How to Counter Poros
If someone told me I’d be writing an article about how to counter Poros that became an archetype with tier 1 potential, I would’ve never believed them.
Apart from old burn, this archetype represents the only championless deck that has been truly competitive and meta dominant.
If you’ve missed the last patch notes, Iceborn Legacy got buffed from a slow speed spell to a Burst speed spell.
The difference between Slow and Burst speed is huge, which instantly shifted the card from being unplayable to meta-defining.
After the buff to Iceborn Legacy adding it to the previous version of Poros seemed like a perfect fit, Swim’s (the god of Poros) list looked like this after adding Iceborn Legacy right after the patch.
Deck Code: CEDAGAYEBUJBGAIBAQKAKAIBAYEAWEAZAECACCQBAMAQEAIFAQGAEAIBAQNQCAQBAMAA
Since then the meta has shifted and tried to adapt to the dominance of Poros on ladder. The current and best Poro list for ladder looks like this:
Deck Code: CECQGAYEBUJBSAQBAQKC2AQFAQGBSBABAEBQMEAZAECAIBYCAECACCQBAECA2AA
This deck uses Daring Poro combined with Poro Snax and Iceborn Legacy to two-turn or one turn kill the opponent.
If not removed instantly, the harmless 1|1 Poros grow to become terrifying 5|5 or 6|6 Elusives. And since Poro Cannon generates 2 Daring Poros and Iterative Improvement allows you to copy your Daring Poro, this deck is running 12 copies of Daring Poro, 12 5|5 Elusives, a nightmare.
The rest of the deck is all about drawing cards and looking for your engines. Zaunite Urchin, Avarosan Sentry, Stress Testing, and Augmented Experimenter are there to ensure that running out of cards is never an option, on top of providing early blockers (Zaunite and Sentry).
Specific tutors like Time Trick, Poro Herder, and Station Archivist will allow you to consistently get the spells you need, Iceborn legacy, and Poro Snacks, Poro Herder also gets more Daring Poros in case the first 6 you draw or generate aren’t enough.
Poros are extremely good against slow midrange and control decks like Deep, Anivia, Mono Shurima, Thralls, Darkness…
What makes this deck unique is the inability to interact with their setup since both Iceborn Legacy and Poro Snax are Burst speed spells. The only way to slow them down is to deal with or block their *huge* Daring Poros.
If you’re tired of getting your nexus blasted by the cutest creatures in Runeterra’s lore, I’ve got the best decks for you.
For clarification, stats that I’ll be referring to throughout this article are from using these filters: Platinium, Diamond, and Master ranks only, in the last 7 days.
If you’re looking for the easiest way to beat Poros and the fastest way to climb, Aggro decks are the right choice for you.
The key here is to take advantage of turns where they play Iceborn Legacy and Poro Snax by setting up deadly attacks or pressuring them very early so that they aren’t able to cast those cards without losing the game due to tempo loss.
Aggro decks are best for this since they apply constant pressure on the opponent. Aggro can either be in the form of burn (Decimate, Noxian Fervor, Get Excited…) or board pressure (Fearsome, Overwhelm, Attacking multiple times) but can also be a combination of both forms.
Spiders are back this patch, and they’re here to eat all the Poros. This deck is THE oldest aggro archetype in the history of LoR.
Using early aggressive noxus units like Legion Rearguard, Legion saboteur combined with fearsome spiders like Elise, arachnoid Horror, and Frenzied Skitterer, this deck is consistently pushing early chip damage. Doombeast, Noxian Fervor, and Decimate represent the top-end burn used to close out games.
Deck Code: CECAKAIDAIGA6KBXAMBQKAYEAYBQCBJHGU4ACAQDAMAQCAQDAQBACAIDDEAQIBIM
This deck wins against Poros by constantly pressuring them on earlier turns (1-4). When they play Iceborn Legacy or Poro Snax, setting up a strong attack that turn or the turn right after is crucial.
Since Poros don’t have a single card to heal their nexus, burn is very effective against them. After lowering their nexus health in the early game, start setting up for Noxian Fervor, Decimate, and Doombeast.
The Mulligan for this matchup is fairly easy:
- Always keep Elise, and every unit apart from Imperial Demolitionist, Doombeast, and Astral Fox since we’re trying to use them, later on, to finish the game or draw them with Stalking Shadows
- Only keep Frenzied skitter if your hand is full of spiders e.g: double Precious Pet, Elise, Frenzied Skitter
- Try to look for triple 1 drops as much as possible especially if you’re attacking on evens for an explosive turn 2 attack
- Never keep spells
Another Fast deck that you can pick up to hunt Poros is MF/Quinn. An old staple deck that’s been good in almost every meta and this one isn’t an exception.
Deck Code: CEDAIAIAAEDASHICAQAAEBYCAIAAEBQBAMAA4AICAYLACBIKWMAQGAIFAYAQCAQABEAQCABFAEAQEAAH
Scout’s Insane 60% Winrate on ladder is mainly due to how well it does against Poros, This matchup is 64.4% WR for Scouts.
One of Poro’s weaknesses is removal, they have no way to interact or remove MF before and after she level. Drawing MF + Blinding Assault early is an almost guaranteed win for Scouts.
In the scenarios where MF isn’t drawn, attacking multiple times with a full board, scout units and Golden Aegis is also a very common win condition against Poros.
Challenging their units with Fleetfeather Tracker, Penitent Squire and Valor can slow them down until MF or Quinn are drawn/leveled. Sharpsight also gives the ability to block and possibly trade one of their Elusives which can heavily slow down their win-con.
This matchup’s mulligan is very complicated so please brace yourselves:
- Step1: Always full mulligan for MF 🙂
- Step2: Check step 1
Other fast decks that do well against Poros are: Nightfall, MF GP, Lurk, Draven Rumble.
If Aggro decks aren’t your cup of tea and you’re a fan of Huge Dragons, I’ve got the perfect deck for you: Pantheon Shyvana.
This archetype’s counters got nerfed in the last balance patch (mainly bandle city) which positioned it well in the current meta as one of the top tier 1 decks.
Even if this looks like a slow midrange deck, leveling up Shyvana early with Dragon Chow + Single combat puts out heavy amounts of pressure on the opponent.
Deck Code: CECQCBAABYBQGCIDENOAGAYAAYFQ4AIBAANAEBIJAMDAIAQDBEZVKAIFBEFACBAAAIAQEAABAA
What this deck excels at against Poros is slowing them down. With Burst speed silence cards like Blinded Mystic, Hush, Removal cards in the form of Concerted Strike, Single Combat, Screeching Dragon, Levelled Shyvana(that generates Strafing Strikes on every attack), and finally Sharpsight to block their Daring Poros.
A leveled Pantheon can also get the elusive keyword and represent another way to stop their Elusives from connecting. Finishing the game isn’t a problem, mainly with overwhelm from Dragon’s Clutch, a big Pantheon, or Golden Aegis.
Mulligan for this matchup:
- Aggressively mulligan for Shyvana
- Keep mountain Goat
- Keep Blinded Mystic, Dragon Chow, Sharpsight, OR Single combat if you have Shyvana
As I’ve said before, Poros thrive against slow midrange and control decks, so if you fancy extremely long games where you get to slowly wear out the opponent’s resources, Poros will always be difficult for you to deal with, but there’s an exception: Kindred Sentinels.
Deck Code: CECAEAIEDM2AEBIFBMHQEAIFFA2QCBAFAUBQKAIFAEJRSHJBAECQIEYBAECDABABAMCAWAQEAUOTQAIFAQNQCAIFB4
In the last patch, kindred also got a major buff, going from 5 mana to 4, they started seeing play in different control lists, this one is most likely the best way to currently play them.
This deck has a positive win rate against both Poros and Aggro decks that are trying to counter Poros. It controls the board with multiple removal cards like Thermogenic Beam, Mystic Shot, The Box, Vengeance, etc…which can be used to remove Daring Poros and slow them down significantly especially when combined with Kindred.
Since Poros have no way to remove Kindred, the amount of value generated from them can be game-winning.
Apart from that, the fearsome pressure from Burgeoning Sentinel, Buhru Sentinel, and Elise can push lots of damage early and allows this deck to close out the game with either burn cards like Mystic Shot and Aftershock, Commander Ledros, Corina Veraza, or Atrocity.
Only Keep Thermogenic Beam, Elise, Burgeoning sentinel, Buhru Sentinel, and Kindred.
I’ve decided to not talk about Ahri Kennen as a counter to Poros since I believe that when played perfectly, Ahri Kennen counters almost everything. Now if you want to learn more about this deck, here’s a recent guide made by the great player WhatamI.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to DM me on Twitter if you have any questions about this article or just want to talk about LoR stuff!