About the deck
But everyone knows Evelynn at this time was too weak and didn't see much play. After that, both were settling into the meta in their own ways, Kai'Sa with her mono list, and Evelynn in Viego lists, but they were never together.
However, after recent buffs to Evelynn's support cards, now these two champions can finally join hands and make up a meta deck together. Let's understand how this list works and why it is so strong?
The deck consists in creating value with Evelynn's followers' husks. When you play a unit to the board from your hand, with a husk in play, that unit absorbs the keywords and the stats of that husk, destroying it in the process. This way, besides the fact that you're building a board with plenty of stats, you're also speeding up your Kai'Sa's level up progress, as she levels up when you have played 6 allies with different keywords in the match.
Steem works as an engine, which besides enabling a win condition for your Kai'Sa, it also grants vulnerable to the enemy board. In other words, Steem and Valor work very similarly, but with key differences.
The most significant difference is that Steem has a lot of synergy with your deck, as the whole time you're summoning 1 cost units. So, it is possible to have very strong turns, in which you distribute vulnerable to the opponent's whole board, which makes it a lot easier to interact with their units.
It is perceptible that this deck brings nothing new. In fact, each of these cards were once meta, or have made brief appearances in playable lists.
But as it was said here before, after recent Buffs, this kit now finally makes sense together. But the real truth is: the meta is very favorable for this deck, as it is a lot harder to answer the value of keywords added to this deck's cards' stats.
Overall, there isn't a lot of heavy removal around, and the meta is basically playing the biggest card in your hand every turn and hitting the enemy Nexus with everything.
Why would you play a Vengeance on a 5/5 enemy follower, if they have on hand 4 more units which are 5/5 just like it on board? And that is why Kai'Sa Evelynn is so strong: just position your units and hit, and you'll hardly have fewer stats than your enemy.
Understanding each Match
I must comment that this deck is too dependent on its champions. If you are familiar with Kai'Sa lists, you know what is suffering when she isn't in your hand. Consider this list to be the same thing as a Mono Kai'Sa, but the whole Demacia Midrange kit is swapped out for Evelynn's followers.
Evelynn's whole kit works as a Midrange that always plays on curve, always tries to have good trades with the enemy board, and always tries to take advantage of the random keywords that are generated as much as it can.
The lack of Demacia didn't hurt this archetype. Actually, Evelynn's followers bring a lot more consistency throughout the turns in which the champions aren't on board.
In general, control lists suffer a lot to keep themselves healthy against Kai'Sa and Evelynn. The Midrange deck rhythm is very fast, and the list becomes almost unstoppable if you have a perfect curve, and the champions show up on board.
Ryze decks also suffer a lot against Kai'Sa. The tempo which this Ionia list loses to solve a strong unit is enough for you to reposition your followers on board and keep putting on pressure with stats and keywords.
It is possible to win a few aggressive matchups in case you can find the keyword lifesteal early on. The truth is that many losable matchups can be winnable if you find keywords that make sense for that game state.
Best random keywords to get out of the husks:
— Tough: it is very similar to spellshield, in the sense that it protects your units from spells, but only from spells that deal 1 point of damage. It also makes trading with other units on board easier.
— Elusive: this is only the strongest keyword in the whole game. In games against other Midranges, you always have the advantage with elusive units.
— Lifesteal: this keyword solves for you many matchups against aggressive decks, and, in general, you only need one unit to dictate your opponent's fast game rhythm.
Surprisingly, this deck suffers a lot against a bit more aggressive Midrange lists, such as Kayle Leona, and Jax Ornn. In this case, you're dependent not only on champions, but on the lifesteal keyword as well.
Against burn decks such as Jhin Annie, it is almost impossible you are able to do anything. Stuns are very strong against your list, and in general, you lose a lot of tempo in the match if your Kai'Sa deck isn't fully taking advantage of each attack turn.
Any list with frostbites is also very consistent against Kai'Sa and Evelynn, for the same reasons as stuns. Frostbiting is basically neutralizing an attacker on board, and if the list isn't putting pressure with its attacks, it isn't doing anything.
Worst keywords to get out of husks:
— Impact: This is simply the worst keyword in the whole game, and it will hardly be beneficial to your matches.
— Fearsome: This keyword can be strong in a few matches, but in general, the meta is quite ready for fearsome units.
— Regeneration: It might be useful against Midrange, in case this keyword goes to your Evelynn, allowing your champion to trade out a bit better against the opponent's board. But, in general, it doesn't make a big difference in matches.
Important tips and Mulligan
To play this list, you need to adopt an aggressive mulligan strategy. This means: you must send back all your initial cards in case you can't see any champions in your initial hand.
— Mulligan is the most important card in your list, because we all know that Shurima doesn't have many card draw tools which converse well with the Midrange archetype. And you'll end up with fewer cards in hand quite fast in the match, having to fully take advantage of the cards you've found in Mulligan. That is why I separated a sample of how your perfect initial hand should be:
Try to always play on curve. Banking mana with this list only makes sense after turn 5 after you've summoned your Kai'Sa. However, in case you draw a Rite of Negation, early on, it is interesting to approach the game in a slower manner, so you always have mana to play this card.
Evelynn works best when she comes into play absorbing a Husk. So, you should always try to play her in these conditions; don't worry about skipping a turn precisely, so you can prepare your board for that. After all, this deck only works with its champions, so your performance is always best when you play for them.
If you've read this far, you already know everything about this new list that is showing up a lot in Runeterra's ranked ladder. If you enjoyed this article, don't forget to share it and comment on social media. See you!