Welcome, my friend! Welcome again, and I hope you're ending well this weird week of a most mystifying Season.
But let's not dwell on the past and could-have-beens…
… Friday's here! Last of its kind this year, and with a balance patch expected to arrive in five days: interesting times ahead!
So, please, step inside, and allow me to parade our current selection! Should I show you…
… the strongest Meta Staples, making sure you do not bring a pocket knife to a sword fight?
- Ahri Kennen Shurima, still at the top of the power rankings, but its throne threatened by…
- … Fizz Lulu Bandlezaun, aka Yordle Discard, setting the world ablaze like a harrowing phoenix spawned from Rally Yordle's still-warm ashes,
- Lulu Ahri… did I mention Flame Chompers are all the rage right now?
- Sion Draven, putting its value proposition to good use in these uncertain times,
… or perhaps one of these other strong Meta Staples, in case you wisely choose to be cautious with your shards due to the looming balance patch?
- Draven Rumble, another Yordle turning Magic Misadventures into Flaming Chompers Season,
- Lonesome Pantheon, stoically weathering whatever fate the Meta may bring,
… our Connoisseur's Corner, somewhat scarcely populated this time around?
- Ekko Zilean, which you will be able to study only after your sworn oath to read Scathus' guide,
- Sejuani Ezreal, a weird brew that has seen quite the results in the last few days,
- Ahri Fizz Bandle City, another recent development undergoing extensive testing across all shards.
… or should we proceed to where the risk and adventure lies in wait?
- Elise Ezreal, another of the many Ezreal experiments we see these days,
- Curious Lux Ziggs,
- Caitlyn Ezreal Noxus, not to be confused with the Shadow version below,
- Katarinahri, which again shows up in the data with solid results…
- Thresh Viego Ionia,
- Ruination Sion,
- Pantheon Soraka,
- Ezreal Cait-logue, aka removal.dek.
As usual, please take your time to check and choose and leisure! Notable numeromancers Legna & Balco, the latter of whom we interviewed recently (in this link), are the provenance of all our premium products.
A word of advice about your shard flow, though, if I may be so bold: do be mindful of the balance patch coming to LoR next week, which is reputedly quite vast…
… and if the hotfix two weeks ago is any indication of how a few well-aimed changes can stir up the meta, one could not be faulted for forecasting that next week will be very, very interesting indeed. Should shards be something you are short of, I would definitely keep my purse knotted tight for now.
Strongest Meta Staples
These three blends are the best of the best, top of the shelf, 53%-plus winrate decks and at least 1% playrate in Platinum and above.
If you would rather bloody your boots than flutter your cape, look no further.
Ahri Kennen Shurima, 55%
When factoring both winrate and playrate, the furry ninja and his foxgirly partner in crime stand out as the most powerful deck… yet, as we'll soon see, a newcomer has taken the ladder by storm recently, and Ahri Kennen's seemingly secure throne may be at risk.
Our suggested blend, putting a bit more focus on reactive spells with two copies of both Deny and Concussive Palm, and also making room for a single copy Sai'nen Thousand-Tailed as top end, is currently the best performing formula among the most popular variations of this Archetype.
Strong Against: Pantheon blends, Lurkers, Plunder, Bandle Tree, Lee Sin Zoe
Struggles Against: Elise Noxus (this is a disastrous matchup), Twisted Fate builds, Pirates, Thralls
Other variants exist, splashing Shadow Isles (link), Demacia (link), and now Noxus (link) as a new addition -- but although quite powerful, these other variations have at least thus far proven themselves weaker than the Shurima variant.
Here's a detailed deck guide by Wamuu, if you want to read about this Archetype in detail.
Fizz Lulu Yordle Discard, Ridiculous WR
After Poppy and Yordle Explorer were mercilessly hammered, Yordle Piles went back to the drawing board, tossed Demacia out of the windows and said, "Hey, how about some Discard? After all, Ahri Lulu and Draven Rumble ain't doing so bad!"
The result? The current top meta deck by winrate both when looking at Masters only, and at all rungs from Platinum and above.
Do note that this blend has an extremely favorable matchup into Spiders (which are currently Ahri Kennen's biggest problem), therefore being in an odd position of helping the reigning Keep and Queen to keep their throne by preying on their worst predator.
Strong Against: Pantheon, Lurkers, Elise Noxus ("bloody murder" would be a more precise term), Plunder, Gangplank Sejuani.
Struggles Against: Nami TF, Lee Sin Zoe, Ekko Zilean, Teemo Ziggs, Ahri Kennen Shadows
Here's a detailed deck guide by Leer; he puts a bit more faith in Followers than in Spells, compared to our recommended list, so choose and tweak depending your favored playstyle!
Lulu Ahri, 53%
Currently overshadowed by Lulu Fizz, this blend is not to be summarily discarded: like Draven Rumble above, the archetype seems to be depurating itself, with the most popular decklist -- which is the one we suggest -- performing much better than other variations of the formula.
Also, as distinguished datamancer bA1anceLoR mentions in our recent interview, Ahri Lulu is a blend that enjoys a fairly smooth matchup spread: there are few foes against which the match is certainly lopsided (to one end or the other) -- more often than not, the match will be fairly even, letting your superior skills shine.
Strong Against: Lurkers, Elise Noxus ("squashy murder", so to speak), Draven Rumble, Thralls
Struggles Against: Ekko Zilean, Shyvana Pantheon.
Draven Sion, aka Discard Midrange, 53%
Discard always being a good choice when the Ladder is crawling with spidery legs, Draven Sion seems, like last week, a very good choice for climbing the ranks. It's weak to the latest hot tech, Fizz Lulu, so you may want to take that in consideration.
Strong Against: Elise Noxus, Nami TF, Lurkers.
Struggles Against: Ahri Kennen, Ekko Zilean, Fizz Lulu.
Other Strong Meta Staples
A notch below the strongest blends, these are all tried-and-true Meta Staples that in the last three days have been packing a 52% winrate in Platinum and above.
Draven Rumble, 52%
I'm sure you'll be as thrilled as I am to know, with numeric certainty, that this pair was indeed no fluke! And the specific formula we currently recommend, which is also the most popular, has a 55%-plus performance, providing solid reasons to think this archetype as a whole is still shedding bad lists.
If you are in the mood for tweaks, you may want to consider cutting one copy of either Decimate or Might -- whichever you find cluttering your hand most often -- to make room for a single Ruined Reckoner. Data suggests it is a most spicy bit of extra punch.
Strong Against: Pantheon blends, Elise Noxus, Lurkers, Ekko Zilean, Dragons, Thralls
Struggles Against: Ahri Lulu, Sivir Akshan, Lee Sin Zoe
Lonesome Pantheon Demacia, 52%
A fairly refined blend at this point, with only minor tweaks when it comes to whether or not to cut a Golden Aegis to make room for Bastion -- by all metrics, performing superiorly to all other Pantheon variants, although if such will remain true next week, after the balance patch, is anybody's guess.
Suffers from being weak to two of the strongest meta decks (Ahri Kennen and Fizz Lulu) and also to Ahri Kennen's strongest counter (Elise Noxus).
Strong Against: Darkness, Lurkers, Nami TF, Ekko Zilean, Thralls, Sivir Akshan
Struggles Against: Ahri Kennen, Elise Noxus, Draven Rumble, Teemo Swain, Fizz Lulu
Other meta staples we can recommend:
Should you not be satisfied with the above selection, but still looking for a tried-and-true meta staple, you could perhaps try Teemo Ziggs (link), Sivir Akshan (link), or Teemo Swain, about whom Jasensational has written recently -- they all currently sit at or near the 52% winrate mark, depending which datamancer and data sample you consult, and they can most certainly get the job done.
The Connoisseur's Corner
Our CC selection this week is rather slim -- perhaps because abundant pilots seem to be focusing on experimenting with new blends. Here you shall find brews with a high enough playrate to provide a fairly solid degree of confidence in their results, but uncommon enough to entice those fond of the less frequent.
I must warn you, we are not allowed to disclose this formula unless you swear you will read Scathus' guide, which you can find in this reddit thread.
In its entirety.
No, seriously: our other customers would be delighted for you to take this blend for a spin without reading said guide, since seriously, who does not love an LP donor? But, still, I must sternly refuse until you do so.
And also do realize that the latest blend has removed Experimenter and added a second Archivist.
Very well... I shall trust in your word.
Strong Against: This is one of the few decks that seems able to put Fizz Lulu in place; also strong against Spiders, Ahri Lulu, Ahri Kennen Shadows,
Struggles Against: Darkness, Pantheon (badly), Draven Rumble (badly), Ahri Kennen Shurima.
Sejuani Feel ThEzreal
An interesting recent development: an old list -- according to learned scholars, brewed by Eniamor and dating at least as back as the Age of Akshan Sivir in July -- with a Feel The Rush twist. The exact same formula has seen success in both the Americas and EUMA shards, and with enough games under its belt to suspect this is no fluke.
Strong Against: Pantheon
Struggles Against: Elise Noxus, Nami TF
Ahri Fizz Bandle City
The well-known Recall package, minus Kinkou Wayfinder to allow for a few more non-Ionia cards (including Fizz), and with an even stronger bent towards Elusives.
Strong Against: Plunder, Pantheon builds, Lee Sin Zoe, Dragons, Lurkers, Bandle Tree
Struggles Against: Elise Noxus, Nami TF, Ahri builds, Thralls
Risky and Experimental
While some of these archetypes are quite well-known, small data samples during the last few days prevent us from stating anything other than "these seem to have been doing okay" -- whether flux or real thing, that's for adventurous souls such as yourself to find out!
There seems to be a surge of interest in Ezreal as of late...
Has the LoR Hive Mind sensed an incoming buff?
Just pure coincidence?
We shall learn next week; in the meantime, here's Gauntlet Boy paired with the Mistress of Many Legs, and seemingly having not invited Jayce to this Sentinel party.
Strong Against: Ahri Kenne, Ahri Lulu, Elise Noxus
Struggles Against: Darkness, Nami TF
Curious Lux Ziggs
A nefarious blend that shouldn't exist, but does. A curious case of a single list with more than 140 games and fairly high winrate, clearly signaling a very dedicated, and likely extremely skilled, pilot -- replicating their success may be a bit of a tall order unless you are well acquainted with Curious Shellfolk.
Caitlyn Ezreal Noxus
Improbulator Draven Ezreal is trying to pull a phoenix. Will it succeed? Latest data says "Well, actually..."
Strong Against: Ahri Lulu, Elise Noxus, Dragons, Pantheon Taric, Draven Rumble
Struggles Against: Pantheon, Ahri Kennen, Plunder, Thralls, Teemo Ziggs
Yes, I am surprised too. Yet here we are: we found this among the data last week, and it's still providing decent results. Still too early to say for sure, but there may be something here.
Strong Against: Pantheon blends, Lurkers, Bandle Tree
Struggles Against: Nami TF, Darkness, Ahri Lulu, Thralls, Elise Noxus
Thresh Viego Ionia
Yet another old archetype, not wishing to go to the "has been" corner. Note the dash of God-Willow Seedling, to make use of on-summon effects.
Strong Against: Thralls, Lee Sin Zoe, Dragons, Teemo Ziggs
Struggles Against: Pantheon, Darkness, Bandle Tree, Lurkers
With a ridiculously high winrate across only a handful of games, The Ruination and the Revenant have to be this week's winners of "Most Flavorful" blend.
A few games in a single shard, lots of tweaks… the telltale signs of somebody's pet project. Thus far, it seems to be going well.
Ezreal Cait-logue, aka removal.dek
An interesting take for a sight that is not frequently seen in LoR: a deck going the attrition route, with mostly a shield of spells to fend its foe's advances.
Very well, my friend!
I hope you have found something to climb, or at least experiment with, until the balance patch next week.
Should you require more metrics for your choice of weaponry, by all means do let me know -- feel free to poke me on Twitter (@HerkoKerghans), or you can find more recommendations and writings from me here (link).
Good luck in your climb!