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Monte & Leer’s Meta Awakening

Our bold voyagers brave these turbulent timelines – the blind monk's back, Norra's found a home and, yes, apparently Timelines is kinda okay.

Pantheon Kayn

Leer’s Experience

As MaRu's resident PantheonPantheon enjoyer, I was immediately drawn in by the concept of Pantheon Kayn from Shadawx’ Day One article. Playing weapons progresses Fated, and so do Weapon support cards like SharesiesSharesies and Furious WielderFurious Wielder. So, what happened in my games at Plat on Day One, when factually speaking you only play against Master players from last season?

Regions
Runeterra
13 cards
Mount Targon
27 cards
Rarities
29 000
champion
6
epic
4
rare
16
common
14
Mana cost
0
0
9
1
11
2
6
3
9
4
3
5
2
6
0
7+
Champions
6
4
Pantheon
3
Pantheon
5
Kayn
3
Kayn
Equipments
2
2
The Darkin Lodestone
2
The Darkin Lodestone
Followers
19
1
Forsaken Baccai
3
Forsaken Baccai
1
Saga Seeker
3
Saga Seeker
2
Mountain Goat
3
Mountain Goat
3
Wandering Shepherd
3
Wandering Shepherd
3
Wounded Whiteflame
3
Wounded Whiteflame
4
Ranger-Knight Defector
2
Ranger-Knight Defector
6
Camphor, the Doubt
2
Camphor, the Doubt
Spells
13
1
Momentous Choice
3
Momentous Choice
2
Pale Cascade
3
Pale Cascade
2
Sharesies
3
Sharesies
4
Bastion
2
Bastion
4
Furious Wielder
2
Furious Wielder
Open deck in builder

Spoiler and bottom line: I usually felt like KaynKayn was too weak compared to our Fated units. Often, when I’d draw KaynKayn, I had a 10/10 Wounded WhiteflameWounded Whiteflame on board that longed for the Overwhelm keyword. Jamming Kayn felt like an unnecessary late set up that left much to be wanted.

Additionally, SharesiesSharesies felt underwhelming. We rely heavily on getting a good weapon (with Overwhelm or Scout), otherwise SharesiesSharesies has a similar effect as Pale CascadePale Cascade but without the card draw.

That’s when I noticed that everything that’s good about this deck, which is the powerful Fated shell and Wandering ShepherdWandering Shepherd, happen to be in Targon. Furious WielderFurious Wielder can be replaced by the more flexible Concerted StrikeConcerted Strike and Single CombatSingle Combat, while Demacia also gives us the opportunity to Rally.

It is no rocket science to go back to a proven concept, but I don’t see how Kayn Pantheon is better than Pantheon Demacia.


Trundle Vi Timelines

Leer’s Experience

Tl;dr: This deck is absolute bonkers.

Regions
Freljord
20 cards
Piltover & Zaun
20 cards
Rarities
30 100
champion
6
epic
7
rare
5
common
22
Mana cost
1
0
4
1
13
2
4
3
6
4
5
5
2
6
5
7+
Champions
6
5
Trundle
3
Trundle
5
Vi
2
Vi
7
Ornn
1
Ornn
Followers
22
1
Zaunite Urchin
2
Zaunite Urchin
2
Eager Apprentice
1
Eager Apprentice
2
Ferros Financier
3
Ferros Financier
2
Vulpine Wanderer
2
Vulpine Wanderer
3
Kindly Tavernkeeper
1
Kindly Tavernkeeper
3
Piltovan Castaway
3
Piltovan Castaway
4
Aloof Travelers
3
Aloof Travelers
4
Combat Cook
3
Combat Cook
6
Revna, the Lorekeeper
2
Revna, the Lorekeeper
8
It That Stares
2
It That Stares
Spells
12
0
Thermogenic Beam
1
Thermogenic Beam
1
Three Sisters
2
Three Sisters
2
Concurrent Timelines
3
Concurrent Timelines
2
Mystic Shot
2
Mystic Shot
2
Troll Chant
2
Troll Chant
9
Buried in Ice
2
Buried in Ice
Open deck in builder

Trundle Timelines was a solid, if fairly niche, ladder choice last season. We even saw a few players bring Timelines to seasonals, but the archetype was no powerhouse like Kai’Sa Sivir.

This all changed with Weaponmasters – enter Awakening. Being able to transform Improvise units with Concurrent TimelinesConcurrent Timelines, especially Combat CookCombat Cook, is straight up unfair. It means that you get a 4|4 Impact unit on round two and a 5|5 Silverwing DiverSilverwing Diver with Fearsome on round four

Before, Timelines pilots had to wait for eight rounds to get such a tempo swing, with Trundle’s Ice PillarIce Pillar being able to effectively play two eight-drops in one round. Now, there is no other deck that can compete with the tempo play of a transforming Improvise follower.

When it comes to the best Concurrent TimelinesConcurrent Timelines deck, don’t look at the Jax PnZ variant. Not having access to TrundleTrundle’s Ice PillarIce Pillar and Buried in IceBuried in Ice means that you lack in the late game, and are forced into rushing down your opponent. Buried in IceBuried in Ice is also the card I did my most misplays with. Simply keeping up nine mana and daring your opponent to develop into Buried in IceBuried in Ice is effective, even when you don’t have the card in hand. 

I mostly full mulligan for Concurrent TimelinesConcurrent Timelines. In the mirror, it’s a good idea to also keep Aloof TravelersAloof Travelers to discard either TrundleTrundle’s Ice PillarIce Pillar or Buried in IceBuried in Ice!


Monte’s Experience

Y’all know just how much I love Timelines, but this deck is definitely a bit overbearing. The addition of the Weaponmaster cards REALLY powered this deck up. Combat CookCombat Cook is arguably the best card from the expansion and it really shines here.

Being able to give Vi Scout or Overwhelm through the Improvised weapons is really quite strong. Despite what people and average data say I also think that Ornn is actually a worthwhile inclusion in the deck – you haven’t lived until you’ve given him Scout. 

The deck is far less centered around Trundle’s Ice Pillar than it used to be, but it is still a noticeably different game when you get to use it in conjunction with Timelines. 

I mulligan VERY aggressively for Concurrent TimelinesConcurrent Timelines, full kicking almost every game to find it. I do this because the deck is capable of making most hands work and, in my opinion, it’s best to be playing for our archetype's most powerful version and that involves finding Timelines. 

I used this deck in RuneterraLife’s Runeterra Rumble last Sunday and it helped me find my way to a Top 8 despite only drawing Timelines in my first set of the day. It just goes to show that the deck is absolutely incredible at the moment, and it’s definitely worth putting your time into learning it. It also helps that it’s incredibly fun!


Shellfolk^(N^2)

Monte’s Experience

This deck is an interesting one – it’s not all-in on Norra, so you shouldn’t be trying to play it as such. It’s also not necessarily reliant on Nami, so don’t be afraid to play out a Norra on curve as a way to gain tempo.

Regions
Bilgewater
18 cards
Bandlecity
22 cards
Rarities
35 000
champion
6
epic
10
rare
13
common
11
Mana cost
0
0
6
1
11
2
8
3
0
4
3
5
11
6
1
7+
Champions
6
2
Norra
3
Norra
3
Nami
3
Nami
Followers
12
1
Otterpus
3
Otterpus
2
Conchologist
3
Conchologist
6
Curious Shellfolk
3
Curious Shellfolk
6
Wiggly Burblefish
3
Wiggly Burblefish
Spells
22
1
Trinket Trade
3
Trinket Trade
2
Heavy Metal
2
Heavy Metal
2
Pokey Stick
3
Pokey Stick
3
Double Trouble
3
Double Trouble
3
Wallop
2
Wallop
5
Eye of Nagakabouros
3
Eye of Nagakabouros
6
Minimorph
2
Minimorph
6
Riptide Sermon
3
Riptide Sermon
7
Mind Meld
1
Mind Meld
Open deck in builder

If both your Nami and Norra plans fail, you can always find your way to victory with Curious ShellfolkCurious Shellfolk. Sqweeby and I played a game on his stream today where the value from Shellfolk single-handedly won us the game. There was nothing our opponent could do after we had stolen four copies of Ionian TellstonesIonian Tellstones and made several copies of WallopWallop

If even that fails, you can always rely on Mind MeldMind Meld with a six-wide board to help you close out.

This deck is probably the best shell for Norra that we’ve found, although it would admittedly probably just be better with Twisted Fate instead. Norra is definitely a lot more fun, though, and she can also lead to some really funny situations

Despite this list being a lot of fun, and unarguably the best Norra deck, I don’t think it’s fantastic, unfortunately. It’s definitely good enough that you’re not griefing if you decide to play it, but not so good that I can recommend it for a fast, efficient climb. Especially if you do not have past experience with Nami or Shellfolk decks. 

The biggest tip I can give you is to be flexible in your gameplan – be comfortable giving up on Norra, Nami, or Shellfolk once you’ve gotten your value out of them, and don’t go out of your way nor waste resources trying to protect them when you clearly can’t!


Thresh Nasus

Monte’s Experience

Thresh Nasus is back and better than ever! With the new equipment, The Darkin BloodlettersThe Darkin Bloodletters and The Darkin HalberdThe Darkin Halberd, the deck got a serious upgrade. The Darkin Bloodletters allow us to perpetually have fodder available as sacrifice targets for Spirit Leech, Hate Spike, Rite of Calling, etc.

Regions
Shurima
12 cards
Shadow Isles
28 cards
Rarities
30 900
champion
6
epic
7
rare
9
common
18
Mana cost
0
0
10
1
14
2
4
3
5
4
3
5
3
6
1
7+
Champions
6
5
Thresh
3
Thresh
6
Nasus
3
Nasus
Equipments
3
1
The Darkin Bloodletters
2
The Darkin Bloodletters
1
The Darkin Halberd
1
The Darkin Halberd
Followers
20
1
Baccai Reaper
3
Baccai Reaper
1
The Wings and The Wave
3
The Wings and The Wave
2
Cursed Keeper
3
Cursed Keeper
2
Fading Icon
3
Fading Icon
3
Blighted Caretaker
2
Blighted Caretaker
3
Merciless Hunter
2
Merciless Hunter
4
Camavoran Dragon
1
Camavoran Dragon
4
Spirit Leech
3
Spirit Leech
Spells
11
1
Rite of Calling
1
Rite of Calling
2
Glimpse Beyond
3
Glimpse Beyond
2
Hate Spike
2
Hate Spike
2
Vile Feast
3
Vile Feast
4
Rite of Negation
1
Rite of Negation
7
Atrocity
1
Atrocity
Open deck in builder

This addition really helps de-clunking hands. In the past, it was not uncommon to find ourselves in a position where we had a lot of sacrifice payoff cards but no sacrifice targets. With the current build that’s no longer a position that we’re finding ourselves in. 

You might notice that I have made a few interesting choices with my list, namely the single copy of Atrocity. I’ve found that The Darkin HalberdThe Darkin Halberd and TaaroshTaarosh are suitable enough as an alternate finisher that I don’t feel the need for the second copy of Atro – though it’s certainly a card you could look to add back in. I also run zero copies of Ravenous ButcherRavenous Butcher: after quite a few games and speaking to my friend Garretz, I decided I was happier to just play Rite of Calling for more reliable access to Champs and Champ spells. If you’re encountering a lot of Pirates players you may wish to add the Butchers back in, 0-mana units are great for stabilizing. 

I’ve had a lot of people asking me about the Pirates matchup, not believing it to be good for us. People inquire about this because Kindred Nasus can really struggle to find the win against our bootlegging friends. The thing is, Kindred Nasus and Thresh Nasus are NOT EVEN CLOSE to the same deck – they play out very differently and want to do very different things. The only real similarity is that they both want to eventually Atrocity Nasus into the Nexus. I will 100% go on the record and call Pirates a good matchup for Thresh Nasus: I looked back at my stats and I’ve only lost it twice in over 40 games. You can just trade down the board while playing units on curve – so long as you don’t directly play into a Twisted Fate Red Card, you should be able to keep up on board and threaten a round six Nasus level up. We also have Rite of NegationRite of Negation to stop any potential Decimate lethal. 

Some tips: use Hate SpikeHate Spike before you intend to play a champ, don’t be afraid to play XolaaniXolaani off of The Darkin BloodlettersThe Darkin Bloodletters, and keep your eye out for my guide coming later this week/early next week!


Akshan Lee Sin

Leer’s Experience

Akshan Lee is my favorite deck of the new meta. When Zenith BladeZenith Blade got nerfed, my all-time bestie Zoe Lee died, and with it the hopes to ever see Lee SinLee Sin again. Not that Lee and I could see each other, since he’s blind and all, but you know what I mean.

Regions
Shurima
9 cards
Ionia
31 cards
Rarities
31 200
champion
6
epic
6
rare
16
common
12
Mana cost
0
0
11
1
17
2
2
3
4
4
6
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Akshan
3
Akshan
5
Lee Sin
3
Lee Sin
Followers
12
1
Forsaken Baccai
1
Forsaken Baccai
1
Vastayan Disciple
3
Vastayan Disciple
2
Eye of the Dragon
3
Eye of the Dragon
2
Ionian Hookmaster
3
Ionian Hookmaster
3
Vekauran Vagabond
2
Vekauran Vagabond
Spells
22
1
Ionian Tellstones
2
Ionian Tellstones
1
Momentous Choice
3
Momentous Choice
1
Wuju Style
2
Wuju Style
2
Nopeify!
2
Nopeify!
2
Sonic Wave
3
Sonic Wave
2
The Absolver
3
The Absolver
4
Concussive Palm
2
Concussive Palm
4
Deny
2
Deny
5
Deep Meditation
3
Deep Meditation
Open deck in builder

Thanks to novel Ionia cards like Momentous ChoiceMomentous Choice and Wuju StyleWuju Style, Lee has found a new home in Shurima. The payoff of these double-activate spells is manyfold. 

We trigger Flow cards like Eye of the DragonEye of the Dragon and Deep MeditationDeep Meditation, level Lee SinLee Sin more quickly, and rapidly advance AkshanAkshan’s landmarks. Before, Akshan Lee was a niche counter deck for tournament play only. But with the new cards, the whole archetype leveled up and is now good enough for the ladder.

Don’t take Akshan Lee lightly, though. If you want to slam down strong units and be happy about big stats – turn to Timelines decks. Akshan Lee requires a lot of thought and seemingly weak plays, manytimes floating mana. 

Furthermore, the amount of misplays you will make in your first fifteen games will be immense. You didn’t time your Flow activation right in one round? Too bad, you’re now out of the flow for all following rounds. You miss-timed when Warlord's Hoard flipped? Too bad, your entire seven-round set up for Lee SinLee Sin falls short and you lose.

Why am I telling you how frustrating Akshan Lee can be to pilot? Isn’t this discouraging to hear?

To me, it is the exact opposite. Knowing that every game I could have done something better, and then doing it better is one of the best feelings in the world. Every match you play is a puzzle that needs to be solved and, with time, you become really good at it.

With this explanation, it is easy to see why people often put hours upon hours into the archetype. Once you get hooked, Akshan Lee becomes addicting, and you won’t let go until you’ve mastered the deck. I will publish a guide about Akshan Lee in the coming week, but here are some quick tips:

When in doubt, full mulligan for AkshanAkshan or Vekauran VagabondVekauran Vagabond. AkshanAkshan is to blind monks what Concurrent TimelinesConcurrent Timelines is to Troll Kings. If you draw him, your winning chances double. Don’t get baited into keeping Lee SinLee Sin, we want to find him later with the Relic of PowerRelic of Power

The way you win most games is by flipping Warlord's Hoard the same round you cast The AbsolverThe Absolver onto Lee SinLee Sin and one-turn kill the opponent. That way, you can protect Lee with Shield of the SentinelsShield of the Sentinels in addition to any DenyDeny spells you have in hand.

Pirates is the worst matchup for Akshan Lee, but only if both players play it wrong, or both players play it correctly.

What I mean by this is that you should try to out-race them with AkshanAkshan and DragonlingDragonlings, while dealing the finishing blow with The AbsolverThe Absolver onto a DragonlingDragonling. This way, your opponent won’t be able to deny the heal by casting Noxian FervorNoxian Fervor onto the blocker of your DragonlingDragonling.

On the other hand, if your opponent plays it correctly, they will keep on passing and make your Flow activations for Eye of the DragonEye of the Dragon difficult. Luckily, only high-level Master players know about it, so after reading this you will have improved your winning chances by a lot! =)


Wrapping Up

New cards, new Meta – the new Champs may be a bit dozy (as of right now, only Jax with Vi, and Norra with Nami, make a showing at the top of the meta tier lists charts with WRs above 50%), but long-time favorites have been buffed to very, very playable.

We hope you've enjoyed our first Awakening foray – see you next week, and good luck on the ladder!



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