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Top 6 Decks To Counter Lissandra Taliyah Thralls

Hello, Sorry here! Lissandra Taliyah, more known as Thralls has been dominating the scene after the addition of both Harbinger of Thralls and Sands of Time in the latest expansion, solidifying the deck as one of the prominent archetypes in the meta.

The lovable archetype has now transformed into a nuisance as it floods the competitive ladder, players from different ranks have shared their frustration with the archetype’s dominance throughout social media. But worry not, I have come today with a solution in an attempt to put Thralls back in its place!

In today’s article, I’ll feature 6 decks that perform well against the Thralls deck and will help you stomp the matchup. For those that are more interested in playing Thralls and joining the dark side, we have a deck guide on it:

Jarvan IV Illaoi

The first deck on the list is Illaoi Jarvan IV, a Demacia deck that wants to dominate mid-game and close out the game before Thralls manages to set up their plan.

Early to mid-game, you’ll focus on growing your Tentacle to a point where it needs to be dealt with. The Sea’s Voice takes advantage of the Tentacle and turns it into an Overwhelm threat.

At the same time, Illaoi is difficult for your opponent to deal with due to her high health and Overwhelm keyword.

Even if your opponent manages to get a Frostguard Thrall on the board, Jarvan VI can simply pull it away on your attack turn, giving space for the rest of your units to slam the Nexus.

Moreover, Cataclysm is usually saved to remove pesky units like Lissandra while also allowing Overwhelm damage to be dealt if played on Illaoi. Additionally, Concerted Strike is a tool to deal with the Frostguard Thrall, forcing protection cards like The Three Sisters out of your opponent.


Irelia Azir created by Sorry • last updated 1 year ago

Irelia Azir makes the list as one of the decks capable of dealing with Thralls. It’s funny that Irelia Azir once known as the most dominant deck in an older meta and possibly the most hated at that time is now our savior from the Thralls.

Matchup wise, the most important card you want in your starting hand is Azir. A leveled-up Azir will empower all your Sand Soldiers and Blades to start dealing a lot of damage.

Irelia is there to accelerate your damage potential with Blade’s Dance. You do want to close out the game before Lissandra manages to level up, mainly because of the 0 mana Ice Shard she creates and the Tough she grants to the Nexus.

You can stop or slow down Lissandra’s level up by recalling the Frozen Thralls with a Homecoming before it pops. At the same time, this will slow down your opponent’s game plan tremendously especially if a Promising Future was played on the recalled landmark.

Eventually, your Blades and Sand Soldiers will prove difficult to deal with especially if a leveled-up Irelia hits the board.

Viego Shurima

The popular Viego Shurima is one of my favorite decks to destroy Thralls players! I even brought the deck to a tournament, with a plan set to soft targeting Thralls and I managed to win first place!

With that being said, let’s check why Viego Shurima is one of your best choices to counter Thralls.

Your opponent doesn’t really have a method to kill your Viego except by forcing you to block and sacrifice him to one of their Frostguard Thralls. This means you’ll be able to level him up comfortably which allows him to start stealing your opponent’s Frostguard Thrall to serve as your attacker/Blocker.

Merciless Hunter and Baccai Sandspinner are perfect answers to kill a Lissandra. A leveled-up Lissandra can be quite annoying with the Tough she gives to the Nexus along with the free Ice Shards.

As the game goes on, your Viego along with Enroaching Mists will be buffed up to a point that they can contest the Thralls, prohibiting them from pushing Overwhelm damage. Invasive Hydravine is crucial in this matchup to accelerate the stats pump of your two units.

On top of that, the list runs 3 Quicksands to slow down the mid-game aggression of the Thralls while you work on your own game plan for the late game. Watch out for Entomb on one of your blockers, the Overwhelm damage can go through, luckily both Quicksand and Rite of Negation can be effective answers for such a play.

For a more detailed breakdown on the deck, I covered the deck just before the release of the Worldwalker expansion in this guide:

Bard Poppy

A Poppy deck? Yes, Sir! Poppy has been making a slow comeback after Chimes were introduced in the game, a buffed-up Poppy will be more difficult to remove off the board.

Both Bard Poppy and Taric Poppy are good choices against Thralls. The Bard version relies more on the Chimes to buff up your units, especially Poppy. Whereas the Taric version relies more on Taric’s interaction with Golden Aegis, allowing you to turbo level up Poppy.

I’ll talk more on the Bard version for today’s article. It runs a lot of challenger units like Laurent Protege, Petricite Broadwing, and Silverwing Vanguard all benefit from the Chimes! Poppy gaining stats from Chimes will ensure an extra layer of protection while making it easier for you to buff up all your units.

Cards like Avalanche or Blighted Ravine will not be enough to clear out your board. A big mana commitment being played this early in the game and not getting value will leave your opponent vulnerable to a solid attack.

Golden Aegis is extremely important in this matchup, it allows you to level up Poppy faster, turning your whole board into a +2+2 pumped-up stats with Impact. In most cases, you should be able to close out the game!

For a more detailed breakdown on the deck, Raphterra has covered it recently in this guide:

Viktor Karma

One of my favorite decks – Viktor Karma makes the list as a solid choice to combat the rampage of Thralls. Viktor Karma is a late-game archetype that relies on both champions as win conditions and wants to prolong the game until Karma levels up.

You want to slam Viktor on the board as soon as possible to start working on his keyword development. Thralls deck doesn’t really have a reliable way of killing your Viktor, and with Twin Disciplines on your side, Viktor will survive the Avalanche and Blighted Ravine.

As you work on your Viktor, you’re still faced with Frostguard Thralls craving to slam down your Nexus. Luckily, your deck runs Will of Ionia and Concussive Palm, two cards that can halt a Thrall in its place and buy you more time.

At some point Viktor will be capable of killing the Thralls himself, a Challenger keyword along with Quick Attack should do the trick! Lifesteal on top of the mix will guarantee you heal up your Nexus, but you still have Spirit Refuge as a backup heal + protection card.

On turn 10, the game should be in the bag, Karma will start assisting Viktor, granting him double keywords from Hexcore Upgrade and at the same time copying the effect of all your spells! This comes in useful for card draw and burn potential.

Annie Jhin

Annie Jhin created by Sorry • last updated 1 year ago

Lastly, Annie Jhin is an aggressive burn deck that can take down Thralls before they’re able to set up their game plan.

You’re able to go wide on the board while also presenting a burn potential with your units. Cards like
Tusk Speaker, Boomcrew Rookie, and Doombeast present burn potential!

Be careful of AOE damage from cards like Avalanche and Blighted Ravine, they can take out most of your board and leave you in shambles.

Once you’re done with unit damage, it’s time to switch to burn spells! Noxian Fervor and Decimate can push in the little damage you need to close out the game.

For a more detailed breakdown on the deck, den has covered it recently in this guide:

Closing Words

All decks I’ve listed are solid against the Thralls matchup but can still perform well in other popular matchups if you wish to take them on your ranked ladder climb!

Thralls deck has definitely proven that it’s on the top of the meta right now, which is more of a reason to play a counter deck if you’re the type of player that prefers combating the meta!

Hopefully, you found this article useful, if you wish to keep up with my content, consider following me on Twitter.


Alaa "TricksterSorry" Yassine is a competitive Legends of Runeterra player. His passion for card games ignited in his youth with favorites like Yugioh and Pokemon. Currently, he dedicates himself to achieving professional excellence in Runeterra, while also creating informative video and written content for the Runeterra community.

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