With four new champions, new keywords, and over 65 new cards, day 1 has had numerous new decks on the competitive ladder. It was a breath of fresh air from all the Viego decks that were roaming around. Early into a patch players focus on testing new archetypes before settling down on the consistent decks.
I kept an eye on the new decks being played and picked 6 of them that I believe are solid and might become staple decks in the meta, let’s get started!
First on the list is Bard Zed, an archetype that takes advantage of both the Chimes you plant in your own deck and the Elusive units.
Zed acts as a nuisance to your opponent early on while you buff up your elusive units. Bard on the other hand lets you plant more Chimes in the deck and if leveled will create a more threatful board presence.
The archetype is one of the popular decks on day 1 mostly for its capability of creating a high stat board difficult to deal with. Greenglade Duo, Shadow Assasin, and Kinkour Lifeblade can gain a lot of stats from the Chimes, threatening to close out a game in a turn or two with the help of the elusive keyword!
Right now there isn’t a specific list players have agreed on yet, the one I’ve featured relies heavily on the Elusive keyword as a win condition, other lists rely on board domination instead.
Annie Jhin is currently the most popular of the new decks, it adopts an aggressive game plan, relying on cheap units with a Skill ability to deal damage to the Nexus.
Your main goal isn’t to level your champions up but it will happen naturally as you go on with your game plan, Annie is more of a solid early game unit that wants to deal Nexus damage. A leveled-up Jhin is pretty much a Decimate once he attacks, but also can be a nightmare for your opponent’s board.
Illaoi Jarvan IV Garen
Illaoi Jarvan Garen is another performer on the first day of the expansion. The Demacia Bilgewater deck relies on Illaoi and her Tentacles to set up a win condition, the Demacia region gives you access to Cataclysm and Concerted Strike that act as accelerators for your game plan.
As for spells like Cataclysm, Tentacle Smash, and Concerted Strike they can help level up Illaoi faster which will allow you to fully heal your Tentacle on attack and Spawn more of them!
The deck does run 1 off Garen and two copies of Jarvan. Garen acts as a unit your opponent will have to deal with if they wish to prevent you from attacking every single turn! As for Jarvan, the burst summon can catch your opponent off guard, making it difficult for them to deal with the pressure Jarvan imposes. Additionally, a leveled-up Jarvan is a nightmare as he’ll keep creating more Cataclysm for you, allowing you to pick off units from the opponent’s board.
Although the Overwhelm damage from Illaoi is your main method of dealing Nexus damage, The Sea’s Voice is a second tool to take advantage of the high stats you’ve acquired on your Tentacle, giving it Overwhelm damage and turning it into the main threat.
Both Alan and Szychu were testing Zoe Bard, this list is a Targon allegiance version with multiple Invoke cards that make sure you don’t run out of gas.
The Chimes will make it difficult for your opponent to deal with your units especially if it hits a Zoe or Sparkle Fly, you’re able to set up an elusive win condition pretty easily with the assistance of The Trickster!
With many Targon cards in the deck it makes sense for Mountain Scryer to be present in the list, the Invoke isn’t the only reason you’d want this card in your deck but also the discount on all your Celestial cards, which allows you to accelerate your game plan!
As for Bard, he acts as an enabler for your units, buffing them up, especially those with the Elusive keyword, and turning them in to win a condition, capable of closing out a game.
The Starshaping in the deck is basically the last option in case you aren’t able to set up a winning play, you’re able to find either The Great Beyond or Immortal Fire, both Elusive units with high stats!
This can be a pretty slow archetype to set up your win condition, but the different decision-making involved can make it an enjoyable experience for those that prefer a skill-intensive deck.
Annie Swain saw play on the first day of the expansion, different versions of the archetype were roaming on the ladder. The Noxus region was either paired with Bilgewater, Bandle City, or Shadow Isles.
The Shadow Isles region saw the most play and was probably the most consistent of the three. The deck relies on Annie as an early damage pusher that helps level up Swain. Spell Slinger, Arachnoid Sentry, and the many cheap spells help level her up, creating a Tibbers that can come in handy later on in the game with the stun ability.
Eventually, you want to set up Swain and Leviathan on the board to start stun locking your opponent’s units, making it difficult for them to block an attacking Swain.
Ravenbloom Conservatory is a new win condition for the archetype, Tybaulk will allow you to deal an additional +1 damage with all your skills and damage spells. Tybaulk also has the Overwhelm keyword which makes it a threat that has to be dealt with when it commits an attack.
Another version of the Demacia Bilgewater deck is Illaoi Lux which uses both champions as a win condition to dominate the board. Cards like Answered Prayer and Eye of Nagabouros can buff up your Tentacle which benefits Illaoi when she goes for the attack, but if you have a Lux on the board those same spells will be beneficial to create a Final Spark, an additional tool to slowly kill off your opponent’s units and chip damage their Nexus.
Keep in mind that the lists in this article do not represent a final refined list of each deck, the meta will shift throughout the next few weeks, and each deck wants to adapt to keep up with the meta. So we might see a couple of tweaks here and there as things settle down.
Annie Jhin and Zed Bard seem to be the most popular right now. Although they’re performing well at the moment, players might target them and keep those two decks in check.
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