Hi everyone, den writing!
So brace yourselves, as we are going to embark on each hero’s adventure in order to help you get through the whole thing.
Today, we are going to focus on the discrete Ekko, a champion that never caught fire on the ladder but can be a ton of fun in PvE as he is one of the best champions to play with if you like to assemble specific combo pieces together.
Ekko runs a Predict-oriented build as its starting deck, and honestly, it is fairly difficult to work with. Just like in PvP, Ekko’s mechanic is great when the stars align but can be very annoying when things don’t go the way you planned. It also takes a little bit of time to get going as we usually have to rely on a setup phase, most of the time leveling up Ekko.
Still, there are some great cards in Ekko’s deck that we want to build around and focus on during most of our runs. Also, it is important to note that Ekko’s deck might the one where you will never have to worry about drawing into your champion, as the Predict mechanic usually takes care of it.
First, it is crucial to understand that we almost always will work towards leveling Ekko quickly, a 0-mana Time Trick every turn will do wonders to any deck you can imagine and allow you to have good turns only from that point on.
In order to flip Ekko without losing too much mana in the process, we need to make Time Trick worth the 2 mana we are paying for it through items. We will also need to rely on Practical Perfectionist, a card that will serve as a great blocker while advancing Ekko’s level up.
When it comes to tempo, the Fallen Feline is our most important ally. Finding it on turn 1 and multiplying it through Iterative Improvement before starting to Predict for Ekko’s level-up will be our go-to gameplan in most of the early fights of our journey. The Hexite Crystal can help us come back from almost any situation and leverage the board in our favor so we can actually do everything we want to. That Crystal also helps make the Chempunk Shredder more revelant.
The cards we want to avoid spending resources on are the Boomcrew Rookie, Chempunk Shredder, and surprisingly, the PvE-only card Chirean Grayback – which also falls into this category. Most of the time, these 3 cards simply are too bad to fight for the board with and end up losing us tempo, as they also do not contribute to the Predict gameplan in any way. They might have their shining moments, but I wouldn’t rely on them to finish an adventure.
Overall, Ekko’s success will rely a lot on what you can add to it, as more Predict or cost reduction items will do wonders to your overall power level, while adding more expensive and slow cards usually will end up costing you health.
|1||Begin your Adventure||Complete adventures to gain Reputation and unlock your champion’s potential!|
|2||Studded Leather (+1|+1)||Begin every adventure with Studded Leather|
|3||+50 Gold||Begin every adventure with an extra 50 gold|
|4||+2 Rerolls||Begin every adventure with 2 additional Rerolls.|
|5||Random Starting Item||Begin each adventure with a random Common Item on a card in your Deck.|
|6||Common Relic Slot||Gain a slot for a Common Relic Item.|
|7||Cut Cards||You can now cut cards at the Healer.|
|8||New starting Power||When you see an ally in a Prediction, grant it +1|+1.|
|9||+10% Rare Powers||You have a 10% additional chance to find Rare Powers.|
|10||+50 Gold||Begin every adventure with an extra 50 gold|
|11||Rare Relic Slot||Upgrade to a slot for a Rare or Common Relic Item.|
|12||+2 Rerolls||Begin every adventure with 2 additional Rerolls.|
|13||+10% Gold||You earn 10% additional gold during adventures.|
|14||Common Relic Slot||Gain a slot for a Common Relic Item.|
|15||+1 Revive||Begin every adventure with 1 Revive. It will save you if you lose a combat!|
|16||+10% Rare Items||You have a 10% additional chance to find Rare Items.|
|17||Random Starting Item||Begin each adventure with a random Rare Item on a card in your deck.|
|18||Upgraded Starting Power||When you see an ally in a Prediction, grant it +1|+1. When you see a spell, reduce its cost by 2.|
|19||+10% Gold||You earn 10% additional gold during adventures.|
|20||Rare Relic Slot||Upgrade to a slot for a Rare or Common Relic Item.|
|21||5% Epic Items||You have a 5% additional chance to find Epic Items|
|22||+1 Mana||You begin every battle with an extra mana gem.|
Ekko has 2 very important milestones you want to reach in his reputation unlocks. The first one is obvious, it’s the new starting power, and later on its upgraded version.
Having a hero power that rewards you for predicting will be a life changer when playing Ekko, as it is basically something you want to be doing almost every turn you play with the champion. Also, the increased stats on your units will be clutch as your advance your journey, Ekko being a champion that doesn’t rush its opponent, solidifying your board presence is a crucial step to victory.
The upgraded starting power on level 18 will make you a demi-god. Units being buffed is something great already, but being able to level up Ekko on turn 2 is something close to heaven. Once you reach this unlock, buff Time Trick every time the card gets offered, as every game, you likely will want to pick and play it every time you see it in a prediction, the card costing 0.
Other 2 mana spells are also great, Mystic Shot and Iterative Improvement being great utility cards, but nothing beats free Time Tricks.
The second important milestone we want to reach is level 15 and the revive. Ekko being based on the predict mechanics, there are games where things just don’t go your way and you get rushed down by the opponent, especially once you are in the last encounters of an adventure. This revive will save your run and protect you against that likely one terrible game you will have somewhere along the long road you have to take to get to Nautilus or Viktor for example.
Relics and Items
Ekko has one major problem that your items should focus on solving: he has low health. Indeed, when most of your gameplan relies on leveling up your champion, watching him die to a Thermogenic Beam over and over can be slightly frustrating.
When he is on the offensive, his Quick Attack keyword usually is great and makes him very hard to stop for the opponent. This makes Ekko great in Bilgewater and Ionia adventures, where there aren’t so many removal spells around. In those runs, you can invest into your offensive potential or mana perks. For example, picking up The Troll King’s Crusher – the Overwhelm relic – and giving it to Ekko will rarely be punished in those scenarios, as well as The Grand Duelist’s Blade – the Challenger relic – if you want to use him as a removal.
A good relic to help with his level-up is the Lost Chapter (‘When I’m summoned, refill your spell mana’), making sure you will always be able to use the Time Trick he creates upon attacking. I wouldn’t call this relic a necessity as you should find ways to enhance your Time Tricks along the road, as well as other powers that will enhance your spells, but it is a nice one to have if you don’t have one of the premium choices.
The roads where Ekko needs more help is usually in Piltover region, where opponents can use spells to deal with Ekko, and it becomes obvious that 2 health (3 with the Studded Leather) isn’t enough to consistently keep our most important unit alive.
In that regard, several items can help bolster Ekko’s survivability potential. Banshee’s Veil (Spellshield) is an easy one to get in the common rarity. In the rare pool of relics, my favorites are Jaurim’s Fist (1|+2 ) and The Bounty Hunter’s Renown (+1|+1 for every 200 gold you have) – both are improving Ekko’s statline, therefore survivability.
Ekko being the center of your gameplan, and representing a good win condition with its Chronobreaks, we don’t necessarily need a win condition when picking our Reinforcements. But that doesn’t mean any champion would do the trick either.
Across most encounters, my favorite ally to pick was Ashe, the Frejlord freeze package being great to slow down the opponent and protect Ekko in combat. A poor man’s Ashe could be Leblanc, who provides the good Bloody Business to abuse Ekko as it is a striking mechanic. She also opens some stuns with the Thorn of the Rose to have some board control tools.
My second pick has been surprising to me, as I had no idea it could be that good when I picked him, Heimerdinger. Because we are heavily relying on spells at some point in the game, Heimerdinger can spawn a full board, even if it is just chump blockers because our spells are very cheap.
As such, Heimerdinger is looking like the best synergestic champion with Ekko, as he makes the good go even better. Unfortunately, he can also make the bad feel even worse.
In the “not so bad” category are the cheap champions, who help in the early game while not requiring us to invest into supporting them. If they work, it’s great, if they don’t, we just bought some time and can focus on Ekko now.
Caitlyn and Zed usually lead this category, their quick attack keyword helping them survive the offensive turns. Kalista can be a fun pick, as when leveled up she can be a nice trick to get some use out of the Chirean Grayback buffing them to humongous amounts of attack.
In the pricey champions, Lee Sin has been a fair pick as he levels up rather quickly in the deck, especially if you have reached level 18 already, finding Eye of the Dragon also is a good way to have healing in your deck. . Otherwise, those champions usually are too slow to develop and only represent “win more” kind of cards.
Once at level 18, Vi becomes a great support champion, the chain of free Time Tricks being able to buff her up extremely fast.
Because Ekko isn’t pushing for one specific gameplan once leveled, the powers can actually be fairly flexible if you already have what you would consider a good deck. I had some success with board-oriented powers in non-Piltover adventures, for example.
Overall though, just like the items, powers should be geared towards maximizing Ekko’s level-up potential – either helping him reach it or improving how good he is once reaching it.
Amongst the useful powers is Hold Them Off (‘Round Start: Frostbite the strongest enemy’), which allows you and your Ekko to be protected on defensive turns. Stun powers follow the same logic with a slightly worst result.
Two powers that have been routinely good in any Ekko’s build are Stabilize and Trifarian Might. Stabilize gives you full spell mana every turn, something great to have as it allows you to consistently use level 1 Ekko and his Time Trick. It also bolsters your items on Time Trick as you know you will always play the card when you have it.
Trifarian Might is a good control-oriented power that makes Ekko strike an enemy on-summon. That power requires you to build your deck accordingly, but with Ashe being one of the best supports in the mode, there is a lot of benefit to that power pick.
Domination (Round Start: Rally) is a good pick as your second power of the adventure if you feel your deck is good at mounting pressure and you can level up Ekko routinely by turn 4 or 5.
Boss and Adventure Tips
This might be weird, but because Ekko is a rather slow to develop champion and the Predict mechanic isn’t aggressive either, boss fights can feel easier than other encounters along the way.
Most of the time, if you can stabilize the board and level-up Ekko, you will eventually find a Chronobreak and overtake the board for good while pushing a ton of damage, something that is easier to achieve in a longer boss fight.
Our main problem will come from managing our health with Ekko, and stopping the early snowball that some fights are designed to accomplish.
If you are struggling at a particular fight, I would advise reflecting on what is losing you the game. If the opponent’s board becomes too wide too fast: invest into your Fallen Feline and work towards finding the Hexite Crystal fast. Items that grant Predict to cards are good, so are the spell-enhancing powers to use more Time Tricks and Iterative Improvements for the Feline.
If the opponent’s damage output is too much (Elusive units mostly): invest in removal spells (Mystic Shot) and Challenger or Elusive units, either adding new cards to your deck (Vi is a solid support champion for example) or granting those keywords to your units through items. Granting healing properties to your card is also a good thing to do.
- She is the most powerful when wide on board – Turn 4 (Poppy) and Turn 6 (Yordle Ranger) are the biggest threats of the fight.
- Due to that, you need to keep the board clear. One of the ways to do so is to trade aggressively and force them to lose their board.
- A good way to deal with Poppy is to equip Ekko with the Twin Shadows item “When I’m summoned, summon an Ephemeral copy of me.” so you have a great on curve blocker
- The Hexite Crystal is huge in this fight as it can remove all the cheap units.
- She has a very powerful innate ability to transform you followers into Squirrels – fortunately, it doesn’t affect champions, so going all in on Ekko isn’t easily punished.
- Play for the board and limit Lulu’s potential to buff allies. Favor high attack units to trade favorably as the opponent does not run any spell removal.
- Challenger units are great for this fight, and in the adventure overall, equip Ekko with that common relic if you can and draft accordingly.
This is the first adventure where the non-boss encounters feel quite impactful. This is because they all have some ways to damage either your units but more importantly your Nexus. This means that for a rather slow-paced deck like Ekko has, picking up healing along the way can be great – keep that in mind!
Lee Sin is great in that adventure as a support champion, mostly because he gives you access to
- Ensure you start the encounter somewhat healthy as you will passively take damage every turn.
- Swain’s deck isn’t powerful in itself but it can grind you down over time because of the constant damage output. Look to turn things around and become the agressor.
- If you have healing in your deck, you can take things slow and keep the usual gameplan.
- He has a decent mana curve and the Kegs he summons are quite scary – his deck runs Double Up and Make It Rain to delete your units and deal hefty amounts of damage to your nexus. Keep a Mystic Shot up if you are afraid of the kegs.
- Be mindful of the Dreadway, it is the real threat of this encounter. Either setup a huge OTK turn with Chronobreaks so you don’t have to deal with it or make sure you can remove it.
This could be the first big challenge for Ekko, the Piltover encounters are usually are the hardest as this region has access to several tools that can deal with our champions. Unless you already have farmed quite a lot of reputation, this is an adventure you might not want to fully build around Ekko but rather find some other route.
- Karma is a special encounter, one that can be very easy or very hard depending on how you start it. You either want to focus on removing Karma asap and play for value afterwards, or abusing the 10 mana power to setup a huge early board.
- This is the encounter where you can and should be as greedy as possible in the mulligan and later on as well. Picking Invoke card or high cost units early in the run can also be huge, at worst, you’ll cut them from your deck at the next healing encounter.
- Outside of Karma, the opponent isn’t running such problematic units to handle, a good attack treshold is 6, as it will allow you to trade even with the beefed up Feral Mystics and Emerald Awakeners.
- With constant Statikk Shocks, he will be clearing out your small units, so try to wait for him to use it on Nexus + one other unit. The AI will not want to waste the fleeting card.
- Once he levels up towards the Trueshot Barrage, your Nexus might take some serious damage, this is the sign to start adopting an aggressive mindset.
- Keep removal at the ready for Ezreal, as that is the only real threat aside from the cheap spells.
- Ekko is difficult to keep alive in this fight if you didn’t buff his health or equip him with a Spellshield. If possible, try to play him once leveled so you make sure to get those Chronobreaks shuffled, they make everything easier.
This adventure is the last one on your journey that can be on the easier side. Both Fiora and Shen push for a similar board-centric gameplan which, as Piltover, are well-equiped to deal with.
Mystic Shot can be a great card to itemize on this run as it will serve as removal, so is the Barrier keyword to add to your units. As for units, try to favor the Challenger and Vulnerable keywords to dominate the trades. Ashe and the freeze mechanic in general will be an easy MVP through the whole run if you happen to get it.
- This is a very fair encounter, where your main goal should be to force trades on the offensive.
- There is no need to be agressive, unless it is to force trades in this fight. Demacia is very limited when it comes to draw, so simply removing the board and staying safe wins it eventually.
- Ekko on offense is great because of his Quick Attack keyword, he is very bad on defensive turns though and will likely get challenged and killed unless protected.
- Zed is joined by a flurry of Ephemeral units which you will be able to ignore as long as your have enough health to do so. I would advise removing the small ones early on so you can afford to ignore some of the bigger ones later on.
- Chump blockers are getting better as time goes, blocking bigger units as the fight progresses, as such, do not attack with a potential blocker unless it nets you a clear advantage.
- Once Ekko is leveled and you find your Chronobreaks, it should be the sign the game is won. Just chump block everything and use Chronobreaks to get your board back, there is nothing the opponent can do to stop this.
In order to deal with the Tough units in this adventure, we want to focus on high-attack units, and itemize towards growing our board rather than investing into spells. Also, find powers that will help us fight for the board – once again, Freeze with Hold them Off and free stikes with Trifarian Might can come in clutch.
The upside of this adventure for us is that there is almost no direct damage on their side, so if you can manage the board, you should be safe. Be careful about the Sea Monsters getting boosted when the opponent reaches Deep. It usually is a good thing to work towards removing them before that point.
- Simple encounter that is very much in line with non-boss encounters of this track.
- Playing for the board and developping our strategy should be enough to win this fight.
- Have a Chronobreak ready when you expect Sejuani to come down and challenge your Ekko.
- Nautilus pushes for a lategame battle as he works towards getting Deep and overwhelming the board with big Sea Monsters. This what Ekko likes if you had time to setup his level up.
- The Sea Monsters do not have Overwhelm, therefore, block them (be mindful of the Fearsome keyword) and then use Chronobreaks to get your full board back.
- If Devourer of the Depths obliterates an ally, said ally will not come back on Chronobreaks. Keep a Mystic Shot or other damage spell to try and deny that effect.
- Because you have time, you can try to be greedy. Level up Ekko without using Practical Perfectionnist so then you can use her to duplicate your Chronobreaks.
Fitting for the final adventure, the non-boss encounters feel appropriately difficult. In many of them, you will be on the brink and will lose a significant chunk of your health if you are not careful. The random keywords their units get can surprise you in the worst possible moments, and some of the encounters feature actually strong decks.
There aren’t really any particular fights you have to avoid in this adventure, so the path to choose should be based on the reward you want to get. Favor Champion-related rewards, and work towards finding more champions in the cards offered. Rerolling will make your life much easier, and you should have several of reroll tokens available through reputation by this point so don’t hold onto them too much, use them efficiently – especially to find a good starting power. Once again, Freezing is great, especially in the final fight.
- While his Sand Soldiers are incredibly powerful, they cannot do anything about the Hexite Crystal, which will completely anihilate the mass summons from Emperor’s Divide.
- Shurima isn’t a region that can buff its units, but they have some annoying tricks, like Quicksand that can weaken your attacking Ekko – so be careful about those.
- Azir barely draws, if you find your Hexite Crystals early in the game, you should have no trouble to outvalue that encounter. Otherwise, fight to protect your health and buy yourself some time. You will heal to full at the end of the fight so it’s okay to let some Sand Soldiers get through in order to remove more important threats.
- Except for Viktor, Mechanized Mimic is the other problematic unit that can grow to stupid amounts while getting all the keywords. These two should have your full attention until removed from the board.
- The Elusive keyword will be the big emphasis of this fight, and without Hold them off to stall their biggest unit, it is hard to mount a good enough early game to be able to slow down the damage pace. At Reputation level 18, you can use 0 mana Iterative improvement to create Elusive blockers.
- A great way to try and fight the board is to find Fallen Feline early and go nuts on multiplying it with Iterative Improvement so you can find multiple Hexite Crystals and mount a huge AoE to clear the board.
- Vi is a great support champion for this fight with her Challenger tag and easily grow attack count. Otherwise, the best reinforcements are Elusive units or spells that are able to slow them down.
There it is folks, the end of Ekko’s adventure! If you have made it, I want to congratulate you as Ekko definitely feels like a challenge to complete because of the nature of the gameplay he pushes for.
In return, Ekko is also very rewarding to complete the full adventures with as it allows you to be flexible and adapt to your various opponents, the Predict mechanics working as the glue to almost any synergy. So if you haven’t given him a try, I definitely recommend you try his gameplay in PvE, it is a much better experience than what PvP can be playing Ekko.
Want to share your accomplishments in the mode? or get more advice from the community? Join the RuneterraCCG discord!
As for myself, you can find me on Twitter talking about Runeterra and Hearthstone mostly – or wandering the lands helping players get their breakthrough performance in their competitive journey.
Good game everyone,