How to Play: Ezreal Heimerdinger
With the recent rule change to play/cast triggers, spell-based champions are on the rise.
Ezreal and Heimerdinger are two big winners of the patch.
Heimerdinger is far less punishable and Ezreal can now pop off out of nowhere; similar to the early days before his rework.
While this duo may sound like a combo/control archetype, make no mistake, this is a burn deck at heart!
Deck Code: CECAOAIEBQPSIJZNGQ4ACBAECABAKCRRUYAQEBIEBQMACAIFBJHAEAIFBLKQCAIFAQNQ
This deck aims to flood the board with cheap units while generating value for the mid game. The Zaunite/Chompers/Baboon package floods the board and pressures the opponent early to chip down their Nexus.
Heimerdinger’s job is to continue the flood and out-tempo the opponent. Go wide, go fast, then point burn spells at their face! And if that’s not enough, Ezreal will come down to finish the job!
- Zaunite Urchin
- Boom Baboon
- Ferros Financier
- Heimerdinger: Keep against matchups that lack removal for Heimerdinger.
- Flame Chompers: Always keep unless you don’t have any other 1-2 drops.
- Mystic Shot: Keep against aggressive decks or priority two health targets.
- Pokey Stick: Keep against decks with early one health targets.
- Statikk Shock: Very good against decks with multiple one health targets.
Example Hand 1: Zaunite Urchin – Flame Chompers – Conchologist – Heimerdinger
Example Hand 2: Zaunite Urchin – Boom Baboon – Ferros Financier – Mystic Shot
It’s important to remember that this is a tempo deck. While we do have some combo potential, the bulk of the deck consists of cheap units and burn. Against control decks, we are definitely the aggressor, as we lack any real late game outside of a Ferros Financier manifest.
Having Boom Baboon, Conchologist, and Ferros Financier gives the deck an incredibly consistent and non-committal start. Each of these units replace themselves and trade well. This allows the deck to play reactively until it’s ready to make a push. Against aggro, take favorable trades. Against everything else, look for an opportunity to threaten a wide board with Flame Chompers.
Zaunite Urchin is our most efficient way to set up a Flame Chompers turn. However, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t play it without a perfect discard target. It’s often correct to play Zaunite Urchin on turn one in order to chip in against slower decks, or defend against aggressive ones. At the very worst we’re cycling a card we don’t currently need which could help improve our hand. Although if we do have a Boom Baboon, then it’s probably best to wait.
During the mid game, we want to look for an opportunity to play Heimerdinger. Many decks struggle to deal with four health units, so in those matchups, we can often summon him on the curve. Otherwise, either wait for the opponent to tap under removal range, or have enough mana so that we can cast a couple of spells in response to ensure at least some value. Even if he dies, the free turrets help give us the advantage from the exchange.
Statikk Shock is incredibly useful in this deck. It’s not just for picking off natural 1 health targets and leveling Ezreal. Statikk Shock lets us dictate combat to make more aggressive attacks and more conservative blocks. Having to lose a 2|2 to a 3|3 isn’t a big deal when we’re able to pick it off later. This gives us a lot of agency when making decisions and makes the opponent have to respect our potential answers.
The most important part of the deck is learning our limits. We need to understand how much damage we have, how much we need to do, and how many turns we have to make it happen. Ezreal allows for some explosive finales, but depending on the matchup and how the game plays out, we don’t always have the luxury of a fully-loaded hand. Once your hand starts piling up with burn spells, the game becomes about pushing as much combat damage as possible, while retaining enough units to defend long enough to get the job done.
Always keep count of your burn damage in hand, factor in Ezreal, and know how much mana you’ll need to play it all. Keep in mind which cards require an action to play, and proactively cycle spells like Pokey Stick or Statikk Shock if you aren’t holding enough damage.
If you can take a hit without dying or falling within enemy burn range, just do it. Don’t waste Mystic Shot/Get Excited to remove something and reduce damage when they could otherwise be pointed directly to the Nexus. All that matters is surviving long enough to burn them out, and every point of damage counts!
Zaunite Urchin can help filter bad manifested cards or a fleeting spell from Station Archivist. Consider the possibilities before committing to your line of play.
Station Archivist offers flexibility at a non-committal rate. Don’t feel obligated to cast the spell you find. It’s a great card to play on defending turns to either get value or deter the opponent from attacking, while also giving a 3|3 body for us to attack with the following turn.
Make good use of spells like Pokey Stick and Electro Harpoon to threaten the board. We can often pick off any blockers very efficiently before attacking, and in the case of Electro Harpoon, summon a Flame Chompers on the same action.
Heimerdinger is efficient now, so we play him for the value. You’ll either force answers and still end up winning in tempo, or completely overrun an opponent that can’t stop him. That being said, leveling Heimerdinger is not the goal. Don’t make it a priority. If it happens then you’re already winning the game anyway.
Ferros Financier can be used to generate value, a critical answer, or the occasional win condition. Deeply consider the matchup you’re in before deciding. Most of the time we’re happy with a solid card like Assembly Line or Shock Blast. However, some matchups can be drastically improved by finding a Minimorph. If you’re in need of a “Hail Mary” win condition, Treasured Trash or Hextech Anomaly are the pick. Give It All and Glorious Evolution are bait in this deck; avoid them.
Shugo’s Productivity Thought of the Day
- When you assess a situation, how many of your thoughts are based on the actual facts? We often create our own stories to explain what happened, or why something happened, when in reality that isn’t always the case. We make judgments about someone’s character without knowing the entire context.
- While there can be some merit to the discussion, it’s important to remember there’s always more than one side to a story.