How to Play Draven Vi
Hey, it’s Trevor “Shugo” Yung and I’m back with another unique deck guide. Today we’re looking at Draven Vi Give It All.
This deck was first popularized by FaintHD when he made an early climb to Masters near the start of the season.
It plays a bit like Discard Aggro but with a more overwhelming oomph to end the game.
Want a board full of giant Poros and robots?
If you enjoy the feeling of catching the opponent by surprise, look no further!
Deck Code: CECQEAYEAUJAGAIDCMKCGAYBAQTC2NABAMBQ6AICAQEAGAQBAQARYAQBAMMCOAIDAQLAA
Now while this deck does have a discard shell as its base, you’ve probably noticed some major differences.
Unlike traditional Discard Aggro, this deck doesn’t play to dump its hand and refill.
It has the tools to pressure the opponent early, but you’ll need to learn to manage your resources wisely.
In addition, you’ll need to evaluate the right time to go all-in. We can only sustain the game for so long before we’re out of steam, but by that point, it only takes one strike to win!
Our general mulligan looks pretty similar across the board.
As an aggressive deck, we’re more focused on our own game plan, but there are a few corner cases that are worth noting.
These few tips should help smooth some of our matchups.
- Always Keep
- Ballistic Bot
- Draven’s Biggest Fan
- Keep (With Exceptions)
- Draven: Don’t keep if you already have Draven’s Biggest Fan.
- Vi: If you have to mulligan every other card in your hand, toss Vi too.
- Situational Keep
- Mystic Shot: Against other aggressive decks or those with priority 2 health targets.
- Poro Cannon: Against Zoe decks, ideally with suitable discard fodder in hand.
- Zaunite Urchin & Jury Rig: Only when you have both together.
Example Hand 1: Draven’s Biggest Fan – Ballistic Bot – Mystic Shot – Vi
Example Hand 2: Zaunite Urchin – Jury-Rig – Ballistic Bot – Draven
Our overall objective is to pressure the opponent early and end with a big combat finisher.
Unlike most aggressive decks that close out the game with burn, we rely on a big strike to seal the deal.
This can be a double-edged sword.
On one hand, we’re very vulnerable to disruption.
On the other hand, we steal games that we have no business winning.
While this is a very all-in strategy, we have some tricks that help us see it through.
Begin each game looking to find our discard engines; Ballistic Bot and Draven.
These are crucial pieces to our strategy. We want to make sure we’re discarding our token spells to Zaunite Urchin and Sump Dredger unless otherwise needed for Jury-Rig or Vision.
There will be times we need to discard inefficiently, but be mindful due to our lack of overall draw power. When we’re running low on gas, try to save a couple of cards in case we find Rummage.
Occasionally, we’ll have to deal with some very clunky hand states.
However, thanks to Zaunite Urchin and Sump Dredger, we do have the ability to salvage them a little.
Might, Give It All, and Survival Skills are all extremely situational. But they’re also our most important ways to win the game.
There will be times where we have to use them conservatively, but overall we should aim to set up a scenario where they can truly shine.
First up, he’s the backbone support card of the deck and the sole reason it exists… It’s Draven! <Insert loud chanting and cheering>
We generally aren’t winning the game with him alone, but if the moment presents itself you can occasionally level him up.
However, don’t overcommit to this as it’s not enough of a boost to warrant discarding essential tools. Double drawing Draven is often a good thing as Whirling Death can be a great trick in combat.
Remember you can use a Spinning Axe before casting it to trigger Draven’s level-up condition.
That’s enough hype about Draven. The real deal is Vi, and she’s here to ensure the deck really packs a punch.
Unlike other Vi decks, we actually don’t mind if we draw Vi a little later.
So long as our hand has enough fuel, we can build her up quickly and cheaply. It’s rarely too late to make her a threat.
Between Spinning Axes, Poro Cannons, and Visions we can drastically increase her power at burst speed for 0 mana.
Plan accordingly, but be cautious of removal; especially Hush.
While Vi will generally Challenge the biggest threat on board (without dying), if we’re holding Might, we can go in for the weakest health unit to push the most possible damage.
Forget leveling up, just win!
Kato The Arm
Kato is best friends with Vi and Ballistic Bot.
These two units grow faster than just about anything but struggle with the reality that they rarely hit the nexus.
Thanks to the “overwhelming” support from Kato, they can move right in and dome the opponent in the face.
The +3 attack buff is always welcome and helps push that extra damage we need.
Ah yes, the Burst speed Kato. A simple summary, but having this option at Burst speed makes all the difference.
This is our biggest way to cheese the game and leave our opponents blown away with what just happened.
Kato is vulnerable to Stuns, removal, and gives away our plan immediately.
Might is how we overcome any challenges and keep our opponents on their toes.
Give It All
Quite possibly one of the most fun ways to win, this KDA finisher is sure to be a blowout!
With spell mana, it’s possible to make this happen on turn 5-6, but we do need to be careful.
Grow either Vi or Ballistic Bot to a good size, drop down a Poro, then everything becomes giant and Elusive!
Watch out for removal targeting your Poro or high-attack unit.
You may be relying on granting Elusive to win, but even a Vile Feast could stop you if there’s only one Poro on board.
This may not look like a win condition, but it’s a critical piece of protection that allows us to commit to our most explosive all-ins.
Always ensure you have a Spinning Axe or Poro Cannon so you can interact for free at burst speed.
A timely discard can save your Might’d unit from removal and win the game. Other times, it still protects your threats when they’d otherwise trade-off or die.
Be aware of how the “strongest unit” is chosen and calculate accordingly with Vi and Ballistic Bot’s buff triggers.
Do note that if you discard it to Spinning Axe, it selects the target before the axe buff is applied.
One final amazing use of this card is against Azir Irelia.
During the mid-game, they look to win by spamming all of their Blades and Sand Soldiers.
However, if we hard cast Survival Skills we can infinitely chump block their onslaught for the turn.
We’re very good at putting cheap units onto the board, so it’s not hard to have enough defense ready.
We can also use this on offense to launch a full attack that they’ll struggle to block efficiently.
The only thing to watch for is Elusives, so try to have Poro Cannon ready if possible.
We can change the ratios around as the meta shifts. Might, Give It All, Survival Skills, and Kato The Arm each have their strengths and weaknesses in different matchups, so you can start there.
In most discard-centric lists, Mystic Shot isn’t often included.
However, due to the common presence of Homecoming, it’s a necessary inclusion to prevent our all-in strike from getting bounced.
At the time of writing this, it’s actually possible Culling Strike should be included already.
It hits many relevant meta champions like Thresh, Azir, Irelia, and Zoe.
However, the all-in nature of this deck already leads to clunky hands.
Having removal like Culling Strike can make you brick even more, so be careful.
There are fewer targets for 3 damage removal these days, but it’s a good option if you want a bit more reach beyond your all-in attacks.
A little more over-the-top burn and potential finisher. It does give you an option for the late game, but the deck generally needs to win long before that point. Could be considerable in a more control-based meta.
Well there we have it, another great off-meta archetype to explore!
It’s been fun getting to dive into so many new playstyles. If you ever get tired of the current meta environment, be sure to try something new.
There are always options even in the toughest times!
Shugo’s Productivity Thought of the Day
We can often find ourselves being productive in the wrong way.
We’ll put off the things that truly matter and focus our attention on tasks that simply take up time.