Zed Lulu Elusives Deck Guide
Hello, Agigas here! I am a Master player since beta with several high ladder peaks and tournament wins. I love sharing my knowledge about the game and I have been a regular writer at RuneterraCCG. I write in-depth deck guides, articles for tournament players, and curate our constantly updated Meta Tier List.
This guide is dedicated to Lulu Zed – a very aggressive deck that recently shook the meta.
Zed Lulu uses the power of Elusive units from Ionia to push damage through the opponent’s defenses, and backs them up with rallies and tricks.
Lulu and Zed, despite not being Elusive themselves, are at the core of your game plan. Zed applies high pressure very early into the game, forcing the opponent to either chump block or take a lot of damage. Lulu, with her support ability, allows your units to hit a lot harder. Both champions combine very well with rallies thanks to their on-attack abilities.
To make sure you’re able to push damage through the opponent’s blockers, the deck plays a lot of Elusive units: Navori Bladescout, Greenglade Duo, Young Witch, and Shadow Assassin. Ghost and Fae Guide also allow you to essentially create Elusive units when needed – their effect is especially powerful with a level 2 Zed.
To back up your aggressive plan, the deck packs a strong toolbox of support cards. Inspiring Mentor’s ability is especially great on Elusive units or Zed and offers a nice body to push early damage. Brightsteel Protector‘s Barrier can either be used on defense or offense and can help Lulu using her support ability without risking death. Sharpsight and Twin Disciplines allow you to protect your units and accelerate your clock.
At first glance, Fleetfeather Tracker might seem a bit out of place in this Elusive deck, but it finds a lot of synergies. Challenging the opponent’s Elusives or other problematic units, and combining it with Lulu, Young Witch, or Brightsteel Protector will give you the needed control of the board.
Finally, rallies are the spells making this deck so powerful. With so much focus on attacks, Relentless Pursuit and Golden Aegis will greatly accelerate the game. They combine especially well with temporary buffs, such as Lulu’s ability, Navori Bladescout or Greenglade Duo‘s self-buff, or combat tricks. Once you get some aggression going it is not rare to kill the opponent seemingly out of nowhere with 1 or 2 rallies.
Zed Lulu is a polarized deck in terms of its matchups. It does wonders against the dominant Shurima archetypes – however, it can struggle a lot when facing lots of cost-efficient removals on the other side (e.g. Make it Rain, Ravenous Flock).
Techs and Options
- Ranger’s Resolve is a great protection spell for specific situations. Consider adding it to your deck if you keep facing 1-damage area effects, such as Make it Rain or Withering Wail.
- Riposte is a versatile and powerful trick. The attack buff can help you find lethal, and the Barrier can protect a key unit from a removal spell or in combat. This card is particularly great against Quick Attack units, so consider adding it if you face a lot of mirrors and Sivir decks.
- Leverage the power of Zed. Zed offers an insane amount of pressure, especially if you back him up with tricks. When the opponent might be holding a damage-based removal, such as Mystic Shot, or a trick to block Zed such as Twin Disciplines, consider passing your turn 2 to bank mana for Twin Disciplines of your own or Sharpsight. This way, you’ll be able to protect Zed.
- Rally on a decisive turn. This deck feels very powerful when it can pull off devastating rallies, and it’s important to find the right time to go for them.
- Zed, Elusive units, and temporary buffs benefit greatly from rallies.
- You often want your rally to threaten lethal, but you can also use it earlier to rapidly snowball your Zed.
- Actively look for for lethal opportunities. Lulu Zed, with its numerous Elusives, buffs, and rallies, can create lethals seemingly out of nowhere. If you’re not attentive, you’ll miss a lot of opportunities.
- Pre-commiting attack buffs. Usually, combat tricks in LoR are used reactively – to get a better trade, buff an unblocked unit, or survive a removal. However, this deck regularly wants to pre-commit attack buffs.
- When you attack only with Elusive units, the opponent can’t block. Therefore, they’ll pass through the block phase, and you won’t get the opportunity to cast your tricks to push more damage.
- Pre-commiting your buffs on Zed will also make Zed’s Living Shadow bigger.
- While it can often be tempting to pre-commit, it’s important to also know when not to pre-commit. When you cast your buff proactively, you lose the ability to play it reactively, and the opponent gets the opportunity to make more informed decisions. Assess carefully when it’s the right play to pre-commit a combat trick.
General mulligan tips:
- Zed is always a keep. A turn 3 Zed will offer an amount of pressure no other unit could, and quickly snowball games.
- If you have Zed, keep buffs to protect him from interaction.
- Try to sculpt your hand to have a strong early plan. As an aggressive deck, you want to start the game on the right foot to create pressure right away. Look for early units, and combos, such as Fleetfeather Tracker + Lulu.
- Rallies are mostly used as top-end payoffs, so you should mulligan them away in most cases. Consider keeping one when they are key to the matchup.
Be aware that these are just the general guidelines to help you understand the deck’s game plan. Mulligans are very matchup-dependant – please refer to the matchup section below for more specific advice on mulligans against different meta decks.
Mulligan for: Zed, Greenglade Duo, Inspiring Mentor. Keep early combos, like Fleetfeather Tracker + Lulu or Young Witch.
- Lurk is a midrange deck that grows its units’ attack stat to increase the pressure as the game goes on. Pyke is the centerpiece of the deck, allowing for a very strong tempo play with
Death from Below.
- While you should be favored even when they get a good start, they can also happen to have a bad start with a missed Lurk trigger, making your early snowball that much easier.
- They have no Elusive units, no stuns or recalls. They have no way to interact with your Elusive attacks other than Bone Skewer and Death From Below.
- Their only health buff is Shaped Stone. Therefore, it is very hard for them to prevent Zed from attacking if they can’t remove him.
- Be careful about Redfin Hammersnout, which can grant Vulnerable to allow them to remove one of your key units.
Mulligan for: Zed, Greenglade Duo, Fleetfeather Tracker, Inspiring Mentor. Keep early combos like Fleetfeather Tracker + Young Witch or Lulu. Keep a Relentless Pursuit if you have a good hand.
- Azir Irelia is a very aggressive archetype looking to push lots of damage quickly with Blades and Sand Soldiers. They tend to need a bit of setup to really go off, allowing you to race them.
- Avoid blocking Blades. Use your units health points to tank Sand Soldiers instead.
- Be aware they have Shaped Stones and Twin Disciplines as combat tricks. Avoid blocking with a key unit when they still have mana up.
- Optimize your blocks to prevent a maximum amount of damage from Sand Soldiers while keeping your units alive. Even if all your units ended up hanging on to life at 1 health, they would have no way to punish it.
- Their main way to interact is to bounce our unit with
Willl of Ionia, Defiant Dance, or Homecoming. They don’t have good answers to a wide lethal attack.
- Sparring Student and Greenglade Duo both grow very big very fast. Try to get rid of them with Fleetfeather Tracker. Irelia is a powerful engine, and should be taken care of when possible. Azir is another powerful engine, but you will often have to leave him be beause of his high health.
Mulligan for: Zed, Greenglade Duo. Keep Lulu or a combat trick if you have a great early curve.
- Lee Akshan is a combo deck looking to level up Lee Sin then OTK the opponent thanks to his combo with Overwhelm. Given enough time, this deck will inevitabily win, so you need to kill them before they can assemble their combo.
- Their deck are filled with way to affect combat: Concussive Palm, Homecoming, Retreat, and combat tricks such as Shaped Stones, Sonic Wave, The Absolver, and Twin Disciplines. Avoid committing too much on one unit, or they’ll often be able to make your investment a waste.
- Eye of the Dragon, and later Lee Sin, make attacking into them quite hard. Once they have enough mana to trigger Dragonlings and play Lee Sin, your Elusive units are key to cotinue pushing damage and close things out.
Mulligan for: Zed, Greenglade Duo, Fleetfeather Tracker, Inspiring Mentor. Keep early combos like Fleetfeather Tracker + Young Witch or Lulu. Keep Brightsteel Protector if you have a great hand. Keep combat tricks if you have Zed.
- You don’t have any interaction to survive their Sivir and Ruin Runner combo, so you need to race them.
- Because you’re not looking to interact with them, their Spellshields do not matter.
- Defensive Barriers, thanks to Brightsteel Protector and Golden Aegis, are key to prevent them from getting strong attacks. They are especially powerful against their Quick Attack champions, or to protect a Vulnerable unit.
- Zed still can put in a lot of work in the matchup, though he can struggle against the Vulnerable keyword, Concussive Palm, and Spirit’s Refuge. You have way more Elusives than them, so this will often be your way to win.
- Spirit’s Refuge is a very annoying spell, especially for Zed. To find lethal through it, look to challenge their unit in last position with a Fleetfeather Tracker so their Lifesteal comes in too late.
Mulligan for: 1 and 2-cost units, Zed. Keep Lulu if you have a good curve and/or a Fleetfeather Tracker.
- Pirate Burn is a very aggressive archetype, looking to play strong early units to push damage and finish with burn. You need to be very conservative with your Nexus health, and try to finish fast so they don’t get time to find and play more burn.
- Curving out in the first few turns is very important so they can’t push free damage with their own early units.
- Trade your 1-health units as soon as possible, and avoid having several of them on the board at the same time. Miss Fortune and Make it Rain are very good at punishing 1-health units.
- They aren’t very good at defending themselves as long as you don’t run into a Make it Rain. Their only Elusive is Zap Sprayfin, their interaction tools are Make it Rain, Noxian Fervor, and sometimes Double Up, and they can buff their spells with Powder Kegs. A couple of Elusives and/or Zed will have no trouble closing out games, as long as you can stay alive.
- In the midgame they hit another power spike with their level 2 Gangplank. Try to close things out before they get there.
Mulligan for: Zed, Young Witch. Keep a combat trick if you have Zed. Keep Greenglade Duo if you have a combat trick. Keep Fleetfeather Tracker, Inspiring Mentor, and/or Lulu if you have a good hand.
- Gangplank Sejuani is a midrange deck leveraging Plunder effects to get through the early to mid game. By the end of the mid-game, it level up its powerful champions, which will quickly close the game out, with the help of The Dreadway if needed.
- Their main deck’s early curve isn’t usually terrifying. They have neither Elusive units, nor good combat tricks to block Zed. However, they can steal some from you with Nab effects. Keep track of which cards in their hand are from you deck.
- They don’t have a counter to rally either, so if you can run them out of removals and rally with Elusive units they can’t do much to survive.
- They have some very efficient removals. Be very careful to play around Make it Rain, unless you can’t afford to do so or get a signal that they don’t have it in hand. Some version also play Ice Shards. Monster Harpoon is another cost-efficient removal to deal with your champions, unfortunately it’s hard to play around it.
Mulligan for: Zed, Shadow Assassin. Keep early combos like Fleetfeather Tracker + Young Witch or Lulu. Keep Brightsteel Protector if you have a great hand. Keep combat tricks if you have Zed.
- Zed is the key unit to create pressure in this matchup. Elusives are much less threatening than usual because it’s a mirror. Greenglade Duo will often trade into a Shadow Assassin or Young Witch.
- Because Elusive units often end up trading with each other, you often don’t want to give Zed the Elusive keyword with Fae Guide, but would rather want to give it to your least valuable unit to make an Elusive blocker out of it.
- Both players’ deck is entirely built around the attack token. Defensive Barriers, thanks to Brightsteel Protector and Golden Aegis, are key to slow down the opponent’s strategy, especially against Zed.
- There are no removal from either side, everything relies on combat.
Mulligan for: Zed, Sharpsight, Twin Disciplines. Keep a 1-drop, preferably Inspiring Mentor, if you have a great hand.
- This is a very difficult matchup because of their numerous cost-efficent removals and stuns.
- They are very good at removing mutliple 1-health units with Statikk Shock.
- They have several Elusive units of their own with Ezreal and Shadow Assassin. Combined with their numerous removals, it makes the Elusive win condition that much harder.
- The best way to sneak a win is often to rush them down with a Zed backed up with combat tricks.
- Open-attack to make sure you get Zed’s Living Shadow before they can do anything.
Mulligan for: Zed, Shadow Assassin, Greenglade Duo.
- Ezreal Draven is a midrange-control deck, looking to control the board with its cost-efficient removal while creating tempo advantages to push damage with its units. Ezreal and Captain Farron then come down to finish through burn damage.
- This is a very hard matchup. Their numerous cost-efficient removals make it hard for us to develop our gameplan, and Ravenous Flock prevents us from protecting a unit with tricks. They also have stuns with Arachnoid Sentry to stall the game, can finish game pretty quickly, and have way more value than us.
- The most likely way to upset the matchup is to flood the board to make them run out of small removals. Their only multi-target removal is Statikk Shock, and if they happen to have none in hand your chances will increase. They don’t have another Elusive unit than Ezreal, so if you get them out of removals you can sneak a win with a couple of Elusives and rallies.
- Avoid using combat tricks to protect a unit outside of your attack phase. If you do, it gives them the perfect opportunity to use Ravenous Flock or Scorched Earth. Using your trick to save one of your unit during your attack will at least let this unit hit them before they get opportunity to finish it with Flock.
Zed Lulu emerged very suddenly and, with its very good matchup table in the Shurima-filled environment, it is already becoming more and more of a meta staple.
It is even starting to re-shape the meta, as we see an increase in play rate of Ezreal Draven as an answer to Lulu Zed. Because of how popular and prominent this deck is becoming, I would recommend everyone to it try out and understand it – even more so if you enjoy aggressive archetypes.
If you have a question, want to share feedback, or discuss this guide, I’ll be happy to answer you in the comments below! 😉
If you like my content and don’t want to miss out on anything, you can follow me on Twitter, where I share every article I write, but also my tournament performances, my most successful decks, etc… 😄
Thanks for reading!