Hello everyone! Tim here, otherwise known as Tchamber5! Today, I wanted to go over a deck that I have been loving in the Runeterra open beta that can either go wide or play the long game, all while killing your own units for fun and profit: Elise Spiders! today, I’m going to use Swimstrim’s most recent iteration as an example! Let’s dive in! 

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(deck code)

The Champion

We use Elise in this deck as our champion, mostly due to her ability to create spiderlings. Although the stats and abilities are relevant (Especially fearsome), the fact that you can create fuel for your sacrifice spells while pressuring your opponent and going wide is a synergy we just cant pass up. Not only does she work well with the rest of your deck, but sometimes she can take over games by herself when she levels up into Elise, The Spider Queen, which gives all of your spiders Challenger and Fearsome! 

Sacrifice, for fun and profit. 

Even though this deck has a lot of cards that make it slant aggressive, I would define this as a midrange strategy. There are certainly games that you are capable of closing out quickly, but I find that more often, you make a large board and buff them with Dawnspeaker, or sacrifice your Last Breath units with powerful cards like Chronicler of Ruin and Glimpse Beyond to out value your opponent in the long game. Almost every single card in the deck either has Last Breath or is a card that kills your unit for value. 

Sacrifice Synergies

We have a lot of ways to create advantages through sacrifice or otherwise take advantage of losing our units. Chronicler of ruin is a great way to get value while developing your board and building up some amount of inevitability. Glimpse Beyond is really awesome in our deck because Not only does it allow us to fuel up our hand, but also gives us counter play to our opponents removal. Ravenous butcher is probably the least exciting of our sacrifice outlets but it can be really handy if you are really tight on mana and need to Trigger something like Rhasa or The Black Spear.

Going Wide

The aforementioned go wide strategy can definitely run over slower decks, especially with access to fourteen cards that cost two mana or less. After you have five or six units on the board, its very feasible to finish off the game with a well timed Back to Back or Dawnspeaker. Due to the unique turn system in Runeterra though, it’s not always possible to just run over your opponent on an empty board, which is why our deck goes a little bigger

The Late Game Payoff Cards

I have mentioned Dawnspeaker several times now, and it is simply because its a very powerful card, and a centerpiece to the deck. If things are going well there is a unit dying almost every turn which will trigger the buff ability very often, making your allies very difficult to deal with. Rhasa adds a really cool dimension to this deck as well. In the late game there is usually a good amount of combat math and trading happening on board, and it isn’t an uncommon scenario for the deck to be able trade off some smaller units and then clean up the rest of the board while slamming down a 7/5 Fearsome unit in Rhasa. If you have enough mana available, you can also play out one of your sacrifice cards and then play Rhasa afterwards to swing in for a massive attack to close out the game. 

Other Stuff

We splash into Demacia here for some powerful tempo plays. Back to Back has been recognized by many players as one of the best cards in the game. The fact that it is a burst spell makes it very hard to interact with or respond to in a meaningful way. En garde is a really cool spell as well, and is a very good way to trade early units while turning on your sacrifice synergies. Detain is a surprisingly powerful in context here. It’s not something that you can use with abandon, but it can be a game winning spell or lead to some serious blow outs, removing a key blocker or saving your own unit from removal. 

Tips and Tricks

  • The deck has a fairly flexible gameplan. Before making your mulligan decisions, consider what your opponent might be laying based on their Regions and Champions. I.e. if your opponent is on a Frejolrd Ashe deck, you might consider keeping a more aggressive hand with lots of cheap followers to swoop under them.
  • Remember that you can Detain your own units. I won a game once by detaining my own Rhasa when my opponent put The Ruination on the board, which returned it to play after all the other followers died, leaving me with a 7/5 and my opponent with no mana and no units. 
  • Keep in mind that Chronicler of Ruin can target Vanguard Redeemer to draw you a card, even when no other units have died. You can also do this with Dawspeakers to buff our board if you don’t have any other units you want to kill.
  • You can Vile Feast your own units 
  • It’s can be absolutely correct to skip playing a follower on turn one or two if you need to bank your mana for the following turn to play a spell.

Spiders is a really great deck to get started with in Runeterra! Not only is it relatively easy to craft, but it has powerful synergies and can let you make some serious headway into the ranked meta game.

Until next time,

Tchamber5

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