Best Legends of Runeterra Decks – Welcome to World's End
- As seen yesterday, Aatrox decks are the most popular both in the LoR ladder and in Worlds (more than half of the World Championship competitors will bring him to the fray), with Aatrox Kayn being particularly strong.
- Kayle and Ryze, on the contrary, have been anything from lackluster to downright awful on ladder, and with zero Worlds showing.
- Champions' Strength is, along Aatrox, the most impactful card thus far with several decks at both Worlds and ladder built around the Demacian spell. As MajiinBae joked, "You either die to Champions' Strength, or you live long enough to see yourself die to the second attack from Champions' Strength."
In today's article, we'll showcase twenty-one of the best LoR decks, including the best Aatrox decks, several combinations of Piltover and Demacia (often with Jinx) putting Champions' Strength to scarily good use, several Bandle Demacia decks (often with Norra) with a similar gameplan, and several other strong options like Annie Jhin, Red Gwen and Jinx Lulu, along with quite a few fringe, spicy brews like Ziggs Reliquary or Jinx Lucian Teemo.
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, but as far as numbers go, these decks can put up one hell of a fight into the current LoR meta.
- 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 win rate (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. With only forty hours of World Ender data, we find a sole Juggernaut today, making huge waves in Worlds and Ladder.
A deck pioneered by ABG Aurora at Worlds (with AragOrnn also on a similar idea), Aatrox Kayne is the most popular deck on ladder by a huge margine. The current best version, with slight tweaks from Aurora's, has put up a WR above 60% in more than 2,500 games thus far, with other two very similar versions (including Aurora's exact decklist) performing great, too.
Aatrox Kayne consistently beats most of last meta's Top Dogs (such as Kat Gwen, Teemo Zoe, Jinx Lulu), and thus far seems superior to other Aatrox decks.
On the other hand, new Champions' Strength decks, combining Demacia with either Piltover & Zaun (such as Lone Jinx) or Bandle City (like Norra Teemo) have quite the good odds against Kaytrox, and good ol' Annie Jhin is a strong counter too.
Heavyweights – Strong LoR Meta Decks
These LoR decks have between 900 and 2100 games since the World Ender expansion landed – solid picks for climbing the Runeterra ladder.
Teddy's Lone Strong Jinx
Looking by WR alone, the deck we'll see Teddy play in Worlds later today is also among the scariest things you can bump into while climbing the LoR ladder: crazy-high WR (well over 60%) across 1,800+ games, pushed in no small part due to Lone Jinx being excellent against all Aatrox decks.
Lone Jinx is as of now the punchiest, most popular deck from among the many Piltover & Zaun and Demacia blends going the "Let's fill the board while discounting Champions' Strength" route (several of which we'll showcase today). Acorn, the Hextechnician is a match made in Heaven for the new Demacian spell, and Piltover has no lack of draw to dig for the cards it needs while flooding the board.
There's not too much data to speak confidently about other matchups, but in small samples Lone Jinx is solid versus Kat Gwen and Jhinnie, while apparently losing to Plunder, FTR and Norra Teemo.
There are, both at Worlds and ladder, two different concepts pairing Aatrox and Vayne. One of them (about which we'll talk later since, while very potent, is a lot less popular) adds Aatrox to a shell similar to Quinn Vayne Fiora from last season.
The other would be this one…
… and takes inspiration from the deck which Smooth Swoleoist has brought to Worlds, and focuses a lot more on main-decking Equipment.
Current performance is excellent, punching above 56% in more than 1,500 games – matchup data, though, is a bit of a red flag: Aatrox Vayne bullies weak brews (read: Kayle or Ryze decks) while folding to Aatrox Kayn, Jhinnie, Kat Gwen, and Jinx Demacia.
NOTE: Thanks to Derpyologist1 for catching a typo in the matchups description.
Katarina Gwen, ft Elise
A very common deck at Worlds (featured in six out of sixteen lineups), this Domination Juggernaut is still in the race, striking above 56% in more than a thousand games.
Its best times may be behind, though, as it loses to both Aatrox Kayn and Champions' Strength decks.
Caitlyn Jayce Lucian Teemo
MatiMayo just got to the last stage of Worlds with Lucian Teemo Jinx (a deck that, thus far, has not spread to the ladder in meaningful numbers, and that we'll showcase at the end of today's article). The LoR ladder has developed its own Lucian twist, adding him to a Caitlyn Jayce Teemo mix, and with great results: the deck performs even better than yesterday, punching well above 60% in around a thousand games.
Seems like a very good counter to Aatrox decks – not enough data to speak about other matchups, though.
Exact same build as last week, and similarly to Kat Gwen, Kayn Vayne looks like a Domination Juggernaut that will have a harsh time in the upcoming meta: current performance is excellent (WR above 55%), but poor matchups into Aatrox decks and Champions' Strenght decks may signal the end of Kayn Vayne's dominance.
Strong Jinx Teemo
A similar take to Lone Jinx, also putting up scary numbers (WR well above 60% in a bit more than 900 games since World Ender landed).
Jinx Teemo brutalizes Aatrox decks, while also looking strong into Jhinnie – but seems to lose against Lone Jinx, so that version may ultimately be a better choice if you enjoy this deck.
Punching Up – Runeterra Decks Doing Great
Runeterra decks with between 400 and 900 games in the last forty hours – pilots beware, we're sailing into small data samples
"Some get overly attached to novelty," said the assassin, slowly shaking his masked head. "No respect for the classics."
"I know, right?" the blazing brat giggled. "Imagine playing new cards!"
Further reading: Yangzera's Annie goes to Stack School – A Jhin Annie Aggro Guide.
Jayce Lux Seraphine
One of WhatAmI's Worlds creations (we'll find all three today, with varying degrees of popularity), Jayce Lux Seraphine is yet another example of the Piltover & Zaun + Demacia "Fill board, Champions' Strength, profit!" strategy, and excellent against Aatrox decks.
Quinn Vayne, ft. Aatrox
The exact deck that Teddy will bring to bear in his Worlds group later today, paring Aatrox and Vayne but with a fairly different idea than the first Aatrox Vayne deck that we saw a bit before. In this case, the shell resembles the Quinn Vayne Fiora deck from last Season, with Aatrox taking Fiora's spot to provide a consistent win condition.
This version beats some strong Old Dogs (such as Jhinnie and Kat Gwen), while folding to Aatrox Kayn and Champions' Strength decks.
Yang's list from his new Aatrox decks article keeps punching up, with a WR over 56% in nearly 500 games – do notice that there's a different take on the same champion pair, which Da Tank Buster is bringing to Worlds, but thus far Tank's version is not so strong on the LoR ladder.
Turns out that Piltover & Zaun is not the only region that can flood the board while digging for Champions' Strength, and a lot of decks are turning to Bandle City in general, and Norra in particular, to enact that plan.
Three Worlds competitors brought Norra to the fray, but Norra Teemo is a specific ladder development, and thus far the best-performing deck with the Bandlemacia mix: an amazing 60%+ WR in nearly 600 games, crushing Aatrox decks in the process and, although there's too little data on the specific matchup, may be superior to Lone Jinx Demacia (although, apparently, not to Jinx Teemo).
Annie TF, ft. Kat
By the end of last Season, Annie TF was enjoying a nice spot in the Runeterra meta (being a solid deck into all three of the strongest, most popular decks), and it's still a very good early choice this Season.
Same bittersweet story as other Old Top Dogs: great overall performance (punching above 55% in nearly 500 games) with the exact same list that saw Jinx Lulu become one of the best decks last Season… but poor odds both against Aatrox and Champ Strength, which may signal an end to good chompin' times.
Further reading: ThChEm's Lulu and Rockets – A Jinx Lulu LoR Deck Guide.
Fizz Heimerdinger Norra
Another of WhatAmI's Worlds brew, in this case going for the Bandlemacia region mix. A solid 53% WR, but looks weak into Aatrox decks – if you enjoy this play pattern, you may want to look into Norra Teemo, which we showcased a bit before.
Fizz Norra Poppy
Smooth's version of a Bandlemacia "Dig, Flood, Champ Strength" deck for Worlds: WR over 60% in around 450 games.
Your Mileage May Vary – Fringe LoR Decks
Runeterra decks with less than 400 games played in the last forty hour – very little data, so these may range from total flukes to the next big thing.
Aphelios Leona Zoe
Third and last of WhatAmI's World brews – the least played on the Runeterra ladder thus far (a bit above 300 games), but with bonkers winrate.
By the end of last Season, some top players were turning to Targon as a second region for Jinx – Jinx Zoe has thus far made a promising transition into World Ender, punching at 58% in around 250 games.