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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
2
4
3
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
1
Teemo
1
Teemo
3
Tristana
3
Tristana
4
Poppy
2
Poppy
Followers
20
1
Proto Poro
3
Proto Poro
2
Bandle Commando
3
Bandle Commando
2
Blastcone Seedling
3
Blastcone Seedling
2
Grandfather Fae
3
Grandfather Fae
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
Petricite Broadwing
3
Gleaming Lantern
3
Gleaming Lantern
3
Loping Telescope
2
Loping Telescope
Spells
14
1
Fae Sprout
3
Fae Sprout
1
Ranger's Resolve
2
Ranger's Resolve
2
Pokey Stick
3
Pokey Stick
2
Sharpsight
3
Sharpsight
5
Golden Aegis
3
Golden Aegis
Open deck in builder

… and was met by Henneky, playing Yuumi Scouts.

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

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
9
2
3
3
6
4
0
5
5
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Akshan
3
Akshan
4
Gnar
3
Gnar
Followers
15
1
Inventive Chemist
2
Inventive Chemist
1
Otterpus
3
Otterpus
2
Conchologist
3
Conchologist
3
Devoted Council
2
Devoted Council
4
Teenydactyl
2
Teenydactyl
6
Curious Shellfolk
3
Curious Shellfolk
Spells
19
0
Feral Prescience
3
Feral Prescience
1
Scrapheap
1
Scrapheap
1
Scrying Sands
3
Scrying Sands
1
Shaped Stone
2
Shaped Stone
1
Trinket Trade
3
Trinket Trade
2
Pokey Stick
3
Pokey Stick
3
Ancient Hourglass
1
Ancient Hourglass
4
Rite of Negation
1
Rite of Negation
6
Minimorph
2
Minimorph
Open deck in builder

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

Regions
Bilgewater
6 cards
Freljord
34 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
Tahm Kench
5
Udyr
3
Udyr
Landmarks
3
3
The Scargrounds
3
The Scargrounds
Followers
19
1
Unscarred Reaver
3
Unscarred Reaver
2
Bone Scryer
3
Bone Scryer
2
Fortune Croaker
3
Fortune Croaker
2
Vulpine Wanderer
3
Vulpine Wanderer
3
Ember Maiden
2
Ember Maiden
3
Kindly Tavernkeeper
3
Kindly Tavernkeeper
6
Mammoth Shaman
2
Mammoth Shaman
Spells
12
1
Elixir of Iron
3
Elixir of Iron
1
Three Sisters
3
Three Sisters
2
Troll Chant
3
Troll Chant
3
Ice Shard
2
Ice Shard
6
Shaman's Call
1
Shaman's Call
Open deck in builder

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
3
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Akshan
3
Akshan
4
Gnar
3
Gnar
Followers
21
1
Inventive Chemist
2
Inventive Chemist
1
Treasure Seeker
2
Treasure Seeker
1
Yordle Squire
3
Yordle Squire
2
Aspiring Chronomancer
2
Aspiring Chronomancer
2
Conchologist
3
Conchologist
3
Merciless Hunter
3
Merciless Hunter
5
Ruin Runner
3
Ruin Runner
6
Papercraft Dragon
3
Papercraft Dragon
Spells
13
1
Shaped Stone
3
Shaped Stone
2
Pokey Stick
3
Pokey Stick
2
The Absolver
2
The Absolver
3
Wallop
2
Wallop
4
Rite of Negation
3
Rite of Negation
Open deck in builder

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
10
4
8
5
2
6
2
7+
Champions
6
4
Yasuo
3
Yasuo
5
Leona
3
Leona
Followers
22
1
Lunari Duskbringer
2
Lunari Duskbringer
1
Spacey Sketcher
2
Spacey Sketcher
2
Greenglade Lookout
3
Greenglade Lookout
2
Solari Shieldbearer
2
Solari Shieldbearer
2
Solari Sunhawk
3
Solari Sunhawk
3
Solari Priestess
2
Solari Priestess
4
Blinded Mystic
1
Blinded Mystic
5
Rahvun, Daylight's Spear
3
Rahvun, Daylight's Spear
6
Scattered Pod
2
Scattered Pod
8
The Infinite Mindsplitter
2
The Infinite Mindsplitter
Spells
12
2
Twin Disciplines
3
Twin Disciplines
3
Hush
1
Hush
4
Concussive Palm
2
Concussive Palm
4
Deny
2
Deny
4
Will of Ionia
2
Will of Ionia
5
Sunburst
2
Sunburst
Open deck in builder

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
Veigar
5
Senna
3
Senna
Followers
17
2
Conchologist
3
Conchologist
2
Darkbulb Acolyte
3
Darkbulb Acolyte
2
Twisted Catalyzer
3
Twisted Catalyzer
4
Aloof Travelers
2
Aloof Travelers
4
Stilted Robemaker
3
Stilted Robemaker
6
Ixtali Sentinel
3
Ixtali Sentinel
Spells
17
1
Group Shot
2
Group Shot
2
Pokey Stick
3
Pokey Stick
2
Vile Feast
3
Vile Feast
3
Mist's Call
1
Mist's Call
3
Stress Defense
1
Stress Defense
4
The Box
1
The Box
5
Withering Wail
2
Withering Wail
6
Minimorph
2
Minimorph
6
Vengeance
2
Vengeance
Open deck in builder

… 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
5
1
18
2
2
3
6
4
3
5
0
6
4
7+
Champions
6
4
Gnar
3
Gnar
5
Trundle
3
Trundle
Followers
19
1
Zaunite Urchin
3
Zaunite Urchin
2
Avarosan Sentry
3
Avarosan Sentry
2
Boom Baboon
3
Boom Baboon
2
Ferros Financier
3
Ferros Financier
2
Icevale Archer
2
Icevale Archer
4
Aloof Travelers
3
Aloof Travelers
8
It That Stares
2
It That Stares
Spells
15
0
Thermogenic Beam
2
Thermogenic Beam
1
Three Sisters
2
Three Sisters
2
Concurrent Timelines
3
Concurrent Timelines
2
Mystic Shot
2
Mystic Shot
2
Troll Chant
2
Troll Chant
3
Aftershock
1
Aftershock
3
Get Excited!
1
Get Excited!
9
Buried in Ice
2
Buried in Ice
Open deck in builder

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
Braum
7
Galio
3
Galio
Followers
19
1
Petricite Hound
2
Petricite Hound
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
Petricite Broadwing
2
Vulpine Wanderer
3
Vulpine Wanderer
3
Durand Architect
3
Durand Architect
3
Durand Protege
1
Durand Protege
3
Laurent Protege
3
Laurent Protege
5
Radiant Guardian
2
Radiant Guardian
8
Wrath of the Freljord
2
Wrath of the Freljord
Spells
15
1
Elixir of Iron
2
Elixir of Iron
2
Sharpsight
3
Sharpsight
2
Single Combat
2
Single Combat
2
Troll Chant
3
Troll Chant
3
Shield of Durand
3
Shield of Durand
5
Concerted Strike
2
Concerted Strike
Open deck in builder

… 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
6
4
4
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Yuumi
3
Yuumi
4
Pantheon
3
Pantheon
Followers
14
1
Saga Seeker
3
Saga Seeker
2
Brightsteel Protector
3
Brightsteel Protector
2
Mountain Goat
3
Mountain Goat
3
Wounded Whiteflame
3
Wounded Whiteflame
4
Blinded Mystic
2
Blinded Mystic
Spells
20
2
Guiding Touch
2
Guiding Touch
2
Pale Cascade
3
Pale Cascade
2
Sharpsight
3
Sharpsight
2
Single Combat
3
Single Combat
3
Cataclysm
1
Cataclysm
3
Zenith Blade
3
Zenith Blade
4
Bastion
1
Bastion
5
Concerted Strike
2
Concerted Strike
5
Golden Aegis
2
Golden Aegis
Open deck in builder

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.


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