The Darkness deck has been in Legends of Runeterra since the Beyond the Bandlewood expansion, which arrived in the game in August 2021. From its arrival and (even with some recent nerfs) to this day, the deck remains consistent and a good choice for the competitive, especially for the Seasonal, which is approaching.
It's time to study Senna / Veigar and find out why he's so strong!
This deck revolves around Darkness, which is primarily a 3 mana slow spell that deals 2 damage to an enemy unit. Pretty bad, huh? But there are several cards that improve Darkness, whether by amplifying its damage, lowering its cost, or making the spell fast. And that's the deck's first condition: make your Darkness the best it can be.
In between, there are several control tools to hold the game until your Darkness is strong and you can level up Veigar and start giving Darknesses directly to the Nexus and end the game on burn.
Speaking of him, Veigar is primarily responsible for increasing the damage of the Darkness, as at every start of the round he increases the damage of the Darknesses globally by 1. The more Veigar remains alive on the board, the more damage his Darknesses will deal. After dealing 12+ damage with Darkness, Veigar levels up and starts creating a Darkness every start of the round, still increases his damage and the best: he can damage with Darkness ANYTHING. That is, Darknesses can directly target the Nexus and end the game with ease.
Because it's so important in the deck and costs 4 mana, it's necessary to play the champion at the right time, preferably with mana available to use some spell to protect it or bring it back to life, but I'll talk more about spells later.
Okay, you have a Darkness doing a lot of damage, but it's slow. It's not that interesting, right? Well, that's why Senna is here.
While she's on the board, all spells that damage or kill units become fast, so Darkness becomes fast spells and more: whenever she attacks, Senna generates Darkness, so she brings a lot of value to your deck, because if you already have a Darkness in your hand and you target someone, you can have another Darkness to use on another target. This when Veigar is leveled becomes even better, as you can direct two Darknesses directly to the Nexus.
Not to mention that when she levels up (after removing 3 units with spells), damage and kill spells are reduced to 1 cost. So Darkness costs less and you can have a Vengeance costing 5. That's good for you guys? It's great for me.
Each unit present in the Darkness deck has its importance and is essential for the best functioning of the deck. For starters we have the Conchologist, who manifests spells of up to 3 cost. When it comes to Bandle City and Shadow Isles, there can come a number of extremely useful spells such as Stress Defense, Wallop, Go Hard, Vile Feast, Mist's Call, among others. This unit, despite being a 2/1,
brings a lot of gas to the deck, with spells that the opponent doesn't expect.
Twisted Catalyzer is the second way to make the Darknesses increase your damage, so it's very important that you have the card in your starting hand. The more of them, the better. Because it's a 2/2, it can be easily removed, but if you can protect it (with a Stress Defense, for example), don't think twice: protect it! Increasing Darkness damage is the first step to being good in the game, so do your best to make it happen.
The Darkbulb Acolyte is an inexpensive way to generate Darkness. If she is doing 3 damage, it's good to play it early, because you can already remove some important units on the other side. If he appears late in the game it's also good, especially if Veigar is leveled up, as it's one more way to damage the enemy Nexus.
Stilted Robemaker is responsible for making your Darknesses cost less PERMANENTLY (Senna only makes them cost less when she's leveled and on the board), so it's very important to have the unit on the board. In addition, the card's great stats (3/4) make it an excellent blocker.
Ixtali Sentinel has lifesteal so it can get you back in the game. The unit's stats are also great (4/5) so it stays alive and whenever it attacks or defends it makes your Nexus increase 4 health which can be crucial for you to win the game. Also, the card's ability to copy the next Darkness used on the enemy Nexus in the round it is played can end a lot of games (depending on your Darkness damage, of course).
Finally, we have the one-offs of Aloof Travelers, which can make the opponent discard their victory condition (Leviathan, Farron, Feel The Rush, Albus Ferros, among others) and The Rekindler, which can bring back Senna or Veigar and give your opponent more headaches.
Senna / Veigar's spells are basically divided into heal and kill, but it also has punctual spells that I'll talk about more.
For healing we have Vile Feast, which drains 1 from a unit and also summons a Precious Pet, which serves as a blocker. Withering Wail is great for dealing AoE damage and restoring 3 health to your Nexus, ideal for finishing off aggros decks.
Piercing Darkness, in addition to healing your Nexus by 5, it serves to remove many important units, as the spell drains 5 health and not many units have more than 5 health, so you can remove (in theory, as there can always be responses from the opponent) Aphelios, Viktor, Jayce, Vi, Heimerdinger, Udyr, Ezreal, Caitlyn, among many other units.
In kill spells we have Vengeance, which is an ideal and definitive answer to many problematic units, and The Ruination, which with Senna in the board can be used quickly in response to an open attack.
Now let's go to the punctual spells, which are many and can help a lot. Stress Defense can be used both defensively, both to protect your important units, and also in response to an enemy unit that is taking a lot of damage (Viktor, Pantheon, Sion...). Minimorph also has this idea of stopping some problematic unit, so it works for huge units as well as Ezreal, Lux and Heimer, who may not do as much damage in their attacks, but generate a lot of value and in the case of Ezreal , can give you a lethal burst without you responding.
Pokey Stick can remove a low health unit and draw card. If it's a slow game, and you don't have any units to target, you can also ping your opponent's Nexus and draw a card to improve your hand.
Mist's Call can bring a unit back to life, so it's important to keep it and use it to bring one of your champions back. The ideal is Veigar, given its climbing power.
Finally, there is Transposition, which is a way to protect your champions (or an important unit like the Ixtali Sentinel) and be able to bring them back at 0. This spell can also be used aggressively if your champions are already leveled and on the board. You can use it on Veigar, for example, and bring him back to deal more damage to the enemy Nexus with his Darkness.
Mulligan and Game Posture
The Darkness Mulligan is pretty simple: In almost every game you choose to keep Veigar and the Twisted Catalyzer in your hand, as they are responsible for increasing the damage dealt by Darkness. If a Stress Defense or Mist's Call comes along with them, I also recommend keeping it. Now if you are against any Aggro deck, I recommend leaving Conchologist, because in addition to being a blocker, it can generate something to deal with enemy units and all possible healing, especially Vile Feast.
Your game posture, as it is a control deck, you will opt for a more responsive posture, almost always saving your mana to use the removals you have.
Although your initial strategy is to increase the size of darkness and decrease its cost, you need to be careful not to compromise your mana and have the necessary answers so that the deck can flow in the best possible way.
Thresh / Nasus
The Thresh/Nasus deck, which is slowly making a comeback, doesn't have many ways to stop the Darkness from growing and most units in the deck are low on health, so they can be removed easily. In addition, there are Minimorph, Vengeance, Wallop, and Stress Defense to stop Nasus.
Sion / Draven
Sion/Draven is also making a comeback and basically the same text I wrote up there works here. With the difference that in place of Nasus, it's Sion to be stopped and the ways to prevent the Darkness from growing that the deck has are with burns, but it's not interesting for the deck to lose its burns.
Aggro's biggest enemies are heals and removals, which have a lot in Senna / Veigar's deck, so it's pretty easy to deal with this type of deck.
Senna / Veigar just doesn't click against Mono Shurima, that's why the deck has been missing in the ranked queue, since they're having a lot of Sun Disc decks. As a slower deck, Darkness allows Mono Shurima to shine, not to mention the deck doesn't take monument removal.
Taliyah / Ziggs
Taliyah and Ziggs flip much faster than Senna and Veigar and the important units in the monument deck have high health, so removals from the Darkness deck don't do much. It almost always happens that Taliyah Ziggs proposes a huge attack and Senna / Veigar has very few units to respond to the attack and few responses to stop these units.
Caitlyn / Ezreal
If Senna/Veigar has removals, Caitlyn Ezreal has a lot more, so you can't practically keep your units on the board and the longer time passes, the better Caitlyn/Ezreal will do.
So, did you understand how the deck works? I confess that I really like the deck and I always take it to the tournaments I participate. Apart from Mono Shurima, which I find practically impossible to win, even difficult matches like Taliyah / Ziggs and Caitlyn / Ezreal, can be won.
So I have Senna/Veigar as my deck which won't let me down most of the time. If you liked it, leave your comment and if you have any questions about the deck, just talk to me! ;)