Deck Guide: Starfish (Zoe Nami Combo)
With the Beyond the Bandlewood Expansion, came a new and strong champion, Nami. Nami is the first champion that has to do with gaining spell mana. This also means that she has synergy with the Attune Mechanic.
For each spell that is played pre-level, she gives +1|+0 to the weakest ally (not including units that are Immobile).
Once you have gained 7 spell mana Nami levels and start giving +2|+1 per each spell which is insanely powerful.
The most competitive deck to come from Nami so far is Nami/Zoe which only has 5 units: Zoe, Nami, Sparklefly, Fleet Admiral Shelly, and Wiggly Burblefish.
Deck Code: CECAOAYJBERSQKRTMLLQCAICAYMAEBIGAUFQCAYGCEBACBAGBYAQGCKVAIBAEBRLFUAQGCK3
The rest of the decks consists of spells to prepare Nami for level up and then using Nami to buff the units.
This deck is incredibly difficult to play, but don’t let that deter you as it is a very rewarding deck once you get the hang of it.
There are 3 main win conditions of the deck.
There is Nami which is the most common win condition as the buffs she gives your units are often hard for most decks to deal with.
Zoe is also another win condition as leveling up Zoe is often game-winning.
Especially if you are able to play Sparklefly once she is leveled up and give your entire board Elusive and Lifesteal.
The final win condition is Fleet Admiral Shelly. Shelly gives all allies +1|+1 after you play 2 spells in a round. Shelly plus some elusive units can quickly give you a giant board with a handful of spells.
Ideally, the more of these win conditions you have on the board, the better off you are.
Mulligans are determined by your opponent. However, you are always safe keeping Nami.
In fact, you will want to hard mulligan for Nami. If you are against any removal type decks such as Shadow Isles you will also want to look for Sun Blessed Vigor to help protect your Nami or Zoe.
I usually won’t keep Zoe if I don’t have Nami already because Nami is so key to the deck and I am fine with banking mana. Zoe also prevents your Nami level up by one turn, so be mindful of this. I also search hard for Double Trouble.
Double Trouble allows me to play it on turn 3 to use all of my spell mana while getting some units on the board. Essentially, if you have Nami and Double Trouble in your starting hand, you will pass your first 2 turns, on turn 3 you will play Double Trouble, and on turn 4 you will play a spell plus Nami to have her leveled up on Turn 4 due to her Attune ability!
Nami and Double trouble is a dream start, if you have both of them, always keep them no matter your match up!
In the mirror, I keep Zoe because the Supercool Starchart is very helpful. Ideally, you will want to find Equinox to slow down your opponent. Crescent Strike can also do the trick.
You can also keep Supercool Starchart in your hand in the mirror matchup for this reason.
Against slower, control decks, it is okay to keep Shelly in your starting hand if you don’t have Nami.
Keep Nami, throw out the rest of the hand. You are hoping for Double Trouble. Keep Nami and Sunblessed Vigor.
If you are against control, also keep Fleet Admiral Shelly. Against aggressive decks, keep Double Trouble. Otherwise, mulligan all cards away.
Card Choices & Key Synergies
The synergies have already been explained in the win conditions section, for the most part. Another important synergy is that Sparklefly is the only 2 cost unit in the deck.
This is intentional so that Gifts From Beyond getting Crescendum will always summon Sparklefly.
Sparklefly is a great unit to hold buffs with its Elusive Lifesteal keywords. It is also a great anti-aggro tool.
Another important tip is to not play your 1 cost spells before you have Nami or Shelly on the board as oftentimes you are left with 3 Spell Mana and will want to play a 2 cost and 1 cost spell to get your board buffed.
As well as, Burblefish will easily become 0 Mana in this deck which is important for making more spells for your Nami/Shelly engine as well as allowing you to spread out your threats.
You don’t want to put all of your buffs on one unit as it will make Equinox, Hush, Minimorph, Vengeance, and other hard removals counter you really hard.
This deck has a lot of good matchups as it beats just about anything that takes a bit for the win condition to get online such as Poppy/Tristana Bandlewood Tree, Taliyah/Ziggs, Lissandra Thralls, Deep, Anivia, Zilean/Xerath, Cait/Teemo, Sion/Draven.
These decks all have one important thing in common, they take time to win.
This deck doesn’t allow these decks that time.
Anything that increases the cost of your hand can make life tough for you such as Prank cards hitting spells.
This also means that Stoney Suppressor Scouts can make it almost impossible for you to win by increasing the cost of your spells.
Sivir Akshan is also tough for this deck as it is able to put on a lot of damage and rally before you are able to set up the way that you want to.
This might change some with the recent nerfs to the deck though.
In general, Demacia as a region is a tough match-up due to Challengers and Rally. Shen/J4 and Lulu/Zed both present problems for this deck.
Lurk is also a tough match-up for this deck as Lurk has the ability to be aggressive and the potential for a strong high roll that your Sparklefly sometimes can’t do enough against.
Any deck that has the potential to beat you down quickly such as Discard Aggro or Pirate Aggro can be tough for this deck to face.
This deck is new, so there are a ton of variations being experimented with right now.
Some variants run Lunari Duskbringer for early game plus gaining additional spells, however, this one seems to be falling out of favor.
Mentor of the Stones
In early versions, people were running 2 or 3 Mentor of the Stones. Some decks are still running 1 copy, but most updated versions have cut it all together in favor of Double Trouble that uses spell mana more easily, and allows Nami to level earlier.
In a slower meta, Mentor of the Stones might be more reasonable.
Bastion is very strong against control decks, so if you are seeing a lot of control, then this might be the best choice for you!
This deck will steal games in the early game and create boards that your opponent can only stop and stare at.
It is an interesting deck and hard to master. Hopefully, this guide will help you get one step closer to mastering Starfish!