Welcome to TLG’s latest meta snapshot for Legends of Runeterra, a series in which we give you our insight on the finest decks in the higher ranks of the ladder. As the developers have set out their stall for fewer competitive updates over the coming year, we’re planning to do occasional snapshots to cover the bigger changes.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop by our Discord. Best of luck on your climb!
Editing: Wusubi, Sebodunum
Writers: Den, Ultraman, Othal
It’s been a while since Akshan-Sivir dominated the ladder, but Demacia is back in full force, profiting from a Midrange-oriented environment, where Aggro decks are barely playable. With many First Strike effects on both of your champions and a good use of the Challenger and Vulnerable keywords, the deck is extremely proficient at trading.
I know, I know, it’s Demacia, but this deck is especially strong at value trading, using the likes of Cataclysm, Single Combat and Concerted Strike to dominate the board. Similarly to Pantheon, this list is one of the best options to beat faster Demacian decks that need to set-up their board before they can threaten the Nexus - they struggle to do that in the face of your majestic units.
Akshan-Sivir is also favored against control decks, as SpellShield can change the course of the game. (Write-up by Ultraman)
If only life was as simple as this deck’s game plan, which is to play Concurrent Timelines. This is one of the lists that no one saw coming, but cards like Ferros Financier and Buried in Ice actually made it happen.
We have to mention Gnar, as the lack of a second champion was a huge problem. While Gnar doesn’t really offer any synergies, the deck itself is a pile of value cards to begin with. You have a few combos such as Buried in Ice into It That Stares or Timelines into Ice Pillar, but that’s about it.
Troll Chant is still Freljord’s best card and Aloof Travelers have a couple of decent targets while benefiting from Timelines, given their weak stats. (Write-up by Ultraman)
You thought Lee Sin was going away? Think again! While most decks benefited from the latest expansion, Zoe-Lee relies on its power level and a strong finisher to try and compete with the new flavors of the month. It remains strong against Aggro due to Eye of the Dragon and Wounded Whiteflame, but the leaders of the meta have numerous ways of dealing with it, making it a difficult choice for climbing the ladder.
Bandle City decks are quite efficient at turning your main threat into a wow-reacting mammal thanks to Minimorph, and they can play around Bastion due to their high number of low-cost spells. As such, we aren’t including the SpellShield-giver in favor of cards that help with our win condition.
Against Demacia, board swarm and Rally are the issue. Lee’s best protection are the Dragonlings, but since they’re Ephemeral, they can survive for one combat each round. The presence of Concerted Strike means Demacia can play around your Barrier.
Pantheon is a huge problem, coming online faster than Lee Sin, with likely bigger stats and no conditional keyword activation. His decks also include a Silence package with Blinded Mystic and Hush, effectively turning your Eye of the Dragon into food for their own Wounded Whiteflame.
When not facing the difficult matchups, the game plan remains the same: Eye of the Dragon and Gifts from Beyond are here to provide the best answers against Aggro and swarm decks without Rally, so try and put them down as fast as you can. Your goal is to survive until you can close the game in one swoop with a Zenith Blade-buffed Lee Sin.
At times, you might want to threaten the opponent without Lee Sin and force them to answer a boosted Wounded Whiteflame. Even though the card won’t win you the game, every removal used on a different target than Lee Sin is great for you.
In the end, Lee Sin remains one of the most difficult decks, but also one of the most rewarding. Every game is a puzzle you need to solve, and even while losing, you’ll be a better player for it. (Write-up by Othal)