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Detailed Deck Guide: Elise Trundle

There's nothing to fear. Except an endless swarm of Spiderlings made huge with Iceborn Legacy.

Hello! Wamuu here! 

For today’s article, I will be covering my favorite deck from this last patch: Iceborn Spiders Control.

Regions
Freljord
16 cards
Shadow Isles
24 cards
Rarities
25 400
champion
6
epic
2
rare
9
common
23
Mana cost
0
0
9
1
12
2
0
3
3
4
5
5
10
6
1
7+
Champions
6
2
Elise
3
Elise
5
Trundle
3
Trundle
Landmarks
4
4
Blighted Ravine
3
Blighted Ravine
6
The Howling Abyss
1
The Howling Abyss
Followers
6
1
Hapless Aristocrat
3
Hapless Aristocrat
2
Avarosan Sentry
3
Avarosan Sentry
Spells
24
1
Crawling Sensation
3
Crawling Sensation
1
Three Sisters
3
Three Sisters
2
Glimpse Beyond
3
Glimpse Beyond
2
Vile Feast
3
Vile Feast
5
Withering Wail
2
Withering Wail
6
Brood Awakening
3
Brood Awakening
6
Iceborn Legacy
3
Iceborn Legacy
6
Vengeance
3
Vengeance
9
The Ruination
1
The Ruination
Open deck in builder

INTRODUCTION

Iceborn Spiders Control became popular after the 3.0.0 Patch. The reason is the buff to Iceborn Legacy: this card used to be a Slow speed spell, but with the patch it was buffed to Burst speed. If you have played Runeterra for a while you know that this difference in speed is massive, so much so that an unplayable card became a meta staple.

The Iceborn Spiders Control deck consists of basically every single card in Shadow Isles that creates Spiderlings, which we want to buff through Iceborn Legacy.

For those new to the game: note that the everywhere clause includes cards that haven't been created or summoned yet. Therefore, once we cast it on any Spiderling, every single spiderling we summon afterwards will have the +2/+2 buff.

This is incredibly hard for your opponent to deal with, due to the sheer amount of Spiderling summons we have on the deck. If the game goes long enough, your opponent won’t be able to keep blocking or removing the spiders and will eventually lose the game.

Right now, the most popular deck is Ahri Kennen, so the control shell for this combo is the best we can currently run.

  • On the one hand, spells like Vile Feast and Withering Wail can threaten Ahri Kennen’s one-health units, making it hard for them to connect with our Nexus.
  • On the other hand, our deck is stupidly strong against aggro decks (which tend to be the main counter to Ahri Kennen) because of the number of chump blockers and removal we run, and also the fact that if we manage to get an Iceborn Legacy out our opponent won’t be able to trade with our units and he will slowly but surely lose the game. 

CARD CHOICES

3x Elise: Everyone’s favorite spider lady and the main champion of the deck. Elise summons a Spiderling each time she attacks so she can help us swarm the opponent once we buff one of our spiders with Iceborn Legacy

She is also more often than not a win condition by herself. If she manages to level up she gives all our spiders Challenger and Fearsome. This allows us to get past our opponent’s chump blockers and deal at least three damage for each buffed spider which can end the game in a single swing.

Once you have buffed your Spiderling with Iceborn Legacy sometimes it is worth sacrificing Elise just to summon another Spiderling to finish the game quickly if needed.

3x Trundle: Trundle is a support champion in this deck and he serves as an alternative win condition. He also got a health buff in this last patch and he is just an overall solid unit to play when needed. Once he’s leveled he can help us get to the finish line with Overwhelm damage on a unit with low health with help of the Ice Pillar.

3x Blighted Ravine: At first it might seem counterintuitive to run this card in a spider deck but since our Spiderling are usually buffed by Iceborn Legacy they can survive the two damage Blighted Ravine does to our units. This is also an amazing card against aggro decks and Ahri Kennen decks which are prevalent in the current meta. Use this card as a development punisher against your opponent on your attacking turn.

1x The Howling Abyss: This card serves as one of the alternate win-cons that can help us outvalue our opponent in control vs control matchups.

3x Hapless Aristocrat: Amazing card in this deck because it helps us stop our opponent’s early aggression and also gives us a Spiderling once it dies.

3x Avarosan Sentry: Good chump blocker to play on turn two against aggressive decks and helps us cycle our deck to find our win conditions.

3x Crawling Sensation: Great card in this deck as it allows us to refill our board with two Spiderling once our opponent removes our units or we kill off our units. A cool combo in this deck is to play The Ruination and then Crawling Sensation to refill our board with buffed spiders and blow out our opponent. You can also kill both your opponent’s units and yours with Blighted Ravine and then refill your board with Crawling Sensation as well.

3x Three Sisters: Good card in control decks as it has a lot of flexibility for different types of scenarios. Commonly you can use it to get a surprise lethal with Fury of the North as your opponent probably won’t be able to block all your spiders.

3x Glimpse Beyond: Staple draw in Shadow Isles decks. You usually want to play this card reacting to your opponent’s removal to make sure it goes off. You can sometimes use it proactively but be careful as your opponent might remove your unit and deny your draw.

3x Vile Feast: Staple control tool for control decks and also summons a Spiderling. This card synergizes perfectly with our deck and can sometimes be a two-mana summon a 3/3 when needed.

3x Iceborn Legacy: The card this deck is built around. It is an uninterruptable permanent buff spell that is stupidly strong. You always want to target Spiderlings with this card, only in extreme scenarios, you can use it on something else. Unlike other buff spells, you usually want to pre-commit this spell when attacking because a good player will just skip blocks and you will miss damage.

2x Withering Wail: Great control card in the current meta as there are a lot of one-health Elusives and aggro decks thanks to Ahri Kennen being the most popular deck. Players misplay this card a lot when they have it in hand. 

You usually want to set up a Withering Wail rather than hard cast it, you do this by chump blocking units and setting them to one health and cast Withering Wail in later turns when your opponent attacks. This way your opponent’s board clogs up and they can’t develop as many threats. 

3x Brood Awakening: Amazing spell in this deck as it serves two purposes: It can be a board refill and a finisher at the same time. The reason why it can be a finisher is that it develops three units in a single action.

If the three Spiderlings it summons are buffed by Iceborn Legacy, your opponent will only be able to develop one blocker so the other two will most likely connect with the Nexus if you are ahead on board. Try to cast this spell once your spiders are buffed or if you are trying to swarm your opponent with multiple units early.

3x Vengeance:  This is another card that got buffed in the last patch. It costs one less than it used to and this is a huge difference. This serves as our main big unit removal and our defense against Pantheon Shyvana decks which are quite popular right now. 

This card usually trades up in the current meta because decks running big units usually buff them a lot with spells. Being able to remove those units with only six mana gives us a huge tempo swing.

1x The Ruination: This card's role in the deck is to be an emergency button if our opponent manages to win the board against us (which is very hard to do). It allows us to kill all their units and enables Crawling Sensation if we have at least one unit on board. This combo helps us win back the board and can swing games by itself.

MATCHUPS

Iceborn Poros (Favored):

Mulligan: Elise, Iceborn Legacy, Vile Feast, one Brood Awakening (if you have a good hand).

In this matchup, you want at least one Iceborn Legacy and Elise to win. Iceborn Poros has very limited interaction and they have a hard time removing your Elise, so leveling her up is very easy. Once she is leveled you can use your buffed Spiderlings to challenge their elusive poros and kill them. 

You have way more ways to get Spiderlings on the board than they do with Daring Poros so trading our spiders with their poros will eventually win us the game. 

Use Vile Feast to threaten your opponent’s Daring Poros while they’re not buffed.

Don’t be afraid to use spells such as Vengeance on an Daring Poro, the only way their deck wins is through this card so if we remove all of them we are favored to win.

You have a bunch of removal so don’t be afraid to use it. Using Blighted Ravine to damage Daring Poro for example can be correct as they may not have another Iceborn Legacy to buff them and this sets up a Withering Wail or Vile Feast for next turn.

Force your opponent to block with a wide board of Spiderlings even if they are bad trades to get damage on them, you can finish off the poros later with removal.

Kennen Ahri (Favored): 

Mulligan: Elise, Blighted Ravine (if you have a good hand), Hapless Aristocrat, Vile Feast, Iceborn Legacy, Withering Wail.

Our deck has the tools to deal with the huge amount of one-health Elusives in Ahri Kennen. Cards like Vile Feast, Withering Wail, and Blighted Ravine can threaten our opponent’s units and make them use their recall spells in awkward ways. We can also outrace them if we have a leveled Elise or if we get an Iceborn Legacy off. 

Their deck does not have Fearsome blockers so our spiders get to connect with the Nexus for free if Elise is leveled, which is pretty easy against this deck since they run limited interaction for our units. The key to this matchup is going as wide as possible with Spiderlings, buffing them with Iceborn Legacy and keep attacking. Eventually, they will run out of answers or units and they will be forced to do bad trades just to stay alive. 

If your opponent plays Kinkou Wayfinder on turn four you can react by playing Blighted Ravine or Withering Wail if you have banked mana. This will force them to recall their units if they want them to stay alive, while they have limited mana to do so.

The main spells you need to worry about are Nopeify! and Deny so try to bait them out before using spells that can swing the game in your favor. Usually, they only run one Deny so don’t play around it too much.

Veigar Senna (50/50):

Mulligan: Elise, Avarosan Sentry, Iceborn Legacy, The Howling Abyss.

This is a very 50/50 but slightly favored towards us. You win the matchup by either getting Iceborn Legacy, buffing your Spiderlings and going as wide as possible, or by getting down a The Howling Abyss. Senna Veigar can’t remove landmarks so Howling Abyss should be an auto-win sometimes if you get the right leveled champions. 

Our deck has problems dealing with Veigar, as we have no way to efficiently remove a four-health unit so their Darkness begins to stack up and we can quickly lose the game. You could tech in a Despair for this matchup specifically but Senna Veigar decks usually drop Veigar when they have the mana for Mist's Call in case he gets removed.

Veigar Senna runs a lot of one damage spells like Pokey Stick, Withering Wail and Vile Feast so try to not cast Crawling Sensation or Brood Awakening unless you have already buffed a Spiderling with Iceborn Legacy.

Leveling up Elise can be huge in this matchup, especially in earlier turns as they don’t have that many chump blockers, this means you can get a lot of Fearsome damage with your spider units.

Trundle is a good unit to play in this matchup as he is very hard to remove. They either need to Minimorph or Vengeance it and neither are mana efficient.

Always keep an Avarosan Sentry in your opening hand so you can trade Twisted Catalyzer before he gets out of control.

Elise Trundle (50/50):

Mulligan: Elise, Iceborn Legacy.

Like any Iceborn Legacy mirror, the player who gets the most of them wins. You should keep Elise just because she can connect in the early game since she has the Fearsome keyword. Outside of that you just want to mulligan for Iceborn Legacy and start buffing your Spiderlings.

Trundle can be good in the mirror if he manages to level as most of the units in the deck have low hp so the Overwhelm keyword can push some important damage.

If you are in a stalemate where both players just keep passing because you can’t find your Iceborn Legacy, The Howling Abyss can be a good alternate win-con. If your opponent is playing units though, you should not play it as it is a huge tempo loss and you can get swarmed.

Draven Rumble (Favored):

Mulligan: Elise, Hapless Aristocrat, Avarosan Sentry, Crawling Sensation, Vile Feast, Withering Wail, Iceborn Legacy and Blighted Ravine (if you have a good hand).

This is probably your most favored matchup as Discard aggro decks tend to be weak against Shadow Isles control decks. A lot of Draven Rumble units have one health so pings and one health AoE like Withering Wail are super effective against them. We also summon a lot of chump blockers that can trade with some of their units as well. Although we don’t run Fearsome blockers, if we get an Iceborn Legacy off, all of our spiders become Fearsome blockers making their Fearsome units useless. 

Blighted Ravine can help you kill Draven and Risen Rider and hinder their development.

Rumble can be dealt with either AoE or a Vile Feast plus Vengeance. The opponent usually can only play one Rumble per game so save your Vengeance specifically for him, otherwise it will be tough to deal with if your opponent buffs him with cards like Might or Ambush.

Brood Awakening can help you get back in the game if you get out tempo’ed and need to develop a lot of blockers at once. 

Pyke Rek’Sai (Favored):

Mulligan: Elise, Hapless Aristocrat, Avarosan Sentry, Crawling Sensation, Vile Feast, Iceborn Legacy, Blighted Ravine (if you have a good hand).

Pyke Rek’Sai is an aggro deck that goes very tall with stats, their problem is most of their units don’t have Overwhelm so our Spiderlings can block them in the early game. Their early game units also have low health so our removal cards are very effective against them once you block them. The only thing you need to worry about in this matchup is Pyke and Rek'Sai. You need to save a Vengeance for Rek'Sai on the turn that she can level, as for Pyke he can be killed with a combination of removal or by a buffed Spiderling once Elise is leveled. If Pyke is starting to get out of hand though you can kill him with Vengeance.

Pyke Rek’Sai nowadays doesn’t run any interaction besides Death From Below, so just play around this and they can’t surprise you otherwise.

They can’t heal their units and most versions don’t run Bone Skewer, this means that the damage that you deal to their units will probably stick. So use your AoE cards even if it doesn’t completely wipe the board.

You should be able to kill them with a wide board of spiders once you get a Iceborn Legacy off, so try to cycle your deck to find it. Use Glimpse Beyond when you can because they have limited interaction.

Kindred Sentinels (Unfavored):

Mulligan: Elise, Iceborn Legacy, Blighted Ravine (if you have a good hand).

This matchup is very unfavored for us. Their deck runs a lot of Fearsome early game units that just get bigger once they kill a unit with a spell, something that is very easy considering we summon a bunch of 1/1 spiders. The only way of beating this deck is getting an early Iceborn Legacy off and not summoning any Spiderling before that to prevent Burgeoning Sentinel and Buhru Sentinel from gaining stats.

When playing Brood Awakening keep in mind that our opponent runs two copies of The Box so if he has four mana up you might get blown out.

Hard mulligan for Iceborn Legacy and try to finish the game before turn nine because they run both Commander Ledros and Corina Veraza as finishers and these can be tough to deal with.

Blighted Ravine plus Withering Wail can remove almost all of the units in their deck so if they have a wide board try to set up this combo because they can’t heal their units.

If you’re having too much trouble with this matchup you can tech in some Kindly Tavernkeeper as Fearsome blockers.

Kindred Viego IO (Slightly favored):

Mulligan: Elise, Iceborn Legacy.

Even though it might seem like Kindred Viego is favored in this matchup, I found myself winning every time I played against them. Most of the time I outran them but one time I didn't out-control them which surprised me. In this matchup you want to look for your Iceborn Legacy and get as many Spiderlings out as possible, don’t worry about Withering Wail as most versions don’t run it. If you manage to get an Iceborn Legacy off, their deck cannot deal with the amount of Spiderlings you can summon.

Save your Vengeance specifically for Viego -- you summon so many spiders that you should be pressuring them, and they might tap out when playing Viego, so use this opportunity to cast Vengeance while they can’t cast Deny

The Ruination can also be a good card if your opponent has Viego and Invasive Hydravine on board, just watch out for Deny (they usually run two).

In the late game, if you can get The Howling Abyss on the board you will outvalue your opponent as long as Viego isn’t leveled.

Kindred is not too hard to deal with because of their low health and the fact that most of the time they just mark a Spiderling, you just need to watch out for Atrocity on Kindred once they get big enough.

Remember to always open attack on turn three because they might play Camavoran Soldier and shut down your attack.

Spider Aggro (Favored):

Mulligan: Hapless Aristocrat, Elise, Avarosan Sentry, Vile Feast, Withering Wail, Blighted Ravine and Iceborn Legacy.

Because we are a control deck this matchup is favorable for us. What we want to look for is our AoE removal and Iceborn Legacy. A lot of units in Spider Aggro have the Fearsome keyword so we need to get off at least one Iceborn Legacy to be able to deal with these units. Once we cast an Iceborn Legacy on a Spiderling we just need to keep summoning them and we will eventually win the game. Their deck cannot get past a bunch of cheap 3/3 blockers.

Most of their units have one or two health so block the two health units with Spiderling to set up Withering Wail on their attack turn.

Play Blighted Ravine in your attack turn once the opponent develops to wipe their board and force them to redevelop the next turn. 

Brood Awakening is an amazing card in this matchup as it allows you to summon three blockers in one action. If you have already cast an Iceborn Legacy the game is pretty much over once you cast this.

Save your heal and drain spells for when you need it as their deck runs a lot of burn with cards like Noxian Fervor, Decimate, Doombeast, etc…

Shyvana Pantheon (50/50):

Mulligan: Elise, Iceborn Legacy, Vengeance (if you have a good hand).

The key in this matchup is to swarm them with Spiderlings with or without Iceborn Legacy. Their deck runs medium-sized units and a lot of strike spells so just attacking over and over again with spiders is the way to go as you don’t care whether one or two spiders die, you can always summon more.

There are only a couple of key cards in this matchup: Iceborn Legacy, Vengeance and The Ruination. If you draw two of these you probably win the game but if you don’t draw any of them it is very tough to win.

With Iceborn Legacy you can swarm your opponent and they will not have enough blockers to survive an army of 3/3 spiders. 

Their deck usually goes very tall on a single unit because of the fated and fury keywords present in their deck. You can usually chump block their units until they cast Dragon's Clutch to grant their dragons Overwhelm but then you can cast Vengeance on their biggest dragon and they can’t do anything about it.

If your opponent goes too wide with units you can cast The Ruination with Crawling Sensation backup to get rid of their board. They probably won’t be able to refill their board as they don’t run many units so this should be a blowout.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I believe this is a very strong deck that can win almost any matchup.

It can play both as a swarm deck and a control deck, which is something we haven’t seen before so it can be hard to adapt to it. Like any control deck, it requires a lot of skill to get the best out of it so try practicing it a couple of times before jumping into ranked games.

I recommend this deck both for competitive play and ladder. There are a lot of aggro decks on ladder and triple aggro lineups in tournaments because Ahri Kennen is the most popular competitive deck currently. This deck can beat Ahri Kennen and decks targeting it so it shines in the current meta.

Wamuu

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. 

If you would like coaching from me you can dm me in Discord at: Wamuu#7531

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