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 see the rise of Fizz-TF. You might recognize it from one of our bonus lists; Fizz-Teemo by faintHD. This time, the deck has been refined by J01, EU and Asia’s best ladder player, and we think the deck has the ability to finally topple Targon’s grip on the meta.
This is important because, if Fizz-TF is really as good as we predict, it could lead to new deck building ideas that try and counter Fizz-TF, refreshing the meta landscape. For now, though, the top decks of last week remain the best; these are Ezreal-Draven, Zoe-Lee and Zoe-ASol. Fizz-TF has certainly joined their ranks, however.
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, Dartill, Kuvira, Pespscola, Zezetel
NA Consultants: IPingUListen, RattlingBones, RiceFT, Zenaton
Still able to survive against board-centric decks thanks to a flurry of reactive spells, Ezreal-Draven is currently the strongest deck in terms of denying the opponent a chance to develop their strategy. When looking at the current meta, we can see that most decks are working on building a game plan more than answering the one their opponent has. As a result, Ezreal-Draven takes the throne for the time being.
Whether it’s Scouts, Lee Sin or even Fiora-Shen, these decks cannot function if they cannot build tempo, which Ezreal-Draven excels at destroying - both in the early and the mid game. What’s more, with the draw potential the deck features, it can keep up with pretty much anything for a solid 9-10 turns, up to the point where Captain Farron crashes the party. (Write-up by Den)
Additional notes: Thanks to the Go Hard nerf, Ezreal-Draven has lost its worst matchup. No deck on the ladder is capable of countering it. The only deck that could counter EZ-Draven, Feel The Rush, is suppressed by the abundance of Zoe-Lee decks.
Ezreal-Draven doesn’t feature a power card like The Grand Plaza, meaning its raw power level isn’t necessarily the highest in the current meta. Despite this, the archetype can pride itself on having some of the best answers in the game with Scorched Earth for The Grand Plaza, tons of removals for Lee Sin (Noxian Guillotine, Tri-Beam Improbulator, Ravenous Flock), Scouts and other board-centric decks which are very popular on the ladder currently.
Although it might appear that The Grand Plaza is best utilized as a defensive card in decks like Leona-ASol, it can also act as a key card in more aggressive decks. For Scouts, the landmark helps with early to mid game board presence and with setting up your snowball effects in the late game. The synergy with the Scout keyword is unsurprisingly a great one here, as once Plaza is on the board, almost all minions will have the combination of Scout, Challenger and +1/+1, allowing them to attack twice while buffed and with the ability to choose their target.
An important limiting factor to this list is that it has a unilateral nature. This means that it only operates one way - in this case, through board presence. Moreover, Scouts are unreliable when The Grand Plaza isn’t drawn early. Similarly to the Ephemeral Lucian-Hecarim deck, failing to find Plaza is a death knell to your chances of winning. (Write-up by Den)
The myriad methods of healing in this list pair nicely with your overall game plan: stalling. You want to stall and stall until either your opponent wears themselves out, or your Creates start generating threats to their Nexus. With a decent ability to prevent trades and sufficient early game pressure to survive aggression, you still have to rely on your early minions to suppress part of the opponent’s board pressure. If you lived through that, the healing abilities coupled with big minions from Starshaping will save you most of the time.
Karma is included because in her levelled form, she has always been a big threat in the late game. Here, though, she gives you the ability to get 10 healing for 5 mana (not counting the double Create), which can give you a lifeline in very desperate games. The frequent Creation of new cards makes up for the lack of card draw in this deck. (Write-up by Ultraman1996)
Twisted Fate and Zoe are two of the best hand support heroes in the game, helping their deck function and always providing options as to what to play and being flexible with your mana. Paired with a very tempo-oriented build of Elusive minions and ways to cycle the deck, Zoe-TF will never let the opponent feel safe, and you can apply the pressure through multiplying your Elusive minions, or going big and investing into a single minion.
The stars of the deck are its Elusive minions, which will act as your only pressure plan, but still provide flexibility as they grant you cards, health and Nexus damage. The rest of the deck is built around cycling effectively so you never run out of resources, and supporting your minions so they can do their job: win you the game.
While you might be tempted to opt for a beefy Elusive minion and go all-in early, this deck’s gameplay actually rewards steady pressure and forces your opponent to invest resources for things that they fear will happen. Getting our opponent to overreact will force them into ineffective use of their resources, which is where Zoe-TF can shine.
As it’s very hard to get to an empty hand with the many card generation tools at your disposal, feel free to use all resources to stay in the lead. Once you see the opposing hand narrowing down its possibilities, this is where you should strike and go for a pressure turn with cheap Elusive minions and support spells to buff them.
Overall, this deck is trying to avoid being in a defensive position; the minions in the deck don’t have great statlines until buffed, and the Elusive tag is abused in order to not have to worry too much about your opponent’s stats on the board while attacking.
As long as you ensure that you dictate the tempo of the game and are responsible for your own decisions, you should be in a great position to succeed with Zoe-TF. (Write-up by Den)