How to Play Tristana Gnar
Hey guys, it’s Kuvira, back at it with another deck guide on… a tier 1 Tristana deck?
Who would’ve thought? Tristana Gnar is the new hot deck that’s currently dominating meta, it has a 56.2% win rate in Diamond + and 56.5% WR in all ranks.
However, this is not the first Yordles in Arms meta deck, Lulu Fizz is a very similar archetype that dominated the previous meta, especially in tournaments.
It’s an aggressive deck that plays to the board by constantly summoning cheap units and buffing them.
So if you were a fan of this archetype and want to learn how to play this deck- or if you’re curious why it is dominating the meta – this article is for you!
Deck Code: CEBQSBIKEBXXA5EFAGTADLYBW4A5SAIBAMAA4AIEAABAEAICAADQEBIKQQA2CAIBAEAQICA
Key Cards and Gameplan
Tristana was released in the first Bandle City expansion a few months ago and has never seen play in true competitive decks. She is now a core card in this tier 1 archetype. This is all thanks to the addition of new strong Fae units and support cards.
Tristana’s deck building cost is running a high number of multi-region units, decks like Bandle Tree that already do that couldn’t fit Tristana in because she’s not multi-region herself and therefore not advancing the Bandle Tree gameplan.
This deck however is already running new multi-region units that came out in the latest Bandle City Set, Grandfather Fae, Blastcone Seedling and Loping Telescope are all premium Fae followers that are already good on their own especially when combined with Gleaming Lantern or Bandle City Mayor.
Tristana only needs 4+ multi-region ally summons to level up, which is the same condition as Yordles in Arms which happens consistently very fast. Her level one gives allies +1|+0 on summon, this effect rarely matters since this deck is always looking to play Tristana when she is already leveled up.
When leveled effect reads, “When you summon a multi-region follower grand me and it +1|+0 and Impact.”
This is a very powerful effect that transforms Tristana into a burn engine that can finish games with the impact effects that can deal insane amounts of damage.
Ideally, you’re looking to save a couple of multi-region allies and play them after leveling Tristana.
Tristana’s champion spell, Buster Shot, is a 2x in this list on top of having the chance to get it from double drawing Tristana. It is the main removal spell that this deck uses to deal with 3 health threats like Gnar and backrow engines.
This 4 mana Slow spell gets discounted to 2 mana after you’ve played 4+ Multi-region allies, saving 2 mana can be crucial in most games so always use Buster Shot after it’s enabled.
Some people might wonder why the 3 2 1 split on champion ratios, if Gnar is better than Teemo why isn’t he a 3x in this list? Well, this deck relies a lot on getting the 4+ multi-region ally summon condition enabled as soon as possible. The faster a leveled Tristana, a 2 mana Buster Shot and a +4|+4 Yordles in Arms are enabled, the better you are in that game.
Teemo is a PnZ/Bandle City multi-region unit that you can play early and speed up that condition since double drawing Gnar (Frejlord) would be less efficient.
Teemo also provides some very important early chip damage that can be hard to deal with, especially in a deck with Ranger’s Resolve and Sharpsight as protection spells.
Everyone’s currently talking about Gnar, he fits in every deck and is overtuned. From infinite value generation to finishing games on his own, for a 4 mana card Gnar just does it all. If you want to know more about Gnar and what exactly makes him overpowered make sure to check out our article on the Top 10 A Curious Journey Cards.
In this deck, Gnar counts as a Freljord unit that advances Yordles in Arms, Tristana and Buster shot. He generates removal/draw in the form of Pokey Sticks and finishes games with his insane overwhelm Mega Gnar form.
Double drawing Gnar also gives you access to Wallop which is a premium defensive card that can be used against big attacking threats.
Swarming the board
Unlike Conchologist, Loping Telescope can generate units and spells. From situational answers like Equinox, Crescent Strike to multi-region value premium followers like Aloof Travellers, Tenor of Terror, Grandfather Fae etc… In fact, most of the multi-region hits are good with the rest of this deck.
Loping Telescope is also a Multi-region Fae; it gets discounted by both Gleaming Lantern and Bandle City Mayor. It also gets +1 attack from Grandfather Fae.
Grandfather Fae is one of the most important cards in the Fae archetype. It’s a multi-region Fae that generates a Hungry Owlcat and grants all faes +1|+0 on summon. It buffs Blascone Seedling, Gleaming Lantern, Loping Telescope and can also buff the second copy of Grandfather Fae. when you have two of them, all Faes are +2|+0 on summon which makes Owlcats 1 mana 4|1’s with Spellshield.
Grandfather also gets discounted by both Mayor and Gleaming Lantern.
The Discount Engines
This deck runs both Bandle City Mayor and Gleaming Lantern, they do not discount each other but they work on the whole rest of the deck. These two units together usually generate a huge amount of value and can accelerate games if not answered.
It is important to note that the discount stacks on the same unit, for example, Furious Faefolk is a 7 mana multi-region Fae, if both Mayor and Lantern are on the board, their discounts stack making Furious Faefolk 4 mana if it is the first Multi-region unit and Fae you played that turn.
After playing a multi-region unit, only the lantern discount counts, making Furious Faefolk 5 mana, same thing if you summon a Fae that isn’t multi-region, only Mayor’s discount is in effect making Faefolk 6 mana.
Having two Gleaming Lanterns discounts the next Fae you play by 4. Having two Mayors discount the next multi-region Unit you play by 2.
Now here’s an interesting puzzle:
You have 2 Bandle city Mayors in your hand and two Hungry Owlcats, you have 6 unit mana, is it possible to play all 4 units this turn?
If you answered yes then you already grasped one of the hardest parts about this deck.
Playing two Bandle City Mayors one after the other leaves you with 0 unit mana and the discount effect from both still active, when you play the first 0 mana Owlcat it will use BOTH mayors’ discount effects and you won’t be able to play the second 1 mana Owlcat.
Now the correct line is to play the first Mayor, play the first 0 cost Owlcat using the discount effect of the only mayor played, play the second Mayor and get the discount effect again to play the second 0 cost Owlcat.
The same logic can be applied to when you have two Gleaming Lanterns instead of Mayors.
This spell lets you choose between 3 Fae followers from a medium-sized pool of Faes. It is situational and depends on your board state.
- Look for Gleaming Lantern if you need discount engines.
- Grandfather Fae or Loping Telescope if you need swarm and card advantage.
- Furious Faefolk or Rainbowfish if you need to finish the game.
- Tasty Faefolk could also be picked against burn matchups or when you need to heal back up.
Tristana Gnar is a deck that goes wide very fast, meaning that all units on the board are usually extremely vulnerable to board wipes like Avalanche and Ice Shard, Sharpened Resolve is in this deck for the sole purpose of countering those spells.
The most important thing however is to use Sharpsight and Sharpened Resolve to protect your value engines, mostly Mayor and Lantern, that’s why banking mana for turn 3 is crucial.
Sharpsight can also be used against Elusives to block damage and force trades when they attack.
How to close out games
This deck has many ways to finish the game:
- Yordles in arms: Swarming the board and giving everything +4|+4 is your main and most reliable win condition. If you have Yordles in Arms in hand, try to enable it while keeping your board as wide as possible.
- Golden Aegis is another common way to close out games, usually in combination with a levelled Tristana to burn the opponent with all the generated impact stacks. Golden Agis can also be used in combination with Yordles in Arms to attack twice with a +4|+4 buffed wide board.
- Gnar doing Gnar things: Mega Gnar’s overwhelm can finish the game on his own when protected with Sharpsight and Sharpened Resolve.
- Never Keep Tristana, Rally, Blastcone Seedling, Pokey Stick.
- Only keep Buster Shot vs Gnar decks that do not run protection spells like Troll Chant, Sharpsight And only if you’re keeping Gnar or Teemo.
- Do not keep Bandle City Mayor if you have Gleaming Lantern.
- Always Keep Bandle City Mayor if you don’t have Gleaming Lantern.
- Keep Gnar if you’re attacking on evens.
- Always keep Grandfather Fae.
- Only keep Yordles in Arms if you have a good hand, e.g.: Grandfather Fae+ Gleaming Lantern+ Loping Telescope+Yordles in Arms.
- Keep Sharpened Resolve vs board wipes like Avalanche, Withering Wail…
- Keep Sharpsight vs Elusive decks.
- Keep Loping Telescope if you have Gleaming Lantern.
- Only keep Teemo vs decks that do not run multiple pings and only if you already have a Bandle City Mayor or Lantern.
I hope you guys enjoyed this spicy competitive Tristana deck. Feel free to DM me on Twitter if you have any questions or just want to talk about LoR stuff!