Hey! Wamuu here,
Today I’m bringing you a deck that you’ve probably seen all over the ladder: ASol Shyvana Dragons.
DRAGON’S RISE TO POWER
This deck has risen back to popularity thanks to many changes in patch 2.18. I will only be covering the changes relevant to this deck but you can read our full patch 2.18 Card Review by clicking here.
The main changes that made this deck come back to life were:
Zoe Nami Nerf: Nami was nerfed to require one more spell mana for her level up making her level one turn later than usual. Sparklefly was gutted as she now costs three mana and you can’t tutor her from Gifts From Beyond. Both of these changes mean Nami Zoe is out of the meta as it is not even close to the power level it had before the nerfs.
Aloof Travelers: Their stats got changed from 3/4 to 2/3 this means it is no longer an auto-include card if you are playing Bandle City so your Aurelion Sol doesn’t get discarded every single game (yay!).
Herald of Dragons: Her stats went from 1/1 to 1/2 and this is huge, this means she no longer dies from pings and she suddenly become mana efficient as the best way to remove her is to Mystic Shot her which is two mana for two mana making It an even trade. Some regions have a hard time dealing with her and if she sticks on the board it is game over as you get discounted dragons every turn.
Ruined Dragonguard: His stats were buffed from a 2/4 to a 3/4, he is now overstated for a three-drop and he has the effect of granting your fury allies an extra +1/+1 when fury is activated.
Dragon’s Clutch: Probably the most significant buff to dragons is Dragon's Clutch as it now can grant your dragons overwhelm. This is huge as your deck gets another win condition since dragons are usually high attack units.
Aurelion Sol: Finally, Aurelion Sol goes back to his release level up condition which is to have 20+ power with allies on the board. This means he’s much easier to level up, winning you games much faster.
Shout out to OptimistThePrime as he made the original decklist I used for this guide while I only tweaked some cards here and there to make it better for the current meta.
ASol Shyvana dragons is a pretty straightforward midrange deck that consists of playing big dragon units to favorably trade with your opponent’s units and win the board. Later in the game you play Aurelion Sol and if he levels (which is not too hard to achieve with big dragons) you win the game. Alternatively, you can use Dragon’s Clutch to grant your dragons overwhelm and win that way if you are ahead on board.
3x Shyvana: Your first dragon champion and cheapest dragon in the deck. She has an easy time trading with other units on turn four since she gives herself +1/+1 each time she attacks making her a 4/5 attacker on turn four. Almost no four drops can block into her which makes her a good tempo play.
Her level up gives you a fleeting Strafing Strike which can exert tremendous amounts of pressure on your opponent. If you have a big dragon on board it is often good to keep Strafing Strike up to threaten to remove an important unit your opponent wants to play, forcing him to pass and burning mana.
3x Aurelion Sol: Your biggest dragon and main late-game finisher. Aurelion Sol is arguably the card that generates the most value and with the strongest level up in the whole game. He invokes a random card each round and when he is played and makes those invoked cards cost 0 if he’s leveled. This means
Aurelion Sol can outvalue any deck if he sticks on the board. He’s pretty hard to remove because of his enormous 10/10 stat line and spellshield keyword.
Your main combo to get Aurelion Sol out as fast as possible is to play Eclipse Dragon on turn seven and then play Aurelion Sol on turn eight. You can also discount him with Herald of Dragons. You should also keep at least two spell mana up when you play him to threaten Single Combat on Aurelion Sol against an important unit if your opponent develops.
3x Dragon Chow: This is a good card that gives you a body to block on turn one against aggro decks and can also help you cycle your deck and buff your dragons when you drop them as they will kill Dragon Chow and get a fury proc.
3x Dragonguard Lieutenant: Great card that helps you deal with early game threats as most of the time it is a challenger unit in this deck.
3x Herald of Dragons: This is one of your main value cards as it discounts your dragons by one mana cost. This is huge as dragons are usually overstated units and dropping them one turn earlier is a huge tempo gain.
2x Solari Sunhawk: Good two drop that helps you deal with aggro matchups as it stuns a unit and can block another one, compensating dragon’s main weakness which is getting swarmed.
3x Ruined Dragonguard: The one attack buff to these cards makes it so it is not a tempo loss to play him. He trades well into the other three drops and if he sticks to the board he can grant a lot of value. He also synergizes well with Dragon Chow and Shyvana as you can play turn one Dragon Chow turn three Ruined Dragonguard into turn four Shyvana for a 5/6 Shyvana on turn four!
2x Radiant Guardian: Helps against aggro and fast midrange decks as they have no way to deal with a 4/5 body with tough gaining you a lot of nexus health if you protect her.
2x Screeching Dragon: Great dragon as it has both challenger and fury keywords which helps with our game plan of making good trades for board control.
3x Eclipse Dragon: You normally want to play this card for its daybreak effect to discount Aurelion Sol and play him on turn eight, but he can also be played for his nightfall effect if you are low on cards and need to generate some value. He has a huge stat line and is very hard to deal with. Pair him with spells such as Single Combat or Concerted Strike and you get big unit removal.
3x Sharpsight: The best card in Demacia, helps you deal with elusive units and most likely grants you a favorable trade plus a fury proc in this deck. Can also be used as protection for removal spells.
3x Single Combat: Amazing removal spell in this deck as all of your dragons are overstated and can trade well against other units plus it grants them a fury proc.
3x Dragon's Clutch: This card is nuts right now as it serves as either a refill for your hand, a dragon tutor, and an alternative finisher. If you are low on dragons you cast this to draw two and if you already have a lot of dragons you cast it to finish the game.
One cool combo to pull with this card is: Daybreak Eclipse Dragon turn seven, Aurelion Sol turn eight, and if you have the attack token on turn eight you can swing to threaten seventeen nexus damage, then when your opponent chump blocks you grant both your dragons +1/+1 and overwhelm dealing a tremendous amount of damage to their nexus. Funnily enough, this also levels Aurelion Sol on turn end in case your opponent didn’t concede.
Another cool combo to use this card is while attacking with a leveled Shyvana, as she generates a Strafing Strike. This way you grant your Shyvana (and all your other dragons) overwhelm and you can remove your highest damage dragon’s blocker with Strafing Strike dealing direct nexus damage.
2x Concerted Strike: Good removal spell for big units in the late game or mid-sized units in the mid-game.
1x Molten Breath: A very surprising card in the mirror and midrange matchups as it kills two units and grants two fury procs, this one has single-handedly won me a couple of games as people do not expect this card at all in ladder.
1x Judgment: Good one of card as it can sometimes win you the game because you can board swipe a full board swing from your opponent with just one unit with the bonus of procing fury multiple times.
The deck mulligans are mostly the same with few exceptions in a couple of specific matchups, most notably aggro matchups. But normally it should go something like this:
One thing you should keep in mind when choosing your keeps is to play on curve. For example, if you have the option to keep either Dragonguard Lieutenant or Herald of Dragons think about the matchup and which card fits more to play on curve as you
probably won’t have time to play both.
For example, if your opponent has a threat that Dragonguard Lieutenant can deal with you should probably keep him, or if your opponent is playing a deck that has a hard time dealing with Herald of Dragons you can keep her instead. In some matchups you will want to keep both as they might both be key in the matchup and in that case it is fine to keep them.
What we are trying to avoid here is keeping a lot of dragon support with no dragons. This can feel bad but it is a rare instance as we run Dragon’s Clutch to get our dragons.
Shyvana Aurelion Sol (50/50):
This is a tricky matchup because a lot of things can decide who wins, but basically, the player that gets the dragons on the field first and the one who uses his strikes spells last is the one who wins the game as strikes counter strikes.
You still want to play on curve but be a bit more careful when playing Dragon Chow or Herald of Dragons as Dragonguard Lieutenant can kill both of them and stay alive. Watch how many cards your opponent mulligans and which ones he plays to see if he has a Dragonguard Lieutenant in hand.
Dropping Shyvana on curve is very important in this matchup as if she levels she starts generating a lot of value with each attack.
A well-timed Molten Breath can blow out your opponent if he taps out of mana and you have a big dragon on board.
The player to drop Aurelion Sol first usually wins the game or the player that has the most Aurelion Sol because it is very hard to deal with in this deck since we need to take off his spellshield and then strike him to remove him. Aurelion Sol’s Skies Descend can be huge in the mirror if you have an Aurelion Sol on board as it board wipes your opponent.
Pyke Rek’Sai (Unfavored):
Remember when I said we want to make value trades to win the board? Well, Lurk doesn’t let you do that as they have high attack cheap units with low health. Your best hope is to high roll and gets a big Shyvana on board with cards like Dragon Chow and Dragonguard Lieutenant.
Two good cards that can swing the game in this matchup are Molten Breath and Judgment as this can blow out your opponent if you remove his big units, these spells are weak against Bone Skewer and Death From Below so watch out for that!
Fizz Poppy Bandletree (Unfavored):
Bandletree beats dragons because by the time we can finish the game with Aurelion Sol they have already won with The Bandle Tree, that is if you can even play Aurelion Sol as he can get discarded by Aloof Travelers.
The only way we can beat Bandletree is by playing dragons on curve and buffing them up with Dragon’s Clutch as they only have chump blockers with low health and we can attack with high attack overwhelm dragons.
Herald of Dragons is a great card in this matchup because they don’t have efficient ways to remove her. They can’t remove her by turn two so Herald of Dragons into Shyvana is a great tempo play that can win you the game.
Veigar Senna Darkness (Favored):
Some decks run Aloof Travelers this can be problematic if you’re trying to finish the game and your Aurelion Sol gets discarded, so try to always keep a Dragon’s Clutch in hand for the overwhelm win condition.
Poppy Ziggs (Unfavored):
This is a very bad matchup because Poppy Ziggs goes very wide very fast and our deck plays usually one unit per turn which does not allow us to keep up with their aggression.
Your best hope against this deck is to get early game units, play them on curve and get Radiant Guardian active and use strike spells to stabilize. Also, try to save your strike spells for when they try to Fervor their units to save yourself some valuable nexus health.
Gangplank Sejuani (50/50):
This is a very manageable matchup as we have a lot of strike spells and big units to deal with their important units such as Gangplank and The Dreadway. The real problem against this deck is Sejuani because if she levels it is suddenly very hard for us to win. Because all our removal spells rely on our dragon’s attack, a leveled Sejuani can shut our whole strategy down.
Ruined Dragonguard is also a great card in this matchup as it can block most of the units in your opponents’ deck and survive, plus he makes your dragons harder to remove and can take them out of Monster Harpoon’s range.
If your opponent drops a leveled Sejuani try to stall the game until you get Aurelion Sol down and try to fish for an obliterate spell from his invokes to remove Sejuani as this will probably be your best way out.
Draven Sion (Unfavored):
This matchup is very bad for you for two main reasons: First, this deck can go wide in early turns with fearsome units such as Risen Rider and Twinblade Revenant. They can also pull away blockers with Flame Chompers! dealing direct damage to your nexus. Second, their ten-attack unit comes down on turn seven while ours comes down on turn eight if we are lucky. By the time we get to play Aurelion Sol the game is over, especially since they run a lot of burn.
The best way to survive this matchup is to try to get a good hand and curve out while making value trades. Cards such as Judgment and Molten Breath can swing the game back in your favor so keep those options open.
Sivir Akshan (Unfavored):
Sivir Akshan is an interesting matchup, they are also a deck that specializes in making favorable trades and winning the board but it is much faster than you at doing so. You need to try to get card advantage over them and shut down their rally turns to win in the late game.
Because Sivir Akshan is a midrange deck Molten Breath does wonders against this deck if they tap out of mana so keep this card in mind when planning out your turns.
Lux Poppy (Slightly Favored):
This is a very popular deck but a bad one too, it has bad matchups all over the ladder and only has a few good matchups. The powerhouse of this deck is to play units on curve from turn one to turn two, drop Vanguard Sergeant on three, Poppy or another unit on four, Lux on five and then cast For Demacia! on turn six or seven for a huge blowout. Besides that, it is a pretty mediocre Poppy deck.
This deck does not trade well into your units so try to get your dragons down as fast as possible while getting rid of their units, as you do have to play around For Demacia!.
When trading with units remember this deck runs three Riposte so your dragons can die if you try to remove the wrong unit.
Lee Sin Zoe (Slightly Unfavored):
The best way to beat Lee Sin Zoe is to play for the Dragon’s Clutch win condition, this can be done by buffing our dragons with Dragon Chow and Ruined Dragonguard and then swinging with a huge board of dragons with overwhelm.
Herald of Dragons is an amazing card in this matchup as Lee Sin Zoe has a very hard time removing back row threats, the only way they can remove this card is with Sonic Wave or by silencing it with Equinox.
Hush is a very good tech card against Lee Sin as you can combo it with Concerted Strike to remove him. It can also save you from Lee Sin overwhelm damage if Zenith Blade or Infernum has been cast on him.
If there is a matchup that wasn’t covered in this guide but would like to know the stats of it you can check out our matchup table by clicking here.
Dragons is a very fun deck to play if you love big units and playing on curve. I would recommend this deck for newer players as it is sort of straightforward and doesn’t have too much room for big mistakes.
This deck can also be used to climb in lower Elo but I would not recommend climbing with it in higher Elo because there are many people playing counter decks on the ladder right now because of this Dragons’s popularity.
Competitively speaking this can be a good tournament deck if you are targeting very specific decks such as Darkness but in general, you shouldn’t be playing this deck in your lineup in the current meta.
Thanks for reading through this extensive article and I wish you good luck on the ladder!
Top 200 Master LoR player. I have a lot of passion for this game and love sharing my thoughts and game knowledge through deck guides and articles for competitive play.
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