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“Ready for a Test Drive?” – Air-Strike Rumble Deck Guide

Tomc, formerly a sergeant in the Dauntless Vanguard, has been the commanding officer of this elite Yordle strike unit for the past two seasons -- he shall do his best to guide you through this field inspection and help you assume command of the unit.

Welcome to Bandle City, my liege!

I, Tomc, formerly a sergeant in the Dauntless Vanguard, have been the commanding officer of this elite Yordle strike unit for the past two seasons. I shall do my best to guide you through this field inspection and help you assume command of our unit.

Let me start off with a brief status report on the war:

Lissandra has mobilized her Frostguard Thralls and is rampaging throughout the land. Legion Deserters have fled to the Shadow Isles, where they have banded up with the Spider queen and the Ruined king. The mists of Shadow Isles are at their heels and encroaching ever closer to our territory. And worst of all, there are rumors of a little Noxian pyromaniac having scorched the Bandle Tree itself!

The initial resistance of Bandle City has been pitiful. Bandle City Mayor is a senile old fool, no longer suited to lead the army. Fizz and Lulu’s juvenile antics are an embarrassment to themselves making it no wonder that the fighting spirit of Yordles in Arms has faltered, and they had no other recourse than to ask Demacia for help.

When I had first been deployed here by the crown – after our wise King graciously answered our Yordle allies' desperate plea for help – , I admit to having grave doubts about the success of my operation. But as I learned their strange ways and started to forge my strategy around them, I realized they are not much different from the Vanguard. Today, I am honored to stand shoulder-to-shoulder across the field with our Yordle allies, our mettle strengthened and our resolve intact, crushing foes under our combined charge.

Before I take you through our camp, I ask you to keep an open mind. Some of their weird ways may not comply with standard Demacian army protocol, but I assure you, my liege, I have trained our Yordle allies into a cohesive unit that takes advantage of their individual quirks.

10 cards
30 cards
26 300
Mana cost
Yordle Squire
Bandle Commando
Bomber Twins
Grandfather Fae
Petricite Broadwing
Bandle City Mayor
Gleaming Lantern
Vanguard Sergeant
Fae Sprout
Field Promotion
Pokey Stick
Golden Aegis
Yordles in Arms
Treasured Trash

A Two-Pronged Attack – Basic Gameplay Strategy

Air-Strike Rumble

Rumble (3x) – As I’m sure you are aware, most Yordles are able to travel the worlds. Rumble here, has reportedly visited the far-off lands, where he has studied their advanced army manuals called “anime”. He’s obsessively tried to replicate something called “Mecha”. I don’t understand half of what he does, but he seems damn effective at it.

The Impact of his machine is great, and the swiftness of his attack is also commendable, but where his invention shines is the Spellshield it is able to generate.

I will not sugarcoat it, my liege – forces of Bandle City are not able to fight man-to-man with most of the opposition, so we must strike with full force without giving the enemy many opportunities to undercut our attack. We are executing an aggressive strategy that doesn’t try to beat the other army at their own game, but tries to impose our will on them with a few well-placed attacks that cannot easily be stopped. Rumble is our best chance at that, so we are doing everything to accommodate his style, even discarding our other units in the heat of battle if need be. He is one of the soldiers I’m keeping an eye on for a potential promotion.

But it turns out, Rumble is not enough by himself. I have looked far and wide and came upon an ancient haiku, attributed to the famous western poet XxWhatAmIxX himself:

“To win a battle

have Elusive Rainbowfish

carry your soldiers”.

Rainbowfish (3x) – Attach this Elusive creature to a Spellshielded ally, and our attack truly becomes nigh-unstoppable.

They are such loyal creatures as well! If its ally is not totally Obliterated, but is merely defeated or Recalled, Rainbowish will return, immediately ready for its next redeployment. This makes it a cornerstone of our main strategy and a prime candidate for a Field Promotion.

Field Promotion (3x) – Excuse my negligence, I should have explained this first. As it is standard practice in our own Demacian army, a soldier that is deployed into battle may be awarded a special badge, marking them out as a Scout.

As said, Rainbowfish is a prime candidate for that spot, as it can be continuously redeployed on scouting missions, but Rumble will also do just fine in most cases. Following the chain of command, any unit that Rainbowfish is attached to will also have the privileges of a Scout and therefore be able to strike at the opponent twice instead of once in a single Round.

Fill the Ranks and Charge!

Now, I’ve shown you our elite units, but there is a carefully chosen support staff that keeps this entire army unit running. The common foot-soldier should never be overlooked! I myself have done my time in the muddy trenches of war and will return there when called upon. We are the silent force that keeps the enemy at bay while the Air-Strike is being prepared, but our own charge is also not to be underestimated! When I cry “For Demacia!” or the Yordles in Arms from all around the world join forces, we can punch far above our weight class. And if we manage that with our ranks fully filled, we can often find cracks in the enemy's defense and deal decisive damage, resulting in our victory.

But let me save my inspiring speeches for the actual battle. Right this way, my liege, it’s time for weapons inspection.

Teemo (3x): That one over there, doing target practice with a blowgun is Teemo. Apparently, he is called the Swift Scout of Bandle City. When he had heard I was giving away actual scout badges, he would not let himself get turned away.

Surprisingly, he serves his role admirably... As bait, that is.

Over time, he is able to do some damage if left unchecked, so an enemy that is unfamiliar with our primary strategy will often throw resources, such as Sharpsight, at him to stop his annoying poking. This in turn means that the enemy will leave themselves open to our actual threats.

Oh, and also, his upbeat attitude seems good for morale, lifting the spirits of all Yordles in Arms . Please, don’t make him sad by revealing to him that it is not in my plans to ever grant him the Scout badge, except in the most hopeless of circumstances.

Yordle Squire (3x) – The one over there lying exhausted between the Tiny Shield and Tiny Spear is Yordle Squire. She is so weak, she can only ever bring one weapon to the field and fusses over which one she should take constantly.

In most cases, it really doesn’t matter, as Rumble will just use either for scrap metal to build his Mech. But when it matters, it really matters. In my opinion, it is an even split between the two. An additional spear can help with decisive swings, while the shield is often used by Petricite Broadwing to remove opposing key units from battle.

Petricite Broadwing (2x) – Speaking of these fascinating living statues, these two have flown me here from Demacia. They are basically our only way of proactively going after the enemy’s threats, so they must be used wisely.

Grandfather Fae (3x) – In my long-standing career in the military, I have led countless different soldiers into battle. I know how to adjust my leadership to suit the particular group of soldiers and build the best army unit out of them.

But Hungry Owlcat?!

There is a reason “like herding cats” is a saying in Demacia, and I am just not up to this task. Thankfully, some of the veterans are still familiar with this traditional Bandle army tactics, so Grandfather Faes are an invaluable asset for preparing the Hungry Owlcat to either plug any holes in our trenches or even be carried off by Rainbowfish if Rumble’s Mech starts failing.

Bandle Commando (1x) – She is basically a Grandfather Fae in training. Not as good, but we are unable to get ahold of more than three veterans at the same time.

Pokey Stick (1x) – Hey! Who let this stick lying around?

I am terribly sorry, my liege. I swear I shall find and reprimand the careless soldier. But please don’t go throwing it away now, it might just come flying back. Well, I’m not sure how it works exactly, but I’ve heard it said that it can’t be that bad of a weapon since “it cycles itself”, whatever Yordles mean by that.

Bomber Twins (3x) – It was you two, wasn’t it? Always leaving trash around… If the other Yordles in Arms and Rumble weren’t so fond of you, I’d kick you out this instant!

Excuse me, my Liege... as I said, maintaining proper Demacian discipline is a never ending job with our allies. The twins can sometimes find something useful, such as a Preservarium or a Petricite Pillar, but most of the time, they produce total junk that can only be discarded.

I see your displeasure, my liege, but I can’t be too hard on them for picking up trash.

Treasured Trash (1x) – There have been countless times actual trash has saved this ragtag army before. If Rumble gets too greedy and we run out of units to deploy, my soldiers are not above rooting through Trash for answers, and believe me, the more short-staffed we are, the more I’m happy to see a big pile of potentially useful trash.

Anyways, it’s getting late.

Let’s leave the common foot soldiers behind, and move ourselves to the command tent that is much better lit.

Gleaming Lantern (3x) – Ah, I see the room is well lit by the Lanterns. These mysterious Fae really are wonderful. They attract all other Fae, thereby helping me fill our ranks in no time whatsoever. Few opponents are able to match the pace at which we can deploy our units and recover from casualties thanks to these creatures.

Fae Sprout (3x) - You can see new Fae’s sprouting near them already! We may not know what sort of Fae will grow out of that sprout, but almost none of them are unsuited for our army. An additional Rainbowfish can often help with the last push, while a Tasty Faefolk can help stabilize our position against a particularly aggressive enemy.

Bandle City Mayor (1x) – It seems that the major is making his token appearance tonight, waiting to greet you. His role has been effectively replaced by the Lanterns, and the poor guy hasn’t even noticed.

Well, in case the Lanterns are nowhere to be found, he can still do his job.

Vanguard Sergeant (2x) and Yordles in Arms (2x) – And that leaves us with me. I do my best to support Bandle City in every way I can.

Sometimes, the fighting spirit of Yordles in Arms is nowhere to be found, so I try my best to substitute it with my love For Demacia!. But I can also recognize when the common soldier has to step back and let the star shine. I harbor no hard feelings if my For Demacia! needs to be discarded so that Rumble can complete his Mech and deal decisive damage to the enemy.

Golden Aegis (3x) – And that is all, my liege. I have done my best to train the squad, but I am not worthy to carry the Golden Aegis, so I am honored to resign my command to you.

You alone can rally our forces for a decisive strike, and I have prepared everything to make such a strike as deadly as possible. If I may be so bold as to suggest some tactics, it would be best to rally the forces when the spirits are highest, before the effect of our warcry (For Demacia! or Yordles in Arms ) subsides.

Another option is to send our best aerial unit in for another attack (or two if the unit is a Scout) when the enemies least expect it.

Using Golden Aegis will often be our last attempt in a battle, either to score a decisive victory or to desperately try to save ourselves from defeat. This symbol is the final piece of this puzzle, connecting both the all-in Air-Strike and the go-wide strategies together.

The Frontline and the Reserves - A Brief Mulligan Guide

A peculiar quirk of our ragtag army is that there are no obvious soldiers that should either be deployed immediately or be left in reserve to swing the battle later on. Looking through our camp, we see that all of our assets can be utilized as soon as the fourth Round in our clashes with the enemy.

While this means that we can never be caught totally unprepared for early aggression, it also makes formulating an optimal deployment plan a very difficult process. I have no doubt, my liege, that the experience you will acquire shall be your best guide in these decisions, and your tactical prowess will soon outgrow mine.

Allow me, however, to give you some very general tips that will start you on the right path.

Firstly, consider your enemy.

Should we attack like a swarm, or build towards our Air-Strike strategy? We shall go over notes from my previous battles later, but keep in mind that adapting to the enemy supersedes any general advice.

Secondly, discern which strategy those nearest to you lean towards.

When the battle begins, you might find yourself surrounded by Bomber Twins, Rumble, Yordle Squire and Gleaming Lantern. Despite Gleaming Lantern receiving a glowing recommendation from me in every report, the situation you are presented with may demand that you put it in reserve and try to call forth a Rainbowfish to finish your already well-developing Air-Strike strategy.

Thirdly, when faced with doubt, trust the soldiers who have shown the most in the training camp. Sending Teemo in early is rarely a bad maneuver. Deploying Gleaming Lantern with any of her Fae friends at the ready is also rarely a losing strategy.

Notes From My Previous Battles - Matchup Overview

I have personally led this squad into battle nearly a hundred times last season (56% WR in Masters) and into almost twice as many fights this season (66% WR climbing to Diamond), but be that as it may, that is still not enough for an objective assessment of our strengths and weaknesses.

What I shall report to you now are my personal experiences battling different foes. Whenever I say "I want to rely on Rainbowfish", I mean that the entire Air-Strike strategy, includinge Field Promotion is considered.

Always consider who you want to deploy early, and who should be kept in reserve. In certain matchups, we can sacrifice everything for Rumble, as the opponent will never be able to answer him – but other times, you should first aim to build enough disposable materials before looking to build his Mech.

Jhinnie - Slightly Favored

Key cards: Yordle Squire, Petricite Broadwing

As any Demacian should, I strive to punish the evildoers. Have Yordle Squire carry her Tiny Shield into battle, and let Petricite Broadwing challenge those who want to burn Bandle City down.

Viego Noxus - Slightly Favored

Key cards: Grandfather Fae, Bomber Twins, Rainbowfish, Golden Aegis

The Noxus variant of Viego is able to flood the field early, so we prefer to work towards the Air-Strike win condition.

Bomber Twins can deal with Elise.

If they attempt to deal with our Spellshielded units, they will have to take two or sometimes even three shots at them. Most of the time, we can deploy new soldiers faster than they can deal with them. If they try to develop their own big threats, and not deal with ours, we will overwhelm them with our speed.

Viego Shurima - Slightly Favored

Key cards: Grandfather Fae, Gleaming Lantern

The Shurima variant of Viego is less adept at filling their ranks, so we try to execute both of our strategies in parallel. They also have a harder time removing Gleaming Lantern.

Due to Attach interactions, Quicksand is also particularly ineffective against us.

Thralls - Unfavored

Key cards: Teemo, Gleaming Lantern, Rumble, Rainbowfish

Our defenses are very poor, so once Lissandra summons her Frostguard Thralls and levels up, we quickly get overwhelmed. Racing them is difficult due to Flash Freeze stopping our primary strategy, and Blighted Ravine stopping our contingency plans.

Annie Ezreal and Caitlyn Ezreal - Favored

Key cards: Grandfather Fae, Rumble, Rainbowfish

Every time we present a Spellshielded threat, they need to spend two or three answers to deal with it. Combined with a promoted Rainbowfish that keeps on returning, they are eventually exhausted and are unable to defend themselves.

Heimerdinger Jayce - Even

Key cards: Grandfather Fae, Rumble, Rainbowfish

The plan of attack stays similar to the Annie Ezreal matchup, but the answers of Heimerdinger Jayce, sadly, line up better against our threats.

Pantheon - Slightly Unfavored

Key cards: Teemo, Gleaming Lantern, Yordles in Arms

Our Air-Strike strategy will not work against them.

The battle is more or less a race – avoid combat with enemy units to preserve yours for a decisive shoulder-to-shoulder charge. Only with the power of friendship and patriotism can we prevail: Yordles in Arms and For Demacia! are our keys to victory.

Bard Demacia and Poppy Taric - Very Unfavored

Key cards: Teemo, Gleaming Lantern

Our chaotic style might favor us against an enemy that relies on big clumsy soldiers and intricate magic to win, but against Demacia’s disciplined units we stand little chance. We have sparred several times with our homeland’s best and I'm proud to say we gave it all, but we were rarely able to break through the disciplined formations of the Vanguard or sneak through the well patrolled skies over Demacia.

Once again, Sharpsight is there to block our main win condition. Since the opponent can choose to pull our allies into one-on-one bouts, where we are disadvantaged, it gets difficult for us to keep our ranks filled for the decisive swing.

Bard Ionia - Slightly Unfavored

Key cards: Field Promotion, Rumble, Rainbowfish

This time, Bard brings his own Elusive blockers to deal with our Air-Strike strategy, while rapidly developing their own threats. A fully assembled Air-Strike combo can usually push through, but assembling all the pieces before being stonewalled or overwhelmed by the enemy can be a difficult task.

Sun Disc - Favored

Key cards: Field Promotion, Rumble, Rainbowfish

The Ascended of Shurima are powerful indeed, but they have no real weapon to stop our Air-Strike strategy. They might try to catch us in a Quicksand trap, but our Rainbowfish will just carry our soldiers right over it.

Feel the Rush - Favored

Key cards: Gleaming Lantern, Rainbowfish, Golden Aegis

Warriors of Freljord are far too slow for our nimble Yordle allies. Their best chance is to quickly summon She Who Wanders and obliterate our little friends, but we should be able to grasp the victory before that.

Participating in the Seasonal Tournament - Lineup Recommendation

As I am sure you have seen before, my liege, at the end of each season, the best commanders across Runeterra gather in one place, to participate in the Seasonal Tournament. Epic battles of three armies versus three are fought from dusk till dawn. We ourselves have been preparing for the grand event in hopes that you might be able to lead us there.

When choosing our other two allies, I recommend we band together with the rest of the forces of Demacia and Bandle City. Quinn’s well disciplined Scouts and Fizz’s guerilla Fae unit are closest to us in strategy, so our coordination should be perfect.

Closing Thoughts

There we have it! I now leave the command in your capable hands, my liege.

I know you had to stray a bit from the beaten path to get here, but as you can see, I have prepared the squad to the best of my abilities and I am certain they will do their best to serve you. You might not have the luxury of total Demacian discipline with these Yordles, but at least for a while, you should enjoy a much more powerful weapon of surprise on your side.

Give us a chance, and we will not disappoint!