Yetis Seen in Masters: Abominable Guardian Strikes Again!
The Yeti tribe enjoyed some time in the sun, but it was quite a while ago, when the Abominable Guardian originally joined the family during the Shurima set.
That new addition helped Yetis become much more explosive as an archetype. And at the same point in time, the Reputation synergy was also introduced, and it worked perfectly alongside Yetis, all of them being 5/5 followers.
Unfortunately, the archetype has never reached a truly competitive status, and although it had flashes of brilliance at the time, it was forgotten as the Bandle City era has begun.
These last few days, it seems that Yetis are coming back as a topic of discussion.
Yesterday, I tossed out an idea to grant all Yetis the Overwhelm keyword in the upcoming balance patch, which would be a way for them to become relevant in a metagame filled with chump-blockers.
And today, coincidentally, I stumbled upon the list by GdayRuneterra, who made it to Masters on December 31st, using the Yeti deck you can see above. It proves that the archetype is definitely alive and kicking – maybe with some help, it could become a real meta staple!
While Freljord nowadays often acts as a purely defensive region, the Yetis are much more of an aggressive kind of deck.
The prime goal for the list is to dominate the board and deal damage thanks to the beefy stats that Yetis (and, in the list above, Sion) possess.
In order to build that pressure up quickly, the deck wants to stick two Yetis onto the board. This will let us summon the Abominable Guardian for free, for a raw burst of pressure.
Alongside the Yeti units, who are responsible for bringing the heat, we can also see various support cards, either helping with our goal of establishing the board presence – or drawing us more cards to keep the synergies going.
Amongst those support cards are Reckoning and Pack Mentality. These spells seem like they do very different things – one being a mass removal and the other one a big damage enabler for our units – but they actually serve a similar purpose in the current metagame: they punish decks with built around cheap small synergistic units.
With Reckoning and Pack Mentality, we can afford to focus much more on developing our board and try to set up a punish play – either clearing the opposing board or pushing a ton of damage with the Overwhelm keyword.
With Troll Chant, Culling Strike, and Three Sisters, winning 1-on-1 combats is easy with our deck. However, against opponents who can go wide and aggressive, it can be much more difficult to stabilize and turn the corner.
While it lacks the stability or versatility as compared to the current top decks in the meta, this take on the Yeti archetype felt like a very pleasant surprise to me when I played with it.
Obviously, there are some glaring flaws to the deck, like its inherent weakness to the Stun or the Recall mechanic, which allows Ionia to buy a lot of time against us. However, when the Yeti synergy gets going and we are able to snowball it, the raw power level of the deck feels pretty decent compared to what it has to go against on the ladder.
Overall, the Yeti archetype looks like a great deck – even if not a flexible one. It means, it can do wonders if you pick it in the right environment but can also be very frustrating to play when you can’t get your linear plan going, or run into matchups with solid board control tools.
I would recommand the deck to players who enjoy dominating the board and imposing their will onto their opponent while having a clear cut gameplan to follow.