How I milled every encounter in Path of Champions
Conan milled EVERY opponent in Path of Champions. Here are all their decklists, and Conan's how-to.
Hello everyone, my name is Conansson. You might already know me from my unoffical LoR rulebook or some other educational resource, but what I bring to you today is the biggest project so far: collecting ALL the decklists for every one of the in total 351 separate encounters in Path of Champions 2.0.
You can find the full list here (it also features all known Powers, Items, Relics, Main and Support Champions, Exclamation Mark encounters, Path-exclusive and token cards you can find in shops or encounters):
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How was it accomplished, though?
The hard Mill
The word “milling” comes from the Magic the Gathering card “Millstone”, which allowed you to, once per turn, put two cards from your opponent’s deck into their graveyard — in Magic, like in LoR, if you run out of cards to draw, you lose. Since then, strategies that revolve around running your opponents out of cards in their deck and winning by deck-out have been known as Mill decks.
This strategy is the obvious one when trying to collect all the decklists of an AI: build an unbreakable board (for example with Aurelion Sol Lvl. 2) and wait until they play out all their cards. I used Bard and Illaoi, since both have infinite scaling with Bard Lvl. 2 and Illaoi’s Spawn 3 on attack.
Furthermore, they have champion spells (Traveler’s Call and Tentacle Smash) that can be played without any conditions — champion spells also create an extra card in the deck (the champs themselves), thus preventing the player from decking out. At the start of an adventure, the player only has 18 cards, but some of the AI decks have up to 40 right away, so reshuffling is essential. That’s why, for milling the AI, it’s not ideal to use champs like Yasuo (unless you want to do things in “hard mode”, as we’ll see below), since Steel Tempest relies on the opponent attacking for it to be castable, and therefore the player may deck out if the AI does not attack.
However, this method has some flaws.
First of all, it takes an insanely long amount of time. Second, there are some cards that the AI doesn’t play out on its own, and have to be baited out by the player. A common example would be Nopeify! — when playing as Bard, you don’t start with any spell that costs three mana or less, so the AI will never be able to play the spell, leaving it with 2 unknown cards in the end.
Third, there are some encounters that reshuffle cards into the AI’s deck, be it Legion Marauders, Poros or Yetis.
Sticky Fingers - the holy grail of Mill runs
This is where Sticky Fingers comes in. It allows you to draw a card from the bottom of the opponent’s deck on every attack. Without this Power, milling out a lot of encounters would simply be impossible.
There are also plenty of ways to abuse, it like Scout or Rallies, or for example Domination Power, which gives you a Rally each round start. It also works with free attacks, making Jarvan IV and Irelia some of my favorite support champions.
However, a new problem arises: In order to Nab, you now have to attack the opponent, which leads to the hard balancing act of not killing the AI until it runs out of cards in the deck.
And, secondly, if you Rally too much and Nab too fast, the AI won’t have enough mana to play all the cards in their hand, leaving you with a bunch of missing cards.
Therefore, time to learn more about how the AI works !
The Path of Champions AI
The first thing to note is that there isn’t just one AI for all of Path of Champions — the bot opponent uses different play patterns.
If you play the early 0,5-Star adventures, the AI will always attack and block with everything almost every times, whereas in later encounters (like Field Musicians on Kai’Sa’s path) the AI will not attack at all unless their condition of 3 units on the board for their +2/+2 is fulfilled.
There are some general patterns, though:
The AI will opt to take even trades (3/2 vs 2/3), but avoids attacking into a significantly bigger unit on later stages.
If a unit with a certain Power is attacking (usually it’s 5+), the AI will chump-block it.
The AI can’t surrender or suicide from a normal attack (if the AI’s Nexus is at 1 life and you attack, they have to block it).
Most encounters don’t override their own units, and instead opt for an all-out swing if their board is full.
Scout attacks/free attacks really screw with the AI. It won’t block them most of the time and can even suicide into them.
The AI will often pass back if the player passes with the attack token, to avoid being attacked. It usually doesn’t pass by itself if it has an action it can take.
Using this knowledge, we can set up good attacks with the Nab power, abusing the fact that we know when the AI is forced to go for a block. Another way is of course with Challengers, which is why my champions usually carry Laurent Bladerack. However, I have killed the AI using Scout attacks more than once, leading to me having to redo the adventure.
The hardest Encounters
Let’s take a look at some of the hardest encounters for a Mill challenge in Path 2.0.!
I feel obligated to start with the final boss of Path 2.0, Galio. While he has an enormous health pool and a very big deck, there is nothing stopping you from sitting it out with Bard Lvl. 2 until he runs out of cards.
In this picture, you can also see how I collected the decklists. The first few days were streamed on Twitch.
In fact, Galio was so easy that I decided to handicap myself and milled him out with Jinx. Powder is the ultimate challenge since her Power deals 1 to the enemy Nexus, essentially limiting how many cards you are allowed to play during the match. Still, with abusing Ixtali Sentinel’s Lifesteal to heal Galio back up, the SI version with Senna was successfully decked out.
Azir is another fight that is causing trouble for people, but most of his damage is very frontloaded. I went with my favorite Lux and picked up The Ruination with Grifter’s Deck in order to counter the Emperor’s Divide, the rest was was very simple.
Viktor is a special boss as he has 49 cards in the deck and 3x Death Ray Mk - 1, making a hard mill impossible since you hit the 50-round barrier that automatically ends the game in a draw. With the Nab Power, though, he was quite simple, we even got The Catastrophe from his deck.
Irelia was milled with Lux right when the new path was released, but I forgot to take a screenshot. Reattempting it with Illaoi actually caused me to lose to all the Elusives, then Irelia killed herself with a Shadow Assassin on my Bard run before I could take a proper screenshot.
As a challenge, I ran it back with Yasuo and Gwen as a hard mill. It got quite close since Steel Tempest draws one on each draw, so you had to reshuffle Thread the Needle, which demanded a sacrifice and an enemy each time, also all the Blade Dance coming at the Nexus would have been impossible to keep up without the Fury Power. Still, we managed to pull through with just a single card in the deck. Definetly a fun challenge!
Viego was one of the harder ones since he throws a lot of stats at you and can deal with any engine card like Kindred or Yasuo. He also has Grifter’s Deck on Dawning Shadows, reshuffling two copies in with each cast. Luckily for us, the spell can only be played if you have units, so just nabbing a few copies and then sniping every opposing unit leads to Viego running out of cards.
Hard non-boss Fights
One of the fights people die to the most is Evershade Stalker in Galio, and understandably so. Every unit summoning a copy of itself on Nightfall is ridiculous and it has two copies of Evershade Stalker with Radiant Plate Armor and 3 copies of Ledros with Double Time Watch. I resorted to the good old Aurelion Sol Lvl. 2 alongside Lux with Nab to steal/obliterate all the problematic cards and achieve the milllout.
Another fight that is complained about a lot is The Messenger, and it indeed pushed me down to 9 life on round 1 with multiple copies of The Serpent. However, Yasuo Lvl. 2 sliced up all the Space Doggos afterwards and no Nab Power was needed since the Round Start Messenger summon forced them to run out of cards eventually.
I even milled out The Messenger in Jinx’s 2-Star adventure, which was so much harder since they only have 20 life, so you’re limited on playing 19 cards at most, while having to hold on much longer since they only shuffle the Messsengers in instead of summoning them. This fight took three attempts, but Kindred Lvl. 2 alongside Nab pulled through in the end.
A fight that is worth mentioning is Puffcap Pup in Darius’ 2-Star adventure, which shuffles 3 Puffcaps into the player’s deck at each Round Start and has a bunch of scary cards like Ava Achiever. However, this encounter was easier to mill than the Lulu counterpart due to being healed a lot, and thanks to Darius’ 2-Star power rallies.
Similarily, I got into a bit of trouble once the new Sai Scout in the Kai’Sa level manifested The Howling Abyss and started throwing random champions at me. Luckily, they generated Hexcore Foundry right afterwards, allowing the millout.
The first encounter in an adventure is often the hardest to mill out since you only have 18 cards while the opponents have up to 40, so you have to reshuffle your champion spell (or use Counterfeit Copies). For some of the rooster, like Darius, Miss Fortune and Jinx, this will eventually kill the opponent, so you rely on finding Sticky Fingers. Luckily, Darius’ 2-Star adventure heals the AI on Round End, making it one of the easiest to mill out.
A really hard fight for me was Tibbers in Annie’s 0,5-Star adventure. It’s usually meant as a tutorial mission, but 3 copies of each Tibbers and Culling Strike made it impossible to hold Annie on the board in order to reshuffle her. I had to find the Legendary power Duplicate to be able to shuffle 2 copies of Annie at once before the AI eventually went down.
This also leads us to the only truly impossible fight to deck out: Noxkraya Arena in Jinx’s 2-Star Adventure. It has a 40 card deck with only 15 health, and summons a Noxkraya Arena on the first turn, which will eventually whittle down your units. Jinx’ Star Power will kill the AI after 14 cards have been played, and since it is the first fight, you don’t get any cards. This fight was just mathematically un-millable, but it’s the same encounter as in the Draven Adventure and can be milled rather easily there.
With the newest update, we got Guardian’s Trinket, which makes this fight theoretically possible if you roll Braum with Spirit Stone and Sticky Fingers and Nab all the copies of Culling Strike. This would require being insanely lucky though.
My best run so far featured Spirit Stone Soraka, getting the encounter down to only 8 cards before having to kill them or decking out. If I magically ever get the dream run, this post will be updated.
Battles that reshuffle cards into the deck require the player to find the Nab power in order to be able to beat them by milling them out. There are quite a few of them, but most are really easy. None ever came close to Legion Marauders in Path 1.0, which has been severly nerfed in this iteration (I miss Twisted Fate).
You might be thinking about Jubilant Poro in Nautilus’ adventure, but this fight was fairly easy to mill since the AI doesn’t attack if you have very big units on the board. So I just played Bard Lvl. 2 and the AI would sit there, overriding their own Poros, until eventually they all got obliterated with She who Wanders and the Nab power did the rest.
In fact, I recently milled out the Jubilant Poro in Lee Sin’s 2-Star adventure without even having the Nab power by just never killing a Poro. This fight has a smaller decksize (19 vs 28), but it was still a nice achievement.
An honorable mention goes to Yeti Yearling in Miss Fortune’s 2-Star adventure. Miss Fortune is very bad for milling out encounters. First of all, your Powder Monkeys ping the opponent each round (you can mitigate that by having a full board), but another downside is her 2 -Star Power: Drawing on every attack means the Nab power isn’t as good since you deck out as fast as your opponent.
This encounter shuffles Enraged Yetis into the deck for each one that dies, and you can’t just take all the hits like you can do with fluffy poros. So you must find Sticky Fingers, which took me 8 resets (I never got Z-Drive). Then, you have to beat Ashe, one of the hardest minibosses, to even reach this fight.
Once I got there prepared, Shyvana with Scout easily defeated the Yetis. Still, one of the most time-consuming decklists to collect.
The Ultimate Boss Fight - Ezreal in Lux’s 2-Star
If you ever feel like Path of Champions is too easy, try milling out Ezreal in Lux’s 2-Star adventure. You might be asking yourself: How hard can it be with Lux making Golden Aegis for 0 that works directly with Sticky Fingers? Well, let’s take a look at the decklist:
Not only does it have actual spells in the deck that cost one mana, like Assembly Line, Ezreal also starts with 5 mana due to his passive, meaning he can fill up the board on round one with the right draw. The second issue is that his deck has a ridiculous 51 cards, meaning that just nabbing a few times won’t cut it.
Everything up to this point seems doable. However, once Ezreal levels up, you realize that Trueshot Barrage has Grifter’s Deck, meaning it reshuffles 2 copies on each cast. This fight was ridiculous.
On my first attempt, I had 3 copies of Sticky Fingers and Aurelion Sol, however, Ezreal eventually ran out of life points for me to attack him. Unlike Viego’s Dawning Shadows, Trueshot Barrage is always playable, so you can’t wait it out. I sat there with Ezreal at 1 life and 4 cards with a full board of Celestials, but couldn’t make progress since he played no more units. I had to come up with another plan.
It seemed that the only way was to prevent Ezreal’s level up. The plan was to just kill the first 2-3 copies with Blade’s Edge and spells while not playing any units, so that Statikk Shock doesn’t level up Ezreal. I once managed to kill 3 copies without summoning a single unit, but then he just drew his fourth copy. It wasn’t until later that I discovered: There are 5 copies of the blinky boy in the deck.
Another problem is Lux’ Star Power. Even if your deck somehow consisted out of only Vengeances, you would get a Golden Aegis on each play, which by itself can only be played if you have a unit. If you summon a unit with challenger and plan to get rid of the Aegis, that also doesn’t work since Barrier means you can’t suicide that unit and Ezreal starts spamming spells onto it.
A ridiculous puzzle to solve.
It took me 18 (!!) attempts until I finally got to the winning run. Stalling out the first three Ezreals with Thermogenic Beam, Crashing Wave, Ice Shard, Keelbreaker and Shock Blast (reshuffling spells back in with Counterfeit Copies and summoning no units at all), I transitioned into a very quick Milling strategy with double Sticky Fingers and the Domination rally.
This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in Legends of Runeterra, much harder than going 7-0 in Expeditions or 7-2 in Seasonals. The amount of planning and strategizing involved was amazing, and made me wish that Path of Champions was just a little bit harder on the whole.
My favorite decklists
If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading through it. This was an adventure over the last few months and I’m happy that I could take you along. To finish this article, I want to show you my three favorite decklists alongside some easter eggs hidden in the different decks!
My favorite decklist by far is from Tasty Faefolk in Bard’s 0,5-Star adventure. The power is hilarious on its own, it slowly kills the Nexus and makes the deck rely on Lifesteal to not die. It really encorporates the Fae in the image slowly eating away at itself. The deck is also all over the place, featuring a literal fleeting token card that’s discarded at random times, Counterfeit Copies because why not and Dawn and Dusk for the ultimate memes that nobody ever gets to see as they just rush through the fight. Amazing design!
Another deck I really like is Reckless Trifarian, which appears in both Jinx and Vi 2-Star adventures.
The power adds an interesting twist to the fight and the deck looks like a normal aggro Noxus deck at first, but if you look closely, you can see it being 3 regions because of Tarkaz (which doesn’t push units out of combat, just makes them unable to block the next time) and a single copy Chempunk Shredder. Also, why does Guile have Health Potion? Literally any other item would have been more useful here. I can visually imagine the deck being finished and then someone saying: “You know what would be fun here: Chempunk Shredder! Also, we need another item for out quota, figure something out."
I love it.
A lot of the champion decks are really flavorful, but for some reason, Swain in the Gangplank 1,5 level is my favorite. It really feels like the whole Noxian army is coming at you, bringing siege weapons in Iron Ballista and Citybreaker, a Battering Ram to knock down your front door, The Leviathan with Farron waiting on top for finishing off the fight. Noxus is my favorite region lorewise, so it really brings me joy to see that decklist.
The last thing to mention is that the Galio adventure is absolutely amazing. Almost every fight has some kind of easter egg or adds twists to the fights with items, My favorite ones are:
Destiny’s Call in the Stargazer,
Arbiter of the Peak tells of all the stories adventurers have to face on their way to the top, with Startipped Peak being the Trapped Treasure,
Viego bringing one copy of The Harrowing,
Battlesmith has a copy of For the Fallen, which follows the Demacian lore of passing on the helmet of fallen soldiers (see Succession),
Black Cleaver Vilemaw in the Spiderling fight with all the Spiderlings carrying Crystals to worship it,
Symbol of Strength on Startipped Peak in The Messenger’s fight, as the Space Doggos look up/down to the Peak as a symbol,
Ledros with Double Time Watch in the Evershade Stalker fight, causing the AI to multiply Ledros with the Nightfall power.,
Petricite Pillar with Symbol of Strength in Galio/Shyvana (Power through purity and Petricite),
Egghead Researcher with Iceborn Gauntlet in the same fight (it literally captures the egg from Screeching Dragon in its artwork),
Hunting Trophy on Eye of the Ra-Horak in Galio/Malphite(Flavor text: Those who are weak and unworthy will cower before her gaze!),
The Rekindler on Senna/Malphite (the flavor on how Senna got “reborn” through the mist),
Amazing stuff and really worthwile to be the final adventure of Path of Champions.
Overall, I had a blast playing through the mode and collecting all the available information in the last few months. I’ll keep playing the mode and updating the list for sure as Path is amazing, even as it is right now. Milling out Ezreal was insanely challenging and tested my game knowledge like nothing before.
Check out my Twitter for more LoR content and daily rules posts and my youtube channel for LoR podcasts and educational videos! If you’re interested in more Path of Champions content, check out the guides YouuXun and I release for it on this page. Thanks for reading!
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