How to Play Kindred Lux
Kindred Lux appeared out of nowhere lately and is working very well in the current meta, even in very high ranks.
This deck has seen lots of play on ladder in the past 7 days with a surprisingly high win rate (54.2%) for an off-meta deck using unconventional champions.
Kindred Lux’s current ladder list is a mix between Duckling’s Spectral Matron+ Cithria, Lady of Clouds combo deck that he used to win a Riot seasonal tournament:
Deck Code: CECQIAIFBQWDAMICAQCQIEABAEABGAIDAUCACBAAAUBQCAIFFMAQIBIDAMAQACYPDIBAEAIFFAXQCAYABY
And the deck I featured in my “deck of the day” series on Twitter a few months ago:
Deck Code: CECAEAIFFMYQCAQAAIBAIBIDAUBACABBFICQCAYABYBACAAPDIAQGBICAECAKEACAECQCHIEAEBQABICAECRGIQBAMCQQAICAACQ
The two merged decks created the current most popular ladder list that looks like this:
Intrigued by how well this deck performed, I decided to test it on ladder and after hours of trying to refine the list, Cephalopod and I ended up on this list:
Deck Code: CECQGAIABEHSUAIDAAHAGAIFAEUCYAIEAUCQCBAAAUCACAQAAIBACAATDIAQKBIPAECAKHICAECQU5YCAECQ6EY
If you’re a fan of off-meta decks but still want to climb with a fun new archetype, this article is for you!
Gameplan and Key Cards
Kindred Lux is a very unique midrange/combo medium-paced deck that tries to take control of the board using multiple removal tools to stall until the big turn 7|8 combo of Spectral Matron + Cithria, Lady of Clouds.
Let’s start with champions
In Patch 3.0.0 Notes, Kindred received a massive buff, going from a 5 mana 4|4 champion to 4 mana 4|3. After Braum and Lee Sin, Kindred is only the third champion to receive a mana cost change In the history of LoR.
In this deck, Kindred is used as the main removal engine that thins the opponent’s board when you slay a unit.
Kindred works fairly well in combination with cards like Blinding Assault, Single Combat, Vile Feast, Despair, The Box, and Vengeance. Their effect can also trigger when you slay a unit using Lux’s Laser.
Kindred’s Champion spell, Spirit Journey, can be used to stop a unit’s attack before it connects with your nexus, to trigger Kindred’s effect, or even to fuel Lux’s level up and get a Final Spark.
Sometimes using Vile Feast or Single Combat to Slay one of YOUR units and trigger Kindred’s effect is a valid strategy.
As much as I would like it to be, this isn’t an all-in Lux deck with many spells to trigger her effect multiple times. In this list, she’s used as a great barrier blocker that generates one or two lasers on average.
In a perfect scenario, you would be able to get a Final Spark after using exactly 6 mana: Vengeance or Despair/The Box + Single Combat/Sharpsight/Vile Feast/Blinding Assault.
Spectral Matron + Cithria
I want to briefly explain how this infamous combo works for people who have never heard of it.
Spectral Matron is a card that allows you to summon an Ephemeral copy of any unit in hand while triggering its summon effect if they have one. When summoned, Cithria, Lady of Clouds doubles the health and power of all ally units and grants them challenger.
In this case, Spectral Matron cheats out and summons an Ephemeral copy of Cithria on turn 8 instead of turn 10( or turn 7 with Mobilize)
This is one of the first times this card sees play in a competitive meta deck. The main purpose of Mobilize is to discount Spectral Matron’s cost so you can have the Spectral Matron + Cithria combo on turn 7.
Mobilize can aslo be used to play Kindred on turn 3 or even Radiant Guardian on 4.
Its best use however is casting it when you have Lux on the board to get 3|6 of her level up while discounting your Spectral Matron + Cithria Combo.
This card is known as one if not the best aggro counter, it’s used in this list to survive against aggro and stabilize until we hit our Matron/Cithria combo. Always try to keep Single Combat to use it after you summon Radiant Guardian.
One of the best ways to trigger Radiant Guardian’s effect is with Blinding Assault. Summoning the 2|1 Challenger Scout unit helps you to trade or even just kill your unit without losing the main attack token, allowing you to attack a second time and healing with Radiant Guardian.
These two cards represent your main hard removal tools, they work extremely well with both champions Lux/Kindred and allow you to remove any key cards in the opponent’s gameplan.
Despair can be a little intricate to use since it deals damage to your nexus, always try to play it on the key unit with the least amount of power in your opponent’s deck.
For example, Despair should be used to remove Veigar and Vengeance to remove Senna, Despair on Maokai and Vengeance on Nautilus, Despair on Taric and Vengeance on Pantheon, etc…
Mulligan and Matchups
This deck’s mulligan is very matchup dependent, a good general strategy is to keep your champions coupled with some tools to survive early like Vile Feast, Minion, Blinding Assault Buhru Sentinel, or even Brightsteel Protector.
- Only keep your Spectral Matron + Cithria combo if you’re against control and if your hand is exactly Spectral Matron + Cithria + Mobilize + 3 or higher cost unit/champion.
- Always keep Minion except vs control
- Specific matchups mulligan and strategy
Vs Pantheon Shyvana/Taric (very good matchup)
- Always keep Vengeance or Despair.
- Always keep Kindred
- Always keep Ruination
This is one of the best matchups for Kindred Lux. Pantheon decks are usually very weak vs hard removal tools and Kindred Lux has lots of them.
In this matchup try to stop their aggression from turn 1 to 4, start using your removal tools like Vengeance or Despair on Taric, Wounded Whiteflame, Pantheon, or any big unit they buffed from turn 4 to 7, and play your Spectral Matron + Cithria combo to trade their board and guarantee your control of the game after turn 8.
Taking some damage to avoid over-trading your board before the Matron + Cithria combo is a good strategy.
Vs Darkness (Very good matchup)
- Always keep Despair
- Always keep your Champions
- Always keep either(in order) Minion, Vile Feast, Blinding Assault, or Brightsteel Protector
Veigar/Senna is a slow control deck that needs its key units(mainly Veigar) to function properly. Use your removal tools like Despair, Vengeance, Single combat in combination with Lux or Kindred to make sure Veigar and Senna are dealt with as soon as possible.
Having a unit to block and kill their Twisted Catalyzer on turn 2 is crucial.
Vs Poros (Bad Matchup)
- Keep both Lux and Kindred
- Keep Minion or Vile Feast
- Always Keep Sharpsight
Poros or any deck that goes wide with elusives is a very hard matchup for Kindred Lux. Even though Despair and Vengeance are great single target removal tools they’re very underwhelming against medium-sized elusive boards.
On the bright side, however, Poros don’t have any way to remove Kindred or Lux, meaning that the main game plan should be to focus on both champions and get as much value from them as possible. Killing multiple Daring Poros with Kindred’s effect or with Final Sparks can be game-winning.
Radiant Guardian can be used to stabilize and heal back our nexus until we deal with all the elusives.
Vs Lurk (Very Bad Matchup)
- Keep Brighsteel Protector and Lux
- Only keep Kindred if you have Vile Feast or Blinding Assault
- Keep Minion and Vile Feast
- Keep The Box
Lurk is similar to Poros, it’s a deck that goes very wide with high power units so using single target removal cards like Vengeance and Despair is not enough to slow them down or stop their aggression.
On top of that, unlike Poros, Lurk has multiple ways to remove our champions like Redfin Hammersnout, Jaul-Fish, Bone Skewer, and especially Pyke’s Spell Death from Below.
The game plan vs lurk is to survive the early aggression with cards like Minion and Vile Feast while making sure our removal engines like Kindred and Lux are online with Lux’s Prismatic Barrier as protection.
In this matchup, Barriers from Lux or Brightsteel Protector are extremely important since Lurk is a deck that usually cannot afford to pass attacks.
Lurk doesn’t have any top-end burn spells, meaning that taking damage instead of trading Kindred or Lux is usually the best possible play.
This is certainly not the best deck to climb with since it loses to Ahri Kennen but it does really well against other meta decks and it sure leads to some extremely fun spots with its combos.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to DM me on Twitter if you have any questions about this article or just want to talk about LoR stuff!