Poppy Ziggs Yordle Burn Deck Guide

Yordle Burn created by Agigas • last updated 1 month ago

Hello, Agigas here!

Yordle Burn is one of the best decks in the game when it comes to dealing face damage, and almost all of our cards help with that purpose.

However, this archetype differs from many other burn decks out there as it doesn’t have to prioritize burn damage at the cost of tempo. In Yordle Burn, the ability to dish out consistent burn damage comes alongside powerful bodies.

Inventive Chemist, Legion Rearguard, and Legion Saboteur provide us enough aggressive 1-cost units to pressure the opponent right from the start. Stone Stackers, Imperial Demolitionist, and Conchologist allow you to curve out nicely.

We’re not looking to use to leverage level 2 Ziggs – in fact, he can’t level up in this list at all. Still, his level 1 form offers everything the deck is looking for already – strong stats and a burn ability that additionally makes him hard to block.

With the numerous cheap units and a Tenor of Terror, this deck is able to consistently flood the board – and as long as you have more attackers than the opponent has blockers, you get to push damage through.

Bandle City Mayor is a great value card that doubles down as an insanely strong accelerator for your gameplan – you have numerous dual-region units to abuse the mana cost reduction.

Lastly, Poppy is your swarm payoff. If are getting ahead with a large board, she will provide extra stats to completely snowball things out of control. She rarely levels as we have no Rallies or protection spells – though it can happen when the opponent can’t deal with her.

With that massive board flood, the Impact keyword, and units with direct Nexus damage abilities, chances are that our opponent won’t even live past the midgame. To finish games, we have a huge amount of burn damage coming from Noxian Fervor and Decimate.

Pokey Stick can look a bit odd as it doesn’t provide much tempo, but its flexibility and value make it an all-star in Bandle City decks. You can use it to remove a small blocker, finish off a key unit, or just point it directly at opponents Nexus – every small bit of face damage counts, after all!

Techs and Options

  • Hidden Pathways can be played as a value spell, also helping us to find the needed pieces of burn in the late game. Even if you can discount it fairly easily, it is still not a good tempo play so you don’t want it in every matchup. Tech in 1-2 copies of it if you often find yourself losing due to running out of value too early.
  • Fallen Reckoner is an alternative for the 1-of Lecturing Yordle in the list above. Lecturing Yordle will be stronger in aggressive matchups with lots of small units, while Fallen Reckoner will shine against slower decks, who will have to block you with larger and more expensive units. If in doubt, I would advise to stick with Lecturing Yordle as it performs better overall, but be aware that Fallen Reckoner is an option if you want to improve specific matchups.

General Tips

  • To open-attack, or to develop? Choosing if you want to open-attack or develop before attacking is at the core of the aggro gameplay, and making the wrong choice can easily cost you the game. Be mindful of what your opponent could do to punish you for either choice.
    • With this deck, you often prefer to develop unless there is a real punish for it.
    • Also, because you tend to rapidly flood the board, you’re usually interested in trades to prevent your board and hand from getting clogged up. Open-attacking oftentimes means you will trade less.
  • Play for pressure and Nexus damage. Almost all your cards have the ability to deal direct face damage, and/or to create a meaningful pressure. Focus on putting your opponent on the back foot and push as much damage as possible to eventually close out with burn damage.
    • For example, you generally don’t want to play Bandle City Mayor right before your attack if you have another play that pushes more damage.
  • Find the right timing for Noxian Fervor and Imperial Demolitionist. Both these cards are crucial sources of burn damage, but can be prevented by the opponent. Additionally, be mindful that Noxian Fervor can be used to prevent a Drain or a Lifesteal hit.
  • Get familiar with the range of spells Conchologist can offer you. Conchologist gives you a choice of three among 32 possible 1-3 cost spells from your regions – Bandle City and Shadow Isles. Here are some things to keep in mind:
    • Stay flexible. All cards can find their use – don’t dismiss any options immediately without consideration.
  • You need to activate Tenor of Terror. It’s really common to forget that Tenor of Terror has a clause – you need to play a created card or kill a unit with a spell during the game to summon Bass of Burden. With this deck, that doesn’t always happen naturally – actively think about setting up for your Tenor of Terror trigger.
    • Make sure Tenor of Terror is highlighted in orange while in your hand – it means its effect will activate.
    • If you’ve created a Tenor of Terror with Bandle City Mayor, it will be automatically enabled.

General mulligan tips:

  • Inventive Chemist, Legion Rearguard, Legion Saboteur, Stone Stackers. As a aggro-burn archetype, your main focus should be to pressure the opponent right from the start of the game. Look for a strong curve of high-pressure units, and mulligan away the rest. If you have an attack token on turn 1 but don’t see any 1-cost units in hand, I would advise to mulligan away your whole hand – even 2-cost units, as you’re likely to find one of them again anyway. If you’re feeling that you’re set for the first 2 turns, you can keep more expensive units to curve into.
  • Bandle City Mayor is a good keep if you’re against a deck that can’t remove it immediately and efficiently.

Be aware that these are just the general guidelines to help you understand the deck’s game plan. Mulligans are very matchup-dependant – please refer to the matchup section below for more specific advice on mulligans against different meta decks.


Click on the box to read detailed info about a matchup of choice:

Mulligan for: Inventive Chemist, Legion Rearguard, Legion Saboteur, Stone Stackers.

Matchup tips:

  • Zoe Nami wants to take the first turns passing to set up for Nami‘s level up on turn 4. Use this time to pressure them with a strong curve – it’s likely they won’t recover.
  • Their controlling tools aren’t great against you. However, Line ‘Em Up makes Bandle City Mayor a lot less appealing – play him out on turn 3 only once they’ve already used their spell mana on something else. Most versions play 1 Make it Rain (sometimes 0 or 2) – don’t feel pressured to play around it, but know that it is a possiblity.
  • Guiding Touch and Sparklefly offer them a lot of healing. While the healing from Guiding Touch is limited, the Nami + Sparklefly combo can lock you out of the game.
    • You can’t remove a big Sparklefly. However, you can use Noxian Fervor to kill off the unit their Sparklefly is in combat with to deny them the Lifesteal. You can also look for Guile or Apprehend with Conchologist to stun Sparklefly.

Mulligan for: Inventive Chemist, Legion Rearguard, Legion Saboteur, Stone Stackers. Keep Poppy if you have a good early hand.

Matchup tips:

  • The Darkness as a spell is too slow early on, so you should use that window to create tempo advantage and pressure. While they do have some good early plays, their options tend to be a bit clunkier on the following turns, when you can go really wide and accelerate the game.
  • Getting a board-wide buff with Poppy can win you the game if the opponent was looking to stabilize with low-damage spells like Withering Wail, Vile Feast, Pokey Stick or Withering Mist. Try to bait out their Darkness spell before playing Poppy and getting in an attack with her.
  • During the midgame, Ixtali Sentinel helps them to stabilize and heal out of your burn’s range. Look to deny her a Lifesteal hit by killing the unit she fights with Noxian Fervor. You can also look for Guile or Apprehend with Conchologist to stun her.

Mulligan for: Inventive Chemist, Legion Rearguard, Legion Saboteur, Stone Stackers.

Matchup tips:

  • Ezreal Vi Shellfolk wants to stall out the early game with cheap value units and Piltover & Zaun’s removals. Then in the midgame, it takes control of the board with Vi, snowballing tempo and value advantages with Curious Shellfolk.
  • Racing them in the first turns can be hard as they have a bunch of early blockers and removals. However, once they’ve run out of such tools, you can push tons of damage by going wide. Vi can be annoying – but she is expensive, and Shellfolk’s initial impact on the board against you will be very low.
  • They don’t have counterspells or healing to deal with your burn. However, be aware they can play Aloof Travelers to make you discard your Decimate. They can also Prank your hand several times to increase your burn spells’ costs and buy themselves a lot of time.
  • Don’t trade your 2/1 units into their Otterpus or Loping Telescope without a reason (which can be – you need board space, to push damage through, etc.) Ideally, you want to remove their 1-health units with Pokey Sticks or Poison Darts, or to buff your own fragile units with Poppy.

Mulligan for: Inventive Chemist, Legion Rearguard, Legion Saboteur, Stone Stackers.

Matchup tips:

  • The Bandle Tree win condition isn’t too scary for us as it usually too slow and costs them a lot of tempo. However, they have the Bandle City board flood gameplan to contest the board and prevent some damage from going through. Ravenous Flock, Group Shot, Buster Shot, and House Spider are all strong tempo plays for them.
  • Your gameplan is to push a large amount of damage early with your low cost units while Flock, Group Shot, Buster Shot aren’t that effecient yet. Then, finish them with burn. However, this plan will be a lot harder to execute if they get a turn 2 House Spider.
  • They don’t have any healing or counterspells, so if you get them in reach of your burn you are in a good spot. However, be aware that they can play Aloof Travelers to make you discard your Decimate – when possible, try to play around it.

Mulligan for: Inventive Chemist, Legion Rearguard, Legion Saboteur, Stone Stackers, Bandle City Mayor.

Matchup tips:

  • Poppy Rally decks rely on building up a board and leveraging it with synergies, Rallies, and combat tricks. Therefore, if you can force trades with your attacks, it will make their plan harder to execute. They have nothing to interact with your burn damage once they get too low on health.
  • Brightsteel Protector is a great card of them to make your attack awkward. It can be hard to play around it as you often want to develop, so try to push them to use it at the time that is least inconvenient for you.
  • If you’re facing the Bandle City version, you both have the ability to flood the board numerous times – this matchup can be quite grindy if both players have equal draws, and come down to value. If you’re not close to kiling them with burn, put your priority on gaining tempo and value instead of banking everything on sheer aggression.
  • If you facing the Ionia version, this matchup is a lot faster because of the Elusives on the other side. they aren’t well-suited to block you, so you want to create as much pressure as possible. However, you can’t block Elusives either, so if they get time to set up a Rally turn you will be in trouble unless you can interact with Pokey Stick and Noxian Fervor.
  • Poppy Rally decks don’t have a lot of removals, especially early on. Bandle City Mayor can put in a lot of work.

Mulligan for: Inventive Chemist, Legion Saboteur, Stone Stackers, Bandle City Mayor. Keep Poppy if you have a great early hand. Keep Legion Rearguard if you’re attacking on turn 1 and have no other 1-cost unit.

Matchup tips:

  • As you both have a very strong early game and similar level board presence, this matchup can get a bit grindy. If one player can outspeed the other, however, the game will finish very decisively as neither of you has counterplay to burn damage – unless you can find Aloof Travelers with Bandle City Mayor.
  • Poppy is fairly hard to remove in this matchup as all units have low power and can’t trade into her efficiently. To kill the opponent’s Poppy, look to block her with a 3-attack unit and finish her with a Pokey Stick.
  • Because neither of you has removal and the matchup can get grindy, Bandle City Mayor is a premium card to get you more value and accelerate your gameplan. If the opponent plays Bandle City Mayor, you must try to punish the initial tempo cost with a strong attack and force Bandle City Mayor to block.
  • Try to force trades while you are on the attack – in this case, you get Impact procs and the opponent doesn’t. However, be careful to not downtrade and give the board control to the opponent.

Mulligan for: Inventive Chemist, Legion Rearguard, Legion Saboteur, Stone Stackers.

Matchup tips:

  • GP TF Bandle is a pretty similar deck to Yordle Burn – strong board presence combined with a lot of burn damage. However, their board presence isn’t as resilient as yours, and they don’t have as much guaranteed direct burn damage. In exchange, they have an insanely strong payoff with Gangplank, and a lot more control tools (e.g. Twisted Fate, Make it Rain, Powder Kegs).
  • While GP TF Bandle is also a very aggresive deck with a lot of burn damage, in this matchup, they tend to play the control role with their better removals and mid-game power-plays. However, be careful to not let your Nexus health go dangerously low – they are still a burn-oriented deck.
  • Avoid stacking the board with numerous 1-health units and setting up a devastating TF’s Red Card or Make it Rain. Look to trade your low-health units quickly. Stone Stackers is a premium unit in this matchup where opponent has an acces to a lot of ping effects.
  • Noxian Fervor is a great counter to Double Up, or even Parrrley, so you don’t take face damage.

Mulligan for: Inventive Chemist, Legion Rearguard, Legion Saboteur, Stone Stackers.

Matchup tips:

  • This matchup can be difficult as they have a strong early board presence, making it hard to push damage. They also finish games quite decisively with Sion and their own direct damage, meaning our window to finish them with burn is short.
  • While they have strong early tempo, they can’t always go as wide as you – especially if they get a bit of a heavier hand. Look to go as wide as possible to outnumber their units and push damage through.
  • They don’t have any healing or counterspells – if we get them in reach of our burn we are in a good spot. Be careful not to fall behind too much in tempo so they don’t kill you before you get to cast your burn. Some version play Aloof Travelers – but it is hard to play around it, and often not worth as most versions don’t even run it.
  • Pokey Stick is a great answer to Boom Baboon, Zaunite Urchin, and it can also finish off a damaged unit – which happens often as they will try to value-block your 2-attack units with Draven, Sump Dredger, or Twinblade Revenant. The units that they’ve choosed to save with Survival Skill earlier in the game is another easy target for Pockey Stick.
  • Look to play around Get Excited! when you look to cast Noxian Fervor. Keep in mind, that a lot of versions out there play Mystic Shot and Ravenous Flock as well.

Closing Words

Yordle Burn is somewhat of a surprising archetype, as the consensus in the community was that Poppy has to be played with Rallies and protection spells. However, the aggressive units and board flood tools from Bandle City combine very nicely with the pressure and burn of Noxus, making this deck undoubtedly a Tier 1 archetype in the current meta.

This is also a fairly straightforward deck to pilot that produces quick games, so if you want to climb the ladder quickly I can’t recommend this list enough.

If you have a question, want to share feedback, or discuss this guide, I’ll be happy to answer you in the comments below! 😉

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Thanks for reading!


LoR player with multiple tournament wins and #4 ladder peaks. Ascended Seasonal top 4. I love writing guides to share my experience with the game with the community!

2 Responses

  1. EpicPick1e says:

    I’ve enjoyed taking this deck from Bronze I to Gold I in just a few days. Thanks to Runeterra CCG for bringing it to me.

    Draven Sion always feels unwinnable, but I probably just need to get better. Against everything else, I feel like I have a decent chance.

    • Agigas says:

      You’re welcome, I’m glad our work is useful! And congrats on the climb! 😄

      Yeah Draven Sion is your worst matchup. I would say it’s definitely winnable (I actually have a positive record against Draven Sion so far), if they don’t hit a good curve and don’t manage to go wide enough in the midgame you can push a lot of damage and finish with burn. But unfortunately for Yordle Burn, if the Draven Sion player has a good draw, it will be a very hard game.

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