Welcome, my friend! Welcome!
It is a pleasure to see you again -- please, step inside, and leave your worries at the door! Friday's here at last; let me show you what I have gathered for you this time.
And what interesting times these are, I must say! Gnarly still a tad, but nothing like last week, and what blends have bubbled to the top you may find dumbfounding. Here, let me uncover our assortment of blends and brews, furnished by famous formulistas Balco and Legna!
So, do let me know -- would you like to…
- Sivir Akshan, at the summit,
- Yuumi Pantheon, or its Taric variant,
- Akshan Gnar, aka Paper Gnario,
- Teemo Tristana Gnar,
- Miss Fortune Quinn, aka Scouts,
- Gnar Ziggs, carrying the Burn torch,
- Trundle Gnar,
- Draven Rumble,
- Kindred Sentinels,
- Fizz Lulu,
- Caitlyn Ezreal,
- Braum Galio,
- Perhaps the best Udyr blend, married with Tahm Kench,
- Fizz Riven,
- Curious Ezreal Gnar,
- Ashe Gnar,
- Ambush Riven Viktor,
- Sejuani Gnar -- Bandle City,
- Sejuani Gnar -- Two Cities,
- Galio Kindred.
Glimpse at the Meta
This is perhaps one of the most balanced Metas in quite some time, with no deck surpassing the 55% winrate (WR) mark for decks that have over a 1% playrate in Platinum and above…
… and also one format where the struggle for the throne is the fiercest: half a dozen archetypes race neck-to-neck, with neither of them gaining a large enough advantage to be rightfully crowned King or Queen of this Meta.
And notice how, when compared to a few days ago, the composition at the peak has both changed and flattened.
Truly interesting times, my friend, when no blend can be safely said to be the absolute best!
Notice also how, as repeatedly remarked by renowned data-wranglers, Gnar is no longer the ever-present menace it was a week ago. While definitely the crowd's favorite by a large margin…
… his overall playrate is definitely on the downswing.
The 54-55% Winrate Club
Balanced as the current meta seems to be, there are the clearly strong decks, and then there's the cream of the crop.
These five blends (or six, if you count the Taric variant of Yuumi Pantheon as different), which all huddle in the 54-55% WR slice for decks seen at least 1% of the time in Platinum and above, can currently be said to be a cut above the rest -- if you are in search for the absolute best decks for your Weekend climb, look no further.
After months of relative obscurity -- always a proficient blend, never enjoying the popularity of other brews like, say, Darkness or Lurkers -- the Treasure Hunter and the Palace Raider find themselves at the top.
Our recommended formula is quite similar to the most popular, but cutting its single copy of Rite of Negation and going for the full complement of Vekauran Vagabond -- data strongly suggests this improves the list overall.
If you are feeling bold, but with no desire to peruse our Connoisseur or Wild Side medleys, then you could try this alternative, spicier take (link), that has been performing far above average.
Strong Against: Darkness, Akshan Gnar, Draven Rumble -- a slight edge over Scouts, Lurkers
Struggles Against: Pantheon Yuumi, Ahri Lulu, Gnar Sejuani
Yuumi Pantheon Demacia
Attached to the feline Fae, Pantheon once again reaches the summit.
While fairly refined at quick glance, this archetype keeps cycling some of its spells in order to accommodate the shifting meta. One copy of Chain Vest, data suggests, gives an edge against the current field -- after good results eschweing Bastion and Hush earlier in the week, a copy of each has now become a staple of all well-performing lists.
Prominent pilot and renowned Meta Reporter Leer has written extensively about this archetype, and what makes it click.
As an alternative, there's a similar version including one copy of Taric while swapping one Yummi out which, as seen on Balco's Tier List, performs somewhat less stellarly but nevertheless among the strongest blends currently.
Strong Against: Darkness, Gnar Trundle, Scouts, Akshan Sivir
Struggles Against: Gnar Ziggs, Draven Rumble, Fizz Lulu
Akshan Gnar, aka Paper Gnario
If One Turn Kills are up your alley, my friend, you are in luck: after enjoying a modicum of success during the early days of the current Expansion, this marriage between Overwhelm and Attach has been refined to the point of becoming one of the most powerful blends in the last few days.
Its game plan, while simple to explain, demands finesse in execution: leverage Akshan's Landmark, namely Warlord's Palace, and Papercraft Dragon into assembling an Overwhelming, Double-Striking threat which single-turnly drags your foe from very healthy to very dead.
Our suggested formula is the one that superb skipper and stellar scribe Maybenxtime recommends in his scholar compendium, which is also the superior formula when looking strictly at data-based performance.
Strong Against: Lurkers, Darkness, Gnar Ziggs
Struggles Against: Gnar Trundle, Akshan Sivir
Teemo Tristana Gnar
After being a meme Champ for the previous two Bandle City patches, Tristana has finally found a home.
Having taken the ladder by storm last week, this Fae flood has proven to be no fluke, and it has a fairly fair matchup spread: it has decent odds (between 45% and 55%) against pretty much everything.
With a clear penchant for overpowering formulas, this is another blend that stellar scribe Maybenextime crafted a complete compendium about.
Strong Against: Darkness, Gnar Ziggs, Taliyah Ziggs
Struggles Against: Draven Rumble, Fizz Riven
If you want to play it safe, my friend, and ladder performance is your main objective, then this is the blend to go for.
It is also reaching a point where we could, at least in principle, call it solved or refined; lists with a higher Spell count (mostly by adding Blinding Assault and/or extra copies of Ranger's Resolve) are proving less efficient, sometimes by a lot.
Trust your followers, my friend; relentless board pressure is the best combat trick.
Strong Against: Darkness, Gnar Ziggs, Draven Rumble.
Struggles Against: Pantheon Yuumi blends, Gnar Sejuani, Kindred Sentinels -- slight underdog to Akshan Sivir and Draven Rumble
Other Strong Meta Staples
Trailing a couple of percentage points behind the top-shelf options, we have these three blends in the 52-53% WR slice.
Trundle Gnar, aka Gnarlines
Last week's powerhouse is still a force to be reckoned with, and its slightly decreased performance can very well be due to its ongoing refinement processes.
Strong Against: Lurkers, Gnar Swain, Akshan Gnar, Ahri Lulu
Struggles Against: Gnar Ziggs, Pantheon Yuumi
In these more midrangey days, it has fallen to Yordle Burn to proudly carry the aggro torch.
This blend marries brutal performance with shortish games -- while Scouts is perhaps the safest bet among the Top Dogs, Gnar Ziggs is probably the ideal option for those pressed for time.
Strong Against: Gnar Trundle, Lurkers, Pantheon Yuumi
Struggles Against: Darkness, Scouts, Teemo Tristana Gnar, Akshan Gnar
The Arena moneymakers are not going anywhere, it would appear.
And, judging by their edge over some of the best-performing blends, one would suspect the party is about to get wilder still.
Our recommended blend is the most popular by a very wide margin -- yet if you want a bit of extra spice, a copy of Ambush and Noxian Fervor, like in this formula, can hit unsuspecting foes from out of nowhere.
Strong Against: Lurkers, Pantheon Yuumi, Gnar Teemo Tristana, Akshan Gnar
Struggles Against: Scouts, Darkness, Akshan Sivir, Gnar Sejuani
If the top of the meta is a neck-to-neck race, the deeper layers are a boiling cauldron: after being dazzled by the "shiny new toy" effect Gnar undoubtedly had, more boutique brews with other champions are coming to the fore.
For trendsetting connoisseurs looking for well-tested yet little-seen blends, our Corner selects formulas that are near or below the 1% playrate mark in Platinum and above, yet with either hundreds of games under their belts or backed by extensive expertise -- as perfect an overlap between confidence and uniqueness one can desire!
Lucian Zed, aka Bangbros
An aggressive blend, with quite a bit of refill to avoid running out of gas. Our recommended formula is the most popular in all three shards, and should you frequent the Blue Bird Inn, you shall find no shortage of prominent pilots recommending it.
Strong Against: Darkness, Lurkers, Pantheon Yuumi, Gnar Trundle
Struggles Against: Scouts, Gnar Teemo Tristana
Elise Kindred Vi
In a meta in which midrange is the name of the game, this formula -- which saw some success before the latest expansion -- now thrives with a more top-heavy, control-oriented gameplan.
Here is a similar version, eschewing Elise to go all-in on Vi and some tweaks to their Spell menu.
Strong Against: Lurkers, Draven Rumble, Gnar Ziggs
Struggles Against: Gnar Trundle, Darkness, Pantheon Yuumi, Teemo Tristana Gnar
Although Teemo Tristana Gnar is the most prominent Yordles in Arms blend, Fizz Lulu still packs all the punch it has been known for in the last few weeks.
In particular, the formula with which superb skipper TKG Tams achieved a winrate over 70% across thirty-one games would be our recommendation.
Strong Against: Lurkers, Pantheon Yuumi, Fizz Riven, Draven Rumble, Akshan Sivir
Struggles Against: Darkness, Akshan Gnar, Teemo Tristana Gnar
Have prominent pilots finally found a solution for this well-loved, poorly-performing blend?
We currently find the exact same formula being the most played across three servers, with a 54% WR overall across 200+ games -- while too early to tell, results are promising indeed!
Strong Against: Pantheon Yuumi
Struggles Against: Gnar Trundle
A Champion pairing that has performed reasonably well since the current expansion was unleashed, although it seems to still be in the refining stage with multiple variations coexisting.
Our recommended formula is among the most popular in the European shard, and fairly popular in the Americas shard.
Strong Against: Scouts, Gnar Sejuani
Struggles Against: Gnar Trundle, Pantheon Yuumi, Akshan Gnar
Udyr Tahm Kench
As expounded by stellar scribe and superb skipper Siturmund in his scholarly compendium on the topic, "Despite all the flaws with the card though, this deck has made him super fun to play and I truly believe that this is the best Udyr deck out there at the moment. Mostly because it is the only deck where Udyr makes more sense than Gnar, Trundle or the rest of Freljord champions."
Strong Against: Gnar Ziggs, Scouts -- even into Gnarlines, Elise Noxus, YiA blends
Struggles Against: Gnar Swain, Darkness, Lurk, Yuumi Pantheon
Don't call this blend a meme, lest you incur in renowned data expert bA1alance's coffee-fueled wrath!
Here is his recommended list, which he is currently optimizing via data trends and extensive testing.
Strong Against: Lurkers, Darkness, Gnar Swain, Teemo Tristana Gnar
Struggles Against: Gnar Trundle, Scouts, Gnar Ziggs, Akshan Gnar
Wishing to cast caution to the winds, and hop behind the steering wheel of some more risky blends?
All these blends have shown good to great performance -- whether that was due to blind luck or ungodly piloting skills, that's yet to be determined.
Curious Ezreal Gnar
There is always a new take on Curious Shellfolk -- this one is quite popular, and prominent pilot NNT eluwardhayk achieved a 70%+ WR with it across fifty-two games.
Strong Against: Akshan Gnar, Gnar Ziggs
Struggles Against: Lurkers, Darkness, Scouts
Sporting silly WR across 90+ games, here is a rare Gnar blend with a very peculiar top end, with Scattered Pod tutoring a card that has wrecked many a Path of Champions runs: Dawn and Dusk. Learned scholars trace this blend to legendary maître brasseur TealRed.
Strong Against: Gnar Ziggs
Struggles Against: Scouts, Darkness
Ambush Riven Viktor
Our recommended list last week performed very well (55%+ WR over 120+ games) -- we are listing it on our Wild Side selection due to lack of extensive data, but what little we have speaks highly of it.
Strong Against: Lurkers
Struggles Against: Scouts
Sejuani Gnar Bandle City
A champion pair that has been quietly gaining traction, and making use of one of the cards popularized by Trundle Gnar: Buried in Ice.
Strong Against: Akshan Gnar, Akshan Sivir, Lurkers -- even into Scouts
Struggles Against: Darkness
Sejuani Gnar P&Z
A somewhat similar take to the above, but profiting from Piltover and Zaun's fondness for burn.
Strong Against: Lurkers, Akshan Gnar -- even into darkness
Struggles Against: Gnar Trundle, Gnar Ziggs
According to tales heard at the Blue Bird Inn, there may be something here -- if you count yourself among the bold and daring, perhaps tales of your exploits with this blend will be what we tell next week!
Very well, my friend…
… thus this Friday's parade ends!
I trust you have found our assortment of medleys to your liking, and that there's at least one blend that matches your discerning tastes.
And good luck in your climb!
Thanks to Rick for pointing out pesky typos! =)