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Viego Thresh Ionia Deck Guide

Thresh Viego is probably not the most well-positioned archetype in the format, but if you're looking for the best deck built around The Ruined King - this is it!

Hello everyone, my name is DragonGuy, and I’m here today to bring you a deck guide for Viego Thresh Ionia. This deck has been on the rise recently and has shown some potential.

Thresh Viego is one of the more popular and competitive versions of Viego since his release back in July. Ionia’s protective tools and a its early units have been what Viego was looking for in a second region. While the deck fell off a bit in the Beyond the Bandlewood season, after the latest round of balance changes, it has been making a resurgence.

Viego Ionia is a slow, grindy deck that seeks to continually summon Encroaching Mist to power up Viego to close out games. Our second champion, Thresh, gives us another way to find Viego and synergizes with the Ephemeral Encroaching Mist which help work towards his level up. Thresh also exerts a lot of pressure on board, forcing opponents to sometimes hold back units on attack so they don’t level him too quickly.

Thresh and Viego both promote a slower gameplan, as they are both on the expensive side at 5 mana, so our deck runs cards that allow us to slow down the game to give us time to set up and protect our top-end units.

Our early units both provide survivability and accelerate our end game plan. Tasty Faefolk provides crucial healing with its Lifesteal keyword, and Shadow Assassin cycles itself and can act as an Elusive blocker. Greenglade Lookout can ramp you to your late-game units with cost reduction, and Camavoran Soldier provides 2 bodies for 1 action while growing our Encroaching Mist

On top of our early units, our spells also serve to either slow down the opponent or offer protection. Vile Feast is a solid early removal tool, especially against aggressive decks with the ability to potentially remove a unit and set up a blocker. Concussive Palm is a great card for surviving opponents’ attack turns, removing an attacker and giving you a unit to block with.

Syncopation is great for catching opponents off guard and has a plethora of uses, from saving a unit to pushing through damage.

Nopeify! and Deny are solid options for stopping opposing spells. For this deck, we are running more Deny than Nopeify!, as many prevalent spells are out of range of Nopeify! in the current meta.

Spirit’s Refuge serves the dual purpose of protecting our unit with Barrier, and offering crucial Lifesteal to regain lost health. This can be especially potent since you can get high-power units through the everywhere buff from Encroaching Mist

After getting through the early game, you have a few options for closing out the game. Invasive Hydravine is a large body that makes a new Encroaching Mist every round, which will quickly scale up over a few turns. This gives you a constant supply of chump blockers and attackers and can whittle down the opponent’s board if not answered.

Another key card for ending the game is Atrocity, which can be used to send your units into the opponent’s Nexus to end the game, or their units if needed in a pinch.

Levelled Viego is one of the main win conditions, and with good reason. His ability to steal the strongest follower gives you a lot of board control and helps clear the way for him to hit Nexus with his Fearsome keyword. While it can be slow to scale up Viego, this deck certainly has the tools to stall the game out and protect him long enough for him to level and take over the game.

General Tips

  • Viego and Ephemerals interaction

Viego’s ability to summon an Encroaching Mist will trigger when he sees an ally die for the first time each round. Normally, this will happen before the end of the round and summon an Encroaching Mist that dies round end.

However, if you summon an Ephemeral unit, and then nothing else dies until round end, then Viego’s ability will trigger when he sees that Ephemeral unit die. However, since it is already Round End, the Encroaching Mist he summons will persist to the next round, which gives you an extra unit next round and another proc for Viego once this dies. 

  • Greenglade Lookout cost reduction rules

Greenglade Lookout will reduce the cost of your most expensive card in hand. If 2 units share the same cost, it will reduce the cost of the leftmost card in your hand.

Another important rule for cost reduction: the cost reduction will not apply to champion spells, so it can’t reduce the cost of extra champions in your hand.


Mulligan for: Concussive Palm, Champions, Deny

  • The goal for this matchup is to level Viego, as this will let you kill Lee Sin on round start and stop their One Turn Kill.
  • Their deck has very limited out of combat removal, making your champions relatively safe on board.
  • Try not to let Zoe get too out of hand, as if she levels it will make closing out the game much more difficult. 
  • Double-drawing Viego is good in this matchup, as Despair is a good way to remove Lee Sin.
  • If Lee Sin attacks and triggers his skill Dragon’s Rage, using Concussive Palm will not stop the skill from killing/ recalling your unit, only Deny will stop it.

Mulligan for: Spirit’s Refuge, Thresh, Early units

  • Their deck excels at going wide and having multiple ways to damage your Nexus directly.
  • Early chump blockers slow down their early game and let you get to your champions.
  • Try to deny plunder procs when you can, as if Gangplank levels he becomes a very scary threat.
  • They play a lot of small early units, so Thresh can usually level quickly in this matchup, as well as removing the pesky backline units like Crackshot Corsair.
  • Save Concussive Palm for Gangplank if possible.
  • Later in the game, try not to play units with less than 2 health, as it enables their Double Up to deal massive damage to the Nexus. If you do have to, Twin Disciplines can protect them, or Glimpse Beyond can kill the unit in response.

Mulligan for: Concussive Palm, early units, Spirit’s Refuge

  • This is a decent matchup for you, as you have good blockers for their early units, and have Concussive Palm to stall Sion if he comes down.
  • While most of our early units can be removed with their removal spells, they can’t kill our top end cards without committing multiple cards.
  • Try to save Concussive Palm for a Sion turn unless you absolutely have to, as aside from Homecoming, it is your only way to stall a Sion attack.
  • Be worried about getting too low, since they can go over the top with burn like Get Excited and Mystic Shot.
  • Spirit’s Refuge is a great tool for saving a unit and gaining a ton of health back.

Mulligan for: Champions, Tasty Faefolk, Concussive Palm

  • If you are able to level up Viego in this matchup, then you are very likely to win as his effect will kill off their champions.
  • Prioritize stopping plunder triggers whenever you can, even if it causes unfavorable trades early. 
  • Concussive Palm is great for buying you time, as it stops a champion attack and gives you time to scale up.
  • Monster Harpoon gives their deck a removal option for our champions, so try to keep this in mind when deciding whether to commit to your champions or waiting so you can hold up protection.
  • You don’t get level progress for Viego if your units are frozen, so if Sejuani comes down, try to wait until after she procs to generate Encroaching Mist.

Mulligan for: Concussive Palm, early units, Spirit’s Refuge

  • Lurk can have an explosive early game, so it’s important to try and find enough tools to sustain through it and get to the point where you can drop your champions.
  • Concussive Palm is vital for stopping a Rek’sai level up or stalling one of their overwhelms from hitting face. 
  • Take any trade you can early into the game with their units, especially if your unit can survive. Outside of Pyke and Bone Skewer they have no removal outside of combat, so they can’t take out low health units easily.
  • Spirit’s Refuge is another strong card for this matchup, whether denying damage for Pyke levelup or providing crucial healing to keep you in the game.
  • Try to hold up Deny mana when you can to stop a Death From Below from swinging the game into the opponents favor.

Mulligan for: Champions, Invasive Hydravine, Camavoran Soldier

  • This matchup is all about buffing your Viego as quickly as possible, then getting him into play.
  • Viego levelup is critical in this matchup, as whoever levels their Viego first will often win, as it will kill off the opponents Viego.
  • Double drawing Viego is good in this matchup as you can Despair their champions to shut down the opponents game plan.
  • If both player’s Viego level up at the same time, the player who gets the attack token next turn will have the round start effect of their Viego go off first and kill the other Viego. This is important for whether or not you need to commit to killing their Viego.
  • Be mindful of how low your life total gets, as Atrocity can kill you if you get low enough.

Mulligan for: Early Units, Vile Feast, Thresh

  • They can go wide early on and threaten a lot of damage, which will heavily punish hands where you don’t draw enough early action.
  • This deck is quite weak to Poppy, as it doesn’t have any ways to kill her on curve, only delay her with Concussive Palm or Homecoming.
  • If you can survive their early barrage, you still need to worry about over the top burn such as Decimate, and also the value generated from Treasured Trash.
  • If you can successfully get a hit in with Spirit’s Refuge on a large unit, you should be able to stabilize, but be wary of a Noxian Fervor to deny the healing.
  • You should be able to eventually outscale them on board, and with only Noxian Fervor for removal your units are relatively safe outside of combat.

Mulligan for: Homecoming, Thresh, early units

  • This deck likes to swarm the board early and often, but fortunately they don’t have high power totals until Poppy buffs them.
  • While you do have the tools to survive their aggression, the problem is that you have a difficult time interacting with The Bandle Tree.
  • Homecoming is the decks only interaction for landmarks, so it should be saved for The Bandle Tree unless you think you can use it to secure a win. 
  • Minimorph is another difficult card for our deck, as it completely shuts down one of our strongest units permanently.
  • Their deck also runs cards like Ravenous Flock and Scorched Earth, so be wary of letting units get damaged and becoming vulnerable to these removal tools.

Mulligan for: Concussive Palm, Twin Disciplines, early units

  • Between their strong combat tricks, solid curve, and strong interaction this matchup is difficult. 
  • Early game, you want to try and minimize how many units you lose, and take trades where you can.
  • Once one of their champions level, The Absolver comes into play, giving them access to overwhelm and a large attack boost that is difficult to defend. 
  • Concerted Strike and Single Combat are their primary removal tools, but are entirely dependent on their units to be effective. 
  • Spirit’s Refuge can beat their combat tricks, but can still be beaten by their strike spells.
  • Twin Disciplines is good in this matchup for competing with their combat tricks, but will usually lose to double trick.
  • Golden Aegis can be devastating, as we need time to setup and it heavily accelerates their gameplan.
  • If you can setup a Viego and Invasive Hydravine on board, it is incredibly difficult for the opponent to punch through for the finishing blow, as they have no direct Nexus damage.

Mulligan for: Early units, Spirit’s Refuge

  • A difficult matchup for this deck, as you don’t have good answers to their Elusives or their champions.
  • You need early units to try and stop the ground units that come in early. Take any even trade you can early, as you want to keep their board as small as you can.
  • Shadow Assassin is crucial for blocking their elusive units, as it is your only way to do so in the deck. 
  • With multiple rally effects, it is difficult to build up enough of a board to sustain through their early barrage of damage. 
  • While Deny can stop a rally and buy you time, it often is not enough.

Closing Thoughts

Thresh Viego’s gameplan takes a bit of time to set up, which can be a hindrance against many of the faster decks in the meta.

Poppy Zed is one of the most prevalent decks on ladder, and with a terrible matchup into that deck, this makes it difficult to consistently climb. Still, Viego does have a few favorable matchups into other decks in the meta, and if you are able to setup an Encroaching Mist engine, it can often take over the game. 

Thresh Viego also plays very unique, offering an incredibly potent value engine if you are able to protect it. While it may not be the best deck on the ladder at the moment, in an environment like Gauntlet where you can ban away it’s bad matchups, the deck has room to show it’s potential and power.

Thank you all for reading, I hope you have a good day, and show your opponents the power of the Black Mist.


Dragonguy is a just a guy who enjoys playing some fun LOR decks. After taking targon's peak and Deep to top 32 of Guardians of the Ancient, he's been constantly looking to improve his game. Also, he's been playing a lot of Path of Champions lately, and is really enjoying Jinx.

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