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Nami Twisted Fate Sudden Come Back: PnZ vs. Shadow Isles Versions

Hello friends, this week Nami Twisted Fate had a sudden increase in play rate on the ranked ladder. The community has decided to give the archetype a shot but quickly found itself divided between the Shadow Isles and Piltover and Zaun versions.

The PnZ version was the first to exist, and although it didn’t really gain much popularity back in the days, it seems that it’s far from being a lost cause. Shortly after, another take on Nami Twisted Fate emerged, opting to pair Bilgewater with the Shadow Isles region. The SI version also quickly rose in popularity on the ranked ladder becoming one of the top played decks.

In today’s article, I’ll talk about both versions, their similarities, differences, and my overall opinion on both versions.

Gameplan Similarities

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Both decks operate on the same early game plan! Bank mana until turn 3 and start using spell mana to level up your Nami. Double Trouble is the perfect card for your turn 3 play, as it offers blockers and spends exactly 3 spell mana.

Once Nami levels up she’ll start buffing up your units on the board. Ideally, you want to pump the stats of elusive units like Wiggly Burblefish and Zap Sprayfin and start hitting the Nexus.

As for Twisted Fate, his three different cards can be adaptable to a specific scenario you’re in. Blue card is usually the best option if you’re aiming to level up the champion.

Twisted Fate is not just an early value card but can turn into a win condition. Both versions have a lot of card draw tools that help you level up the champion pretty quickly. Basically, your opponent needs to kill Twisted Fate or they’ll find themselves in a pickle against the insane value he offers.


Before I jump to the PnZ and Shadow Isles region differences; let’s take a look at the common region, Bilgewater. The Shadow Isles version adds both Coral Creatures and Fleet Admiral Shelly, two cards that have the Attune keyword and offer unique abilities to the deck.

Fleet Admiral Shelly has a similar job to that of Nami, which is to buff up your whole board. The PnZ version opts to cut out Fleet Admiral Shelly entirely from the deck. Apparently, the card is a bit slow for what the PnZ version requires. The value buffs from Shelly aren’t truly needed as Nami does enough and your burn cards can deal the little damage needed to end the game.

The Shadow Isles version lacks the burn capabilities PnZ has, hence board presence is more important for the deck and Fleet Admiral Shelly will make it more difficult for your opponent to clear your board.

If you take a look at the Shadow Isles version, you’ll notice that Pick a Card is not present in the list. Although the card can still be included in the deck, players have decided to cut it out for Glimpse, a card that does a similar job without having to deal with fleeting cards.

Tentacle Smash and Eye of Nagakabouros are two Bilgewater cards only included in the SI version. Eye of Nagakabouros offers card draw and synergizes with Tentacle Smash, a cheaper way to remove key opponent units.

Region Differences

Piltover and Zaun Version

The PnZ version offers fast-paced gameplay; Poro Cannon allows you to be more aggressive with your Elusive units. In addition, it is easier to level up Twisted Fate in the PnZ version, Rummage and Stress Testing can turbo level up your champion and turn him into a win condition.

Get Excited! and Mystic Shot are great tools to either remove pesky units off the board or straight-up target the opponent’s Nexus to push the little burn damage you need.

Lastly, Flash of Brilliance in the deck is mainly there to push a Nami level up much easier. The card saves you the headache of having to make awkward plays to ensure Nami levels up, it’s an essential card in the deck that makes the archetype more consistent overall.

Shadow Isles Version

This version lacks the burn potential that the PnZ can dish out but does offer more sustainability with healing cards like Vile Feast and Undergrowth. Additionally, Vengeance acts as a hard removal for key units on your opponent’s board, something the PnZ version lacks.

Important to note that some lists are adding Go Hard to the deck, which might become a staple card. The card offers healing, removal, and a strong board AOE damage with Pack your Bags. It can potentially wipe out your opponent’s board and pave the way for the rest of your units to hit the opponent’s Nexus.

Fading Memories is a great trigger for Nami and Shelly and can be played on a Wiggly Burblefish, it sets up an additional Elusive on the board while also generating a 1 mana cost spell in hand. Shadow Isles Tellstones is another inclusion in the deck. It’s a versatile card that I have mostly been using as a Nami trigger and to play Mark of the Isles, which sets up a more threatening attack from your Elusive units.

Finally, Harrowing gives you a last resort win condition in case you’re out of units on the board, a full-on wide attack to end the game.


Although both versions have a similar game plan, the SI version goes a step beyond thanks to the sustainability cards it runs. It is currently the more popular version on the ranked ladder, even becoming one of the top 5 most played decks!

Taking a look at the stats, the PnZ version was initially performing better than the SI one, but that’s mainly because the PnZ version was already an established and refined deck. As players refined the SI version and understood how to operate it, the deck’s win rate slowly increased to catch up to its rival.

At the time of writing this article, the Shadow Isles version has a higher win rate, holding 51.23%; whereas the PnZ version is at a low win rate of 42.69%.

Matchup table-wise, we don’t really have enough stats just yet for me to base an accurate judgment. But with the little stats we got, the SI version is performing much better! Beating the likes of Annie Ezreal, Viego Noxus, Annie Elise, and Fizz Riven all popular meta decks; whereas the PnZ version has an awful matchup table, only favored against Fizz Riven, Deep, and Lurk.

Even though I prefer the playstyle of the PnZ version, the winner is clearly Shadow Isles. The deck proves that it’s the superior and more difficult version to pilot, capable of dealing with popular meta decks that the PnZ version crumbles against.


Alaa "TricksterSorry" Yassine is a competitive Legends of Runeterra player. His passion for card games ignited in his youth with favorites like Yugioh and Pokemon. Currently, he dedicates himself to achieving professional excellence in Runeterra, while also creating informative video and written content for the Runeterra community.

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