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3 Scenarios to Test Your LoR Mulligan Skills (Part 1)

The LoR Mulligan Series: Part 1

Ladies, gentlemen, otherworldly creatures of all varieties, and anyone else who has chosen to grace us with your presence this evening, please take your seats.

I’m your host for the night Jordan “WhatAmI” Abronson and The Mulligan Show is about to begin.

Here’s how this is going to work.

I’m going to set the stage at the opening of a game, describe the situation we’re up against and ask you what you think you should do and why.

Then when you’ve got your answer ready to go, go ahead and click the spoiler link underneath each setup and we can walk through my decision and thought process together.

These situations are set up to be intentionally at least a little bit tricky, so don’t just go with your first guess.

Try to really think it through before you scroll below the Spoilers section.

Alright, ready? Let’s meet our first contestant.

Stage 1: Fiora Shen Mirror

You’re playing a matchup that has vexed players since time immemorial, or at least the beginning of Runeterra, the Fiora/Shen mirror.

Your opponent has the attack token and your opening hand consists of Riposte, Sharpsight, Brightsteel Formation, and Concerted Strike.

Fiora Shen Mirror (LoR Mulligan)

Not the most ideal of situations we find ourselves in so let’s hope the mulligan will help. What would you do?


The kneejerk reaction here is “I can’t cast any of these spells, throw them all back and try again.”

And that’s definitely an important starting point.

If we don’t have units to play before turn nine then what good are all of these powerful combat tricks doing?

That said, I think the decision here comes down to having a deep understanding of your win conditions.

While there are many other important nuances of play in the Fiora/Shen Mirror, so many that I certainly can’t get into all of them today, there has always been a single trump.

In almost every case if one player has a Brightsteel Formation on turn nine, and the other one doesn’t, the Barrier blessed party is going to be the one winning the game.

brightsteel formation jpg

Because of that truth, I have become a strong advocate of keeping that card when it shows up in a mulligan, even though it is a complete brick on turns one through eight.

Is it possible that we will just draw nothing to play in the three draws we get from mulliganing our other three cards, plus the first three draws of the game?

Yes, of course. But the odds of winning the game go up over the long haul in a relatively slow grindy mirror if we decide we’re willing to brick a little bit more to ensure our bomb is always dropping on time.

Stage 2: Ashe Noxus vs Kindred Karma

Next is an old-school concept with a new school twist.

Shurima just dropped and you decided to try out Leblanc (Or as I have decided to affectionately dub her “Le-Bonk”) in your midrange Ashe/Noxus deck.

You’re up against someone showing Kindred/Karma on top of their deck and have got no real idea what they’re hiding behind it.

You’ve got the attack token and the opening hand shows Icevale Archer, Ashe, Trifarian Gloryseeker, and Brittle Steel.

Ashe Leblanc (LoR Mulligan)

What would you do?


So against an unknown opponent, this hand seems almost ideal.

We’ve got great early defense or pressure as needed, curving out into our namesake card for more of the same.

The only thing we’re missing is an Avarosan Trapper, or maybe a Leblanc, but hey, maybe we’ll draw one in the first three turns.

Avarosan Trapper (LoR Card) LeBlanc Level 1 (LoR reveal)

You can’t ask for everything, right? Wrong.

This is a mulligan decision where understanding how a matchup plays out is very important.

Our opponent is clearly on some kind of control deck, likely including early ping spells and Ruinations.

For us to fight through that we are going to need some beefy boys on our side.

And if we look at that Karma we’re going to have to assume they’ve got the late game, so we want this finished before turn ten if we have anything to say about it.

Karma level 1 (LoR card)

Our two drops are cute but die extremely easily to chump blockers or pings, and Ashe is an absolute beast, but really just too slow coming down on turn four.

For us to present enough pressure to be able to play around ruination in the later turns of the game while not folding to the implied pings incoming from our opponent, there are only two cards in our deck we really want to see.

While we can’t be guaranteed to find them, I believe throwing back all four of these cards and trying to pull a Leblanc or even better an Avarosan Trapper is our best bet at finding a line to victory in a very difficult to navigate matchup.

Stage 3: TF Fizz vs Trundle Tryndamere Feel the Rush

This time we’ll inhabit the shoes of the format’s boogeyman, TF/Fizz.

We’re going up against one of this deck’s few actually bad matchups in Trundle/Tryndamere Feel The Rush.

We have to expect a veritable cornucopia of Vile Feasts, Boxes, Avalanches, Wails, and now even Blighted Ravines or Ice Shards to be coming our way.

Fizz TF example (LoR Mulligan)

This is going to be a tough one. Our deck offers up Suit Up!, Poro Cannon, Fizz, and Rummage. What would you do?


Fizz seems pretty sweet, right?

He’s still going to die to any mass removal he can at least come in under Box and dodge the occasional pesky Vile Feast.

Maybe the play is to keep him and then maybe also the Poro Cannon for some early aggression, throwback the other two trying to get a Ballistic Bot?

Poro Cannon (LoR card reveal)Ballistic Bot (LoR card)

If that was your line of thought then you are half-correct.

One of the few ways we can look to actually find a victory in this matchup is getting a Suit Up! down on a Fizz.

Suit Up! (LoR Card)

That particular interaction is SO integral here that we are actually willing to keep Suit Up and resign ourselves to casting it for four mana.

The Poros, while fluffy and adorable, are going to be kind of a bait here.

There are just too many ways for them to get swept away in the early game for us to be able to assume we can get damage in with them.

We’d love to see a Ballistic Bot, a Twisted Fate, or a Pick a Card to back up our Fizz as he goes to war though, so I’d ship back the Rummage and the Poro Cannon and hope for the best.

Twisted Fate (LoR card)Pick A Card ( LoR Card)

“But wait,” I hear you saying. “Couldn’t that potentially leave us without protection for our Fizz?”

Letting our key win condition get Vile-Feasted before we can manage to Suit Up and try to run that to victory?

Sure, it might, but our opponent doesn’t know that.

This is a no-fear dojo friends, and the folk who can call when you bluff with a Fizz on board are few and far between, and most of them will be making a bad play when they do.

Got to learn to take those shots.

So how did your plays and thought process match up at the end of the day?

Think that Mr. WhatAmI is making some absolutely terrible plays and want to help him improve?

I’m always open to thoughts and constructive criticisms either on my stream below or on Twitter @xxwhatamixx.

Hope to hear from you there and see you next time I’m around to host The Mulligan Show.

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 twitch.tv/xxwhatamixx around 10AM PST every day