How to Counter Thresh Nasus (3 Deck Recommendations)

How to Counter Thresh Nasus (3 Deck Recommendations)

LoR Deck Counter Guide: Thresh Nasus

It managed to dip under the radar for a hot second after the nerfs to Atrocity and Blighted Caretaker, but the lovingly labeled “Slay Ride”, AKA Thresh Nasus, has proven in recent weeks that it is not going anywhere.

In the current patch as of writing this article, the most popular iteration of this deck has a 56% win rate according to our Meta Stats.

I’m Jordan “WhatAmI” Abronson and I’m here to play Boogeyman to this particular Santa-Claws.

The three counter decks we’ll be covering are:

  1. Rubin’s Zoo
  2. SpookyDragon
  3. Matron

Slay Ride (Thresh Nasus)

There are something like seven different variations on exactly how to build this deck but they all follow the same basic brush strokes.

Back up an unreasonable amount of early pressure with a few key pieces of disruption and one or more giant gods of death ready to play clean up.

This that isn’t enough simply shrugs and throw the said god of death directly at your opponent’s face.

Slay Ride (LoR Deck)


[See Slay Ride deck details]

While seven mana Atrocity means we can’t drop two in the same round anymore it still demands an interaction spell or it will get the job done.

That’s often a difficult task as everything about this deck exists to drain resources, and it comes with a few impressive points of card draw to keep it rolling.

You thought that dealing with two boards of attackers and a Nasus was enough?

Get ready for second and sometimes even third Nasus coming down.

The reason it does all this so consistently is that we are effectively only running three champions.

Thresh is an absolute powerhouse, but at the end of the day, he’s just another challenger that threatens to pull Nasus.

How are we to deal with something that comes at us from this many different directions?

1. Rubin’s Zoo

Rubin’s Zoo (LoR Deck)


[See Rubin’s Zoo deck details]

Well really, if you can’t trust the lead designer to save you then who can you trust?

Slay Ride might ask an awful lot of questions but there are few decks better positioned to provide the answers than this one. It might look like an eclectic jumble but let me assure you this is the real deal.

Their early game is scary, but your two drops trade and block reasonably well and you’ve got some solid removal to get you through it.

Zoe, as we all know, can be an early game all to herself if they don’t have the right kind of removal for her.

Zoe level 1 (LoR Card)

Going into the midgame Vi makes Thresh look absolutely ridiculous while also pressuring your opponent’s life total.

Fangs and Starshaping keep you healthy and Subpurssible closes out games surprisingly fast while also being a decent blocker if it becomes necessary.

The Fangs (LoR card)

For the top end we can usually cycle into a least one Hush for a Nasus, and between giant Eusives from Starshaping, burn spells, and Vi, we often close the game without needing more than that.


  • Don’t worry about Zoe too much.
    • If she shows up, gets a hit in, and trades up in mana she has done her job.
    • There are matchups where we can reasonably try to get her to survive and win a game but with all the vulnerable and challenger floating around this is not one of them.
  • Vi is your absolute trump card.
    • She trades favorably into everything short of Nasus and stops an enemy onslaught cold, often while providing counterpressure at the same time.
    • Mulligan for her, Thermogenic beam, or Solari priestess, as well as one or two early game cards.
    • The scariest card in their deck for you is usually Thresh and if you’ve got that under control you’ll be feeling rosy.
  • Don’t forget the power of Elusive chip damage alongside your burn package.
    • I have won more games than I can count simply with Trickster, Golden Sisters, Subpurssible, and a little help from Iterative Improvement.
    • Big-bodied elusives are no joke so while you’re often a control deck always be looking for your opportunities to apply the pressure back.

2. SpookyDragon

SpookyDragon (LoR Deck)


[See SpookyDragon deck details]

Do you know what sacrifice decks really don’t like? Their own sac effects being used against them.

Enter this spicy little brew of my own devising ready to show them everything they hate.

While Slay Ride may love having their own Thresh on the board, an opposing one will just absolutely stop them in their tracks.

Thresh Level 1 (LoR card)

Which is all this Invoke control deck needs to clean up games.

You’ve got all the tools you need to shut down early game aggression.

You’ve got powerful mid-game road blockers punishing opponents for going wide.

You’ve even got hard removal and Silences for any wandering death gods that try to come by and ruin your fun.

Then at the very top, my old reliable of Starshaping plus Atrocity is ready to end games with a solid one-two punch before they can draw too many cards to recover.

Starshaping (LoR card)Atrocity (LoR card)

While it might not happen all that often if the game goes unreasonably late you can also simply cast your Aurelion Sol to close things out.

All in all, a nightmare for the Slay deck to try to deal with.


  • Do what you can to never let them get off a safe Glimpse Beyond.
    • Sometimes that just means holding up Vile Feast mana even when you don’t have it.
    • If they have to eat their own larger creatures every time to draw cards that’s a win for you.
  • When you can, look to keep a Withering Wail or a Box in your opening hand.
    • This will make your opponent’s Caretaker and Butcher turn extremely awkward.
    • Combined with your board clogging early drops you should be good to go against their aggression.
  • At the end of the day, your main win condition is Starshaping, not Aurelion Sol.
    • While it’s nice to have him around as a backup, don’t be afraid to ditch him to a Spacey Sketcher, and be very careful using all your mana on one giant space dragon.

3. Matron

Matron (LoR Deck)


[See Matron deck details]

Yeah, yeah, I hear you. You’re sick and tired of this nonsense showing up on the ladder and Ruinating on everyone’s fun.

That said, I would be remiss in my duties if I did not bring up one of the format’s other boogeymen as a great way to deal with this one.

Spectrak Matron (LoR Card)

While the Nasus deck can manage to get an impressive number of Slay triggers off of their own units, it often simply isn’t enough.

This deck has such a dearth of its own units, and so many ways to destroy the opponents that Nasus coming into play can often be absolutely tiny.

Even if it comes down to large Vengeance, Ruination, or simply Freezing it for a turn or two before your larger combo goes off are all very realistic options.

Vengeance (LoR Card)The Ruination (LoR Card)

All in all this deck’s icy power shows Slay Ride what the real north pole looks like.


  • The pass button is your friend.
    • The later the game goes without anything happening the happier you are.
  • All you generally need is to make it safely to turn nine or so to combo out and win the game.
    • That said, don’t forget to get that chip damage in when it’s available. I see people play this deck and miss all sorts of free damage with their 3|3s or even with Avarosan Sentry.
    • You will win surprisingly often simply by attacking with Trundle, so don’t deny him the help he needs.
  • Blighted Ravine is almost always better on your turn.
    • It makes your opponent’s development extremely awkward.
  • Last but not least unless you are under an amazing amount of pressure save your Lissandra in this matchup till she’s leveled.
    • Losing her to a timely Black Spear is a very easy way to throw a winning game.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask WhatAmI during his streams (around 10AM PST basically every day).

WhatAmI streams at around 10AM PST every day