If you've opened any website that shows meta decks and stats about Runeterra, you might have noticed more than one list of Nasus popping up on your screen. 80% of the cards in these decks are the same, and they only have a few very specific changes, but that completely change the style of play of the lists.
Let's talk about each of these lists and comment on the main differences of each deck, so you can understand the meta, and learn why this archetype can be played in so many ways.
Classic Nasus & Vaults
This deck was the first one that brought the Vaults of Helia combo to the game. This deck is the one that takes the rawest form of what players first thought the Vaults combo to the Nasus control archetype would be.
The combo is simple: just place the units on the field, and on turn 4 play the monument Vaults of Helia - after that, throughout the turns, the cards will be eliminated, and replaced by larger units from your list, until you reach your Nasus.
Once the champion touches the field, it's very difficult to get him out of there, as The Rekindler will already be bringing other Nasus to the table very easily. And even if your opponent destroys your Nasus, you can easily reposition others on the field.
This list became very popular because it is a deck that “plays by itself”, and it is an easy list to play, even appealing to the taste of those players who do not have much affinity with control archetypes. The huge popularity of this deck led players to queue against many mirror matches, which forced them to change the deck to better play these matchups.
Some notable differences are the presence of the card Glory's Call, which, along with the addition of 1 copy of Azir to the list, makes the deck much more prepared for the endgame. The Emperor's Deck cards are very strong, and Azir's role in this list is just to be played to reduce the cost of Glory's Call, so you can play the Emperor's cards more easily.
Another change is that players no longer use Dess & Ada in this list, and instead opt for Terror of the Tides as their main finisher. Terror of the Tides is a card that has an effect very similar to that of Nasus to reduce the attack from enemy blockers, and this greatly facilitates the deck's strategy of passing damage with fearsome units.
Aside from these changes, the deck plays the same compared with its version without Azir. This Glory's Call set of cards became very popular, and played extensively in competitive lineups and ranked queue, until the Heart of the Huntress expansion arrived.
With the popularization of Siren Song lists, Nasus stopped appearing, as it didn't do very well against Siren decks. However, after the 4.7.0 patch nerfs, Nasus returned to being one of the main options for ranked queue and came back with everything to the meta, but now with its newest version with Veigar.
Nasus e Veigar
The version with Veigar is better at clearing the board, and overall it's a deck that does better against popular ranked queue lists. We're talking about Poros and Neeko decks, which are very present in ranked.
This combination was always possible from the beginning, but now that decks that fill the board very easily are more popular, the Nasus lists once again adapts to respond to the meta. It is still a deck that plays the same as its other versions, only the finishers and some interactions are changed.
The best Nasus for competitive
I bring a gift here to my readers that compete on grassroot tournaments, the best version to play in tourneys, knowing that the competitive meta is very different from the ranked meta.
In tournaments, it is possible to queue against control decks, and also against aggressive decks, unlike ranked, where aggressive lists are more popular. Therefore, I recommend the list of Nasus that mixes the 3 versions of the deck and brings the Glory's Call combo, along with the removals from Veigar with Dess & Ada.
This is the more modern and more competitive version – but make no mistake, the Veigar deck without Azir is better for playing ranked queue. Therefore, this list will possibly not perform so well if you test it in ranked, ok?
If you've read this far, you now know all about the top 3 differences between Nasus meta lists.
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