Hey, Agigas here! Gnar has been dominating this season, and to many players’ surprise, one of his most successful builds so far is this very unique Trundle Timelines archetype.
This deck offers numerous possibilities as to how you can carry out its gameplan, and the playstyle quickly grew on me as I went on a successful record with it on the ladder (22 wins, 9 losses – 71% win rate).
In this article, I would like to share my knowledge about this new Tier 1 archetype – without further ado, let’s get into the guide!
Trundle Gnar Timelines is a midrange archetype, looking to use Concurrent Timelines to gain tempo advantages.
It rarely runs out of gas due to its numerous high-value units that can be transformed by Concurrent Timelines into followers with better stats.
Aloof Travelers is a great example – you get the unit’s powerful on-summon effect, then turn it into a better-statted 4-cost unit. The combo between Concurrent Timelines and Trundle‘s Ice Pillar is particularly devastating, allowing you to cheat out a free 8-cost unit onto the board.
While there’s a randomness factor to how Timelines work, still – being able to make many choices through the game still allows you to adapt to the matchup and situation.
With or without Concurrent Timelines, the deck is a midrange powerhouse. Trundle and Gnar both are excellent self-enabling champions, and will very quickly build up pressure when not dealt with. With the Piltover & Zaun’s strong removals, the deck is able to control the board in the midgame.
The deck also comes with a small Discard package, as Zaunite Urchin allows us to cycle our spare copies of Concurrent Timelines and Boom Baboon‘s Flame Chompers!. Avarosan Sentry, Gnar, and Aloof Travelers also provide draw, giving us the ability to quickly cycle through our deck.
As you can see, we have tempo and value tools, as well as the ability to deal with the key opposing threats, so we can consistently build powerful boards in the midgame.
The deck rarely has trouble closing out games. First of all, we have It That Stares + Buried in Ice combo. Transforming the whole opposing board into landmarks enables our units to push a lot of damage, and It That Stares can make sure there’s no coming back for the opponent.
There are plenty of additional ways to finish games – our removals double down as burn, we can create interesting 8-cost units with Concurrent Timelines, fish for high-value spells with Ferros Financier… and don’t forget that both Gnar and Trundle are large Overwhelm units when leveled, capable of wrapping things out shortly by themselves.
Techs and Options
- Kindly Tavernkeeper is a great unit against hyper-aggressive decks. If you face a lot of burn, consider teching in two copies of Tavernkeeper in instead of a Boom Baboon and a Three Sisters.
- Understand your role in the game.
As a midrange archetype, the situation and matchup can lead you to play as either the defender or the aggressor.
- Because of your very high value and powerful late game plays, you’ll be playing as the control deck very often and in many matchups. Look to deny the opponent’s plan as much as possible so you can slow things downs.
- Buried in Ice is a powerful tool to suddenly go on the offensive. Even without it, this deck is able to flood the board, and our champions and tempo plays help pushing damage. If you manage to bring the opponent low enough, your Overwhelm champions and burn damage will be able to close things out quicker.
- Set up Buried in Ice.
This spell is key to our late game strategy, as it allows us to suddenly get a very clear window to push damage. Moreover, the Buried in Ice into It That Stares combo is particularly devastating. As you prepare for the Buried in Ice, try to avoid trading units – the spell will be much more impressive when both your opponent’s board and yours are full.
- Find the right time to play Concurrent Timelines.
Most of our units benefit from Concurrent Timelines – but not all. Also, in some situations you will need mana for something else early on. In most cases, you should look to play Concurrent Timelines after you’ve played Avarosan Sentry, as this unit doesn’t synergize well with it. Don’t forget that the Timelines effect only applies to the first follower played each turn.
- Be patient with Discard.
Unless you really need an early blocker – or to cycle to find something specific quickly, you shouldn’t discard useful cards with Zaunite Urchin. Wait for Boom Baboon’s Flame Chompers! or some spare copies of Concurrent Timelines.
General mulligan tips:
- Avarosan Sentry and Concurrent Timelines are great cards to keep in your starting hand no matter the matchup.
- Keep Thermogenic Beam if you need to deal with an oppressive early threat, such as
Miss Fortuneor Gnar. Same reasoning goes for Mystic Shot against oppressive 2-health units, such as Twisted Catalyzer or Bandle City Mayor.
- Keep Gnar if you’re opponent can’t remove him too easily on turn 4.
- Keep Trundle and
Aloof Travelersin slow matchups if you already found Concurrent Timelines.
- Keep all 1- and 2-cost units you get against hyper-aggressive decks.
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.
Mulligan for: Concurrent Timelines, Aloof Travelers, Thermogenic Beam, Aftershock, Avarosan Sentry.
- Bandle Tree is a very good matchup – you have enough landmark removal to get rid of all their Bandle Trees, and winning the game without those is difficult for them.
- Be careful not to underestimate their midrange power and value. Even when you do get rid of their Bandle Trees, they can still win through Gnar, Poppy, and their powerful swarm. They also have cost-efficient removals and a lot of card generation. Look to kill Gnar and Poppy as soon as possible.
- Look to play Aloof Travelers right before they could play The Bandle Tree. You have exactly 3 landmark removals, and won’t draw all of them everytime, so making the opponent discard a Bandle Tree will make the game that much easier. If you hit a Minimorph instead, it is also very useful as it will help Trundle to go through their defenses.
- In the late game, be always prepared for the Bandle Tree – you should always have a removal for it available right when they play it. Aftershock is particularly good if they try to go for a double Bandle Tree turn.
Mulligan for: Concurrent Timelines, Thermogenic Beam, Mystic Shot, 1 and 2-cost units, Gnar.
- Thanks to Icevale Archer and Three Sisters, you can make it hard for them to win on the back of Papercraft Dragon. Don’t use your freeze on a small unit.
- Try to keep a cheap spell to break Ruin Runner‘s Spellshield so you can freeze her during the attack. Icevale Archer can be used to freeze ignoring the Spellshield.
- While you have the tools to prevent their combo finish, you should be careful about their early aggression. The lower you get, the easier it will be for them to kill you through a freeze thanks to their buff spells.
- Look to remove Akshan and Gnar on sight. If you prevent them from snowballing the game, their deck will struggle to keep up in value, and you will be able to run them out of resources.
- Be careful about Rite of Negation – they usually play 2 or 3 copies of it, and getting your Buried in Ice denied can heavily swing the game because of the tempo they will gain.
Mulligan for: Concurrent Timelines, Avarosan Sentry, Mystic Shot, Thermogenic Beam. Keep Aloof Travelers if you have Concurrent Timelines.
- While Darkness is a powerful control deck, our deck is often able to out-value them as long as we don’t let them stick a champion on the board.
- You should always be ready to remove Veigar right away after they’ve played him – or at least act as if you are ready to not give them an easy decision. Them sticking Veigar onto the board is their whole win condition, as it will provide them a ton of value, tempo, and a powerful win condition.
- You should never use a removal on something other than Veigar, Senna, or Twisted Catalyzer – unless it allows you to finish the game on the spot.
- Ixtali Sentinel provides burn reach once they’ve buffed their Darkness spell – try not to lose too much health.
Mulligan for: Concurrent Timelines, Thermogenic Beam, Avarosan Sentry, Aloof Travelers, Gnar. Keep Trundle if you have a good hand.
- In the mirror matchup, Buried in Ice is a key card. It will often determine the winner as you both are able to develop wide and powerful boards.
- Aloof Travelers is a very strong unit in the matchup as it allows you to get rid of the opponent’s Buried in Ice, which is the highest cost card of the deck. Avoid playing Aloof Travelers if the opponent has more than 9 mana, or else you might just discard their Thermogenic Beam instead of Buried in Ice.
- If you play a Ferros Financier and you see all mediocre options, but one of them costs more than 9 mana, consider taking it to play around the opponent’s Aloof Travelers.
- Avoid overcommiting onto the board into a potential Buried in Ice – unless you have no other chance of winning anyway.
- Turns 4 and 5 are key as well. If one player is able to set up a Gnar snowball, they can quickly gain resources and tempo advantage, and might force the opponent to cast Buried in Ice while behind.
- The deck has numerous tools to either deal with Gnar or at least slow him down – Icevale Archer, Three Sisters, Thermogenic Beam, Aftershock, Throll Chant, or transforming Aloof Travelers into a large unit. If you have the attack token on turn 4 and Gnar in hand, right from the turn 1 – you should start thinking how you’re going to set him up for success. If it is the opponent who attacks on 4 – you should prepare how you’re going to remove their Gnar.
Mulligan for: Concurrent Timelines, Thermogenic Beam, Gnar. Keep 1 or 2-cost units if you have Thermogenic Beam.
- It is very important for you to kill Miss Fortune as soon as possible. Her ability will allow them to get a lot of good trades into your 1-health blockers, and she can quickly level-up to close out games. Be aware of their protections spells – Sharpsight and Ranger’s Resolve.
- If you can stall them during the early to mid game, the game swings in your favor the later it goes. They don’t have the tools to make a lot of value, and Buried in Ice into It That Stares will often close the game right away when they try to go for Cithria The Bold,
Genevieve Elmheart, or For Demacia!.
- They don’t have a lot of ways to interact with you, and if you threaten them with lethal they won’t be able to do anythign about it. Attacking with a level 2 Trundle and removing his blocker with Three Sisters’ Entomb is often a great way to get them in your burn reach when you can’t simply kill them through Buried in Ice.
- Be very careful about Golden Aegis – do not open yourself up for a devastating Rally when they have 4+ mana.
- Because they don’t have removals, Gnar and Trundle can really dominate the board and make the opponent’s gameplan a lot more difficult to execute.
Mulligan for: Concurrent Timelines, 1 and 2-cost units, Thermogenic Beam, Mystic Shot. Keep Gnar if you have a great early hand.
- Their deck is extremely aggressive and features a very high amount of burn damage – you should be very conservative with your Nexus health, and avoid taking any unnecessary damage.
- Ideally, you want to trade your early units into theirs early on and keep Thermogenic Beam to remove Gnar, Ziggs, or Teenydactyl. However, do not hold on to your Thermogenic Beam if it means you’re taking free damage – even if you can’t remove Gnar later, you will often be able to stall him out with freezes.
- While they can remove Gnar with Noxian Fervor, it would cost them a lot to do so. If you are able to not fall too much behind in the first few turns, Gnar will be able to quickly snowball the game to finish before they get time to find enough burn damage.
- If you often find youself playing this matchup, consider teching in Kindly Tavernkeeper, which will help a lot as your Nexus health is a precious ressource.
If you have a question, want to share feedback, or discuss this guide, I’ll be happy to answer you in the comments below! 😉
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Thanks for reading!