How to Play Ekko Zilean
Hey guys NicMakesPlays here and today I’m going to go over Ekko Zilean.
This archetype debuted with Rise of the Underworlds but we updated it with Sentinels of Light in mind.
In this guide, I’ll be covering the deck’s win conditions, mulligans, matchups, and more.
We’ve covered a ton of other decks so be sure to check out our previous deck guides!
Deck Code: CEBQEAIEDM2AKBAHAEFRYJZXAUCAIAICAQDQYAICAQDQ2OYA
This deck aims to use the Predict keyword to level Ekko, search for Hexite Crystal, Time Bombs, and buffed units from Xenotype Researcher.
The expected turn to win the game is around turn 8 with either Chronobreak or a buffed Ruin Runner.
In this deck, you want to mulligan for Fallen Feline to increase the potency of your Predicts, as well as a turn 2 Predict like Aspiring Chronomancer or Zilean. If you already have these you can also mulligan for a Xenotype Researcher to start buffing units in your deck.
Card Choices & Key Synergies
Fallen Feline / Dropboarder
These two cards add value to your Predicts. Fallen Feline adds a Hexite Crystal to your deck, an extremely powerful card that you have a chance to hit off your Predicts. Dropboarder is a 1|3 when Predicted it summons to the field, giving you free blockers. If Dropboarders are buffed by Xenotype Researchers then they can come to the field as powerful 4|6’s for free.
Zilean / Practical Perfectionist
Both of these units Predict in unique ways. Zilean adds Time Bombs to the deck which can be used for removal, to draw cards, and to level Zilean. Zileans level up is extremely powerful allowing you to re-use cards like Mystic Shot, Chronobreak, and Time Trick.
Practical Perfectionist Predicts a card to the top of your deck and adds 3 additional copies of the card you Predicted to the deck. This can be used to add more win cons to your deck like Chronobreak and Ekko.
Xenotype Researcher / Ruin Runner
Xenotype Researcher buffs the units in your deck and can turn them in to win cons. Buffing Ekko makes him have huge stats, so he’s hard to remove, pushes big damage, and kills most blockers due to his Quick Attack.
Buffing Dropboarder allows you to summon 4|6’s when they are Predicted. Buffing Ruin Runner causes it to deal massive damage due to its Overwhelm. Since Ruin Runner has Spellshield combined with Overwhelm it is hard to deal with and becomes one of your main win cons in the late game.
Ekko / Chronobreak
These are your main win condition of this deck. Ekko levels easily due to all the Predicts in the deck and he also creates Time Trick’s to help himself level up. When leveled up Ekko’s Time Tricks become 0 allowing you to generate card advantage and regularly search for what you need.
Also, when leveled up 3 Chronobreaks are added to your deck which is an extremely powerful spell. You can use your Predict cards to search for Chronobreaks and go for a huge swing to end the game. You can attack with all your units forcing your opponent to block and then use Chronobreak to revive all your allies and swing again.
If this swing doesn’t finish the game, many times Ekko will have created multiple 0 mana Time Tricks this turn so you can search for removal spells or Rite of Negation to seal the deal.
Thermogenic Beam / Rite of Negation
Thermogenic Beam and Rite of Negation give your deck both answers to threat as well as protection for your own. These are both standalone cards that are key to the deck. Thermogenic Beam along with cards like Mystic Shot allows you to disrupt your opponent’s strategy.
Thermogenic Beam is particularly good because of its versatility, it can range from killing 1 drops against Aggro to killing late-game threats like Viego. Rite of Negation is key to stop your opponent’s strategy or protect your own.
Rite of Negation can stop opposing Harrowing, Pyke’s Spell, Atrocity and Decimate to shut down your opponent’s gameplan. Alternatively, Rite of Negation can also protect your board or let you push for game with a big Chronobreak by stopping their Deny or removal spells.
This deck has a well-rounded spread across the board. Decks that Hexite Crystal are potent against you want to make sure you get Fallen Feline on 1 and a Predict on turn 2.
Time Bomb is also against decks with a lot of 1 health unit so you can try and prioritize Zilean in those matchups.
Against decks that try to out-grind you like Ez Draven and Ez Karma, you can utilize your buffed units and Chronobreak to push through their spells and go for game.
Ruin Runner is also exceptional in these matchups due to her Spellshield, Overwhelm, and huge stats if buffed.
Lee Sin is this deck’s hardest matchup. Against Lee Sin you want to finish them off before they get Lee Sin out because you don’t have many answers to him.
Trying to take the aggressive approach is there way to go here. You can chip away damage in the mid-game and then try and finish off with Chronobreak or a buffed Ruin Runner.
Thrumming Swarm is a new card that can potentially take the role of Ruin Runner. This card generates a copy of itself whenever it’s summoned if you have leveled a Champ this game.
By the turn this card comes out you have most likely leveled Ekko and you can just use the Thrumming Swarms and their Overwhelm to out grind opponents and win the game.
Quicksand is a well rounded combat trick that can be great against Elusives, Overwhelm, and all kinds of scenarios.
Aftershock helps a lot against decks like Frozen Thralls to remove their Landmarks. You can also use Aftershock as a burn finisher in this deck. This strategy is especially potent with a leveled Zilean since he will create another copy next turn allowing you to do more burn damage.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask NicMakesPlays during his streams (usually 6PM-1230AM EST).