Spider Burn Deck Guide

This guide is dedicated to Elise Spider Aggro - an evergreen deck mixing the aggressive power of Fearsome units and burn damage.

Spider Aggro is a deck with a very clear game plan. With its numerous early units, it aims to push as much damage as possible before the opponent can stabilize. Thanks to the Fearsome keyword, the deck can deal damage in combat ignoring some blockers.

Elise will level up very often because of your numerous Spider units. It is not uncommon to level up Elise at the start of turn 4, especially if you have a House Spider out. Challenger and Fearsome are very synergistic keywords – you’ll be able to pull away the opponent’s anti-Fearsome blockers with small Spiderlings to push a lot of damage with higher-attack units like Elise.

When it comes to pushing damage with Fearsome units, Frenzied Skitterer is a key card of this deck. The attack debuff to the opponent’s units can disable a lot of anti-Fearsome blockers for the turn, while also buffing your own units – and it is not rare to win the game on the spot thanks to Frenzied Skitterer.

If the opponent has managed to stabilize the board, the deck switches to a burn plan. With Decimate, Noxian Fervor, Doombeast, Imperial Demolitionist, and Unspeakable Horror, Spider Aggro has a very impressive reach. Stalking Shadows can also help you find more burn, duplicating Doombeast or Imperial Demolitionist.


General Tips

  • Keep track of Elise’s level-up potential. It can be easy to miss the Elise level-up and lose track of your Spiders count when we tunnel vision on pushing maximum damage. While your main goal is to push as much damage as possible every turn, it can easily be worth to save your Spiders to be able to level up Elise, this way enabling more damage later.
  • Enable your Stygian Onlooker. In the early turns, a well-timed Stygian Onlooker is a 1-mana Decimate that leaves a 2/1 body behind – not too bad eh? However, you have to invest some effort into enabling it – mulligan and play accordingly to set up a nice window for it (between turns 2 and 5, with the attack token). If you’re not actively looking for opportunities, Stygian Onlooker can easily get stuck in your hand and will have a harder time pushing damage later.
  • Think through your Stalking Shadows picks. Some units are more useful than others when copied and made Ephemeral. Doombeast is often the key follower to look for because of the very valuable burn damage. Imperial Demolitionist can also fit that role as long as you’re sure the opponent can’t make it fizzle. Stygian Onlooker is a great pick if the opponent doesn’t have total control over the board. Frenzied Skitterer can help if you’re looking to continue dealing Fearsome damage.
  • Carefully consider which 1-drop is best for your turn 1 play. When you have multiple turn 1 units to start the game, choosing which one to play first is an important choice that you should not take lightly.
    • If the opponent will likely have nothing to defend themselves this turn, playing the unit that pushes the most damage is generally the right choice. You can start gathering clues right in the mulligan – if the opponent keeps several cards, they are likely to have some early action in hand. Of course, good meta knowledge is very important for you to know which 1-cost units, or other answers, they have in their deck.
    • If you suspect your opponent will protect themselves this turn with a unit, Precious Pet will be the best turn 1 play. When you don’t have it, play Legion Rearguard if you suspect their unit will have 1 attack, Legion Saboteur – if it will have 2.
    • A hand that curves out Fearsome units into Frenzied Skitterer (for example, a 1-drop into Elise into Frenzied Skitterer) is another reason to play Precious Pet first.
  • Don’t just slam your cards. It is a popular misconception that hyper-aggressive decks can just slam their cards without playing around anything. In reality, just like with any deck, you should think about what you can play around and cannot. Try to read the opponent’s hand from their plays to know how to attack them, don’t play around a card you can’t win against, and force the opponent into unwinnable positions.

General mulligan tips:

  • Legion Saboteur, Precious Pet, and Legion Rearguard are you key 1-drops to keep. As an hyper-aggressive deck, it is important to have at least one of them in starting hand to start building up pressure.
  • Elise is the only card that costs more than 1 mana that you should always keep at least one of.
  • Stygian Onlooker can also be kept if you have a hand that enables it early enough.
  • House Spider can be a good keep when you’re looking at turbo-leveling Elise.
  • Arachnoid Horror and Frenzied Skitterer are good keep against opponents weak to Fearsome – especially if you already have a 1-cost unit in hand.
  • Brothers’ Bond is a great keep when you already have a good hand and are looking at a fast-pace non-interactive matchup.

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.


Matchups

Mulligan for: Elise, Precious Pet, Legion Rearguard, Legion Saboteur, Stygian Onlooker. Keep Arachnoid Horror if you don’t have Elise. Keep Frenzied Skitterer or Brothers’ Bond if you have a good Fearsome hand. Keep House Spider if you have Elise.

Matchup tips:

  • Ahri Kennen is what makes Spider Burn so relevant in the meta. They generally struggle against hyper-aggressive strategies, and stand no chance against the Fearsome keyword.
  • They have very few tools to interact. It is very easy to level up Elise in this matchup.
  • With them having no healing and very few ways to block Fearsome units, you will generally be able to run over them. That said your burn plan can met some resistance from their numerous counterspells – you should look to force to tap out before using burn spells.

Mulligan for: Elise, Precious Pet, Legion Rearguard, Legion Saboteur. Keep Stygian Onlooker, Brother’s Bond, Frenzied Skitterer if you have a good hand for them. House Spider if you already have Elise.

Matchup tips:

  • Iceborn Poros struggles against hyper-aggressive decks – most versions play no healing, and they need some time to set up.
  • They have very few early Fearsome blockers. Pushing early damage should be quite easy. They have a few early units otherwise, so depending on your read on their hand, it is often best to prioritize Fearsome units.
  • Be aware they can transform their 1/1 Poros into Fearsome blockers with Iceborn Legacy. Playing Frenzied Skitterer on the turn they are looking to do that will greatly help (unless they cast a Poro Snax).
  • They have a very low amount of interaction. Three Sisters is expensive, and most versions don’t run the Piltover and Zaun removals. Elise can level up quite easily.
  • If you get them into your burn reach and they can’t kill you faster, you should have no trouble finishing the game as they don’t have healing or counterspells. Even Noxian Fervor and Astral Fox are very hard for them to make fizzle because they have a very low amount of interaction.

Mulligan for: Elise, Precious Pet, Legion Rearguard, Legion Saboteur. Keep Stygian Onlooker if you have a good hand for it.

Matchup tips:

  • Pantheon Fated is a midrange archetype looking to grow their Fated units that will dominate the board. Chain Vest and Wounded Whiteflame make it very easy for them to do so against us. However, where they can go tall we can go wide, and is is quite easy to out-number their units to push damage.
  • Always look to play as wide of a board as possible to force damage through. Don’t try to contest them on the board – it’s usually not worth to attempt to kill their unit if there is a chance they protect it with a buff.
  • With Single Combat, they can quite easily make Noxian Fervor fizzle. Force them to commit their Single Combat first by attacking. You can also use Noxian Fervor to make their Cataclysm fizzle (which is run in the popular Mono Pantheon version).

Mulligan for: Legion Saboteur, Precious Pet, Elise. Keep Legion Rearguard if you have the attack token on turn 1. Brothers’ Bond, Frenzied Skitterer, Stygian Onlooker if you have a good hand for them.

Matchup tips:

  • Games in this matchup can end extremely fast. You both are very strong at pushing damage, and not so good at blocking Fearsome units.
  • In this matchup, it is crucial to know on which turn exactly you will be able to go for the kill. Plan ahead to set up the turn when you’re looking to finish and manage tempo accordingly. Having that knowledge will be the key to know whether you should play very aggressively, or, on the opposite, slow things down.
  • Frenzied Skitterer is often a key card of the matchup. You can play it on offense to greatly accelerate the game, or on defense to slow it down.
  • Brothers’ Bond is a great offensive card to push a lot of damage, and can also be used defensively to trade their Fearsome units with some of your weaker units.

Mulligan for: Elise, Legion Rearguard. Keep Legion Saboteur or Precious Pet if you don’t have Legion Rearguard – you only want one 1-cost unit in hand. Keep Precious Pet against the Elise Trundle variant.

Matchup tips:

  • FR SI Control can be a difficult because of their several low-cost board wipes, perfect at dealing with your board swarm, and their healing.
  • Elise is a key unit for the matchup. Thanks to her 3 health points, she is a lot more resilient to their removals, and will allow you to commit enough to the board to push damage while not getting completely blown out by board wipes.
  • The key to the matchup is to know what you should play around, how, and when you should stop playing around something.
    • Avoid commiting with too many 1-health units at the same time to play around Withering Wail. Withering Wail is often the most oppressive card for us, and you really need to realize when you can’t play around it.
    • Avalanche is the spell that pushes you into open-attacking. Because the opponent has too many good cards to punish open-attacks, I generally recommend to force the opponent’s Avalanche out of their hand so you don’t have to pay around it anymore. Look to be in the exact spot that forces the opponent to play Avalanche and that let you redevelop right after to push damage.
    • If you’re in a situation when you have a lot of mana with only units in hand to play and no other way to use it (ex. no Decimate, Stalking Shadows), look to develop a strong board before attacking – else you would play right into Blighted Ravine.
    • Overall, the comfortable spot is generally 3-4 units with an Elise on board. With this kind of board, you should have a high enough pressure to force the opponent to play their key cards. When you have a read on the opponent’s hand or can’t afford to play around something, adapt. Flood the board if you’re confident the opponent don’t have any more board-wipes, or go slower if you suspect them to only have board-wipes.

Mulligan for: Elise, Legion Rearguard.

Matchup tips:

  • Darkness doesn’t easily fall to our aggression. Their bunch of early units and pings makes it hard to push a lot of early damage, and their mid-game healing often keeps them out of reach.
  • The best plan is to try and out-tempo them. The longer the game goes, the harder things get, especially when they play Ixtali Sentinel. They often have good early defences, but most of their answers cost more than out threats. They don’t have a lot of board-wide effects (generally only Withering Wail) so you should look to go wide.
  • Use Noxian Fervor to prevent Ixtali Sentinel from hitting. As long as they don’t have Senna on the board, it is actually not easy for them to make it fizzle if you cast it on a unit with mre than 1 health.

Closing Words

Spider Aggro, thanks to its mix of a strong aggressive early game, powerful Fearsome and Spider synergies, and great burn top-end has proven itself to be one of the premium aggro strategies in the current meta.

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Agigas

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!

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