This deck is full of creative plays and crazy game interactions, besides being incredibly consistent and a great option for those who enjoy playing Control lists.
Gnar Jhin, Bandle City's Yasuo
But, the community has always tried out a few Bandle City Jhin lists here and there, and it was never a strong or popular archetype. There are even reports of some Jhin Kennen lists which managed to go quite far on ranked queue some time ago, but, even then, the archetype never moved forward. Until now.
The list has many spells that control the board as direct damage removals, which converse pretty well with Jhin and take advantage of the synergies which his followers have. As Jhin offers a wide variety of followers from other regions at the time of deckbuilding, the Bandle City region fits in like a glove in the list, as it is a region made to play adapting itself to other regions.
Besides that, the meta is asking for a Control deck which is dynamic and has both attackers and blockers with decent stats. The list transforms itself throughout the match into a Slow Burn deck, which finishes matches in many different ways.
Our deck plays controlling the board on the first few turns, removing small threats from our opponent's board. Afterward, it goes into mid-game, cancelling or removing the opponent's main win condition with Avenging Vastaya's deny, or slaying their main unit with Lord Broadmane.
This list revives one of the oldest finishers in LoR, Riptide Rex, which has already gone through many decks in the meta, throughout the years, and survived rotation. Rex has a very strong synergy with Jhin's origin effect, ability The Virtuoso, because, if you behold a Jhin and activate Rex's effect, you'll fill the spell/skill pile, preventing your opponent from playing spells as a response.
Rex plays 7 skills, and for each 3 skills played, Jhin will put on stack a ability Lotus Trap, filling the stack with a total of 9 skills. Your opponent will still be able to use burst spells, as they do not go to the stack, but they will be unable to answer your combo with any fast spells.
Lord Broadmane works pretty well with Rex as well, because he makes it easier for you to deal damage to the Nexus, once you'll only need two shots from Rex*'s cannon to slay a single unit.
Another alternative win-condition for this deck is based on Norra's portals - you never know what can come from them, and a random unit can save your game and win it for you. And, lastly, we have the spells created by Conchologist, which can turn matches around and guarantee you a few bad matchups.
This list has a strategy which differs a lot depending on the matchups you're facing. As it is a deck with a responsive posture, it is always preferable that you have in hand the card which solves your opponent's main win condition right away.
And, as a result, this list can be considered a tough deck to pilot, as you'll need to have vast knowledge of several matchups, and understand the meta decks pretty well. Even then, you must always have Jhin in your initial hand.
The ideal perfect initial hand to play against Control lists is:
This hand has as a goal to respond key spells your opponent might play and forcing out a win condition with portals. With this hand, you'll be the beatdown in the match and will have to take decisions that force your opponent to want to answer your board; otherwise they'll take a lot of damage from your followers.
The ideal prefect initial hand to play against aggressive lists is:
Junk Construct is the best blocker in the game; you'll shuffle a possible blocker which comes in for free in the next 4 turns. Not to mention, Bandle City is the region which still has the only ping spell which was left after rotation, Pie Toss, which is useful to remove small units.
Drop the Bomb is also one of the best Control cards in Bandle City, and, if played on turn 5, on turn 8 you'll activate your Rex's Plunder effect for free.
Annie Jhin - The Annie Jhin list can't deal with the handful of removals and blocker value generators that Jhin Gnar's list has. Though Annie's list is great against decks which don't heal, a big part of their damage comes from spells and skills, which can easily be stopped by Avenging Vastaya, one of the protagonists in your deck.
This way, it is very hard for your opponent to deal damage enough, fast enough against us.
Karma Sett - Karma decks of any kind suffer a lot against this sort of list which can put Norra portals in their deck. That happens because there's suddenly a lot of value on board, and Karma will hardly have resources enough to clean the board efficiently.
But, it is the only Siren Song list which suffers against Jhin's Bandle City deck. The absence of Fizz makes this deck too vulnerable to all the removals we have. Not to mention, Avenging Vastaya is naturally pretty strong against Siren Song.
This matchup is quite unusual, but it can happen quite frequently in tournaments, and that is why it makes the list.
The Poro king - Though Poro lists are underperforming, it is still a very popular deck, and it has everything it takes to end the happiness of Jhin players. Poros play well putting on pressure at all times; at some point in the match, Jhin's removal resources run out, and the Poro list still has many low-cost units to play.
It is possible to neutralize the board, and end Poros' lives, but it is very hard, even more so if they're big enough Pouty Poro gets Tough. Once any Tough units go on board, the Jhin list stops working.
Vayne Aatrox - The Vayne list has as one of its main units a Tough unit, Ranger-Knight Defector. This way, it is very hard for the Jhin list to stop this deck, even more so as it is a list that starts being aggressive right at turn 4, which is still a development turn for the Bandle City control deck.
Not to mention, the way in which Darkins recycle in your hand causes the Jhin deck to lose a lot of time removing units, and spend too many of their resources. It doesn't help to have a Lord Broadmane on board if you've already spent all your damage spells.
Nasus - The Nasus list with Vaults of Helia is a patient deck which plays solitaire. And, the Jhin list can't do anything once the landmark is on board, and starts working with the deck itself. Not to mention, it is very easy for that deck to recycle Nasus, reviving it, or even protecting it with denies.
Fast, But Very Important Tips
- Gnar isn't a protagonist in your list, and many times can even be a heavy card. The personal taste of each player counts a lot when it's time to build it, and, for that reason, you can swap Gnar for a Norra if you identify more with the yordle's play style.
- Conchologist is one of the best cards in that deck due to its consistency. You'll only be able to create Bandle City spells, once Jhin doesn't count as a region, and Conchologist can only create resources in your deck's regions.
- Though your opponent knows very well that your bush is an Avenging Vastaya, the card still locks down the enemy deck's development. And you can end up locking down your opponent's mana through many turns without your opponent even being able to do anything.
- The card Condense is the best when you're trying to get some value back into your game, because you can copy a Rex or a Lord Broadmane. If the match is hard, you can even copy units that create value from your opponent's own board.
- If you play Drop the Bomb on turn 5, you'll activate your Rex's effect for free on turn 8.
- The list profits a lot from having your Jhin on board. As a result, try as much as you can to bring him safely to your board. Jhin will be responsible for stunning and controlling the board, and that will make your deck's resource management pretty easy.
- This deck is quite hard and requires its pilot to understand matchups pretty well, besides knowing the opponent's deck. That is why I don't recommend playing this list in big tournaments such as the Runeterra Open, because you won't have access to your opponent's list, and you'll never know what you're gonna face.
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