Targon Heimerdinger Vi Deck Guide
Hello, it’s Mezume here, this time with some more serious content about my absolute favorite deck! For the past few months, Targon has been played with every region and finding success with almost all of them. One deck in particular, however, was very short-lived and lost popularity quickly past its first surge: Vi/Heimerdinger.
Why write this guide and play the deck after two of the cards in the archetype – Hush and Pale Cascade – were nerfed? Because in a way, the deck can be a beneficiary of these changes, as twisted as that may sound.
With Hush being a little weaker and potentially less dominant across Targon decks, Vi gets to be more of a threat and levels much more reliably. Pale Cascade hits this deck, but much less than other decks in the region. Our units are already statted offensively, like Sump Dredger and Mountain Goat. The addition of Piltover & Zaun means that the list has access to direct damage, making the spell much less crucial.
New cards also cannot be ignored. The Veiled Temple could make its way into a different spin on the list, while The Fangs is a great card to slot in and play on-curve. Aphelios himself could possibly find his way to the archetype in the end, as he has some clear synergies with both Heimerdinger and Vi. This deck would definitely love to play 9 champions if that was an option.
This is the standard decklist that is possibly the safest to use; it consists of mostly 3-of’s and very few tech cards. It is all about consistency and the versatility that this deck is best known for and which happens to be its biggest strength. The new cards that can be considered are The Fangs and The Veiled Temple.
In the past, Heimerdinger/Vi was all about abusing the pre-nerf 3-cost Elusive turrets with the supporting region being Ionia. With that being out of the picture, Mount Targon is the new home of the two champions, with the focus shifted away from the midrange/combo to a more control gameplan.
In the early-to-mid game, depending on the matchup, the deck can play either the beatdown role, with good tempo plays in Mountain Goat, Sump Dredger, and Vi, or the control role, making use of Piltover & Zaun removal spells. The deck’s power comes from generating lots of value WHILE also dictating tempo – something very few lists are able to achieve. This is possible thanks to Vi’s insanely high stats, efficient spells like Mystic Shot, but mainly due to Heimerdinger’s unique ability to generate free units off of spells.
There are multiple ways to win, as the strategy is adaptable to the state of the game and the matchup. Overtaking the board in the midgame turns thanks to Vi and Heimer is the main win condition. Your opponent might be simply unable to deal with the onslaught of turrets and a large, levelled Vi.
Using Heimerdinger’s champion spell with him on board to draw three discounted cards AND play an 8/8 unit on top of that is just one example of the kind of tempo/value swings this deck is capable of. In a similar vein, the turret generation and removal spells in the deck will often drain the opposing player out of value. You can accrue a significant card advantage overtime against most midrange decks. Finally, when all else fails, Starshaping is capable of creating a win condition, be it The Great Beyond, or a Cosmic Inspiration to make Heimer’s turrets even more ridiculous.
While this deck plays out very differently depending on the matchup, there are still a few things that are important to know as all-around good habits.
- Ignition usage – This 1-mana spell is surprisingly deceptive. There are many ways to maximize the potential of this token, but sometimes you must stay strong and let it ‘fleet away’. Things to consider: Do you want an extra attack point on Vi? Do you have good use of your mana next turn? Will the 1 damage potentially matter in a Nexus race?
- Discard fodder – Keep an eye on potential future plays. sometimes sacrificing your goat into a 2/1 can be a good trade, if it lets you Get Excited their Draven or play a Sump Dredger next turn.
- Heimer isn’t be-all-end-all – Sometimes dropping him on turn 5 with two spell mana and a Guiding Touch back-up is a good play. Your opponent will often have to make awkward plays to remove him, or maybe they won’t be able to do it at all. In any way, at the end of it, you’re most likely ahead by an extra 2/1 Tough turret on board, while your opponent just used some valuable cards. On top of that, you cycled the Guiding Touch and healed for two!
Mulligan for: Mountain Goat, Thermogenic Beam, Ballistic Bot, Vi. Keep Get Excited/Sump Dredger if you already have discard fodder generators.
You will always be able to outvalue them, especially with Plaza nerf. Aim to establish an early board of units that can trade 1-for-1 with theirs. Most of their units are irrelevant, so save your removal spells specifically for Miss Fortune, Quinn, Valor and Cithria. You can easily trade with the others.
Scouts as a deck has no reach outside of Miss Fortune’s champion spell and text. Due to that, you can often let attacks go through instead of engaging in unfavourable combat.
Try to ensure that at any point in the game you can survive a Relentless Pursuit play and trade accordingly. That is the deck’s only way of pushing extra surprise damage.
While Vi can help stabilize and is a great turn 5 play, a safely dropped Heimerdinger (for example when the Scouts player drops under 3 mana) usually ends games on the spot, as outside of Cithria the Bold, there is no way for the opponent to get through chump blockers.
Finally, in close games, you can look to safely burst their nexus with direct damage; they have no healing or interaction to stop you.
Mulligan for: Ballistic Bot, Mountain Goat, Thermogenic Beam, Vi, Solari Priestess. Keep Get Excited/Sump Dredger if you already have discard fodder generators.
This matchup is all about who can stabilize their board. You both have great answers for each other’s threats, but you should generally edge closer to victory thanks to Invokes and Vi.
Keep track of their hand and what a potential Tri-Beam Improbulator can be stacked to. With that in mind, do not play around it too much; it is better for your Vi to be hit for 5 damage on turn 5, rather than for you to wait until turn 8 and get her hit for 9.
Try to play Heimerdinger with a bit of mana backed up. Their deck isn’t great at dealing exactly three damage, so they will have to overcommit, while you can create a few turrets while responding to the kill with your Fast and Burst spells.
Make sure to keep enough mana up to deal with an Ezreal. You have multiple ways of doing so: Hush + block, Get Excited, Thermo Beam and Meteor Shower.
Solari Priestess can be game-winning if used correctly. The Golden Sister is an insane pick, as it usually requires 3+ cards to deal with due to the awkward 3-health spot. Meteor Shower hits nearly every threat in their deck, while Falling Comet can be useful if you expect to have no way of dealing with Captain Farron. The Traveller is a great pick as well, especially if you are looking to fill your curve with a 4-mana creature.
Mulligan for: Solari Priestess, Vi, Mystic Shot.
While their win condition is Star Spring, their most important cards are the champions, with a special nod towards Soraka. Do what you can to remove it.
Vi is the key to winning this matchup. Hush is their only way to try and stop her and it only does so for one turn. Make sure your Vi cannot die to Hush and keep challenging their units until they surrender.
Solari Priestess gets you Falling Comet. If it doesn’t, it gets you Traveller that gets you either Falling Comet, Supernova or Cosmic Rays. When you use those obliterates, make sure to keep mana up for a way to ping off Bastion.
If all else fails, Starshaping can always save you; find yourself The Great Beyond and pound their Nexus twice; their limited healing usually has to be used on their units, so there isn’t much they can do to stop your two-turn lethal.
Mulligan for: Mountain Goat, Ballistic Bot, Thermogenic Beam, Mystic Shot, Vi. Keep Hush if you already have at least 2 early drops.
Discard Aggro will look to develop the biggest possible board and try to Overwhelm you with Crowd Favourite. Make sure you keep that board as small as you can. Greedy trades are usually a must; you have the healing to get your nexus back up, so it is the most important to just have enough blockers for their wide attacks.
Draven is dangerous in this matchup, as he generates Spinning Axes which can be used both for a Vision to turn good trades into awful ones, as well as discard fodder to keep them in the game for a few extra turns. Remove him as fast as possible, but preferably with Get Excited or Vi.
Jinx is their only comeback mechanism once you have stabilized. Make sure to use Thermogenic Beam at 4 mana, as they have many ways of triggering her level-up even with a large amount of cards in hand. Additionally, try to make sure they are tapped under 4 unit mana; that way they won’t replay a new Jinx instantly.
Mulligan for: Ballistic Bot, Mystic Shot, Vi, Thermogenic Beam, Mountain Goat. Keep Sump Dredger if you already have discard fodder generators. If you are comfortable with the deck and already have an early drop and/or removal, you can also keep double Heimer. This is a very advanced way to play this matchup and requires confidence in your ability to play out early-to-mid game.
This used to be a bad matchup before Pack Your Bags was nerfed. Currently, Go Hard has a harder time applying big pressure before using their finisher, so you can survive the swing and regain control.
Trade your units; their game plan revolves around being able to build a board and remove yours with Pack Your Bags. Threaten wide attacks with turrets or early drops to force them to block; that way their PYB turn will be much weaker down the line.
Current versions only run 1 or 2 Vengeances and 0-1 Ruinations. That, combined with a lack of ways to do more than 1 damage at a time to your units means you can safely drop Heimerdinger; this is especially powerful if you have another in hand, as Heimerdinger’s Progress Day makes a huge 8/8 unit that’s nearly impossible to deal with for a Go Hard player.
Be ready with a Falling Comet or a Hush for Commander Ledros – it is the only way they can threaten you in the very late game, and that’s where you want to drag this matchup as Veimer.
Mulligan for: Mystic Shot, Vi, Mountain Goat, Sump Dredger, Thermogenic Beam.
Their entire deck is build around having a board to protect. Threaten their board with strong trades and always keep mana up for Mystic Shot, Get Excited or Hush.
This is one of the matchups where you can run them out of value. Make sure to remove Rivershaper in a way that doesn’t let them draw cards; Challenge it with a Hush back-up, or just kill it with direct damage.
Between your damaging spells, silences and obliterates, Fiora is unlikely to be a win condition. Instead, focus your efforts on removing Shen. With the champion gone, they will be forced to spend cards on protecting their units, emptying their hands way faster than you will.
Put enough pressure on them so they have to use as much mana as possible; the threat of Brightsteel Formation + Deny on 13 mana can be game-ending; the same goes for a Deny + Relentless Pursuit on awkward board states.
Mulligan for: Mountain Goat, Vi, Solari Priestess. Keep Starshaping if you already have Solari Priestess and Vi.
This matchup is all about finding Cosmic Inspiration; and they have more ways of doing it than you do. Try to fish for it with Starshaping and The Traveller.
Your Vi can level rather freely in this matchup, as they don’t have enough stats early game to kill it with a good Single Combat; especially if you keep a Pale Cascade backup. The biggest threat here is Hush, so play around it by pulling low attack units.
If you failed to find an early Cosmic Inspiration, or threaten enough with Vi, you’re going to have to Invoke your way to victory with Starshaping. While The Great Beyond is a very potent finisher, keep an eye of the sort of cards they managed to invoke. Sometimes, The Scourge will help you break the inevitable stalemate in this matchup.
In the same manner, be aware of what finishers they may have. In a Cosmic Inspiration-less game, having a Hush + Thermogenic Beam or Falling Comet will give you the extra turns you might need to drop your own big Celestials.
Mulligan for: Ballistic Bot + Sump Dredger, Mountain Goat, Solari Priestess, Vi, Thermogenic Beam.
Most games will start with them using Catalyst into Trundle. Luckily, you have multiple ways of dealing with Trundle before they can level him and that should be your priority. Thermogenic Beam and Vi are the best ways to do so.
In most situations you want to invoke Obliterates. Falling Comet is a great answer to a hand-dropped Tryndamere, while Supernova wins the game on the spot if used against Feel the Rush. Another way of dealing with FtR is Falling Comet + Hush on Tryndamere, as he will go back to 8/4 if he isn’t levelled.
Depending on your hand, in the early game you will have to choose between the Obliterate game plan and being the beatdown. In the latter case, keep up pressure, especially towards the later turns, to ensure they cannot keep mana up for Feel the Rush. Vi, The Golden Sister, double Heimerdinger and big Celestials are the best way to do so.
You have a fair amount of direct damage and not many targets you will use it on; the best use of those is either finishing your opponent by targeting his nexus, or preventing an Atrocity lethal by killing the unit.
*This matchup is even to slightly unfavoured if they are not playing Suit Up/Mind Meld.
Mulligan for: Thermogenic Beam, Vi, Mountain Goat, Ballistic Bot, Get Excited. Keep Sump Dredger if you already have discard fodder generators.
Ballistic Bot is a key target to remove. Try to keep 3 mana up on turn 2 to be able to remove it if played; it is their easiest way to reduce the cost of Wiggly Burblefish and generate discard fodder.
Remove Twisted Fate the moment he is played; he will level within a turn or two if unanswered, so send the Mystic Shot his way as soon as you can.
Keep Hush for a Fizz + Suit Up or a Burblefish buffed by Iterative Improvement. On the topic of Iterative: try to remove Wiggly as soon as it drops so any Iterative topdecks can’t create a 0-mana 4/2.
Your main win condition is creating a threatening board that forces their Elusive units into defensive trades. Additionally, Invoking The Golden Sister can turn the game on its head, buying you at least 2 extra turns to win.
Mulligan for: Vi, Mountain Goat, Sump Dredger, Thermogenic Beam, Mystic Shot.
Use your early direct damage to kill off any units they have. Look for opportunities to force an overdraw with Goat and Mentor of the Stones’ gems generation, which requires their board to be empty.
Vi is the key way to threaten Lee Sin. They cannot deal with her easily before Lee Sin is levelled, so often they will be forced to keep him in hand until casting a total of 8 spells. Use that to force them to waste mana and put pressure on their life total.
Hush can buy you an extra turn, especially considering that they can only safely drop Lee on their attack turns, but its best use is to silence him on attack; that way it’s way more difficult for them to protect their only win condition in this matchup.
The best Invoke in this matchup is often The Warrior, especially if you don’t have Vi. Their deck consists of units that are either Elusive or want to stay in the back row. Challengers are the most effective way to get rid of the pesky Eye of the Dragons and Sparkleflies.
Consistency is a big part of this deck’s success, but it is also fairly customizable during the deckbuilding process. The easiest cards to replace are, the 3rd copies of non-crucial inclusions: Thermogenic Beam, Sump Dredger, and Guiding Touch. Before nerfs, Hush was an option as well, but it is important to keep it as at least a 1-of in this version.
Below I’ll dive into the possible techs that might make this deck better in some matchups, or maybe just more fun.
- Aftershock – This card would have made it to the standard version of the deck, but The Grand Plaza was hit in the latest patch, it’s lost some merit. It is a great option when decks with high-priority landmarks emerge, but otherwise, it is better to just omit it and look for landmark removal in Solari Priestess’ pool.
- Bastion – This card is especially strong against decks with slow and expensive removal. It forces Shadow Isles to follow-up their Vengeances and Ruinations with pings and can completely deny an obliteration effect coming from a Targon deck. Great consideration in a slow meta as a 2-of.
- Statikk Shock – Whenever aggressive swarm strategies emerge, such as Discard Aggro or Targon Swarm, this is the go-to tech to save the day. Being able to ping off two units with 1 health, or aid your board in trades can be crucial in those close fast-paced matches.
- Give It All – This card is never more than a 1-of, but it can swing games that are in a stalemate. With a big Celestial or a Vi, your army of small turrets or Ballistic Bots and Solari Priestesses can turn into a menacing board. It is especially strong in metas where a lot of chump blockers or mid-game units often stop you from pushing an advantage.
- Spell Thief – If a meta consists of multiple decks that rely on game-changing spells, Spell Thief can give huge edges. Being able to copy big Celestial spells, an Atrocity, or even Demacia’s strike spells against Fiora Shen can change the flow of the game. Sadly, its effectiveness dwindles against unit-based decks.
- Spring Guardian – Replaced by Ballistic Bot since the introduction of Cosmic Creation, this card still has its merits and can be played not only instead but also alongside Ballistic Bot, especially when we consider the nerfs to Pale Cascade and Hush.
- The Veiled Temple – This landmark has very good synergy with the deck – it allows Heimer more mana to play with, and his turrets ensure a proc every turn he is on board. Two extra mana also means that cards like Pale Cascade and Guiding Touch practically cycle for free. With some extra testing, this card could make its way into the standard version of this archetype.
Zoe is an incredibly powerful champion that can slot into nearly every strategy in the game. There are examples of aggro, midrange, control, and even combo decks that utilize her to some degree – be it for her level 1 value or aiming to level her up. ‘Zeimer’, as her combination with Heimerdinger can be called, is a deck played at a high level by Owiii, a French player and streamer.
The main appeal of using Zoe instead of Vi is the pressure she creates from turn 1. If not dealt with, she can generate heaps of value while still having the imminent threat of levelling. This version will generally only replace Vi with Zoe while leaving other cards intact. Some techs that can come up in this list are Spacey Sketcher and Bastion.
Overall, Zoe gives the deck a bit better matchups into decks that cannot deal with her early, while conceding a big chunk of midgame power; the lack of a huge challenger unit ready to drop on turn 5 can make it more difficult to fight for the board in the more board-centric matchups.
Aphelios can replace either of the champions in the archetype, as he synergizes with both Heimerdinger and Vi. The former can create extra turrets off of Sad Moonboy’s weapons, while the latter benefits greatly from both Lifesteal and Overwhelm.
Aphelios has an even greater synergy with The Veiled Temple and gives the list even more versatility with his set of Moon Weapons. His level-up, while not completely game-ending, is dangerous and allows to generate both high-value and high-tempo plays. The weapons are incredibly efficient at 1 mana and playing two of them per turn without a big mana commitment can swing the game in your favour. With this champion, the deck might want to fit-in Lunari Duskbringers. The 1-drop provides both a way to activate Aphelios on turn 3, as well as discard fodder for Get Excited and Sump Dredger.
This version of the deck plays more for big swing turns with a leveled Aphelios and possibly a Heimerdinger/Vi on the board, rather than the slow and steady game plan of standard Veimer. It can cause many matchups to be more polarized, but the overall matchup spread does not change significantly.
Veimer is a forgotten deck that’s not seen in the meta nearly at all. That is mostly due to the large amount of other Targon decks that are on the ladder – this list is not built to consistently beat those. It is, however, still a powerful deck that does not have many polarized matchups and can squeeze a win against everything.
With the Plaza, Hush and Pale Cascade nerf, and especially after the initial hype for Aphelios dies down, Veimer can come back to power if Targon becomes less prevalent. It is great at punishing faster decks such as Scouts and Discard and most of all it feels rewarding to play well.
I highly encourage everyone to play with this deck and try it out with different tech cards and even the champions mentioned above. Enjoy!