Hi folks, and welcome to yet another deck guide covering a popular deck of the current metagame: Yordles in Arms.
The concept of this one is rather simple, it plays a high tempo game plan focused on developing both our synergies: The board and the 4 various regions conditions for our Yordle in Arms to reach its +4+4 bonus.
Both conditions obviously work together :
- Developping our board is a great way to keep our opponent busy until we set up our elusive units (Fizz and Daring Poros) that we can then buff with Yordles in Arms for a huge blowout attack.
- The early units we play generate cards and advance our multi-region condition so we can focus on stay up to par tempo wise with our opponent.
As said in the introduction, this archetype is named after the card Yordles in Arms and tries to reliably enable it game after game.
In order to reach a position to play a good Yordles in Arms, the deck needs to be well established onto the board and complete the condition of playing cards from 4 different regions. Upon playing Yordles in Arms, the deck will either be looking to force the opponent into really bad blocks and enforce a dominant position on the board or use its elusive units to push a lot of damage into the opponent’s nexus.
If the first condition is rather self-explanatory, as every tempo-based deck usually is looking to install some form of pressure onto the board, the second one is the most demanding in terms of deckbuilding. This requirement of playing cards coming from 4 different regions conditions a lot of the units we are playing in the deck. Loping Telescope, Bomber Twins, and both champions are therefore at the core of the gameplay, as they are the fastest way to reach our Yordles in Arms requirement.
And because Yordles in Arms impacts the deck’s synergy so much, players also started including Buster Shot. The card is currently one of the best tempo removals once discounted to 2 mana. In a metagame dominated by Gnar, being able to deal with him for 2 mana is a great change of pace play.
As you guessed it by now, this “4 different regions” condition is going to dictate a lot of the deck’s gameplay and will be an important objective during the early phases of the game.
Up until turn 4 and playing Gnar at the top of our early curve, which is our first breaking point, we are looking to develop some board while actually keeping a loaded hand. It is very important to have a few disposable cards in hand in order to discard them later on for Poro Cannons and set up an elusive legion to buff with our key card. Obviously, the best discard is the Flame Chompers from the Boom Baboon, something we will also be rather happy to buff afterward.
During this early board wrestling phase, we are fine going one-for-one as we generate cards while playing units onto the board. Once we have our Buster Shot reduced to 2 mana, we can look for higher tempo plays and start setting up the board for Yordles in Arms.
Usually, our early curve doesn’t develop enough pressure for the opponent to be at risk of losing to direct damage. This means our Mystic Shots and Get Excited! will primarily be played as removals in order to protect Fizz and Gnar from being forced into trading. But as the game progresses and we close in on our Yordles in Arms turn, these spells can easily turn into additional burn reach for the win.
Outside of the build-up early part of the game and the finishing manoeuver, the midgame of this deck is extremely flexible, and a big reason for the deck’s overall success.
With almost every unit in our deck potentially generating another card, we are bound to think in a flexible way and have to adapt our gameplan on the fly, so every card can find some use in the overall strategy. Additionally, the ones that seem really useless can be discarded and still serve some purpose alongside Zaunite Urchin or Get Excited!.
This card generation aspect is what allows the deck to catch some opponents off guard, as we would otherwise simply be a board swarming deck with a big boost at the end of the curve. With all the tools we get from Conchologist, Loping Telescope or the added value from Gnar’s Pokey Sticks and Fizz’s Chum the Waters, the deck only runs out of stream if the opponent manages to turn the pressure around and forces resources out of our hand for survival purposes.
Techs and Options :
Grandfather Fae: With Ionia as its second region, several players have included the card in the deck since Gnar replaced Lulu. My main concern about the card is its weak statline and the deck not playing Faes outside of Loping Telescope.
Bandle Commando: Another card that gives the deck access to Ionia as a region, Bandle Commando also has the upside of being an elusive unit which therefore pairs well with Yordles in Arms. It is a potential replacement for
Wallop: A good tempo card once we are trying to set up our lethal turn, Wallop allows us to ignore a threat instead of spending a blocker into it. Also, against overwhelm decks, considering our units are rather small, stunning is a good way to avoid tanking a lot of damage.
General Tips :
- Have a clear picture of your Yordles in Arms setup:
Your key card is worth nothing if you don’t have a board to abuse it. It is therefor absolutely vital with this deck to always keep in mind how we are planning to use the card so we know how to handle our ressources up until this point.
There are 3 main ways of setting up Yordles in Arms:
- Elusive board: Our go-to setup with Fizz and some Daring Poros. The elusive keyword acts as a passive protection and helps maximise nexus damage.
- Non elusive board (for damage): Usually a set up we go for during a defensive turn with the intent to open the turn with Yordles in Arms before our opponent can play several blockers. Works at its best against decks with little defensive spells and usually relying on units.
- Non elusive board (for trades): Against other tempo based decks, Yordles in Arms can be used to force our opponent to sacrifice units and gain a massive edge on the board and in the ressource count. This is mostly done because we have 2 copies in hand, but can also be game winning against decks with little comeback mechanics once out of cards.
- Keep a tempo-oriented mindset:
With a deck like Fizz Gnar, which generates a lot of cards turns after turns, it can be tempting to try and run our opponent out of cards or to look for more value than we already have. Our primary gameplan is based on tempo and should stay our priority at all times, value comes in as support to this gameplan and helps extending it.
- Start being agressive after Gnar was played:
On turn 4, Gnar represent the peak of our curve and the biggest unit in our deck. Even if we can keep playing for tempo thanks to generating cards, it usually is best to switch towards a mindset that focuses on finishing the game rather than extending what usually is a stronger part of the game for our opponent.
- Push the free damage along the road:
Although getting to 20 damage when all our units get +4+4 might sound easy, a lot of things can happen in between the moment we cast yordles in Arms and the one our units connect to the opposing nexus. As a slow spell, Yordles in Arms gives our opponent time to react and remove some units while they are still small.
Therefore, softening the opponent’s nexus through small regular hits usually is very valubale to make our finishing blow much more difficult to counter when we decide to go for it. These hit can be achieved with Fizz + Ballistic Bot’s ignites, or simply sacrificing a Flame Chomper so another unit can’t get blocked.
Mulligan for: Multi-Region Units, Yordle in Arms if you have a good hand.
- With only Pyke as a reactive tool during our attack turn, there is close to nothing Lurk can do to stop us from activating Yordles in Arms apart from blocking once we attack.
- Lurk has no elusive units, so a lethal setup with Fizz and Daring Poros will very reliably find the opposing nexus.
- Lurk has to be agressive in order to win, making us the defender in the early turns. Take the one-for-one trades and protect your nexus. Once we start working towards ou lethal setup, we want to be able to ignore some of their attacks, and we will need board space anyway.
- This is a match up where Wallop can be great to buy some time. Finding stuns off of Conchologist or Loping Telescope usually are great help.
Mulligan for: Fizz, Buster Shot, Units.
Matchup Tips :
- Fizz is extremely difficult to remove for the opponent, but should never be played on turn 1 if the opponent has a mana open because of Poison Dart.
- Elusives are difficult for the opponent to deal with, and usually they will spend much more than 1 mana on each of our Daring Poros.
- Gnar is simple for us to remove thanks to Buster Shot. But bigger unit like Swain or transformed Teenydactyl for example will be much more dificult to handle – we need to turn on the agression so the opponent cannot play those safely.
- Damage spells usually are great help to finish off the opponent as they have defensive spells to answer our Yordles in Arms. Still, if a mystic shot or a Get Excited! can open up a great tempo play, you should definately take it.
Mulligan for: Buster Shot, Early units. Keep Gnar if you have a good hand.
- A matchup where the early game is very important as both decks look to snowball off of it. Fight thooth and nail to wrestle board control to your advantage
- With no elusive units in the deck, Gnar Ziggs only has pokey stick as a real counter to our Yordle in Arms setup, otherwise, they have to use Noxian fervor and damage their units too
- Gnar on both sides impact the match a lot, as it allows to dominate the board and find some card draw. With Buster Shot in our deck, we have a great answer for theirs. Ours is usually better used for the level-up and removal part of the champion.
- Monitor your nexus health once you start setting up for Yordles in Arms. Your spell is Slow speed so the opponent has time to play a Decimate before you attack and use Noxian Fervor before your attack resolves.
Mulligan for: Boom Baboon, Bomber Twins, Mystic Shot.
- The fearsome keyword is the big problem of this match up, hence why we are looking for our 3 attack units in the mulligan to block early on.
- With no refill mechanic, Spiders will run out of gas way before we do, so it is only about staying safe in the health department.
- We are looking to race the opponent in the end, mostly with a big Yordles in Arms turn. They can’t defend themselves effectively so we don’t need to actively push damage through the course of the game, and we can instead focus on slowing them down.
- Spells should be kept for the moment the opponent has commited to attacking. With a lot of 1 drops in our opponent’s deck, and our spells costing 2 or 3 mana, we don’t want to commit mana early on defensive turns.
Match up Tips :
- As it is common with Scouts, the early game battle will determine a lot of what happens in the rest of the match. In this early game, we have 2 priority threats : Miss Fortune and Durand Scultor.
- Both decks rely a lot on their attack turns to develop some pressure and force their opponent into defensive positions. We have to dictate the trades or the opponent’s challenger units combined with Miss Fortune passive will take over eventually.
- Yordles in Arms can’t be interacted with by our opponent unless they have Miss Fortune on the board, then be wary of Make it Rain removing your Daring Poros.
- Yordles in Arms is a great removal in this matchup. Scouts isn’t a deck with draw capacity so forcing them into trades is a great way to get ahead on ressources and deal with otherwise annoying units.
Mulligan for: Multi-Region units, Gnar, Buster Shot.
- Buster Shot answering the opposing Gnar on turn 4 is a huge tempo play, and we need to remove Gnar one way or another. Therefore, we should look to activate Buster Shot early enough.
- Yordles in Arms can only be leveraged when the player has units on the board. Therefore, if you have the card, you can hold off attacking to build up a better Yordle in Arms. If you don’t have it, you might want to force some trades to reduce the effectiveness of your opponent’s Yordles in Arms.
- Keep an eye on both hands to know who is ahead on ressources and who should be agressive because of it. Also, keep track of which cards in the opponent’s hand are coming from the deck, and which ones have been created.
- This match up being almost only tempo focused, damage spells should be used for board purposes first and foremost.
Mulligan for: Fizz, Multi-Region Units, Yordles in Arms.
- Unless they also run Ice Shard, Timelines’ answers to Yordles in Arms are single-target removals and
Burried in Ice. Look to play around Burried in Ice, and to count the single target removals used during the match to assess the risk of them still having Mystic Shot or Icevale Archer to reduce our board.
- Aloof Travelers will likely discard our Yordles in Arms, so we need to have enough pressure so that they can’t invest the 4 mana safely. A high cost pick on Loping Telescope is another way to protect our Yordles in Arms from Aloof Traveler..
- Direct Damage will likely be necessary to close things out. Unless Mystic Shot or Get Excited! can open a great tempo play leading to damage, look to be greedy with those and keep them for burn damages.
- Being able to buff Fizz with cards off of Conchologist can lead to a lot of damage and represents a good way to pressure the opponent.
Mulligan for: Fizz, Yordles in Arms, Ballistic Bot.
Match up Tips :
- Darkness has ways to both answer our early board and remove units before Yordles in Arms resolves when we cast it. It usually nets better results to adopt a damage centric gameplan and hope things don’t come down to Ixtali Sentinel.
- Most of the time, Fizz and Ballistic Bot allow us to chip some damage in and level up Fizz for extra value.
- With our biggest removals only dealing 3 damage, Veigar and Senna are difficult to remove. We should either try to level up Gnar to grant them vulnerable, or develop enough pressure so they are played in a bad spot.
- In order to push as much damage as possible in the early turns, we want to avoid Vile Feast from denying us tempo. Rely on 2 health unit so Vile Feast can’t go 2 for 1.
- Being able to buff Fizz with cards off of Conchologist can lead to a lot of damage and represents a good way to pressure the opponent thanks to Fizz’s keyword and ability.
Closing Words :
Gnar Fizz is a deck with a lot of various synergies, but at the end of the day, they all collaborate in order to bring relentless tempo and reach our Yordles in Arms win condition.
Upon picking up the deck, it might feel like every match-up is played the same way. We have our early game focusing on playing units while reaching the “4 different regions” requirement, and then we move on to our Yordles in Arms set up.
While this represents most of what the deck looks to accomplish on a regular basis, it is the flexibility of the card generation and the various setups the deck allows us to go for that are key to mastering the Archetype. Through the elusive units, the possible direct damages, or simply out-resourcing other tempo decks, Fizz Gnar gives the player a lot of ways to achieve victory.
I hope this guide will help you in finding those victorious paths and reach any objective you might have your eyes on. If you have any questions, feel free to join our Discord or use the comment section below.
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Good game everyone.