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Nami Twisted Fate Shellfolk Deck Guide

Nami Twisted is one of the best decks to come out of the hotfix - it offers power and flexibility, but demands advanced matchup knowledge.

Since the hotfix, the metagame has been a bit all over the place. Among this huge variety, one deck that has found its stride and has been posting a very good win rate over a long period of time is Nami Twisted Fate.

It can run with Nami‘s buffs, Twisted Fate‘s level-up supported by Bandle’s great draw, and the Curious Shellfolk value, making the deck virtually impossible to run out of options.

At the highest level, this archetype has become very popular, especially among players who enjoy the diversity of win conditions that allows them to adapt to various opponents. At the moment of this guide’s writing, Nami Twisted Fate easily is amongst the top 3 decks in the game.

Nami Twisted Fate is the tempo deck in its essence, meaning that its goal is to establish board dominance through various means. You present several win conditions that your opponent will need to answer – and, eventually, they will get punished for not being able to deal with one of those.

The deck can be rather passive during the first 3 turns – if the opponent allows for it. Nami’s level-up condition wants you to bank mana early in the game. Once the level-up is complete, you can start generating tempo – more and more – until the opponent cannot keep up with it anymore.

While it is generally very flexible in what it can do, this build usually has some important milestones in order to establish one of its main win conditions:

  • Turn 3: Double Trouble. The card allows you to store 3 more mana by emptying your existing spell mana bank, and adds to the board, helping Nami’s level-up and fighting for tempo.
  • Turn 4-5: Nami and Fleet Admiral Shelly. Both these cards represent the ‘breaking points’ for the deck. They will reward the player for playing more spells, converting them into tempo.
  • Turn 6-7: Curious Shellfolk and Wiggly Burblefish. Depending on how the game is going, the deck will be looking to keep the tempo high, while refilling its hand with Shellfolk, and enabling the Burblefish attacks (buffed by Nami or Shelly).

Twisted Fate is more of an answer to the opponent, and isn’t used as a primary win condition in the deck. However, with 3 copies of Hidden Pathways and Pokey Stick, TF does have a chance of leveling up and becoming a win condition.

During all phases, the key element to the deck’s development is the spell synergies. They help abuse Nami and Fleet Admiral Shelly passives, reduce Wiggly Burblefish mana cost, and also represent the main defensive tools of the deck. Do not hesitate on using spells proactively – just for the purpose of activating synergies that will help your tempo.

Note that Curious Shellfolk is our only unit that has a decent stat line for its cost. As such, the deck often has to use chump blockers to set up a Twisted Fate Red Card for the wipe – or tank some damage before stabilizing with Nami or Shelly.


Techs and Options

There are many different versions of the archetype running around, so do not get attached to the exact 40 cards in the list shared above. I encourage you to experiment with the deck, get comfortable with its general patterns, and see what works and doesn’t for you.

This card can help with generating cheap spells while also being a great blocker at 4 mana. It usually gets slotted in as a midrange option instead of Marai Warden, who is used as an early anti-aggro tool.

Yordle Captain serves as another way to strengthen our tempo in the midgame. Note that Yordle Captain requires you to have other units as follow-up buff targets, unlike the Lecturing Yordle, which is better as a standalone self-sufficient card.

This spell slowly sees less and less play in the archetype. With Twisted Fate’s Red Card, and small damage spells still very popular in the meta, Mind Meld has lost a bit of its lure because our opponent often can limit our ability to go wide before the spell can resolve.

The deck lacks efficient removal for big units. Minimorph is a great card, but over time, players have learned to play around it. Monster Harpoon provides a good option that can remove most of the metagame’s threats, but it can be sometimes tricky to activate the mana reduction.

The list above features Marai Warden in order to answer a particularly aggressive opponent early on. Bandle Commando is weaker in that role but offers more upside when buffed by Nami and Shelly.

Fizz is the best option in the game to receive Nami or Shelly buffs, and your deck is filled with cheap spells that can protect him. Fizz is great in a control-oriented metagame, while Twisted Fate is better in an environment where you can consistently take advantage of the Red Card and its level-up.

Usually a staple in most value-oriented decks, Loping Telescope actually doesn’t make the cut in most Nami Twisted Fate builds currently – simply because the deck is already loaded with value. In a control metagame, the Loping Telescope can provide more fuel, and access to the utility Celestial cards like Crescent Strike or Equinox.


General Tips

  • Use your health as a resource, but know when to stop

The deck is slow, which means you will have to use your health as a resource in order to establish your strategy. You also don’t run any form of healing, and depending on the opponent, you will need to know how much damage you can afford to take.

For example, against a deck like Yordle Burn, you don’t want to go below 10 health as you know Decimate and Noxian Fervor are a thing. Meanwhile, against a deck like Bandle Tree, you can easily go as low as 5 health and still be safe if you have the board under control.

  • Establish your primary and secondary win condition

A deck that gives you various ways to achieve victory can be extremely powerful if you can set and navigate its complex gameplan efficiently. The first step to establishing that gameplan is to know which win condition are you going to favor and actively push to accomplish, and which can be used as a distraction for your opponent.

Most of the time, your main win condition will either be Nami and Fleet Admiral Shelly, or Twisted Fate staying alive and leveling up. Curious Shellfolk represents either a refill or a game-winning grind engine.

Our tempo-based unit win conditions (Nami, Shelly, Curious Shellfolk, Twisted Fate) all work to support each other. The goal here is to stick an important threat and keep it alive. As such, each new threat you present will require your opponent to remove it – forcing out an answer they won’t have later to deal with your next presented win condition.

  • Know when to shift gears

With a deck that can spin wheels seemingly forever, it is easy to get carried away, spending mana without translating it into immediate tempo, pressure, and damage. Unless you are actually planning on running your opponent out of cards, you need to close out the game eventually. This means at some point you have to proactively focus on how much pressure you can develop with the tools at your disposal.

Seeing a 0-mana Wiggly Burblefish or two in your hand is a great signal for shifting gears, as it can represent the little boost we need to call a race to the finish line. Even if that burst of tempo wouldn’t win you the game, it will at least force your opponent into a defensive position for a bit, giving you openings to stick a Curious Shellfolk on the board and transitioning to a value gameplan.

  • Identify actual threats in the matchup

A lot of matchups are decided based on if you can deal with their most important threats. Unless you are facing an all-out aggressive deck, there are a lot of units we can ignore for several turns without it costing us anything but health.

For example, playing against Darkness, I would ignore Conchologist, and don’t spend my Group Shot on it if it was my only way to stop Twisted Catalyzer. By the same logic, I would tank 4 damage from the Ixtali Sentinel if that means I can 100% deal with a Senna or Veigar they might be waiting to play.

Because our win conditions are either tied to Elusives or Shellfolk/Twisted Fate, the opponent’s board presence in general doesn’t matter as long as we can match and control it. Only key threats do.


Matchups

Preferred win condition: Nami and Shelly buffing Elusive units

Mulligan for: Nami – Double Trouble – Fleet Admiral Shelly

  • Outside of the Catalyzer, there really isn’t anything worrysome on our opponent’s side before Veigar and Senna come around. We need to get a Nami or Shelly on the board early in order to bring pressure and force those champions to block.
  • Darkness has no Elusive blockers, meaning they can only use spells against those, direct buffs to them to make the game as difficult as possible for the opponent. Disguising when we want to play Wiggly Burblefish is key in that regard.
  • Curious Shellfolk shouldn’t be played unless safe for the turn – or if you have mana available to abuse it immediately. Although 6 health is a lot to deal with for Darkness, we want to get as many cards as possible in order to keep the pressure going.
  • Be mindful of the non-Elusive units you keep on the board as they can take buffs away from your Elusive ones. Often, it is correct to take a seemingly bad block with an Otterpus or Conchologist – simply to remove them out of the equation before playing Nami.

Preferred win condition: Nami and Shelly buffing Elusive units

Mulligan for: Nami – Double Trouble – Fleet Admiral Shelly – Minimorph – Group Shot for Zoe on 1.

  • The Pranks and Minimorph allow us to have a lot of disruption to our opponent’s main gameplan. But we still need to be in some sort of a hurry as we won’t be able to deal with 3 Lee Sins and 3 Wounded Whiteflames.
  • With Eye of the Dragon, our opponent will likely be at full health for a large portion of the game, meaning we have to build up to a big offensive turn rather than try and chip away at our opponent’s Nexus. 2-3 hugely buffed Elusives are the best course of action to play around the likes of Hush and Concussive Palm when attacking.
  • Wounded Whiteflame is the real problem of this matchup as it can force us to use a Minimorph we would like to keep for Lee Sin. Slowing down the big dragon’s growth is key in saving our most important resources in the matchup. To do so, you can Prank their Fated enablers, find Stress Defense through Conchologist or Trinket Trade, or quickly level up Nami to build solid blockers.

Preferred win condition: Nami and Shelly buffing Elusive units

Mulligan for: Twisted Fate – Nami – Double Trouble – Pokey Stick

  • Although capable of being agressive on the board, Bandle Tree doesn’t run direct damage, which lets you tank with your Nexus a lot. Unless forced to, only block with units you can afford to lose to a Ravenous Flock.
  • Twisted Fate usually is our first really impactful card on the board in this matchup. Blocking to set most of the opposing board to 1 hp early on allows us to turn things around and get agressive after TF cleans a fair bit of our opponent’s side of the table.
  • This matchup eventually is won on the board. If possible, try to keep your cheap spells for when Nami or Shelly are on the board – unless it is needed to remove a key unit like Bandle City Mayor or Poppy.

Preferred win condition: Denying tempo to our opponent

Mulligan for: Twisted Fate – Group Shot – Early Pressure

  • The key to stopping their snowball is to limit their draw potential so they don’t have access to unlimited resources. As such, Dancing Droplet and Shadow Assassin are must kill targets whenever there isn’t a big risk of a Recall.
  • Twisted Fate is the reason why this matchup is favorable for us. He answers perfectly the Kinkou Wayfinder’s summons, and timing the Red Card goes a long way in stopping our opponent’s tempo.
  • Ahri is the most difficult unit to kill for us in this matchup, but she only becomes a big problem if she levels up or is paired with the Droplet to give our opponent a lot of draw. If she has leveled up, you can use Stress Defense to buy yourself some time.
  • Without a unit on the board, a lot of our opponent’s spells aren’t usable. This gives us a great opening to develop our more expensive cards who could set us back tempo-wise if the opponent could deal with them.

Preferred win condition: Stabilizing board while denying opponent’s gameplan development

Mulligan for: Stress Defense – Minimorph – Conchologist – Twisted Fate

  • Pantheon decks rely on leveraging the Fated keyword to create humongous kind of units and deliver huge blow through granting them Overwhelm. Minimorph and Stress Defense are amongst the best answers to it in the game, alongside Twisted Fate’s Gold Card.
  • We can’t take on their units 1-on-1, meaning our spells have to be key in helping us stabilize until we can leverage Nami and Shelly in order to create big enough blockers. Sacrificing the early game to level up Nami is sometimes necessary if we want to be able to match our opponent’s units sizes.
  • Our important units will likely be targeted by Cataclysm or a Strike effect as soon as they arrive on board. Try to play Nami when you have a couple a spells to use alongside her to abuse her passive ability or a Stress Defense to keep her alive.
  • Because of the opponents limited draw capacity, Pranks are really helpful in knowing farily precisely what is in our opponent’s hand.

Preferred win condition: Nami and Shelly buffing our board to match the opponent’s thralls

Mulligan for: Nami – Double Trouble – Fleet Admiral Shelly

  • This matchup depends on how fast both decks can reach their maximum amount of potential pressure. Thralls will focus on setting a huge attack with as many Thralls as possible while we should focus on leveling up Nami on building on our own wall.
  • We have no way to interact with the opponent’s landmarks, meaning only sheer pressure can force our opponent to change their gameplan. Almost all our units get removed by Avalanche or Blighted Ravine, hence the importance of Nami leveling asap.
  • Stress Defense is a key defensive card once we figured we won’t be able to beat our opponent on the board. Pick it off of Conchologist if possible.
  • Pranks early in the game can help us have a grasp of how fast the opponent might advance its gameplan and raise the cost of key cards like Promising Future or Time in a Bottle.

Preferred win condition: Staying alive and outvaluing our opponent, Twisted Fate level-up, or Curious Shellfolk value

Mulligan for: Twisted Fate – Double Trouble – Nami

  • This matchup is a problem as we don’t have efficient ways to deal with their champions outside of pressuring so much that they are forced to use them defensively. Going for an early wide board can help in that regard as it gets our Group Shot to 2 damage, setting up Lulu and Ahri for an eventual TF Red Card or Pokey Stick.
  • Nami’s level-up isn’t really a priority in this matchup depending on our opponent’s opening. If they start hot right off the gate, use your mana to deal with the board and keep up with tempo. If they take it slow, then advancing Nami isn’t so bad and might pay off later on.
  • Elusive units usually get little work done in this matchup as the opponent has access to Poro Cannon on defense and can challenge them on offense to try and remove them. Focus on the units who help you with the board.
  • Most of your Manifests should be geared toward finding more removal. If you see an opportunity to level up Twisted Fate, taking Stress Defense can protect him from 4/4 Challengers.

Preferred win condition: Staying alive, out-tempoing opponent

Mulligan for: Otterpus – Conchologist – Marai Warden – Double Trouble – Group Shot – Twisted Fate

  • Nami is an afterthought in this matchup, as saving mana usually means giving up too much health in exchange for it. If she happens to level up, use her, otherwise, do not plan around her being of any use in this matchup.
  • Without healing, we can quickly find ourselves in the danger zone of Decimate or Noxian Fervor. As it is almost impossible you run out of cards before your opponent, I would advise to edge most of your decisions in favor of saving health rather than another resource.
  • Eventually, you will have to race to the finish line to close the deal before your opponent draws into damage. As such, playing spells is crucial to reduce our Wiggly Burblefish’s cost as they allow us to mount some free pressure in the mid or late game.
  • Twisted Fate is an important piece of stabilising the board, either with a timely Red Card or denying Poppy to attack with its gold card.

Closing Words

Nami Twisted has been one of the best decks to come out of the hotfix patch, benefiting a lot from the nerf of high-tempo decks relying on Poppy.

The deck’s playstyle offers a ton of variety and puts the pilot in charge of finding the best route to victory, which is something seasoned players value a lot.

Newer players might find the deck difficult at first, as navigating through the different options isn’t easy and requires an advanced knowledge of the metagame.

As usual, if you have any questions about this guide, feel free to comment on the article or drop by our Discord. For my personal news, you can find me on Twitter where I share my decks, accomplishments, and other card-game-related topics.

Good game everyone!


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den

Den has been in love with strategy games for as long as he can remember, starting with the Heroes of Might and Magic series as a kid. Card games came around the middle school - Yugioh and then Magic. Hearthstone has been his real breakthrough and he has been a coach, writer, and caster on the French scene for many years now. Although it took him a bit to get into Legends or Runeterra, his EU Seasonal Tournament win was the perfect start to get involved in the community. He now coaches aspiring pro players and writes various articles on the game. Find him on Twitter at @den_CCG!

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