Test-Piloting #10 - Caitlyn Riven Kat Vi Subpurrsible Madness
For our tenth test-piloting, we test one of those decks that looks like a beginner player’s fever dream. And yet, it sports impressive credentials!
For our tenth test-piloting, we test one of those decks that looks like a beginner player’s fever dream. And yet, it sports impressive credentials: The top number 3 and 4 players in the APAC ladder both had 60+% win rates with this pile when we began our testing!
Our Captain Sarah Marie crushed Normals with a 75% win rate,
jott skoplin, the brave time-traveling Plunderer, took this list to Platinum with a whopping 77% win rate over more than a dozen games,
and Yondy, who took it to Platinum with fair success, had a 60% win rate over the span of ten games.
About the Deck
This deck’s credentials are nothing to scoff at: After we got over the initial shock of seeing the decklist itself, we found that some top APAC players had done some pretty impressive things. This is what tester Yondy shared in our Discord:
But is it a fluke, or does this deck have potential? What even is this deck? Is it a deckroll? Let’s see what our testers have to say!
Sarah Marie: This is very much a control based deck, it's about patience. There are many ways to control the field in this deck, it's about selecting the right time to do so.
jott skoplin: As much of a Control deck as you can be in this game.
Yondy: Yeah, it’s a Control deck. You stall, you remove engines and champions, and you finish once your opponent runs out of steam.
Sarah: Very often, passing and waiting was a very viable option that won me many games by baiting out valuable cards and resources.
Yondy: There are a lot of things that feel good about the deck. For me, it’s that it really seems to have answers for everything. How about you?
Sarah: I agree, it has a surprisingly large amount of answers.
jott: Iterative Improvement felt good, especially the combo of playing Station Archivist into Iterative Improvement into another Archivist.
Yondy: There are a lot of clever little lines of play like that that make you feel smart.
jott: Drawing a card off Subpurrsible always feels good. Also, destroying landmarks. And Flock.
Sarah: As a downside, it’s very possible to be put in a situation where it's better to play nothing early and take a few hits.
jott: Like when you start with Iterative Improvement or Subpurrsible in your hand.
Sarah: Yeah, but in the end, the game usually flips in your favor around Round 5-7, and there really is no big difference between winning a game with one remaining point of health on your nexus or twenty.
Yondy: Speaking of downsides, I think this really isn't a good deck to play right now, with all the Kai'Sa running around.
Since Kai'Sa decks have so many ways to protect her (and her pet Abomination), you really can't play enough removal to handle her. Spellshield wrecks this deck, and Kai'Sa decks have plenty of 'em.
Sarah: I agree, this deck 100% folds to Kai’Sa. Each match I faced Kai’Sa was over before it even began. Even with the vast amount of answers, I simply wasn't able to keep enough pressure on that deck as it constantly developed past me. However, most other decks I faced couldn't do a whole lot. Other than the Kai’Sa match-up, I felt like for every card my opponents played, I had an answer.
Yondy: Still, it might be a really strong deck to bring to tournament play.
Sarah: This depends heavily on the matchup. I found myself always keeping Caitlyn, and you want to hold Scorched Earth for big threats, like champions, or dangerous landmarks, like Emperor’s Dais or Warlord’s Palace.
Yondy: Aftershock is also great against landmarks.
jott: I agree with Sarah, mulligan is VERY match-up dependent. You need to think about what your early turns look like and how they match up to what your opponent is playing.
Luckily, you usually start with a few late game pieces and can just full mulligan.
Sarah: Yes, the most important part of the mulligan is knowing what your opponent is going to play, and searching for an answer.
Yondy: As a rule of thumb, you want to look for early blockers and removal (there's a reason there are three copies of House Spider and Caitlyn in the deck).
Think of what removal works best against the deck you're facing. Flock plus a damage spell is always good to have.
Sarah: Depending on the match-up, I even ended up keeping Statikk Shock in the opening hand simply because of how useful it was on Round 3+.
Sarah: Spell Slinger wasn’t doing it for me considering I had Arachnoid Sentry, so I swapped it out for Salvaged Scrap. It’s an under-appreciated card that gives units when you desperately need them. It also helps push for Subpurrsible.
Other than that, there wasn’t a single card I drew that I had an issue with drawing.
Yondy: I agree about the Spell Slinger. Other individual cards that haven’t felt that good when I played them were Sting Officer and Timewinder.
Sarah: I was skeptical about cards like Timewinder at first, but it won me multiple exchanges as a cheap answer to early threats.
Yondy: It’s perfectly possible that I didn’t get enough reps with the deck for them to shine in different situations. I would still like to look for other options, like the Salvaged Scrap tech Sarah mentioned.
jott: I would like to add Tribeam :D
Yondy: At first I thought you were crazy, but looking at the deck, it might have enough 3-mana cost cards to justify its inclusion.
jott: This is a great sidegrade to the usual Tribeam decks and has lots of new interesting decisions for deck building and gameplay.
Sarah: I think this deck did its job very well, and it countered a lot of common decks I faced. It does suffer heavily into Kai'Sa Demacia, as many decks do at this point in the patch.
No game played out exactly the same, and I had to come up with a different strategy or method to disrupt my opponent.
Azir/Irelia, I tore down their landmarks leaving them without any steam.
Viego, I ended up copying Aloof Travelers and discarding all their win conditions before they could get them on the board, essentially bricking their hand.
An Akshan deck I faced ended up falling to Flashbombs and an Evelynn deck I faced ended up falling to champion and husk removal.
Overall, how you pilot this deck ultimately comes down to how quickly you can adapt and change your strategy on the fly, flexibility is something this deck excels at.
Yondy: This deck is NOT for the faint of heart! Each victory felt way too close for comfort, and with so many possible lines of play I'm fully aware I made several (sometimes game-losing) misplays every game I've played. However, it feels really good when these unconventional decks pop up and are competitive, and this one is no exception! I missed playing Control.
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