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.
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.
This week, the meta has stabilized and we can give you some more concrete ratings to the decks. The top 3 decks include Go Hard, Ezreal-Draven and Leona-ASol with The Grand Plaza. There are 3 new decks which all involve Zoe in combination with different champions, namely Karma, Draven and Lee Sin.
Burn isn’t in a good spot at the moment, as healing is much cheaper than burning. The meta is also very resource-centric, with multiple decks being able to draw, create or cycle more and more threats. As a result, your games should feel a little longer than usual.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop by our Discord. Best of luck on your climb!
Editing: Crixuz, Den, Wusubi, Sebodunum, Ultraman
EU Consultants: CastMin, Kuvira, Pespscola, Zezetel
NA Consultants: NicMakesPlays, RattlingBones
The best deck in the previous meta still stands at the forefront, perhaps even more so than before. Although Lee Sin has proved to be a fair counter to the deck, Zoe looks to be one of the most played champions at the moment, offering flexibility to a lot of lists thanks to her card generating ability. This new addition to the game makes Go Hard even better, as Zoe is of course a prime target for Go Hard. Alongside this, Go Hard has kept good matchups with most of the other popular decks.
Other than this change to the environment, the list itself hasn’t changed at all and its powerlevel still looks to be off the charts. It holds Aggro decks to respectable grounds while simply the anticipation of Pack Your Bags sets up awkward situations and forces suboptimal plays from your opponent in their attempt to work around it. In a meta where tempo is the most important factor, Go Hard looks to be one of the best cards out there and the deck surrounding it maximizes its power.
Once the deck is able to seize tempo and get its synergy going, there isn’t much that most other decks can do to stop it, as it applies immense pressure to both the board and its opponent’s health. While greedy decks like Feel the Rush or Targon’s Peak can beat it consistently, the meta isn’t centered around those decks and Go Hard appears to be a lock as the best deck for the weeks to come. (Write-up by Den)
Targon Allegiance has been an archetype since the release of Call of the Mountain. It has seen a lot of variants, but the one with the most recent success was Leona-Diana with an Atrocity splash. This deck is very similar to Leona-Diana, the major difference being Zoe replacing Leona. Why has that happened? Well, Leona became an easy cut because of Solari Sunforger.
Why is Zoe good? Zoe is a value engine that forces answers which, in most cases, trade down in mana. One Nexus Strike from Zoe is already very valuable, because your deck synergizes with your cards in such forms as the discount from Mountain Scryer, the discount on The Skies Descend and Zoe’s creation of Behold the Infinite (in her levelled form) to gain access to expensive Invoke spells and thereby make the apex Invoke units stronger when they’re summoned.
To give a short overview of the key cards: Mountain Scryer is the best value engine in the deck, The Skies Descend can give you the edge vs Midrange and Atrocity provides a bit more reach. (Write-up by Pespscola)
If you type “damage” in the LoR deck-building client and put all the cards together, you’ll get PnZ Burn. This is a linear Aggro deck which is perfect for people who want rapid games. You want to start dealing damage from Turn 1, which means that your mulligans should reflect that by keeping or looking for Teemo, Legion Saboteur, Precious Pet etc. You should also follow up on that damage by having a Turn 2 and a Turn 3 play. Cards like Draven and Boomcrew Rookie mean that you’re guaranteed to connect damage to the Nexus.
By Turn 4, if you’re doing well, the opponent’s Nexus should be at 10-13 health. For the next 2-4 damage, this is where cards like Imperial Demolitionist and Legion Grenadier come into play. You usually shouldn’t keep Imperial Demolitionist in your opening hand because it might lead to awkward plays (e.g. killing your own Precious Pet). During the combat phase, you don’t want to block with any of your units.
Firstly, any damage you receive from not blocking isn’t going to matter, as the game is going to be decided way in advance before your Nexus ever goes down to zero. Secondly, by not blocking, you ensure having a wider board than your opponent (due to the nature of your units being cheaper) and hence can penetrate your opponent’s wall of blockers.
To close the game, you simply use the remainder of your Burn spells. Sometimes you might be 1-2 damage away and are just waiting to topdeck a relevant spell. In cases like this, you might want to stall by blocking just enough to buy you some time.
For example, if an opponent attacks with his full board, you don’t want to be blocking with all your units because then you will lose the board you worked hard to develop. Instead, just block the biggest unit and reserve your other units for future blocks. The nature of this deck is that you shouldn’t have to drag the game very long to find that last piece of damage.
In the current meta, healing spells are cheaper than Burn damage. Think about it. Solari Sunforger and Single Combat cost just 7 mana for 14 points of healing. For a Burn deck to actually deal 14 damage, it would require far more resources. Moreover, the healing right now is consistent. Looking at Plaza decks, they have access to not only Solari Sunforger, but also Radiant Guardian and Starshaping. In other words, they’re always going to have healing. The only reason PnZ Burn saw play on ladder was due to players experimenting in the first week. Now that decks are optimized, PnZ Burn is falling out of favor. (Write-up by Crixuz)
Targon’s Peak (ASol-Trundle) is an extremely greedy deck that wants to cheat out big, beefy units like ASol, Feel The Rush and She Who Wanders by Turn 5-6.
The deck has two main game plans: (1) Stabilize first, or (2) Targon’s Peak first.
(1) Against Aggro decks, playing Targon’s Peak on Turn 5 is usually a losing play due to the loss of tempo. To mitigate this, you have to ensure that your tempo is equal to your opponent’s before committing to Targon’s Peak. One way of doing this is by making plays in the early game that result in a tempo swing in your favor. For example, Turn 1 Spacey Sketcher often means that you’ll have two units versus your opponent having one unit.
By making plays like this to ensure that you have the tempo advantage prior to Turn 5, you can play Targon’s Peak without losing the board. A more moderate position would be to play Avalanche. While it does tap you out of mana and allows the opponent to develop, they usually don’t have the resources to play too many units. For this game plan, it’s usually good to mulligan away your ramping tools because they’re by definition “tempo-reducing” for the player.
(2) The second game plan can be applied when you don’t care about tempo in the early game. This applies to matchups that are slower such as control decks (e.g. FTR) or even some Plaza decks. The idea is that since no combination of cards in the first 3-4 turns can bring down your Nexus health significantly, you can just wait to play Targon’s Peak and outvalue your opponent. In this game plan, you want to ramp. You also want to mulligan for your landmark.
Is this deck good? Targon’s Peak is a card that has a bilateral effect. This means that it doesn’t only reduce a random card of yours to zero, it does the same for your opponent as well. A second problem is that its effect is random. This means that very unfavorable situations can arise, for example your opponent’s Ledros and Atrocity being reduced to zero, while you only have Spacey Sketcher and Wyrding Stones reduced. For this reason alone, this deck can never be truly competitive.
However, LoR is a skill-intensive game and there are ways to mitigate this. Spacey Sketcher has a dual function here; it not only nets you the tempo advantage in the early game, but it also acts as a hand correction tool. Clearly, it’s crucial to play your low cost cards out before you drop your landmark in order to maximize the chance of it hitting something good.
In conclusion, Targon’s Peak is a blast to play and everyone should try it at least once, but we wouldn’t necessarily advise using this deck to climb the ladder. (Write-up by Crixuz, deck by Swim)