Welcome to TLG’s fifth 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.
This last week has been full of experimentation and it is difficult to analyze trends for rising archetypes, as many players have been trying out new concepts. In this first snapshot for Patch 1.2, we are going to focus on decks that existed before the update and look at where they stand now. We will also mention a few new decks that have seen a lot of play recently, making their entrance on the scene.
To no one’s surprise, the decks that were refined prior to the patch, or at the very least those who survived, are performing better than the newer ones. In time, we may see some of them become real meta contenders but for now, the top spots are still occupied by very classic archetypes.
Before you go into the deck’s ranking, please take a moment to pay respect to CorVina Control and Endure Spiders, who didn’t even make it to the snapshot. RIP.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop by our Discord. We will catch you next week for a new analysis.
Editing: Wusubi, ShadowPlayRed
Consultants: Redrufus10, RiceFT, Saucekay, Taytwo38, Ultraman_CCG, Zezetel
Table of Contents
Heimer-Vi (4.25 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
With only a couple of nerfs to the deck and Burn falling off, Heimer-Vi has proven to be dominant last week. However, we suspect its success is only temporary and we believe it can be dethroned quite quickly, especially if very aggressive decks start making a comeback. Because of its popularity and its good matchups against the two next decks on the line, we still crown Heimer-Vi the king (and queen) of the meta for now.
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 after the nerfs, Demacia Mid remains an excellent deck in the meta. Interestingly enough, with Karma-Lux no longer being the apex predator, these lists have started to return to their original form, featuring lots of Challenger units.
Even though they are scarce and diverse, Lucian versions still exist on the ladder. They are usually paired with champions from other regions, like Sejuani or Darius, and stray away from the Bannerman strategy in order to include combat tricks like Fury of the North or Might. Combined with the double strike effect from Lucian and Senna, and the Rally effect from Relentless Pursuit, these lists can pull off some impressive OTKs, so be wary of that if you run into them.
Sea Monsters (4 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 rating rises” (Try to say this with your deepest voice). As none of its cards were nerfed, the deck benefitted from other decks becoming weaker or disappearing last week. Since the games tend to be slower, the list is now greedier, featuring even more Sea Monsters than usual.
The deck has a hard time against Heimer-Vi, which prevents it from reaching the top spots of the ranking, but it might just get there should Aggro decide to resurface.
Kleptomancy (4 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!
Rating change: +0.25 stars
Much like Sea Monsters, the deck benefits from a slower meta and hasn’t really suffered from the nerfs. It also has a very good matchup against Heimer-Vi, like all “looting” decks in general, as stealing Deny and Will of Ionia while reducing their cost is often just game-winning.
There are lots of different versions of Kleptomancy. The Bilgewater core can be paired with Shadow Isles’ removal spells or with Freljord’s other Plunder cards, but we are featuring Ultraman’s aggressive version including P&Z, as it still performs really well on ladder.
Teemo Burn (3.75 stars)
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: -0.5 stars
On the surface, it doesn’t look like Burn has changed that much. The only difference in the list is the addition of Teemo, who replaces Legion Rearguard. However, the nerfs hit Burn rather hard. The deck can’t open with a 2 HP unit on Turn 1 anymore, and will always be at the mercy of Thermogenic Beam, or small units like Omen Hawk and Hapless Aristocrat.
In addition to this, Boomcrew Rookie can now be blocked by cards with 3 strength, which are prevalent at 2 or 3 mana, and usually won’t be able to attack more than once. This makes the early game of the deck a lot less consistent, as it can now be walled out more easily, which is why its rating is dropping significantly.
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.
The deck is doing better in the current meta, as there are fewer Aggro decks. The nerfs to Karma and Deep Meditation balance it out though, so the deck’s rating doesn’t change this week.
Karma-Lux (3.5 stars)
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 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: -0.75 stars
Karma-Lux is another casualty of the update. After being king of the meta for 2 consecutive weeks, the deck saw 12 of its 40 cards nerfed in a single patch, which, unsurprisingly, hit it quite hard. Despite the nerfs, the list from BruisedByGod is almost the same as it used to be, and it is still rather powerful.
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.
The deck lost a bit of punch with the nerfs to Loyal Badgerbear and Grizzled Ranger, but it is still in a decent place. It is also a good answer to Heimer-Vi, being rather aggressive, and Miss Fortune’s effect clearing Heimerdinger’s turrets for free is a very nice bonus.
Fiora-Shen (3.5 stars)
If you’re a fan of combat tricks, this is probably the deck for you. Fiora-Shen uses the power of barriers both before and during combat to keep its board alive, while buffing it in the process thanks to Shen and Greenglade Caretaker.
Although the deck can sometimes push for lethal with an impressive amount of stats on its board, it can also easily end games thanks to Fiora. With all of the protection tools at your disposal, you can use her to kill enemy units without taking damage in return, which lets her reach her goal of 4 kills unimpeded.
Rising in power from the buff to Shen and the nerfs to other major powerhouses, the deck has finally returned from beta. It is still in the process of being worked out and there are many considerations to be made, such as Unyielding Spirit.
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 just to play this deck.
The deck can generate a good amount of value, but its removal cards lack a bit of punch. It used to be a decent option against decks running the Spider package, but now that they have disappeared, it struggles to keep up with Midrange decks playing beefier units.
Sejuani-Vlad (3.25 stars)
For a long time, Vladimir has been considered one of the weakest champions, but maybe now is finally his time to shine. Play your minions on curve, then attack with them and Vladimir. Most of your units don’t mind getting hurt, some even enjoy it. Your spells on the other hand can either save your minions from their doom, or give you more options to fulfill your sadistic desires.
The deck is new and people are still figuring out the best way to run it, but BruisedByGod’s version is probably the most refined at the moment. The buff to Vladimir doesn’t change much, but the meta has slowed down, giving him enough time to level up. The deck is rather flexible and can run cards such as Ember Maiden and Death Lotus to help him meet his condition faster.
Fizz combo (1 star)
The goal of the deck is rather simple: buff your Fizz with your Starlit Seer and your spells, draw him, then attack for lethal. To ensure that you find your champion, the deck has a lot of card draw. Once Fizz hits the board, he is difficult to deal with because of his effect and his Elusive keyword. From that point onward, you are free to buff him with your remaining spells before one-shotting your opponent with a 1-mana monster.
This Fizz deck is a new all-in list created and popularized by Swim, in the same vein as old Elusive Rally (RIP Stand Alone). Although it can be fun to cheese opponents with a 15/14 Fizz, the deck is not meant for competitive play, and should only be used for entertainment purposes.
On top of being extremely draw-dependent, it takes too long to buff Fizz enough for a possible lethal. Even if you manage to drop him on the board, he can still be stopped by effects that don’t target, blocked by Elusive units, or he will simply be too weak to kill in one hit, as there are no Rally cards in the deck to help him finish the job.
Bonus deck: MF-Sejuani
This list makes use of the “looting” package, which is one of the best options available to Bilgewater in the current meta, but remains different from just another Kleptomancy list. Warning Shot and Make it Rain allow you to trigger Sejuani’s effect on either player’s turn, while working towards her level-up, giving this Midrange deck solid board control potential.
It is quite hard to rate this list at the moment, as it is mostly shining in tournaments, but it is also popular on ladder and maybe a deck to watch out for in the near future.