Going Bananas in Blitz with Shiyana

How did I end up playing a Shiyana at a 54 person Blitz tournament you might ask?

Well, it all starts with an official tournament announcement from Mighty Ape. The event sold out. Crap, I forgot to buy my ticket. In a moment of despair, I quickly posted a pleading post on the event Facebook post. Alan from LSS was kind enough to reach out and say he’s actually feeling under the weather and can offer his ticket to me. Great! But there’s a catch – Alan was going to play a secret deck created by LSS’s lead developer Jason Chung and urged me to play the list on his behalf. A secret, meta-breaking spicy brew created by one of Flesh and Blood masterminds? I couldn’t say no! Then I saw the list. It was Shiyana.


Shiyana, Diamond Gemini


Shiyana, Diamond Gemini

Hero: Shiyana, Diamond Gemini

1 Arcanite Skullcap
1 Fyendal's Spring Tunic
1 Bracers of Belief
1 Snapdragon Scalers
1 Talishar, the Lost Prince

2 Enlightened Strike
2 Razor Reflex
2 Scar for a Scar (Red)
2 Life for a Life
2 Ravenous Rabble
2 Nimbilism
2 Plunder Run
2 Nimble Strike
2 Coax a Commotion
2 Snatch
2 Flock of the Featherwalkers
2 Command and Conquer
2 Come to Fight
2 Alpha Rampage
1 Spark of Genius
2 Whirling Mist Blossom
2 Lesson in Lava
2 Art of War
2 Teklo Core
1 Arknight Shard
2 Lunging Press


Now that’s some serious spice! I immediately noticed the insane aggression this deck can put out. With a big Ira control presence in the field, it just makes my second attacks more powerful and it can even pump my Whirling Mist Blossom.


Whirling Mist BlossomLesson in Lava


There are some really cool interactions that are unique to this deck. 

Teklo Cores can set up your huge aggressive blowout turns, two turns in a row. Lesson in Lava can search up another Lesson in Lava and provides a great finisher. Alpha Rampage is insanely good at blocking opposing attacks for three. It’s all the good stuff.

When versing a Kano, you can copy the Kano ability until you get too low and copy yourself to go up five life. Also, as Kano, you can use Lesson in Lava to search for a Teklo Core and Kano it out into the field. 

Against Bravo, you can dominate your Alpha Rampage. 

The greatest finisher I found to work well is the Arknight Shard, pinging opponent for one. It becomes critical to finish games off when combined with the Lessons in Lava. Why wouldn’t people run arcane barrier you might ask? Well, people aren’t used to versing Shiyana and they aren’t used to protecting themselves against arcane damage. If they do run arcane damage, you can switch up your playstyle and focus on punishing them with the physical damage. Pinging for one with Arknight Shard is still nice and Lessons in Lava make good block and pitch cards.

Let’s have a look at my matchups.


Round 1: Bravo

First thing my opponent said was, “what is this!?”

I immediately noticed no arcane barrier. Good. My Lesson in Lava finisher is online. I was careful to constantly put pressure on with my attacks and make sure the Lesson in Lavas and Arknight Shard make their way to the bottom of my deck. Eventually the hammer swings became more and more punishing, but I was stripping my opponent’s armor and eventually we both ended up on very low life. With both of us on one, I just needed to stall until I got to the Shard to win the game.


Round 2: Kayo

I got to face down Iain from the Radio Reflex Podcast! It was a great game with some insane turns.

I was lucky my opponent had some bad rolls with Kayo. It allowed me to put on some good pressure with my attacks, but the life gain proved hard to overcome. Eventually I started running out of gas. Iain managed to get a high roll on a Drone of Brutality (Red) which just shifted the momentum in his favor. I managed to survive on one, but a Reckless Swing finished me off. In hindsight, I think I should have gone for a big Alpha Rampage turn and use Kayo’s ability to roll an attack for 18 and finish my opponent off. Notably, Shiyana is the only hero that can pull this off! Instead though, I blocked with it. 


Round 3: Ira Control

I ended up going second to be able to pressure my opponent from turn one. I had some insane draws with Plunder Run from arsenal into redline attacks to constantly strip my opponent’s hand and sneak in points of damage. Well timed Command and Conquers allowed me to sneak around the defense reactions and get ahead on cards. The game stalled out for a bit and I went on defensive, but lack of arcane barrier meant that the Lessons in Lava let me finish the game off.


Round 4: Ira Control

I sat down opposite Matt Rogers, New Zealand national champion. I started the game off with some incredibly clunky draws. Art of Wars on the defense, high resource cards with all reds. I tried to put as much pressure as I could but Matt kept blocking, chipping away saying “I don’t know what’s going on” from time to time. I kept on having to take big hits in order to put on pressure but the efficiency of Flic Flaks and Harmonized Kodachis meant I couldn’t do much on attack or defense. Matt won on 18 life.


Round 5: Dorinthea 

I knew this was going to be an uphill battle. My opponent has insane amount of equipment and most of my cards block for two or don’t block at all. I chose to go second. Using my whole hand to stop the opponent’s attack, I was able to put pressure on my turn and tried to strip as many cards from the Warrior as possible. They utilized their equipment blocks well, keeping their life total high and a reasonable number of cards in hand. 

I did my best leveraging my equipment blocks while pressuring with the red line attacks. The game was reasonably close with both of us at the 10 life range. A timely Ironsong Determination paired with Steelblade Supremacy put me in a really tough spot. I was forced to take too much damage from that deadly combo. It was too much advantage for my opponent and they swiftly finished me off in the next few turns. 


Round 6: Ira Control

This was a thriller. Red Plunder Runs and Scar for a Scars backed by some Command and Conquers really put my opponent in a tough spot. He managed to slowly defend off my hits, while finding some space to chip away with Kodachis. The game went to the wire. I had a choice – either attack my opponent down to one with Talishar or threaten lethal with a Nimble Strike for five. I chose the more prudent option. My opponent took the damage, went down to one then proceeded to pull off a double Kodachi attack into a Torrent of Tempo (Red), popping Snapdragon Scalers and attacking for seven with a Flying Kick (Red).

I ended up going 2-4, but the games I lost really didn’t feel impossible to win. The deck presents a ton of decision making and you really need to pick your spots correctly to go off. You have to constantly remind yourself about the Lessons in Lava and Arknight Shard late game plan and pitch those. It’s so tempting to block with the lesson and regret it later. 


Shiyana is a deck that has a huge element of surprise, because she can be built in so many different ways. I have a feeling that this hero will be a powerhouse as the specialization cards and generics increase in quantity and power. I can’t wait to see what Monarch will bring!

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