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Mono Shurima: a Deck Guide

This patch brought back Mono-Shurima with a vengeance! Learn all about the power of the sun disc and the vast desert from Hydroflare.

Hello, my fellow Runeterrans. How vast is the Shuriman Desert? That’s the question I intend to answer today. So if you enjoy Emperors and traitors to said Emperor then man do I have a deck for you! Azir and Xerath might hate each other in the lore and game but oh boy do they combo well together in this deck.

But enough of the lore recap, one of the main reasons why AzirAzir XerathXerath Mono Shurima has been seen everywhere is because of the change to AzirAzir. As of the patch, he now counts landmarks and units for his level-up condition. Shurima has always functioned well with landmarks, a few examples being Shaped StoneShaped Stone and Rite of the ArcaneRite of the Arcane. With the addition of Xerath to help ping down units and to control the state of the board, you have a winning strategy. Let's crack into the deck guide!

Regions
Shurima
40 cards
Rarities
27 500
champion
6
epic
3
rare
14
common
17
Mana cost
0
0
7
1
8
2
17
3
8
4
0
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Azir
3
Azir
4
Xerath
3
Xerath
Landmarks
7
1
Ancient Preparations
3
Ancient Preparations
1
Buried Sun Disc
1
Buried Sun Disc
2
Preservarium
3
Preservarium
Followers
14
1
Treasure Seeker
3
Treasure Seeker
2
Rock Hopper
3
Rock Hopper
2
Soothsayer
2
Soothsayer
3
Endless Devout
3
Endless Devout
4
Golden Ambassador
3
Golden Ambassador
Spells
13
3
Ancient Hourglass
2
Ancient Hourglass
3
Quicksand
3
Quicksand
3
Rite of the Arcane
3
Rite of the Arcane
3
Unraveled Earth
3
Unraveled Earth
4
Rite of Negation
2
Rite of Negation
Open deck in builder


Win Conditions

Basically, you want to turbo-level your champions to level three as fast as humanly possible. Once that happens your deck is transformed into the Emperor’s Deck and your remaining cards are replaced with overtuned cards that usually win you the game in a few turns.

Now obviously the deck is a bit vulnerable because you play a single copy of Buried Sun DiscBuried Sun Disc. The other game plan is to just tempo them out with a midrange game plan involving Endless DevoutEndless Devout and friends. People often think that if they can immediately destroy your initial Buried Sun DiscBuried Sun Disc that the game is over for you. On the contrary, this list is prepared for it.

Azir Xerath

Functionally, you want to play landmarks and/or units to level them both. Azir levels from units and landmarks coming into play and Xerath levels from the latter being destroyed. Unraveled EarthUnraveled Earth is an all-star leveling both of your champions while also helping to control the board due to it giving opposing units Vulnerable. Rock HopperRock Hopper serves a similar purpose by providing a unit and vulnerability to their units. It’s basically a removal spell in the deck.

Soothsayer

SoothsayerSoothsayer serves multiple purposes for us. It gives us an early blocker vs aggro, gives your champions spellshield, and helps make your lone sun-disc harder to crack. Also, note that it’s a come into play ability so you can reset spellshield with Ancient HourglassAncient Hourglass

 Rite of the Arcane

Rite of the ArcaneRite of the Arcane is simply just a good removal in our deck that can work well with destroying landmarks. Don’t be afraid to lose a mana crystal in a pinch if you need something to die on the spot and don’t/can’t lose a landmark.

Endless Devout

Endless DevoutEndless Devout is just a solid unit that you can trade a Vulnerable enemy unit with, turning into a  SarcophagusSarcophagus, another landmark that synergizes with our deck. Speaking of which, comboing SarcophagusSarcophagus with Rite of the ArcaneRite of the Arcane is excellent to kill a unit and get a 5/3 Fearsome follower. 

Quicksand

QuicksandQuicksand is the best combat trick in the game currently. The ability to give a single unit -4/0 and it loses all its beneficial abilities or does the same with two units is very powerful and not to be overlooked. A good example is completely depowering an opposing ViktorViktor when it attacks with AmbushAmbush or taking away Overwhelm from a Wounded WhiteflameWounded Whiteflame

Ancient Preparations

Ancient PreparationsAncient Preparations is by far the best turn one play you can do. It Predicts, provides a landmark for both XerathXerath and AzirAzir triggers, and gives you a 2/2. It’s an auto keep in almost every single hand.

Golden Ambassador

Golden AmbassadorGolden Ambassador is simply a way to immediately draw a champion if you don’t have one in hand. It also gives it +2/+2 and can function as a blocker for units with Fearsome.


Mulligan

Most mulligans will just consist of us looking for our early game. While we don’t necessarily need to reach level three champions and the emperor deck, it is the ideal situation for us.

Early Game >>>

Azir >> Ancient Preparations >> Rock Hopper >> Soothsayer

Generally, you want to play Ancient PreparationsAncient Preparations on turn one as it ensures two counts for AzirAzir and helps to shape your hand out. Rock HopperRock Hopper is the best thing to play on turn two because it allows you to tempo as well as level your champions. The exception to this rule is if your opponent has a relevant unit or champion that you want to give Vulnerability to. SoothsayerSoothsayer is solid on turn two because it protects Buried Sun DiscBuried Sun Disc, is generally good into aggro, and as previously stated can be reset to protect your champions with Ancient HourglassAncient Hourglass.

With an early game secured, the next main card we are looking for is XerathXerath. This champ helps to control the board and is just a solidly statted unit that is part of leveling the Buried Sun DiscBuried Sun Disc and generates value by landmarks being destroyed. It’s very good in matchups where we need to trim the board such as versus the various Yordles in Arms Yordles in Arms decks. By having him in play with landmarks being destroyed, he keeps the spell from being a major issue. 


Matchups

Riven Viktor (30/70) - Unfavored

Ambush Viktor

Unfortunately, our deck is soft to AmbushAmbush due to us not having a great way to deal with Elusives outside of QuicksandQuicksand. That being said, you want to mulligan for QuicksandQuicksand, Rock HopperRock Hopper, and Endless DevoutEndless Devout

The idea is that you can force them to play awkwardly due to not wanting their relevant units to have Vulnerable. This allows us to interact with their combo pieces and attempt to not get overpowered. If you can make it to the late game the interaction of the level three champions will pull you through.

Caitlyn Ezreal (60/40) - Favored

Caitlyn Ezreal Scorched Earth

In this match, you want to mulligan for Rock HopperRock Hopper, Ancient PreparationsAncient Preparations, and Endless DevoutEndless Devout

If you have the attack token on even, then you want to go for SoothsayerSoothsayer asap. If your opponent has the attack token on odd turns, then they can just bank mana and Scorched EarthScorched Earth on turn two if they have it. Your gameplan is to go wide and to generate value through giving their champions Vulnerable and through QuicksandQuicksand. CaitlynCaitlyn and EzrealEzreal do not block well if their keywords are taken away and they are given -2/0 or -4/0. 

Aurelion Sol Ramp (55/45) - Slightly Favored

Aurelion Sol

This matchup is odd due to the interaction of Targon's Peak. If you don’t have any experience playing against the deck then allow me to summarize it. Sometimes they play Targon's Peak, hit one of their big spells like Aurelion SolAurelion Sol, Feel The RushFeel The Rush, or She Who WandersShe Who Wanders, and you just lose on the spot. Other times they hit nothing relevant and the archetype does nothing. So when you play against the deck you just want to go wide against them as they usually only have one or two units/champions in play. Mulligan for your champions, and then units that can Ascend them as quickly as possible, like Rock HopperRock Hopper or Endless DevoutEndless Devout

Ancient PreparationsAncient Preparations, AzirAzir, and Rite of NegationRite of Negation are the other big cards. They don’t have a meaningful way to interact with AzirAzir outside of Falling CometFalling Comet – a Celestial card they first need to Invoke –  or She Who WandersShe Who Wanders. He levels rapidly and applies pressure. 

Ancient PreparationsAncient Preparations is the best one drop in your deck. It allows you to Predict, gets you a 2/2 unit, and triggers both of your champions. 

Rite of NegationRite of Negation is there to stop the early Feel The RushFeel The Rush and to stop it later when they can hard cast it. Overall a very winnable match. 

Aphelios Viktor (50/50) - Even

Aphelios Viktor Aftershock

Ancient PreparationsAncient Preparations, Rock HopperRock Hopper, SoothsayerSoothsayer are the cards to mulligan for. 

SoothsayerSoothsayer makes the celestial pool very awkward as they need to cast a spell and then cast a removal spell to deal with your champions. It also protects your Buried Sun DiscBuried Sun Disc from AftershockAftershock, a game-deciding play. 

You generally want to attempt to give their champions Vulnerable and remove them efficiently. This match is very winnable but can be a coin flip depending on what things the lists are playing as it is currently varied.

Lulu Fizz (60/40) - Favored

Lulu Fizz Yordles in Arms

In this match, your opponent is going to attempt to go wide and cast Yordles in Arms Yordles in Arms to pump their board and to trade profitably with yours. Therefore, we want to keep Rock HopperRock Hopper, XerathXerath, and Ancient PreparationsAncient Preparations

XerathXerath shines in this match as he allows you to trim down their units as several of them are x/1’s and his trigger will kill them. 

Overall this match is won by going wide while ascending, and relying on Rite of NegationRite of Negation to stop the Yordles in Arms Yordles in Arms from resolving.

Pantheon Yummi (60/40) - Favored

Pantheon Single Combat Cataclysm

In this match, you want to stall as long as you can, chump blocking their units until you can get the Emperor’s Deck with level three champions. QuicksandQuicksand, Ancient PreparationsAncient Preparations, and Rock HopperRock Hopper are the cards to mulligan for. Be aware that while QuicksandQuicksand removes Overwhelm, Tough, etc, it does not remove the Fated stats buff.

Don’t be afraid to go wide versus them as they usually only have two or three units in play at once. Do be careful of playing into Single CombatSingle Combat or CataclysmCataclysm to interact with your champions. So in essence don’t play them until they are leveled unless you have Ancient HourglassAncient Hourglass or Spellshield via SoothsayerSoothsayer. It’s winnable but it can be tough. 

Taliyah Ziggs (60/40) - Favored

Taliyah Ziggs

This midrange deck is similar to ours but we can go over the top of them. Our champions when leveled simply more valuable than theirs. They generally do not start getting aggressive until turn three.  This gives us quite a bit of time to set up our own game plan – finding our champions and Ascending them. 

Ancient PreparationsAncient Preparations, Unraveled EarthUnraveled Earth, and Rite of the ArcaneRite of the Arcane, all shine in this match. As in most of the midrange matches, you want to level your champions and get the Emperor’s Deck as soon as you can.

Don’t be afraid to give up a mana gem with Rite of the ArcaneRite of the Arcane to kill ZiggsZiggs. He is very relevant to their win condition. QuicksandQuicksand allows you to set up profitable blocks when they attack your board. Unraveled EarthUnraveled Earth as per usual draws you cards, gives their units/champions vulnerability, and levels your champions. QuicksandQuicksand is somewhat of a silver bullet against their The AbsolverThe Absolver turns as well, because it negates the spell.

Elise (Spiders) 60/40 - Favored

Elise Decimate

Blocking fearsome and soaking up damage with units is the name of the game here. You want to mulligan for Rock HopperRock Hopper, Endless DevoutEndless Devout, QuicksandQuicksand}, and XerathXerath. The ability of XerathXerath triggering to pick off their units is great, Rock HopperRock Hopper blocks Fearsome units and creates a landmark for XerathXerath, Endless DevoutEndless Devout is a unit they essentially have to kill twice, and QuicksandQuicksand eliminates the Fearsome keyword, makes their attacks awkward and can allow you to trade up on their attacks. 

The major issue is if they have a super aggressive opener, then they can just curve out and proceed to burn you out once you stabilize. You do have Rite of NegationRite of Negation, so don’t be afraid to use it to stop burn by sacrificing units.

Wrapping Up

This deck was considered to be Tier Zero on the first day of the patch. Now that things have begun to settle down, I think it’s simply a good Tier One deck. All of my stats were taken from www.lor-meta.com with complete credit being attributed to Balco.

Let me know if you have any questions! You can find me here:

Hydroflare#3356 on Discord



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