Hello everyone, Dragonguy here today to bring you a deck guide for Viego Kindred. Viego Ionia is not a new concept, as it has been one of the best ways to play The Ruined King since his release. The deck used to run with Thresh, but it has fallen out of the meta because it was too slow. In the latest balance patch, we saw a buff to Kindred to 4 mana, which led to people testing them with Viego. Since then, the deck has started to rise in popularity and is showing some good results.
Viego Kindred is a slower deck that looks to get through the early game to set up some very powerful engines in the mid game that will quickly take over the game if left unanswered. Kindred and Viego are both powerful champions with effects that must be answered before they snowball and take over the game.
The deck starts off slow in the early game, running enough early game interaction to survive and build up towards a strong mid game. Greenglade Lookout helps accelerate us by providing a discount on our big units, and can enable some powerful plays early. Fading Icon provides a Fearsome blocker, and a unit to sacrifice or block with. Camavoran Soldier provides powerful synergies for the deck. It accelerates the Encroaching Mist gameplan, and serves as a solid development punisher.
Thanks to the addition of Kindred over Thresh, we can start threatening powerful plays on turn 4. Kindred puts a lot of pressure on the opponent, and this deck runs a lot of ways to enable their Slay condition. Glimpse Beyond and Spirit Leech provide ways to Slay your own units and draw cards. For killing opposing units, you can use your units to try and force trades, or utilize your kill spells.
Vile Feast is just a solid SI spell, draining 1 from something and giving us a Spiderling to block with or use as a Slay fodder. The Box hits the crucial 3 HP threshold and punishes the opponent for developing multiple units in one round. Vengeance lets you kill anything that you need answered. With all these different ways of triggering Kindred’s effect, they will quickly start picking apart the opposing board if left unanswered.
After our Kindred turn, we can then drop Viego, another must-answer threat. Viego generates an Encroaching Mist the first time he sees an ally die each round, which gives you some additional nice value from sacrifice synergies. While Viego can stay on board and slowly grow, he really takes off if you can drop an Invasive Hydravine.
Since we have several units that can take over the game if unanswered, our opponents will need to answer them. This is where our protection suite comes in. Twin Disciplines is the best defensive card in these regions, offering 3 HP for 2 mana. We even have the added flexibility to add 3 power to go for more damage for offensive plays.
Syncopation is a situational card that can completely blow out opposing removal, letting you swap 2 units you control. This can be used to save a unit from removal or close out the game by switching a large blocked unit out for one that is unblocked. Spirit’s Refuge serves double duty in this deck. It can be used to defensively protect against damage-based removal but also provides crucial lifegain for the deck. Finally, we have Deny, which can stop any spells or skills that can be problematic.
To round out the list, we have Concussive Palm and Atrocity. Concussive Palm is a great tool for slowing down opposing units, and gives us a body we can use for slay procs for Kindred. Atrocity is used as an alternative win condition. Viego and our Encroaching Mists can grow very big, so it can be easy to put the opponent into range to kill them with this spell.
Viego Kindred puts a lot of pressure on the opponent by dropping a lot of important targets, and it can be difficult for the opponent to answer them. While the deck is slow to start up, once it gets going, it is incredibly difficult to shut down.
Techs and Options
- Ravenous Butcher + The Wings and the Wave
These cards look to take advantage of the Encroaching Mists that we are generating, also helping with Kindred and Viego triggers. In a pinch, Wings and the Wave can even provide 2 bodies to chump block with, or use for Slays. I’m listing these 2 cards together, as you would want to run both of these in the same deck if you choose to include them.
- Death Mark
This one used to be a core card in Viego Ionia, but has fallen out of favor in recent times. The benefit of Death Mark is that you can use it to preserve a unit, and kill an opposing unit in a way most protection spells can’t prevent. The downside is that are you need an Ephemeral unit for this effect, and you need it to not die in response to spell. While Viego can generate a lot of Ephemeral units later in the game, it can be difficult to use this card early, despite it only costing 3 mana. If you do choose to use this card, it would probably be a good idea to run Darkwater Scourge with it as well.
Great for countering many of the cheap spells in the game right now. While it is a good card, I chose not to include it in my version. If you want to have a better matchup against decks with cheaper spells, then you could consider adding in a copy or two of this card.
- God-Willow Seedling
This card is really interesting for the deck, allowing you to recall and re-summon Encroaching Mists. This is also really good with Camavoran Soldier, as it gives you the extra unit on board to block with. However, there aren’t that many great targets in the deck outside of these, and waiting for the landmark to pop is pretty slow.
- Shadow Assassin
There are a few Elusive decks prevalent in the meta right now, and Shadow Assassin can be a solid choice as an answer for them. Since it also draws you a card, it keeps your hand full as well and can help you dig for other answers. At 1 health, it is quite Vulnerable to pings. On top of this, it doesn’t push much damage, and can be quite awkward to play in later turns when you have other strong units you’d like to play instead. Still, if you want to have something for Elusives, this is a good card to look into.
- You can ‘carry over’ an Encroaching Mist to the next round
If you have an Ephemeral unit on board at the end of the round, it will die. If Viego has not seen another ally die that round, he will trigger his ability, summoning an Encroaching Mist. However, since it is already the end of the round and the window for Ephemerals dying has passed, the Encroaching Mist will not die, and will stay on board for the next round. This is especially important with Invasive Hydravine, and it can accelerate Viego’s level-up.
- In the mirror, opposing Kindred’s mark can give you a Mist, but it won’t carry over
This is especially important to undestand in the mirror. If the opposing Kindred’s mark is used to kill one of your units, if it is the first unit to die that round, your Viego will create his Encroaching Mist. However, it will then die the same round, because Kindred’s mark check happens before Ephemerals check.
- You can mark two enemies on the turn when Kindred have leveled
There is a neat trick you can do with Kindred the turn they level. Leveling Kindred resets their ability, so if you can get another slay on the same round they’ve leveled, you will mark another enemy. This is not easy to do, but if you accomplish this, it will give you a ton of tempo and can often snowball you to a victory.
- Try to save your Slay spells to trigger your champions
While cards like Glimpse Beyond and Vile Feast are strong early, there can be some cases where it’s better to save them for later. You get more value from these cards when your champions are out. However, there are definitely cases where using them early is a better play. Before using one of your Slay spells, try to assess the board state and see if you need to use it now, or if you can afford to wait until after you drop a champion for more value.
General Mulligan Tips
For most matchups, you want to keep at least 1 copy of your champions, as they are your primary win conditions, and have a large impact on the board. Against aggressive matchups, you would mulligan away any extra copies, but against slower control strategies, you may want to keep extra copies as well.
For aggressive matchups, you want your early game units and spells. Vile Feast, Fading Icon, and Camavoran Soldier are great for helping protect your Nexus early on. Spirit’s Refuge is a situational keep since it can provide crucial healing. However, it won’t be useful until later in the game when you have a bigger unit to use it on, so you’re better off looking for other tools of surviving early.
For slower, control matchups, you are looking for Greenglade lookout, high end units, and Deny. Greenglade can accelerate your game plan and let you play your threats early. Many control decks often run powerful spells, such as Feel The Rush or The Ruination that you want to counter, so having Deny is a huge help here.
Mulligan for: Viego, Deny, Concussive Palm, Camavoran Soldier, Invasive Snapvine
- This is one matchup where you do not keep Kindred in the mulligan. They don’t run many units to mark early game, and Viego is far more important.
- Deny single handedly wins this matchup for you and makes it so favored. It stops their Feel The Rush, and can be used to save your units from Vengeance and The Ruination.
- Since Deny is so important for stopping their Feel The Rush, it is sometimes correct to let your units die from spells to keep it up to stop a Feel The Rush.
- Viego is incredibly important in this matchup. He’s too big to die to their board clear removals, and once leveled he can eat their champions.
- Viego can also grow large enough to actually block their champions, making him a difficult obstacle for them to get through.
- Concussive Palm is your next best answer to their large champions if you don’t find a Deny, and can buy you time.
- Syncopation is a great answer to an opposing Vengeance, and lets you do so without using Deny.
Mulligan for: Fading Icon, Camavoran Soldier, Champions
- Fading Icon and Camavoran Soldier both act as great ways to clear Roiling Sands, as they summon 2 bodies in one action. They completely clear out an Unraveled Earth, and if there is only 1 Roiling Sands, the unit they summon will get vulnerable, not them.
- You want to try to avoid getting your champions vulnerable, as they can often be cleared by opposing units, or put in range for other removal.
- While they have some priority targets to kill like Xerath or The Arsenal, it can be tough to kill them through Ancient Hourglass.
- Ancient Hourglass will also remove the Kindred mark from a unit, so it can be used to save a marked unit.
- Minimorph is a scare card here, as it answers Viego and Invasive Hydravine well.
- Outside of Minimorph, however, their deck does not efficiently answer Viego, and will have a tough time stopping him from leveling and taking over the game.
- For this matchup, one of the most important things is focusing on leveling Viego first. If you can level Viego before your opponent levels theirs, you will kill theirs and ruin their progress, and make it hard for them to level him.
- You want your Encroaching Mist cards, as growing Viego and accelerating his level up is top priority.
- Kindred can whittle down an opponent’s board, and leave them with few fodder units to use for self slays.
- If the opponent has enough units to protect Viego from getting marked by Kindred, however, you can accidentally accelerate their level up and leave yourself vulnerable.
- Vengeance is a great answer for champions… but be careful with how much mana your opponent has open. If they have 4, they can Deny. If 2, they can Syncopation.
- Invasive Hydravine can also be a win condition for this matchup, especially if the opponent can’t get theirs online.
Mulligan for: Vengeance, Champions, Concussive Palm, Deny, Spirit’s Refuge
- They won’t play many units, but their units can grow quite large and can directly threaten our champions.
- This is a matchup where you want to double draw Kindred, as her champ spell, Spirit Journey, will remove a unit from combat and remove any buffs they had on them.
- Be careful doing this on Pantheon, however, because if he is leveled, he will get his summon effect and a suite of keywords.
- Vengeance is your best bet into their deck, able to answer any unit no questions asked. Just be wary of Bastion to counter your Vengeance. If you are able to, try to hold up a Vile Feast as well to pop the potential spell shield.
- Concussive Palm is important for stopping an attack and buying time.
- Use Deny to stop Golden Aegis from rallying and Concerted Strike from killing off your important units.
- Try to trade with their early units, so Kindred marks have a high chance to go on to higher priority units.
- While Kindred is a great answer for their units if you can mark them, it’s a bit difficult to get marks, as combat and smaller removal won’t usually be enough. You’ll need to rely on self slays and Vengeance to get her mark.
- Leveling Viego will ruin them, as you will either get their strong buffed unit, or kill their Pantheon and shut down that win condition.
- Spirit’s Refuge is a great card in this matchup. It protects a unit from Single Combat, lets you block their units more effectively, and can gain you some crucial life.
Mulligan for: The Box, Greenglade Lookout, Camavoran Soldier
- A lot of their power comes from leveling their champions, so try to remove them before they can level.
- The Box is amazing in this matchup, as their deck has a few units that will summon additional units, and can be used to kill Miss Fortune the turn she comes down. If your opponent has the attack token and plays Miss Fortune, you should wait until the attack or if they play another unit to use it.
- Fading Icon is not great in this matchup, as at 1 HP it dies to Miss Fortune attack trigger, and the Prey it generates can be challenged for an easy attack.
- Greenglade Lookout can block fairly well and helps you get your champions and Invasive Hydravine down early, which can be vital for taking away the opponents board control.
- Kindred can whittle down the opposing board, but is vulnerable to being challenged and killed. Try to play her when the opponent either doesn’t have the attack token, or has already attacked.
- While using Vengeance to remove a unit can be necessary, it is slow and leaves you vulnerable to the rest of the opponent’s board.
- If you can stop the opponent from getting through your board, they don’t have any reach outside of Miss Fortune skill and her Make it Rain, so stabilizing is definitely possible.
Mulligan for: Viego, Camavoran Soldier, Greenglade Lookout, Fading Icon, Syncopation
- You want to double draw Viego in this matchup. His champion spell, Despair, is great for removing their champions, and they have a few ways to remove Viego.
- Minimorph is a scare card, able to answer your big plays and leave you powerless to respond.
- While Kindred is good into their deck, it is difficult to protect her from Darkness, as just 1 buff on it is enough to kill her.
- Greenglade Lookout doesn’t die to pings, and importantly comes down on 2 and trades with Twisted Catalyzer.
- Syncopation is a solid way to protect units from Darkness, as it puts less important units in the line of fire.
- Killing Veigar is a high priority, as you don’t want to let Darkness grow. Viego’s biggest asset is that he is difficult to kill with one Darkness, but you want to try and keep him out of range of double darkness.
- It will take time for them to get their Darkness engine online, so use that time to try and set up your own engine.
Mulligan for: Vile Feast, The Box, Syncopation, Concussive Palm
- Our deck that wins the game through slowly leveling up their champs by keeping them on board over multiple turns is not great into Ahri Kennen.
- With no way to block elusives unless you add in Shadow Assassin, it’s easy for the opponent to get in chip damage with their elusive units.
- While Kindred could start killing off units with their mark, their deck has plenty of answers. They can Recall a unit to remove the mark, or use Homecoming to recall Kindred and remove the mark.
- Viego is also quite vulnerable to Homecoming, as it will completely reset his level progress.
- Deny can answer Homecoming, but can be answered by their Deny. Syncopation is a much better answer against this, as it can keep your unit on board, and send a different unit back to hand you wouldn’t mind replaying. Encroaching Mist only costs 1 mana, so getting that recalled instead won’t set you back on mana to replay it.
- The Box is a great answer to a Kinkou Wayfinder turn, or to try and snipe an Ahri before she levels.
- Concussive Palm can stop an Ahri chain, or preserve HP from elusive chip damage if needed.
- One advantage is that their deck doesn’t block fearsome or Kindred well, so try to go aggressive with these when you get the chance.
Viego Kindred revitalizes an older concept and takes it in a new direction. Kindred adds another powerful threat to the archetype and helps the deck come online sooner.
Unfortunately, it can struggle a bit on the ladder, as it has bad matchups against some of the popular decks right now – like Ahri Kennen Absolver and Scouts. In a Best-of-3 setting like Gauntlet, this deck can really shine. It has good matchups into many of the control decks, making it a solid choice if you’re targeting them, and you can ban away some of its bad matchups.
Viego Kindred is also a nice change of pace, as it has a very unique playstyle. The deck has access to some of the strongest value engines in the game, whether you slowly build up your Encroaching Mists or score marks on Kindred. While it can take time to come online, once it does it feels very satisfying and is quite difficult to stop.
If you are looking to play a deck that can generate a lot of value through its champions, then Kindred Viego is a great deck to try out. Thank you all for reading, and I hope you can show your opponents the power of the Black Mist.