Welcome, my friend! Glad you could stop by!
Please, step inside – you arrive just in time! It has been scarcely five minutes since distinguished datamancers Balco and Legna sent us their formulas, medleys and blends. The cream of the crop may not have changed much since last Friday, but it is the safest bet one can make to say that we will surely find something for your refined taste.
So, do let me know. Would you rather check first…
… how the current Meta looks like at the top?
… the cream of the crop, strongest of the strong?
- Tristana Teemo Gnar, still the Ruling Triad,
- Fizz Lulu, which as predicted last week, reached the peak,
… check some of the other strong meta options?
- Miss Fortune Quinn, returned to near-the top,
- Yuumi Pantheon,
- Taliyah Ziggs, a bit lower than last week but amply proving they are no fluke,
- Sivir Akshan, holding on to the top,
… visit our Connoisseur's Corner, for little-played yet well-tested medleys?
- Ahri Kennen Shurima… yes, they are back!
- Pirates, ft. Twisted Fate,
- Kindred Sentinels,
- Braum Galio,
- Gnar Galio,
- Sejuani Gnar Bandle,
- Heimer Jayce Shadows,
- Fizz Lee Sin Bandle City, which is gaining traction in APAC,
- Lux Zoe,
… take a walk on the Wild Side?
- Maokai Viego,
- Ekko Zilean,
- Sun Disc!
- Sejuani Sivir Renekton Gnar,
- Leona Aurelion Sol Demacia,
- TLC, apparently returned again,
- Jinx Lulu.
Glimpse at the meta
Like last week, only two decks stand head and shoulders above the rest, breaking past the 54% winrate (WR) and 1% playrate when Platinum and above ranks are considered.
And, although the challenger has changed – Fizz Lulu this week, Taliyah Ziggs the previous – the ruling champion remains: Teemo Gnar Tristana.
The difference in performance between these two blends and the rest is striking. The rest of the faces at the top being the usual suspects, it is easy to imagine that Tristana and her friends will not be dislodged from the top until the balance patch arrives by the end of this month.
Cream of the Crop
Teemo Tristana Gnar, aka Tristana Faes
Nothing is able to break the Ruling Triad's iron grip on the Meta throne. The parallels with the Age of Ahri Kennen are unmistakable: challengers come and go, the Ruling Royalty remains. Still ten days to go to the balance patch, so there may still be new developments, but thus far the data is clear: these Faes are the best deck in Runeterra.
It is arguably the most refined from among all the Top Dogs, too – more than half of the games were played with the most popular list, with spectacular winrates.
Strong Against: Darkness, Gnar Swain, Taliyah Ziggs, Fizz Lulu, slight edge over Lurkers – even against Scouts, Pantheon Yuumi
Struggles Against: Fizz Riven, Gnar Sejuani, Draven Rumble
This pair's resilience is nothing short of legendary. Right after this latest expansion – just like right after the balance patch in January – pilots tossed this archetype aside, in search of cooler toys… only to find out that Fizz and Lulu are a match made in heaven.
And, as predicted last week, here we find them, again at the top.
The optimal number of Yordle Portal seems to be exactly one, by the way.
Strong Against: Pantheon Yuumi, Lurkers, Bandle Tree, Gnar Ziggs, Akshan Sivir
Struggles Against: Darkness, Tristana Faes, Akshan Gnar, Ekko Zilean
Other Strong Meta Staples
If difference in playstyle or lack of resources prevents you from piloting the cream-croppers – the next balance patch is merely ten days away after all, so it would be perhaps a tad unwise to splurge on wildcards before then – here are the rest of the strongest meta staples: all over 52% WR and 1% playrate at Platinum and above.
Miss Fortune, aka Scouts
Punching foes in the face twice per round still works wonders, my friend!
Admittedly, it works so well that most Top Dogs, Faes included, take advantage of that trick, but none can dispute Miss Fortune and Quinn are the Queens of multi-attacking.
Straightforward as it may seem, and in opposition to Tristana Faes, there's always some degree of tweaking going on in Scouts – our recommended list is the most popular, and performing at 54%, but other lists have successfully swapped Penitent Squire to make room for the best card in the game, Laurent Bladekeeper. Gorgeous art, too!
Strong Against: Darkness, Bandle Tree, Gnar Ziggs, Draven Rumble, Taliyah Ziggs, Fizz Lulu – even into Lurkers and Tristana Faes
Struggles Against: Pantheon Yuumi (a horrible matchup), Tribeam blends, Galio Gnar, Galio Braum
It's been a while since we saw the feline Fae so far from the peak, but it's still performing grandly. It is also one of the most popular decks, second only to crowd-pleasing Darkness – although it must be said that, as far as WR is concerned, Yuumi Pantheon is in a different league.
Strong Against: Darkness, Scouts, Gnarlines, Akshan Sivir, Taliyah Ziggs– even into Lurkers and Tristana Faes
Struggles Against: Gnar Ziggs, Gnar Swain, Draven Rumble, Fizz Lulu
While unable to keep up with the other Yordles at the top, Ziggs has proven his partnership with Taliyah is no fluke. Case in point, far better than Gnar!
The pair's diminished performance seems connected to the abundance of bad lists – our recommended formula, as they say nowadays, slaps.
Strong Against: Darkness, Lurkers, Gnarlines, Tribeam blends, Galio Gnar
Struggles Against: Pantheon Yuumi, Scouts, Tristana Faeries, Gnar Ziggs, Fizz Lulu
Sivir Akshan Demacia
Pilots of this blend are slowly reaching consensus on which is the best build, with the most popular formula also being one of the best performers.
Strong Against: Darkness, Bandle Tree, Draven Rumble, Fizz Riven – even into Tristana Faes, Scouts, Taliyah Ziggs and Lurkers
Struggles Against: Pantheon Yuumi, Gnar Sejuani, Fizz Lulu, Braum Galio
Other Staples You May Consider
Two pegs below the top performers, yet still above a 50% WR on average, you could try:
- Caitlyn Ezreal, a very popular archetype,
- Gnar Ziggs, giving room to Conchologist and Bandle City Mayor,
- Gnar Swain,
As usual, there are quite a few archetypes hovering at the 50% mark (Darkness, Lurk, currently Draven Rumble) -- we limit our showcase to blends that currently perform near or above 52%, so there is little to recommend about these from the point of view of data. There's no accounting for taste, of course!
Here they are, my friends: fairly well-tested blends, yet rare enough that you may climb for weeks and never face a mirror.
Ahri Kennen Shurima
It is indeed official: the former Queen and King of the meta are back.
Or, as prominent pilot Ultraman would say, they never left.
The most popular and potent list is, nearly card by card, identical to the most aggressive versions we witnessed during Ahri Kennen's rule, topping at four mana and without – at least for now – Sain'nen Thousand-Tailed.
Strong Against: Gnarlines, Bandle Tree, Gnar Swain, Akshan Sivir
Struggles Against: Darkness, Scouts
Miss Fortune Twisted Fate, ft. Gangplank
With more than 300 games during the last few days, and stupidly silly winrates, Pirates are back across all shards (although APAC is leading the charge). Fate and Fortune have struck a good deal, it would appear, with Gagnplank having only a testimonial role.
Strong Against: Pantheon Yuumi, Lurkers – even versus Tristana Faes and Darkness
Struggles Against: Bandle Tree?
Kindred and their Sentinels friends are low-key one of the most successful archetypes this season, and have been for long enough for Kindred to deserve the meme label no longer.
Our recommended formula is the second most popular, showcasing a 54% WR.
Strong Against: Bandle Tree, Tribeam blends, Draven Rumble, Gnar Swain & Gnar Ziggs
Struggles Against: Darkness, Pantheon Yuumi, Gnarlines, Tristana Faes
After a less-that-stellar start, Galio appears to have found a couple of comfortable homes. His pairing with Braum is one of such shells, being extremely strong into Scouts.
Strong Against: Murders Scouts and Akshan Sivir – strong versus Tribeam blends.
Struggles Against: Gnarlines, Pantheon Yuumi, Gnar Ziggs – horrible matchup against Akshan Gnar and Fizz Lulu
Another pairing for Galio that has, by now, earned the "well-tested" stamp – although do notice how, when compared with the previous Galio blend, some matchups are noticeably different.
Strong Against: Scouts (very!), Gnar Ziggs, Askhan Gnar
Struggles Against: Pantheon Yuumi, Gnarlines, Gnar Swain, Tribeam blends.
Sejuani Gnar Bandle
This archetype, on average, performs at a mediocre 50% WR.
Yet our recommended list has achieved over 55%, through more than 200 games. If you long for a bit of Overwhelm oomph, this may be the formula you are looking for.
Strong Against: Lurkers, Gnar Swain, Akshan Sivir, Akshan Gnar
Struggles Against: Darkness, Bandle Tree, Tribeam blends, Taliyah Ziggs, Fizz Lulu
Heimer Jayce Shadows
Another champion pairing deserving of more attention – even though it is favored by several superb skippers, and in spite of its stellar performance, Jayce Heimer remains little used. A great choice if you'd rather lean into big spells in your struggle to the top.
Strong Against: Scouts, Gnar Ziggs, Tribeam blends, Bandle Tree
Struggles Against: Darkness, Pantheon Yuumi, Askhan Sivir, Draven Rumble
Fizz Lee Sin Bandle
An archetype with a large APAC following, although little known yet in the Atlantic servers. If you want to feast Pantheon Yuumi, this blend may just hit the right spot.
Strong Against: Pantheon Yuumi, Lurkers, Darkness, Gnarlines
Struggles Against: Scouts, Gnar Ziggs, Tristana Faes
Although the Aphelios version is favored by such luminaires as Painas, and our own Meta Reporter Leer, data would indicate Lux Zoe to be the best non-Pantheon Targon Demacia marriage.
Strong Against: Pantheon Yuumi, Scouts
Struggles Against: Darkness
And here is where we bid adieu to efficiency and proficiency, to welcome risk and adventure aplenty. All these blends have at least a few games under their belts, with outstanding results, but by and large lack either the amount of games, or the consistent results to call themselves tried and true…
… but, if it is 'new' you wish to try, do go wild, my friend!
Maokai Viego (PZ)
If you are looking for a Viego deck, this oddity may fit your fancy. The Shadowy side of the deck is fairly standard; the exotic bouquet is to be found on the Piltovian and Zaunite side of the equation.
A blend ardently recommended by superb skipper and sublime scribe MonteXristo, although extremely hard to pilot – here is his popular guide on the topic, written in tandem with the deck's creator, maître brasseur Scathus.
Well… I am as surprised as you are, my friend.
And I assure you that, overall, this archetype is as much of a pile of Poro poop as it always has been.
Yet a couple of eximius pilots have attained huge success with these lists, across a not inconsiderable number of games. Take it as you will!
Sejuani Sivir Renekton Gnar
In case our Connoisseur's Sejuani Gnar blend was not Overwhelming enough for you, here's Overwhelm with Overwhelm on top.
Leona Aurelion Sol (DE)
If you are looking to dazzle, stun and awe your foes, look no further. Nothing says "I'm grander than you" better than a space dragon.
Strong Against: Pantheon Yuumi
Struggles Against: Darkness
We seem to be in the Age of Revenants. Ahri Kennen is back, Azirelia is too…
… superb skipper and distinguished datamancer Vivo attained a 70%+ WR across 30 games with his version of TLC. And our recommended formula, across three time that many matches, performed above 55% – the only difference, as you will see, is whether to favor Vengeance or The Box.
This is where the love story between Lulu and Flame Chompers! started. Prominent pilot StolenConch went on a rampage on the Americas shared and achieved nearly 75% WR in a bit more than 40 games.
Strong Against: Pantheon Yuumi and Tristana Faes
And so, my friend!
Everything from A to Z, or from Asol to Zoe, if you will. I hope I have managed to make yourself acquainted with your weapon of choice for this weekend's fights.
Any questions or comments, or more data you may need, feel free to poke me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/HerkoKerghans) or Discord (Herko Kerghans#6252), or find more of my writings on Substack (https://riwan.substack.com/)
And good luck in your climb!