Rally Never Dies
Triple Rally is surprisingly well positioned for yet another Seasonal. With Kai’Sa maintaining her spot at the top of the Tournament meta, the best strategies will involve banning her. With Kai’Sa banned out, the other decks left at the top are all control-flavored and therefore weak to rally. Scouts and Poppy Taric are the two decks that best capitalize on this mechanic.
This lineup goes after anyone on double or triple control. While Kai’Sa’s worst matchup is Pirates and other aggro, this lineup isn’t particularly scared – because our decks are capable of playing Challenger control to stay on top of the board, we can effectively minimize the damage we take from their early game units.
If you’re playing this lineup the dream is running into Darkness, FTR, Heimer Jayce – knowing they will be banning Kai’sa lets you easily decide on your own ban. Take Heimer Jayce off the table (PnZ removal lets them easily deal with your threats), and have a field day cutting through Darkness and FTR like they’re butter! You will also want to ban out any Kai’Sa mirrors that you may encounter, as both Poppy and Scouts will struggle to find a win against the overstatted Evolve units.
Other decks you could look at in this lineup are Ekko Zilean (although do note that this change will force you into a Darkness ban). Gwen Noxus may also be a good choice, as it should give all the control decks a very hard time in the end-game.
Aggro is pretty copium this time around but I know that, like me, some of you will want to at least take a look at it. Even if you’re not considering bringing triple aggro yourself, it doesn’t hurt to have some idea of what a triple aggro lineup may look like – you can expect to see at least one player on it during your Seasonal run.
Annie Kat Ziggs
The goal of a triple-aggro lineup this season would be to go after the anti-Kai’Sa/anti-control lineups. You can find a niche by building your lists to be favored in aggro mirrors while continuing to prey upon anti-Kai’sa options like Azir Irelia. I would suggest that you scrim into this (or similar) lineup before Saturday – it is not unheard of for top players to fall short of their Seasonal expectations because they didn’t practice their aggro matchups and were blown out as a result.
Your ban strategy will be to remove the deck with
the most healing – this will usually be Feel The Rush. You’re probably keeping Kai’Sa up more often than not, but that deck is just so overly powerful compared to the rest of the meta that it is never really a bad idea to remove it. Other good bans can be Ekko Zilean and Scouts, as they are both traditionally quite good into aggro.
As for alternate decks… well, you’ve got me stumped here. I had a hard enough time finding three aggro decks for a lineup, so coming up with other options is tough – there really aren’t any good aggro decks at the moment. If you wanted to make some swaps you could add Kai’Sa, Sion, or Katarina Yasuo , and Annie Jhin will also fit. I would not suggest Spiders, but it is an option for those of you who still have faith in the list.
This is a lineup that I am really considering pivoting to. Fellow MaRu Squad member Shadawx came up with it after our friend Trivo showed us his new Gwen deck. This lineup is built around three generally strong decks that aren’t weak into aggro, and have the ability to threaten control with their own end-game.
Trivo Special (Gwen Kat Elise)
The goal of this lineup is to have a generally good matchup spread – you have no hard or soft targets, but also no glaring weaknesses.
Thresh Nasus and Gwen Noxus both have good game into aggro as they are capable of matching the board early while also having access to removal tools like Vile Feast. Gwen Noxus also has excellent game into the control side of the field due to its top-end: The Harrowing and Atrocity.
You may have to be a bit concerned about getting Thresh Nasus through Darkness or Feel The Rush, but it’s not impossible – play conservatively and don’t over-extend into their removal spells. Remember that both decks will be forced into tapping out at one point or another: their own threats are not cheap, and have to be established at some point if they want to win. Use your opponent’s mana constraints to your advantage and take the chance to move in for the win.
Your ban strategy with this lineup is going to be removing Kai’Sa first and foremost. Secondarily, you’ll want to be protecting your weakest link – that may mean removing Feel The Rush, or it may mean banning Pirates if there’s nothing better to take out. Ezreal Kennen can also pose a threat, so be wary.
Alternate deck choices for this lineup include Deep, Scouts, Poppy Taric, and I even believe Timelines can be a decent inclusion. No matter what you do with this lineup make sure that you’re not making yourself too weak into aggro, and that you maintain your good midrange matchups.
Mix and Match
Then again… why make your life more difficult by thinking of a third good aggro deck, when you can just mix and match and play Kai’Sa Akshan as your third “aggro” deck?
This lineup is playing what most folks consider the current two best LoR decks: Pirate Aggro and Kai’Sa Akshan. Do these two make sense together? In short, yes. They beat most of the field, while being very good at stealing wins from their supposed counters.
So how do we finish up this lineup? The curse of the third deck is always a difficult one, but I have decided to go with the more aggro-oriented path and suggest Annie Jhin. The idea is that this will increase your odds of beating other Kai’Sa lineups, and Annie Jhin is well equipped to win some matchups against control if needed.
Ideally we are looking to leave open Kai’Sa decks, and other midrange archetypes not called Scouts. We can also easily overrun decks that take a long time to set up, such as Viego Evelynn or Udyr variants.
In terms of bans, my main suggestion is to ban Pirate Aggro, since it has a great matchup into both our Kai’Sa and Annie Jhin. Following that, you’re looking to ban Feel The Rush from the control player side. I like our odds into more board-oriented control like Darkness and Heimer Jayce than I do against Feel The Rush.
For alternate style, you can go a less aggressive approach and instead choose a more midrange plan, replacing Annie Jhin with something like Poppy Taric or Ekko Zilean. This gets close to triple Rally lineups, but gives up the Scouts slot for a more successful Pirate Aggro slot. Can you imagine if we could play both Pirate Aggro and Scouts in the same lineup? One could only dream.
Control But Not Really
Welcome to control in Legends of Runeterra! In this game it’s not just about removing your opponent’s units – a lot of our control decks themselves rely on board presence and even Nexus burn. These three are good examples of that.
Heimerdinger Jayce SI
Twisted Fate Nami SI
The reason I’m leaning more towards a board-heavy style of control is due to needing early blockers against Pirate Aggro and Kai’Sa decks. All three of these decks provide us with a lot of units, thus allowing us to chump-block round after round until we get to stabilize and focus on our win condition.
Our main targets will be traditional aggro decks – think Jhin Annie and Spider Aggro. We are also favored versus Pirate Aggro, but keep in mind playing around their Riptide Sermon or other such tools.
Because we are going with a unit-heavy approach, we also gain some points against Rally decks such as Scouts and Taric Poppy. I wouldn’t count on reliably beating them, but at least you’ll do much better than with regular control.
I would be very fearful of Kai’Sa decks if I was running this lineup, so that should be your main ban – of it was just Kai’Sa it wouldn’t be a problem, but with Void Abomination too it means they can usually close the deal quick than you can win.
Other bans include Freljord decks, especially Feel The Rush. Their access to Ravines and Avalanches could be brutal against most of our decks.
If you wanted to swap things around, another unit-heavy control deck is Deep. It would spot right in while still fitting with our general gameplay. You can also slot in one of the traditional control decks such as Feel The Rush or Anivia.
I Believe I Can Beat Kai’Sa
Everyone is talking about how you should just permaban Kai’Sa. And they’re probably right. But we don’t like listening, do we? So here’s one lineup if you want to still hard-target Evolve variants.
Hot off the presses we open up with Nasus Kindred. An archetype that has risen in popularity over the past week in part because of its excellent matchup against all Kai’Sa variants. I recommend doing some practice with this deck before the Seasonal ,as it is very tough to play correctly.
The other two decks are familiar for those who frequent our articles. Sejuani Gwen is one of the best counters for Kai’Sa out there, and Pirate Aggro is the second best deck in the game for similar reasons.
Our gameplan is simple: See Kai’Sa, Destroy Kai’Sa.
And if we don’t see Kai’Sa in our opponents line up…
… then we just surrender.
Just kidding! The good thing about these three decks is that they still possess very respectable win rates on their own against the rest of the meta, allowing us to be able to outplay and steal wins even against “counter” lineups.
Ban wise, I would probably just ban Pirates since Nasus Kindred does struggle versus the deck. Following that, we would want to target hard control decks: Vengeance can be too big of a delay against any of our champions in these decks.
If you wanted to switch it up, you could go even further into the deep end with Ezreal Kennen or Yasuo Katarina, both of which do well versus Kai’Sa decks.
About the authors
Sirturmund is a long-time player of the game, having played LoR since beta. He has found competitive success in the past year with a couple of seasonal top cuts finishes, rank 1 ladder placements, and first spot in a Qualifier of Mastering Runeterra's Championship. Best known for being one of the very few to still bring Star Springs to tournaments, you can find Sirturmund lurking around all the social media sites absorbing anything he can about the game!
MonteXristo has been playing the game since closed beta and has consistently made it to masters every season he’s been active. His accomplishments include having peaked in the top 20, taking first place in the “Streamer Sideboard Showdown” and LPP Riot Grand Prix. When he’s not writing for Mastering Runeterra he keeps his card-slinging skills sharp by playing in the Runeterra Academy tournament, with his team The Wobbly Wombats!