Welcome to our 51st meta snapshot, potentially our last for a while, as our content team goes on hiatus for the foreseeable future. We want to thank you for engaging with our content over the past year, and hope you all have a great 2022.
Like in our previous snapshot, we remain in a murky state of affairs. Kennen-Ahri lies atop proceedings, with Nami-TF and Pantheon not far behind. Outside of that, though, the meta hasn’t really formalized itself yet, so we present you with the clearest picture we can give of what’s going on at the top levels of the game. We hope you find this useful and enjoy your New Year celebrations, wherever you are.
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
Rating: 4.5 stars
I, for one, would like to introduce one of the most difficult archetypes to play! As the best Ahri deck, the Shuriman splash has got itself quite the nice reputation, almost invalidating people’s complaints about the Elusive keyword that has pretty much been going on since the beginning.
So, what makes this deck so good? Well, the deck has quasi-direct damage, many ways of keeping its units alive, a somewhat early curve and the ability to delay the inevitable, which grants you countless options. Being able to stop your opponent from finishing off your Nexus is a skill, and this deck can master it nicely.
You have a few win conditions, be it destroying the opposing board with the 0-tempo Kennen spell, flooding your board with Elusive threats, a leveled-up Ahri wreaking havoc, or even a crazy high attack Yordle with Overwhelm.
It’s a never-ending nightmare of threats for your opponent to deal with, and they can’t afford to make a mistake, or fail to play around your multiples outs, such as Recall spells and Nopeify! or Deny.
As some of you may have guessed, the only way through this deck is literally through it. Trying to damage-control this deck is nearly impossible. It’s time to try and outrun the fox. Good luck! (Write-up by Ultraman)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Hey, guys, I have an idea. Let’s use the card that denies Allegiance the most as our splash in an Allegiance deck! I swear, despite the idea not looking that great on paper, it kind of works. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s thanks to Ahri, the Recall options, or the healing and the cheap spells being nice to play.
Avoid playing too many copies of Go Hard too quickly, as missing out on double Turn 1’s will always hurt. With a bit more draw, your goal is to get Go Hards out of the deck, while surviving and slowly eroding the opposing Nexus, so that Pack your Bags is enough to close out the game. (Write-up by Ultraman)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Yeah, welcome to the world of splashes - let’s go and present the same deck for the third time. Oh right, sorry, there are some Demacian cards in this one. We have our own opinion on the matter, but nothing stops you from trying out all three decks and seeing which one you like the most.
While The Absolver version has the highest win rate, there isn’t yet a consensus on which one is the best. That said, the Rally version is closer to the Go Hard one, with Scattered Pod helping you draw your alternative win conditions, and it has a slower game plan overall.
It also plays Concussive Palm, which helps you slow down the game and set-up your board, making the Rally a powerful threat to your opponent. (Write-up by Ultraman)
Everyone’s favorite Blind Monk is back again, and we can still find him with his best friend Zoe. While Lee Sin might suffer the backlash of Pantheon’s rise in the meta, especially in the form of decks utilizing Minimorph and Hush, it’s still one of the most reliable decks to play.
The archetype hasn’t changed much and its variations are more often due to personal preference than pure optimization, as it has been refined time and time again. It’s one of the hardest decks to play, but in the hands of an experienced player, it should find a win in almost any given situation.
Eye of the Dragon and Gifts from Beyond are still here to provide the best answers against Burn decks or board swarm decks like Lurk, and the lower number of Rally decks on the ladder removed one of Lee Sin’s biggest weaknesses.
On the flip side, decks like Kennen-Ahri will prove a pain to fight due to the prevalence of Elusive and Quick Attack units that don’t allow your Dragonlings to strike defensively and thus deny a lot of healing.
The inclusion of Wounded Whiteflame gives you another threat your opponents can’t ignore, even more so if you pair him with a Zenith Blade. Its high HP makes it a great blocker against Aggro decks, and healing it procs Fated and boosts its stats.
Imagine giving Lee Sin the Fated and Fury keywords through a leveled-up Zoe. That’s living the dream. (Write-up by Othal)
The Bandle Tree is the only deck that has kept on playing Poppy after her second nerf to a 2/3. Indeed, the deck didn’t use her for pure pressure, but rather as the champion which best suited the Demacian part of Bandle Tree’s required regions.
Still, the deck felt like it suffered a lot from the latest patch, gaining almost nothing but seeing new matchups arise that were rather difficult to face. The Elusive units pushed by Ahri decks and Overwhelm from Pantheon builds are the 2 most annoying keywords this deck can encounter. Also, with TF making a comeback, you have to be worried about his Red Card.
These matchups make Bandle Tree harder to pilot in the current meta, and the good matchups like Lee Sin or Darkness aren’t popular enough to make up for the ones where you have to play perfectly in order to win.
Still fairly well represented at various ranks, Bandle Tree benefits from being a deck that can have a big spike in win rate every time defensive decks emerge, keeping it relevant and on our radar for the time being. (Write-up by den)