Welcome to TLG’s fourth 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.
Legends of Runeterra released about a month ago and the meta has had enough time to settle since. The decks featured in this edition of our meta snapshot, as well as their ratings, don’t differ much from last week’s, so we will be covering the changes in a new “Review of the week” section of the article instead of going over each deck individually as we usually do. We will also use the opportunity to discuss the current state of the Master ladder.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop by our Discord. We will catch you next week for a new analysis.
Consultants: Daylt0n, Jrody, Redrufus10, RiceFT, Saucekay, Taytwo38, Ultraman_CCG, Zezetel
Table of Contents
Review of the week
Right now, there is a serious issue with the Master ladder and the whole MMR system in general. Winning games barely gets you anywhere in terms of ranking and the higher you are on the ladder, the harder it becomes to climb. When you lose a game, on the other hand, your ranking has no problems going down, and if you ever have the misfortune (and I’m not talking about the 3 mana one) to queue against a Diamond player and lose to them, it is going to take you a while to return to your former rank.
Because of this, many Master players have stopped playing ranked on their main account to secure their ranking, which increases the remaining ones’ odds to face lower-ranked players, continuously fueling this vicious circle.
In this environment, 2 types of players coexist: those who don’t really care about their rank and will experiment to see if they can discover the next Tier 1 deck while entertaining their audience or themselves, and those who try to get a crazy win streak with a top tier deck to grind this hell of a ladder. Most players in the first category tend to play varied decks, making it difficult to find specific lists to include in the snapshot.
Staying at the top of our ranking with 4.25 stars each, our head trio is the same as last week. However, all three decks will probably see some of their key cards nerfed in the upcoming patch, so their ratings may be different in our next update.
As the popularity of Karma-Lux has kept rising this past week, we’re still awarding it the number one spot. Burn, on the other hand, is seeing less play in Master. Although this may seem contradictory as the deck has a good matchup against Karma lists, there is an explanation to this. As previously mentioned, it is very difficult to grind spots in the Master ladder unless you perform an impressive win streak.
Burn is still one of the best decks to climb to Master, allowing you to play many games in a short period of time with an above average win rate. However, it is not a “win streak” deck, because of its abysmal odds against Shadow Isles, which keeps it from standing out in Master, where people prefer decks that have decent matchups across the board.
The last member of our jolly trio, Demacia Mid, is still peacefully doing its thing, with everyone playing a slightly different version of the same package.
With more Karma-Lux and fewer Burn decks around, Endure Spiders and CorVina are seeing much less play. Ionia decks can tech their lists against Burn to improve their matchup with cards like Health Potion or Eye of the Dragon, but there is nothing to do to improve Shadow Isles’ mediocre odds against Ionia.
Keep in mind that while Endure and CorVina may not be incredible in Master for the time being, they can still serve you well in other ranks, as you will encounter a lot of Burn on your way up.
The big winner of the meta shift in Master is Ezreal, who now has fewer bad matchups to deal with. As usual, most decks combine him with Karma for his OTK potential, but we are starting to see a version which includes Vi instead of Karma.
Lastly, it looks like players have acknowledged Swain-TF to be the superior archetype for our white-haired general, but it will still take some time before we see him rise to the top.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Endure Spiders (3.75 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!
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.
Karma-Ezreal (3.5 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.
Quinn-MF (3.5 stars)
Even though they hail from different lands, Quinn and Miss Fortune share the same passion: attacking their opponent until there is no one left standing. This aggressive deck takes advantage of Demacia’s rally tools to chain attack phases, allowing our two flamboyant ladies to level up at lightning speed.
CorVina Control (3.5 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.
Swain-TF (3.25 stars)
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.
Vi-Ezreal (3.25 stars)
Vi’s flexibility allows her to roam in many different decks, including Ezreal archetypes! This list by Tealred makes for a less greedy alternative to Karma-Ezreal. It can stand its ground against Aggro and Midrange archetypes, while still retaining quite a punch, sometimes (but not always) leading to the sweet OTK every Ezreal player is secretly searching.