Long awaited, long may he reign!
With the new expansion comes a new Runeterran champion, The Poro King!
Adding The Poro King to our deck allows us to add any non-champion card with the word “poro” in the text to our deck. This means that we can take cards like Poro Snax on our journey around Runeterra, which helps to make sure we don’t end up with a deck full of Pouty Poros!
Speaking of snacks, The Poro King (level 2) is the value engine that drives our deck into high gear. The Special Snax that he creates grant our poros everywhere +1/+1 like a standard Poro Snax, but these come at 1 mana discount and with an additional effect!
These Snax are here to stay and the King doesn’t mind stacking the pantry (they aren’t Fleeting and we still get another Snax next round if we’ve got hand space), so we don’t always need to play them right away. Challenger is much better when you’ve got the attack token!
While building these decks, one of the things we have to consider is that despite having a ton of 1 drops our early game is going to be fairly weak. Unbuffed poros are going to hit the board as 1/1’s, which makes it hard to trade or put pressure on our opponent until we start snacking.
Our game plan is to win with value; it’s hard for our opponent to consistently answer 1 cost 4/4’s without completely depleting their hand and we will be able to make efficient trades with midrange decks after snacking.
Before we get going, I want to discuss who we should (and more importantly shouldn’t) be bringing along with us.
Pouty Poro is riding first class anywhere we go. Overwhelm is a premium keyword that makes sure our stat stacking stays relevant while Tough+Regeneration makes our testy traveler resilient to removal. Mighty Poro isn’t far behind as another Overwhelm-ingly cute threat for our opponent to deal with.
Daring Poro loves buffs and for some decks is effectively unblockable. Big Elusives are good and can be a huge headache for our opponent.
Fabled Poro is another solid travel buddy that can help us to forge a wincon with our furry friends. Ornn’s poro protege is great for adding value to our board and can pull Lifesteal to win the aggro matchup, give our Overwhelm units Spellshield, or make every poro Elusive for maximum psychic damage to our opponent. Patched Porobot can give us another spin at the keyword casinos schweiz and has reasonable base stats.
Poro Sled gives us a mid to late game option to refill our board and should be difficult to answer efficiently when they hit the board. Because Snax buff poros everywhere, the sled should slide in with a huge poro in tow. Lonely Poro fills a similar role, giving us more gas in the later portions of the game.
Unfortunately there’s not room for everyone on this trip and Heart of the Fluft is always hogging the armrests. Heart of the Fluft takes away the advantages of having a wide board of diverse threats and puts it all in a single pile, making it easy to Vengeance or Disintegrate.
Poro Herder seems like an ok card, but unfortunately it just isn’t doing enough for us when we have Lonely Poro and Poro Stories available. Conditional draw 1 on a 2/3 body without keywords isn’t nearly as good as a 1 mana draw 1 that grows or 2 spell mana draw 3.
Throughout these deck lists I’ve kept the spread of poros fairly similar as it’s unclear what the ideal ratios are, so feel free to experiment!
Bandle City - Portals in the Poro King's Court - Norra and The Poro King
As I mentioned before, our early units are weak until we’ve hit a snack or two and we can easily get run over by aggro if we don’t find our buffs. Thankfully for us, no one stalls like Norra. Portals prop up our poro plan by fending off early aggression from our opponent and allow for us to focus on pumping up our fluffy friends. We also have access to light control tools like Group Shot and Buster Shot to interrupt our enemy’s game plan.
Sneezy Biggledust! would be a decent addition for our deck, but I think that it’s time to bring back Yordles in Arms . It is trivially easy for us to activate and because the majority of our units are cheap, we can easily be 5 or 6 wide on turn 5. Ferocious Fluffs is also a strong card for us as all of our poros on board will benefit from the big bird. The Impact is more important than the stat buffs in my opinion as it can push an additional 6 damage to the enemy Nexus if we are lacking Overwhelm or Elusive.
Norra gives us an alternate win condition if our poros fall flat. She can quickly level in this shell as she benefits from the cheap created units from Poro Stories and Lonely Poro and then all it takes is 1 or 2 lucky portals to seal the game away.
Bilgewater - Siren Song Slam Down - Fizz and The Poro King
Gameplan here is simple, buff 1 drops. Most of our poros are 1 cost and having additional everywhere buffs with Jagged Taskmaster and Siren Song improve the consistency of our deck. Fizz provides additional Elusive damage that is difficult to interact with and he benefits from both buffs as well.
Dragon Prince Grinzo is another new card that fits well with our 1 drop deck. He functions as a strong value generator as he will make our first poro or other 1 drop each turn effectively free as long as we have an empty spell mana slot. This can help to keep our board full without having to give up playing out our Snax.
When you run a ton of cheap cards, it can be easy to run out of gas in the mid to late game if cards aren’t replacing themselves. With The Swindler's Den we don’t have to worry about this as each card we play will immediately be replaced with another draw from our deck. It also makes all of our cards in hand fleeting, so make sure to keep an eye on your mana and consider how bad it would be to burn a copy of The Poro King if you don’t have him on board already!
Fleet Admiral Shelly can function as another win condition, letting us double up on benefits from our Special Snax catch up if our board buffs have fallen behind or to further buff up our non-poro allies.
Blood in the Water allows us to threaten our opponent on their attack token and makes better use of our big board of stats.
Demacia - For King and Country! - Garen and The Poro King
GAREN BIG STATS GO.
That’s it. That’s the deck.
We are going big, tall, and wide and stat checking our opponent all game. Garen, Genevieve Elmheart, and Vanguard Sergeant through For Demacia! give board wide buffs, but the real star of the show is Champions' Strength.
It does everything we want and then some. It is trivial for us to be 6 wide by Round 6 with the mana banked to rip the “I win” button. Even if our opponent survives, it is often at the cost of their entire board, hand, or both, leaving them vulnerable to our follow up plays on Round 7 and 8.
Demacia also gives us access to Single Combat and Cataclysm to make use of our big stat piles and interrupt our opponent’s game plan. Cataclysm Can also be used to push lethal with our Overwhelm units.
Freljord - Mountains of Stats - The Poro King Sleds Solo
Although it is the original poro region, Freljord feels lackluster in comparison to Demacia and Siren Song decks. We can make our units absolutely enormous with Omen Hawk, Ingvar the Younger, Avarosan Hearthguard , and Glacial Saurian, but lack the ability to threaten additional attacks or meaningfully interact with the enemy board and end up looking like half baked Ashe LeBlanc. These buffs also miss any of our created friends from Lonely Poro and Poro Stories.
If we were to travel to eternal, Braum could print out Mighty Poros and Spirits Unleashed could really bump up the power level of this region combo, but standard is where we stay for now.
Ionia - Black Flame Fluffs - Master Yi and The Poro King
So this is likely more so in the realm of funny than good, but The Black Flame can do wild things with Fabled Poro and Poro Sled especially when The Poro King is on board. If we have a poro unit captured by The Black Flame we can generate Special Snax on an open swing instead of having to develop first, which keeps our opponent from being able to develop themselves or play slow speed responses to our board.
If we’re able to capture Fabled Poro, we will grant the rest of our poros another keyword on every swing because the effect is on summon. We will also gain keywords if our opponent destroys The Black Flame, making it hard for them to deal with effectively.
Poro Sled is also great as it will summon a non-ephemeral poro when we attack, keeping our board full.
The units captured by the The Black Flame still benefit from Snax buffs and can force our opponent to trade into our ephemeral units or spend other resources on them to keep their Nexus from exploding.
Master Yi is here to discount our Snax in hand….and that’s it.
Noxus - Samira Needs a Nerf - Samira and The Poro King
When in doubt, play Akshan Samira!
Samira is still busted and I’m convinced she could make any random assortment of 37 other cards playable. She is especially good for our deck because she helps to control more explosive hands from our opponent while we set up for the Snax-pocalypse.
Samira also benefits from the fact that we play a ton of cheap cards, making it easier to level her and rally post flip.
Legion Deserter also benefits from our Snax and will quickly become enormous, especially once The Poro King hits the boards.
Being in Noxus also gives us access to Whirling Death and Brutal Skirmish to deal with our opponent’s units. Might helps to push damage if we don’t manage to find our overwhelm units.
I briefly considered going the reputation route with LeBlanc and Incisive Tactician, but honestly if our poros are at 5/5 we’re already winning.
PnZ - Seraphine Also Needs a Nerf - Seraphine and The Poro King
Seraphine is also still busted and the idea of doubling the Special Snax was too good to pass up! Any of the Special Snax will be a new spell and will either be doubled or help progress Seraphine level up so that we can do normal popstar shenanigans.
PnZ gives us a ton of draw cards to help find our key pieces and packs enough removal to get us through the early game while spinning up Seraphine and her backup poro band.
Acorn, the Hextechnician is along for the ride to discount our spells, which make leveling Seraphine easier and buffing our poros cheaper.
Subpurrsible is just here for value since we are playing a pile of spells. It should consistently be active early in the game and dropping a 5/5 Elusive that draws a card is still good in my book.
Is this going to be good? Probably not, but you’d better believe that a doubled Colorful Snacks is going to generate an incredible amount of salt.
Shadow Isles - Hallowed Be Thy Poro - Gwen and The Poro King
Overwhelm poros with Hallowed stacks are spooky.
Gwen and the Hallowed package give us an alternative way to fluff up our poros to apply more consistent pressure on our attack turns. Hallowed helps to ensure that our poros are more threatening and can force out cost inefficient answers, whether that means that our opponent is trading a more expensive unit or throwing a Mystic Shot at it.
The main units that we want to be utilizing Hallowed with are Pouty Poro, Mighty Poro, and Daring Poro as they are the most difficult to block effectively.
The control tools in SI also help us to manage enemy threats while we develop our own. Since our primary units are 1 cost, we will often be able to play out our own units and removal in the same turn to build and maintain tempo.
The Rekindler is an important piece of the deck because without our champions we likely aren’t doing enough to advance our win conditions. It is important to know which of your champions have leveled if both have died! The Poro King will be revived if both or neither champs leveled, but Gwen will be revived instead if only she has leveled.
The Harrowing gives us one last swing with our big poros to close out the game. They will still benefit from any of the Snax buffs we’ve played throughout the game, so play em if you’ve got em leading into your Harrowing swing.
Shurima - Wait, I Thought You Said Dessert?? - Nidalee and The Poro King
The Shuriman desert is vast…and full of poros!
This deck spams a ton of low cost units, which both Azir and Nidalee benefit from, but Nidalee Level 2 having Overwhelm and creating a Javelin Toss works much better with our overall gameplan. Overwhelm with Quick Attack allows Nidalee Level 2 to safely push damage and Javelin Toss can push damage or clear what is left of the enemy board.
Being able to repetitively flip Nidalee between turns while developing multiple additional threats with our poros makes our open attacks much stronger. This puts a lot of pressure on our opponent to remove Nidalee quickly.
Poro Sled also works very well with Nidalee because the summon effect on attack can also flip her.
The Darkin Bloodletters help us to maintain an aggressive board presence and gives us access to Xolaani to present another large Overwhelm threat to our opponent. The thrall created by Bloodletters can also progress Nidalee’s level up condition.
On the poro plus side, Domination and Voice of the Risen immediately make them much scarier to deal with. Domination will grant our 1 cost poros +1/+0 making it much easier to trade with our opponent and also makes our board a bit more threatening.
Both of our champions are fairly easy to flip and Voice of the Risen makes all of our poros at least 3 power, which allows us to present a ton of damage each attack turn. It is much cheaper for us to refill our board than our opponents in most matches and we can pressure them with a flood of cheap, pumped up poros.
Targon - Xolaani Go Brrr - Xolaani the Bloodweaver and The Poro King
Who cares about champs, we’re her for BIG XOLAANI.
Xolaani the Bloodweaver is an incredible finisher for our deck and if she goes unanswered when played can instantly end the game. Once we’ve played a Snax, every poro that we trade throughout the game will contribute to her transformation into Xolaani, Aspect's Bane. The number of cheap units that we have also makes it easy to maintain a fairly wide board for when we do swing with her and allows us to create a massive board of Overwhelm units.
While working towards our end game, Wandering Shepherd can help us to push chip damage in the early to mid phases by equipping our poros. Iula can also be used to push damage with Overwhelm or can protect one of our key followers, like Pouty Poro, with Spellshield.
Kayle can provide us with an additional win condition and has a useful summon effect, granting our allies +1/+0. Additionally she should level quickly if we hit a Snax early on in the game and a 16/6 with Double Attack and Overwhelm will have to be answered by our opponent unless they want to explode.
RUNETERRAN CHAMPS - Rough Run Down
As per usual, Runeterran champs don’t mix well because of how limited the card pool becomes, but not all of these are completely terrible. I’ve given my brief thoughts on each pairing below. I would still recommend a standard region if you want to claim the throne as the best poro player.
Xolaani the Bloodweaver is still an excellent finisher for our deck and weapons help give value, but we have no access to draw or combat tricks making our deck very 1 dimensional.
Bard will turbo level with Poro Snax and then we get more stats! If you want to be the biggest fluffing poro on the block, this is how you do it.
Siren Song is busted for a deck full of 1 drops and any excuse to run it in another region is good enough for me.
This just feels like Demacia at home.
Jhin missed the mark with this one. This is technically a deck, but I wouldn’t recommend it
Neek-no - she wants a variety of subtypes and we’re pretty set on just running 1.
Ryze wants landmarks, we want big, fluffy bodies. This is bad.
A poro with a big bow is funny, but we don’t have access to enough self targeting spells to make this work.
Overall, our royal Runeterran seems to have potential, but it remains to be seen if he will lead the way on ladder or be relegated to reigning over the rubbish. I hope you enjoyed our journey around Runeterra, thank you for reading and happy climbing!