Patch 4.1 Masters Climbing Guide: Tristana Teemo Control and Kalista Nocturne Sion
Hey everyone, it’s Raphterra here again! In my previous Masters Climbing Guide, I featured Kayle Zed and Jax Ornn, the decks that I used to rank up my main account from Platinum to Masters. This time, I’m presenting another double deck guide featuring Kalista Nocturne Sion Mistwraiths and Tristana Teemo Tempo Control. These are the two decks that I used to climb from Platinum to Masters on my other APAC account.
In this guide, I’ll be discussing the decks’ gameplan and strategy for the mulligan, the early game, the mid game, and the late game. Each deck will also come with a video guide, if you want to see the deck in action.
Let’s get started!
Tristana Teemo Tempo Control
Statistics and Deck Overview
I’ll start with Tristana Teemo Shadow Isles, the deck that I used to climb from Platinum to Diamond at a 70% winrate (17 wins, 7 losses). This is a versatile deck that combines elements of aggro and control in its play style. You win games by either overwhelming your opponent with multi-region units or by using Atrocity to deal a fatal blow with a huge Tristana.
If you enjoy playing extended, strategic games, then this deck will surely be a blast to play!
For the mulligan, you should always keep early units that help progress Tristana’s level up, such as Tristana herself, Teemo, Minion, Grandfather Fae, and Bandle City Mayor.
If you have Tristana and units to play in the first two turns, you can also keep Wandering Shepherd.
Depending on the opponent’s deck, you can also keep control tools in your starting hand. Cards such as Group Shot, Quietus, and Pokey Stick are great against swarm decks with small units. Buster Shot and Hate Spike are great against decks with 3-health threats like Lulu or Jinx.
If you have a good starting hand, you can also keep Vengeance and Aloof Travelers as removals for larger units like Viego or Ornn.
In the early to mid-game, Tristana Teemo aims to deal as much Nexus damage as possible through a combination of aggression and control.
You have two main objectives to pursue during this phase:
- You want to swarm the board with cheap multi-region units. This both threatens wide attacks and progresses Tristana‘s level up requirement.
- Swarming the board and controlling the opponent’s board at the same time is possible in this deck because most of your units and spells are low-cost. You can enhance your attacks by clearing enemy blockers with cheap and efficient removals like Buster Shot, Quietus, Group Shot, and the recently buffed Hate Spike.
The Flexible Duo: Wandering Shepherd and Bandle City Mayor
Two key units that add flexibility to this deck are Wandering Shepherd and Bandle City Mayor. You will use these cards differently depending on the match-up and board state.
How you use Wandering Shepherd will depend on whether the opposing deck has removal for Tristana:
- Against decks that don’t have good removal options for Tristana, such as Katarina Leona or Pirate Aggro, you want to Improvise a weapon on Tristana. Your best choices would be Fishawhack or Upcycled Rake.
- Against decks that have removal for Tristana, such as Darkness Control or Ravenbloom Conservatory, you may want to spread out your threats and instead Improvise a weapon on other units. Hungry Owlcat is a good weapon holder because of its Spellshield.
Bandle City Mayor offers several options, but here are my tips on how to use this card effectively:
- If you aim to end the game soon, consider manifesting cheaper units such as Blastcone Seedling or Grandfather Fae to create a wide board presence.
- If you expect the game to last longer, try manifesting high-value units like Poro Sled and Shark Trainer to maximize your late-game potential.
Removal Options: Aloof Travelers and Vengeance
My final tip for the early-mid game strategy is to make effective use of Aloof Travelers and Vengeance to deal with big threats. These cards can be game-winning against specific matchups if used correctly:
- With Aloof Travelers, try to play it before your opponent has the opportunity to play their key high-cost cards, such as on Turn 6 against Viego or Turn 7 against Ornn.
- If you have Vengeance, make sure to bank spell mana so that you can counter large units as they come down.
Your strategy in the late game will depend on how your early to mid game progressed. There are typically three scenarios you may encounter with Tristana Teemo in the late game:
- First is that your opponent was overwhelmed by your pressure and you are close to winning. In this case, continue following the strategy of making wide attacks and you will ultimately win.
- Second is that you have inflicted Nexus damage, but the board state remains relatively even. In these situations, you may need to use Atrocity as your win condition. Level 2 Tristana is the best target for Atrocity, but you can also consider other units based on the opponent’s Nexus health.
- Third is when the game extends into a long, drawn-out match between top decks. This is a common scenario for Tristana Teemo, so be prepared for long games. In these types of games, use Bandle City Mayor to search for expensive threats and take advantage of improvised equipment returning to your hand. Equipment can turn cheap units into game-ending threats, especially if the board is empty.
Video Guide: In-depth Gameplay Commentary
Kalista Sion Nocturne Mistwraiths
Statistics and Deck Overview
Up next is Kalista Nocturne Sion Mistwraiths, the deck I used to rank up my smurf account from Diamond to Masters at 77% winrate (20 Wins, 6 Losses). This is an aggro-combo deck that uses multiple Fearsome units to deal direct damage to the enemy Nexus.
The version of the deck I used for my climb differs slightly from popular variants. Instead of including two copies of Precious Pet as a Noxus splash, my version features only one copy of Sion from Noxus and multiple copies of Glimpse Beyond for card draw.
By incorporating Sion and Glimpse Beyond, the deck gains a notable advantage against decks that rely heavily on removal, while still maintaining its strength against slower decks. Sion serves as a viable alternate win condition, especially when combined with the new spell, Soul Cleave, which has quickly become a fan favorite.
Mulligan & Early Game
The early game strategy for the first three turns is straightforward. You should aim to play units on each turn and deal Nexus damage whenever possible.
During the mulligan, focus on filling out your early curve. Aim to keep a good combination of Boisterous Host, Arachnoid Horror, Mistwraith, Phantom Butler, and Kalista. If you have cards to play during the first three turns, you might also consider keeping Wraithcaller.
Note that I did not include Stygian Onlooker in the list of cards to always keep, despite it being a 1-drop unit. Instead, consider keeping Stygian Onlooker in these three scenarios:
- When attacking on odd turns, and your opponent doesn’t have any 1-cost units that would block it on Turn 1.
- When attacking on even turns, and you can activate its Nightfall on Turn 2 by playing another 1-drop unit.
- When attacking on odd turns, and you can activate its Nightfall on Turn 3 by playing another 2-drop unit.
If you already have a good hand, you can start keeping combo pieces for later turns. Frenzied Skitterer and Nocturne are excellent for setting up wide fearsome attacks, while Soul Cleave is a good option if you have Wraithcaller or Frenzied Skitterer.
Against matchups with multiple removal spells, consider keeping The Harrowing to secure your victory on Turn 7 or 8.
The mid game, which spans Turns 4-6, is usually the time when you can unleash your fearsome attacks and deal significant damage to the opponent’s Nexus:
- Sometimes, it can be as simple as attacking with a wide board of Fearsome units, bolstered by the Mark of the Isles spell to counter removal.
- More often, you will have a combo piece such as Nocturne or Soul Cleave, along with Frenzied Skitterer or Wraithcaller, to strengthen your Fearsome attacks.
- Risen Mists is another combo piece that allows you to develop a Fearsome attacker at burst speed, giving no opportunity for your opponent to react.
These are the usual combo attacks that you can make in the mid-game.
The Harrowing Factor
Another important aspect of the mid-game is to adjust your playstyle if you have The Harrowing in your hand. Having The Harrowing means that you want to play more aggressively during your attacks and defenses. This means attacking more frequently and blocking more to clear your board and prepare for a Harrowing attack on Turn 7 or Turn 8.
Nocturne is a great card to sacrifice before Turn 7, since reviving him with The Harrowing makes for devastating attacks.
Sometimes, I use Soul Cleave on Frenzied Skitterer or Mistwraith to fuel units for my Harrowing.
Late Game Options
From Turn 7 onwards, your only remaining options to secure victory are The Harrowing and Sion. A sneaky combo is to use Soul Cleave on Sion to get multiple rallies, but most of the time, even his Overwhelm damage will be sufficient to secure wins. If your opponent is able to counter these, you will likely lose.
Video Guide: In-depth Gameplay Commentary
That’s it for now! Both of these decks felt very solid to play, and I think they will remain meta staples for the rest of Patch 4.1. Kalista Sion is my most recommended deck for climbing the ranked ladder currently, due to its great matchup against the most popular deck in the meta, Ryze Ionia. Stay tuned for more guides to come!
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on YouTube, Discord, or Twitter!