How to Play TF GP Plunder
A couple of weeks have now passed since the release of Guardians of the Ancient. The meta has more or less stabilized, but I believe there’s still territory we’ve yet to explore.
While we only saw the release of champions for Ionia, Shurima, and Targon, there are a couple of gems in PnZ and Bilgewater that have some real potential!
I’m Trevor “Shugo” Yung, and today I’d like to share a unique deck that Precipic and I have put together.
Before we jump in, we must give full credit to Teal Red for our inspiration.
So let’s take a quick look at the original list:
Teal Red’s Plunder Pandemonium
Deck Code: CEDAMAQGDIQSMLRXHIBACBABGQBAGBAFBUAQIBAFAEBQMFABAQDAUAABAEBQIGI
We’ve got a real spicy one here with Teal Red’s Plunder Pandemonium.
As an avid Fizz TF player myself, it’s awesome to see a new take on the archetype.
This unique list is built with more of a control shell and utilizes Plunder triggers to build up a devastating Powder Pandemonium.
If you look closely at this list, you’ll notice there aren’t many spells we can chain together.
We no longer have Wiggly Burblefish, Poro Cannon, or Suit Up. It’s primarily a Plunder deck.
Due to this, Fizz can’t shine to his true potential, so we decided to look for a more suitable candidate.
TF GP Plunder
Deck Code: CECQKAQGDIQSMNZ2AIBQIBINAECAIBIBAECDIAIEAYFAGAQCAYJCAAIBAQAQCAYGCQAQEAIED4SA
Welcome to a new age of Plunder.
While most of these expeditions follow Sejuani and the Freljord, this time we’re exploring the variant of Bilgewater/PnZ.
Ballistic Bot is the King here, but among them, we have some Jagged fellows, card sharks, and Sumpworkers.
This deck is reminiscent of the old Ezreal Twisted Fate lists but is built with more flexibility and chaos that can lead to some ridiculous outcomes.
Powder Pandemonium is our grand finale that can steal games out of nowhere.
Overall, this deck can play for tempo, but also for value.
There really isn’t a one size fits all game plan, so you’ll have to be ready to adapt on the fly!
Plunder has been a known archetype for a long time now, but it wasn’t until recently that we got the incredible tool it always needed.
This is the card we’ve been waiting for and the sole reason for this deck’s existence.
Dealing 5 damage to a unit for 3 mana at fast speed sets a new bar for premium removal. It’s basically Vengeance for 3 mana.
Not only that, but we gain access to it in Bilgewater.
While it does have a significant deck building cost, the supporting cards give us flexibility and are powerful enough to justify on their own.
Our core of the deck revolves around two key focuses.
For starters, we’re a Plunder deck. This makes Ballistic Bot the pinnacle support piece we want at all times.
It’s hands down the most reliable way to trigger our Plunders when we need them.
However, we do have a secondary contender; Chirean Sumpworker.
We’re always on the lookout for duplicate Chirean Sumpworkers, and if we’ve found one, we want Iterative Improvement.
However, don’t keep Iterative Improvement without already having one Chirean Sumpworker.
Against aggressive decks, you can keep Mystic Shot or Parrrley, and in slower matchups, you can consider Black Market Merchant or Zap Sprayfin.
Twisted Fate is also a welcome addition to any hand.
These are all fair options but do note our top priority is to look for Ballistic Bot and Chirean combos.
Example hand against aggressive matchups:
Ballistic Bot – Mystic Shot – Chirean Sumpworker – Iterative Improvement
Example hand against slower matchups:
After the mulligan phase, we’ll have a good idea of how to enter the matchup. If we’re fortunate enough to snag the Chirean combo, we need to set up accordingly to start pressuring early.
Turn 1: Pass and float 1 mana.
Turn 2: Play Chirean Sumpworker. Be mindful of a potential Challenger or removal spell.
Turn 3: Cast Iterative Improvement on Chirean Sumpworker, then play the copy to transform it.
This simple combo is extremely powerful. Sometimes you can win off the back of this alone, or at least set yourself at a great advantage.
It works especially well against aggressive decks as they lack proper removal and tend to be vulnerable to 1 damage board wipes. If you get a second Posse on board, you’ll actually feel like you’re cheating.
Not all games play out this easily, however. Your game plan will generally consist of using mana efficiently while you trigger Plunder and help level up Gangplank.
We have the ability to play a longer game because even with an empty board, Powder Pandemonium can push an insane amount of damage.
There are times when it’s correct to trade off your entire board or sacrifice some units to push through more damage.
This normally feels like a bad thing, but just like The Harrowing, sometimes we’re better off with nothing. Find the right balance for each game and be open to flexibility as some games are actually won with our opponent’s cards.
Unlike the TF we previously knew, we don’t have the means of consistently turbo-leveling the following turn.
Twisted Fate is more of a support card here, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t matchups where you shouldn’t treat him as a win condition.
Take advantage of decks that lack removal options and move in cautiously for the level up when you can. Double-drawing TF is usually the time to consider a setup as Pick a Card advances him much quicker.
This may be one of the best decks for Gangplank we’ve had.
The 5|5 Overwhelm has always been great, but the added level-up consistency from Ballistic Bot really takes him to a new level.
As an extra bonus, the summoned Powder Keg also turns Sumpworks Posse’s attack into a 2 damage board wipe.
Chirean Sumpworker + Iterative Improvement
As discussed earlier, sometimes this is all you need to close the game.
Double Chirean Sumpworker will also suffice, but the added +1|+1 puts the opponent on a shorter clock.
While removal is obvious, you should also be mindful of Hush and Sharpsight. Demacia in general is a tricky one, so make sure you don’t overcommit to the combo in those matchups.
Now the moment we’ve been waiting for. This card fundamentally changes the way we must pilot the deck.
For example, you’ll have to evaluate whether it’s correct to play a unit with or without its Plunder trigger.
Sometimes we need to play for the stats to apply pressure and deal damage. Other times we should be patient and squeeze every possible trigger.
Keep in mind we’ll never need more than 6 to get maximum value.
In addition to building up our Plunders, we ideally want to find a Jagged Taskmaster to buff the attack of our monkeys. Each Jagged Taskmaster trigger adds up to 6 potential extra damage to our finisher; this can be game-breaking.
Lastly, don’t forget that you can always play Powder Pandemonium on defense. Not only does it create a wall of chump blockers, but you’ll still deal a bunch of extra damage to the nexus.
Okay so I know I haven’t talked about Ezreal yet. And well, that’s because there’s not a lot to say.
He’s not a primary win condition, nor is he crucial to the core of the deck.
We don’t have a ton of support to consistently level him or push damage when he is flipped.
But at the very least he can trigger Plunder and create some Mystic Shots.
Gangplank can be awkward to double draw at times, so having a 2-1 split including Ezreal is a personal preference.
Feel free to cut Ezreal and experiment to your own liking.
The core of the deck is fairly established but you can tweak a card or two to help the best fit your own metagame experiences.
Good ol’ Rex used to be at the forefront of all Plunder decks and Bilgewater in general.
You can consider a 1-of for some extra late-game power, but Powder Pandemonium tends to fill this role at a lower cost and without needing the same-turn Plunder trigger.
Always a considerable tech option when landmarks are running rampant, but generally not necessary unless such landmarks are game-winning like Star Spring.
This is not needed for Azir Irelia.
Personal preference between the third copy and one copy of Ezreal. Try them both and see which you like best.
Well, that’s it for this one.
Shoutout again to Teal Red for the initial concept as we wouldn’t have the deck if it weren’t for him.
Also to Precipic for helping me refine the list we have today.
Shugo’s Productivity Thought of the Day
How often are you inspired by something, only to forget about it as the days go by?
That moment could be eye-opening to a world beyond your expectations.
But no matter how strong the feeling or emotion, we always result back to our “Default State”.
To change, we need to overcome the biggest obstacle…ourselves.