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Writers versus Pros — A MaRu Internal Challenge

Our Writers faced the Mastering Runeterra Pro Team in honorable combat -- five decks and five pilots per team, and last standing pilot's team wins.

A Gauntlet Thrown

The challenge started with a tweet…

… promptly answered by two tweets…

… and it was on: both teams would meet in honorable combat on Sunday, with decks as of yet unknown since the gauntlet had been thrown the Monday before the expansion patch.


Setbacks, and Setting the Rules

Personal issues forced two of the writers to step down: Wamuu, which frequent readers will probably be familiar with from the deck guides he usually writes, and Jason, known to the whole since, really, who does not know the name Fleurant?

Shadawx, of Day One Decks fame and Wombats extraordinaire -- and who had already declared himself ready to upholding the Writers' honor -- along with "Pink Police" Maybenextime promptly filled in the spots.In the meantime, rules were drawn and agreed upon.

For lineups, Riot Lock rules (no Champion can show up twice, no region pairing can show up twice) would be enforced across all five decks brought by a team, with two tweaks:


  • One deck per player, no switching,
  • At least 3 of the 4 new Champions must show up,
  • Exactly one of the new Champions could (if desired) show up twice.

As for the confrontation, Pros and Writers agreed that:


  • Bo1 matches would be used,
  • The loser of a matchup would be out of the confrontation,
  • The winner team would rotate the winner player, announcing their next contestant,
  • The loser team would then choose their next contestant.

(Early on, teams had agreed that the winning player would remain in place; this rule was later rewritten to allow all players a chance to play at least one game).


Discord's Front Row

The unshakable nature of all players' honor being outside question, the teams also decided to add a twist: the matches would be broadcasted live, with no delay (since stream-sniping was not a consideration), and invited the denizens of the MaRu Discord to join one of the teams and share plays and insights as the battles were fought.

Ready to Rumble

Match One - Shadawx vs Henneky

Shadawx jumped first into the fray, brining Teemo Tristana Poppy:

Regions
Demacia
13 cards
Bandlecity
29 cards
Rarities
25 200
champion
6
epic
0
rare
19
common
15
Mana cost
0
0
9
1
18
2
8
3
5
4
0
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
1
Teemo
1
3
Tristana
3
4
Poppy
2
Followers
20
1
Proto Poro
3
2
Bandle Commando
3
2
Blastcone Seedling
3
2
Grandfather Fae
3
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
3
Gleaming Lantern
3
3
Loping Telescope
2
Spells
14
1
Fae Sprout
3
1
Ranger's Resolve
2
2
Pokey Stick
3
2
Sharpsight
3
4
Golden Aegis
3

… and was met by Henneky, playing Yuumi Scouts.

Regions
Demacia
10 cards
Bandlecity
30 cards
Rarities
14 200
champion
2
epic
0
rare
22
common
16
Mana cost
0
0
3
1
20
2
13
3
4
4
0
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
2
3
Yuumi
2
Followers
22
2
Assistant Librarian
3
2
Bandle Commando
2
2
Conchologist
3
2
Grandfather Fae
3
2
Quick Quill
3
3
Gleaming Lantern
3
3
Loping Telescope
3
4
Rainbowfish
2
Spells
16
1
Fae Sprout
3
2
Field Promotion
3
2
Sharpsight
3
3
Cataclysm
2
3
Fae Aid
3
4
Golden Aegis
2

Demacia's relentlessness favored Shadawx in this combat, and Writers took the lead 1 to 0.


Match Two - Aikado versus Sirturmund

Having lost the first match, the Pros sent Aikado as their second combatant, packing -- as befits this Shellfolk Master -- a Curious version of Akshan Gnar:

Regions
Shurima
15 cards
Bandlecity
25 cards
Rarities
29 200
champion
6
epic
4
rare
17
common
13
Mana cost
3
0
14
1
10
2
2
3
6
4
0
5
5
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Akshan
3
4
Gnar
3
Followers
15
1
Inventive Chemist
2
1
Otterpus
3
2
Conchologist
3
3
Devoted Council
2
4
Teenydactyl
2
6
Curious Shellfolk
3
Spells
19
0
Feral Prescience
3
1
Scrapheap
1
1
Scrying Sands
3
1
Shaped Stone
2
1
Trinket Trade
3
2
Ancient Hourglass
1
2
Pokey Stick
3
4
Rite of Negation
1
6
Minimorph
2

… and, having lost the first fight, the Pros also chose Sirturmund with The Scargrounds Udyr Tahm Kench as Aikado's opponent:

Regions
Freljord
34 cards
Bilgewater
6 cards
Rarities
26 100
champion
6
epic
3
rare
7
common
24
Mana cost
0
0
9
1
12
2
10
3
3
4
3
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
4
Tahm Kench
3
5
Udyr
3
Landmarks
3
3
The Scargrounds
3
Followers
19
1
Unscarred Reaver
3
2
Bone Scryer
3
2
Fortune Croaker
3
2
Vulpine Wanderer
3
3
Ember Maiden
2
3
Kindly Tavernkeeper
3
6
Mammoth Shaman
2
Spells
12
1
Elixir of Iron
3
1
Three Sisters
3
2
Troll Chant
3
3
Ice Shard
2
6
Shaman's Call
1

Sirturmund proved that The Scargrounds hold as few secrets for him as Star Springs, widening the Writers' lead to 2-0.


Match Three - Maybenextime versus Jasensational

"Pink Police" Maybenextime was next for the writers -- like Aikado, MNT brought Akshan Gnar to the fight, but chose a Papercraft Dragon version.

Regions
Shurima
21 cards
Bandlecity
19 cards
Rarities
28 600
champion
6
epic
6
rare
3
common
25
Mana cost
0
0
10
1
13
2
5
3
6
4
6
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Akshan
3
4
Gnar
3
Followers
21
1
Inventive Chemist
2
1
Treasure Seeker
2
1
Yordle Squire
3
2
Aspiring Chronomancer
2
2
Conchologist
3
3
Merciless Hunter
3
5
Papercraft Dragon
3
5
Ruin Runner
3
Spells
13
1
Shaped Stone
3
2
Pokey Stick
3
2
The Absolver
2
3
Wallop
2
4
Rite of Negation
3

Confronting him he found Ezry Awarder Jasensational, with his signature Yasuo Leona deck:

Regions
Mount Targon
23 cards
Ionia
17 cards
Rarities
26 800
champion
6
epic
2
rare
16
common
16
Mana cost
0
0
4
1
11
2
3
3
13
4
3
5
4
6
2
7+
Champions
6
4
Leona
3
4
Yasuo
3
Followers
22
1
Lunari Duskbringer
2
1
Spacey Sketcher
2
2
Greenglade Lookout
3
2
Solari Shieldbearer
2
2
Solari Sunhawk
3
3
Solari Priestess
2
4
Blinded Mystic
1
5
Rahvun, Daylight's Spear
3
6
Scattered Pod
2
8
The Infinite Mindsplitter
2
Spells
12
2
Twin Disciplines
3
3
Hush
1
4
Concussive Palm
2
4
Deny
2
4
Will of Ionia
2
6
Sunburst
2

In stunning fashion, Jasensational shortened the gap to Pros 1, Writers 2.


Match Four - MajiinBae versus MonteXristo

This would be a match between two of the most powerful Ladder decks currently, with Seasonal Champion MajiinBae bringing Darkness…

Regions
Shadow Isles
18 cards
Bandlecity
25 cards
Rarities
23 800
champion
6
epic
0
rare
12
common
22
Mana cost
0
0
2
1
15
2
2
3
9
4
5
5
7
6
0
7+
Champions
6
4
Veigar
3
5
Senna
3
Followers
17
2
Conchologist
3
2
Darkbulb Acolyte
3
2
Twisted Catalyzer
3
4
Aloof Travelers
2
4
Stilted Robemaker
3
6
Ixtali Sentinel
3
Spells
17
1
Group Shot
2
2
Pokey Stick
3
2
Vile Feast
3
3
Mist's Call
1
3
Stress Defense
1
4
The Box
1
5
Withering Wail
2
6
Minimorph
2
6
Vengeance
2

… whereas Writer, Wiggly Wombat, and lineups expert MonteXristo chose the deck that, at the moment of this typing, you'll find at the top of Balco's Tier List when sorting by winrate.

Regions
Freljord
19 cards
Piltover & Zaun
21 cards
Rarities
28 300
champion
6
epic
5
rare
7
common
22
Mana cost
2
0
8
1
15
2
1
3
7
4
3
5
0
6
4
7+
Champions
6
4
Gnar
3
5
Trundle
3
Followers
19
1
Zaunite Urchin
3
2
Avarosan Sentry
3
2
Boom Baboon
3
2
Ferros Financier
3
2
Icevale Archer
2
4
Aloof Travelers
3
8
It That Stares
2
Spells
15
0
Thermogenic Beam
2
1
Concurrent Timelines
3
1
Three Sisters
2
2
Mystic Shot
2
2
Troll Chant
2
3
Get Excited!
1
4
Aftershock
1
9
Buried in Ice
2

Bringing enormous relief to the Writers, which feared this matchup the most, it turned out to be a Timeline in which the word-slinger team enlarged their advantage to 3-1.


Match Five - Leer versus Kevor

Being the fifth match, there was no strategy involved in choosing the combatants: the last of the Pros on the bench, Kevor -- who even though he was on a road trip, and had to connect by mobile, joined the challenge -- brought Galio Braum…

Regions
Demacia
27 cards
Freljord
13 cards
Rarities
25 800
champion
6
epic
2
rare
11
common
21
Mana cost
0
0
4
1
14
2
10
3
3
4
4
5
0
6
5
7+
Champions
6
4
Braum
3
7
Galio
3
Followers
19
1
Petricite Hound
2
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
2
Vulpine Wanderer
3
3
Durand Architect
3
3
Durand Protege
1
3
Laurent Protege
3
5
Radiant Guardian
2
8
Wrath of the Freljord
2
Spells
15
1
Elixir of Iron
2
2
Sharpsight
3
2
Single Combat
2
2
Troll Chant
3
3
Shield of Durand
3
5
Concerted Strike
2

… and our favorite Meta Reporter Leer piloted Yuumi Pantheon Demacia.

Regions
Demacia
14 cards
Mount Targon
26 cards
Rarities
23 200
champion
6
epic
0
rare
9
common
25
Mana cost
0
0
3
1
17
2
10
3
8
4
2
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Yuumi
3
4
Pantheon
3
Followers
14
1
Saga Seeker
3
2
Brightsteel Protector
3
2
Mountain Goat
3
3
Wounded Whiteflame
3
4
Blinded Mystic
2
Spells
20
2
Guiding Touch
2
2
Pale Cascade
3
2
Sharpsight
3
2
Single Combat
3
3
Cataclysm
1
3
Zenith Blade
3
4
Bastion
1
4
Golden Aegis
2
5
Concerted Strike
2

Both pilots duked it out until Leer, even though he never drew his champs, was able to wrestle the score to 4-1.


Game Five  - Jasensational versus Sirturmund

Jasensational on Leona Yasuo was now the last line of the Pro's defense...

... Sirturmund advanced, wielding Udyr Tahm Kench…

… Yasuo and Leona could not repeat its previous stunning performance, and Scargrounds closed the challenge putting the score 5-1 in the Writers' favor.


Aftermath

Both teams, along with their fans, jumped on the same shared Voice channel for virtual handshakes and congratulations on games well played.

Was the experience enjoyable for both parties? 

"It was good fun," said Shellfolk connoisseur Aikado.

"Today's matches were a lot of fun," said MonteXristo, "I was really glad to go 5-1 against the MaRu Pro team."

Enough to have a rematch in the future?

"Next time, though," Aikido said, "gotta nerf Sirturmund; maybe he should play with one hand behind his back or something."

"Well…" smiled MonteXristo, "maybe Shadawx and I might not have lost to Yasuo Leona with the rest of the Wiggly Wombats behind us."

I don't know about you, folks…

… but that last phrase sounds like a challenge to me. =)


Stay tuned!

Sirturmund (Udyr Tahm Kench),

MonteXristo (Gnar Trundle Timelines),

Leer (Yuumi Pantheon),

and Maybenextime (Akshan Gnar),

will soon publish detailed deck guides about their weapons of choice for this confrontation.