Strengths and Weaknesses Series Part 4: Piltover & Zaun
Hey everyone, Swim & Rattlingbones here, welcome back for part three of the Strength and Weaknesses series.
Today we’re talking about PnZ, recognized as one of the strongest base regions in the past due to its overpowered pre-nerf champions.
Piltover & Zaun Overview
PnZ is one of the regions that offers the most original and creative game mechanics.
It has the highest number of RNG cards of all the regions and offers a ton of versatility, seeing play in every archetype, aggro, midrange, control, and especially combo.
Let’s take a look at what makes PnZ special.
Piltover & Zaun Strengths
PnZ is mostly known for its cheap removal spells like Mystic Shot, Get Excited, Aftershock, Gotcha!, Statikk Shock, Tri-Beam Improbulator and Thermogenic Beam.
Fast speed cheap removal spells in LoR have a history of always seeing play in Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks.
Mystic shot, for example, has the second-highest inclusion rate in the game (74%). The fact that it can be used on any target, enemy or ally unit and even the Nexus gives it an incredible amount of versatility. It can be used in aggro decks as a burn spell, in midrange, combo, and control archetypes as a premium removal spell.
All those spells also work really well in combination with most PnZ’s champions, Heimer, Vi, and mostly Ezreal.
PnZ is also the region with the best draw cards in the game.
Zaunite Urchin, Rummage, Sump Dredger, Statikk Shock, and even Hexcore Foundry represent Incredibly strong draw tools that have seen play in some of the most overpowered decks in past metas: Heimer Ionia, Ezreal Karma, and Fizz TF, all of them received heavy nerfs.
Two very strong decks in the current meta heavily rely on PnZ’s draw package, Ezreal Draven and Discard aggro.
Even though Ionia is known as the Elusives region, PnZ has some very strong elusive units, Daring Poro, Nyandroid, Subpurrsible, Chirean Sumpworker, and champions like Teemo or Ezreal.
PnZ’s Allegiance card also offers elusives synergy even though it’s not seeing much play right now.
Sumpworks Map is and has been one of the most underrated cards in the game. I’m expecting it to see more play in the future.
PnZ is known as the combo region for a reason, most of their cards seem very weak individually and need to be part of a combo to make sense and actually generate value.
Give it all and Chirean Sumpworker are great examples for that.
Other cards like Veteran Investigator, Concurrent Timelines, Counterfeit Copies, and Iterative Improvement can only work in combination with other cards or archetypes to be viable.
Unfortunately, PnZ’s combo package is currently underperforming with a weak general power level, that’s mainly due to how difficult it is to balance combo archetypes design wise.
Piltover & Zaun Weaknesses
Like any other region, PnZ does have quite a few weaknesses that can be exploited.
First and foremost, it lacks the early game that the region needs to execute its strategies.
In fact, in competitive play, the majority of these cards don’t get to see much play.
The ones that do are just good combo pieces or enablers. For example:
- For Discard Aggro, you get to play cards like Zaunite Urchin and Flame Chompers because of the synergy with other discards.
- Ballistic Bot acts as a combo enabler with the generated “Ignitions” for cards like Rummage/Sump Dredger/Urchin/etc.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that these cards are bad, they are just awful at early game stabilization.
Removal Mana Inefficiency
The second most important weakness of the deck is that while those removals are good in their own right, LoR doesn’t give you the same efficiency of unit/mana cost to removal spells/mana cost.
If that was weird phrasing, what I’m trying to say is that a 2 cost unit is generally more effective/efficient than a corresponding 2 mana removal spell.
The same holds true for 3/4/5/6/7/8 mana cards units/removal spells.
You could argue that there are some good removal cards in the game and that’s definitely true.
But not every region has them; this is definitely the case for PnZ. Our removal spells are as follows:
- Thermogenic Beam
- Death Ray – MK 1
- Mystic Shot
- Get Excited!
- Statikk Shock
- Tri-Beam Improbulator
- Trueshot Barrage
Notice that PnZ doesn’t really have a good way of dealing with 4 health units. Hell, even 3 health is a challenge at times.
Lack of Protection
Last but not least, it has a hard time protecting its champions. In fact, the only card we have is Suit Up!
While the card has its place in the metagame, it definitely isn’t going to be used in control decks to protect important units.
This is why PnZ, historically, does insanely well with regions like SI, Ionia, Noxus, and Targon.
Those regions do a great job balancing the issues that PnZ has:
- SI is able to provide additional removal tools that carry the mid/late game while providing game-changing win cons (looking at you Ledros).
- Ionia is able to protect key units a lot better with cards like Deny and Nopeify!
- Noxus is able to compliment discard synergies and also compliments cheap removals with additional cheap removals like Flock and Guillotine/Scorched Earth
- Targon provides really good early game in this meta with cards like Zoe/Goat and has great ways of helping you sustain/finish games (Starshaping)
That’s all for now! Let us know in the comments if we missed anything.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask Swim during his streams (10AM-6PM PDT).