Hello everyone, Sorry here!
So, I managed to qualify my country Lebanon to the LoR Masters Europe: Chronicles of Shurima tournament. This is a team competition where the top 16 countries on the EU ladder battle it out in a unique 7-deck format with champion bans. If you’re keeping up with the competitive scene you might have watched some of our games on the big stage.
In this article, I’ll go through our Week 1 game against Germany, where we’ve piloted a Renekton Sejuani Sivir Overwhelm deck against their Lissandra Trundle Shadow Isles Control. I’ll explain in detail our game plan, our thought process turn-by-turn, and all the key decision points of the match.
- Mulligan phase
(Editor’s note: By mistake, Lebanon’s hand is placed on the bottom half of the broadcast screen).
Our starting hand consists of 3 spells and an Alpha Wildclaw. Not the ideal hand if we want to put early pressure on our opponent. We decide to full-mulligan – the only cards we considered keeping were Troll Chant and Alpha Wildclaw, but since we had no early units, that was a risk I didn’t feel like taking.
- Round 2
(Editor’s note: The broadcast has switched perspective – from now on Lebanon will be on the top as it should be, and Germany is on the bottom side of the screen).
- Round 3
We’re still trying to create a board presence so we drop our second Ruthless Raider after TLC open-passed.
Germany answers with Kindly Tavernkeeper to create a blocker and heal their Nexus back to full – a solid card in this matchup.
- Round 4
However, we top-decked a Sivir, and it changed everything. She is extremely annoying for Germany to deal with, the Spellshield plus Quick Attack makes it very hard for them to remove her.
We attack with both Sivir and Ruthless Raider to ensure that our Raider gets to trade with one of their 3/3 units. Once again, we’re are not looking to keep the Raider alive since he might easily die to Avalanche or Blighted Ravine (in which case Germany will also get to keep both of their units alive as they have 3 health).
Sivir manages to push 5 damage to our opponent’s Nexus but we’re still a bit slow on the early pressure.
- Round 5
Germany opens with Trundle, and from there we have two options for the turn.
The first option is to play Renekton and hold on to the Ancient Yeti to make it even cheaper. Next turn we will have Sejuani as a follow-up that will grant some unit Vulnerability for Renekton to make use of.
We decide to go with the second option as it gives us more cards to work with – and hence more choices for the next round. Also, it would be a suboptimal play for us to pull Trundle with Renekton anyway – I explain why in the next section.
- Round 6
We drew a second Renekton and another Shaped Stone, then dropped Sejuani and gave Vulnerability to Trundle.
Now in most matchups, you usually avoid killing Trundle as they could drop a second one and generate another Ice Pillar – a key card to accelerate their Watcher combo. But since we’re the aggressive deck and we need to win as fast as possible, this Trundle has to go. His 5 health along with the Regeneration keyword make it very hard for us to get the most out of our Overwhelm units.
We pulled a Vulnerable Trundle with Sivir here – let’s talk about other options and why we decided it was best to pull with Sivir.
To pull Trundle with Sejuani I believe is the worst play here. Germany had 7 mana open, meaning they can just block the Ancient Yeti with their Kindly Tavernkeeper and Vengeance the Sejuani. After that, the Ancient Yeti would be now in range of Avalanche or Blighted Ravine.
The second option was to pull Trundle with the Ancient Yeti and swing with Sivir and Sejuani. A better play than the first option, but Trundle could easily stay alive in this case. This is a tournament with closed decklists and I expected teams to tech-in some cards that we might not expect. In this case, I was expecting a Troll Chant.
Pulling Trundle with Sivir is the best play because it puts a lot of pressure on the opponent. Sivir’s Spellshield stops Germany from playing Flash Freeze to save Trundle unless they commit a second burst-speed spell. At the same time, if Troll Chant would be played, a single Shaped Stone now would be enough to kill Trundle. Additionally, Germany cannot play Vengeance on Sivir either.
In the end, once Troll Chant was played to save Trundle, we cast our Shaped Stone, threatening to remove Trundle once again.
From there Germany had two options: 1) let Trundle die – we’re happy with that outcome; 2) play Flash Freeze on Sivir – we’re also happy with that outcome since we are holding a Battle Fury in hand, and that’s one less Flash Freeze we have to worry about later on in the game.
In the end, Germany decided it’s not worth it to save the Trundle and held on to the Flash Freeze. After the combat, they’ve played a Blighted Ravine.
This was an important round that shifted the game in our favor.
- Round 7
They decide to open pass here. We could have passed back since we already have a board. However, Germany has 8 mana, meaning they can’t play The Ruination this turn, so we wanted to develop more units for a stronger open-attack on the next round.
We decided to start with Rock Hopper since it will make things awkward for the opponent – the next unit they drop will receive the Vulnerability keyword.
We expected Withering Wail or slow AOE removal to be played in response to us developing here. After Withering Wail was indeed played, I decided that I want to keep the Sivir alive so I played Shaped Stone on her. I didn’t believe they’re running an Ice Shard in the deck, and their only way of removing Sivir now with 3 mana left would be through a Vile Feast.
However, if they do cast Vile Feast the summoned Spiderling will get Vulnerable from the Roiling Sands trigger – which we will later make use of with a Renekton that Germany still doesn’t know we have in hand.
If they choose to cast another Withering Wail or Vile Feast to kill the Sivir on our upcoming attack, I can slap a Battle Fury on her.
- Round 8
After additionally developing Renekton and Omen Hawk last round, we are now threatening lethal on the open attack. Germany has to make a move and we’ll react to their play.
Germany starts with Flash Freeze on the Sejuani, which keeps their Nexus at 3 HP. Now comes the decision on which unit we want to use our Battle Fury on. We have three targets: Omen Hawk, Sejuani, and Sivir.
Our first thought was to play it on the Omen Hawk – and if they have to use a Vengeance to deal with it, that’s a win for us. But if they have a second Flash Freeze or a Withering Wail, it stops our lethal this turn, and we’ll end up with a useless Omen Hawk with massive stats that can be chump blocked.
The second target is Sivir, this will allow us to push lethal even if they have a Withering Wail, but we will be pushing less damage if they have a Flash Freeze or Vengeance. It didn’t seem worth taking that risk.
The last potential target is Sejuani. If Germany has a Withering Wail, we will not be pushing lethal anymore, but we will keep a 13/6 unit with Overwhelm on board that will threaten lethal on our next attack turn. If they have a second Flash Freeze, again we won’t be pushing lethal but we will have a 13/7 unit with Overwhelm on board that needs to be answered.
The worst-case scenario is the Vengeance on Sejuani but we would still push a good chunk of damage. The odds of them having another Flash Freeze or Withering Wail were higher than them having a Vengeance which is usually a 2-off in the deck – so we decided to play the odds and buff Sejuani. Sadly, they had Vengeance and killed her.
- Round 9
So far we’ve put a lot of pressure on Germany to the point that they’ve never felt safe to play their Lissandra. This means they can’t pull off their combo this turn, or at least it would be very hard to do so (they would need 3 Fading Memories).
Seeing that they’re now down to 2 mana and can’t AOE us, we develop our Rock Hopper. Once their attack is initiated we decide that playing the
We would rather play our Alpha Wildclaw after the combat to set up the lethal open attack. Spectral Matron is damaged and even if it blocks Alpha Wildclaw, it won’t be enough to stop all the incoming damage.
- Round 10
It’s now or never. We know we can’t develop on the board anymore for two reasons: 1) the possibility of The Ruination 2) We know they have a second Spectral Matron in hand, which means they can play it to summon another Ephemeral unit to act as a blocker.
EU Masters so far has been an astounding experience – the games are on another level. It is especially challenging to navigate them as a team, where plays and gameplans are all discussed between three members of the national squad in order to choose the optimal lines.
Hopefully you enjoyed the article and got an idea on our thought process throughout the match.
If you’d like to keep up with my content feel free to follow me on Twitter. To watch the Week 2 of LoR Europe masters, tune in on Saturday at 13:30 CEST to the official Legends of Runeterra Youtube and Twitch channels!