The Zir'an Smash Deck, Shim'Zar-ified!


#1

Continuing the discussion from Zir'an Smash Deck in Shim'zar? [Theorycrafting].

Disclaimer: I discuss this deck with a fair bit of passion, but I do not wish to lead anyone astray with the idea that this is a slam-dunk deck to ladder with in this meta. This deck continues to be C-tier and takes a fair bit of patience, determination and careful learning to rank up with. If you’re looking to ladder comfortably look elsewhere, this is not the deck for you! However, if you’re happy with eventually getting to Diamond playing a very technical, very cool, very fun deck that doesn’t feel cheap (unlike some other decks I could name) you’ve come to the right place.

Below you will find the new incarnation of my Zir’an Smash deck, now including all relevant new Denizens of Shim’Zar cards! I call it:

Zir’an, Lawgiver

It’s seen quite a bit of an overhaul since the time I started the thread, and it’s mostly become way more streamlined. At the bottom of the previous thread you can find the previous version of the deck. Its concept was simple: use Zir’an as a centerpiece to take damage and dish it out, and use her as the target for almost all available healing so you consistently have a healing target. The deck took me to Diamond and I reached Rank 4 with this new version today so it’s at least competent if not competitive (and that remains to be seen of course).

This deck is absolutely packed with healing, altogether you’re able to heal Zir’an by (3x5) + (3x2) + (3x2) + (2x5) = 15 + 6 + 6 + 10 = 37 points of health, forcing a maximum (not counting self-Martyrdom) 25 + 37 = 62 Health the enemy needs to plow through before she goes down. That scenario is highly unlikely of course, but it gives an impression of how hard it can be to burst Zir’an down: many common decks simply don’t have enough gas to consistently pull it off.

Zir’an, Lawgiver is essentially a mid-range Healyonar deck but with Zir’an as its pivot. You use Sunforge Lancer to pump her up and Sterope & Sunriser to control the board. You gain value over time as you kill things with Zir’an, allowing you to build up a board of two or three minions, using your healing effects to keep her healthy and simultaneously trigger your Purity (things that trigger off of healing) effects for extra value. Sterope also helps out with hand advantage whenever there’s no board to control. Having covered the key cards (Lancer, Sterope & Sunriser), let’s briefly discuss the rest.

Blistering Skorn allows you to control the board, finish off enemies, ping enemy Artifacts and damage your minions so you can heal them for Purity effects; the card is a godsend in this deck. Lucent Beam turns out to be really really good! I was skeptical of this card, but having cheap late game (try not to use them early on) burst is really working well for me so far, color me surprised! Ruby Rifter combos well with Skorn, and Zir’an is almost always going to be taking damage so it’s an obvious pick, refueling during drawn out matches is very important. It’s a later game minion, so having 1 copy is working fine so far. Dawn’s Eye is just a good card and I’m trying it out to see if it does well, you can just swap it out for whatever you like.

An important omission is the lack of Dispel! This deck has been becoming leaner and more aggressive with each iteration, and to my surprise I’m often the aggressor in my matches despite running three Martyrdoms. The change to Shadow Creep makes Dispel less of a 100% necessity so I’ve been running the deck without any Sun Blooms (Lightbender has anti-synergy with Sunforge Lancer) and things have been pretty good so far. If they turn out to be necessary I’d probably squeeze in two copies somewhere.

So there you go, let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

And if there are still any Zir’an haters left out there, here’s a song especially for you:


Zir'an viability?
Zir'An, The Vanguard [Lyonar Grindforge]
#2

Hey,

Really interesting stuff here! Just stumbled upon your previous thread and I’ve already started tweaking the build towards Shimzar on my own. My version is a bit more budget (I don’t have any Sisters, Circle of Life, Ruby, Dawns Eye), and tried to make it a bit faster so in a few ways it is a cross between my Tempo Argeon and your Lawgiver. Highlighted the changes, if you have any feedback please share it with me. I’m waaay too much of a noob so please be gentle if you don’t like my modifications :slight_smile:

SPELLS:
1 - Sundrop Elixir x2
2 - Lucent Beam x3
3 - Martyrdom x3
4 - Holy Immolation x3

UNITS:
0 - Slo x3 [tbh I feel this is way too valueable to not run it in any Lyonar deck atm]
2 - Ephemeral Shroud x2 [some fast dispel with a body]
2 - Fiz x3 [but cut Mystic, they basically do the same, might go back if bots don’t work well]
2 - Lightchaser x3
2 - Windblade Adept x3 [felt that I have to add a generic 2-drop bc we only had Lightchaser b4]
3 - Blaze Hound x3 [EDIT: changed from Radiant Dragoon x3 to get some draw]
3 - Blistering Skorn x3
3 - Sunforge Lancer x3
4 - Sunriser x3
5 - Ironcliffe Guardian x2

Will add Sterope / CoL / Ruby Rifter as I get them ofc.

So far this setup is really performing well for me (although I just started the game and only lurking around rank 10 atm). Thanks in advance for any feedback!


#3

Good to see you trying Zir’an even before getting all the desired cards. Getting Rank 10 is already a nice achievement, so shooting for that seems good to me :slight_smile: . Two things I notice about your deck is the abundance of early game and the lack of draw. I think Radiant Dragoon can be really good, but probably not in a swarmy deck like yours. Did you have a look at getting a few Sojourners? Blaze Hound is most beneficial in a beatdown deck, and Martyrdom works against that. Slo is indeed a very strong card but it doesn’t help the deck, especially because you don’t have a way to buff its attack. With 14 turn-1 minions I think you can afford to get some more mid-game. But if Slo is working out for you all the more power to you :wink: . If you get your draw issue sorted out I think you should be good to hit Gold, I like the deck! Good luck eventually getting all the basic Faction Rares to unlock Sterope.


#4

Thanks. Yeah played some games now, went 6-2 and lost both games bc the lack of draw. Putting in Blaze Hound instead of Radiant Dragoon, might help a tad bit.


#5

How’s the Dawns Eye and Ruby Rifter working out? Any changes?


#6

Dawn’s Eye is a strong card, but I decided to take it out of this deck. It doesn’t synergize with any other card and its one-off status makes it an unlikely draw and tends to make my other draws less reliable. I took a second Ruby Rifter actually, it’s just a great card here that has a higher likelihood of surviving due to her later game appearance. The top of my curve now looks like:

  • Circle of Life x2
  • Inquisitor Kron x2
  • Ruby Rifter x2

I opted to include 2 Sun Blooms now that I’m coming across more streamlined decks again. If you’re looking to build this on a budget buy your Holy Immolations last, you can sub Rifters with The Scientists (or some other draw) if you lack the cards and Krons with Guardians.


#7

Yeah I dropped almost 3 ranks trying out the deck as posted xD I got wrecked hard without any dispells and dawns eye didn’t seem to fit in the deck. I have a full set so not limited on card options. How is the deck working out for you now? Care to post the new list and what rank are you using it in? I’ve been stuck at a wall in the ladder at rank 14 for days xD


#8

Yikes.

So this is me at this very moment at Rank 9 (very limited play the past two days):
1x Zir’An Sunforge
3x Sundrop Elixir
2x Sun Bloom
3x Fiz
3x Healing Mystic
3x Lightchaser
3x Lucent Beam
3x Blistering Skorn
3x Martyrdom
3x Sunforge Lancer
3x Sun Sister Sterope
3x Sunriser
2x Inquisitor Kron
3x Circle of Life
2x Ruby Rifter

Start of the month is always the hardest time to ladder, good for you that you’re fully stacked with cards.

Could you give me a description of the kind of things that go wrong during matches? Do your minions get destroyed, does your hand empty out, what are your bad match-ups? You should be able to pass Rank 14, so I’m guessing you’re still coming to grips with how the deck works a bit because it is pretty skill heavy imo. If you friend me in-game (TheMatsjo) I’ll have a look at a few games you lost as well.


#9

Thanks I sent a friend request. I have 78 Lyonar wins so far but 95% of that is with Argeon so this type of deck is pretty new to me. A lot of the time I just felt mystified as to what the optimal’ish play would be hahah. :confused: :slight_smile:


#10

Of course, we’ll have a look-see. Tactically holding attacks back seems to be very important to the deck; even keeping a Skorn at 3 Health so the opponent has to expend resources to take it out is usually worth more than an extra 3 damage to face.


#11

My Current Zir’an Deck. Fairly similar to your latest list. Been playing Zi’ran since release but now she finally feels fun (compared to hard work). If the player can’t see the best route to pull out the deck’s synergies it’s going to be loss after loss. I’ve gone through 50+ games and 3 iterations since Shimzar and I’m still learning how to play optimally.

I’ll go over my thoughts below the list.

1xZir’An Sunforge
3xSundrop Elixir
2xSun Bloom
3xHealing Mystic
3xLightchaser
3xLucent Beam
3xWindblade Adept
2xBlistering Skorn
2xMartyrdom
3xSojourner
3xSunforge Lancer
3xHoly Immolation
3xSunriser
3xSuntide Maiden
3xInquisitor Kron

Windblade Adept
What is there to say about this card. Incredible stat line for a two drop. Trades 1-1 against 3’s and many 4’s. Even feels good to play in the later turns because it can’t be killed by a general alone and has the attack to threaten bigger minions. Having a heal effect in Fiz is nice but Adept provides so much consistency in the early game I can’t swap him for a weaker body and AI control.

Sojourner
In early iterations I lost so many games from running out of cards. With the meta being fairly fast at the moment Blazehound and Spelljammer felt like a liability as without mana tiles this deck doesn’t really go off until turn 5 no matter the cards in hand. I only have 1 copy of Ruby Rifter and so I didn’t get much experience with the card. I have no copies of Solarious either. Sojourner has been the silent MVP. Easy to reinjure for heal procs, draws (obviously), and eats dispels.

Suntide Maiden
I’m currently testing Suntide Maiden at the moment as my other 4 drop. The 3/6 statline is good. Typically forces a 2-1 trade if played on curve. The guaranteed heal effect is very nice. Maiden hasn’t made a huge splash in the deck yet but provides consistency. Can setup up double procs with afterglow and it’s natural healing (if HP was low enough). Has made Lightchaser a bit better as I can get a 4/3 off more often.

Cards I don’t play/couldn’t make work

Fiz - I think Adept is better throughout all phases of the game and I have enough heal synergy.

Radiant Dragoon - To slow. In theory the extra life leads to more heal procs but I just don’t have time.

Sunseer - underwhelming affect. You’d think T3 Sunseer -> T4 Sunriser would happen all the time. It didn’t

Arclyte - Worked fairly well for me but I found my winrate increasing when I chose to play a minion on 4 versus the artifact. The +2 attack is less relevant with Sunforge Lancer.

Emerald Rejuvinator - Was in the first draft of the deck. I liked the card a lot actually but my deck was a bit too fast to be healing the enemy for up to 12hp a game. In a later game Zi’ran I think he’s great.

Sterope - Never been able to make this card work. Always worse than a sunriser drop. True strike is even less valuable now that lucent beam exists.

Circle of Life - With 5 removal spells already CoL felt a bit redundant. Three Elixers also make the heal from CoL less impactful.

Sworn Defender - No.

Elyx - The theory was the movement combined with +attack from Sunforge Lancer would allow me to end games easier. Never really happened that way. The provoke was nice but I have Kron and eating a hard removal, grovekeeper, or dominate will happened too often.

Cards to consider

The strength of Kron pushes out a lot of minion I think would be good but I’m hoping to test most of these at season’s end.

Chakkram - I attack with Zi’ran all the time so he should be a 3-drop more often than not. An early 5/5 body is a great heal target and provides what the deck lacks which would be solid statted minions.

SS L’Kian - Are two immediate random cards better than a delayed draw from deck (Sojourner)?Something I want to test. If I really don’t think Suntide Maiden cuts it L’Kian could be the replacement (and I’d remove Sojourner for Chakkram). I just worry about having another weak body in the deck. A 2 attack minion on T4 Never cuts it.

Sunset Paragon - This deck has no major catchup mechanism. Most of my minions will survive and can be healed again. The more I think about it I might need to try this ASAP.

Grincher - A form of refueling. With +1 or +2 attack most random artifacts could push a game over the top.

Grove Lion - Heal in a different form. Requires an answer. Might be slightly too slow for my current list but a more lategameish one could be just the fit.

Solarius - When I get him, I’ll test him.

Ruby Rifter - With one more copy he’ll be added back into the deck for at-least 10 games for testing.


#12

Great analysis, interesting thread :slight_smile:

I highly recommend sky phalanx as a catchup card, its 1337 as @#$% I run 2x in my Argeon deck and love it!

:sunglasses:


#13

Nice deck, dont have all cards but Im already excited to test it out asap.

Also another deck that I really like and see it as maybe one of the strong decks coming in this meta, is ‘replace lyonar’ which uses some cards that boosts synergies with inquisitor kron, and swarm like crazy the board.

Dunno if we can do an hybrid heal/replace Lyonar, but shared it in case maybe it gives you some ideas :smiley:

mainly :

  • Aether master (replace cards twice)
  • Aegis barrier (protecting kron and aether master, draw mechanics)
  • maybe two white widow.

#14