Welcome to TLG’s eighth 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.
Patch 1.4 is finally here, bringing along a fair number of changes to the meta. Champions that haven’t been featured a lot previously, like Braum, Darius and Anivia, are seeing a lot of play and achieving results. On top of this, the ladder reset and new Master rank system are enticing people to play to win, so we see far fewer meme decks being played.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop by our Discord. We will catch you next week for a new analysis.
Editing: Wusubi, Minuano
Consultants: DaddysHome, Crixuz, Kozmic, RiceFT, Saucekay, Taytwo38, Ultraman_CCG, Zezetel
Table of Contents
Heimer-Vi (4.5 stars)
At this point a staple in the meta, Heimer-Vi is a very resourceful deck. Its flexibility makes it one of the strongest decks to ladder with. Vi is able to handle a lot of threats, giving you some breathing room until you can set-up Heimer and invade the board with turrets. Heimer and Vi act in symbiosis, compensating for each other’s weaknesses so well that you’ll start asking yourself if this list even has any.
Rating change: +0.5 stars
After spending 2 weeks without their crown, it looks like Heimer and Vi have decided to start taking things seriously again. They are everywhere, especially in the higher ranks, and they reclaim their title of the best deck this week.
TF-Ezreal (4.25 stars)
Versatility at its finest, TF-Ezreal can do anything in the right conditions, and it will be your job to fulfill those! Twisted Fate is an amazing flexible card that benefits greatly from you adapting your gameplan to the deck you’re facing, while Ezreal will easily level-up due to Make it Rain and Rex, making for an extra finisher in hard-fought games.
Rating change: +0.75 stars
While TF-Ezreal isn’t a new deck, it has never been a top deck before, until the Heimer-Vi domination gave it a chance to make a comeback. On top of countering Heimer-Vi, this list can trade blows with most decks, rewarding players who can adapt, which is a key skill to have, especially this early into a new meta.
Noxus Allegiance (4.25 stars) *NEW*
They said it couldn’t be done and yet, a Noxus Allegiance deck is finally seeing the light. What’s more, it’s really powerful. The Overwhelm keyword from Iron Ballista, Basilisk Rider and Darius allow them to pierce through the enemy’s defenses, even at the cost of their own lives. Don’t be afraid to let them die, as The Harrowing will resurrect them for one final push.
It looks like the buffs to Basilisk Rider and Darius were enough to make a new Noxus aggro variant popular. Although the lists for these types of decks tend to differ, this version is probably the strongest one around at the moment. Some people run Elise instead of Draven, but including 3 more Shadow Isles cards means that you will miss the crucial Allegiance proc on Basilisk Rider more often, so do it at your own risk.
A Freljord version of the deck which plays Darius as its sole champion also exists. The main difference is the presence of Omen Hawk, Ruthless Raider and Decisive Maneuver for the extra cheese with Overwhelm.
Elusive Burn (4 stars)
This deck combines two of the most beloved archetypes, Burn and Elusive. What could go wrong? The core of Crimson Disciple and Imperial Demolitionist makes for an amazing early game pressure tool, and this deck pushes the concept even further by adding Retreat and Navori Conspirator to the mix.
The sheer amount of Nexus damage will catch more than one opponent off-guard, and the Elusive package will ensure they never come back in the game!
Rating change: -0.25 stars
Before the patch, this list was played to directly counter MF-Sejuani and Tempo Endure. As these two decks are falling off, Elusive Burn (which is still very strong on its own) is losing ground to other decks.
MF-Sejuani (3.75 stars)
The plunder core is as strong as ever and offers an amazing curve to pressure or handle your opponent’s threats, aiming at playing on both sides of the spectrum. Sadly, Miss Fortune is both a necessary evil against Heimer-Vi and a dangerous risk to take against the Disciple Noxus core, while Sejuani and Rex might arrive too late to save the day with their abilities.
Rating change: -0.25 stars
The nerf to the “Yoink” package has been pretty inconsequential in most matchups with the exception of Freljord, so the deck is still performing very well. However, it will sometimes struggle to get through the opposing deck’s barriers.
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: +0.25 stars
With the number of Heimer-Vi decks around, Teemo Burn is a decent pick in the current meta. It appeals to many players, as the games are short and allow you to climb faster.
Bannermen (3.75 stars)
The damage potential of Scouts makes it the best Bannermen version at the time, applying more pressure and trade potential while also putting you at risk of obliterating your Nexus in one well-timed Rally. Back to Back will provide for value trades and maybe 6 more extra damage on Rally, or even more if coupled with the Scout mechanic!
Bannermen is assuming a different form every single week. This time around, Miss Fortune and Quinn seem to be the most popular champions in the deck, although some Lucian versions also exist.
Kinkou Elusives (3.75 stars)
A great Midrange deck that utilizes Zed along with Ionia’s Elusive units. Start off the game by buffing your units up with Omen Hawk, then go wide with Kinkou Wayfinder. You can sneak in chip damage during your attack turns and end the game with a massive Wayfinder Hatchling. The best thing about this deck is that it’s favored against other aggro decks thanks to Kinkou Lifeblade and Will of Ionia.
This deck never really changes. It’s a decent pick in the meta, especially against Elusive Burn, but it’s slightly worse than Elusive Burn against most other matchups.
Tempo Endure (3.75 stars)
Coming back from the dead is a common theme on the Shadow Isles, so it’s no surprise Endure crawled back from its grave so soon after the nerf to Brood Awakening. Featuring a more aggressive core and fewer defensive tools, the deck drops its “anti-aggro” hat for a more proactive one, forcing your opponent to handle your board. By doing this, they are walking right into your trap, as they are helping you build a gigantic They Who Endure that will cause their demise!
Rating change: -0.5 stars
The nerfs to the deck hit it hard, especially the one to Cursed Keeper. It’s still strong, as it hasn’t lost the nut draw potential it had before the patch, but it’s undeniably worse. Not many people have been playing Tempo Endure this week, only time will tell if the deck will be able to adapt and be reborn once more.
Braum-Anivia (3.5 stars) *NEW*
Braum is back and facial hair has never been as relevant as nowadays! And there is an extra bird that’s actually the deck’s win condition, coming back on The Rekindler and becoming a terrifying threat in the late game, destroying boards while also being resistant to most removal.
There’s also a lot of healing and extra AoE, in order for you to handle the pressure the aggressive meta will push upon you. But who cares about the bird and the heals, Braum’s Mustache is amazing and it’s all that matters, let’s be real.
After the buff to Anivia, people started trying out Zombie Anivia, Thresh-Anivia, Warmother Anivia… However, the one that became an actual meta contender is the one that combined her with the champion no one would have expected to see her paired with before the patch.
Braum is a great addition, acting as removal, damage mitigation and fitting perfectly in the deck’s curve. He also has the major upside of not being resurrected by The Rekindler instead of Anivia. What a gentleman.
Sea Monsters (3.5 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 big sea monsters and put your opponent on the 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: -0.5 stars
Dreg Dredgers lost 1 point of strength and as a consequence, the whole archetype tumbled down. Or not. While it’s true that some early game trades against cards like Jagged Butcher or Cithria of Cloudfield are no longer possible, the reason why the deck is dropping so much this week is that it has become too slow for this meta.
As if this wasn’t enough, Heimer-Vi is very popular lately, which is a hard matchup for Sea Monsters.
Braum-Sejuani (3.5 stars) *NEW*
Sometimes, icy heart just needs warm smile! Braum didn’t mean that literally but nevertheless, people figured it’s only fitting to pair him up with none other than Sejuani. Combined with Noxus, this deck aims to close out games through excessive buffs and in a most crushing manner. The myriad of ways to deal face damage ranging from the self-wound package to Overwhelm, help achieve that goal with much more ease.
Out of all the Braum decks that people have been trying out this week, this one makes the most sense. Even though it was considered a bit of a meme deck before, the changes to Braum pushed it up in the ratings, allowing him to find a spot in the meta.
Karma-Ezreal (3.5 stars)
Karma-Ezreal is a combo control deck that seeks to survive the early-mid game with removal spells, while fulfilling Ezreal’s level-up condition. It refills its hand with cards like Rummage and Deep Meditation. Support units like Eye of the Dragon generate chump blockers that can help with healing.
Together on the board, leveled-up Karma and Ezreal can win the game at burst speed, not allowing the opponent to react. While the deck can function as an OTK, taking the opponent from 20 to 0, chip damage with units like Shadow Assassin makes your job a lot easier and more consistent.
Since it usually does well into most control decks, the very aggressive meta we have right now isn’t helping Karma-Ezreal gain spots in the ranking.
Frostbite Midrange (3.5 stars)
Frostbite Midrange fights for the board using its minions and freeze effects, the latter working nicely with Culling Strike and Reckoning. Since most of your units will reach 5 power due to their natural stat line or buffs from Omen Hawk and Avarosan Hearthguard, the board clear will do more harm in the opposing ranks than in yours.
You also have the opportunity to draw a million cards with Trifarian Assessor, who will help you refill your hand in no time. In the late game, a leveled-up Ashe combined with some Frostbite effects will prevent the survivors from blocking, often giving you the win.
Good pick against Noxus Allegiance, not so much against the rest of the current meta.
TF-Swain (3.25 stars)
Although TF-Swain is a weaker version of Kleptomancy than TF-Ezreal, it offers completely different gameplay. This deck comes with a lot of damage-based removal to level-up Swain while controlling the board. The synergy between the two champions is impressive, as Twisted Fate can help with flipping Swain, or offer AoE and stun during the same turn if he already is Level 2.
If you’re able to keep The Leviathan and Swain on the board for one turn, you will most likely win the game, as you will be stunning three units for free every turn.
The deck disappeared from the meta for 2 weeks, but it seems to be getting popular again, with a fairly new list including the good old Kleptomancy package.
CorVina Control (3.25 stars) *NEW*
Do you enjoy playing reactively and shutting down your opponent’s game plan? This deck packs the premium removal and healing tools of both Shadow Isles and PnZ. Your job is to stall the game out long enough until you can slam down Ledros and Corina. While the deck counters aggro, it can struggle when dealing with other control decks.
Although the deck had disappeared for a very long period after the nerf to Brood Awakening, the aggressive meta has led people to pick it up again. Unfortunately, the deck is weak and inconsistent, making it the least advisable deck to try out.