Welcome to TLG’s newest meta snapshot for Legends of Runeterra, a series in which we give you our insight on the best decks in the higher ranks of the ladder.
Every Monday, we discuss the decks that are part of the week’s meta and rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. We also look at the evolution of said decks’ ratings across weeks and draw conclusions regarding the current state of the game, all of this so you can delve into your own ranked journey with a head start.
The meta this week feels very fair; there are no decks that feel amazingly overpowered or crushingly bad. Very few decks can go head to head with ASol-Trundle in the late game, so we have seen a rise of aggressive archetypes that try to end the game before ASol comes online. Players have also found out that the threat of Obliterate and Hush meant that we shouldn’t be putting all our eggs in one basket.
Because of these reasons, we are starting to see decks that (1) seek to finish the game early, (2) do not rely on one big unit and (3) have ways to refill after a board wipe. We think that this tripartite criteria will determine what decks will dominate the meta in the coming days.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop by our Discord. Best of luck on your climb to Masters!
Editing: Crixuz, Sebodunum, ShadowplayRed, Wusubi
EU Consultants: Dartill, Kuvira, Minuano, NicMakesPlays, Taytwo38, Ultraman_CCG, Zezetel
NA Consultants: Glop, IPingUListen, NicMakesPlays, RattlingBones, RiceFT, Saucekay
Table of Contents
EU: 4.25 stars, NA: --
While surprising, this list utilizes the best out of most of Bilgewater’s decks! Ravenous Flock and Guillotine from Swain-TF, the Nab package from EZ-TF and the early game pressure from the Aggro version of GP-TF.
It’s a “jack of all trades” in terms of consistency, continuously refilling your hand with both aggressive and control options, including several incredible removals. (Deck via Ultraman1996)
Additional notes: Three things have helped GP-TF Midrange with becoming one of the best decks in the meta: first of all, Ravenous Flock and Guillotine are some of the best removals; secondly, having an aggressive strategy is crucial given the prevalence of ASol decks. Finally, the Nab package provides the deck with some serious stamina.
A major pillar in this week’s meta snapshot, GP-TF ensures that you don’t rely on one massive unit for your win condition, as Invoke decks can quickly obliterate your chances of victory. GP-TF’s ability to be strong in so many vectors means that you should never be held hostage by the threat of Obliterate.
I wanted you to experience the kind of humor we encounter in our meta snapshot meetings, so I will leave you with this. When asked about the position of GP-Sejuani in the current meta, Ultraman had this to say: “Well, it’s kind of like GP-TF, except you lose more.”
EU/NA: 4 stars
Nightfall is an aggressive deck with many tools to kill its opponents, but unlike a traditional “Aggro” deck, it can generate sufficient value to sustain itself in the long run, allowing you to clutch wins in the very late game. It will take some time to learn how to pilot this deck well, as it requires a lot of decision-making and planning ahead.
Manage your resources wisely, get a little creative with Nightfall enablers (the incredibly powerful Stalking Shadows being one of them) and you will be rewarded by this sleeper-OP deck. (Deck via NicMakesPlays)
Additional notes: The deck is often wrongly characterized as an Aggro deck, but it’s actually a Midrange deck in disguise. It has the ability to pressure, which signals your opponent to wipe your board. Then you have cards like Stalking Shadows and Pale Cascade, which are self-replacing. You end up in scenarios where you’re trading units one for one, but you’re also refueling your hands while dealing two-three chip damage at a time.
At the end of the day, what is a Midrange deck if not a deck that excels in 2 for 1? Diana also assassinates your opponent’s cards for free. And people say there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.
EU: 4 stars, NA: --
This is the Aggro version of the GP-TF deck. Make it Rain and Death’s Hand will control the board AND deal face damage, which is why this deck is so flexible. GP and Riptide Rex are the main win conditions of this deck.
Leveling Gangplank on curve should be your first priority. Twisted Fate is generally used for Red Card to clean the board and level GP, or could be used to stun GP in the mirror.
Additional notes: You could think of the Midrange version of GP-TF as a culmination of EZ-TF and Swain-TF deckbuilding. This Aggro version is a little less obviously derived from that heritage. At its core, the deck is a pretty aggressive Burn deck. Its hallmark is the ability to play at different speeds.
We usually think of an aggressive deck as a “winning by Turn 5 or die” archetype, always acting as the one who has to take the initiative. It’s great to do this when the stars align, but there are times where it can feel like you are walking into a trap. Yet, it’s important to note that the Aggro version of GP-TF is not pressured into being proactive. It’s quite flexible (you can apply a lot of pressure or just chill), allowing you to safely pass thanks to Riptide Rex.
EU/NA: 4 stars
What a deck! Leona-Diana is a Midrange list with Invoke characteristics. The deck is heavy on control, but instead of doing this with spells, its control takes the form of Leona’s Stun and Diana’s Challenger and Quick Attack.
This is an unbelievably powerful Aggro killer. It completely shuts down any tempo advantage that the Aggro player has acquired on their attacking turns with Solari Shieldbearer and Leona’s Stun. The deck also has a crazy amount of income cards which can consistently give you a great hand.
Additional notes: There are no cards on turns 1 and 2 that can beat the combo of Solari Soldier into Solari Shieldbearer. When playing against Aggro, the Aggro player is forced to pass, making it easy for you to stabilize and outvalue them.
Leona-Diana is the strongest Invoke deck in the meta. When taking a beating with ASol-Trundle, you can’t afford to Invoke because that is the complete opposite of what you should be doing, which is healing or board wiping. In such situations, Invoke cards cause your hand to be really weak. What makes Leona-Diana special is that you can contest the board in the early game, which gives you breathing space to Invoke without healing or outright dying.
The deck runs healing anyway, so it has that safety net as well. Its main weakness is that it doesn’t have enough pressure against decks like Asol-Trundle and Lux-Leona. The inability for the deck to close games quickly enough (which is to be expected of a Midrange deck) means that decks like ASol-Trundle and Lux-Leona can outvalue you.
EU: 3.75, NA: 4 stars
Swain’s threat levels are off the charts, forcing removals and terrifying your opponents at the mere thought of him hitting their Nexus once. With many early game removal cards and the extra damage granted by the kegs, Swain will always be leveled-up. What’s more, you’ll have access to him in the late game thanks to The Leviathan.
Swain-Twisted Fate as a deck is extremely good at crushing the unrefined decks that populate the ladder currently with the Targon expansion. The fact that it doesn’t have a terrible matchup makes it a very consistent deck.
Additional notes: Swain-TF’s days are numbered. The main problem with the deck is that it’s too reliant on The Leviathan. Often, you don't expect to see it more than once in the entire course of the game.
EU: 3.75 stars, NA: --
Ramping is trending, and who could make a better use of that than Warmother’s Call? This terrifying spell will overwhelm your opponent with gigantic monsters, but it comes at a serious cost of 12 Mana. Use your AoEs at the right time to survive the early game and let Trundle stabilize your board until the call is made! (Deck via AlanZQ)
Additional notes: With so many Aggro decks running rampant on ladder, Warmother is an anti-meta option with lots of healing and AoE at its disposal. The deck also has many answers (in the form of Vengeance + Vile Feast to pop Spellshield) to non-Aggro decks like Swain-TF and ASol-Trundle.
EU/NA: 3.75 stars
Stall the game with your infinite heals while ramping up to ASol. Use your units wisely to stop the opponent’s attacks and try to survive until your late game comeback! Once The Infinite Mindsplitter or Trundle stabilize the board, you’ll be free to use the crazy value Invoke cards and ASol to win the game.
EU: 3.75, NA: 3.5 stars
Spider Burn utilizes Fearsome units to go under their opponents. Sometimes the deck wants to push to level Elise, other times the deck plays like a normal P&Z Burn deck. In some instances, the deck employs the Nightfall package to press for acquiring more resources and damage. Managing your units well to optimally activate Nightfall is key to unleashing the full potential of this cheeky list.
EU: 3.5, NA: 3.75 stars
Tempo Endure combines a great early game with a nearly unbeatable late game combo. Start off by swarming the board with your cheap units, before applying pressure on your opponent with powerful tempo plays revolving around Barkbeast, Cursed Keeper and a Sacrifice enabler.
During the mid game, keep up the pressure with Neverglade Collector and Kalista, who will both put in tremendous work. If your opponent somehow manages to stabilize the board, the joke’s on them, since They Who Endure will finish the job.
Additional notes: The deck can highroll with Barkbeast, Cursed Keeper and Ravenous Butcher, sometimes becoming flat out undefeatable. Outside of that, the deck doesn’t have any heavily favored matchups. Against Targon, the pressure from Hush’s existence alone can be dreadful and force you to lose games, unless you have multiple copies of They Who Endure.
EU/NA: 3.5 stars
Both Lulu’s artwork and her ability are terrifying, and she can be put to a perfect use in this support-filled Demacia deck. Who would make a better use of all those support buffs than Challengers, value-trading every turn to take and keep the board, until a well-timed Rally offers the sweetest of victories.
Yet, while the support’s abilities are threatening, they also have to expose themselves to a blocker in order to be activated, so make sure to judiciously protect them!
EU: 3.25, NA: 3.5 stars
This deck embodies the concept of Midrange, dominating the early to mid-stages of the game and closing it out through sheer board presence. Cards with the Challenger keyword, alongside buffs, allow you to make favorable trades to win the early game. From there, the deck will snowball, quickly turning into an unstoppable force.
Additional notes: MF Scouts is an extremely linear deck. It’s very fair and doesn’t have any tricks. Essentially, you always know what to expect. The predictability of the deck meant that it was reliable and consistent compared to other decks when the meta was random during the first days of the expansion.
Now, though, people know what the good and bad cards are and are better prepared. The deck’s second weakness is the inability to refill your hands. Games can feel deterministic; you either win because you have the necessary cards and your opponent doesn’t, or you just lose.
NA: 3.75 stars, EU: --
TF-Ezreal is a tempo/combo deck that seeks to deal massive chip damage in the early to mid-game, mostly due to a wide board, and end the game with Riptide Rex and/or a leveled-up Ezreal. The addition of Zaunite Urchin provides the deck with excellent consistency, while cards like Twisted Fate and Black Market Merchant give the deck the versatility it needs to navigate trickier matchups.
Bonus deck: GP-TF Soloist
In a meta where most people play for the late game, Smooth Soloist in combination with Riptide Rex, Stalking Shadows and The Dreadway becomes a huge threat.
Play for tempo and enabling Smooth Soloist before winning with Riptide Rex/The Dreadway and Stalking Shadows in the late game. It should play like a typical Bilgewater deck. (Deck via RattlingBones)
Bonus deck: Lux-ASol
When push comes to shove, ASol looks to be the finisher of choice this week - and the Demacia package might just be the most reliable tool to get there. Demacia provides Grizzled Ranger and Remembrance as early game board presence.
Radiant Guardian, Single Combat and Concerted Strike along with the early Daybreak drops will stave off Aggro decks until you get your own game plan online in the form of Lux or ASol. (Deck via TealRed)