Welcome to TLG’s third meta snapshot for Legends of Runeterra, a series in which we give you our insight on the most represented decks in the higher ranks of 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.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop by our Discord. We will catch you next week for a new analysis.
Editing: Wusubi, Minuano, ShadowplayRed
Consultants: Daylt0n, Jrody, Kozmic, Redrufus10, RiceFT, Saucekay, SirLoathing, Taytwo38, Ultraman1996, Zezetel
Table of Contents
Karma-Lux (4.25 stars)
Karma-Lux is back and stronger than ever. With the addition of Eye of the Dragon, Loyal Badgerbear & Grizzled Ranger, the deck has an actual curve apart from playing Remembrance on Turn 3. This allows you to put pressure on the board early on, before safely dropping Lux on Turn 6.
Once Karma levels up, you can generate Final Sparks extremely easily thanks to the double casts, which also causes the spell itself to be cast twice. The Overwhelm keyword from Final Sparks will end games promptly, dealing more damage than there are Lux skins in League of Legends.
Rating change: +0.5 stars
After the great success BruisedbyGod has encountered with this deck, it seems like everyone is trying to get their share of the sparkling cake. Combining the strengths of Midrange and Control, the list is looking very powerful in the current meta.
Since it is naturally favored against Shadow Isles, the deck can run three copies of Eye of the Dragon, Radiant Guardian and Health Potion in order to improve its odds against Burn. Although there is no clear number 1 deck this week in terms of power level, we decided to give the crown to Karma-Lux to pay tribute to its recent popularity.
Champless Burn (4.25 stars)
Champless Burn is the most aggressive deck in the meta, able to close games out by Turn 5. The deck has gained a lot of power with the inclusion of Imperial Demolitionist and Noxian Fervor, making it more consistent than ever. However, one thing hasn’t changed: if you don’t manage to win the game by Turn 7, you’re most likely going to lose.
Rating change: -0.25 stars
The predominance of the deck from two weeks ago has led a lot of players to wage war against the archetype. Tired of seeing their champless nemesis rule over the ladder, people decided to put out the fire by locking in counters during deck selection, or at least by teching their deck very aggressively against it.
As a result, Burn has become a less popular option, as it is not going to feed on unprepared foes anymore. Now that its numbers have gone down, the deck seems to be in a healthier place, even though it probably still requires a change for other archetypes to resurface.
Demacia Mid (4.25 stars)
This deck embodies the concept of Midrange, dominating the early/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 that will crush even its fellow countrymen, as it is a great answer to most Scout decks.
Even in this evolving metagame, it looks like nothing can stop Demacia Mid from standing in the spotlight. The deck has adapted to its new environment, becoming more aggressive by including the Lucian-Senna package as well as several copies of Relentless Pursuit. This allows it to push for more damage during the mid-game when most control decks still haven’t had the chance to deal with its whole board.
Although the list is still Demacian for the most part (in order to consistently trigger Vanguard Bannerman’s effect), it will often splash a few cards from a different region depending on its player’s preferences, such as Vi in this instance. It is also worth noting that the Scout decks are looking more and more similar to this list, which is why we didn’t include them.
Heimer-Vi (4 stars)
Donger’s back, but this time he has found himself a new partner in Vi, who’s ready to destroy Midrange players. Be careful, as once your HP gets too low, the pressure starts to get to her head. Keep an eye on Burn decks, as they tend to catch her off-guard. It’s not all about Vi though - don’t sleep on Donger for the extra pressure and the combo comebacks on Turn 5!
Rating change: -0.25 stars
Heimer-Vi and Karma-Lux have similar matchups, but the results from the former are more polarized. If games against Shadow Isles are a walk in the park, other matchups tend to be slightly worse than the ones from the week’s champion, including the one against Karma-Lux itself. For these reasons, Heimer-Vi drops in the ranking this week.
Endure Spiders (4 stars)
What could be more fun than creating swarms of spiders, only to use them as sacrifices for a gigantic They Who Endure? When the opportunity to one-shot the opponent arises, don’t forget your Fury of the North for some extra surprise burst. Find the right timing for your Atrocity and profit!
Rating change: -0.25 stars
The deck has been prevalent during the first few days of the week, as people were looking for an easy way to snipe Burn. However, with the increasing number of Karma-Lux decks throughout the week, and the decreasing number of red and yellow targets, its newfound popularity fell off. The deck is a decent pick against most of the meta, but for now, it has to Endure the Ionian domination, which is why its rating goes down.
CorVina Control (3.75 stars)
With lots of removal and healing at its disposal, this Corina list featuring Vi is a wonderful counter to aggro decks. It can struggle a bit when dealing with other control decks, against which pressuring your opponent with spiders will be key, before ending the game with the Ledros-Atrocity combo.
Rating change: -0.25 stars
Times change but CorVina doesn’t. The list loses a few points for the same reasons as Endure Spiders.
Kleptomancy (3.75 stars)
“I made this”. “You made this?”. “I made this”. Land a hit on your opponent and start stealing cards from them, teaching them the frustration of being beaten down by their own creation. The deck has many enablers for Plunder effects, and can easily rack up damage thanks to its Keg-creating cards. Wait until Riptide Rex comes down and… Hey, don’t die yet! That was just a Warning Shot!
We have seen many variations of Plunder decks running the Black Market Merchant/Pilfered Goods package lately, that have replaced the usual Keg control lists. The one we are showcasing, made by our teammate Ultraman, is an aggressive variant splashing P&Z to get access to Boomcrew Rookie and Mystic Shot.
The deck can pull off a surprisingly high amount of damage quickly, often closing out games against most meta decks before they get the chance to retaliate. However, having to play with your opponent’s cards makes the deck far more complex than it appears on the surface, and a solid knowledge of the game is required to master it.
Sea Monsters (3.75 stars)
If you enjoy having explosive turns where you can jam tons of huge units, you should definitely play this deck! It aims to survive the early game with healing while working towards getting deep by tossing cards. Once you get there, you can stabilize the board using large sea monsters and put your opponent on a clock when Maokai levels up. However, as with great power comes great mana cost, Will of Ionia can prove to be a serious threat.
Rating change: +0.25 stars
The deck keeps getting better and better with each passing week and has now become a very solid meta pick. The lists tend to vary, but we decided to showcase the one from ImpetuousPanda, as it is the one that led him to great success on the EU Master rank.
Karma-Ezreal (3.25 stars)
Stalling out the game by removing enemy units allows you to survive and work towards your Ezreal’s level-up condition. Once he’s flipped, combine him with a leveled-up Karma to burst your opponent from 20 to 0 in only a handful of spells. Even if you haven’t managed to flip Ezreal, Karma duplicating burn spells can give you enough reach.
Rating change: -0.5 stars
This one hurts. Once considered to be the best deck in the entire game, Karma-Ezreal just didn’t manage to adapt and keeps falling off by the day. It has become too slow, its removal tools not keeping up with new cards like Grizzled Ranger or Loyal Badgerbear. Ezreal decks are not having a good time in the current meta, a boon for some, a tragedy for others.
Swain-Sejuani (3 stars)
Swain-Sejuani is an aggressive list with a relatively strong late game. Ember Maiden is a key card that can combo with other cards from the deck, while working towards Swain and Sejuani’s level up. The Leviathan is an impactful late game addition and will cause games to end in no time if left unchecked. However, it also slows you down, and the list already struggles to maintain board presence against heavy removal, which can make it inconsistent.
People had high expectations for Swain when he was first revealed, but he hasn’t quite lived up to them just yet. However, players are not willing to give up on him, and you will find several lists combining Swain and The Leviathan with different regions around. This one from TheOzzyHS attempts to make him work with Sejuani, but we have seen it all, from Elise to Lee Sin, during our week of playing.
Elusives Rally (2.75 stars)
The definition of a high-roll deck. Keep passing until Turn 3, drop a Solitary Monk, Zed or Fiora combined with Stand Alone and go in for a big swing. You have the tools to protect and buff the unit you invested in and you can close games out fast through multiple attacks enabled by Relentless Pursuit.
Rating change: -0.25 stars
The deck was already inconsistent before, but now that Ionia is all over the place, it is getting even worse.
Bonus deck: Swain-TF
Packing a varied suite of damage-based removal, Swain is always leveled-up by the time this control deck deploys him. The combination of Swain and Twisted Fate was first introduced by Gvuardya, went on to take down Twitch Rivals in the hands of DogDog, and has shown itself to be a real meta contender. Between chip damage, card draw, and finishers that turn the corner quickly, ravenous flocks of players have been crafting The Leviathan this week.
Keep in mind that this is more of a tournament deck, which is why we are including it as a bonus. It is yet another Swain list playing the obligatory 3x The Leviathan, but this one is the strongest around for now, and we would rate it at 3.5 stars.