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Ezreal Spell Control Deck Guide - P&Z / Noxus

January 30th, 2020 | jscaliseok
Legends of Runeterra is a game built around units. However, just because some people play on the board doesn't mean you have to. There are many ways to deck build in the game, and forgoing the traditional "play a unit and attack" model is one of them.

This article, which kicks off a series where we will look at interesting and successful decks in the current meta, breaks down a list that goes all in on spells. While you can win by attacking, that's not what we're trying to do here.

>> Ezreal Spell Control Deck List <<


The List

When I first played Legends of Runeterra during last year's preview, I fell in love with all-spell decks. The goal is to survive the early game with cheap removal and then finish off your opponent with a combination of a Leveled Ezreal or direct face damage through cards like Mystic Shot and Get Excited!

The initial builds blended P&Z with Shadow Isles, but that once-solid combination did not hold up to the spider and elusive decks I kept seeing in ranked. While I could pull something out every once in a while, I would typically run out of gas, not have the right cards at the right time, or simply not be able to efficiently use my mana.

That led me away from Shadow Isles and into Noxus. Though many people do not think of the region when they think of control, Noxus has a range of powerful removal options that expertly back up P&Z. In fact, Culling Blade and Noxian Guillotine are two of the most efficient kill spells in the current game. Blade was an especially great tool against Braum, Zed, and Elise.

That switch made the deck better, but I still found myself strapped for resources in a lot of games. Then, reddit user kingslowking19 hit diamond with a spell-based Noxus/P&Z build that did something I'd never thought of (as we'll see below). This list is my own version of his deck that I've used it to climb ranked ladder with great success.

The Hero(es)


In this build we only use one hero in Ezreal. While the original also packed in a single copy of Heimerdinger, I found the five drop to be completely underwhelming. Not only was his body too fragile, but I almost never had an opportunity to chain spells while he was on the board. This deck is all about hand efficiency. Burning through cards to get board presence is not where you want to be.

Ezreal, on the other hand, is everything you could ever want. The 1/3 also has a fragile body, but has two things going for him. First, he's removal/damage on a stick. The elusive makes him tricky to deal with, and every turn he strikes the nexus he generates value. There are many two health units running around right now, including Zed. Ezreal deals with them quickly and efficiently. Even against elusive decks, you can pace the game by removing your opponent's units and then getting in for a free Mystic Shot.

Ezreal is also this deck's main win condition. While he's strong on his own, leveled up he becomes a powerhouse. Getting two damage from every spell in the deck adds up extremely quickly to the point where a level two Ezreal will almost always close things out when he comes down.

When playing the 1/3, know you don't always have to use him on turn three. Though that makes a lot of sense when facing off against aggro, you can hold him back against slower decks and only drop him when he's leveled up. Control has a lot of removal right now. Rather than playing Ezreal into an easy kill spell, sit back, wait it out, then burst your opponent down once you have the mana to do so.

I would love to have another hero somewhere in this list, but none of the current options from Noxus or P&Z fit the mold. Heimerdinger is a flex spot, but even the original list only ran a single copy.

The Removal

There are many, many removal spells packed into this list, and they all serve a specific purpose.

First off, we have Thermogenic Beam. This is one of the weaker cards in the deck. Not because of its power level, but because it eats all of your mana (including spell) when cast. That's a large problem because it's all in. You can't use this card to bait out Deny or combat tricks. Rather, you have to commit right away.

Only drop beam when you have a window to do so. You never open with it, and you often want to pass when your opponent has a lot of mana to see what they're going to do. You also want to use up your extra mana first to ensure you can get other spells in if needed. As it is so all-in, this card is best used early on, but remember it is one of your only ways to efficiently take out large units.

Culling Strike and Noxian Guillotine are the two reasons we dip into Noxus over other regions. Strike is the best removal spell in the current game. Not only does it pick off Braum, Elise, Thresh, and Zed, but it also hits every early elusive unit. Cheap unconditional removal is not easy to come by, and it nicely shores up your curve. This is not something you tend to save, unless there is a specific target (like Braum) that you have no other way to deal with.

Noxian Guillotine is another great spell, but it's tricky to use. There are many ways to damage units here, but you often need to get that damage in the turn before you use Guillotine. That is because, if your opponent open attacks, you can't play a damage spell and guillotine at the same time. You have to damage, take a hit, then use it. That can rapidly lower your life total is not properly set up.

The rest of the removal suite rounds out with Blade's Edge, Mystic Shot, and Get Excited! All three of these cards have two functions. They remove small minions early on, and they go face late. Controlling the board should always be your first priority. However, always watch your opponent's life total and don't be afraid to start chucking spells at their nexus. That goes double when you have a fully Leveled Ezreal.

The Whumps

The biggest innovation to this build, and what kingslowking19 brought to the table, is the inclusion of the whumps. I never thought about this package, but it is the final piece of the puzzle.

You have three Clump of Whumps and three Chump Whumps. While their bodies aren't the best, they each generate Mushroom Clouds. Those one mana spells can be played with Ezreal for extra damage or, much more importantly, they can be discarded with both Get Excited! and Rummage.

When I first built this deck I found that I ran out of cards too easily. The clouds fix that problem by allowing you to cast Get Excited! or Rummage with no drawback. Being able to pitch a card that didn't start in your deck costs you no tempo and allows you to keep everything you want. This trick also works with Ezreal's fleeting Mystic Shots as well.

The Top End

A deck like this one doesn't necessarily need a high curve. In fact, a lot of its strength comes from being able to effectively deal with aggro through cheap spells. Even so, there are three two-ofs at the top that help shore up the build.
Like kingslowking19, I started off with a single copy of Trueshot Barrage. However, the more I played the deck, the more I wanted two. Three is much too many, but being able to chip down three different units is fantastic. This is the closest thing you have to AOE, and it works wonders against aggro and elusive builds. You also get three Ezreal ticks for the price of one.

When using barrage, remember that you can cast it as early as turn four if you have full spell mana. That is one of the strongest plays against aggressive decks. Just don't go into that plan or skip turns if you're under too much pressure. Saving your mana is good if you're going to live, but taking an extra six plus damage is rarely worth it. Also, be aware that this card is quite weak against Ionia, who can easily Deny it. As with Thermogenic Beam, you need to fit it into a window.

A deck like this doesn't need a lot of card draw, but there are times where you need some extra gas. That is where Progress Day! comes in.The burst on this card is fantastic, allowing you to see your what you draw before your opponent can react, and the one mana discount is one of the best ways to set up a large Ezreal turn. As this is costly, you typically want to play it when your opponent doesn't have an attack token

The final high-cost card is Corina Veraza. The original list ran Minotaur Reckoner in this spot, but after testing I vastly prefer Corina. Her ability is not just strong, it's game ending. You have a few more minions (thanks to the whumps) than I would prefer, but she still almost always hits for four or five. Even if you hit for three, which feels like the floor here, it's fantastic. You get AOE, a big body, and the ability to get in face damage. She is often the burn I use to set up a big Ezreal push, but can work as a finisher as well.

Just note that Corina gets hit hard by Deny, especially if you're counting on her to get you back into the game. When facing Ionia, always do what you can to bait out the three mana spell before she comes down on nine.

Alternate Considerations

This deck has a few flex spots in it, and you can tweak those depending on what you see on ladder.
The original list ran one Death Lotus, and I have none (choosing to play Scrapdash Assembly instead). However, with spider decks coming back a bit, it is a fine option to run over cards like Blade's Edge or the second Trueshot Barrage.

Scrapdash Assembly, while good at stalling, can turn into extra removal or Death Lotus as well. I like the card because it goes wide and sets up Noxian Guillotine. You can also cut a Blade's Edge for a third.

Corina can go back to a Minotaur Reckoner if you want a lower curve. Just note that makes the deck much more all-in on Ezreal.

If you see a lot of control with Commander Ledros, I would fit a Hextech Transmogulator somewhere into the forty. Probably over the second barrage, which isn't great against control, or a Blade's Edge/Noxian Guillotine.

Mulligan Guide

When mulliganing with this list, you want to aggressively look for early removal against everything that isn't slow control. Blade's Edge, Thermogenic Beam, Mystic Shot, Clump of Whumps, Scrapdash Assembly, and Culling Strike are all great to keep against low curve decks.

Though it is strong, Noxian Guillotine is a card I rarely keep because it needs support to work. It is only important to hold against Braum. Get Excited! Is another card that should only be kept with a whump. Even when facing a low curve deck, you have so many other removal options it's best to roll the dice rather than risk losing early tempo through discard.

Rummage is not a card I like to keep against aggro, but I will keep it against slow control if I have a whump in hand. Ezreal and Statikk Shock are both strong keeps against aggro, and Chump Whump should always be kept against control. The 4/4 is also a good on-curve keep against aggro.

Always pay attention to your spell mana when considering your curve. You might look at your hand, see Noxian Guillotine alongside Trueshot Barrage and Statikk Shock, and think you need to find cheaper cards. However, while the Guillotine is a bit too slow there, the Statikk Shock can come down on turn three and the Barrage can come down on turn four. See what you're up against and adapt accordingly.

LoR is still in the (very) early stages, and nobody quite knows how the meta will shape up. Even so, if you're looking for something different to play early on, this list is for you. Spell lists are not easy to understand at first, and they are even harder to pilot. Even so, if you're willing to put in the time to learn how to efficiently use your removal, they are a blast to play.

(Last Updated: February 6th, 2020)

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