Introduction and Stats
Hey there, Raphterra here again! Today, I’m sharing my guide on Fiora Shen, one of the original classic decks in Legends of Runeterra. This was the first deck I found success with after the most recent hotfix update. I used it to make the final climb from 900 to 1000 LP Masters at 71% winrate (10 wins, 4 losses). After playing more games in my other Master accounts, my overall winrate stabilized at 65%.
The deck still has some very noticeable weaknesses like being prone to bad hands, but I think it should be back to Tier 2 status, and should be strong enough for climbing to Master Rank.
If you want to see this deck in action after reading this article, check out my full video guide!
Fiora Shen Deck Build
Fiora Shen is a midrange deck that specializes in establishing board advantage by combining Demacia‘s Challenger units (Fleetfeather Tracker, Petricite Broadwing, Laurent Protege, Fiora) with combat support units like Shen and Young Witch. The combination of these keywords allow this deck win free combat trades in the early to mid game.
Shen Fiora capitalizes on advantageous board states through Demacia‘s Rally cards. Champions’ Strength is Demacia‘s new premium Rally card that wins most games on the spot if used with a wide board. Golden Aegis was the preferred option in the past, but its recent nerf pushed it out of most Demacia decks.
Greenglade Caretaker and Kinkou Student are two must-include early units that synergize well with Shen‘s Barrier effects. Kinkou Student can win games by shutting down attacks from wide boards when combined with Moral Support / Spirit’s Refuge.
The rest of the deck are the usual utility cards from Demacia and Ionia: Sai’nen Thousand-Tailed for card draw, Ranger’s Resolve and Twin Disciplines as combat tricks, Concerted Strike for removal, and Deny for counterplay.
General Mulligan For Fiora Shen
As I mentioned earlier, Shen Fiora has high potential for bricked hands, so you need to be very careful when deciding what cards to mulligan. Outside of Sai’nen Thousand-Tailed, we don’t have any other ways to fix a bad hand.
Here are the deck’s general mulligan guidelines:
- Always keep: Shen, Fleetfeather Tracker, Petricite Broadwing, Laurent Protege
- If you have Shen / against aggro: Greenglade Caretaker, Kinkou Student
- If you have early challengers: Young Witch
- If you have a good hand against key mid-game units e.g. Gwen, Veigar: Fiora, Concerted Strike
- If you have a good hand against decks with big spells e.g. Feel The Rush: Deny
- If you have a good hand of multiple units: Champions’ Strength
The Power of Fiora Shen’s Attack Token
The first concept that you need to master is understanding the power of your attack token with the threat of your challengers.
Shen Fiora specializes in killing units for free when attacking; you know this, and your opponent knows this as well. If your opponent has key units like Veigar, Aphelios, or Gwen, they wouldn’t want to be playing them while you still have your attack token. You can use this psychological factor to secure game-changing advantages.
Let’s look at a few examples, starting with a game I was playing against Red Gwen:
This was Turn 4 of the game; I played Fiora and I had the attack token. This is usually the turn when they would play Gwen, but the threat of my challengers prevents them from doing that. In this spot, they would have two options:
- Pass, then wait and hope for me to use my attack token – In this scenario, I would just simply pass back and not use my attack token at all. This would make them burn mana and lose a lot of tempo. If they don’t develop their board, they are not progressing their gameplan.
- Play a different unit just so they don’t lose out on tempo – This would be their best option just so they don’t fall behind in board tempo. Either way, delaying their Gwen is still advantageous for me since they won’t be able to immediately use her for combo attacks.
My opponent ended up playing an inefficient Ruined Reckoner, which could’ve been a valuable combo piece for future turns.
It was turn 4 and I had a very horrible hand. I couldn’t play anything for this turn and the next turn, but my opponent didn’t have this information. What they could see is that I still had the attack token and 4 unit mana to represent Fiora or Shen. If I attacked, my opponent could simply take the damage then develop their board (which would be very bad for me).
Instead of attacking and losing my attack token, I passed and pretended that I had other threats in hand. This bluff caused my opponent to pass back because they were afraid of my potential threats. They ended up doing nothing on their turn, which was what I needed to not fall behind!
Playing Around Your Opponent’s Cards
The next important skill to master when playing Fiora Shen is playing around your opponent’s possible cards. Fiora Shen is a board-dependent deck; making the most out of each unit is crucial to winning games.
If you’re a new player, this might be difficult at first since you probably aren’t too familiar yet with what cards your opponent could play. However, you will improve on this as you play more games of Legends of Runeterra.
The concept is quite simple! Before you do anything, before you do any action, you need to ask yourself: “What could the opponent do?”. Then, you can make your plays based on your assumptions.
Let’s proceed with some examples, starting with a game I played against Veigar Norra.
It was Turn 7 of the game and I was attacking with a wide board of challenger units. This was my initial attack order, and I asked myself: “What could my opponent do?”
At fast speed, Vengeance was one of the cards that could make a huge difference. So, I asked a follow-up question in my mind: “If they had Vengeance, how would they use it?” They’d probably use it on Fiora, right? If they use Vengeance on Fiora with my current attack order, they end up killing my biggest unit while also saving their Norra.
With this in mind, I switched up my attack order! With this new attack orientation, if they use Vengeance on Fiora, they kill my biggest unit but they still lose Norra. If they want to save Norra, they’ll have to use Vengeance on Petricite Broadwing.
Let’s look at another example, this time from the game I played against Ezreal Kennen.
With this in mind, I switched up my attack order. I instead applied pressure by putting Barrier on Greenglade Caretaker. If Fleetfeather Tracker dies to a Kennen trade, that would still be good for me.
My opponent indeed recalled Kennen and I didn’t waste my Barrier on Fleetfeather Tracker. This strategy paid off multiple times in this game since my opponent continued to save Kennen on my next attack turns.
If you want to see the full-length games of the scenarios I presented here, all of them are available in the video guide linked at the first section of this article.
Quick Matchup Tips
I’ll be closing this article with some quick matchup tips against the popular decks of the current meta:
- Lulu Jinx (even) – use your challengers to get two-for-one trades against their small units. Prioritize killing copies Flame Chompers! to prevent Lulu‘s high-value attacks. Kinkou Student can win you the game if you can punish their attacks with Barriers. Save Concerted Strike for Jinx.
- Feel The Rush Control (even to slightly favored) – pressure with a wide board; Champions’ Strength will win you this matchup most of the time. Don’t play around their board wipes too much, you need to force them to spend their mana on spells instead of letting them ramp up for free. Consider adding one more copy of Deny if you’re facing control decks more often.
- Pyke Rek’sai Lurk (favored) – They are very dependent on their attack turns; Barriers will force them to sacrifice their units if they want to get their Lurk procs. Save Concerted Strike for Rek’sai / Pyke, and save Deny for Death From Below.
- Gwen Katarina (even) – use the threat of your challengers to prevent them from playing key units on their defense turns e.g. Katarina, Gwen, Redeemed Prodigy. Do not be afraid to let them burn mana if they don’t want to develop units. Save Concerted Strike for Gwen, Eternal Dancers, or a buffed-up Fallen Reckoner. Save Deny for The Harrowing.
- Aatrox Midrange (unfavored) – Their early-mid game units are often bigger than yours, so it will be awkward to attack into them most of the time. Even if you remove Aatrox with Concerted Strike, they can bring him back with World Ender. Proceed with your usual gameplan, try to get positive trades where you can, and hope for the best. Use Barriers to win combats against their Quick Attack units.
That’s it for the guide! If you master the mulligan and the concepts of knowing the power of your attack token + playing around your opponent’s cards, you should be able to use Fiora Shen effectively. Good luck in your ladder climb!