With all the reveals now completed and several popular figures sharing their decks on social media, it is time to dive into our deckbuilding piece about decks I am excited to try once we can all get our hands on the new 65 cards the Worldwalker expansion is bringing. This piece will showcase 4 decks built around each new champion, alongside showcasing the already existing archetypes who received some help in this expansion.
One thing that I particularly loved in this specific batch of cards is the completely different directions that each champion can push the deck you include them in. There is Annie, the uber aggressive girl, dying to destroy a couple of nexuses as soon as she goes live. Then there is Illaoi, a midrange enforcer coming with an army of Tentacles and a lot of potential pairings in order to maximize their potential. Lastly, there is probably the biggest shake-up in terms of deckbuilding in the history of the game: Bard, Jhin, and their new way of building decks in LoR.
I probably could have built 20 decks with everything that this expansion offers, and if you look online, you will likely see a ton of pairings with each of the new champions. I selected 4 that I believe have some merit, at least in terms of the concept they push for, and could be an exciting experience on day 1 of the upcoming metagame. Be sure to check out Worldwalker day 1 content from my teammates:
- Top 9 Cards & Honorable Mentions of the Worldwalker Expansion
- BrokenBall’s Day 1 Decks for the Worldwalker Expansion
Annie joins the Pirates crew!
Amongst the 4 new champions we are getting, Annie definitely is the easiest one to figure out in terms of where she fits strategy-wise: Aggressive decks. And it feels logic in order to assess how good she can be to slot her in one of the best decks in recent memories when it comes to aggression: Pirates.
Honestly, the deck looks like it is too good to be true when it comes to how synergistic Annie is in the deck. The champion obviously contributes directly to the deck’s game plan of burning down the opponent but also has a ton of help in order to level up in the deck.
But enough of what we probably already know and let’s talk about the real spice in this deck, and why I felt it deserved to be featured as a “Deck to Try” of the new expansion: Eye of Nagakabouros. Yes, there is a Spawn card in this deck without anything else around the mechanic.
But let’s try to think outside the box here, or at least outside the Tentacles synergy. What Eye of Nagakabouros does is draw us 2 cards and summon a 2/2 at burst speed, both effects being great in a burn deck.
The draw effect should compensate for the loss of Twisted Fate in the deck, replaced by Annie, and generally help the deck find the last piece of damage in the late game. The summon effect though should be very useful to add a bit of pressure to our open attacks, especially in the later turns, where the opponent usually has better development actions available to them.
As a deck builder, I always appreciate it when cards that are pegged to a specific synergy actually offer some flexibility and can be used in other decks and show some flexibility. So it might sound like nothing, but I’m actually excited to see how good the card can be in a deck that has nothing to do with the Tentacles synergy.
Illaoi finally makes Jarvan IV a popular champion!
There is a ton of possibilities that have been thrown around on how to build around Illaoi. Looking for ideas online, I have seen Targon and Soraka, Demacia and Garen, Freljord and Udyr… The community seems to be a bit all over the place on what is the best thing for the Tentacles.
I decided to go with Jarvan IV for 2 reasons. The first is the fact if Tentacles do grow fast, as we expect them to, they should force some blocks from the opponent and naturally level up Jarvan IV as the game progresses. The second reason is Jarvan IV returning the favor as the Cataclysm he creates every turn should be great to abuse the Tentacles and the Overwhelm keyword Illaoi possess or that we can grant the Tentacles.
It’s been a very long time since a grindier playstyle hasn’t been performing for Demacia, the region usually losing to other better-suited regions for the late game. In this deck, Demacia isn’t required to win the game and is used as the support region, allowing to buy some time for the Bilgewater synergy, much better suited to snowball as time passes.
It is hard to evaluate how the Tentacles will perform, mostly because Bilgewater isn’t associated with huge stats most of the time. If you are an optimist, you could say that the Tentacles are reminiscent of the Fated keyword, as the goal is to create the biggest possible unit and abuse it as much as possible. And that also makes it easy to visualize Demacia as the support region because of its great success alongside Pantheon.
If you are a pessimist, you could say that the synergy simply gets countered by any Silence card and it is not worth the investment. But I guess we will have to play the deck to find out which option proves to be true.
Bard makes Fizz even scarier!
Fizz already is a very scary champion in the current state of the game, and it doesn’t look like the Yordle is slowing down in the Worldwalker expansion. The same could be said about the Faes synergy as well as nothing in the expansion looks like it can take over in the Bandle region.
In this build, we are looking to use the Chime mechanic in order to buff our units, hopefully, the most important ones, and then grant them Elusive with the Rainbowfish to focus on the opposing nexus. Obviously, the deck feels pretty close to what the current Aphelios list tries to accomplish, and the gameplay should feel very similar to it. But why fix something that isn’t broken, right?
In the new addition, though, we can note the whole Chime package as our go-to early game. Especially Mystic Vortex and Byrd, The Bellringer are 2 cards you want to start the game with to get a cheap blocker alongside shuffling as many Chimes as possible. Being able to shuffle those bonuses in our deck should lead to some chunky units later on in the game, helping those being both more resilient and threatening when we decide to commit on the board.
Overall, the deck really looks like a mix of all the powerful things Bandle has to offer currently, supported with Bard and his Chimes in order to make those even more difficult to deal with for the opponent.
Amongst the new support cards, I really expect a lot of good things out of Proximity Puffcap in the deck. Bandle isn’t a region associated with removals, and as Bard takes up the second region slot, seeing a card that can deal with medium-sized opposing units is great news for the deck pacing ability. The return of Hidden Pathways is a bit of a question mark in the deck, the card being very discrete ever since it was nerfed to 6 manas. It feels a deck based around Bard will be looking to draw more than an average deck, as the Chimes being activated should make draw effects much better overall, even when a bit overpriced like Hidden Pathways can be.
Jhin finds its best ally in Ahri?
The one that can find the perfect build for Jhin in less than a week honestly is a genius. There are so many possibilities regarding the champion that the solution will likely come from the mass of testing the community can accomplish, rather than the work of a lonely player. Looking for ideas online, I probably have seen at least 10 different pairings to complement Jhin. Annie, Yasuo, Twisted Fate, Ezreal, or even Swain all look like they could have some synergies and use the new deckbuilding rule to their advantage.
Ahri doesn’t really work with Jhin at first sight, as both champions don’t have an immediate synergy when you look at them. My idea when building this deck was to use Ahri to bring the Skill units back in hand and be able to use them and outvalue the opponent in the process.
The stun is looking to be an obvious inclusion in most Jhin-based decks, and this is an effect I don’t think I can get enough of. At just 2 mana, both the Solari Sunhawk and The Stagehand should be prime targets to use repeatedly. Doombeast is a card I expect to be used a lot alongside Jhin, as the card complements the champion quite perfectly in burning the opponent’s nexus.
There aren’t that many Skill-based units in the decks, the recall ones taking up numerous spots in the decklist, which I feel is necessary in order to draw (thanks Dancing Droplet) and level up Ahri quickly. Her level up unlocks the possibility to recall several skill units at once and outvalue the opponent if racing isn’t an option. I feel like this direction is possible because of Ionia’s great set of Fast Spells, which should help in leveling up Jhin the same way abusing skills would.
Obviously, an Annie Jhin burn deck is looking to be the fastest way to get Jhin to level 2, but it feels like that deck isn’t doing much more than what Pirates can already accomplish. Trying to find a region that can provide some great spells to contribute to the champion should lead to a more balanced deck, which can use Jhin as a removal in addition to being a threat in the direct damage department.
I am not sure Ahri is the best champion to go alongside Jhin, she probably isn’t, and the hype around Yasuo might finally be real this time. But I really like exploring the value that Jhin can bring to the table thanks to the deckbuilding changes he provides.
Existing archetypes getting some love
As these are already existing decks, either currently competitive or lower down the Tier list, I decided not to make specific decklists so the article does not end up just being a pile of decklists.
Outside of the 4 champions and the specific synergies each of them pushes, there still is a lot of things that can move in the archetype we already know:
- Deeps gains Megatusk as potential extra support in the late game, and Undergrowth as a great defensive tool.
- Thralls gains Harbinger of Thralls which looks like an immediate auto-include in the deck for improved stability, and Sands of Time as a synergistic defensive tool.
- Scouts gains Inspiring Light as a potential global buff to an early board. Can serve both for pressure or defensive purposes.
- Swain Teemo gains Lord Broadmane as a potential late game control tool, and Strategic Execution, a flexible card either to control the pace of the game or develop a threat. Annie could also replace Teemo in the deck for a faster Swain level up.
- Mistwraith gains Harrowing Return, a synergistic card to get some more Mistwraiths and make it more difficult for the opponent to block our Fearsome units.
- Karma Viktor gains both Ionian Tellstones and Piltovan Tellstones, both cards having direct synergies with both champions.
- Ezreal Caitlyn gains Ravenbloom Conservatory as an alternate win condition to Captain Farron. It trades away the created Decimates for one more damage on every spell and skill in the future, focusing our game plan around Ezreal.
It is quite difficult not to post 50 decks that I would like to try when the expansion goes live later on today. I feel like Bard and Jhin alone can offer so many possibilities to build around with their impact on how we can build a deck now.
Considering how many decks around Annie I have seen online, and how easy it seems to play her in most Noxus burn decks that already exist, I would expect day one to be a bit of an aggressive fiesta. Make sure to pack some healing in your decks if you aren’t playing aggro yourself. Once we will be through with this phase though, I think this expansion has a shot at being a great one from a deckbuilding standpoint, and a lot of testing can be done around the champions, but also the Tellstones or the older archetypes getting some shiny new toys as well.
My personal excitement goes to the Ahri Jhin list and figuring out how to best use the Virtuoso condition in general, considering all the directions available inside the synergy. I’m sure there is an incredible tempo deck somewhere waiting for me and I can’t wait to find it.
Also, have some decks you are especially excited to play today? Join us on discord and share your creations with the community or get inspired to find your next favorite deck. And no matter if you decide to go for an early climb or try to make your wildest deckbuilding dreams come true, I wish you a ton of fun on this first day of the Worldwalker set.
Good Game everyone,