This is the deck i started building at the end of preview patch 1 and played for the majority of preview patch 2. I am planning to start the beta of with this deck and see how far up the ladder it will take me. The deck plays like a regular aggressive midrange deck but with some buff elements to it.

The only win rate i can show are the games that got recorded by the mobalytics deck tracker: 70W / 9L (89%). Think these were the games i played during day 4 and 5 however i played a total of over 200 games with this deck during the second preview patch and every portion I’ve reviewed of the vods have been between 80-100% win rate so it’s safe to assume i had at least 85% WR over 200+ games.

I was hoping they would release a top list of preview patch 2 as they did with the first one to see if I made it but unfortunately it never happened.

Been on and off whether i should share this deck or keep abusing it in the shadows a while longer but here goes.

Pros and Cons



Can high roll hard for free wins

Multiple win conditions

Lots of elusive bois

Doesn’t run out of steam quickly


Uses the maximum amount of champions possible from starting decks (4)

Good for day 1

Hipster, played 200+ games and 0 mirror matches

Fun to play


Almost no way to interact with opponents board

Few spells so less forgiving playing off curve

Can get run over by hyper aggro


How i usually go about deckbuilding and deck optimization is playing a bunch of games and start changing once i lose a lot or feel a card is underperforming multiple times. However i never really started losing with this deck in preview patch patch 2 so made little to no changes at all during the test period. That doesn’t mean this list doesn’t have room for improvement, there are still multiple cards i need to play around with before im comfortable saying that but i’ll talk more about possible changes further down.

These are the changes i made to the list after analyzing vods of my gameplay and theorycrafting further:

-1 The Empyrean +1 Navori Highwayman

-1 Twin Disciplines +1 Elixir Of Iron

If you want the card by card list i played in preview patch 2 just revert these changes.

Deck and card explanation

The deck is made up of 4 components:

Buff cards (9 total)

Omen Hawk (x3) – Most of the times the best turn 1 play, with so many good buff targets this card is bonkers.

Inspiring Mentor (x3) – Best turn 1 play if Zed is in hand. Buff priority Zed -> Braum -> Navori Highwayman -> Cheap elusive minion -> Cheap minion -> Expensive elusive snek -> Expensive minion. Buff priority will always vary from game to game but use this as a default.

Avarosan Hearthguard (x3) – I know most people think this card is very meh in the typical mid or control deck, and i would agree with them. It’s very slow and just getting +1/+1 on an average minion that you have to draw and play later isn’t all too powerful….. unless you have a minion heavy deck that’s full of good buff targets, then it is super nuts. Deck enabling and the biggest reason the deck is what it is.

Note that it is looking like he will go down from a 5/6 to a 5/5. This deck performing so well and other similar decks might have been part of the reason why, as he wasn’t all too powerful in most decks he was played in. This will be a minor blow to the power level of the deck but it’s such a minor nerf that the deck will still be more than fine.

Card draw minions (9 total)

Shadow Assassin (x3) – Great stand alone card but even more incredible in this deck. Does both things we want – draw cards and good when buffed.

Avarosan Sentry (x3) – Wish there were more cheap cantrip minions like this, eats a hearthguard buff and passes it along to another bro once he’s done.

Babbling Bjerg (x3) – In a perfect world this would always pull hearthguard. However if you make the deck without other 5+ attack units you will find it hard to have enough juice to close out longer games. And in a deck that focuses on closing out the games as fast as possible hearthguard won’t be included in the first place. There is definitely more refining to be done regarding the 5+ attack units. Not saying that drawing the other 5+ attack finnisher cards isn’t good but it’s more often less good, especially when this is played on turn 4.

Buff targets (15 total)

Zed (x3) – Biggest buff payoff card in the deck. If you can get him +2/+2 by your second attack turn it’s basically GG as almost nothing can clear a 4 hp Zed that early. Even just 1 buff on him early is often enough to snowball a game.

Braum (x2) – An unbuffed braum in this deck is pretty bad. But if you can get just a single buff on him he becomes infinitely more powerful. Your main buff boi for mentor if you have no Zed in hand. Helps a lot in the aggro matchups. Unironically the best removal tool you have as well.

Navori Highwayman (x1) – Nobrainer why he’s good to buff. Haven’t actually played him so not sure how well he will fit yet. I will say though that cards that summon multiple body’s with a single action is an incredibly powerful mechanic in this game and not to be underestimated.

Navori Conspirator (x3) – 90% of times you will bounce either Omen Hawk or Inspiring Mentor. And yes having just those two as intended bounce targets is very consistent. In some cases late game you can bounce either Babbling Bjerg or Shadow Assassin for more value if needed.

Greenglade Duo (x3) – Great aggressive elusive minion, not much more to say.

Shadow Assassin (x3) – Great stand alone card but even more incredible in this deck. Does both things we want – draw cards and good when buffed.

The rest to float the boat (10 total)

Deny (x3) – It’s deny and we like to protect our board and Zed especially. In some aggressive metas might go down to 2 of but until then slap 3 of these bad boys in.

Will of Ionia (x2) – Good at protecting Zed vs challenger. Good for tempo vs high cost champions. We need some amount of spells to make up for missed on curve plays and this is a good way to get tempo back in our favour.

Elixir of iron (x1) – Nice to have at least 1 combat trick in your deck to strike fear in your opponents. Works really well in the protecc the Zed game plan and will always find good value.

Tryndamere (x1) – The only champion stronger at the pre leveled state which makes him the strongest as a 1 of. Will always punch through enemy defences and is great as an alternate The Ruination insurance if you don’t have deny in hand.

Minnah Swiftfoot (x2) – Incredible win condition card vs minion heavy decks. Try to keep spell mana and deny for when you play her if possible vs ionia.

The Empyrean (x1) – “The Empyrean in a 85% WR deck? This must be a meme!” And to be honest it might be. But like i said earlier, i never started loosing so i just kept going. Although one thing this big snek has going for him is that no one ever expects him, so have gotten more sneaky wins with this card than i would like to admit. Also you get 1 copy for free in the starting deck so might as well use it.


Auto Keeps:


Greenglade Duo

Inspiring Mentor

Omen Hawk

Situational keeps:

Avarosan Hearthguard – Always a keep if you have at least 1 auto keep, but many times even without. Started keeping him more and more often the more games i played with the deck. Might change a bit with the nerf, to early to say now.

Braum – Auto keep vs aggro. Keep if mentor in hand but no other unit you rather buff.

Navori Highwayman – Keep if mentor in hand but no other unit you rather buff.

Navori Conspirator – Keep if either Omen Hawk or Inspiring Mentor is in hand.

Deny – Keep vs spell heavy decks, especially if zed is in hand.

Elixir of Iron – Keep vs aggro if other decent cards in hand. Sometimes keep vs control especially if Zed in hand.

Cards to try

Stalking wolf – Everyone knows it’s a good standalone card and challengers works well with buffs. Would also give the deck a legit removal option.

Twin Disciplines – Had in the deck but eventually cut. Being able to chose attack could be really strong with zed for reach or braum for removal. Although you use it for health most of the times.

Dawn and dusk – Throw it on Zed, Empyrean or Trynda for insane attack turn. Had this in the first version of the deck but cut it as i most of the times valued the open attack over the Dawn and Dusk gamble highroll.

Stand united – Having a high impact combat trick for your late game open attacks might end up being important enough to run this as like a 1 of. Works well with your protecc the zed game plan

Closing words

I suspect the first week meta will be very tempo focused so if the deck will develop in any direction i would guess it is towards the faster side. The 2 changes to the deck i listed are already the first step in trying to combat this but additional steps might need to be taken.

Uploaded one of my uncut play session vods on youtube if you wanna get a feel for how it’s played. No commentary or anything just some raw average games.

Lastly if if you have any specific questions about the deck or just general questions i will do my best to answer them when i have the time.

May the RNG be with you all on Thursday!


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