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 is the first full week after a significant patch. As usual, the meta is still sorting itself out. However, we’re starting to get some idea of how things will look in the weeks to come. For the moment, a certain religious martial artist seems to be well on his way back to the top amidst a sea of Aggro decks.
Lulu has made her first appearance in our snapshot, albeit as the weakest deck. That’s progress, right?
If you have any questions, feel free to drop by our Discord. Best of luck on your climb!
Editing: Wusubi, Sebodunum
Writers: Den, Ultraman, Othal, Kuvira
Lee Sin was expected to be the “S tier” deck after the nerfs to Aphelios and Twisted Fate. Yet, he doesn’t seem to be living up to these expectations. This is because the meta is geared towards punishing combo decks that don’t invest enough resources into defending the board and healing. That said, the deck is strong and it will likely end up in the Top 3 when the meta calms down.
Overall, it still looks better for the deck than last patch, as even though the environment is very fast, the Elusive mechanic that Fizz-TF was pushing is largely gone, and aggressive decks are much easier to contain thanks to Eye of the Dragon’s summons. This difference makes a huge impact and pushes the deck from being unplayable on ladder to being a risky but strong choice. Experienced players shouldn’t overlook the deck for tournament play or simply for climbing the ladder.
In order to be effective, though, I felt like a little tweak was necessary. As a result, we’re focusing on Lifesteal. You’ll also notice the list doesn’t run Mountain Goat and features Solari Priestess, a much slower card. A Turn 2 Mountain Goat isn’t good in the current meta with almost every 1-drop being a 2/1, making Sparklefly and Eye of the Dragon much stronger 2-drops to go with.
Solari Priestess helps us get various useful cards in the deck, either to remove board, to draw Lee Sin (Written in Stars) or to get some Lifesteal through The Golden Sister. While this is just a minor change in the list, Lee Sin doesn’t need to reinvent its core to be successful. He does, however, need to find a way to adapt to the flurry of Aggro decks that are prominent at the moment and prevent him from returning to dominance.
Whether or not the deck is flexible enough to accomplish that will be discovered in the coming weeks. (Write-up by den)
Lucian-Azir was the deck to beat at the start of the Shuriman expansion, but quickly left the stage, needing too much set-up to work effectively in such a strong meta. However, with Aphelios and TF out of the picture, a lot of decks will struggle answering everything this deck has in its arsenal.
Sooner or later, this means the deck will be able to set itself up and force the opponent into making some serious sacrifices in order to avoid taking tremendous damage too rapidly. The Sand Soldiers aren’t a problem at first, but they erode the opposing Nexus piece by piece, while leveling up Lucian and Azir.
The impact of your champions shouldn’t be underestimated, as they end up creating bigger, stronger threats and forcing even more sacrifices from the opponent in order to stay alive. Eventually, your opponent will run out of units or mana. This will be the time to Rally and combine cards like Cithria the Bold and Inspiring Marshal with your Sand Soldiers to chase the sun to victory. (Write-up by Ultraman)
Before the latest patch, Deep struggled to find its place in the meta. While it had a favored matchup into Lissandra-Trundle, its slow game plan would play right into the hands of decks such as Fizz-TF, Fiora-Shen or Zoe-Aphelios. But with these archetypes being nerfed and Deep’s early game receiving buffs in the forms of upgraded Dreg Dredgers and Sea Scarab, it was only logical to see it return to the ladder.
The deck hasn’t changed and neither has its weakness: it’s a slow defensive deck and it has a hard time surviving early pressure. In the early game, Deep won’t be able to contest the board. Most of its Sea Monsters are weak at this stage because they need to go Deep to shine, or because they’re here to provide some Toss or chump blocking to power up Maokai.
Since you have to go Deep in order to proc your win conditions, your best possible Turn 3 will generally be The Slaughter Docks, followed by a Turn 4 Maokai. The issue is, most decks on the ladder won’t let you execute this game plan, so you’ll either need to slow down going Deep, or take the plunge and tank some hits. Given the highly aggressive meta we’re in, tanking might quite suddenly spell defeat.
Deep is a prime example of a “good, but meta-dependent” deck: while it will always be able to punish some decks, it doesn’t fit the overall playstyle of this meta and will thus stay in the lower tiers until the meta shifts. Indeed, the slow disappearance of its best matchup (Lissandra-Trundle) and the rise of the tempo king (Lee Sin) will sink this deck even deeper. (Write-up by Othal)