IT’S FINALLY HERE! THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW COMPETITIVE SEASON AND ROTATION!
After much much waiting, it’s finally happening. The legend of Rotation has come to split the game into a Standard & Eternal format. And with it’s coming, it is taking many many cards away from Standard into the new Eternal format.
Thanks to this change, many popular decks lost some really key cards which left them crippled. For example, Ryze Ionia lost Deep Meditation, Steel Tempest, & Eye of the Dragon and more, Aggro decks lost Legion Rearguard, Decimate, Get Excited! which really makes the burn gameplan feel a bit slower now, Feel The Rush decks lost…well Feel The Rush, Catalyst of Aeons, Trundle, Blighted Ravine...ok that deck is just banished to Eternal now. So that leaves the question, “Hey, what’s still good now in Standard?”. Well, there are actually still many decks that were left pretty much untouched. Vayne Aatrox lost nothing, Lurk lost only Jaull-fish, Deep lost Thorny Toad (Which wasn’t always played), but aside from those there were a few decks that had some cards taken away, but can still find decent replacements to them, and that’s what we’re going to look at today…Which decks got partially hit and how can salvage them?
Akshan Varus Akshan Varus
Cards rotated: Shaped Stone, The Absolver, Preservarium
Let's start with Akshan Varus, probably the 2nd most popular Darkin deck at the moment!
This deck didn’t exactly lose much, but Shaped Stone was a bit of a hit for it. This was a really good +2/+1 for 1 mana, and helped push a lot of damage with Varus, was a cheap buff to keep Akshan alive from 2 damage spells, and helped Advance his landmark. Preservarium and The Absolver I wouldn’t say were too much of a hit but still affected the deck. Preservarium was just a good card to draw into the combo pieces you needed, and Absolver was a great back up win condition for when you needed Overwhelm on your big unit.
With those out of the picture now, there aren’t going to be straight up 1 for 1 similar replacements for them, but we can just double up a bit on some cards in the deck, like adding more The Expanse's Protection, putting in some more strike cards like Desert Duel or Grappling Hook, or just throwing in more units like Lunari Cultist, Shadowblade Fanatic, or Ranger-Knight Defector.
Thralls Frozen Thrall Lissandra
Cards rotated: Imagined Possibilities, Blighted Ravine, Preservarium
Thralls is a deck that was also almost untouched, but did lose some helpful cards. Blighted Ravine getting rotated means you don’t have that small bit of healing and lost a board clear, losing Imagined Possibilities means you have to wait longer for your Frozen Thrall to count down and also means you only have Time in a Bottle to Focus speed out thralls on your action, and finally Preservarium wasn’t always run or was usually a 1 or 2 of in decks, but losing it just means less draw and less a landmark for Taliyah to level up.
So some cards to fill in the gaps! While there aren’t any other Advance cards to replace Imagined Possibilities, we could just max out on Draklorn Inquisitor to try and get our Thralls activated as soon as we can. We can also throw in The Clock Hand just as another way to get Instant Century for our Thralls. As for board clears, I think we can throw in Fracture or Ice Shard to combat that, and we still have Avalanche to deal with 2 health units so it’s not all too bad. Finally if you feel you want some more landmarks for Taliyah, Ancient Preparations might be decent enough to toss in as a play to Predict into what you need, or to just play out and level up Taliyah.
Norra Veigar Veigar Norra
Cards rotated: Aloof Travelers, Vile Feast, The Box, Pokey Stick
In addition to these rotated cards, Norra and her Bandle portal piles got hit with a nerf to Portalpalooza, making it Focus speed instead of Burst speed. While this will slow the deck down a bit, it still is quite strong post-rotation. Losing some ping cards like Pokey Stick and Vile Feast hurt a bit, but we did get Pie Toss to somewhat replace those. The Box was also rotated out, but was usually a 1 or 2 of, though it was still quite the swing card if used correctly. Since 3 of our removal cards got…removed, we could add in either more board clear like Ruination, Eradication, or just another Dess & Ada. And the last card to be rotated, Aloof Travelers, was a great card to draw one, discard one from your opponent, and stick a 2/3 body on the board. While there isn’t anything quite like it, if you wanted more units you could put in copies of The Tea Maker, which would help add more portals to the deck as well as being a 1 heath but decent blocker.
Traps Caitlyn Teemo
Cards rotated: Pokey Stick, Stress Defense, Hexcore Foundry, Get Excited!
I think this might be my favorite deck leftover from rotation! I’ve always liked the Trap archetype and I’m really happy I still get to enjoy it in Standard. On top of all that, I think it may actually be a really good choice to play!
Losing Pokey Stick I’d say was the big one, since it was a great card to cycle, trigger Puffcap Peddler, and can be used as removal or burn. Though we do have many other 1 damage cards to be used in lieu of it, like the new card Pie Toss, Group Shot, or Poison Dart. Stress Defense and Hexcore Foundry were a bit of a loss but were usually just run as a 1 of in the Bandle PnZ Trap decks, so it’s not a big deal. And finally Get Excited! was a nice chunk of burn that was lost but it just means we got to play more for the traps.
Traps also got a brand new card though, in the form of another Peddler…Flashbomb Peddler! 2 cost 1/3 and does almost the same as his Puffcap counterpart, except with Flashbombs! So for cards to fill in I’d focus more on spells to make use of both Peddlers, I’d put more Trinket Trade, or Mushroom Cloud generators like Clump of Whumps & Chump Whump. Conchologist is nice too since it can Manifest you a spell as well!
Dragons Shyvana Aurelion Sol
Cards rotated: Dragon Chow, Sharpsight, Concerted Strike
Finally, we have Dragons. The only real losses that Dragons got was to the Demacia side with their combat tricks. Losing Dragon Chow was a bit of a hit, but I wouldn’t say it was extremely detrimental. Concerted Strike was a bit of a hit, but you have a lot of other strike spells. And Sharpsight was kind of replaced by the new card Form Up!. You could also say that Ranger's Resolve and Golden Aegis were a hit, but I don’t think many lists traditionally ran them. The Targon side of Dragons didn’t really lose anything at all!
So to fill in these spots, you can go with more Strike spells like Single Combat or Strafing Strike, for Sharpsight I’d just straight up put Form Up! in its place….and that’s about it really. Another new card that I think is great to add is Cosmic Youngling, it’s a 2 cost 1/4 that heals itself and your Nexus 1 each Round Start. It’s kind of a great anti-aggro tool and can help carry the early game while your dragons ramp up.
There you have it, some tweaked decks to play in Standard! Like I mentioned in the beginning, there were quite a few good decks left untouched by rotation, and paired with these somewhat hit decks, I think it’s safe to say we’ll see a lot of people still trying out these old heavy hitters to find out if it’s viable at all still. Not only that, I think you’ll be seeing a ton of Jack, Samira, and Sett decks running around because it’s a new expansion!
I’m excited to venture into this new world of Legends of Runeterra and I hope you all have fun trying it out and finding what you like! Happy Rotation day!
Thanks for reading!
About the Author
Playing LoR since beta, consistent masters player. LoR Dreamhack Champion/Aegis Season 0 Champion(BEAU) and other high-level tournament win/top cuts. Crazy deck builder, omega cracked player. I like garlic bread.
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