Welcome to TLG’s ninth 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.
The meta is starting to settle and it looks like fewer decks have made the cut this week. Things are going to change soon, as nerfs have been announced by Riot’s team, but we still wanted to address the question that is on everyone’s lips lately: “Is the metagame in a healthy place?”
We discussed this in great length these past few days and, overall, we think that the current meta is fairly enjoyable. There is a good bit of diversity in deck representation and many different archetypes are viable.
Having a competitive environment with a limited number of decks is normal for a card game and Legends of Runeterra has it better than most other CCGs out there.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop by our Discord. We will catch you next week for a new analysis.
Editing: Wusubi, Sebodunum
Consultants: DaddysHome, Dartill, Crixuz, Kozmic, RiceFT, Saucekay, Taytwo38, Ultraman_CCG, Zezetel
Table of Contents
Heimer-Vi (4.25 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: -0.25 stars
Heimer-Vi still deserves its first place in the meta, but the increasing number of TF-Ezreal decks has made its life a little bit more difficult recently. This skill-intensive list can beat any matchup in the right hands, but it’s currently being held back from absolute domination by Bilgewater’s most common tools: Yoink and Riptide Rex.
Will Heimerdinger fall to the wave of nerfs to come? Or will Heimer-Vi remain at the top of the meta for yet another week? Only time (and TLG) will tell.
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.
Even though the deck’s popularity started off a bit shy, it has absolutely soared this week, achieving impressive results in the hands of many high-ranked players. On top of being a direct counter to Heimer-Vi, the deck can also hold its ground against most matchups with a potent mix of early game pressure and late game powerhouses.
However, TF-Ezreal has one big natural predator in Braum decks, especially those who include a lot of healing. The list now features Chempunk Pickpocket to contest the very popular Crimson Disciple on Turn 2, or to generate even more value in the control matchups.
Noxus Allegiance (4.25 stars)
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.
Since Noxus Allegiance is incredibly aggressive and can chain games quickly, it has become very popular. It has decent matchups all across the board, and even though it won’t ever attain tremendous win rates in high ranks because of its rather low outplay potential, it’s probably one of the best decks to grind with.
Decisive Maneuver, Atrocity and The Harrowing combined with Noxus’ powerful units tend to steal games they shouldn’t be winning, but they are also all countered by Deny, which is making a huge comeback this week.
Braum-Anivia (4 stars)
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 some 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.
Rating change: +0.5 stars
Probably one of the most popular decks at the moment with Noxus Allegiance. Funnily enough, these two decks share a similarity, namely the inclusion of three copies of The Harrowing. With lots of healing and AoE at its disposal, this deck is great at dealing with most aggro shells that are currently played. It’s also a hard counter to TF-Ezreal, but in return, it gets totally crushed by Karma-Ezreal.
Anivia is extremely hard to deal with, as she will get resurrected time and time again by The Rekindler and The Harrowing. On top of this, dealing with her without killing her (using Obliterating or Recall effects, Detain, etc.) is even more difficult, as she can get sacrificed in response.
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
Typically, Elusive Burn and Kinkou share the same matchup spread, only more polarized for the latter. Kinkou wins its winning matchups harder and loses more often to its bad matchups. Burn is also more consistent, as it doesn’t rely on Omen Hawk to buff Elusives and has better reach with Crimson Disciple, Noxian Fervor and Decimate.
For all of these reasons, Elusive Burn is a slightly better pick in the current meta, but both decks share the same major upside of having a good matchup against Noxus Allegiance.
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 Windfarer Hatchling. The best thing about this deck is that it’s favored against other aggro decks thanks to Kinkou Lifeblade and Will of Ionia.
See Elusive Burn for more details. The list now includes Concussive Palm, which is very useful to delay Basilisk Rider and Darius in the Noxus Allegiance matchup. Not only will it let you stall an additional turn, but you can also pick it up again thanks to your Navori Conspirator and repeat the process.
Braum-Swain (3.75 stars) *NEW*
Braum-Swain is a versatile Midrange deck that rewards players who are able to adapt and improvise. This deck combines the beefy units and control tools of Freljord with Noxus’ offensive power to ensure that your units are both hard to kill and extremely dangerous. Start the game aggressively by playing cards such as Crimson Disciple and Imperial Demolitionist to chip down your opponent, then slam down Braum and Swain to take control of the game.
This deck has an easy time sticking its minions, as they are so thick and you can even heal them with Kindly Tavernkeeper. In addition to this, the amount of removal you have packs quite the punch and allows you to level-up Swain quickly. In the late game, you can play The Leviathan with Swain on the board for a nasty triple-stun on the enemy and go for the throat!
Step aside, Sejuani. Braum has found himself a new white-haired princess to defend.
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 with 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.
The deck has lost a lot of popularity, but is still performing quite well.
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 take the opponent from 20 to 0, chip damage with units like Shadow Assassin makes your job easier and more consistent.
The list has changed quite a bit, finally adapting to the new meta. Deny is back on the menu to stop The Harrowing from stealing games. Health Potion will help trigger your cards that require 2 spells to be played in the previous turn, on top of offering extra sustainability against aggressive decks.
The deck is still niche, but it has better matchups than before, especially into Braum-Anivia.
Bannermen (3.5 stars)
The damage potential of Scouts makes it the best Bannermen variation at the time, applying more pressure, while also putting you at risk of obliterating your Nexus in one well-timed Rally. Back to Back offers value trades and 6 additional damage on Rally, or even more if coupled with the Scout mechanic.
Rating change: -0.25 stars
In order to win games, the deck has to curve out perfectly, then draw Relentless Pursuit or Back to Back to close out the game before it is too late. This is exactly what makes the deck inconsistent. The window to kill the opponent is small and you almost always get outpaced by aggro, which is why the rating goes down a bit this week.
CorVina Control (3 stars)
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.
Rating change: -0.25 stars
The deck is still played, but there are much better options in terms of control decks with healing, such as Braum-Anivia.