Best Legends of Runeterra Decks – End of Domination
Not much has changed since last Tuesday or last week, so if you're focusing on a last push climb (before the Domination season ends, and the World Ender season starts on Wednesday 7th next week), the decks above are all very safe bets.
- Katarina Gwen, Kayn Vayne and Teemo Zoe are the top-shelf options when you consider both playrate and winrate, with Kat Gwen the strongest deck in Legends of Runeterra this patch, as it has been for the past couple of weeks,
- The ever-present Annie Jhin and the ascending Jinx Lulu are the other two Top Dogs when we look at winrate, although they are a lot less common than the previous three,
- Several other very strong decks are nibbling at Top Dogs' heels, but it's unlikely that any of them will prove to be better in the next few days until the new World Ender cards arrive.
Something else worth noting, for those of you that are not just thinking about how to end the Domination season, but how to climb quickly once World Ender starts: while there's no way to know how the meta will look like a week from now, it's usually a safe bet that, during the early days of new expansion (with lots of pilots testing unrefined brews), decks that are strong now will be strong then, provided they are not nerfed.
As it happens, thus far we have a single confirmed nerf (and no buffs) that will arrive with World Ender…
… which directly affects Teemo Zoe.
With the above being said, let's jump into the data and check today's best Runeterra decks!
Technical note – About overall archetypes and specific decklists, and what we mean by "LoR best decks"
Most data sites (including MaRu's Meta Tier List) and articles like Leer's Monday Meta Report sort Legends of Runeterra meta decks by archetype ("archetype" being the aggregate of decks with a specific champion combination) – that's also how matchup tables are shown in pretty much all data sites.
In this article, we'll sort these Legends of Runeterra decks by the best specific decklist for each archetype – since in each archetype some decks fare better than others (and sometimes the difference is quite noticeable), we'll broadly group the best LoR decks in four arbitrary categories, by amount of games played in the data samples we check:
- Juggernauts: LoR decks with more than 2100 games – these are the best tried-and-true, top meta decks in Legends of Runeterra.
- Heavyweights: LoR decks with between 2100 and 900 games played – other excellent choices, with large enough samples to confidently say, "Yeah, this works."
- Punching Up: LoR decks with between 900 and 400 games played – we're entering the Land of Small Sample Sizes here, on top of the meta being up in the air, but as far as numbers go, these decks can put up one hell of a fight.
- YMMV: decks with less than 400 games in the last three days – fringe, risky stuff, but here's where you usually find the spice!
For this article, in all cases we'll look at decks in Platinum and above, and in the last three days, unless stated otherwise – and when talking about LoR decks in general, or best Legends of Runeterra decks in particular, we'll always be referring to specific lists (while reserving "archetype" to denominate the aggregate of all decks with a particular champion pair). As a rule of thumb, decks with a winrate (WR) above 52% catch our eye, above 53% are eye-widening, and anything with a WR over 55% is exceptional.
On the other hand, do notice that when talking about matchup tables, it's always about archetypes – in other words, we'll recommend which are the best Legend of Runeterra decks (ie. specific decklist) you can choose to face the most popular archetypes (since you'll find all versions in the LoR ladder).
Last but not least: all stats and recommendations above are for choosing the best LoR deck for the Legends of Runeterra Ladder environment – the Best-of-Three format (found in Tournaments and Gauntlets) is a very different kettle of fish!
If you have any feedback on how these decks could be showcased differently, do let me know! =)
Juggernauts – Best Legends of Runeterra Meta Decks
Here we showcase LoR decks with more than 2100 games and good-to-great WR – by current numbers, these are the best meta decks in Legends of Runeterra. Like last Tuesday, we will find a single deck in this category today.
Katarina Gwen. ft Elise
If climbing fast is your sole concern, stop reading and just jump onto the LoR ladder with this:
Although when looking at whole archetypes the numbers may seem very close, when checking specific decks Red Gwen is a slam-dunk choice: 4,200 games in the last three days, the most played list in all three shards (AM, EMEA and APAC, and with EMEA in particular being in love with this build), and punching above the 56% WR mark: the best Red Gwen deck is also the best deck in Runeterra, and that's about it.
Kat Gwen has three weak spots: Jinx Lulu above all, which is a very bad matchup, and to a lesser extent Draven Jinx and Plunder. Everything else is either roughly even, or fairly favored for these three ladies.
Further reading: Scissorsbox's Hallowed Attacks and Harrowing Combos – A Katarina Gwen Deck Guide.
Heavyweights – Strong LoR Meta Decks
These LoR decks have between 900 and 2100 games played in the last three days – solid picks for climbing the Runeterra ladder.
Annie Twisted Fate, ft. Kat
Annie TF has turned the tides (it had been pushed down to 50% WR last week) and, thanks to solid matchups against the other Top Dogs, the best Annie TF deck is currently the second most popular from among all archetypes, with nearly 2,000 games played in the last three days with a solid 52%+ WR.
As said, Annie TF is very good against Kayn Vayne and Teemo Zoe, and has a slight edge on Kat Gwen, and can consistently beat Jhinnie – while a lower WR overall when compared to the other Top Dogs, it's actually the best option if your main goal is to beat said Top Dogs.
Further reading: For tips and tricks, you may want to check Dr Chekhov's Annie TF Deck Guide.
With two slightly different builds (exact same follower composition, only slight tweaks to spells), Kayn Vayne looks like it could have turned out to be the strongest deck in Runeterra if given a bit more time.
Kayn Vayne murders Jinx Lulu, is roughly even against Kat Gwen and Teemo Zoe, but loses to Annie TF and Pantheon Varus.
Further reading: PakiInPyjamas Kayn and Vayne Bring the Pain – A LoR Deck Guide.
The pesky pair murders Taliyah Ziggs, is good against Plunder and Pantheon Varus, can go toe-to-toe with Kayn Vayne; slightly the underdog to Kat Gwen Elise, cries when confronting Annie TF, Tryndamere Trundle, Jhinnie and Jinx Lulu.
By the way, for those fond of planning ahead: one of Teemo Zoe's key tools, namely The Sudden Surge, will get nerfed once World Ender arrives – it's hard to gauge how the next expansion will affect this deck, though, since according to Yangzera the archetype will get a very cool new toy (Winged Messenger, which Yang thinks will be broken in Elusive decks).
Further reading: Leer's Trickster Never Loses – A Teemo Zoe Elusives LoR Deck Guide.
Punching Up – Runeterra Decks Doing Great
Runeterra decks with between 400 and 900 games in the last three days – while some may be just a fluke, more often than not should end up being on the strong side of things.
⭐Rising Star – Jinx Lulu
Jinx Lulu is, a bit like Kayn Vayne, a deck that perhaps could have proven to be the best fo the format if given more time: after a very rough start (the performance of early Lulu Jinx builds was around 46% by the first Sunday post-patch), pilots tweaked and refined what has been, in the last two weeks, the deck that gained the most traction: nearly 800 games with its best deck today (up from 600 last Tuesday), and always punching above 57%.
Its matchup spread is very good: Jinx Lulu is a serious underdog to Kayn Vayne, but in turn beats Kat Elise (being among its best counters), Teemo Zoe, Plunder and Jhinnie.
Further reading: ThChEm's Lulu and Rockets – A Jinx Lulu LoR Deck Guide.
Great against Teemo Zoe, quite good against Kayn Vayne – slightly the underdog against Kat Gwen, and would rather not bump into Feel the Rush or Plunder.
Further reading: Yangzera's Annie goes to Stack School – A Jhin Annie Aggro Guide.
⭐Rising Star – Bandle Ezreal Seraphine
Even with such a settled meta (and with less incentives for breaking the format, given the lack of Seasonal Tournament), brewers will brew: a symphony of one-ofs, Ezreal Seraphine Bandle City is very much a thing…
… and said thing has punched other things hard enough to show a 52%+ WR in nearly 600 games in the last three days.
Fluke or real thing? We've got about five days left to find out!
Gangplank Sejuani, aka Plunder
Cooling off yet a bit more (it was already losing steam last Tuesday) the best Gangplank Sejuani deck strikes at around 52% now. It consistently beats Kat Gwen and Jhinnie, but gets demolished by Jinx Lulu, dies horribly to Kayn Vayne, and is also an underdog to Teemo Zoe.
Further reading: PakiInPyjamas Plunder, Now with Tentacles – A Gangplank Sejuani LoR Deck Guide.
Tryndamere Trundle, aka Feel The Rush
Sticking to its build from last Tuesday, the best Feel the Rush deck has been punching above 53% as of late. Has an uphill struggle versus Kat Gwen, Kayn Vayne and Plunder – but if you want to ruin Teemo Zoe's day, this is the brew to bring; also solid into Jinx Lulu and very good against Jhinnie.
Looks like we can't write one of these articles without reminding folks not to sleep on Privateers: not new, not flashy, nothing fancy… yet yes punchy, yes climby, yes job done!
Further reading: for the other side of this matchup, check PakiInPyjamas' By Her Guns Shall Noxus Rise – A Miss Fortune Swain LoR Deck Guide.
If none of the above suit your playstyle, or fit your wildcard & shards budget, then here are some other well-tested options performing at around 51% WR.
- Ekko Jinx (horrible into Kayn Vayne, solid overall),
- Bandle Rumble Sion, doubly so if you love Mechs,
- Trundle Timelines, for those loving a lot of choices and an extra bit of RNG,
- Taliyah Ziggs, if Landmarks and high-powered tempo swings are your thing,
Your Mileage May Vary – Fringe LoR Decks
Runeterra decks with less than 400 games played in the last few days, and solid to great WR.
Finishing the season in an upswing, the best Pantheon Varus deck gains both in playrate (close to 350 games in the last three days, when it was at 250 last Tuesday) and skyrockets in performance: over 60% now, up from 55%. It's also doing great as an archetype in general (the second most popular version performs very well).
Matchups against Top Dogs are a bit of a split (Pantheon Varus beats Kat Gwen and Kayne Vayne, but gets steamrolled by Jhinnie, Teemo Zoe and Annie TF) so keep an eye on your pocket meta if you take it to ladder. Leer covers the deck in detail in his They Can Stall Their Fate, but Cannot Deny It — A Varus Pantheon LoR Deck Guide.
Once one of the strongest decks in Runeterra (back in the first half of Domination, when Vayne and Seraphine ruled) and then rudely pushed to the sidelines with the latest balance patch, Rumble Vayne now manages a last-ditch comeback, punching above 55% in 300+ games. A deck with more wrinkles and nuances than it seems at quick glance, which Card Gamer dissects in his Tumble on the Rumble – A Vayne Rumble LoR Deck Guide.
🔥Hot! – Elise Gwen, aka Spider-Gwen
Elise Gwen is on a rampage – hasn't yet caught the attention of more than a handful of pilots, but it's for the second week in a row the highest-WR deck in the fringes, always punching above 60%.
Further reading: Scissorsbox's Spider-Gwen: an Elise Gwen Deck Guide.
⭐Rising Star – Zilean Bilgewater
Early this patch, Taliya Reaver's Row was widely popular – despite being a horrible deck. Zilean, as of late, has stepped in and shown that there may be something here: 55% WR in close to 300 games.
⭐Rising Star – Fizz Twisted Fate
A blast from the past: this champion pair was quite the powerhouse, once upon a time. Is hard to guess with this little data whether it has potential again, or it's just a few old-timers taking their favorite duo for a spin – a WR north of 57% in about 250 games is worth paying a lot of attention, though.
Akshan Sivir Varus
This brew is pretty likely the real deal, as it was already doing well last Tuesday, and making some waves last week: Akshan Sivir meets part of the Cultist package, and from 54% last Tuesday it jumps to 57% today, with playrate growing to around 250 games.
Deep, aka Nautilus Maokai
It's indeed a good time to take Deep for a spin! Close to 54% WR today, up from 52% last Tuesday – if you've never piloted Nautilus Maokai, it's a great chance to try two champs that are hardly ever seen outside this archetype.
It would be an insult to Runeterra's history to close our last report of the Domination season without showcasing one of LoR's oldest archetypes, which this patch brought back from total obscurity: Draven Jinx, also known as Discard Aggro, has been made very playable again after Jinx's buff, and currently smacks above the 54% WR mark.
Further reading: Card Gamer's Return of the Queen – A Refresher on Draven Jinx Discard Aggro.
And thus Domination nears to a conclusion!
Hope you have enjoyed today's selection, and good luck with your last-push climb! =)
Any questions or comments, or more data you may need, feel free to:
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