The Eternal Ranked mode is set to launch today, accompanied by an array of buffs and nerfs in Patch 4.8. This brings an exciting opportunity to explore a new meta and witness its evolution over the next few weeks, all in preparation for the Eternal Runeterra Open.
Predicting the exact decks that will emerge as top-tier contenders is challenging, especially with the many buffs Patch 4.8 held. However, Dragon decks like Shyvana Aurelion Sol and Targon Invoke decks look to have a promising performance in the upcoming meta.
In this article, I'll showcase a mix of both potential top-tier decks and meme decks for the Eternal format. Let's dive in!
Shyvana Aurelion Sol
The midrange Shyvana Aurelion Sol deck has received multiple buffs that bolster its strategies during the mid-game, leading up to the Aurelion Sol win condition.
Playing Confront on Dragon units like Wounded Whiteflame, Shyvana, and Eclipse Dragon is essential for eliminating challenger keyword units while simultaneously drawing an extra card. This ensures a steady resource pool in the later phases of the game.
While Shyvana doesn't need to be on the board to progress her level-up, her level state becomes a potent disruptor for opponents, thanks to the +2|+2 stat buff and the impactful Strafing Strike.
The ideal scenario involves triggering Eclipse Dragon's Daybreak effect, allowing you to summon Aurelion Sol by turn 8 and threatening his level-up. This compels opponents to either halt the level condition or kill Aurelion Sol. A leveled Aurelion Sol will overwhelm the opponent with the 0-cost Celestial cards, creating a powerful turn to end the game.
Akshan Lee Sin
Akshan Lee Sin could potentially emerge as the strongest Lee Sin deck in the upcoming meta. Both champions have been buffed, making it easier to level them up and set up the winning play.
Akshan generates valuable resources through Warlord's Hoard, ensuring you don't run out of resources in the late game. As for Lee Sin, he's the main win condition, capable of delivering a one-kick lethal play once given with the Overwhelm keyword. To get the Overwhelm keyword on Lee Sin, you could either play The Absolver or find Overwhelm through the Lucky Find created by Swinging Glaive.
With the recent Vladimir buff and the addition of Crimson Banquet Hall, players have been exploring diverse Vladimir decks. This Soraka Vladimir deck capitalizes on self-damage cards to trigger Star Spring's advancement
Vladimir's new play effect allows you to damage your own units on play and kill a pesky opponent's unit. This effect, along with Crimson Banquet Hall, expedites Star Spring's advancement, which in turn will level up Soraka and start getting that extra card draw.
Unlike conventional strategies, this Star Spring deck doesn't solely rely on the landmark for victory. Vladimir serves as a Nexus burn tool, complemented by Arbiter of the Peak's inclusion for a late-game win condition to destroy the Nexus.
The Maokai Mill deck operates on two distinct win conditions: destroying the opponent's deck and running them out of cards or amassing a board of robust Proliferating Darkwraith units.
This deck seeks to extend the game until Maokai levels up, at which point opponents are pressured to find means of reshuffling cards into their deck or they'll lose the game.
The inclusion of Proliferating Darkwraith guarantees a powerful late as stronger copies are created into the deck, ensuring you don't end up milling yourself and at the same time start creating a potent threat when they attack.
Patch 4.8 introduced a new formidable unit, Balen the Benevolent. This is an extremely powerful unit that gives a boost to the Formidable Galio Udyr archetype. The +0|1 buff to formidable units everywhere will create a stronger board presence for the late game, making it difficult for the opponent to deal with your units.
Additionally, the increased health means you'll get to level up Galio much easier and start threatening to activate rally and accelerating the pressure with your attacks.
Udyr serves as a support champion, providing Stance Swap that can be powerful when played on your units. The Boar Stance provides you with a strong unit difficult for the opponent to deal with, while the Wildclaw Stance establishes an Overwhelm win condition to end the game.
Zoe Aphelios SI
The Targon Invoke deck adopts a defensive early-game approach, before transitioning to stronger Celestial cards to set up their winning plays.
Zoe and Aphelios create important value to help you in the early/mid-game, potentially serving as win conditions but mainly focusing on value generation.
Late-game objectives center on Invoking potent Celestial units like The Great Beyond, The Immortal Fire, and The Scourge for a decisive lethal attack. Consistent play of Celestial cards will increase their power, making one attack potentially game-ending.
If it's still not enough to end the game, Atrocity can be used on one of your big Celestial units to close out the game on the spot.
Riven Lee Sin
Riven Lee Sin is a combo-oriented deck that looks to set up a powerful attack to end the game. Riven can be the early game win condition as she creates the valuable Blade Fragments to advance both champions' level up.
A leveled Riven can start striking for a lot of Nexus damage with the help of the Overwhelm keyword Blade of the Exile offers.
Lee Sin, the primary win condition, can clinch victory with a single kick, enabled by an Overwhelm keyword via Might or Heavy Blade Fragment.
Seraphine Ezreal Sett
This control-oriented deck focuses on rapidly leveling both Seraphine and Ezreal. Seraphine's level-up offers value generation and accelerates Ezreal's level-up progress.
Once you set up both leveled champions on the board, Seraphine's double cast will activate Ezreal's Nexus burn damage and end the game before the opponent manages to remove one of your champions.
This is an Invoke deck that uses Samira for a powerful early/mid-game. If you manage to buff Samira with Giddy Sparkleologist and grant her Spell Shield, you'll be able to work on her level-up, turning her into a removal threat with her challenger Flair and start activating Rally.
A big Celestial unit like The Great Beyond, The Scourge, or The Immortal Fire can act as a method to destroy the opponent's Nexus.
This Seraphine Nami control deck works on leveling up both champions and turning them into a win condition. Nami can start buffing up your board and creating stronger attacks, especially if she's buffing up elusive units like Acorn, the Hextechnician, Augmented Clockling, Daring Poro, and Wiggly Burblefish. As for Seraphine, she provides additional value with her double-cast ability and synergizes well with Nami.
The deck seeks to outvalue opponents or unleash powerful elusive attacks for victory. Mischievous Marai serves as a burn tool, leveraging Powder Kegs to threaten opponents with burn damage.
Nami Lee Sin
Nami Lee Sin was previously a dominant force. With Nami regaining her +2|+1 buff and Lee Sin's easier level-up process, this archetype warrants exploration on day one. The aim is to level up Nami quickly, capitalizing on her +2|+1 buffs.
Giving Lee Sin additional stats will set the stage for stronger kicks, though multiple kicks may be required since the deck lacks the ability to give Overwhelm to Lee Sin.
Alternatively, a Nami + Wiggly BurbleFish combo could yield an elusive win condition.
Day one presents a plethora of decks to explore! It'll be exciting to watch how the meta unfolds and which decks claim the top tier in the new upcoming meta.