlier and summon an ephemeral copy of Cithria, Lady of Clouds.
This is probably my least-favored build. Mobilize is great when cast early game, but in the late-game it ends up as a very dissapointing top-deck.
We have nothing in the way of interaction with the opposing board other than Single Combat, we’re pretty much set on getting our Cithria Matron combo as early as possible and might find ourselves unable to deal with some of our opponent’s threats.
Elise isn’t a champion I like seeing in the deck, she offers free Slay stacks for Nasus Thresh and she’s very underwhelming against Lissandra Matron, two very popular decks in the meta.
This version of the deck I found to be the most entertaining, it was created in collaboration of Silverfuse, Precipic, Gankedirl, and TippyTipz.
Although the Matron Cithria combo is awesome when it’s pulled off there’s another sweet interaction that might attract your attention. Playing Mask Mother on Darkwater Scourge will not only grant you its stats but also the Lifesteal keyword! This is a nightmare for aggressive decks, including Azir Burn and Azir Irelia that are very popular decks on the ladder.
However, Darkwater Scourge + Mask Mother combo is not a guarantee and it can feel awkward playing the Scourge without a follow-up play. Most decks do run cards that can play around it and deny the single instance of healing, such as, Noxian Fervor, Glimpse Beyond, Lead and Follow, etc.
Shyvana is harder to remove than both Kalista and Elise featured in other versions of the deck, and can take some value trades. However, it still falls prey to Culling Strike, a popular card currently ran as a 3-offs in Ezreal Draven.
This version of Matron Cithria also runs Laurent Protege and Screeching Dragon – two units capable of trading well while also remaining on the board as threats. These are very solid cards to take control of board presence.
Probably the most consistent list I’ve tested, it does not rely on
The extra card draw from Glimpse Beyond and Spirit Leech increases the chance of finding the combo play, at the same time you won’t be running out of gas very easily.
Kalista on the other hand is a 4-3 Fearsome unit, capable of pushing damage onto the enemy Nexus while also threatening to level up, especially that the deck runs a lot of cards that can kill your own units.
Keep in mind that Kalista’s spell is Black Spear, also a powerful card in this deck as we run a lot of cards that can enable it.
Which version is best for the current meta?
I tested all lists to find the best one to play currently on the ladder, and Elise was definitely not the list I enjoyed or found very consistent. So it came down to either Shyvana or Kalista and whether I want to go with the Dark Scourge and Masked Mother package or prefer a more aggressive early plays with Cursed Keeper and Ravenous Butcher.
The version that won it for me is Kalista with the sacrifice package.
I felt the early pressure Kalista imposes on the opponent makes the deck feel much better early game, giving you more time to set up for your Matron Cithria combo as your opponent tries to catch up on board.
At the same time, the ability to have a wide board with the Kalista version means that we can buff more units with Cithria, Lady of Clouds – this is something that wasn’t too consistent when I was playing the Shyvana version.
Vengeance and The Ruination seemed a little slow for the current meta, you’re usually happy with Vengeance if you’re able to remove a Nasus off the board, but Concerted Strike felt just enough and in most cases, as one of your units buffed by Cithria could potentially remove Nasus.
Atrocity is definitely a consideration to add at least one copy of, just as a finisher in case our opponent has enough blockers to stop our lethal attack when we pull off the Matron Cithria combo.
Now comes the million-dollar question, can Matron Cithria exist as a competitive deck and rival the current popular meta decks?
If optimized depending on the meta, I can see Matron Cithria becoming a more popular deck. Right now, among the three versions listed, I believe the Kalista version is the most consistent one to play.
Will it be ever considered as a Tier 1 deck? Probably not, at least not anytime soon. The deck still remains a little inconsistent, it relies on a combo play that could potentially not work out. On top of that Nasus Thresh is a superior sacrifice package deck that actually benefits more from killing your own units.Both Thresh and Nasus put more pressure on the opponent to find answers than Kalista does.
Thanks for reading! Please be welcome to share your thoughts on the archetype and which lists have you found more optimal for you!