The Warden of the Tribes archetype is one of the most diverse archetypes in the whole game, as it is possible to build this list in many ways. In the competitive scene and the ranked queue, this strategy is very strong, as you can finish matches very easily by playing Warden on turn 8 and sharing tons of stats to your units.
Due to the great number of lists that are part of this archetype, many players might feel a bit lost when they're trying to learn how to play Warden of the Tribes correctly. For that reason, today I bring you a guide to these decks, and I will also explain what is the main difference between each Warden of the Tribes list.
The First Version: The Classic One
This is the most optimized version possible of the classic package of cards that make up this list. It is extremely consistent, with many defensive resources, and full of synergies with the follower subtypes.
This list, in particular, has as main focus playing your units on curve as many times as possible. Whenever necessary, you'll spend your mana to stop or answer an enemy attack with Frostbites, or Strike spells such as Single Combat.
This deck is quite classic and is the first version that rose in popularity on the ranked queue. This deck's problem is that it is such a famous archetype that many players end up facing too many mirror matches, which forces them to change the list a bit to adapt to these annoying battles.
That's how the current most popular version came to be, with Vayne.
The Most Popular Version: Vayne
This version is better prepared to deal with other Warden decks, as it has a cheaper and more incisive card package.
Notice that there aren't many changes from one to another - in fact, most cards are the same. But the defensive spells, and some mid-game control tools, such as Joraal, are tools that create considerable advantage in mirror matches.
At the end of the day, the Warden of the Tribes player who has bigger stats on board always wins. And even if you have Warden on curve, if you don't have units, it will be for nothing - you won't win this way either.
Another advantage this list has over the other is that it is possible to attack multiple times, abusing cards such as Tumble and Cataclysm. You can also Rally quite easily, if we use these cards on Ranger-Knight Defector.
Despite this deck being better against the classic Warden list, there is another version which can share more stats than any other deck in this archetype. We're talking about Neeko.
Neeko was made to play with Warden of the Tribes, but as her power level has always been quite low ever since she was released, no one really ventured into testing her in this archetype. That is, until we realized that, of all Warden decks, this version is the one who stacks more stats, as it is the one who plays the highest number of different subtype units on board.
In matchups between different Warden lists, having more stats on board than your opponent does means you win, so, this version, by itself, put Neeko back in the competitive scene.
Even though this deck's followers have a lower quality than most other followers in other Warden lists, at the end of the game they'll be bigger anyway due to the number of subtypes your Warden of the Tribes has absorbed.
However, the bad side here is that, as this is a list more focused on playing Warden of the Tribes on board, the only other win condition is a level 2 Neeko. That makes us extremely dependent on these cards to win.
Hence, this list, despite being the best for matches between Warden lists, can be the worst list of all in many situations - precisely as it isn't consistent against other decks.
To fix this inconsistency, a Shurima version came up, abusing the Predict mechanic to guarantee you'll always have the card you need exactly when you need it.
As we discussed before, this version is maybe the most consistent of all, due to the Predict mechanic. Forsaken Baccai and Xer'Sai Caller, besides having subtypes of their own, are units which Predict, and make it easier for you to find your Warden of the Tribes whenever you need it.
Another card that helps with consistency is Defenders of the Sun Disc, which has the "Elite" subtype, and helps this list filter itself on its own, as the copies of this card draw themselves.
This version doesn't miss out on the Strike interactions the Demacia version has due to the card Desert Duel, which is a Strike tool in Shurima. Not to mention the champions in this list, aside from Sejuani, all have subtypes too, which helps with the synergy.
This version is possibly the one that best fits a "middle ground" for everything, both for Warden matches and to deal with the rest of the meta.
But if you're looking for an extremely consistent list, that might be the best-prepared list to deal with matchups other than Warden lists, Janna is your champion:
This might be the version which is better prepared for competitive tournaments, as Janna is great at supporting this archetype. Janna arrived to the game as an extremely diversified wildcard champion, which can pair up with practically any strategy in the game. But, due to her card package's offensive nature, she ends up pairing with the Warden of the Tribes archetype and creating a very strong and abusive combination.
The fact we can play this list's units for a reduced mana cost is very strong, not to mention you'll have at your disposal a lot of card draw, which will drastically increase your odds of drawing your Warden on curve.
Despite this list being, in general, the one that grows Warden the least, it is undoubtedly the faster deck, and has more board presence.
Janna's package of removal cards is also great to end the hopes and dreams of many meta decks currently.
So, in general, you'll always be equipped with countless resources which match the meta, even if your units aren't that big.
If you read this far, now you know the main difference of each Warden of the Tribes list.
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