Zed Hecarim – Rise From the Ashes
Introduction and Origin
Hello friends, Sorry here! With Patch 3.10 finally out, we received many buffs to underplayed cards like Hecarim, Kalista, and Khahiri the Returned! The patch also hits meta-dominant archetypes like Thralls and Viego Noxus with hard nerfs.
Today’s article will feature Zed Hecarim, an old archetype that fell completely out of the meta after Hecarim’s nerf. If you’re a veteran player, you probably remember Hecarim’s domination in the meta. He was hailed as one of the strongest champions in the game. Those days might be making a come back after the recent buff. The +3|0 “Grant” ability to Ephemeral units will allow for a more aggressive gameplan and a stronger late game.
Players have been testing around with different versions of Hecarim, pairing him with different champions and regions to find the best match. Kalista Hecarim and Thresh Hecarim are two other lists that operate similarly but rely on different advantages from their champions.
In the mulligan phase, you’re usually looking for Zed, Shark Chariot, and Soul Shepherd.
Zed Hecarim relies on the Ephemeral units to set up their win condition. Shark Chariot, Haunted Relic, and Onslaught of Shadows are your accelerators to level up Hecarim as soon as possible.
This means that in most cases, you’ll avoid using Haunted Relic and
Zed acts as your early aggressor. He forces unfavorable trades by threatening to level up and become more problematic. The Ephemeral shadow copy of Zed advances the level-up condition of Hecarim and will also gain stat buffs from Soul Shepherd or leveled-up Hecarim.
On top of that, the Ionia region offers Deny as a defensive tool to ensure your Hecarim remains safe from any removal spell that can deal with him.
Moreover, Hecarim’s new ability will keep the Power pump on Ephemeral units even if he’s killed! This is a massive buff as it allows you to retain your aggressive attack even if Hecarim is removed from the board. Hecarim creates an extremely aggressive attack with the Spectral Riders he summons, and if you’ve played Shark Chariot during the course of the game, you’ll be putting even more pressure on your opponent.
Your high-power Ephemeral units will eventually find their way towards the opponent’s Nexus, slamming it down and threatening to destroy it.
If you didn’t manage to close out the game with your powerful attack, the threat is still not over. Dragon Ambush could be the final nail in the coffin. In hindsight, two Dragonlings don’t seem to be much of a threat, but that quickly changes once Hecarim levels up and buffs up the two Ephemeral units. Additionally, the Shark Chariots that you’ve played will join the attacking Dragonlings creating a powerful attack.
In the case you’re still unable to end the game, Harrowing is your final blow especially when you run out of gas. Reviving Hecarim can set up for a last poweful swing to close out the game.
I tried out Zed Hecarim immediately once the patch was out. Games felt great presenting too much aggression for my opponent to handle once Hecarim leveled up. I only lost 1 of the 7 games I played with this specific list.
Overall I think Hecarim’s buff is an insane game-changer for the archetype as a whole. Usually, if Hecarim dies in mid-combat your game plan is basically over. Now you’ll only need Hecarim to buff up your Ephemeral units once to continue presenting powerful attacks without him throughout the game.
It’s difficult to pick which version is the best so early in the meta, but Demacia might become a popular version of Hecarim with the Rally cards the list can run.
This is it from me, hopefully, you found the article useful! If you wish to keep up with my content, follow me on Twitter.