How to Counter Tahm Raka

How to Counter Tahm Raka

How to Beat Tahm Raka in LoR

In this article, we’re going to break down how to beat a deck that a lot of people have been considering very unfun to play against: Tahm Soraka lockdown decks.

Specifically, though, we want to break down how to pinpoint weaknesses and exploit them to help train your ability to approach countering weaknesses in any deck.

tahm raka 11-2


[See Tahm Raka deck details]

So we’ll be going through Tahm Soraka’s major weaknesses, point by point, talking about the specific cards that pressure those weaknesses, and then we’ll give example decks that could use those cards. Let’s get into it.

Apply Early Pressure

Tahm Soraka is a deck that puts the game in a state of lockdown from a VERY early position. However, it’s surprisingly weak for just the first few turns of the game before it gets its engine online.

Even though they play a couple of early units such as Crusty Codger, Boxtopus, and Fortune Croaker, because keeping damaged units alive is integral to the deck’s gameplan and since they don’t bank spell mana this early, they often can’t even block or cast relevant spells for the first 3 turns of the game.

crusty codger jpg

boxtopus jpg

It’s important, then, to make sure you’re applying snowball pressure for these first 3 vulnerable turns since forcing them to trade away their units is amazing for you, and because they can’t deal with cheap snowball units like Teemo, Arena Battlecaster, Elise, Miss Fortune, or a Zed that’s threatening a few buffs.

In the same vein as above, the biggest threat here that extends beyond turn 3 are cheap Elusive and Fearsome units.

Tahm Soraka as a deck gets almost all of its value off of its ability to block small units and heal its units back up.

If you deny them the ability to block anything they are basically screwed because they can’t heal their units and they are taking basically infinite damage.

A 2/4 Crusty Codger isn’t doing much good vs a board of Fearsome units. This will be discussed later, but combo style strategies that involve Elusives or Fearsomes with cards like Harrowing are very effective.

the harrowing jpg

Abuse Tahm Soraka’s lack of board interaction

Another weakness of Tahm Soraka is one that’s shared with Lee Sin decks: their inability to interact with your board at Fast speed save for Hush.

hush 2 mana jpg

What does this mean for you as a deck builder? Specifically, that otherwise risky interruptible cards like Reckoning, Atrocity, and Go Get It don’t really get answered by anything in the Tahm Kench package because all of their removal tools are slow.

So, therefore, decks like Midrange Ashe Nox (running two Reckoning), or any SI deck of any speed that uses Atrocity to close games, are great counter decks here.

reckoning jpg

atrocity jpg

Lastly, the final major weakness of the deck is that it has a hard time applying real pressure on the opponent; its pressure is slow in exchange for locking down your strategy and the normal inevitability that comes with that.

What’s the best way to punish this weakness? By using greedy uninteractive finishes that might normally be a little on the slow side.

Cards like Warmother’s Call, Feel the Rush, Harrowing, Captain Farron, Atrocity, Ledros, and Karma all do really well as a finisher against this deck since normally the way to beat these cards is with early pressure.

warmother's call jpg

feel the rush 1.13

Tahm Soraka simply doesn’t have much access to early pressure or really powerful interactive spells like Deny or Harsh Winds to act as countermeasures.

Choose the Right Decks

So what are the top 3 decklists overall to counter this? Well, right now the #1 choice is actually probably Fearsome Aggro with Go Get It and Harrowing.

go get it fearsomes precipic


[See Go Get It Fearsomes deck details]

The cheap Fearsome units apply the needed early pressure that TK has no real answer to and their deck can’t punish your Go Get it or Harrowing either.

Second-best would almost certainly be a standard Warmother’s or Feel the Rush control.

feel the rush warmothers precipic


[See Feel the Rush Warmothers deck details]

The overall gameplan of ramp is just something Tahm can’t swallow to shut it down, and there’s just no answer to your big 12 mana spell that ends the game.

And then lastly, tied for number 3 here, we have Spooky Ashe or Spooky Karma.

These two SI decks both stall the board out until they end the game with their leveled champ combo.

spooky ashe precipic


[See Spooky Ashe deck details]

Spooky Ashe will stop TK from denying deaths by using Glimpse Beyond, and then kill you with multiple Ashe attacks off of harrowing, which unlike a single Ashe can’t just be hushed and blocked out.

alanzq spooky karma precipic


[See Spooky Karma deck details]

Spooky Karma has a similar approach, using some of the new KDA cards to bully the TK player out with multiple Karmas that there would be no single answer for.

Closing Thoughts

And that’s it! These are the top weaknesses of Tahm Soraka, and the specific cards and decks to punish those.

Our hope in writing articles in this style is to not just give you guys the tools to counter the deck, but to also:

  1. Help you build the mentality of identifying weaknesses
  2. Pick specific cards to beat those weaknesses
  3. Build specific decks to utilize both the cards and hit multiple weaknesses at once

When there’s ever a meta deck that you’re struggling to beat, try to think in these steps and see how it goes!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask Swim during his streams (10AM-6PM PDT).

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