Five decks to play in day 1 of Runeterra's Beyond the Bandlewood expansion

Source: Riot


The yordles are here! Patch 2.14 introduces the Beyond the Bandlewood expansion and Bandle City, the final region in Legends of Runeterra, as well as a plethora of powerful cards that make up the largest expansion the game has seen to date.


Here are five decks to try once the new cards drop Aug. 25!



Fizz Nami Elusives

Fizz Nami Elusives is an aggressive deck that aims to flood the board with Elusives and buff them with Nami and/or Fleet Admiral Shelly while simultaneously locking your opponent out of the game with the new Prank mechanic. It plays very similarly to old Fizz Twisted Fate, but makes use of cheap units to stabilize against early aggression and board buffs to close out games instead of using burn like Mystic Shot and Get Excited to achieve similar results. Warning Shot and Pokey Stick can serve as over-the-top burn in certain instances, but those situations should be a tad more rare than they were during the peak of TF Fizz. This deck should have solid matchups across the general field, with the main exception of Discard Aggro - though tough, that matchup should still be playable.


Mulligan guide

In the mulligan, look for all of your one drops, Kelp Maidens, and Trinket Trade. Keep Pokey Stick against the mirror and opposing aggro decks, as it will serve as acceptable removal against any 1 Health units they may have - the most notable of which being Daring Poro against Discard Aggro. Stress Defense is also considerable to keep if you feel like you will need the protection against a damage-based removal deck or would like access to a pseudo-Hush for an opposing unit (think Lee Sin), but only do this if your pre-mulligan hand is already strong. Also note that despite being a champion, keeping Nami will often be a mistake - you want to play her once you have already established your Elusive threats and have adequate mana for spells at your disposal, which will not be until later in the game.


How to play Nami Fizz Elusives

 When piloting this deck, try not to use your Pranks and the Tiny Spear/Tiny Shield created by Yordle Squire too proactively in the early game, as they serve as triggers to give Fizz Elusive on your attacks turns, grant Marai Songstress Elusive, and trigger Nami and Fleet Admiral Shelly’s buff effects. It is fine to use them liberally when you have spells like Warning Shot and Trinket Trade at your disposal, but if you do not, firing them off too early may end up being a losing play. Being more conservative with your Focus spells will also allow you to bank spell mana, which will result in Nami levelling up more efficiently.



Discard Aggro

Discard Aggro received a ton of new support in Beyond the Bandlewood. Fallen Rider is a great piece of discard fodder that will replace the mediocre Jury-Rig, while Reborn Grenadier is an extremely versatile unit that both serves as a discard outlet and discard fodder (though he is much better as fodder). Noble Rebel is also a serviceable Overwhelm unit that is cheaper and does not have as low of a power floor as Crowd Favorite; trading off an early board often results in Crowd Favorite having subpar stats, whereas you can attack in the early game with little repercussion when playing Rebel.


Mulligan guide

The mulligan for Discard Aggro can be somewhat tricky. In general, you are looking for your one-drops, Poro Cannon, Boom Baboon, House Spider, Draven, and at least one form of discard fodder. Always try and sculpt your hand in such a way where you have at least one form of discard fodder and a discard outlet to enable it. Also, do not keep Noble Rider, Jinx, or Augmented Experimenter - your early game pressure comes first.


How to play Discard Aggro

Despite these new additions, the deck should play similarly to how Discard Aggro has always been played in the past: swarm the board early, get a Vision buff if you can, and finish with a leveled up Jinx creating Rockets as your top-end and/or Get Excited dealing lethal burn damage. The inclusion of Boom Baboon should also make Fallen Rider an absolute menace, as you will be able to drag Fearsome blockers out of the way and allow Rider to hit the Nexus more reliably.



Bilgewater Go Hard

Senna’s introduction to Legends of Runeterra breathes new life into the old-school Bilgewater Go Hard strategy. If you have Senna on board, two copies of Go Hard in your hand, and have already resolved two Go Hards, Senna’s spell acceleration ability allows you to put both Go Hards on the stack; by doing so, the second Go Hard that resolves on the stack will transform into Pack Your Bags.


This means that you can cast Pack your Bags for two mana and at Fast speed, which is extremely powerful if you can pull it off and should end many games on the spot. The release of Marai Warden also further enables BW Go Hard to apply pressure by establishing an early board presence. This deck should perform well against Discard Aggro, so if you start frequently encountering it during this season, BW Go Hard should be a good meta call.


Mulligan guide

In the mulligan, look for Go Hard, Jagged Butcher, Marai Warden, and Zap Sprayfin. Keep Dreadway Deckhand, Twisted Fate, and Withering Wail against aggro. Twisted Fate should also be kept against decks that cannot easily remove him - this includes the mirror and most Targon decks. Finally, feel free to keep Commander Ledros against late-game control decks like Anivia, as you will almost undoubtedly need him to combat their healing and attempt to kill the opponent from near-full health.


How to play Go Hard

Generally speaking, try and get some chip damage in with your early units while casting Go Hards to work towards Pack Your Bags. Also, do not be afraid to take blocks; while your board presence does matter to a certain extent, all of your units save for Senna, Zap (if you have Chronicler of Ruin), and Twisted Fate (if he can realistically level up) are generally expendable. You will often end games with a Pack Your Bags clearing your opponent’s board, followed by a big attack with whatever units you were not forced to trade off against opposing threats.



Miss Fortune Poppy Scouts

Poppy’s introduction to Legends of Runeterra allows the traditional Scouts deck to explore more options in Bilgewater while persevering their access to board buffs - something that they used to rely on Vanguard Bannerman, Demacia’s Allegiance card, to accomplish. This is fantastic news, as it allows the strategy to make use of the underrated yet powerful Shellshocker, as well as the newly released Marai Warden. While this means Quinn must unfortunately be cut from the deck, Island Navigator serves as a decent replacement to her, and the deck should not struggle with accessing Scout units despite Quinn’s omission.


Mulligan guide

In the mulligan, the primary goal is to find Miss Fortune, as the deck becomes much weaker and admittedly quite mediocre if you do not have access to her on curve. Your one drops are keepable, as well as Brightsteel Protector if you have Fleetfeather Tracker and the attack token on 2, but everything else should be kicked in order to find your three-drop Champion. If you have Miss Fortune in your opening hand, Blinding Assault or a four-drop Scout unit then become keeps.


How to play MF/Poppy Scouts

Scouts is quite straightforward to play: simply play your units on curve, protect them as necessary with Ranger’s Resolve/Sharpsight/Riposte, and establish board presence with your well-statted units and Challengers in tandem with Miss Fortune’s skill. A levelled up Miss Fortune and/or one of your six-drops in combination with a Relentless Pursuit will often be how you end the game. If you’re a newer player or are coming back to the game after a brief hiatus, I would strongly recommend this deck due to it being one of the easier decks in the game to pilot to success.



Lulu Poppy

Lulu Poppy takes the already established Lulu Zed shell and trades Zed’s ability to apply early pressure for Poppy’s board buffs and increased sustenance. Unlike the other decks in this article, there is not really a ton to say here: simply play your threats on curve, buff them up accordingly with Young Witch/your Champions, and watch as your unblockable Elusive threats apply relentless pressure on your opponent.


Mulligan guide

In the mulligan, keep Fleetfeather Tracker, Inspiring Mentor, Greenglade Duo, Young Witch, and Lulu. If you have Tracker and the attack token on Turn 2, Brightsteel Protector is also a keep. Ranger’s Resolve, Sharpsight, and Twin Disciplines are also considerable keeps if your hand is already strong and you need the protection against opposing damage-based removal. Despite being a one-drop, I would advise against keeping Navori Bladescout (at least without Lulu); what you want to be doing with Bladescout is playing it on a later turn when you have the attack token or can use a Rally spell, then buff it to an attacking Elusive 4|4 or 5|5 with Lulu.


How to play Lulu Poppy

Note that when you attack with both of your champions at the same time, make sure Poppy is positioned to the right of Lulu, as that way you will set whatever Lulu is supporting to 4|4 or 5|5 while also gaining the +1|+1 from Poppy.

I hope you enjoy these five deck concepts! I understand four of them were aggro strategies, but I expect aggro to be dominant in the early stages of the 2.14 metagame. Additionally, the introduction of Aloof Travelers and Pranks (especially the latter given how easy they are to access) makes me believe that control decks will be quite weak, as I am under the impression that they simply cannot function when their removal spells become overcosted.

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