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LoR Arts & Crafts Time with Shadawx

Making your own ‘weird bad’ deck, and feeling good about it!

Hello friends, today I’m going to talk a bit about how I go about building my weird & wacky deck creations. I’ve been asked a lot about it, so I figured I’d give some insight here, and try to put my thoughts into words, because it’s mostly rambling to myself like a mad scientist until I see something cohesive. 🙂

To help explain it all, I’ve looked through the last batch of new cards and will pick something that hasn’t seen much play, and we’ll build a deck around it.

Specifically, I think we’ll try and do something with Frozen in Fear. At first you might just think that whatever deck has these cards will be trash, but by the end of it all, we can hopefully build it into something that you can look at and say, “Hmmm, that actually doesn’t look that bad.”


Step 1: Decide what kind of LoR deck you want and/or what you want to build around.

To start, I usually think, “What kind of deck would I like to build today?” or “Is there a certain card/mechanic I want to build around?”

We have already answered that by picking Frozen in Fear, which relies on the Frostbite mechanic, so we have a good starting point there.


Step 2: Figure out which LoR region/cards directly support that idea or card you've chosen. Then decide if they belong in the deck.

What I actually like to do when building decks is to add all the cards that possibly have a spot in our list, then trim things down. I think most people trim while they go, which is fine too, but I feel it’s better to jam everything in there first – that way you can get the whole picture and work out the number of copies better. 

Since Freljord has all the Frostbite cards in the game, let’s check which are worthwhile to run alongside Frozen In Fear. Ashe seems like she will be our main Champion, since she can Frostbite multiple times, and she also makes use of Frozen In Fear through her Level 2 ability. Sejuani could be a secondary champ candidate since she Frostbites as well, but only once unless she is leveled up.

As for the other Frostbite cards, I’ll list my thoughts each one of them:

Brittle Steel: Possibly really good depending on the meta, but I don’t think we have many impactful units with three Health or less to Frostbite at the moment, though. Maybe Brittle would be okay against aggro, but that’s about it?

Cracking Ice: I still don’t know how to feel about this card… it’s kind of awkward to play.

Three Sisters: Freljord Tellstones – it's really nice to have multiple options where one of them is a Frostbite. Might be in the deck, but we will have to compare it against just main-decking Flash Freeze.

Caught in the Cold: Kind of an underrated card – I think this can fit nicely in a deck like ours, especially in a meta with some important backline units that we can give Vulnerable to.

Icevale Archer: Another solid Frostbite card, this time it comes with a 3/1 body. I think the best part about it is that his ability goes through Spellshield.

Shatter: It’s a Frostbite card with a removal effect. I don’t think it’s that good since you would most of the time need to use another card to activate the damage portion, and if you’re just using it to Frostbite then it’s a two-mana Slow spell which, doesn’t seem that good.

Flash Freeze: Great card. Three-mana Burst-speed Frostbite.

Rimefang Wolf: While not a Frostbite card, it is some good Frostbite support which I think we can play some number of.

Succumb to the Cold: We don’t need the Thrall.

Rimetusk Shaman: This card could actually be very good depending on the type of gameplan we go with. If we want to be a bit slower and stall out the game sometimes, this can find a slot.

Harsh Winds: Bigger Flash Freeze, also good, but maybe too expensive. The buff was nice though. We could find room for one copy.

Rimefang Denmother: Frozen In Fear with a 5/5 body. Seems like a natural fit if we’re already building around Frozen In Fear.

Icy Yeti: Same as with Brittle Steel, there are not that many units with three or less Health to justify running it, and against aggro this comes too late.

Winter's Breath: Too expensive. Maybe if the meta becomes something slower with bigger boards.

The Tuskraider: Haha.

So right now, we have something like this:

Regions
Freljord
12 cards
Rarities
9 500
champion
2
epic
1
rare
7
common
2
Mana cost
0
0
2
1
2
2
2
3
2
4
2
5
2
6
0
7+
Champions
2
4
Ashe
1
Ashe
6
Sejuani
1
Sejuani
Followers
4
2
Icevale Archer
1
Icevale Archer
3
Rimefang Wolf
1
Rimefang Wolf
5
Rimetusk Shaman
1
Rimetusk Shaman
6
Rimefang Denmother
1
Rimefang Denmother
Spells
6
1
Brittle Steel
1
Brittle Steel
1
Three Sisters
1
Three Sisters
2
Caught in the Cold
1
Caught in the Cold
3
Flash Freeze
1
Flash Freeze
4
Frozen in Fear
1
Frozen in Fear
5
Harsh Winds
1
Harsh Winds
Open deck in builder

Let's try and figure out what other region to pair our core with!


Step 3: Find a Second Region

Things to keep in mind are: Ashe is dependent on Attacking, Sejuani requires Nexus damage to level, and Frozen in Fear and Rimefang Denmother create (potentially) big Overwhelm units. I’m also thinking something along the lines of making proactive use of the fact that our foe's units are Frostbitten, rather than just using Frostbite to stop an attack or block – so perhaps we want to look at either Demacia or Shurima, to use Challengers or Vulnerable to clear out those units.

By the way: I know that Ashe is typically paired with Noxus, but I believe that is because the synergy between Trifarian Assessor, LeBlanc, and the five-Power units that the deck would run, with Frostbite helping to keep our low-health, high-Power units alive when blocking. Also, I just didn’t wanna make Ashe LeBlanc again!

Between those two regions, I think I’m going to go with Demacia:

  1. They have many more Challenger units, and ways to Challenge.
  2. They have multiple cards that can create an attack again, or cards that strike.
  3. They have some good buff cards that work well with low-Health units, like some in our Freljord package.

Now that we have our second region, let's go over the pool and pick out some cards that would synergize with what we’re planning. 

Regions
Demacia
17 cards
Freljord
18 cards
Rarities
30 400
champion
8
epic
1
rare
13
common
13
Mana cost
0
0
4
1
9
2
6
3
4
4
7
5
4
6
1
7+
Champions
8
4
Ashe
1
Ashe
4
Fiora
1
Fiora
4
Gnar
1
Gnar
5
Garen
1
Garen
5
Udyr
1
Udyr
6
Jarvan IV
1
Jarvan IV
6
Sejuani
1
Sejuani
7
Galio
1
Galio
Followers
11
1
Fleetfeather Tracker
1
Fleetfeather Tracker
2
Durand Sculptor
1
Durand Sculptor
2
Icevale Archer
1
Icevale Archer
2
Petricite Broadwing
1
Petricite Broadwing
2
Vulpine Wanderer
1
Vulpine Wanderer
3
Laurent Protege
1
Laurent Protege
3
Rimefang Wolf
1
Rimefang Wolf
5
Rimetusk Shaman
1
Rimetusk Shaman
5
Screeching Dragon
1
Screeching Dragon
6
Kadregrin the Ruined
1
Kadregrin the Ruined
6
Rimefang Denmother
1
Rimefang Denmother
Spells
16
1
Brittle Steel
1
Brittle Steel
1
Elixir of Iron
1
Elixir of Iron
1
Three Sisters
1
Three Sisters
2
Caught in the Cold
1
Caught in the Cold
2
Inner Beast
1
Inner Beast
2
Sharpsight
1
Sharpsight
2
Single Combat
1
Single Combat
2
Troll Chant
1
Troll Chant
3
Cataclysm
1
Cataclysm
3
Flash Freeze
1
Flash Freeze
3
Royal Decree
1
Royal Decree
3
Shield of Durand
1
Shield of Durand
4
Frozen in Fear
1
Frozen in Fear
5
Concerted Strike
1
Concerted Strike
5
Golden Aegis
1
Golden Aegis
5
Harsh Winds
1
Harsh Winds
Open deck in builder

As you can see, I’ve added in a lot of the good cards that fit into those three  reasons why I like Demacia as our second region. Cards like Cataclysm and Royal Decree seem extremely synergistic with Ashe, and cards like Single Combat and the Challenger units help make good use of Frostbite. Cards like the newly buffed Kadregrin the Ruined aren’t as bad as they first look, so I think we can try out one copy in the end if we have some flex room.


Step 4: Hash out which champions you want to settle on (if any) and how many copies, then do the same for the rest of the cards.

In the previous steps I’ve added a few champs, with Ashe being the sort of ‘main’ champion, so she’ll be at three copies. While Sejuani might also provide Frostbite and will synergize with Frozen In Fear, I don’t think we’ll be damaging the opponent’s Nexus consistently enough to make good use of her. Fiora, Galio, Udyr, and Jarvan IV all seem like decent inclusions, and I could possibly see Galio as a one-of, top-end kind of champion (or perhaps fit in a different version of this deck with Udyr and Stances taking the front stage) but ultimately I think they all fall a little short for what we’re looking for.

Lastly we have Gnar and Garen, who both make good use of the free attacks, strikes, and each provide something we’d favor: Gnar grants Vulnerable, and Garen buffs the board and possibly gives us access to Rally if he levels up. 

With all that said, I think we can go with some sort of split: two copies of Gnar and one copy of Garen, simply because I think the value Gnar can generate is quite useful even if he does not level up, and his Champ spell might come in handy a bit more than Garen’s.

As for the number of copies of each card, I think we’ll go with something like this:

Regions
Demacia
20 cards
Freljord
20 cards
Rarities
28 100
champion
6
epic
3
rare
17
common
14
Mana cost
0
0
3
1
13
2
9
3
8
4
4
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
4
Ashe
3
Ashe
4
Gnar
2
Gnar
5
Garen
1
Garen
Followers
17
1
Fleetfeather Tracker
3
Fleetfeather Tracker
2
Durand Sculptor
3
Durand Sculptor
2
Icevale Archer
2
Icevale Archer
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
Petricite Broadwing
3
Rimefang Wolf
3
Rimefang Wolf
6
Kadregrin the Ruined
1
Kadregrin the Ruined
6
Rimefang Denmother
2
Rimefang Denmother
Spells
17
2
Single Combat
2
Single Combat
2
Troll Chant
3
Troll Chant
3
Cataclysm
3
Cataclysm
3
Flash Freeze
1
Flash Freeze
3
Royal Decree
2
Royal Decree
4
Frozen in Fear
3
Frozen in Fear
5
Concerted Strike
1
Concerted Strike
5
Golden Aegis
1
Golden Aegis
5
Harsh Winds
1
Harsh Winds
Open deck in builder

Now it looks like a real deck! A couple of notes I had when choosing between cards were:

  • Amount of Single Combat versus Concerted Strike copies: since we have lots of Frostbite, I think Single is more valuable than Concerted. Concerted would be better if there were many really high-Health units or Barrier units in the meta, hence why I’ve settled on 2x Single, and 1x Concerted.
  • Cards that I want 3x copies: The main cards like Frozen In Fear and Ashe I wanted to keep as a three-of (you could just do 2x Frozen In Fear if you wanted it to be a little better). Fleetfeather Tracker, Petricite Broadwing, and Rimefang Wolf I put as a three-of because they’re the main Challengers who will help us control the board. Rimefang Wolf in particular can be very powerful if unanswered, since it can instantly kill Frostbitten units. As for Troll Chant and Cataclysm, Chant is just a very good card which can also progress Ashe or trigger Rimefang Wolf, and Cataclysm is a great interaction card with Ashe in particular, but works well with Gnar or Garen too. You can even potentially Cataclysm to push some damage with Overwhelm.
  • Cards I want just a single copy: Harsh Winds is a nice trick in dire needs, Golden Aegis can really push a ton of damage if timed properly with Ashe or  Overwhelm units, Kadregrin is a cute card now and I’m willing to see how it ends up working out, and finally Flash Freeze is just a good card (I put it over Three Sisters because I think most of the time that's the option we will pick, and sometimes mana can be tight in this deck).

Step 5: Are there any ‘Tech cards’ that you should fit in for the meta?

Depending on the meta, sometimes you’ll need to adapt your deck to it. For example, if you need some more anti-aggro/burn cards, you can throw in some more early game like Avarosan Sentry or Petricite Hound, or you can toss in healing like Kindly Tavernkeeper or Radiant Guardian, or even some board clears like Avalanche or Blighted Ravine.

If you’re in a more control-style meta where games go long or grindy, you can toss in some Rally cards to pressure hard, or The Howling Abyss if the games get really long.

Landmark meta? It That Stares is your best answer. There are lots of cards to answer many different styles – on Ladder it’ll be hard to target specific decks (since you could play against anything) but in tournaments, if you’re looking to target a certain deck or strengthen against a certain lineup, tech cards can really save the day.


Wrapping Up

Well, now we have our list! Let's have a quick rundown of how things work.
The way this deck will play is to build up your board with solid units, get favorable trades thanks to Frostbite, and get good free attacks while they have no board. The Challenger cards will be integral to this plan, to pick off the units they have sitting in the backline. And Frostbite will also be helpful to clear off their attackers while they think it’s safe to swing in.

Wincons for this type of deck are fairly simple – attack over and over and protect your units in battle. You have a few cards too that are tricky and can quickly swing the game: Garen and Rally will let you attack more than usual, and Rimefang Pack will just deal damage through blockers if they get big enough.

And Ashe (level 2), our star Champion, can nullify our opponent's blockers: for example, if our opponent has three units on board and we Harsh Wind two of those while swinging with Ashe, she will freeze the last enemy unit and they’ll have no blockers (since Ashe (level 2) prevent zero-Power units to block) . If they want to not take the damage, they will have to spend another card to buff a unit, or remove Ashe somehow.

You have quite a few tools to deal with different things your opponent may do. Frostbite cards will handle open attacks and swing trades that would otherwise be even or favorable for your opponent, and turn them into favorable for you. If your foe has units that like to sit on the backline, your Challengers can take care of them, and you have cards like Cataclysm, Single Combat, and Concerted Strike that can help as well. 

A few weaknesses the deck has is against removal – you have no real answer aside from Troll Chant. And if you’re against aggro or burn, the only real lifegain you have is… nothing, but refer to Step 5 if you feel like you’re against too many of those kinds of decks.

And lastly, against units that are bigger than yours, all you can do is try and attack them or block into them multiple times to remove them, or hope you can get a block plus either Single Combat or Concerted Strike to finish the job.


Finale

Well, that’s a decent looking, possibly playable Frozen In Fear deck! Ashe has been getting buffs over and over, so it’s interesting to see if she’ll end up playable in something.

I hope I was clear enough on how I end up building these ‘Weird’ decks or ‘crazy broken’ decks that make their way into the meta sometimes. I just love seeing an interesting card or support for some archetype and building it out and trying it, even if it doesn’t end up being good. It really helps get a feel for what’s missing or what decks it would be good into.

Anyways, hope you enjoyed it, a new set comes out tomorrow, so expect more interesting stuff to come. Happy building!


About the Author

Playing LoR since beta, consistent masters player. LoR Dreamhack Champion/Aegis Season 0 Champion(BEAU) and other high-level tournament win/top cuts. Crazy deck builder, omega cracked player. I like garlic bread.

If you’d ever like to chat, know more about the game, or would like some coaching sessions, feel free to hit me up on my socials!

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shadawx

Join me on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/shadawx

Check my YouTube content here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpgbie3tmI07MZJ5X5b5MYQ

Want that extra boost to get to the highest level of play? Check out my coaching with Metafy! https://metafy.gg/@shadawx



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