Welcome! Welcome, my friend, please step inside… and I beg you, don't mind the mess our shop is in right now.
A deluge of new decks has arrived, that's why the chaos, with scant time to properly arrange them on display! But worry not, my friend, we shall find whatever it is you seek to kick-off the new Season with.
And what a fantastic Season it's poised to be… Fresh, new-fangled formulas with recently arrived Champions! A meta thrown in dizzying disarray! So, please, share your search with your humble servant, if you will.
Shall you try the brand new?
Will you stick to what's well-known?
Something in-between perhaps, piloting a known brew with a few new toys? We have the best selection from premium Numeromancers Legna, Balco and Vivo, so should I show you…
… the radically new Kennen brews, taking the ladder by storm?
- Kennen Ezreal,
- Kennen Ahri (Shurima)
… the powerful Poppy blends, recruiting her Bandle City friends for the Demacian cause and flooding the world with Yordles?
- Teemo Poppy
- Lulu Poppy
- Ziggs Poppy
- Lonesome Poppy
… the usual suspects, perhaps with a small new twist?
- GP TF (BC)
- Ziggs Poppy (Nox)
- Draven Sion (P&Z), now with Rumble in the mix,
… or shall you join the legion of brewers and engineers in search of perfecting brews that are still in the experimental phase?
- Taric Pantheon
- Zoe Pantheon
- Fizz Ahri
- Riven Pantheon
- Kennen Poppy, aka Bandle Tree
The Maddening Meta
A discerning ladderista ladderista as you knows full well, of course, that numbers and data during the delightfully deranged days at Season's start are indicative at best -- here are the metrics provided by our esteemed suppliers, but you would do well to add the proverbial pinch of salt.
The Radically New Recall Brews
Oh, what a day, my friend, what a day… a never-quite-there archetype finally receives not one, but two Champions, and like livid lightning blitzkriegs the ladder by storm!
Kennen Ezreal, 55%+
In the words of one of Runeterra's foremost pilots "Tempo Supreme". If you Mark of the Storm a problem long enough, it will take a hint and go away. For stubborn problems, add Kinkou Wayfinder and a levelled-up Ezreal.
Strong Against: Ahri Kennen / Lurkers / Pantheo decks / Bandle Tree / Lulu Poppy
Struggles Against: Ping City / Poppy Teemo / Lone Poppy
Kennen Ahri (Shurima), 54%
A little-tested brew that seems to be doing wonders, at least in the hands of premium pilots. Having but a droplet of its second region, you may opt to tweak it according to your needs, like looking at Targon for Gifts From Beyond instead of The Absolver
Strong Against: Pantheon Decks / Bandle Tree / Dragons / Ahri Fizz
Struggles Against: Thralls / Ping City / Poppy blends / Darkness / Plunder
Band of Poppy
While not slaughtering the ladder as dreaded by some (at least not yet…), the addition of Yordle Explorer has very much propelled Yordles to the front, with Poppy shrugging off the blow to her stats, and pairing the Bandle City swarm with the relentless Demacian package.
Teemo Poppy, 55%+
Although not the most popular (see the Lulu pairing below), the shroom-lobbing Scout seems thus far Poppy's best friend in their go-wide, grow-tall, punch-face, rally-repeat jaunts. Different blends put varying emphasis in their spell package (some including Yordles in Arms , putting less faith in Rallies, some even going anti-spells by including Stony Suppressor), but all with ruthlessly resounding results.
Strong Against: Except blends noted below, this formula is strong into seemingly everything right now.
Struggles Against: Interestingly, it's only really bad matchup seems to be Swain Teemo, and slightly disfavored against Lurkers, Dragons, and solid Pantheon blends.
Lulu Poppy, 54%
The most common Bandlemacian blend -- although thus far not the most efficient, not a slouch by any means.
Strong Against: Except blends noted below, either even or favored against most of the field.
Struggles Against: Discard blends / Poppy Teemo / Pantheon blends / Ezreal Kennen
The Bandlemacian package, aided by Yordle Explorer, is proving powerful enough to allow for other Champion combinations, like:
- Ziggs Popy (deck link), not to be mistaken with the well-known Noxian variant (which still wreaks havoc, as we'll see further down), or
- Lone Poppy (deck link), who prefers followers to a second champ,
and toying with other strong Demacian staples like Screeching Dragon.
While showing less stellar results as the blends suggested above, exploration and experimentation are clearly far from over.
The Usual Suspects
But perhaps you are not in the mood for experimentation, and would rather exploit an unrefined meta to advance your ladder climbing schedule?
These are the well-know blends, perhaps with a little twist, that have thus far proven efficient, if not flashy, at getting you to your next rank as soon as possible.
Gangplank Sejuani, aka Plunder, 55%+
Works in this Season's opening as well as in last's closing -- with pretty much the exact same list. Freezing foes at burst speed never goes out of fashion, it seems!
Strong Against: Discard blends / Lurkers / Pantheon blends / Bandle Tree blends
Struggles Against: Ping City / Ahri Kennen / Dragons / Lulu Poppy
Gangplank Twisted Fate, aka Ping City, 54%+
Some silly souls would say that this a Yordle Swarm deck, since after all it does have Yordle Explorer in it…
… but said silly souls would swim back to shore after the Captain tosses them overboard. And the sea is infested with Snapjaws, so I'd still my tongue if I were you.
Still… old brew with a few new toys, packing a ton of punch on its way up.
Strong Against: Ahri Kennen / Bandle Tree / Pirates / Ezreal Kennen / Plunder
Struggles Against: Poppy swarm blends / Darkness / Pantheon blends
Poppy Ziggs (Noxus), 55%+
Perhaps yet again giving the nod to naysayers over white-knights, the single addition of Yordle Explorer seems to have offset Poppy's nerfs. Otherwise very much the same blend as last Season, same havoc-wreaking potential still.
Strong Against: Ahri Kennen non-Targon blends / Swain Teemo / Poppy Ziggs Demacia / Pantheon blends except noted below.
Struggles Against: Pirates / Ahri Kennen Targon / Jarvan Pantheon
Draven Rumble Sion (P&Z), 55%+
The new Bandle Noxian Discard blends are failing spectacularly, with horribly low winrates. But, across a very small sample, it seems Rumble is very much at home in the familiar Noxus P&Z shell, with plenty of discard fodder for him to become a real menace.
Strong Against: Bandle Tree
Struggles Against: Dies horribly to Ezreal Kennan and Pantheon Riven
Other Trustworthy Old Brews
Showing nowhere near the same ladder prowess, some well-worn fan-favorites are still very much a solid ladder choice, should their playstyle fit your fancy.
- Thralls (deck link) seems well-positioned in the meta; data is a bit hard to interpret (depending on data sample), but it would seem that the ancient archetype does well against the new field.
- Lurkers (deck link) once again proves to be a beauty of deck design, displaying solid-yet-not-broken winrates.
- Rally Elusives (deck link) has lost much of its edge, yet still seems a very viable choice,
- Zoe Lee Sin (deck link), still getting acquainted with the likes of Wounded Whiteflame, Iula and Blinded Mystic, can never be disregarded.
Some Retootling & Re-engineering Required
Then again… the work week is worrisome enough to spend the Season's start fretting over top-performance and climbing efficiency. Perhaps joining the cohorts of brewers and deck engineers questing to discover the ideal formula for as-of-yet imperfect archetypes is your cup of tea?
These are some of the popular blends that may seem in need of further experimentation:
Taric Pantheon (Demacia), aka Mantheon,
A pairing of two Champions of the same region usually brings a lot of flexibility in the choice of second region, but most efforts thus far seem to be focused on Demacia, profiting from Taric's interaction with Golden Aegis and Relentless Pursuit. Results so far are not amazing, although skilled pilots have shown this archetype to shine.
Strong Against: Ping City / Lulu Poppy
Struggles Against: Bandle Tree / Dragons / Zoe Lee Sin / Ahri Kennen Shurima / Poppy Ziggs Noxus / Ezreal Kennen / Plunder / Lurkers
Pantheon Zoe (Ionia)
Little-tested brew showing a lot of potential -- some blends cut down all followers save Eye of the Dragon and Wounded Whiteflame, to increase their spell count, but our suggested formula goes for a few more bodies on board.
Strong Against: Lulu Poppy
Struggles Against: Ezreal Kennen
King and Queen of mischief, with a large following of elusive units.
Strong Against: Pantheon blends / Lurkers
Struggles Against: Poppy blends / Ping City / Pirates
Legna's Hypothesis remains yet again uncontested: there's always a Riven blend, this time lending her reforged blade to Atreus' quest.
Strong Against: Thralls / Ping City / Lurkers
Struggles Against: Zoe Lee Sin / Darkness / Ezreal Kennan / Rally Elusives
Poppy Kennen, aka Bandle Tree
Perhaps befuddling, there is one Yordle deck that seems to dislike Explorer: Bandle Tree. The Archetype as a whole is not showing stellar results, but preliminary data seems to indicate it's due to excess of Champs (2x of each is the ideal), and Yordle Explorer being really bad in this blend.
Strong Against: Ping City / Ahri Kennen Shurima / Lulu Poppy swarm
Struggles Against: Darkness / Lone Poppy
Very well, my friend…
… I hope your palate found this deck deluge delectable and enjoyable! Should your resources be scarce, and yourself in doubt about what to craft, there's one final detail that may help you decide: do note that, of the four new Champions, only two (namely Kennen and Ahri) were added to the Path of Champions (and you need two copies of your Champion of choice should you wish to play their Path).
If you require more metrics for your choice of weaponry, do let me know and I shall do my best to furnish you with whatever fresh data and recent numbers I find — and should you be interested in more recommendations from yours truly delivered straight to your inbox, here is where you can subscribe.
Good luck in your climb!