How to Play Yordles in Arms
Let’s square this away right off the bat: Yordles in Arms (YIA) is not a balanced card.
A 5 mana +24/+24 tsunami of stats bearing down on turn 6 is enough to take full control of the board if not win the game outright.
This deck has an astronomical 55.4% win-rate, and Yordles in Arms individually is the 10th highest win rate card in masters this patch.
In this deck guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to play Yordles in Arms.
Deck Code: CQDACAQGFYAQGAQCAEBQIEQBAQCBAAYBAQGCOLIGAUFG65DYUYA26AOAAEAACAIFBKEAC
This deck utilizes Lulu + Flame Chompers to take over the early game, Bandle City soupiness from Mayor and Captain to consistently put down a 6-wide board, and the titular Yordles in Arms to close out the game.
So if the stats are so strong, why isn’t everyone picking up the deck? It really comes down to two key losing matchups: Ahri and SI control. While YIA boasts an incredible matchup table versus the remainder of the meta, these two problem areas are enough to keep what would otherwise be a staple tier 1 deck from seeing mainstream play.
It might seem weird for that to be the case. However, everything from FTR to Anivia to Sentinels to Darkness are all taking advantage of the newly buffed Vengeance. “SI control” is an entire family of decks that constitute a sizable portion of the current meta, and YIA has a losing matchup versus all of them.
That said, YIA is an immensely underplayed deck right now. It chomps through the defenses of most decks and works especially well in a tournament setting where bad matchups can be banned away.
Piecing together a coherent early game plan is important, and in most matchups, the best one for this deck is Lulu + Chompers. As such, I usually like to look for Lulu, Boom Baboon, Zaunite Urchin, Fizz, and Yordles in Arms in the mulligan.
But so long as you have a good plan for the first 3 turns, you can get away with keeping almost any card in your deck since everything is low cost. And if you’re not against Ahri or control, chances are your opponent’s deck lacks adequate answers to Yordles in Arms, and mulling deeper to find it is acceptable as well.
Piloting tips and mulligan deviations for the 5 most common matchups
Mulligan: Kick YIA, keep Pokey Stick and Yordle Captain, keep Poro cannon if you have Boom Baboon
Pilot: Turns 1-3 look to establish attackers and force elusives to trade, turns 4-7 look to beef up your board with Captain and force answers with a YIA. If the game goes longer than that, you probably lost.
Any SI control
Mulligan: Keep Yordle Captain
Pilot: Chip damage with your small units matters a lot less against the AOE removal and healing these decks pack, but it’s still important. Resolving a cold YIA on a board full of 1|1s is a lot to ask, so landing a Captain to give everything a bit more bulk is an absolute night and day difference in this matchup. Do your best to navigate around their removal, but if you fall behind it’s perfectly ok to flip the game on an unprotected YIA.
Mulligan: Keep Loping Telescope, and keep Poro Cannon if you have a respectable curve
Pilot: This matchup is comically easy since they have no way to survive a Yordles in Arms while simultaneously not having the capability to kill you before you play one. Chump blocking with your elusives is expected – don’t be greedy with your hp.
Mulligan: Keep Bomber Twins and Get Excited
Pilot: This matchup is favored, but not by too huge of a margin. The name of the game is getting a Yordles in Arms off on a 6-wide board as early as possible. They can’t remove your units in response or anything, so they’ll tank down as far as they’re able and sac units as necessary. Knowing this I like to keep burn in hand, either for their MF or to cheese a lethal.
Mulligan: Keep Bomber Twins and Telescope, kick Lulu
Pilot: Lurk struggles badly against swarms of 2 and 3 attack blockers, which this deck puts on board by the dozen. The things you want early on are things that don’t mind dying because chances are they are not long for this world. As such, the Lulu + Chompers opening isn’t great here. Once you’ve weathered their early pressure, building up to a 6 unit YIA shouldn’t be all too difficult to accomplish.
At the top of the article is the mainline Yordles in Arms decklist that’s been seeing lots of success both on ladder and in tournaments recently.
But it certainly isn’t the only way to build the deck!
Here are two promising variations from top Americas players to close out our article:
Dudu de Nunu
Deck Code: CQDACAQGFYAQGAQCAEBQIEQBAQCBAAYBAQGCOLIEAUFG65FGAGXQCAICAUFHRQABAEBQKCUEAGEADRQB