4 Malphite/Taliyah Post-Buff Deck Recommendations (Patch 2.9.0)
While the recent small buffs to our two favorite earth-movers don’t quite fix the core issues with their deck concepts, they’re certainly a good excuse to go back and try out some fun brews with them.
I’m Jordan “WhatAmI” Abronson and today we’re going to be looking at the two geologic powerhouses of Malphite and Taliyah and finding ways, old and new, to showcase their synergies.
To see our thoughts on the Patch 2.9.0 buffs/nerfs check out our patch breakdown.
The decks we’ll be covering are:
- Turbo Thrall
- Stunning Stars
- One-Two Punch
- Throw a Bigger Rock
1. Turbo Thrall
Deck Code: CEBQIBABAECQMDQDAQDR6LCCAIAQCFBSAIBAIAIJBIBQIBYNHNEQEAQBAEASUAIEA4RA
First on our list is a concept that has been around in one form or another for quite a while but has only recently managed to catch on.
I’d call this one the most likely to make waves in the competitive scene as it has certainly been surprising a few folks both on ladder and in tournament settings recently.
The concept here is pretty simple. We just want to ask ourselves “How quickly can I make gigantic 8|8 Overwhelm units without dying.”
The answer may surprise as the more ridiculous draws can be swinging for the fences as early as turn six or even five if they are unimpeded.
While it’s certainly nice to get a Watcher occasionally, Lissandra is here significantly more for her Thrall than for any deck obliteration she may accidentally cause.
Taliyah shows up as Promising Future number four and five with a body attached and does so quite nicely, occasionally even leveling and providing her own pressure.
Last but not least let’s not forget that we are also simply a Freljord control deck.
While the unreasonably fast 8|8 Overwhelm plan is cool and all, sometimes what you need to win is just a suite of mass removal.
Any swarmy creature decks will not enjoy having to deal with a total of eight sweeper effects.
2. Stunning Stars
Deck Code: CECAGAYJKZON2AIDAQEQQDIOAEBQECIBAEBA6BAFAMESGSKUKVQACAYCCQAQEAQFAEAQEJIA
One of the most important things that the new Malphite buff does do is auto-level him off of Eye of the Ra-Horak.
The theory here is that interaction gets us off the hook for playing other bad landmarks and lets Malphite hang out as a late-game Leviathan-esque finisher in our stun control deck.
At first glance, we don’t look like we have many Stuns or recalls to get our Yasuo online, but when you add Spacey Sketcher and The Fangs to your list we actually start to hit quite reasonable numbers.
The hope with this deck is that we can create an effective Yasuo shell by making a deck that enjoys having him around but in which he is decidedly non-mandatory.
If your swordsman is missing then your cards will still be quite effective at creating the delay necessary for the big rock man himself to come down.
Against anyone who isn’t running Ruination, Malphite will finish almost any game inside a couple of turns of leveling up, making him quite an effective mirror breaker when fighting other midrange opponents.
Last but not least we’ve got a truly impressive amount of life gain with Tasty Faefolk, Fangs, Starshaping, and even Spirit’s Refuge to give us the game against early aggression.
Few things are more fun than seeing your life go from single digits to twenty off a Lifestealing Yasuo while their entire board disappears.
3. One-Two Punch
Deck Code: CECAMBAJAICAKCAJBIAQGCK4AIAQIJRUAEBAICAEAIAQIAI3AEBQIBIBAMERGAIEBEHAA
Alright, I’ll admit I’m retreating a bit further into Meme-Ville on this one but let’s take a breath and look at it before we dismiss the concept entirely.
The idea here is that the thing both Malphite and Vi are often missing to let them truly dominate is Overwhelm, and if we can control the board well enough there is an extremely synergistic way to get it.
We’ve stolen some of the early game of Rubin’s Zoo while adding in our best-boy Chip and his grumpy pall the Stonebreaker at the top end.
In the early and mid-game, we are primarily a synergistic card advantage deck, looking to slowly trade away our powerful creatures to stabilize the board.
Vi and Stonebreaker are both absurdly powerful tools in a vacuum and only get better if we can beef them up off Spiral Stairs or protect them with a Bastion.
The Eye isn’t the most impressive in this deck, but it’ll still delay our opponents and set up for our Malphite’s and Stonebreakers.
Speaking of the big man getting him down with a Vi on the board is basically lights out.
One of the larger problems with his level up is that after you cast the mass stun your opponent can simply play a chump blocker and go on with their day.
If instead they are getting pulled and potentially taking five extra damage that day is not going to be lasting very long, overwhelm or no overwhelm.
4. Throw a Bigger Rock
Deck Code: CEBQMBAJAIBQIBIIBECQIBYNEZEVCXIBAMEVYAICAQDRYZYA
Last but certainly not least we’ve got our two front-liners together in one deck.
This version is not messing around in any way, shape, or form.
This deck knows exactly what it wants to do and doesn’t slow down to do anything else.
From the word go we are sending in the boys, only occasionally stopping to take out one of our opponent’s threats with a Vulnerable trigger or a Stonebreaker.
The idea here is that everything is large, applies its own pressure, and demands its own answers.
What that means is that an Overwhelm trigger from Spiral Stairs onto either Taliyah or Malphite is often going to be enough to close out a game.
Even without one, a leveled-up Rockman will hopefully only have a handful or two of health to deal with on your opponent’s nexus and one mass stun should get the job done.
This deck is trading more on the speed and stat increases of these two than on any particular synergy they have.
Don’t get me wrong the synergies are there and are fun to see work, but sometimes you just want to make boards full of beefy boys and swing for the hills.
After digging into this a bit I’m still not sure that any of these decks really have what it takes to breakthrough into the top of the format yet, with the possible exception of TurboThrall.
That said, they do some pretty cool things and Taliyah at least feels like she’s maybe only half a step from breaking through.
If anyone remembers the huge power-boost that Shen got when he was granted his 3|5 stat line by the Riot gods they know not to take this transformation for granted.
It might not look like much, but those are the stats of an efficient beater that doesn’t fold too much in this game but Culling Strike.
Staple that to a potential late-game threat with the level up, a value engine on cast, and some interesting synergies with other strategies and you’ve got the makings of a powerful champion.
Malphite might be a tad slow yet. The only other seven mana champion in the game is Nautilus and those are some mighty big shoes to fill.
That said Malphite feels like he could run that mile if it was possible to make a deck full of good cards that let him trigger his level up.
Watch out for a few more support cards to potentially turn this meme-ey giant into a wrecking ball.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask WhatAmI during his streams (around 10AM PST basically every day).