Hi all, I’m Sera and I’m here today to share my new favorite midrange deck that I’ve been developing over the last two weeks. I love fighting for the board and using off-meta champions and support cards to keep my opponent guessing! Nothing exemplifies that more than this pairing of Soraka with Vladimir.
Since Soraka’s release, I have wanted to find a way to play her effectively outside of the design-intended Tahm Kench duo. Pairing Vladimir with Soraka has been attempted many times in the past, but I wanted to try it again now that Targon has access to the new Fated keyword.
These Fated followers usually require hard removal (like Vengeance or Minimorph) to stop them from running away with the game. With Soraka’s healing keeping them in combat round after round, and Vladimir using their health to fuel his level 2 ability Crimson Pact, their value increases even further. This makes Fated followers an ideal fit alongside this uncommon champion pairing.
The basic play pattern is very reminiscent of the Pantheon decks that have come about since the release of Magic Misadventures. Play your Fated units as on-curve as possible, then spend the following turns activating their keyword to grow them quickly.
Fated followers with Zenith Blades on them can threaten to end games as your opponent cannot win trades against their high health, and their Overwhelm damage will shred the enemy Nexus.
The key difference here is that you, rather than going for an explosive all-in Pantheon + Golden Aegis finish, will use your wider board, healing, card draw, and burn damage from Vladimir. This makes you less vulnerable to Ionia and gives you a greater ability to fight other go-wide decks.
Your key units are Saga Seeker and Wounded Whiteflame as they benefit from your Zenith Blades and combat tricks the most. Your key spell is Zenith Blade, redrawing itself with a Daybreak and letting you create 2-3 game-ending threats in quick succession.
The next crucial card is Star Spring – it is the most reliable way to level up Soraka, it sets a clock with a secondary win condition, and keeps your Fated units’ health up. If you can also level up Vladimir, Star Spring heals your units back up after you’ve damaged them with a Crimson Pact ability (with an additional bonus of rapidly advancing your Star Spring win condition).
Finally, Crimson Curator is a powerful source of card advantage that synergizes well with both champions. It can provide you with more burn from Crimson Disciple, a strong Fated buff from Crimson Aristocrat, or a big boost to your Star Spring win condition with Crimson Awakener. Crimson Bloodletter is the least valuable follower your Curators can generate, while creating another Crimson Curator is what I would consider the best possible result in most play states.
Your mulligan strategy will be determined by what your opponent is playing. Even though your deck is fairly quick to build a board, it can struggle against aggro decks if you can’t find Mountain Goat, Saga Seeker, Crimson Curator, or Star Shepherd and begin growing them quickly.
If you can stabilize the board it will be easy to get your Nexus out of range of burn like Decimate or Noxian Fervor with Broadbacked Protector and Guiding Touch, but you still need to mulligan aggressively for your cheapest units.
Against slower decks it is a good idea to keep a Star Spring and a Zenith Blade along with a Fated unit or two – then as long as you draw into your other supporting cards as you should be able to manage the board state until Soraka’s draw engine and Vladimir’s Nexus burn come into play. It is not necessary to play either champion quickly as both are far more valuable in their leveled-up form.
Take advantage of your healing you will overcome many opponents. I’ve played this deck in Ranked at Diamond with some success, so it should work well in anything lower once you get a hang of it.
Don’t get discouraged if your first unit with Zenith Blade is killed, because you have many other good targets to cast it on again (even Star Shepherd can end a game).
Remember – your Zenith Blade redraws itself, their Vengeance does not! You have too many units with large health pools for your opponent to remove them all one by one. Befitting the theme of Targon as a region – persevere and you will overcome any challenge!