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.
Last week, we saw the emergence of Fizz-TF as a serious contender for the top spot - this week, it has claimed the throne. Apart from that shuffling amongst the top tier, nothing has changed. So, we decided to introduce a new “Deck Spotlight” section in order to give one of our players the opportunity to discuss one of the less powerful decks in greater detail and explain how the deck can be adapted to perform better.
To kick things off, Den will be spotlighting Fiora-Shen, a deck with which he isn’t only an expert, but also an EU champion! We hope you enjoy it, please let us know what you think and how we could improve it.
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
After many nerfs, Bilgewater only retains one true identity: drawing cards. With many cheap tricks, you can enjoy the possibility of playing Aggro without ever running out of cards to play! Although drawing costs you tempo, you’ll be able to compensate for it thanks to Wiggly Burblefish and its rapid descent to 0 mana cost thanks to all the spells you’re able to play.
At the same time as you’re reducing the cost of your Burblefish, you’re leveling-up Fizz and thus preparing your win conditions. These involve using multiple Elusives for maximum damage and/or trying to set-up a powerful Mind Meld. Handling this many high strength Elusive units will be quite the challenge for your opponent… As long as they don’t have The Ruination or Deny.
Despite all this, the biggest threat is the man often described as the best champion in the game: Twisted Fate. Drawing is good for cycling your deck and ensuring you maintain board pressure, but a leveled-up TF is what you really want from all this draw, as this is (almost) an instant win scenario. This deck allows the player a positively rapid level-up with cards such as Rummage (draw 2 for 1 mana) and Pick a Card.
It’s possible to level TF in one turn, which should terrify your opponent. Try to surprise the opponent, or tire their answers out until you get that sweet turn of freedom to plan a powerful Elusive attack! (Write-up by Ultraman1996)
Additional notes: The main reason that this deck has emerged so forcefully into the meta this week is that it heavily counters Targon, a region that’s all over the ladder. You draw cards so quickly that TF will level-up instantly in some cases, giving Targon little to no time to find an answer. The fact that Targon can’t effectively deal with TF is another boon to this archetype.
Another lesser reason is that it has the ability to resist other common archetypes, such as Scouts or Ezreal-Draven. It punishes misplays, while forcing the opponent to play around tons of damage for no mana (Burblefish). If the opponent commits their mana to something like The Ruination to clear the board, they’ll lose half their health without any ability to answer the threat. You’ll have some mana banked thanks to your 0-cost units, but they won’t have any mana left after using the board clear.
In this way, Fizz-TF is an Aggro deck that doesn’t run out of steam - it can push up to 13 damage for 2 mana. The deck is strong enough that it’ll still be able to outplay some matchups even against decks full of AoE removals, built specifically with the idea of countering it. Traditional AoE decks are currently rather weak in the meta (e.g. FTR, Anivia, Deep) and, as we outlined above, they aren’t good counters to Fizz-TF anyway.
As such, there’s considerable room for the deck to dominate the ladder in the near future. There probably is a counter out there in the longer term, but in the shorter term, the deck will force the meta to adapt, which could put an end to Targon’s dominion.
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)
Feel The Rush is a Freljord/SI control ramp deck. Its main win condition is to play Feel The Rush on T7 with the help of ramping tools like Wyrding Stones and Catalyst of Aeons. With the exception of Ionia lists, which have access to Deny, many decks find it very difficult to answer FTR’s huge tempo swing. Thus, if FTR resolves, the game is usually over. Atrocity is another crucial card, as it can help you to end the game one turn after FTR is played.
One important skill when playing Feel The Rush is banking mana so that you can play it as early as possible, or to keep yourself open in order to have enough mana for board wipes. For example, it might not be a good idea to play anything on T1 and T2 so you can play an Avalanche with no downsides on T3-4. Of course, a lot of this is matchup-dependent, but (as usual) being able to plan ahead will be helpful to pilot this deck well.
If possible, try to level-up Trundle before you play FTR, so that you have two Overwhelm units with 10/10 statlines to attack with. Trundle with the Overwhelm keyword can often be the difference between losing and winning. Against Aggro, it might not be a good idea to focus on ramping. Instead, you want to mulligan in search of an Avalanche. (Write-up by Crixuz)
You’ve played Zoe-ASol, Zoe-Diana and Leona-ASol. Now, get ready for the next Plaza deck that shows promise: Leona-Lux.
Fundamentally, the deck shares many similarities with other Plaza decks. It has the landmark, it requires you to Invoke often and it runs the Solari package. The difference is that Leona-Lux plays 2x Moonlight Affliction and swaps ASol for Lux.
Moonlight Affliction, when played with Nightfall, silences and stops two enemy units from blocking. Combined with a flipped Leona, you can effectively Stun 3-4 enemy units before even passing the priority to your opponent.
This is of course the ultimate win condition of the deck. It can swing for 20 damage to your opponent’s Nexus in 1 turn due to Moonlight Affliction + Leona’s Stun ability to completely ignore your opponent’s board. Your opponent won’t enjoy this, as they can have the superior board presence with some big units to threaten you, but one good turn is all you need to win.
Lux is in the deck to manage the opponent’s board. The deck wants to use 5-cost spells like Concerted Strike and Starshaping anyway, so Lux being on the board generates a free Final Spark once you play 6+ mana worth of spells.
Like all Plaza Targon decks, Leona-Lux plays 3 copies of everybody’s favorite card, Hush. What makes this deck special, though, is that it has 7 ways of silencing units. The meta right now is reliant on keywords and stat buffs, so having this much access to silencing can really negate a lot of power from most decks. (Write-up by Crixuz)
This is a new section we’re trying for the future. Each week, we’ll highlight a deck that isn’t doing so great in the current meta, but still could have merits in some matchups if it receives help from specific tech cards. This week, Den will share his take on Fiora-Shen and how it plays against the current Targon and Piltover decks who should be bad matchups for the deck.
The meta is tilting towards a more aggressive, damage-focused approach with smaller minions but a lot of synergies. Fiora is a great champion right now, benefiting from all these small Elusive units with which she can trade easily. The list is built around protecting her for that reason.
As attack points aren’t as important at the moment, Spirit’s Refuge joins Riposte as a Barrier Burst card. Another card that feels good for trading and denying damage spells is Chain Vest, acting as a cheap reactive card to PnZ spells or Pale Cascade buffs.
Lastly, a card that has been doing great lately is Concussive Palm. This is because it allows the player to block an attack from an Elusive minion that they couldn’t block or simply save an ally from a trade we couldn’t otherwise avoid.
Genevieve Elmheart appears to be better than Cithria The Bold right now, as the Challenger tag helps in the Aggro matchups but can also help in killing Lee Sin in that particular engagement. Her +1/+1 buff allows you to use her in defensive situations to heal or protect our units and set-up an open Scout attack that doesn’t cost anything and can result in an important takedown. The end of the curve covers slower matchups, as Brightsteel Formation helps you in the late game battle.
We hope this section is informative and can help some of you understand better how to build your deck to fit the current meta. As we stated in the introduction, feel free to join our Discord and let us know your thoughts on this section and how we could improve it in the future.