Hey everyone, welcome back to another Legends of Runeterra guide! Today we’re going to be looking at a deck that holds very dear to my heart: Kinkou Elusives. This deck was the very first I crafted and used to climb the ladder from Iron to Gold.
Now, Kinkou Elusives has fallen a little bit out of favor in the current meta, and that sucks, but I do think it still a very solid strategy purely due to the consistency of the deck.
For those of you who are newer to Legends of Runeterra or just need a quick refresher, Kinkou Elusives was a Tier 1 deck for the longest time. It revolves around the keyword Elusive, which says, this unit “Can only be blocked by an Elusive unit”.
With that in mind, our gameplan becomes very straightforward. We want to hard-mulligan for early Elusive units, hit our opponent in the face since they can’t block our units, and try to win the game before they stabilize and draw some sort of board wipe.
Now, the great thing about Kinkou Elusives is that this deck is good at winning games against favorable match-ups, while still having a really good chance against tough ones.
Let’s jump in and look at the cards that make up Kinkou Elusives.
Part 1 – The Elusive package
So as I mentioned earlier, the core of this deck revolves around playing Elusive units. We want to make sure we get as much Elusive pressure as we can, so in this deck we’re going to include a full playset of Navori Bladescout, Navori Conscriptor, Greenglade Duo, Shadow Assasin, Kinkou Lifeblade, and Windfarer Hatchling.
Ideally, you want to have Greenglade Duo in your hand, since it’s probably our best Elusive unit. However, Navori Bladescout, Navori Conscriptor, and Shadow Assasin are all good options too. Our opponent can’t block anyway, so we just want to get units on the board.
It’s worth noting that recalling a unit through Navori Conscriptor is especially good in this deck since most of our units have some sort of play effect.
We have also Kinkou Lifeblade and Windrarer Hatchling. Kinkou Lifeblade is a great unit that helps keeps us alive with lifesteal, while Windfarer Hatchling is a bomb that helps us close out the game.
Part 2 – Other units
What about the other units in our deck? Well, the rest of the units just synergize well with our Elusive theme. For example, we have Omen Hawk and Jeweled Protector. Jeweled Protector is especially good when combined with Kinkou Lifeblade. There have been many games where I was able to outrace my opponent through buffing Kinkou Lifeblade to a 5/5. Just remember that creatures don’t keep their buffs if they’re recalled!
Kinkou Wayfinder is great, and synergizes well with Greenglade Duo on the board. Since it summons 3 units total, it’ll give Greenglade Duo 3 extra damage, which is amazing. Also, we only have 6 non-Ionia cards, so Wayfinder is going to hit allegiance almost all the time.
The last unit in our deck is Zed. Zed doesn’t really contribute to the Elusive theme. However, he is a very strong unit on his own, and he can buff Greenglade Duo by 1 damage since he creates a shadow every time he attacks. But, in the end, he’s pretty much just in the deck for curve reasons.
I’ve had some beginners ask me why we didn’t just include Solitary Monk instead of Zed. This is because although Solitary Monk has a great stat line, we don’t want to be recalling all our units. Kinkou Elusives is an aggressive deck, so Solitary Monk just slows down our clock. Also, because we have cards like Greenglade Duo and Windfarer Hatchling, we actually benefit from having a wide board!
Part 3 – Protect
Finally, lets move on to the last part of our deck: our spells. The goal with our spells is to protect our Elusive units. Elixir of Iron, Twin Disciples, and Deny help keep our units safe against removal spells. Twin Disciples has the added benefit of giving us the choice to buff our creature by 3 damage, which we can also use to help close out the game.
Will of Ionia is just a super flexible card. We use it as a tempo play and to recall our opponent’s units, but there are scenarios where we could recall our units for value.
Tips on playing the deck
Now that you understand the deck a little better, here are 3 tips to keep in mind when playing Kinkou Elusives.
- If you’re up against an aggro deck, you want to try and develop a board faster than they can. Feel free to chump block with your one-drops to help you outrace your opponent
- Against control decks, the most important objective is to be able to protect your units with spells until you can push for a win. Keeping an Elixir of Iron, for example, can help keep your units out of range from Thermogenic Beam, and Mystic Shot.
- Finally, I know I said Greenglade Duo is our ideal Elusive creature, however, Navori Conspirator can also be a great keep when you already have a Navori Bladescout or Omen Hawk in hand.
- Kinkou Elusives is a simple aggressive strategy and has one gameplan. You play your Elusives, you attack with them, you buff them, and protect them the heck out of them.
- Outside of Will of Ionia, the deck doesn’t interact with the opponent. Some people say it makes the deck boring, but honestly, I like that. Sometimes I just want to play a simple deck!
- The deck is also criminally cheap. It only has 1 Champion and 1 Epic card. Looking at how expensive other decks can be, Kinkou Elusives is a great option for those on a budget.