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Plunder, Now with Tentacles – A Gangplank Sejuani LoR Deck Guide

An ancient archetype returns, brought back to prominence by the powerful Tentacle cards.

Plunder has been a popular deck since its introduction in “Rising Tides”. GangplankGangplank and SejuaniSejuani are highly synergistic champions, winning the game through their Level 2 board-locks and board-clears. This deck had fallen out of favor after the first Legends of Runeterra Worlds, with other decks coming into the meta.

With the introduction of the TentacleTentacle package in the Worldwalker expansion and the new Weaponmasters brought by the Awakening expansion, Plunder has some spicy new additions that makes it once again one of the best LoR decks, be it for the Ranked ladder or for Tournaments & Gauntlets.

Regions
Freljord
3 cards
Bilgewater
37 cards
Rarities
27 600
champion
6
epic
4
rare
9
common
21
Mana cost
3
0
9
1
9
2
3
3
3
4
6
5
6
6
1
7+
Champions
6
5
Gangplank
3
Gangplank
6
Sejuani
3
Sejuani
Followers
19
1
Jagged Butcher
3
Jagged Butcher
1
Shellshocker
3
Shellshocker
2
Black Market Merchant
3
Black Market Merchant
2
Marai Warden
3
Marai Warden
3
Piltovan Castaway
3
Piltovan Castaway
4
Yordle Grifter
3
Yordle Grifter
8
The Dreadway
1
The Dreadway
Spells
15
0
Warning Shot
3
Warning Shot
1
Parrrley
3
Parrrley
2
Make it Rain
3
Make it Rain
5
Eye of Nagakabouros
3
Eye of Nagakabouros
6
Riptide Sermon
3
Riptide Sermon
Open deck in builder

Best LoR Decks: Sejuani Gangplank – Deck Breakdown

Plunder is all about, well, plundering, by dealing damage to our opponent's Nexus every turn to level up our champions. Let’s talk about the key cards that help make this happen.


The Early Game Raiders

Jagged Butcher Marai Warden Shellshocker

Oftentimes, we want to play Jagged ButcherJagged Butcher on round one. If we have the attack token, this often leads to a free level-up trigger for both of our champions, especially since there are very few one-drops in the current meta that contest this card. If our Jagged ButcherJagged Butcher is unable to break through due to a blocker, we skip the attack with him and play our Marai WardenMarai Warden on round two.

Our strategy in the early game is simply to swarm the board and try to brute-force as many level-up triggers for our Champs (by damaging our foe's Nexus) as we can. Going three units wide on round two puts pressure on our opponent and helps us deal chip damage as well. Shellshocker Shellshocker plays a similar role to Jagged ButcherJagged Butcher on round one, providing us with the free level-up trigger; Shellshocker Shellshocker also has the added benefit of refunding the one mana we spent to play them, allowing us to make some cheeky plays with that mana down the line. 

Everything seems relatively simple so far, but the true complexity of the deck is unlocked when we consider the spells we have in our arsenal, allowing us to Plunder even harder.


PEW PEW

Make it Rain Warning Shot Parrrley

All three of these cheap spells can hit the Nexus – since they contribute to our champions’ level-up conditions, we often have to pay attention to when we choose to play them. 

ParrrleyParrrley can be amazing on round one when the opponent plays their one-health one-drop such as Forsaken BaccaiForsaken Baccai, or any other Noxus one-drop like Legion SaboteurLegion Saboteur. The ability to remove an early-game unit while advancing our game plan helps us keep up in tempo while swarming our opponent… all for a measly one mana! 

Bear in mind, though, that in some matchups or board-states later in the game, it is often correct to ignore the one-health unit on the opponent’s side. Depending on the region combination, they may have a multitude of ways to prevent ParrrleyParrrley from hitting the Nexus after it hits the one-health unit. They may be able to sacrifice their units using a pesky Hate SpikeHate Spike, or buff them up with a Momentous ChoiceMomentous Choice. Recognising whether it is more important to attempt to kill the one-health unit or damage the enemy Nexus to level up our champions is a very common decision point for our deck.

Make it RainMake it Rain is another interesting spell, by virtue of our ability to influence the targets it hits. We often want to play Make it RainMake it Rain when the enemy has two units on board, as we can ping or kill the two units and hit the enemy Nexus. Playing this on round two to get a level-up trigger for our champions and thin the enemy board is a super powerful play, as it allows our units to damage the enemy Nexus yet again the following round. Sometimes we still play Make it RainMake it Rain if there is one, or even no enemy units, depending on our hand and if we need to level-up our champions as quickly as possible. Being able to make that decision comes down to our understanding of the board-state and our win conditions. Would Make it RainMake it Rain be a better card later in the game? Can we get a level-up trigger some other way? These are questions you need to have answers to when you commit this spell.

Warning ShotWarning Shot is the final card in our cheap-spell trio. This card looks quite simple by itself, being a zero-mana deal-one to the enemy Nexus. However, it has a ridiculous number of synergies: it can help level up our champions, takes advantage of The DreadwayThe Dreadway and Powder KegPowder Kegs to double our burn, and enables some of our units to activate their very powerful abilities. 

To witness the true power of Warning ShotWarning Shot, let’s talk about the Plunderers in our deck!


Treasures of the Ages, For a Price

Jagged Butcher Black Market Merchant Yordle Grifter

This set of cards is the original reason why this deck is called Plunder. Two of these three cards have an effect that is triggered when they are played after the enemy Nexus has been damaged.

Playing a Jagged ButcherJagged Butcher after we have Plundered allows us to play a one-mana 3/3, allowing us to flood the board very efficiently. If we have the attack token on round two, we often want to Warning ShotWarning Shot on round one followed by a Jagged ButcherJagged Butcher. This gives us a level-up trigger on round one, and gives us a Fearsome-blocking body that can attack and give us another level-up trigger the following round. 

Black Market MerchantBlack Market Merchant can be a very powerful card, and very frustrating for our opponents to play against. Triggering his effect draws a discounted card from the bottom of the opponent’s deck. This extra card helps us not fall behind in card advantage, while letting us surprise our opponent with the nabbed card. Getting a cheap DenyDeny or free QuietusQuietus lets us disrupt our opponent’s win conditions while advancing our own at a very cheap mana cost. Playing Warning ShotWarning Shot followed by Black Market MerchantBlack Market Merchant on round two lets us progress our champion level-ups while getting an added benefit from doing so on that round. And the mana discount stacks: we can make the same play on round four and play a second merchant, so that our second card is discounted by two mana.

Our ability to Nab is made even more consistent with Yordle GrifterYordle Grifter. Although this card doesn’t have a Plunder effect itself, it can generate Warning ShotWarning Shots for us that help trigger our Jagged ButcherJagged Butchers and Black Market MerchantBlack Market Merchants. It also Nabs as part of his allegiance effect, giving us an extra card when we play him. This effect is made stronger when we have a Black Market MerchantBlack Market Merchant on board, since the discount applies to the card nabbed by Yordle GrifterYordle Grifter as well. 

With the old favorites out of the way, let’s talk about the newest members of the crew.


Tentacles and Weapons

Riptide Sermon Eye of Nagakabouros Piltovan Castaway


TentacleTentacles have had a large impact on the meta, though not in the way we expected. Specific cards in the TentacleTentacle package are good enough to be splashed in a variety of Bilgewater decks – even without IllaoiIllaoi, sadly. This new version of Plunder among those decks, with the TentacleTentacle cards reviving this archetype once more.

In older Plunder versions, draw was sorely lacking, having only the Nab cards and maybe a copy of SalvageSalvage. This new version, however, runs three copies of Eye of NagakabourosEye of Nagakabouros, which gives us a very powerful draw tool. Not only does this card give us the legs to continue threatening our opponent in the late game, it also synergises with the Nexus-damaging part of our gameplan: playing Eye of NagakabourosEye of Nagakabouros at Burst speed gives us an extra attacker that can threaten Nexus damage. This was not possible in older versions, as the deck did not feature Burst units at the time.

The other TentacleTentacle card we are running is Riptide SermonRiptide Sermon. This card has made a splash in the meta by being an efficient answer to four-health threats such as GwenGwen and ViktorViktor, giving us a 3/3 body, and on top of that dealing two damage to the enemy Nexus. This card truly does it all, and in our deck is yet another way to trigger Plunder and level up our champions. Being able to remove key units while developing our board and contributing to our game plan is simply too good of an effect in this deck – against decks that play GwenGwen or HeimerdingerHeimerdinger, it is correct to keep this card in the mulligan as it will deal with these Champions and give us a Plunder trigger. 

Although both Riptide SermonRiptide Sermon and Eye of NagakabourosEye of Nagakabouros are expensive at six and five mana respectively, we can play them when we need to due to our inclusion of Attune units. We run Shellshocker Shellshocker for this very reason: giving us one mana back can be vital to killing a key unit on round four via Riptide SermonRiptide Sermon.

Piltovan CastawayPiltovan Castaway is another Attune unit that lets us plan out and play our Tentacle spells on future rounds. It also has the added benefit of improvising equipment, which can be very useful due to the flexibility in the choices we are offered. Giving Scout to our Champions is often game-winning, while giving Impact to a unit helps us damage the Nexus through blockers. Additionally, Plunder had no suitable three-drops until now, thus making Piltovan CastawayPiltovan Castaway a welcome addition to fill up our curve.

With all members of our crew accounted for, let’s discuss the captains at the helm.


The Captains

Gangplank Sejuani The Dreadway

GangplankGangplank and SejuaniSejuani have the same level up condition: damage the enemy Nexus over five different rounds. Our entire deck is built to make this happen as fast as possible. It is not rare to have our Champions flipped on round six or seven, ready to take control over the game.

We almost always want to play GangplankGangplank after he has leveled up, as he is otherwise just an Overwhelm unit that summons a Powder KegPowder Keg. We only want to play him unleveled when we have a lot of pressure on board, and are looking to close out the game on the round we play him, or on our next attack token. In contrast, SejuaniSejuani can come down unleveled due to her potent play effect: Frostbiting a unit and giving it Vulnerable lets us remove it for free, letting us set up favorable trades. Both champions having Overwhelm also lets them contribute to their own level-up conditions by damaging the Nexus through blockers.

Gangplank (level 2) Powder Keg Powderful Explosion

Once both of our champions are leveled up, we take control of the game. Gangplank (level 2)Gangplank (level 2) summons a Powder KegPowder Keg at Round Start which, in combination with his Powderful ExplosionPowderful Explosion attack ability, deals two damage to everything on the enemy side. This helps us clear the opposing units while making way for Gangplank (level 2)Gangplank (level 2)’s Overwhelm. If the opponent tries to remove our key threat and weaken our attack, we can use a Make it RainMake it Rain or Warning ShotWarning Shot in response and take advantage of the Powder KegPowder Keg

Gangplank (level 2)Gangplank (level 2) synergises phenomenally with Sejuani (level 2)Sejuani (level 2). Sejuani’s level-up effect lets her freeze the enemy board when we damage the enemy Nexus. In combination with Gangplank (level 2)Gangplank (level 2)’s attack skill, we can freeze the board when we declare our attack, letting us kill the enemy units at no cost of our own board. We can also take advantage of Sejuani (level 2)Sejuani (level 2)’s effect on defense, using Warning ShotWarning Shots, Make it RainMake it Rains and other pings to freeze the board and swing an enemy attack in our favor, or prevent it entirely.

Playing both champions one after another is often enough to close out the game – they are too difficult to kill one after another due to their high Health, as well as the devastating effects they have attached to their Level 2 forms.

If both of these heavy-hitters are unable to close out the game, we also play one copy of The DreadwayThe Dreadway to double all our damage and secure the victory. With The DreadwayThe Dreadway on the board, we also double our burn, dealing a minimum of two damage with our Warning ShotWarning Shots and Make it RainMake it Rains. This can help us find Burst lethals when our opponent attempts to remove The DreadwayThe Dreadway immediately after it is played: having a Powder KegPowder Keg on board with The DreadwayThe Dreadway results in a single Warning ShotWarning Shot dealing four damage, wiping out one-fifth of the opponent’s Nexus. 

If the opponent still manages to hold on for dear life after we play The DreadwayThe Dreadway and we use our burn, The DreadwayThe Dreadway draws us a copy of GangplankGangplank that should finish the game with the captain at helm.


Tech Choices

Although this is a fairly standard Plunder list, there are some cards that could be teched in depending on the decks you run into.

Zap Sprayfin

Zap SprayfinZap Sprayfin was a staple in previous versions, being an Elusive that can easily damage the Nexus, and drawing us a spell that does the same. She can also be played in the late game with Sejuani (level 2)Sejuani (level 2) on board to draw a ping that will freeze the enemy board. This card is a bit too slow in the current meta due to the presence of Pirates, and Shadow Isles decks like Evelynn Viego packing Hate SpikeHate Spike, which can remove Zap for one mana, but is still a consideration in midrange matchups.

Ice Shard

Ice ShardIce Shard is another spell that pings the enemy Nexus. It also synergises with Powder KegPowder Kegs by dealing two damage to everything on the board. It can be yet another way to activate our Plunder and Nexus-damaging synergies. I personally do not like it as it can kill off our weaker units as well, reducing the amount of damage we can push when we have the attack token. And although it can make aggro matchups better, we already have a good aggro matchup due to the amount of pings we run and our numerous one- and two-drops. If you feel like you need some extra pings, however, this is the card for you.

Twisted Fate

Twisted FateTwisted Fate is another consideration. His Red CardRed Card can deal with wide boards and pings the enemy nexus. His Gold CardGold Card can stun a large attacker, and his Blue CardBlue Card gives us an extra card and mana for our TentacleTentacle spells. He synergises extremely well in this deck and two copies of him can be played for two copies of GangplankGangplank.


LoR Deck Plunder: Mulligan

Jagged Butcher Shellshocker

We want a one-drop to play on round one to start getting the level-up triggers as soon as possible. Jagged ButcherJagged Butcher or Shellshocker Shellshocker do the trick and are important for early pressure. 

Parrrley Marai Warden

Marai WardenMarai Warden is also a good keep, especially if we are attacking on round two, as it continues pressuring our opponent following our one-drop. If we are against an aggro matchup or a deck where we know that the opponent will play a one-drop, ParrrleyParrrley is a consideration for an easy round one level-up trigger. 

Yordle Grifter Black Market Merchant

Yordle GrifterYordle Grifter is often a keep as it gives us a solid round four play that can guarantee a level-up trigger (please hit Allegiance!) when played. Black Market MerchantBlack Market Merchant is also a consideration if we know that we are going to Plunder in round two.

Sejuani

Generally we do not keep champions in our mulligan unless we know the game is going to go late, or we know that we can level up our champions and play them flipped. Even then, I would only keep SejuaniSejuani due to her board-lock potential and her ability to remove a unit. GangplankGangplank often feels lackluster when played unleveled, and SejuaniSejuani is better in most situations.


LoR Deck Plunder: Matchups

Heimerdinger Norra – favored

Norra Heimerdinger Vengeance

Mulligan: Jagged ButcherJagged Butcher Marai WardenMarai Warden Riptide SermonRiptide Sermon Yordle GrifterYordle Grifter 

This matchup is quite good for us, especially considering the amount of removal the deck runs in VengeanceVengeance and CrumbleCrumble using Shadow Isles TellstonesShadow Isles Tellstones. Average matchup data shows Plunder as slightly favored (around 51%), but in my opinion it is easy to win much more often if we change our playstyle to counter Heimerdinger Norra’s strengths. For instance, targeting all ParrrleyParrrleys directly to face is very powerful in this matchup, to prevent the opponent from sacrificing their own units proactively and preventing our plunder triggers.

We want to pressure the board early using Jagged ButcherJagged Butcher and Marai WardenMarai Warden to push as much damage as we can. Once the opponent is able to go wide and put Mysterious PortalMysterious Portals in their deck, it becomes much harder to get level-up triggers and push damage without our champions.

We keep Yordle GrifterYordle Grifter to create a Warning ShotWarning Shot in hand for us to use for level up progress or to shut down the opponents’ wide boards, which are usually buffed up with Sneezy Biggledust!Sneezy Biggledust!. Yordle GrifterYordle Grifter can also nab QuietusQuietus and VengeanceVengeance, which is very good against both their champions. Riptide SermonRiptide Sermon can often be directed at NorraNorra to stop her from putting Portals in their deck, especially since we can use Sejuani on round six to take care of a HeimerdingerHeimerdinger that came into play a round earlier. 

Having multiple champions in hand is great for this matchup, as they only have so much removal before one of our leveled champions sticks on the board and ends the game.


Pirates – favored

Twisted Fate Miss Fortune Decimate

Mulligan: Make it RainMake it Rain Jagged ButcherJagged Butcher Riptide SermonRiptide Sermon Marai WardenMarai Warden

We want to mulligan low to the ground to match the Pirates player’s tempo. Most of our units can trade evenly into theirs, and we can deal with Fearsome units such as Precious PetPrecious Pet with Make it RainMake it Rains.

Riptide SermonRiptide Sermon is a keep as we often want to play it on round three or four to deal with Miss FortuneMiss Fortune, who can ping away our one-health units on attack and make it difficult for us to remain on board.

We also want to be careful to not play into a Twisted FateTwisted Fate's Red CardRed Card as it can remove all of our one-health blockers and let them deal damage to our Nexus using their units, bringing us into range of DecimateDecimate. Ideally, we want to trade into their board as much as possible so that they cannot finish us off with burn.

Gangplank (level 2)Gangplank (level 2) is very good in this matchup, as he can attack and delete the entirety of the enemy board since most of their units do not have more than two health. Sejuani (level 2)Sejuani (level 2) can freeze what is left of their board and make it very difficult for them to deal damage via units. Surviving the early game against Pirates almost guarantees a victory, especially when our champions come down.


Kindred Nasus – favored

Kindred Hate Spike Nasus

Mulligan: Riptide SermonRiptide Sermon Jagged ButcherJagged Butcher Yordle GrifterYordle Grifter Black Market MerchantBlack Market Merchant

In my experience Plunder can have a hard time winning this matchup, even though the data says otherwise (Plunder has a 63% win-rate against Kindred Nasus in Masters). In my own experience, one of the easy mistakes to make is to undervalue their champions and their ability to stop ParrrleyParrrleys and level-up triggers. This is another matchup where we want to ParrrleyParrrley face, to prevent reactive slays using Glimpse BeyondGlimpse Beyond and Hate SpikeHate Spike. Without adapting to this matchup, the deck will perform much worse than the data suggests, so make sure to play around the Shadow Isles self-sacrifice spells and removal. 

Kindred Nasus is able to trade into us and thin our board, while having the payoff of NasusNasus to end the game. It is essential that we have Riptide SermonRiptide Sermon on round four to deal with KindredKindred, as otherwise they can start killing off our board for free. KindredKindred also starts growing once leveled up, making them impossible to remove. 

As with any matchup, we want to try and level our champions as soon as possible and bring the enemy Nexus as low as possible before Nasus comes into play. Black Market MerchantBlack Market Merchant and Yordle GrifterYordle Grifter can Nab key cards like Rite of NegationRite of Negation and CrumbleCrumble, which we can use to stop AtrocityAtrocity or remove a huge NasusNasus. Sejuani (level 2)Sejuani (level 2) plays a vital role in this matchup as she can freeze NasusNasus over and over again, preventing the enemy AtrocityAtrocity and rendering him useless. This is quite a champion-centric matchup – making sure that the enemy champions do not run away with the game is our primary win condition.


Mirror – even (becomes favored after reading this guide, of course!)

Sejuani Gangplank Warning Shot

Mulligan: SejuaniSejuani Yordle GrifterYordle Grifter Jagged ButcherJagged Butcher Marai WardenMarai Warden 

In the mirror, SejuaniSejuani is the most important card and we want her in our hand by round six. Whoever is able to level her up and play her is able to achieve the board-lock and win the game. We want to use our early-game units like Jagged ButcherJagged Butcher, Marai WardenMarai Warden and Yordle GrifterYordle Grifter to level up SejuaniSejuani as soon as possible and use her to take control of the game.

Gangplank (level 2)Gangplank (level 2) is not as important: although his Level 2 attack skill can weaken the board, a Sejuani (level 2)Sejuani (level 2) on our side can freeze the enemy board and remove him for free. It is also important to keep an early curve to ensure that they do not get free level-up progression by attacking with their units. At the very least, we want to ensure that we stall their champions’ level up, even if we cannot advance ours. 

The DreadwayThe Dreadway is another mirror ender as there is no good way to remove this card in this matchup, and the double damage combined with our champions’ Overwhelm is often enough to end a game.


Conclusion

Plunder is an old archetype that, with the introduction of TentacleTentacles, has returned as one of the best LoR decks, both for the Ranked ladder or for Tournaments & Gauntlets. When accompanied with the two midrange rulers in the game, Plunder is an exceptional choice as it can turbo-level its champs while disrupting the opponent’s game plan.

I hope you enjoyed this guide and until next time, see you plundering across the seas of Runeterra.



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