Jinx has quite an extensive track record when it comes to being part of meta decks, and, whenever the game is going through a new meta process, she appears again. Let's understand how this strong and consistent list works.
Jinx & Kennen
Jinx and Kennen is an amalgamation of good cards from Bandlecity and Piltover & Zaun regions, which together have synergy with discard effects. In a few days, right after the patch arrived, this deck already had the best win rate in the global ranked queues.
This is because many plays from this deck are not easily answered by the vast majority of meta lists. And even decks prepared to deal with the threats of Jinx Kennen can't get away from the 55-50% win rate against it. That's why this list is possibly one of the best options to be brought to both the ranked queue and tournaments.
This list addresses a very old concept within Runeterra, being a Discard list, and with elements of Burn. This style of play has been around since Runeterra was born, so players often naturally know their way around the cards that make up the list. But, with Jinx and Kennen, it's a little different, as some discard synergies give us Mecha-Yordle units, which are extremely strong followers. Choosing these Mecha-Yordles can be a bit confusing, and some can be much stronger than others in specific situations.
Another differential is the high mana curve, which can make decisions a little difficult when it comes to leveling up your Jinx. Usually, this champion has always been the heaviest card on their lists, with very few exceptions, but in this deck, it competes with 3 other different 4-mana card slots in the deck. This forces the player to often have to discard some valuable synergy in favor of trying their best to level up their Jinx.
This list is somewhat dependent on Jinx, the main win condition; she will be largely responsible for bringing back the gas to the player's hand, in addition to dealing a lot of damage against the Nexus every turn. We don't have tools to defend Jinx, and, therefore, the great difficulty of the deck is knowing when to play the champion.
If you do not draw your Jinx in the match, it is possible to win only with the deck's units damage pressure, but it is more difficult. It's comical how much the list's win rate increases when you have Jinx in your hand, compared to when she doesn't appear.
However, some Mecha-Yordles can make a difference when Jinx is absent. Like, for example, Smash & Dash, which are by far the strongest of this pool of cards; for 3 mana, you get a 4|4 unit, with 2 points of Impact, and that is very strong. Then there's Furyhorn Crasher, which is also a cheap option that generates a lot of resources; Shadowtech Walker, to evade blockers, and Trumpetecher to buff the board. These are the best ones, and while the ones that are left can be interesting, they are much more situational.
Squeaker is another unit that can be considered in the starting hand, as it creates a Mecha-Yordle in hand, and is also a very strong attacker in the first turns.
Another card that makes a lot of difference is Return-O Wrench, which is one of the main tools to ensure that you always have discard material in your hands.
The big problem with discard lists, historically, is the lack of resources and discard materials. Now with the Return-O Wrench equipment, you're literally recycling your material in your hands, and you never run out of resources to keep triggering your card's discard effect.
Unfortunately, this unit is a little too expensive, and doesn't match with the deck's pressure proposal very well, but it sure helps a lot when you're having problems in the game.
Fizz Samira - Fizz Samira has returned from the dead once again, and it's all over the ranked queue. But Samira can't handle the pressure and speed of Jinx's deck units. Not to mention that Fizz' deck doesn't have interactions with the board that can directly remove your Jinx, and, therefore, once she touches the table, she will hardly leave.
Heimerdinger Jayce - Despite Jayce's control list being proficient in dealing with aggressive decks, Jinx's list deals damage both from the board and from direct damage spells, and that's a little too much for Jayce.
Many times, the control player will be put in situations where he will have to Vengeance a 2 cost unit, or will have to spend all mana to remove an extremely cheap unit. Not to mention that there aren't any cheap healing elements in the Shadow Isles region in Standard format, so it's much harder to stop the damage coming from the Jinx deck these days.
Azir Nasus - Nasus is still strong in the meta, and is claiming many victims in tournaments, but this deck can't handle the pressure that the Jinx list proposes for the same reason that Jayce decks can't: removals are too expensive. And it's a lot of pressure all the time from Jinx.
As the Nasus deck is forced to spend a turn doing “nothing”, this opens up a window of opportunity for the Jinx deck to prepare very strong plays that will not be answered as easily by the control player.
Kayn Aatrox - The Darkin deck returned to the meta only to clash with Jinx. The quality of Aatrox units allows them to block the board and remain on the field to block one more turn. Not to mention that both champions have healing elements, easily exploited in this matchup.
Kayn has no difficulty striking and leveling up, and Aatrox is a blocker that will always be there. This all added to the equipped followers dealing damage all the time, makes the Jinx deck unable to hold the value and pace of play of the Darkins deck.
Illaoi Swain - Historically, Noxus Control decks have been strong against discard lists, and Swain Illaoi is no different. This happens because the removals of this deck are equally cheap compared to the cards they are removing, and very efficient.
Not to mention that the status quality of Swain's units is higher than Jinx's units, and Swain tends to level up quite easily. Once he's level 2, there's no way to stop his attack, and he'll almost certainly clear Jinx's board.
Illaoi is also an unstoppable champion, and often wins the game alone, dealing a lot of damage, and generating strong blockers and attackers on the board.
Miss Fortune Quinn - Scouts keep winning in the ranked queue, and Jinx is yet another victim of this deck. It turns out that the Jinx list can't stop an attack with Champions' Strength, and also can't deal with challenger units.
Miss Fortune is a champion that makes trades too easy once she's on board, and her effect of dealing 1 damage to opposing units is enough to kill, right off the bat, more than half of units available in Jinx's deck.
Quick but Important Tips
Avoid playing Jinx on curve against control decks; the ideal is to wait to play the champion when you have mana, and enough tools to level her up at Burst Speed.
When you are undecided on which card to discard, always try to discard duplicate cards, and then the most expensive cards, or those that make less sense to be played at the moment.
Kennen is an extremely situational champion, and is only on the list for being a card that can generate discard fodder, but if your personal taste prefers Teemo, or another champion, you can play it that way without any problems.
Yordle Squire can give you a spell that increases the health, or the attack of your units. This spell will normally be discarded, but if you don't need to discard it, always choose the option to give more attack.
Timewinder is a card that makes mirror matches a lot easier, and can win you some games.
Keep in mind that cards like Blowback and Rummage don't necessarily discard 2 cards from your hand; you can choose to discard only 1 card, and in the case of Blowback, none. This interaction in some matches can be essential for you to win the game.
Keep in mind that Parts Made Whole is an extremely strong card, and can give you Burst speed attackers and blockers if you discard any equipment.
Cards that generate other cards in hand, like Kennen, Scrapheap, Squeaker and card draws, first resolve on the field, then they create those cards. That's why even though these cards create other cards, they still manage to level up your Jinx, so don't be afraid to play a Kennen on board, as the card he generates will be added to your hand, and only afterward Jinx will level up.
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