Deck Tech: Twisted Fate and Annie - A deck that beats and controls!

Legends of Runeterra

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Deck Tech: Twisted Fate and Annie - A deck that beats and controls!

07/03/22 Comment regular icon0 comments

If you like dealing Nexus damage and cleaning the board at the same time, this deck is for you. Twisted Fate and Rex are back in this new fantastic version which Riot doesn't stop buffing.

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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Why Twisted Fate and Annie

With the arrival of Tybaulk, the new sensation for y’all who like removals, we now have basically an immortal keg for the rest of the game. This legendary unit, besides interacting well with its region, makes an absurd community meme become a reality: Immortal keg allied with a Riptide Rex. The context is the following. When Bilgewater was released, it was also released to Demacia the spell Unyielding Spirit, which made any unit immortal, so we targeted our Powder Keg with this. At the moment you played Riptide Rex, 7 Cannon Barrage’s were shot and usually the Powder Keg only enhanced the first skill — but as it was immortal now, all shots were enhanced and many

kills in one turn

would happen.

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With Tybaulk, this play no longer needs to be a community meme, and, in fact, has become a

competitive play

.
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Look at this beautiful scene.

Twisted Fate’s and Annie’s Strength

As was said aboved, the list is basically Tybaulk and Riptide Rex / Ruined Rex. The Ravenbloom Conservatory’s game plan is to use a lot of spells and skills to release the monster early. We count with cards such as Disintegrate to help us with our quest and as many cards are spent early to deal with the opponent’s board, we will count with an arsenal of card draw to keep our hand always full. Knowing that, we will take advantage of cards that love drawing other cards, such as Twisted Fate and Ruined Rex.
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The opponent had nothing in hand and I was still full of resources.

Why TF and not Ezreal?

Both lists are excellent. I tend to favor Bilgewater, as it has lots of small card draws, making the deck really consistent and well rounded. In Piltover & Zaun, we take only Progress Day!, so there is a chance you brick with your draws and end up with no cards in hand. I choose Bilgewater for the consistency.

General View of the Deck

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Our focus is to keep our Nexus points up, as our late game is insane. The fun part of the list is that there are quite interesting curves and you might end up as the beatdown. The best defense is an attack. We have many ways of damaging the whole board, and it is quite hard to keep a unit alive on board against this list. The deadly combo which has divided the community is any damage alongside Disintegrate, which in Bilgewater is quite dangerous, as you will be constantly using Make It Rain and there is a chance you miss the target you intended to ping.
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This is quite a complex scenario, but focus on the Rain + Disintegrate being able to take down Tryndamere. Because of the summon unit speed that Twisted Fate has, it is interesting that you play Disintegrate proactively on your opponent, as they will get hesitant of attacking with their big unit and risk dying to a silly blocker + Disintegrate. This way, you gain tempo to play Twisted Fate with a Red Card. As lots of cards are played in the beginning, you will count with units that draw cards, such as Fortune Croaker and my favorite card, Pool Shark. Usually blocking this deck’s units is very dangerous, as they have a relevant effect when they are summoned on board and afterwards everything is a threat. Taking damage is dangerous, damaging a unit is also dangerous, but that’s just it: let your enemy make the tough decisions. Late game, you want to have a Tybaulk and play a Ruined Rex for 3 shots at least. Remember that each shot that goes to the Nexus is 1 damage + how many Tybaulk’s were summoned, and you can get scary Burn damage from that.

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Champions

Annie

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This champion’s hype went down recently. So now we can analyze her properly without having our perception biased by the hype. I believe Annie fits Bilgewater perfectly, as besides leveling up really fast with Ruined Rex, she costs only 1 mana. This way, if she comes from a fleeting draw, you don’t risk discarding her because you don’t have mana to play her. To reach level 2, she needs to see you play 6 skills, fast or slow spells. Ruined Rex shoots a Cannon Barrage for every card drawn, up to 6 shots, and that means, with one Ruined Rex it is possible to level up Annie. After getting to level 2, in Bilgewater, especially when accompanied with a Twisted Fate, as he can damage everything on board, and Tibbers ends up rarely not affecting everything too.

Twisted Fate

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The question that begs answering. DOES TF FLIP? Hahaha. We don’t have enough protection for that, but we have so much aggression that easily he goes by unnoticed and is able to level up. We’ll take a lot of card draw. Remember that our late game is very strong. Eye of Nagakabouros is a nice support for our strategy, as this card by 5 mana besides drawing us 2 cards, gives us a burst speed blocker/attacker. Let’s talk about Twisted Fate’s cards: Your focus is always to be in value advantage.

Blue Card

- If it’s played, you’re already ahead in value, as basically you retrieve a card in hand and get a 2/2 on board. It is usually played when you don’t have a good red card to use.

Red Card

- The star of the show. Deals 1 damage to everything, including the enemy Nexus. With Tybaulk, it becomes 2 damage dealt to everything and that is usually too much for most decks to hold off. The damaged units die to Ravenous Flock, Scorched Earth, etc.
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I got this picture, because it was here that I realized that Twisted Fate + Disintegrate was bonkers. Look at that, 2 spells and the whole board was killed.

Yellow Card

- It is rarely used. Very good to stop a dangerous attack, such as a Tryndamere or a big early Viego. You can use it as removal, as it deals 2 damage to the strongest unit. After level 2, every time you play a card, Twisted Fate will cast a card, he will play all 3 per round and always in the same order. Blue-> Red-> Yellow.

Units

Buyers

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As any damage dealt is extremely relevant for this list, it is very nice to have units that buy cards, regardless of their numbers. Pool Shark is probably my favorite card in all of Runeterra, it draws you a fleeting card in the following round. As it is a 1 cost unit with 1 power, it is already excellent. Every time you attack with it, your opponent will have to be careful, because they can get Disintegrated or be at the mercy of a Ravenous Flock or a Scorched Earth.

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The biggest danger with Pool Shark is playing him in earlier turns and end up buying a fleeting card you are not able to play at that moment. The recommended use is to play him from turn 4 onwards.
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Fortune Croaker is an excellent card since its launch, a 2/2 2 cost unit that draws a card is wonderful. It manages to have board presence, while also generating you value. Not much to be said, as she is very similar to Pool Shark, cheap card, drawing card, threatens opponent’s board card. Eye of Nagakabouros, the new card from the latest expansion who came to revolutionize card draw. For 5 mana, at burst speed draws you 2 cards and creates a 2/2 unit on board. It is interesting to use it to build a more powerful attack or get that blocker all of the sudden during an opponent’s open attack, it took Zap Sprayfin’s spot in the deck, but I have no regrets.

Spiders

The spiders have the essential role of punishing players who don’t start their attacking turn attacking, and thus making it very uncomfortable for them to attack after the spiders are summoned.
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House Spider is probably one of the most played cards in more reactive lists from Noxus. For just 2 mana you get two more blockers, with a total of 3/3 power and health. Quite insane, isn’t it? Quick reminder that when Tybaulk is summoned, both spiders get +1 power, becoming even more absurd. Probably one of the most important cards for the early rounds, as they can be very aggressive and also protect your nexus pretty amazingly. Spell Slinger is a cheaper version of Arachnoid Sentry. Less numbers, but the same effect. We go for efficiency in this list. Its purpose is quite simple, either you stun to prevent an opponent’s powerful attack, or you stun to be able to finish the unit off with Ravenous Flock.

Ruined Rex

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As this list is more “Tempo” oriented, it is very interesting for you to be ahead of your opponent on board. Ruined Rex can be cheap and impactful, as he casts Cannon Barrages for each card drawn that round, this way having an enormous synergy with this list, mostly with Pool Shark. In versions that bring Riptide Rex, Pool Shark is an expert at drawing you a fleeting Riptide Rex and then you end up discarding it because you aren’t able to play it that turn. I’ve commented about Pool Shark being okay to play from turn 4 onwards, because if Ruined Rex comes fleeting in the following turn, you can play him for 2 shots only, which will already shake up your opponent’s board, will count for Annie’s level up and the Ravenbloom Conservatory countdown too. Don’t try to squeeze the most value possible out of Ruined Rex. Especially when Tybaulk has already been summoned, as the shots get even more powerful. Be creative!
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A Ruined Rex OTK is a privilege, only for true Bilgewater enjoyers.

Spells

It isn’t much different from Ezreal/Annie. We will have card draw spells, ping spells and execute spells.

Pings

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Blade’s Edge

This card has been considered a meme since its launch. But with the launch of Tybaulk and Disintegrate, it got very interesting, either to deal 2 damage for 2 mana, or use the Blade’s Edge + Disintegrate combo to execute almost anything for 3 mana.

Make It Rain

It is the gourmet version of Blade’s Edge. For 2 mana, you deal 1 damage to 3 targets. With Tybaulk, it's 2 mana for 6 damage (insane!). The biggest problem is if your opponent plays many units on board, it gets complicated to use Make It Rain, as you won’t be certain to hit your targets, so good luck and may the RNG GOD be in your favor.

Executors

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No secrets here, Ravenous Flock is a card that gets you very ahead in tempo, as for 1 mana you can deal 4 damage at fast speed in a damaged unit. It is quite hard to not be damaged with this list, as we have many cards which deal AoE damage and also have lots of small blockers. Disintegrate is a bit more complex, as you need to deal at least 1 damage to the disintegrated unit. Be very careful with Tough and Barriers. This card’s strength is to use a spell along with it.

Game Style and Initial Hand

As the whole list is cheap, you can play with literally any hand. The dream hand will be to have both champions on hand, a Ravenbloom Conservatory and House Spider. You’ll be better off in all rounds, have nice blockers, good attackers and this hand also speeds up the landmark’s strategy a lot. After Annie is leveled, she can die at peace, as she already created Tibbers in hand. Don’t feel bad, she is a 1 cost unit, who usually requires a lot more than 1 mana to deal with. Don’t skimp on your resources, as since you draw a lot of cards, you can use and abuse them. You want to avoid having spells in your initial hand, but as this is a reactive list, you can try to look for answers to your opponent’s deck early, for example, knowing you’re against Viego/Elise, keeping a Spell Slinger and Ravenous Flock in your initial hand is quite important.

Gameplay

Favorable Matchups

The deck shines against midrange decks which don’t have much card draw.

Bard, Jarvan and Poppy

This list has been getting a lot more popular lately. It is basically a Midrange Demacia, always summoning units and lots of +1/+1 buffs. If it doesn’t have board units, it doesn’t have victory, so you must make it personal and never leave a unit breathing on board; each play is a smile on your face.

Lurkers

Probably one of the easiest matchups. The lurk list is quite proactive and always makes it very clear what is its next play, and as it is a deck which constantly needs to go to combat, it becomes very easy to neutralize your opponent by killing all their units.

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Always keep a stun to prevent Rek’sai from attacking. It’s not worth it to waste removal on her, as she comes back into the deck if she doesn’t level.

Aphelios and Winding Light

This new list, very powerful, came in strong in this patch. A very aggressive list which wants to swarm the board with small units and finish the game with The Winding Light, which will give +2/+1 and overwhelm for the whole board for that round. Our goal is to remove all the units, especially Aphelios, which has the potential of summoning even more units with Crescendum. Try to keep yourself healthy, as this list has burns, such as Mystic Shot and Get Excited!.

Unfavorable Matchups

Lists that can keep up with our card draw rhythm and have big threats usually are a pain for us. Very aggressive lists tend to be annoying too, as we don’t have healing.

Annie/Jhin

The newest burn list, it has some lines which are complicated to deal with, as most of the deck’s units have a lot of health and some way to Burn us. Jhin himself is a pain, as he can deal a lot of damage just by being in their hand, and honestly there is no way to interact with this, you will get burned. It is recommended that you kill as fast as you can the units which have skills that deal damage when they attack to prevent the skill triggers, because if an Annie or a Jhin level up, it gets very complicated. Against aggressive decks, I recommend you mulligan away the Landmark and go after board presence and removals.

Fizz/Riven and Faes

I put both decks here, because there is 1 line in particular which is quite hard to deal with, which is the cursed Fizz. This champion can dodge any spells or skills which target him, and our deck is all about that. Eventually, it will be attached with a Papercraft Dragon and he will get double attack, and alongside his Elusive and Immunity traits, it is certain that you won’t survive. If your opponent goes after this line, unfortunately there’s nothing that can be done.
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Freljord Control

Usually these lists will ramp their mana up a lot and play many threats, such as Anivia, Feel The Rush, She Who Wanders, etc. It is very hard to keep up to the rhythm of what these decks try to do and we don’t have that much of an aggressive early game to be able to win fast, so we must place our bets in the late game, in which they can shine too. It is not impossible, but it is quite unfavorable.

Changes

With the coming of Patch 3.10, I believe that Riptide Rex must be more interesting, as he got one more shot and +1/+1. That being said, it is nice to bring cards that activate Riptide Rex more easily, such as Death’s Hand, and as we are taking more powerful cards, we don’t need the card draw all that much, letting us cut Whispered Words if we want to. Landmarks were drastically cut down in this patch, so I think that Scorched Earth is still not that essential of a card.

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Final Thoughts

I’m very happy I was able to create a list focused on the

playing spells

gameplay, in which many skills and spells are put on stack. Both champions have immense potential in this deck. Leveling up Twisted Fate and Annie is very common. It can hold off aggressive decks quite easily and suffers a bit to Burn. This “lots of card draw and lots of spells” archetype is starting to become popular in Runeterra and it is a great deck to learn more about the game, as it needs a good grasp of “Tempo” and “Value” to get its advantage. I made a very detailed video about this new archetype, check it out:
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