What to play after patch 3.4?
Update 3.4 brought a series of nerfs to decks that have been around for a long time in the meta and this has opened up room for other decks to stand out. Caitlyn, had a significant buff to the mechanics of Flashbomb Trap and got even stronger on the already consistent Caitlyn / Ezreal. We'll talk about this deck today.
This deck works around the card Tri-Beam Improbulator, which is a 5-cost removal spell that, as you use 3-cost cards, increases the damage by 1 and when used on a unit, in addition to the damage, it will summon a unit with the cost equivalent to the damage it would deal to the targeted unit (even if the unit dies before the spell resolves, it still works, ie the only way to cancel is with Deny).
Most of the cards present in the deck are 3 cost (including champions) and serve to make the Improbulator huge, so it works as an effective removal and also as a resource that generates a big unit to bring more power to your board and maybe finish the game.
In addition, Caitlyn/Ezreal has the Noxus and Piltover and Zaun removals pack, card draws, and the presence of an excellent finisher: the Captain Farron. There are several possibilities and it is a deck that controls the games very well, in addition to having a more creative style that changes the strategy as the match progresses.
Caitlyn's role is to plant the flashbomb traps in the enemy deck. The longer she stays on the field and hits, the better. Now, with the buff, the flashbomb traps are on the top 8 cards of the deck (before the update on the 10), so they can drop earlier and eliminate multiple opponent units.
The champion is important, but not the main win condition, so don't be afraid to block with her. Just the fact that she's hitting and planting more bombs in opponent's deck is good for you.
Ezreal, being elusive, can easily hit the Nexus (unless you're facing decks with Demacia, which almost always take Sharpsight) and generates a lot of value for you: a Mystic Shot free with every hit to the Nexus.
Every shot at an enemy unit counts for the champion's level-up, which is after you've targeted enemies 6 times. Considering that the deck is full of spells that target the opponent's units, leveling up the champion is very easy and when Ezreal is leveled it is success, because when you use any spell it does 1 damage to the Nexus and if you target an enemy, he does 2. Unlike Caitlyn, Ezreal's permanence on the field is essential as he is your main victory condition.
There are only 5 units, but they are all very important for the deck to function. House Spider is a 2/2 unit that spawns another one free unit, the Spiderling, so it's two blockers for only 2 cost and are effective in stopping big units, such as the spell buffed units Yordles in Arms.
Arachnoid Sentry is your main response to stop huge units that are ready to end the game with a single attack. The stun breaks the OTK strategy that decks like Yuumi / Pantheon propose. The Sentry also serves to route a removal with Ravenous Flock, so it's common to put it on the field with that 1 spell mana to be able to use and remove the stunned unit.
Key card, the Station Archivist in addition to counting in the Improbulator increase, generates an absurd value for the deck, showing which spells are present in the first 5 cards from the top of your deck and still creating a fleeting copy of the spell that you choose in your hand.
It's a spoiler of your deck and it's still a free removal (or draw of cards too) coming from a low cost unit with great stats. Just pay attention when using the unit, because if you don't have an ok amount of mana, you will lose the fleeting spell generated, if in the options there are only spells more expensive than the amount of mana available to spend.
Aloof Travelers makes you draw a card and, if used at the right time, can eliminate an important opponent's unit. Facing Swain / Gnar it's good to play them in round 7, for the opponent to discard a The Leviathan. Against The Bandle Tree, it's a good thing to use the card in round 5/6, to make the opponent lose their main victory condition. Just pay attention and use the Travelers in the moment before he plays his win condition.
The Captain Farron, which I mentioned earlier, is a game finisher, due to the 8/8 and overwhelm that the unit has. In addition, Farron creates 2 Decimate in your hand, which is 8 more damage to the enemy Nexus.
As I've already talked about the importance of the Improbulator and how it works, I'm going to talk now about the best times to use the spell. Of course, in some clashes, you won't think much about the unit that will be generated and you will use it very early, just to remove some problem, like a Miss Fortune, for example, so in this case you will use the Improbulator doing 3 or 4 damage and probably won't gain any very good units.
But if you can choose, I recommend using the Improbulator when he's doing between 8 and 10 damage. Of course there are some "meme" units that cost 8 and 10+, but there are some really good ones like Tianna Crownguard, The Dreadway, Wrath of the Freljord, Gorlith The Unscalable, Brightsteel Formation, Cithria, Lady of Clouds and Atakhan, Bringer of Ruin.
Except Whispered Words, which is a card draw, all other spells are removals. There are in the deck: Thermogenic Beam, Ravenous Flock, Scorched Earth, Piltover Peacemaker, Mystic Shot and Statikk Shock. These last two, however, can also be used as a burn on the Nexus and Statikk Shock also draws a card.
Mulligan and Game Posture
Normally you'll choose to keep the Improbulator in your starting hand along with some 3-cost unit (Caitlyn is ideal), in addition to removals, of course. Against aggros, I don't like to keep Improbulator on hand and I decide to keep small removals like mystic shot and also the House Spider.
With Mono Shurima starting to appear, it's a good idea to leave Scorched Earth in the starting hand, and if it's against Pantheon, the spell will also be very useful.
Your posture will almost always be responsive, playing around your opponent and his decisions. Don't be afraid to pass, play with patience. This is one of those decks that you think a lot about before playing, and during the game you can make several decisions that will define the game or change your strategy.
Normally, because it's a deck with a lot of removals, you'll be the player who removes everything the opponent puts on the board, until he loses all resources, and you win on insistence. Yes, games with this deck are long, so if you don't have a lot of patience, I don't recommend playing with it. As I'm more of a controller, I'm used to long games, so I really like the Caitlyn/Ezreal play style.
Gnar / Swain
Here you have more removals than the opponent, which makes you have more resources than him and you also get a greater advantage on the board. The combination of Piltover and Zaun with Noxus has an advantage over Bandopolis and Noxus in this case.
The Bandle Tree
In addition to having 3 copies of Scorched Earth in the deck (which removes monuments), there are the Aloof Travelers that can make the opponent discard The Bandle Tree and the deck's units have low stats, so they are easily removed, especially with the flash bombs that Caitlyn places in the enemy deck.
In this match you will be able to stop the offensive of the main units of the opponent, be it Miss Fortune or Quinn. With the nerf on Vanguard Sergeant, you will also be able to remove it more easily.
You just can't beat the opponent. There's healing, freezing, spells like Vengeance and The Ruination that Caitlyn/Ezreal doesn't respond to. In addition to the champion reborn, that is: the more you remove Anivia, the more Anivias will return with The Harrowing.
Gnar / Trundle
Against Gnar / Trundle you can't resist the units on the board, even with the nerf on Gnar, you lose in value and tempo, in addition to the opponent's deck offering answers to some removals and replacing the board after certain unit removals.
Taliyah / Ziggs
Here, if you remove the opponent's monuments, you are helping him. Your Farron doesn't beat his The Arsenal, if you want to be aggressive and beat his Nexus early it's difficult because it's not the deck proposal that is more focused on controlling the board. Not to mention that your champions die easily to Vulnerable.
There are several variations of this deck that take some cards that I didn't mention here, so I'm going to list a series of cards that can also be used and that are just as good as the ones I talked about throughout the article. The decision of what to use is, of course, up to you. I brought the version that works for me, but it may not work for you and that's why I'm going to recommend some other cards.
Ferros Financier and Thorn of the Rose
Sump Fumes, Noxian Guillotine and Sigil of Malice.
I think I explained a lot about Caitlyn / Ezreal, which is a deck that I really like to use and, in this beginning of the update, it has been the deck that has worked the most for me. If you have any questions just say and we'll talk in the comments, ok? To the next ;)
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