Greetings, Tiburon Blanco here! Today I’ll bring you a guide to Draven/Caitlyn.
This deck is currently one of the Strong Control deck options we have available on the current “Beyond Bandlewood” META. I hope you find this guide useful so you can unlock its full potential!
Where did the idea come from?
As I mentioned is a control deck, which takes its core of the Draven/Ezreal Shell, this version it's a bit more tempo adding some new units and spells that Will help to keep up against swarm decks but also keep the three cost card synergy to charge the Tri-beam Improbulator. Your champions, Draven and Caitlyn, are both payoffs for the Tri-beam, but also their abilities are key to deck synergy.
About the champions.
Draven gives you not only an early threat with it's quick attack which makes several units just block without trading but also creates a valuable card for this deck; the Spinning Axe when playing him or on strike, the Axe allows you to use it as discard fodder for the Zaunite Urchin or Rummage as a buff or an activator to cards that require a discard mechanic such as Flame Chompers! or Lost Soul all in burst speed which is very useful to use in response to threats when defending or to set a surprise attack.
He also has the added extra value with his Champion spell the Whirling Death as it cost three mana so it Works towards the improbulator charge up and its excellent to use during combat to interact with other units so you can take out two units and unlike some other decks this one it's not too champion dependent so don't be afraid to block or attack with him.
Caitlyn is Draven’s new partner. She also can get into play in the early game and has a quick attack which like Draven makes her a unit very difficult to defend or to trade, but her value comes in her ability to generate two Flashbomb Trap into the opponent’s first ten cards of their deck when she makes a hit. This effect when triggered damages a unit, and in some cases if the unit is already damaged or it’s a weak unit it can kill it or leave it vulnerable to Ravenous Flock or Scorched earth, which also can come in handy to destroy landmarks.
Like Draven, Caitlyn champion spell Piltover Peacemaker it’s a three cost card that deals two damage to a unit and also plants two Flashbomb traps. This works great towards the Tri beam charge up and also as a great removal. It's true her ability is important to keep the opponent board on disadvantage and help you to remove their units but don't be afraid to trade her as she, like Draven Will give you one last value token when dying at striking.
What is the deck about? (Overall deck structure)
Unlike some other decks that rely too much on their champions to close the deal, this deck has many options to close out games, if you don't find Draven early you can still have some cards that can generate discard into draw value like Zaunite Urchin which now can be played without the need to discard so it gives you flex in case you need a cheap blocker but don't want to discard something valuable, Rummage, Sump Dredger and Get Excited! which you can use with Lost Soul which gives you Revenant, which is a 4/3 unit with challenger with LastBreath.This effectively turns it into Lost Soul again making it a nightmare for decks that can't keep up with such value.
As a control deck, this one not only relies on cheap fast speed removal/burn like Mystic Shot, Get Excited and Sump Fumes but it also has its slow speed hard removal spells the staple of which is the Tri-beam Improbulator. When you play a three cost card while in your hand it will charge up to deal that same amount of damage accumulated; to a unit and also will summon a unit of the same amount of charges accumulated; the best options are the seven through ten charges. You can use it in any situation you see fit, just consider that it costs five mana to use it and you want to maximize the value of it.
The other hard removal spell is Thermogenic Beam. This spell makes damage equal to all your mana.It’s only downside is that it can deplete all your mana and leave you open to counterplay with no resources to respond, so use it wisely.
Controlling the opponent’s board does not necessarily mean removing units with spells, as this deck uses tools like Arachnoid Sentry. When it is played it can stun any unit, so it can be useful either on attack or defense, and also it’s mostly commonly used to combo it with Ravenous Flock. For the strategy of using your units to control the opponent’s board, you have Revenant that has challenger so you can choose what units you can take out of your way when setting up a more favorable attack. One of the added cards is the Station Archivist which is also a three cost card.
It’s mechanic can help you in the following ways as it picks a spell of the top five cards of your deck and creates a fleeting copy of it.This allows you to know what spells are coming in the following five draws,so just remember to use it wisely as you want to maximize the value it creates when giving you a fleeting spell.I recommend not to use it in the early game. Finally one of the great tools that came with the new expansión is, Aloof Travelers, this card is very powerful at four cost with a nice 3/4 statline. It helps you with some draw and makes your opponent draw a card while discarding their highest cost card. This way you can make your opponent draw a Flashbomb and get rid of an important card that can either be a champion, a spell, a powerful minion, or landmark, and in the process you keep cycling.
Tech and Options
Poro Cannon is still a nice option for this archetype as it adds a zero cost card that works very well with the discard/draw mechanics of the deck and gives you two elusive units that can block or attack from early turns.
Captain Farron as a one-off might be a good option if you have a hard time closing out games and want a solid finisher that brings overwhelming power.It also supplies and burn damage and doesn't want to mess around the value game.
Timewinder and Time Trick might also be viable options; the first one has great synergy with the discard mechanics of the deck and also can be used as removal or to ping a unit; the second can help you with deck cycling and drawing cards It also makes you predict your next top deck and draws you a card at the same time.
Boom Baboon is a nice option as it's a two cost 3/1, which generates a Flame Chomper that works very well with the deck discard mechanic which you can activate at burst speed when attacking or blocking.
Gameplay general Tips
Set up a solid early game to finish strong.
Depending on what type of deck you are facing, it is important you keep a Tri-beam and start charging it ASAP. This makes it such that it has a solid late game removal and a possible big unit that will help you out close out the game. Meanwhile, look to establish your early game to win the board battle with removal or with your units like House Spider that generates two units at two cost and/or with Zaunite urchin into Lost Soul to have a Revenant in turn four. If you have both your champions in hand you must consider who to play first depending on what cards you have and what deck you're against.
If you have cards that require the discard mechanic and face a deck that runs strong units, it's better to play Draven first. If you have more removal and units in hand and you are facing a deck that runs weak units, it's better to play Caitlyn, and begin to plant flash bombs in the event that we look to force the opponent into unfavorable trades to make them run out of gas before we do.We can keep resources coming with the discard/draw mechanics tools we have and try to go wide to chip the opponent nexus while looking to closet the game out with board advantage and burn.
Manage your burn/removal properly.
You have in total 17 cards that can be used as a removal five of them can be used as burn damage and add two if you consider what the Station Archivist can give you.This might make you think that's enough to obliterate what the opponent plays, and in theory, it might. However you must consider that to eliminate a unit with three or more health you will be required to damage that unit.In order to use Ravenous Flock or Scorched Earth otherwise you will need to use two cards. The thermogenic beam will tax you with all your mana, so choosing the right spot is crucial. The Tri-beam costs five, but if it has enough charges that it can give you great value as you might erase a big unit and summon one. Then there are the two Mystic Shots and three Get Excited which in total can give you thirteen pts of burn damage to the face. So again,pick and choose your spots for using them wisely.
How important are your champions towards your wincon and how to focus your game plan around them?
Well leveling up one or both would be awesome, but it's more important what they bring to your game plan when played. With every round that they are in play or when they attack or defend,their value comes into play. Both are great attackers paired up with some removal, and their quick attack can take out bigger units. Draven can give you an attacker with overwhelm when leveled and Caitlyn when striking can plant four Flash bombs and make damage equal to the traps activated. Please remember this deck is not about them, and that you don't have tools to protect them against removal or bigger units, and so treat them as any other unit you’re playing. Squeeze and maximize what they give you as much as possible but ultimately they are not wincons, but mere tools. Important tools yes, but just tools for a bigger purpose.
General mulligan tips:
This is why this deck is made of all these three cost cards. So if you have it in the mulligan, keep it and begin working towards its full potential. Remember the best spot to use it in any situation, to squeeze maximum value out of it. So the bigger it gets, the better for you.Try and think about mana costs as can get a Hydravine(seven drops) a Leviathan, Tianna, Incisive Tactician, Farron, Dreadway (eight drops).Nothing relevant costs nine mana and at ten mana we could get a Cithria or an Atakhan.
This is along with Tri-beam the card you would like to see in the mulligan, it doesn't matter it cost eight mana as you can use it in synergy with every discard mechanic you have at your disposal and get a four cost Revenant out of it, which translate in a real menace for almost every unit in play as it strikes for four damage so it can trade most of the units it Will encounter and with three health points it's hard to remove, but its value comes when dying it returns as a lost soul so you have a huge cycling value there, and against some decks that use aloof travelers it comes in handy as you can keep it to protect other cards.
Draven or Caitlyn:
Any or both of them are good to keep at the mulligan, as we explained before; the value they bring to your game plan is good enough to pass on it. And when you drop each of the first, it's situational.
If you're facing Bandle Tree decks, you keep it to disrupt the opponent's game plan or gain some time, or if facing decks that Will require a huge amount of resources to eliminate a unit, ex-Leviathan, Sejuani, Buffed Elusive, Gang Plank, or any five health points and above unit.
Very useful when facing decks with elusive or against Sion, Gangplank, Sejuani or any unit that may pose a threat, is also useful to ping a Spellshield.
Great overall card as we mentioned, statistically speaking, and also to help you with cycling your deck, but most importantly it can target the opponent wincon and discard it.
GOOD AGAINST (50% WINRATE OR BETTER): NAMI/ZOE (51.7%), LURK (52.4%), ELUSIVE RALLY POPPY/LULU (72.4%), ELUSIVE RALLY LULU/ZED (64.2%), PIRATE BURN (50.5%)
WEAK AGAINST (49% WINRATE OR WORST): SION/DRAVEN (23.5%), DARKNESS (43.4%), GP SEJUANI PLUNDER, BANDLE TF/GP BURN (28.9%), FIZZ/POPPY (49.6%).
This archetype has been evolving through the seasons since it came out with the Ezreal/Draven version becoming the staple of the Piltover-Zaun/Noxus Control deck, and with Caitlyn as what can be arguably the best pairing for Draven for this archetype because of what she brings as an attacker that ad that extra value in the control game since early and not only using her as a finisher like Ezreal, it's a good option if you like the Control Archetype in its more pure form and don't want to be involved with more complicated decks that rely on the combo(Darkness) or the stall game (Karma/Ez) or FTR and you're more into taking it to your opponent win the board game and go face this is the deck for you.