Zoe Vi Deck Guide

Although Zoe Vi has never been a meta dominant deck, in the hands of a good player, it will hold its ground against many popular meta decks.

Hello there! Today’s guide will feature a Targon deck! And no it’s not Lee Sin. It’s the good old Zoe Vi Targon PnZ! Zoe Vi hasn’t really ever dominated the ladder meta but it used to be a reliable choice in a tournament lineup mainly because of its unique adaptability depending on the matchup.

Zoe and Vi have different roles in the deck. For starters, Zoe is an early value engine that forces your opponent to deal with her before she levels up. Your deck runs and can generate cheap cards to play that make it fairly quick to level up Zoe, but that is not your primary objective, and the list doesn’t run defensive cards to protect her.

Vi, on the other hand, is a removal champion, the Challenger keyword allows you to take out pesky units that advance your opponent’s game plan. Leveling her up is a possible route you can take – but similar to Zoe, that’s not your primary goal.

Early game you’ll be focusing on stalling the match – Zoe, Spacey Sketcher, and Loping Telescope are your early game value cards that’ll make sure you can keep the board under control. You’ll have to adapt your Invoke choices depending on the matchup and state of the game.

Mystic Shot, Thermogenic Beam, and Get Excited! are great removal tools for your opponent’s key units. Get Excited! and Mystic Shot though can turn into burn cards that deal just the little damage you need on the Nexus to close out the game.

Solari Priestess sets up for your mid-game Invoke plays, you’ll be making your choice depending on the matchup and situation of the game.

Sunburst is a heavy removal tool that performs great in the current meta, it’s good into cards like Sion, Gangplank, and Lee Sin.

Once you’re on turn 7/8 you’ll be looking to play Starshaping, not necessarily for the healing but mostly to Invoke a big Celestial unit that acts as your main win condition.

The Great Beyond and The Immortal Fire are the main Celestial units you’re looking for to leverage the Elusive keyword. Keep in mind that depending on the matchup you might opt to choose one over the other. For example, against decks that run Minimorph, you’ll be favoring a Celestial unit that has a Spellshield.

The Destroyer is a cheaper and usually less impactful – but the Overwhelm damage can sometimes be enough to win. Finally, The Scourge is capable of empowering your whole board and the Overwhelm it gives to everything will often close out the game.


Techs and Options

  • Pale Cascade: additional cycle and protection. Useful if want keeping Zoe alive early from pings or enable some clutch trades. You could cut the Boom Baboon or Guiding Touch for it.
  • Tri-beam Improbulator: There are versions of Zoe Vi that add Tri-beam Improbulator as a board-controlling tempo tool. The deck does run a lot of 3-cost cards which allows you to stack up the Tri-beam efficiently (and has access to additional 3-costs through Invoke). However, the card is slow nowadays after its nerf from 4 to 5 mana a couple of months ago. You could cut Boom Baboon and a Mystic Shot for it.

General Tips

  • Ballistic Bot is your discard fodder.
    Although it’s tempting to cast the Ignitions, it is your main discard option, and banking mana might be more important rather than a small bit of chip damage. You might find yourself in situations where discarding Supercool Starchart or the main card in your hand is the optimal play to put a unit on the board while also cycling your hand.
  • Don’t miss the Daybreak triggers.
    The list runs 2 cards that heavily rely on the Daybreak effect – Solari Priestess and Sunburst. It’s important to play Sunburst on Daybreak for the Silence effect to make sure you kill a specific unit.
  • Make Invoke decisions depending on the matchups.
    You have a variety of choices when you Invoke. For example, Solari Priestess will Invoke a mid-game Celestial card. Your decision will depend on whether you’ll need a removal tool, healing, more value, or champion draw.
  • Set up for your big Celestial unit.
    You usually want to cast Starshaping on turn 7 or 8 to set up for an attack with your Celestial unit. The number of Celestial cards you’ve played throughout the game will give your Celestial units additional Power stats.

Matchups

Mulligan for: Zoe, Boom Baboon, Ballistic Bot, Spacey Sketcher, Sump Dredgers.

  • Early game you’re looking to block Fearsome incoming damage, Sump Dredger and an The Charger can buy time to set up your win condition.
  • The Golden Sister and Fallen Comet are the main two cards you’re looking to Invoke from Solari Priestess. Obliterate is an answer to deal with Sion.
  • Sunburst is another answer for Sion, the Silence on Daybreak will make sure Sion won’t return with a Rally attack.
  • Daring Poro can slow you down by blocking your Elusive big Celestial units, make sure to pick them off with either removal cards or The Serpent.

Mulligan for: Zoe, Boom Baboon, Spacey Sketcher, Loping Telescope, Ballistic Bot.

  • You’re able to match your opponent’s early aggression, preserve your health and trade with the opponent’s board.
  • The ability to Invoke cards with Spacey Sketcher means you won’t run out of value and contrinue building a board.
  • Poppy is the main problem if your opponent has a couple of units on the board, Get Excited! can kill her before she commits an attack, keep in mind your opponent can play Noxian Fervor afterwards.
  • You can shut down a Noxian Fervor play with Mystic Shot or Get Excited!
  • Solari Priestess can Invoke The Golden Sister which allows you to heal up your Nexus.

Mulligan for: Zoe, Loping Telescope, Ballistic Bot, Spacey Sketcher, Vi.

  • Do not allow Twisted Catalyzer to strike more than once, you need to prevent your opponent from buffing up their Darkness.
  • Kill the champions, especially Veigar. Veigar is the main win condition for your opponent. Sunburst, Fallen Comet, Meteor Shower, and Thermogenic Beam are all removal spells at your disposal.
  • Minimorph can shut down your big Celestial units, the Spellshield can come in handy but can be pinged down with a cheap spell.

Mulligan for: Zoe, Ballistic Bot, Spacey Sketcher, Vi.

  • You’re looking to block and kill your opponent’s units, they heavily rely on their board and champions to deal damage to your Nexus. You’ll make their Rally attacks less threatening when you prevent them from going wide on the board.
  • Zed and Poppy are your main targets, a Poppy leveling up will most likely end the game, you can slow her down with Hush or Crescent Strike. Crescent Strike is a massive shutdown play if played right after your opponent plays one of their Rally cards.
  • Sunburst makes sure you remove Poppy off the board shutting down your opponent’s plan to level her up.
  • The Trickster and The Golden Sister are efficient units to block and remove Elusive units.
  • Get Excited! can act as a removal tool, keep in mind your opponent does run a lot of defensive cards like Twin Disciplines, Sharpsight, and Nopiefy!

Mulligan for: Zoe, Ballistic Bot, Spacey Sketcher, Sump Dredgers, Vi.

  • Your opponent runs a lot of cheap removal cards like Poison Dart and Pokey Stick for your Zoe.
  • Lecturing Yordle is their mid-game power card, you’ll need to kill it before it created too many Poison Darts.
  • You might find yourself in situations where healing a unit over your Nexus is the optimal play. You can shut down a Ravenous Flock or Scorched Earth by fully healing a unit and forcing your opponent to commit more resources.
  • Sunburst cannot kill a leveled-up Swain, you’ll have to play an additional damage card to kill it.
  • Keep your Fearsome blockers alive to prevent Swain from hitting Nexus.
  • Invoking an Equinox is important to deal with The Leviathan. You can also just Thermogenic Beam the boat, they don’t have any protection cards.

Mulligan for: Zoe, Solari Priestess, Vi, Sunburst.

  • Two things to focus on in this matchup – kill Zoe and kill Lee Sin. Those are the 2 win conditions your opponent relies on.
  • Solari Priestess can Invoke a Fallen Comet to deal with Lee Sin, at the same time you also run Sunburst which can silence and kill a Lee Sin. Your opponent is most likely running only 2 Deny cards, so it’s unlikely they’ll be able to deal with all the removal.
  • Hush is a saved until your opponent commits for one kick combo win, hushing Lee Sin will give you another turn to set up a win condition or kill Lee Sin.
  • Vi acts as removal for Eye of the Dragon, she can also threaten to remove Lee Sin which will force resources out of your opponent to defend him.
  • Crescent Strike is a slow spell that stuns Lee Sin, it can come in handy if it’s your opponent’s turn and they’re setting up a Zenith Blade.

Mulligan for: Zoe, Loping Telescope, Ballistic Bot, Spacey Sketcher, Solari Priestess, Vi.

  • Kill Bandle City Mayor immediately once he’s played to prevent your opponent from going wide on the board.
  • Block or kill Bandle Commando – it is important to prevent your opponent from creating a Hungry Owlcat, an Ionia card that advances The Bandle Tree landmark win condition.
  • Solari Priestess gives you Fallen Comet – the answer for The Bandle Tree landmark, if you do happen to miss it and hit The Traveler, you should go for it. The Traveler gives you another shot at invoking a Fallen Comet or Supernova.
  • Your opponent might go for the aggressive game plan, but your deck is capable of handling as long as you do not allow Poppy to buff up the board.
  • Minimorph can deal with your Celestial units like The Great Beyond and The Destroyer especially since they have Group Shot and Pokey Stick to take out the Spellshield.
  • You can deny Ravenous Flock or Scorched Earth by fully healing the unit that’s being targeted.

Mulligan for: Zoe, Spacey Sketcher, Ballistic Bot, Sump Dredgers.

  • Prevent your opponent from triggering Plunder – spending a Mystic Shot or Get Excited! on a unit that’s about to hit your Nexus is often worth it. Your objective early on is to slow down your opponent’s attempt to level up their champions.
  • Sunburst is the perfect answer for either Gangplank or The Dreadway. A leveled-up Sejuani can survive a Sunburst, so holding on to Thermogenic Beam or an Invoked Obliterate could be a more optimal play.
  • Equinox from Supercool Starchart, Spacey Sketcher, or Loping Telescope is a cheap answer for The Dreadway.
  • Your opponent’s Monster Harpoon is the perfect answer for Vi, which could set you back on board presence.
  • Nab can change the course of the game, especially that your deck runs a lot of high-value cards like Starshaping, Sunburst, and Solari Priestess.
  • Your opponent can stall out the game with Sejuani freezing your big Celestial unit. Make sure to kill her before your upcoming attack turn.
  • Although you have the tools to deal with their win conditions, you’ll be put under the pressure of removing the Overwhelm champions immediately which might prove to be difficult if the right answer isn’t in your hand.
  • Some Plunder lists run Feel The Rush, and although you can still kill one of their champions with a Sunburst, the other Overwhelm champion will go for an immediate attack threatening to end the game.

Mulligan for: Zoe, Ballistic Bot, Boom Baboon, Spacey Sketcher, Loping Telescope, Vi.

  • Try and kill Akshan before he levels up and summons Warlord’s Hoard. Get Excited! is a good removal that can only be countered with a Sharpsight or double Shaped Stone.
  • Chump block early on in the game, your opponent will try to chip in some damage before they set up a leveled-up Sivir into Absolver play.
  • Sunburst is a great tool to deal with Vekauran Bruiser, it can also remove Sivir but you’ll have to remove Spellshield first.
  • You can remove Sivir’s Spellshield to make sure you can play Hush on her once your opponent commits The Absolver play. This will remove the Overwhelm keyword from all attacking units.

Closing Words

Although Zoe Vi has never been a meta dominant deck it remains a very versatile archetype – which, in the hands of a good player, makes it capable of holding its ground against popular meta decks.

The fact that you’re able to adapt depending on the matchup gives you a fighting chance against unfavored matchups. The deck is difficult to play as well, the Invoke decisions you’re making are usually for upcoming turns, hence you’ll need to have an understanding of the matchup you’re up against and the optimal choices depending on the situation of the game as well.

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Sorry

My name is Alaa, better known as Sorry or TricksterSorry. Legends of Runeterra competitive player, I enjoy playing tournaments and competing against top players.

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