LoR Counter Plunder Guide
Sorry folks, but the truth is out. I’m that guy.
The one who every time something becomes popular and powerful has to start looking for ways to smack it down.
I’m Jordan “WhatAmI” Abronson and today we’re going to talk about the ways to counter those pesky thieving pirates.
We’ll be covering three decks to help you counter Plunder, AKA Gangplank Sejuani: Zed Rally, Zoe Lee Sin, and Thralls.
Deck Code: CECAMAQGBMQCCLJ2HQAQGBQIAECAMCQBAIAQEAIGAIDAEBISCQRCMAIBAMARM
This archetype causes such frustration because of the multiple hard-to-answer wavelengths that it comes at its opponents on at the same time. The first and most obvious is that this can simply be an aggro deck. With the number of pings running around getting burnt out is something to seriously pay attention to.
If that fails then the champions come out. They generally come out fully leveled on turns five to seven and they hit like mac trucks. There are very few decks that will survive one, let alone two turns of unanswered Gangplank or Sejuani attacks, and don’t even get me started on when Dreadway backs them up.
Arguably the most enraging aspect though is the six cards this deck has that simply steal whatever their opponent is doing and often do it better. Very little is worse than getting your Feel The Rush nabbed and having to face it down a turn early when you thought you were the late game deck.
And the best part is that it can do all of this while having a startling amount of interaction. Between Make it Rain, Monster Harpoon, Sejuani, and my favorite tech choice, Hired Gun, our opponents are going to have a rough time sticking their threats even while they are forced to answer yours.
That sounds like a pretty solid game plan to me, which rather explains why this deck has taken over lately. There have got to be cracks in that armor somewhere though right? Well of course. Let’s check them out.
1. Zed Rally
Deck Code: CEDAEAIABEOQCAQAA4CACAQGBEGDSAIDAAHACAYCBIAQKCRJAQAQCAQRAEBQEFABAQAAEAIBAAKQEAIBAILACAIABM
First up is a deck that’s been around in one form or another for most of Runeterra’s history. Ionia/Demacia aggressive midrange rally variants have been a solid pillar of the meta since Zed/Lulu showed up as an alternative to Fiora/Shen, and this is a great time to pick up this particular game plan.
The Game Plan
While Plunder does have quite a reasonable amount of interaction, they aren’t all-in on being an interactive deck. And that leaves a niche that an extremely linear archetype such as this one can exploit. Make it Rain, Parrley, and sometimes even Monster Harpoon, are readily answerable by a plethora of pump spells this deck provides.
Our lethal turns also tend to come online just slightly faster than our opponent’s. If they are generally a turn six to eight deck, we sneak in under by being a turn four to seven deck.
All in all, the tempo is going to be the name of the game here. We want to leverage every single point of mana advantage we can get and turn it all into damage at the perfect moments. This deck is exceedingly difficult to play perfectly, but it does some unreasonably powerful things and practice will pay dividends.
More than anything we are looking for our champions. An important thing to note though is that Young Witch is the secret third champion. She makes your Challenger units ridiculous tempo threats and pushes along the Elusive damage at every opportunity you can get her.
Other than that if you already have a solid hand seriously consider keeping Ranger’s Resolve. The ability to shut down Make it Rain and Parrley will impact this matchup in significant ways. Not only will you keep your own gameplan moving forward faster, you will also stop their triggers in their tracks, slowing down the speed at which they can present lethal or lock you out.
Deck Code: CEBQMAYJBENSGM3A24AQKAQCAMCQMCAJAIAQEDBRAAAQCAYJKU
Next on our list is the first deck I ever did a counter guide on, Lee Sin. It’s attracted no small amount of hate on its own merits over its time in the spotlight, but today it’s showing back up as one of the good guys to bring the hammer down on those despicable nabbing pirates.
The Game Plan
Lee has a simple game plan that is deceptively hard to execute correctly. Step one, set up a wall of Eye of the Dragons. Step two hide behind it for approximately forever. Step three, level up one of your champions and win the game with it.
There’s an important middle step in this matchup in particular that the newly buffed Solari Priestess helps out with an impressive amount. Keeping Gangplank and especially Sejuani either off the board or Stunned is very important, and calling down Comets on them is one of the best ways I know.
I’ve only got one Hush in right now, but if you want to lean even harder into this matchup you can get a second. The main theory is that you can stop their Sejuani lock, and without it, the rest of their deck just isn’t going to kill you quite fast enough before you kick them in the face for all of their nexus health.
Eye of the Dragon is your friend. Luckily for you with access to moon weapons you’ve got six copies floating around. Other than that your champions and Solari Priestess are the cards you want to seriously consider keeping.
If you already have a made hand or an early Zoe, you can consider keeping buff spells to stop the piratical pings that you know will be coming for you. Don’t get greedy though, it’s too easy to under-mulligan and end up doing nothing while your opponent beats you down.
Deck Code: CEBQIBABAECQUDQEAQDQ2HZMIIBACAIUGIBAEBAHJF4AEBABAYFQEAIBAEFQCBAHEI
The Game Plan
This is one of the few decks where you can sometimes simply tank leveled Gangplank attacks. Having between two and four 8|8 Overwhelm units on the board will manage to do that for you.
Given that you mostly just need to be focused on executing an early doubled thrall or two. Just one will rarely be enough, but a Taliyah or Promising Future in the mix with a small bit of acceleration will generally get the job done.
We’re also packing a whopping six mass removal and six Freeze spells, so even if you don’t get your Thralls ready on time you have some potent delay tactics. Being able to go over the top as well as answer, at least temporarily, both the large and small plans your opponent can execute puts you in a pretty good spot.
The best thing though is that your cards are generally terrible in other people’s decks. Whatever they Nab from you is much more likely to be trash than it is to be treasure.
It’s right there in the name, Thralls, Thralls, Thralls. Once you’ve got either Frozen Thrall or Lissandra you can think about keeping some accelerants, doublers, or removal spells. But if you don’t have one of those then everything else better be getting sent back.
Freezes can be tempting when you have a made hand, but you generally don’t want them till at least turn six. No matter how good your hand already is it’s generally correct to ship those back and try to upgrade your game plan.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask WhatAmI during his streams (Tuesday-Thursday around 3PM PST and weekends for tournaments).