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, we’re introducing a difficulty rating system to the decks. We have a three-tier rating: Easy, Moderate and Hard. To rate the difficulty, we create a thought experiment whereby we’re spectators watching a hypothetical player pilot the deck in question. Then we ask ourselves two important questions; “How likely is this hypothetical player to misplay with the deck?” and also, “Are these misplays consequential?”
As this is something we’re trying out, please give us some time to properly define how we will approach this; and some feedback of course. The overarching purpose of a difficulty rating system is to serve as a reference point for new players rather than veteran players.
A new player seeing that a deck is high in difficulty knows that they should avoid that deck for the time being until they become familiar with the game’s fundamentals, or at least that it could take some time before feeling comfortable when playing the deck.
We should also mention that a deck’s difficulty rating has little bearing on its winrate. For example, Hexcore Puffcaps is easy to play, but it obviously won’t give you a great win rate. Therefore, the star rating and the difficulty rating are to be taken separately.
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: IPingUListen, RiceFT, Zenaton
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 due to her card-generating ability. Zoe’s entry into the game makes Go Hard even better, as she’s of course a prime target for Go Hard with her 1/1 statline. 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)
Leona-ASol is, week after week, building a solid case for being a top contender in the current meta. This has happened because it features two of the best things the game can offer: The Grand Plaza landmark and the Targon region. As a result of these two, the deck can afford to rely on a game plan that other decks can’t really pull off anymore: trading and slowly building the board.
While most decks have to rely on combos and building synergies, Leona-ASol looks like the only deck that can still rely on curve and developing chunky followers in the mid game. It also helps that the deck virtually never runs out of threats to play due to the Celestial cards created by different cards in the deck. Thanks to that creation, the deck can focus on board control and slowing down the opponent in its development.
The Solari synergy is extremely important in that regard, with powerful early followers and Leona denying bigger threats later on. Once evolved, Leona also forces open attacks from the opponent in order to avoid getting their biggest minion stunned, which gives key information to plan ahead our turns.
The mid game usually ends around Turn 7, where you can transition to Aurelion Sol thanks to Eclipse Dragon, or when most big Celestial followers start to be playable. This is a signal for you to stop focusing on your opponent’s game plan and start thinking about applying heavy pressure. A leveled-up ASol usually wins you the game the next turn. If this doesn’t happen, then entering a battle of value trades can also be a valid option, as long as your health allows you to do so. (Write-up by Den)
Rating change: -0.25 stars
Overall, the deck looks well-rounded, and both Leona and ASol are good champions in the current meta. The main problem for the deck’s success is the cost of its mid game curve, reducing flexibility and forcing spells to be cheap in order to be paired with your costly ones.
This is the logic behind running a card such as Strafing Strike, which can be seen as both a more expensive Single Combat and a much cheaper Concerted Strike. It pairs well with the 2 big Dragons in the deck, as well as the Celestial ones. Guiding Touch follows the same logic, as it helps with cycling the deck. Its healing allows you to cut a copy of Starshaping, another high cost spell that the player may not necessarily have the mana for at all times.
The Ephemeral keyword didn’t really have a home for a while. Although the whole mechanic has fairly efficient support cards (Fading Memories & Soul Shepherd) and also has several champions benefiting from it (Lucian, Kalista, Hecarim), it has never really clicked. Now, though, it looks like the time has come for the undead to be back as a dominant archetype thanks to the new landmark: The Grand Plaza.
The problem with Ephemeral followers has always been their volatility, the keyword not allowing the player to establish a board presence from one turn to another and therefore falling behind in the mid game. Now that The Grand Plaza landmark allows the followers to get the Challenger tag, the Ephemeral tag isn’t so much of a problem and the deck can control the board until its Ephemeral synergy builds up and takes over the game.
With the looks of an aggressive deck trying to go all-in, the deck actually builds toward a huge Hecarim when the early game pressure doesn’t work; its strongest turns in this case are usually in the 5-8 range. If the opponent cannot keep up, then Lucian has all the support he needs to evolve (Senna, Single Combat), which allows you to attack multiple times. (Write-up by Den)
Rating change: -0.25 stars
This is a straightforward deck, trying to build up a snowball to overwhelm your opponent. Lucian acts as the early game threat, Hecarim as the mid game one, and The Rekindler or The Harrowing are your late game finishers.
All of your threats have an issue with the answers existing in the current meta. The Ephemeral tag finally becomes a problem, as board-centric decks like Scouts or Fiora-Shen gain in popularity, and a lasting board presence is needed to fight efficiently in those matchups. Lee Sin is also well-positioned with regard to this list, as his deck has access to devastating stuns for Hecarim and plays triple Deny, which makes The Harrowing a losing bet most of the time.
Fizz-Teemo is an Elusive Aggro deck that features some rarely played cards such as Rising Spell Force, Suit Up! and Mind Meld. If you’re looking for an interesting and fresh deck, then Fizz-Teemo is the deck for you. The plan is to play your Elusive units in the early game via Teemo, Poro Cannon or Fizz. Although their damage output at base level seems paltry at first, it multiplies when you draw a Suit Up! or two.
Another way to deal constant damage to your opponent is through Ballistic Bot. One of this deck’s weaknesses is that its units aren’t very sticky if you don’t draw Suit Up! To address this weakness, the deck includes a ton of card draw. There’s Pick a Card, Zap Sprayfin and Wiggly Burblefish at your disposal to refill your hand and board.
Wiggly Burblefish in particular is very strong because you’re playing so many spells in each game that you should always get to play it for free. Never underestimate the work that an Elusive 3/1 can put in. If left unanswered, it represents 6 damage over two attack turns (all for a potential zero mana cost).
Lastly, the deck plays one copy of Mind Meld. Although not necessary for closing games, Mind Meld can truly cheat some wins for you. When you have the opportunity to play Mind Meld, all your units will become an Elusive 5/5 or 6/6 (depending on the number of cheap spells you’ve played), potentially making it an OTK card.
Therefore, Fizz-Teemo is a Burn deck that has multiple win conditions. To know which to use, you need to look at the matchup. You can slow-Burn your opponent with 2x Ballistic Bot, Iterative Improvement and Get Excited! You can win with a 4/4 Teemo, win by surviving + playing spells and finishing with Mind Meld or win by swarming your opponent with Poros. Against Ionia or decks that run Withering Wail, you should use Mind Meld as discard fodder. (Write-up by Crixuz)