Ashe LeBlanc is a fusion of two different concepts.
The LeBlanc package aims to deal high amounts of unit damage with their fragile bodies. That’s because they want to level LeBlanc ASAP, and trigger the Reputation cards Incisive Tactician and Whispered Words.
You hear the word Reputation for the first time because it’s a dead mechanic?
Let us help you out!
What’s the biggest weakness of the LeBlanc package?
Their frail bodies, dummy!
The Ashe package is trying to create favorable trades through Frostbiting enemy units. What’s their biggest strength? Protecting frail bodies! =)
The main power of this deck stems from Trifarian Assessor, though. Unit-centered archetypes tend to struggle with card advantage, and Trifarian Assessor allows us to refill our hand in an unfair way, often drawing us 3+ cards, especially when we developed Avarosan Hearthguard beforehand.
I've been aware of this archetype for a long time now, mainly due to Boky playing it on stream. When I saw Ashe, Avarosan Hearthguard , and Trifarian Assessor get buffed this patch, I decided it was time to play it myself.
Unnecessary to say, I enjoy playing the deck! =)
Personally, I find Ashe to be overvalued when it comes to keeping her alive.
If you manage to kill a unit with her Frostbite for free, but she gets blocked in the process and kills her blocker, that’s a two-for-one trade in our favor. I found myself seldomly leveling her, and I believe the buff to her level-up condition she received this patch isn’t that impactful.
On the other hand, I found LeBlanc to be incredibly valuable!
Her 5/2 Quick Attack body trades into almost everything, and it’s hard to kill her through combat alone. Her main drawback, besides out-of-combat removal like Mystic Shot, is getting chump blocked. But thanks to the Mirror Image she creates when leveling, LeBlanc is great at mitigating this weakness.
Mirror Image is the second MVC (most valuable card) of the deck.
Since the deck runs many powerful “when summoned” units, Mirror Image naturally synergizes well with the deck. It can draw you cards by copying Trifarian Assessor, buff your deck with Avarosan Hearthguard , or Rally with Incisive Tactician. Worst case, it creates a five-attack unit to swing with, similar to Waking Sands.
One card I found a little awkward is Avarosan Trapper. They shuffle a one-mana 5|5 Yeti on top of your deck, which is cool in the early game. But when you are in the mid- to late-game and need to top-deck a comeback card like Trifarian Assessor, playing Avarosan Trapper and shuffling a blank unit on top of your draw pile sucks.
Where the deck falls short is against the aforementioned out-of-combat removal. If there are no enemy units to create favorable trades with, Ashe Leblanc will struggle. Unfortunately, one of those decks, Twisted Fate Annie, is the most played archetype in the meta.
In general, Ashe LeBlanc doesn’t have many favorable matchups in the current meta. It can't deal with Nami TF’s Elusive units, struggles against Aphelios Zoe swarming the board, and Annie Jhin’s aggro playstyle.
It’s not that Ashe LeBlanc is a bad deck, it’s just that the meta doesn’t comply. The buffs to Ashe LeBlanc were beneficial (obviously), but nerfs to Demacia are, in a way, detrimental to our deck: we have very good matchups into them, so when Demacia is nerfed and its play rate decreases, the meta becomes a bit more hostile for the Black Rose and the Treasure Hunter.
Ashe LeBlanc thrives on creating favorable trades with costly enemy units, just like in most Demacia decks. With the absence of Demacian archetypes from the ladder comes an absence of positive WR numbers for Ashe LeBlanc.
Miss Fortune'sssss backkkk! Scouts have returned with some new cards!
As it turns out, Inspiring Light is a really good card in Scouts. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it for a moment: this is and always has been a deck that likes to go wide, especially in its current iterations (we were basically Demacia YiA for the last two seasons), so we're going to greatly benefit from a card that buffs our entire board. This is the current version of the deck:
Previously, like wayyyy back, we played Vanguard Bannerman to achieve the same effect, but the deck has evolved since then to better incorporate the go-wide playstyle. After we switched to Island Navigator from Grizzled Ranger we no longer had the necessary ratios for an Allegiance card and were forced to drop it despite the value it provided.
As odd as it may seem, a simple buff of +1/+1 bumps most of your units HP up to an awkward breakpoint. This makes it very difficult for your opponent to trade down the board effectively and efficiently.
We can capitalize on this with a For Demacia! to heal them all back up and force our opponent to block. Once they have no board left we can simply rally to finish them off!
Scouts has come a long way from the Miss Fortune combo deck it was in the past. It now has multiple avenues of attack, and different play patterns that are better depending on the situation. The key to doing well with this deck is understanding when Miss Fortune is your win condition, and when your win condition is a six-wide For Demacia!! rally turn.
Once you've identified which matchup is which, you can start to aggressively mulligan for the pieces you'll need. Not every matchup is one or the other, and sometimes you'll whiff on the ideal win-con for a matchup. When that happens you'll have to make due with what you have to try and close out the game.
I think Scouts is incredibly well positioned at the moment as it beats both Nami and Aphelios. I'm highly considering it for my own seasonal lineup this time around and would recommend you start practicing it now if you are as well.
There’s probably no soul that doesn’t know Azir Irelia.
No, I mean, seriously: no soul. I even asked my grandmother what Azir Irelia is, and she correctly responded it’s a spawn of hell.
Irelia’s buff was absolutely massive. Thanks to her Attune, we can play round two Emperor's Dais or Greenglade Duo into round three Irelia + Flawless Duet. This is a game-changer and the reason the archetype is so popular again.
Azir Irelia was the first thing I tested on (early) patch day since I was on the same hype train many were on. The deck was fun to play before the buff and is even more so after it.
The main problems I ran into are TF Annie and Annie Jhin. The twisted school girl seems to be the bane of the Shuriman Emperor and Ionian Dancer, and half of my games felt decided on the loading screen...
… although the other half of the games were fun and engaging though, for example against TF Nami or Jayce Heimerdinger SI.
Personally, I find the deck too ambivalent to enjoy playing on ladder, but in tournaments we can see the deck thrive (e.g. in the winning lineup of the GGtoor x MasteringRuneterra Cup).
If you want to learn the intricacies of Azir Irelia, check out my Premium in-depth guide (link)! =)
Azirelia is a deck I've been a huge fan of ever since it was created, and I'm thrilled that it's playable yet again.
The current list I've been on is a little bit different than the one I tried out last patch. With Irelia gaining Attune, you can afford to play more mana-intensive protection like Lead and Follow.
One card that has carried over from the last list is The Stagehand; providing ready access to a stun and an Ephemeral unit to beef up your Shadow Apprentices, Stagehand is a welcome addition to Azirelia.
The deck is really well positioned because it has excellent game into Ahri Bard, Bard Demacia, Nami, and whatever other Shurima deck you may encounter (Sun Disc and Viego both roll over for us).
If you can believe it, the list has become more aggressive in its latest iteration. I personally pilot the deck in a manner that prioritizes early elusive damage from Shadow Apprentice. As I'm playing the deck in this hyper-aggressive way, I'm often keeping hands full of one-drops. I'm not 100% certain this is correct but I have been having good success with the strategy. You can see me put this strategy into practice and kill my opponent on turn four here.
As you can see, the deck can do some nasty things. It's not every day you see a 16 damage swing on round four.
If you're a fan of aggressive tempo decks, Azirelia is definitely a list I would recommend picking up. Not only is it incredibly fun but it's a great deck to have in your back pocket for tournaments.
Pantheon Yuumi got dunked on this patch.
Brightsteel Protector lost the right to block Fearsome units, or survive pokes by a stick. Pantheon lost the ability to Scout ahead for his comrades. And most importantly, Zenith Blade’s Overwhelming impact isn’t permanent anymore.
Riot, what did you do to my ripped hero?
Pantheon Yuumi was my favorite deck. It was my go-to option when building a tournament lineup, and it was the light that let me know there were no monsters hiding in the dark so I could fall asleep. No, I couldn’t just abandon my pillar of goodwill and love in face of this calamity.
On ladder, the deck felt surprisingly good despite the nerfs. It still is incredibly efficient at growing Fated units while cycling cards to find Pantheon.
Zenith Blade is still a worthy inclusion in the deck, because it’s a self-replacing tool to activate Fated and progress Pantheon’s level-up condition. And the stat buffs Zenith Blade provides are permanent, so it still helps with keeping your Fated units alive.
But the Overhelm provided by Zenith Blade now being "Give" rather than "Grant" – therefore no longer being permanent – undoubtedly loses us games. We can’t open-attack with an Overwhelm unit, which makes us susceptible to Slow-speed stuns and Recalls like Arachnoid Sentry or Defiant Dance, and game-ending Slow-speed cards like Decimate or Blossoming Blade.
It is also impossible now to set up an open swing with a leveling Yuumi to protect your Overwhelm unit. If I had to put it in numbers, the nerf to Zenith Blade probably cost Pantheon Yuumi’s winrate around 4-5% points.
Does that mean Pantheon Yuumi is dead?
I don’t think so… yet. It will take some time to figure out where the archetype stands in the grand scheme of things, and in the current meta of TF Annie and Azir Irelia it’s unfavoured. But I still believe the deck has solid potential.
After all, Riot can nerf Pantheon Yuumi in this mortal card game realm, but it can’t nerf the Pantheon Yuumi in my heart.
Nami Fizz (BC)
So, I'm going to preface this by saying I don't think this is better than Nami SI, and I don't have a good reason to tell you to play it over Nami SI. If you're looking to add a hyper competitive list to your arsenal or you're trying to seriously grind the ladder then you should play the SI version.
With that out of the way – Nami Fizz BC is probably my favorite deck of all time. I have long felt that the deck could use a bit of burn as a way to finish off some games but did not trust Double Up to do the job. With the most recent patch we FINALLY got a Riptide Rex revert! Of course I immediately slammed him into the deck, and wouldn't you know it, it feels pretty good!
Between Rex and Treasured Trash, we have the top-end on lock. My previous versions had also cut Fleet Admiral Shelly in favor of Mind Meld, but with the meta shifting to its current state, and the addition of some powerful cards like Tentacle Smash, it's now more reliable to play for Shelly.
This deck did very well for me on the ladder – after the patch I played it exclusively from 0 to 250 LP going 31-16. That's a 65.96% win-rate! I hate quoting my personal records in articles since I feel it can be disingenuous at times but here I feel it's necessary to do so, so that I can show the deck has some legs.
You'll want to play this like any other Nami deck, prioritizing her level-up progress from rounds one through five. Once you've flipped your mermaid, you can begin to pop off with your buffs.
One thing that is very important for you to know when piloting this deck is when to trade – so you can solo-buff a Fizz – and when to prioritize keeping a wide board. A good rule of thumb for this is: Fizz is excellent against anything with removal (i.e. Noxus PnZ, SI Freljord).
This deck is a ton of fun and you will learn a thing or two about Nami's general play patterns. If you can't get Nami SI to click for you, consider using this deck as training wheels.
We hope you have enjoyed this Voyage as much as we did – and if you add any of these decks to your Ladder or Lineups choices, good luck out there!