There is a reason why everyone is scared of spiders, and few can evoke the same terror as League of Legends‘ arachnid matriarch Elise. Now imagine you combine the power of the Queen of Spiders alongside The Noxian Grand General in one deck. The Legends of Runeterra Elise Swain deck is definitely performing well on the ranked ladder, and we’ll teach you how to play it.
We will go into a general description of the deck’s archetype, its playstyle, what cards to mulligan, and the deck’s match-ups.
What are Elise and Swain all about in Legends of Runeterra?
The combination of Shadow Isles and Noxus regions is a match made in heaven. It lets you switch between running an aggro deck to an all-out attack with a bit of control sprinkled on top. The deck allows you to flood the board during the early game with spiders. If those don’t get the job done, you always get to rely on Swain and the trusty Leviathan to seal out the game.
The deck basically offers you two win conditions: Swain and Elise. Others might see a bit of a drawback in the deck, as the followers featured in it can’t do much on their own. This means you always need to find a way to protect either of your champions to make sure you have enough firepower to take your opponents out. Not only that, you need to try your best to get Swain leveled before he is played. If you fail to do that, make sure he is waiting for a small amount of non-combat damage to take him over the line.
Unfortunately, leveling up your mains doesn’t happen as easily as in a Sejuani / Swain deck. This deck doesn’t feature as many cards that effortlessly upgrade your Swain, so you will have to apply a bit more effort with this one. You will need to go out of your way to use cards like Withering Wail, Grasp of the Undying, Ravenous Flock, and the most valuable card, Noxian Fervor. It all pays off nicely in the end.
We spoke about this card already in our Swain / Sejuani deck guide. However, the Freljord buffs and the amount of synergy to go along with this card is relatively lacking in Elise / Swain. Its purpose here is a little different, as you will use it as a defensive unit instead of sacrificing any of Elise’s spiders. Not only that, if you manage to get one proc of its ability, then you are working towards leveling up Swain right away.
You can switch between it and House Spider depending on the situation. If you are attacking with Elise on the board, or plan on playing her, House Spider is always the way to go. Otherwise, Crimson Disciple is the best option at 2-mana.
This card is undoubtedly the MVP of the Legends of Runeterra Elise Swain deck. The opportunity to resurrect a champion is huge. The fact that you can instantly have a Swain or Elise on board – along with a 4/4 follower – for only 7 mana is extremely high value. Combine this with the fact, that if you have spiders on board when you resurrect Elise, you instantly gain Challenger and Fearsome on all spiders.
The Rekindler sometimes leaves your opponent confused, as they see you sacrificing your champion to defend their strongest unit’s attack. Many players don’t expect the follow-up, and it leaves you room to surprise your opponent as they often use their removal cards on the summoned champion card itself. A small tip to remember, is to try to play The Rekindler during a defensive round to have a summoned champion ready to open attack once it is your turn.
This is another familiar card from the Swain / Sejuani deck; unfortunately, this time around there is no Sejuani to instantly freeze your entire opponent’s board. The only benefit coming from The Leviathan is working towards leveling up Swain, drawing him, and doing an easy three damage directly to the Nexus at the start of every round.
Its base 5/8 stats are enough to make it stand its ground against the beefiest of opponents. Don’t be scared to block a few attacks with it, or even attack with it when it is your turn. However, try to make sure you either have a second Leviathan in hand, or are prepared to play around any removal cards your enemy has if The Leviathan’s health goes below a specific digit.
What sets our Legends of Runeterra Elise Swain deck apart from others is the number of spells present in it. Not only that, the variety between healing and pure damage make up for the perfect combination to keep your opponents guessing.
Ravenous Flock and Noxian Fervor are strong removal cards. The latter specifically is easy to use in our deck, considering the number of 1/1 spider you can sacrifice to get rid of any 3-health unit. This is in addition to having two strong healing cards at your disposal to keep you going for a few more turns.
Good Elise / Swain match-ups
Two of your strong match-ups are Aggro and Deep decks. It is safe to consider coming up against any of those two as an automatic win. What makes these two tremendously easy is the amount of healing cards this Elise / Swain deck runs, which stalls out the enemy lethal by several turns. On the other hand, Deep decks take time to go online with Nautilus towards Turn 7. You should always look to finish out the game before then. Flood the board with spiders, level up Elise, and take out the Deadbloom Wanderer once it is on the board to deny any lifesteal.
Other than that, the remaining match-ups require you to identify your win condition depending on your hand and the type of deck you are playing against. Examples of difficult but winnable match-ups are Yasuo decks, Zed decks, and Teemo Aggro.
Elise enables you to switch to an all-out spider aggro if you think you can’t outvalue the opponent’s deck. Meanwhile, Swain lets you close out games if you are confident in pulling his deadly Leviathan combo by having them both on board.
Bad Elise / Swain match-ups
Unfortunately, the worst match-ups you will face are some of the most popular on the Legends of Runeterra ranked ladder currently. I wouldn’t say they are completely unwinnable, but they are definitely extremely to beat. The likes of Heimerdinger / Vi, Kalista / Hecarim, Zed Elusives, and Sejuani / Miss Fortune all offer you difficult challenges to overcome.
What counters our Legends of Runeterra Elise Swain deck are spells, elusive units, and Hecarim Kalista decks working towards reviving all their Ephemerals. However, you have to keep in mind that any game is winnable as long as you play your cards right, and save your removals for their power cards.
The deck costs 26,900 shards. After around 60 games with the Legends of Runeterra Elise Swain deck, I maintained a positive win rate during my ranked climb. However, I admit I ran into a plateau and started to swing between wins and losses once I hit Platinum II. This point may be your cue to begin customizing the deck for rank-specific metas.
A number of the cards are useful across many decks, with Crimson Disciple, The Leviathan, and The Rekindler being the prime examples. There aren’t any extremely expensive cards in the deck outside of the three copies of Elise and Swain each, since it only features three Epic cards.
Make sure to leave us a comment on what decks you would like to see next, and stick around with SQUAD for more Legends of Runeterra content!