Introduction - What is going on?
The first week of the Glory In Navori set was dominated by the Samira Fizz list. Right on the first day, this deck was found, and it was already the most played in the meta.
As it is a list with a new champion, and it also brings Noxus, one of the most popular regions in the whole game, it was to be expected that its popularity would grow quite a bit.
But, now that we're going into the second week of the meta, it seems that this list's performance, which was even compared to Fizz Twisted Fate, one of the best decks of all time in Legends of Runeterra, is now plummeting.
Yes, the numbers for Fizz Samira's win rate aren't good. And in this article we'll understand why this is happening, at the same time, I'll teach you how to play this deck properly, so your own personal numbers don't become a part of the negative stats.
Fizz Samira - Noxus' new identity
LoR devs reimagined completely Noxus' identity for the new set post-rotation. Previously, in beta, Noxus was a very aggressive region, and throughout the region it started to become one of the best support alternatives for Control archetypes. And, so it wouldn't lose this Noxus essence of being extremely aggressive, Samira and the interactions with plunder for the region came along, which created the archetype we know today, Fizz Samira.
Notice that, besides rotating Noxus control cards, many other aggressive tools were also rotated, as well as a good portion of spider cards. Currently, it is no longer possible to craft that super-duper cheap Spider deck in this region. That forces Aggro players to choose only one deck, and this deck ends up always being Samira.
But, unlike other old aggressive Noxus lists, this deck plays in a much more complex way. Actually, Samira and Fizz can be classified as a combo deck. And this shift in identities might have been a bit too problematic for some players who were used to the classic "brute-force" Aggro. That is why this list's win rate is so low: people don't know how to play Samira.
Let's understand what is going on, and why a deck that is so strong is having so much difficulty in the meta.
The List's Complexity
As it was said before, Fizz Samira is a combo deck, and this way, playing units on curve and attacking is not always the best strategy.
The main goal here is to manipulate as optimally as you can the level - up interactions with Samira so you can have the most possible actions in a single turn, this way attacking multiple times, at the same time you fill the board with elusive units and share health and power numbers to them. That's a lot, right? Yeah, doing all of that at the same time isn't easy. But even then, there are plays that are quite intuitive, and easy to understand. As, for instance: playing Samira and granting her the keyword Challenger to slay an enemy unit. Or holding up a cheap spell to save your Fizz from removal spells.
But, when a more complex play is needed to be made in this list, that's when things get rough. Because you will always have a different way of reaching your win conditions match after match. And you'll need practice and complete understanding of how the list interactions work, so you can get 100% profit with this deck. However, before we talk about these interactions, let's take a look at the list.
The Fizz Samira list didn't take long to even out, and today we can say that just a few cards change from deck to deck.
The main card in the deck
Inferna is your main combo tool. Without this card, it is tough to keep consistency with actions per turn with this deck. As, remember, it is extremely necessary you play many cards, so your Samira can rally, or so that your Fleet Admiral Shelly share stats to the board. And without Inferna, it is practically impossible to keep yourself with enough cards to keep playing.
One of the toughest plays with this list is understanding at which moment you should play Inferna on board. Because whether you like it or not, it is a very expensive card, and you lose a whole turn to develop her. Knowing that, it is necessary to keep in your hand cards with the Plunder effect so that in the next turn you start drawing cards, and comboing with the deck.
Playing Inferna on board, means practically losing a turn, and giving your opponent a window to answer your deck. That is one kind of interaction that aggro players who are used to beatdown decks aren't used to. So, keep an eye out: The best play will not always be playing cards on board. Many times, when playing Samira Fizz, just passing your turn without doing anything is better.
Without Inferna on board, you won't have resources enough to end the match, but, without Fleet Admiral Shelly, you'll probably not have damage enough.
The Second most important card in the List
Fleet Admiral Shelly is another unit which costs a lot, and when she goes on board, she hands over the turn to your opponent. However, if you can understand the right time this card should go on board, you can celebrate, because you've increased your chances of winning the match drastically. This card, added to a handful of spells, is the perfect recipe for victory.
Rule number one for those playing against Samira Fizz: keep your removal for Inferna and Fleet Admiral Shelly.
Now that you know that there are two super-duper important units, which must be present on board to guarantee you the victory, you've understood a bit about this list's complexity. It might be too expensive to play these cards safely, but if they get on board and the turn is passed, you've practically won the match. Knowing that, let's take a look at this deck's Mulligan strategies, so you can minimize the problems you'll have throughout the game, until your Inferna or Fleet Admiral Shelly get on board.
This deck follows the aggressive Muligan strategy, in which you throw all your cards out until you can find specific cards in your deck. But, unlike other lists that use the aggressive Mulligan strategy, Fizz Samira looks for two cards particularly: Inferna and Fleet Admiral Shelly.
Samira is your safe place in the first few rounds, and it is her and her interactions that will guarantee you safety until your finishing tools reach your hands.
Everyone knows how frustrating it is to get hit with a Samira in the first rounds followed by All Out, which makes this champion 4/4 for very little mana. Actually, there are but a few select decks that can deal with this type of threat on turn 2. Bringing an aggressive Mulligan strategy increases a lot your chances of having these combo pieces on your initial hand. Let's see what is the perfect ideal initial hand is when we play Samira Fizz.
Notice that Stylish Shot can be replaced by Pirouette in your initial hand, but Pirouette is a bit more consistent against the current meta, which is full of aggressive lists that bring Demacia.
Fizz is a very important tool for this list too, because it will be a constant unit on board, which at every turn threatens activating the Plunder effect. And as he is very hard to remove, in matchups against control lists it is quite common you give preference to this champion in your initial hand as well.
Speaking of matchups, let's take a look at how this deck behaves in the meta currently.
The deck molded itself to deal with Fizz Samira quite fast, so any control deck today uses Piltover&Zaun as its support region. That is because in Piltover&Zaun there is a card called Caustic Riff, which allows the player to deal AoE damage to the enemy board. This card is the nightmare for all archetypes that bring cards low in health stats, as is the case of Fizz Samira. That is without saying this spell doesn't target units, that is, Fizz is incapable of canceling the damage dealt to him, which makes this spell his biggest counter. Any and every list that brings Caustic Riff is quite consistent against your deck.
In general, interactions with the keyword Challenger are also extremely punitive for Fizz Samira. Whoever has the power of choosing who they'll battle will easily slay the units in the Noxus' aggressive deck, because the units are very small, and almost always lose in trades. So, in general, Demacia decks that bring Vayne, or Gwen Demacia lists, and even Darkin decks, are extremely consistent against Fizz Samira.
On the other hand, any slow control list, or one that doesn't represent interactions on board through combat tricks or that doesn't have answers for elusives, is very weak against your deck. We're talking Karma Sett, Jayce Heimerdinger, and everything that brings Shadow Isles in general.
In a few words, if your opponent has Caustic Riff, or Challengers, you won't have a good match; otherwise, you'll have lots of chances to win.
Quick but very important Tips
— Avoid as much as you can combing with Inferna before turn 5, because you can draw a fleeting Fleet Admiral Shelly in hand, and that card can be the difference between winning and losing.
— Don't be afraid of playing Fizz, even if you don't have a cheap spell in hand to protect this champion. Usually, players don't risk playing removals against him if you've kept at least one mana up. So, always keep at least one spell mana up to deceive your enemies.
— Preparing an open attack with a level 2 Samira, so that only later you Rally, that is a good strategy. This way, you force your opponent to spend resources to answer the first attack. During the second attack, they'll probably run out of cards to deal with it.
— Coral Creatures are a great alternative for your early game. But, replacing this unit early for Samira makes your game plan a bit too dependent on Fleet Admiral Shelly, even more than it already is. So, be careful: if you get too many corals and no Samiras, you need to draw the Admiral.
— Swindle is a card that is in this list because it is an extremely cheap spell, which combos with Inferna, and it's burst. Additionally, the mechanic of copying a card from the enemy hand is very strong, because besides getting the information on 3 cards present in your opponent's hand, you'll be hoarding resources for your hand too. The copied card can be extremely important for your victory in some matches.
If you've read this far, you've just been blessed with the power of never losing again after placing Inferna on board (Maybe just once in a while). And now you've also learned the secrets to the Samira Fizz list.
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