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Zed Elites deck list guide - Open Beta - Legends of Runeterra (February 2020)

How to beat your enemy with these speedy boys.

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About James Law

James can usually be found wearing dungarees.

Our Zed Elites deck list guide features the best Legends of Runeterra deck list for the open beta (February 2020). Our Zed Elite guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

If you’re looking for a rundown of the best decks Legends of Runeterra has to offer, check out our Legends of Runeterra Best Decks page!

This deck is pretty simple when it comes to tactics. With Zed and his Elites, you’re looking to combine Damacia’s Elite buffs with Zed’s direct Nexus damage, ideally resulting in swift wins. Even if not, you’ll be able to slowly gain value throughout the late game thanks to Dawnspeakers and the associated synergy with your small units dying off.

The best part of Zed Elite is the fact it doesn’t rely on drawing Zed, like many decks do with their Champion units. Instead, you’ll be able to build a strong board presence with your Elite units and their ability to buff each other.

Here’s the version of Zed Elite we’re using on ladder at the moment - it’s served us pretty well so far!

DemaciaIonia
3 x Cithria of Cloudfield2 x Deny
3 x Fleetfeather Tracker3 x Zed
1 x Radiant Strike
3 x Battlesmith
3 x Vanguard Defender
3 x Dawnspeakers
2 x Laurent Protege
3 x Vanguard Redeemer
2 x Vanguard Sergeant
3 x Silverwing Vanguard
3 x Vanguard Bannerman
3 x Vanguard Squire
3 x Back to Back

Select and copy the long ID string below, then click ‘Import Deck’ in Legends of Runeterra’s Collection to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: CEBACAICBEFACAABAQKB2HZCEQTSSNQCAEAQEMICAEAAMCYBAEAQAEQ

General strategy

If you manage to draw out Zed early on, you’ll obviously be at an advantage. Still though, you don’t need to rely on this, especially given how easy your opponent might find it to deal 2 damage and kill Zed off.

Early game: Ideally, you’ll have a couple nice plays for early on in the game. Cithria of Cloudfield is a quality opener, as is Fleetfeather Tracker, letting you grab some early damage before your foe can get on board.

Managing to play Battlesmith early can give you an edge, since he buffs all your Elites by +1/+1 when they’re summoned. This is especially strong with the likes of Vanguard Defender, since the Tough keyword combined with buffs makes it extremely difficult to remove.

If you can, get a Dawnspeakers onto the board too - they’ll be able to start boosting the attack and health of the wide board you’ve built. This card is especially strong alongside Zed, since the Living Shadow he summons will always die off and trigger Dawnspeakers’ buff.

Mid game: You’re looking to have the upper hand at this point, and .should be getting a wide board filled with Elites. Make blocks and trades with opponents only if the value is in your favour and you’re taking a stronger enemy off the board, and remember to use your Challenger units like Silverwing Vanguard and Fleetfeather Tracker to get enemy threats out of the way.

Keep strengthening your side of the board with the likes of Battlesmith and Dawnspeakers, and keep units coming out - Vanguard Squire can be played extremely cheaply if you’ve had it in hand a while, and Vanguard Redeemer functions as strong card draw to compensate for your aggression.

Late game: You’ve got a few big plays to finish things off. Vanguard Sergeant generates a For Demacia! spell in your hand, which gives your side of the battlefield an area-of-effect buff of +3/+3, so even if you’re looking weak, this can be the final push you need.

Back to Back works in a similar way, although because it’s a Burst spell you should usually wait until your opponent has committed blockers so as to maximise its value. Once you’re at this stage, you should be pretty much golden, as few enemies will stand a chance against your brutal aggression.

More essential Legends of Runeterra guides:

Zed Elites Mulligan guide

These are the cards you’ll want to make the best possible start with Zed Elites:

  • 1. Even though he’s halfway up your mana curve, Zed is a good keep - especially if you’re going first. It means on turn 3 you’ll be able to utilise his Quick Attack, often leading to opponents having to scramble to deal with him before it’s too late.
  • 2. Cithria of Cloudfield can make some great early trades with 1/1 and 1/2 units, as well as pushing Nexus damage and discounting your Vanguard Squire.
  • 3. Getting a Battlesmith on board early is vital. Don’t attack with it, just keep buffing your Elites as they hit the board - you’ll start beating out your opponents on tempo.
  • 4. If you’ve got a good hand of the above early drops, it might be worth holding onto a Vanguard Defender - the Tough keyword makes it a huge pain for your opponent to remove when you buff it up.

Zed Elites tips, combos and synergies

Here’s a quick overview of a few things you might want to watch out for when you’re playing this deck.

- If you’re looking to change this deck up a bit for more mid-range power and longevity, toss in Garen and Cithria the Bold. They’ll be great ways to strengthen your position if your opponent is able to deal with your early pressure.

- Remember - Vanguard Sergeant is more than just a 3 mana 3/3. You’ll get a copy of For Demacia! in hand to buff your side of the board with - a great finisher.

- Zed summons an Ephemeral Living Shadow when he attacks. This Living Shadow has the same stats as Zed, so buffing him with units like Dawnspeakers can spiral out of control swiftly.

- Vanguard Bannerman’s Allegiance ability means he’ll buff your board if the top card on your deck is from Demacia. Luckily, almost every card you have is from that region, so you’re pretty likely to benefit most of the time.

- Keep an eye on which of your units are Elites. These units can be boosted by Battlesmith, as well as discounting Vanguard Squire. If you play Elites in the right order, you might be able to cheapen your Vanguard Squire and play more units than you otherwise would’ve been able to.

- Challenger is a solid way to kill off enemy threats, but it can also be used offensively. If your Fleetfeather Tracker pulls a big enemy unit and forces it to block, your chunkier threats are opened up to hit the Nexus.

- Silverwing Vanguard discounts Vanguard Squire by 2 mana rather than just 1, because you’re summoning two separate Elites.

- Back to Back can’t be Denied or reacted to, so use it to keep your units alive or to find lethal damage after your opponent has tried to block you.

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