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.
There are new and old faces in Bandle City, some that will be looked upon with disdain and others that will be cherished. Wherever you stand, there will be something for you here. That could be the Yordle fest in Lulu-Poppy, the long-awaited fleshing out of Puffcaps, or the dominance of Sion Discard.
Whatever you deck choose, enjoy this period of experimentation before the inevitable refinement in the weeks to come.
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
After a few days of meta working itself out, the totally-super-duper-unexpected thing happened: the strongest deck which has received literally no balance changes, is still the best. Get your surprisedpikachu.jpg ready for... Akshan-Sivir! Boasting over 20% play rate and 63% win rate, the deck is still at its prime, and thrives against slow combo decks.
Shurima/Demacia is an incredibly potent pairing, with combat tricks and removals aplenty to deal with backrow units like Azir, Nami or Ava Achiever. While you may not have as many buffs readily available as in the Ionia version, it’s compensated by the number of challenges you can issue via Fleetfeather Tracker, Merciless Hunter or even Cataclysm. Sharpsight is also handy in a meta bristling with Elusives like Teemo or Fizz.
The game plan is simple: to crush your enemies and to hear the lamentation of their women. Everything in your deck is a threat that your opponent won’t be able to value trade with thanks to your Challengers and combat tricks, and each piece of damage you deal goes towards leveling-up Sivir.
Use Golden Aegis wisely, and remember that Cataclysm procs an Attack and not a Strike, so damage from Overwhelm works! Akshan may look a bit out of place, but he’s an incredible value tool, providing you with a trigger for Shaped Stone while acting as a draw engine and a Quick-Attack threat.
Any unit you put on the board should stick, and when paired with a leveled-up Sivir... let’s just say that many Surrender buttons will be mistreated on this day. (Write-up by Othal)
This might be news to you, but Draven is a great champion. In fact, he might be vying for the title of best in the game that Sivir looks to be holding currently. He carries the Noxus/PnZ pairing and alongside the Discard archetype, he can brag about being the champion with the most competitive pairings under his belt.
We have combined two decks here under the same banner, as both are Midrange lists looking to outpace the opponent while trying to include as many 3-cost cards as possible for Tri-beam Improbulator. Despite these similarities, there are considerable differences between them as well.
Caitlyn pushes for a faster pace in the early to mid game, relying on Flashbomb Trap to damage the opponent, setting up easier removal for Ravenous Flock, Scorched Earth, Noxian Guillotine or the damage-based spells. She’s a nightmare for Aggro decks that have to take risks to close the game out before the traps can damage their board, forcing valuable time and resources to remove her before going back to their original game plan. (Write-up by den)
Ezreal, on the other hand, pushes for more of an off-tempo rhythm, where we’re fine with playing slower, as it gives us more time to level him, which is a key win condition (unlike Caitlyn’s level-up). Because of this difference between both champions, Ezreal is better against defensive decks, who wouldn’t care much about Flashbomb Trap being triggered.
Power level wise, this archetype could very well be the best in the game if it wasn’t for the two powerhouses in Tier S. These are, unsurprisingly, the two unfavored matchups. Even less surprisingly, they’re rather popular at most ranks of the ladder.
Discard is strong, because it virtually never runs out of gas, which compliments the out-tempo idea Ezreal-Draven tries to push. Sivir and Ruin Runner in the other deck simply have the SpellShield cheat code, which forces us to expend more resources than planned in order to deal with them.
This simple fact is holding both deck back from being much higher in our rankings, but as murmurings are starting to be heard about potential nerfs to at least Akshan-Sivir. Naturally, Discard decks would benefit from such changes. (Write-up by den)
The old threat is still present, and it preys on newer builds with ease. Its high flexibility allows the deck to play slower and then avoid every one of the opponent’s removals, while forcing them to take poor trades, lose HP, and little by little allow you total control of the board.
Lead and Follow, Shaped Stone, Twin Disciplines, Retreat and Homecoming will do much to tilt your poor opponents, who are just trying to get a spell to hit home in order to stop the waves of Sand Soldiers eroding their Nexus.
Azir and Irelia take some time to level-up, but once one of them is flipped, it’s already extremely hard to deal with the pressure. In reality, it’s close to impossible if both champions are on the board.
By now, you all know Sparring Student and Greenglade Duo, two cheap cards that grow to frighteningly high statlines in this mass-summon archetype if not taken care of early. Azir-Irelia can now be seen as a classic deck, reminding newcomers of the time it once terrified the ladder, and why! (Write-up by Ultraman)
Veigar is a fan favorite who most people truly want to see put in the work - but he struggles to live up to these expectations in this incredibly tough meta. Although he can swat aside unrefined decks that forget to pressure him, his abysmal lack of tempo makes him a perfect target for fast, bulky Midrange lists - which just so happens to be most of the top tier decks right now.
He also lacks reactive abilities. Darkness is useful as removal, but it’s proactive removal (until Senna comes online), which can be sidestepped by Recall spells like Lead and Follow or combat tricks (Sharpsight, Troll Chant, Shaped Stone). Your best set-up is, surprisingly, not having Veigar on board, but Senna.
Her base form speeds up damage and spells from Slow to Fast and her level-up reduces their cost by 1. As such, you can finally gain tempo on your opponent and answer their threats. Finally, the fact that she creates multiple versions of Darkness helps to level-up Veigar and keeps your hand full with the now-reactive removals!
A common tech choice is to kick Stilted Robemaker for Aloof Travelers. This gives you more hand disruption but less synergy. This might be a meta call, as some threats are too hard to answer once on the board (and much better when visibly discarded from the opponent’s hand). (Write-up by Ultraman)