Best LoR Decks – The Show Must Go On
As of Thursday, after two weeks since the LoR Variety Patch landed, these are the 6 most popular LoR decks according to Legna the Mastering Runeterra Meta Tier List:
Sources: MaRu's data (which samples Plat+ players) and Legna's data (which samples High Diamond & Masters players) – both sources in turn get their data directly from Riot (via Riot's API).
Overall LoR Ladder Trends
This is what you get when you wish for the Demacia tide to abate: Annie Jhin, not a single card changed since Yang wrote its deck guide almost a year ago, has taken over the LoR meta in a blazing hail of burning bullets.
But if Annie Jhin's stunning ascent is not exactly what you were wishing for, either, fear not: every predator in Runeterra is some other deck's prey, and if there's one thing Annie Jhin is afraid of, that would be…
LoR Meta FAQs
Where does this data come from?
Directly from Riot (via Riot's API) – Liver, our wonderful coder and unsung MaRu 🐐 (also in charge of designing the website) makes the data automagically appear in our meta tier list and meta stats page, and all-around LoR 🐐 Legna shares his data (from the same source, although following a different set of players) with us too.
Which is the best LoR deck?
Short answer: Depends on how you define "best", of course! =)
Much longer answer: Check the Technical Note at the end of this article, above all about the differences between "archetypes" and "decks" in Legends of Runeterra's data.
Practical answer: As of today, Annie Jhin, Jax Ornn, Garen Jarvan and Jayce Lux if you want to go with decks that are fairly common in the Runeterra ladder – or Miss Fortune, with either Twisted Fate or Swain, if you want something less played but with amazing win rate.
Which is the highest win rate deck in LoR?
Among all decks showcased today: Pirates, which come in two versions: Miss Fortune Twisted Fate (which is closest to what traditional Pirates look in LoR), and Miss Fortune Swain (sometimes nicknamed "Privateers") which emerged after Swain's buff.
Among decks with more than 2,100 games played in the last three days: Annie Jhin, hands down.
How do I beat…
How do I beat Annie Jhin? You gotta think like a Pirate! =)
Also Elites (aka Garen Jarvan) work very well, too.
How do I beat Jayce Lux? Think like a Pirate, too! =)
Or bring Jax Ornn to the fray: it brutally demolishes the Big Spells duo. Taliyah Ziggs or Evelynn Kai'Sa are other good options.
How do I beat Elites? Heimer Jayce or Jax Ornn. Or Heimer Norra, if you want something a bit more off the beaten path.
Juggernauts – Best Legends of Runeterra Decks
Here we showcase LoR decks with more than 2100 games in the last three days, and good-to-great win rate – the best tried-and-true tools the LoR meta has to offer!
Oh, how the tide swells!
Bullet buff and blazing brat were the highest-winrate deck last week, but only with about 500 games played. They had jumped to around 3000 games played (in a three-day sample) by last Tuesday, and now they sit with 4,700+ games in Legna's data, and a whopping 5,500+ in MaRu's LoR stats.
And that's with their best list; there are a couple of other version (tweaking just a single card) but they do slightly worse – Annie Jhin is as close as it gets to an immutable, perfect classic:
Bullet buff and blazing brat lose to Elites and Heimer Jayce, but prey upon Jayce Lux, Eve Kai'Sa, Jax Ornn, Nasus Zilean and Taliyah Ziggs (and farm Ryze like nobody's business) – and with amazing odds in most cases.
Lone Demacia: Garen Jarvan
The best Garen Jarvan deck sticks to its swords and keeps the same list we saw last week (there are a couple of other versions that depart from Demacian doctrine and add a few more spells, but are currently faring worse) – around 2,800 games played in the last three days, and performing better in Legna's data (57%) than in MaRu's (55%), suggesting the deck may fare better at higher levels.
Elites currently lack strikingly bad matchups outside of Heimer Jayce and Jax Ornn – they are what Leer calls an all-rounder deck, and most of their other bad matchups (Jayce Lux, Nasus Zilean, Taliyah Ziggs, Pyke Rek'sai) are only slightly disfavored.
And they have an abundance of prey: Eve Kai'Sa, Caitlyn Teemo, Ryze, Azirelia and, most important, Annie Jhin, are all welcome sights.
Heavyweights – Strong LoR Meta Decks
These Legends of Runeterra decks have between 900 and 2100 games in the last three days – solid picks for climbing the LoR ladder!
The Weapon Forge: Jax Ornn
Emerging last week as the answer to the Demacian tide, Weaponmaster and Forge-god have found a comfortable spot for themselves in the current LoR meta: 55% win rate (perfect overlap between Legan's & MaRu's data) across about 1,800+ games.
Forge-god and Weaponmaster reliably beat Jayce Lux, Eve Kai'Sa, Elites, Lurkers and Nasus Zilean – but have an awful time against Annie Jhin, and get steamrolled by Ryze, while also being quite the underdogs against Heimer Jayce.
Lurkers, aka Pyke Rek'sai
The Runeterra tide is still perfect for Lurkers, and they keep pyking quite a punch! And, interestingly, they do better in Legna's data (nearly 55%) than in MaRu's (close to 53%), suggesting they are another deck that finds better prey at upper ranks.
Amazing odds against Ryze and Eve Kai'Sa, good odds versus Elites, slight edge on Annie Jhin – Lurkers' current predators are Jayce Lux, Heimer Norra, Taliyah Ziggs, and Gwen Quinn.
The Six-Plus Pair: Jayce Lux
No longer the powerhouse it was last week, Jayce Lux's decks are in violent turmoil, with lots of different version bringing a wide range of results. The best Jayce Lux deck, with around 1,400 games played and a winrate hovering at a great 55%, would be the same as two days ago:
Notice how the above build does not include Blocking Badgerbear – other Jayce Lux versions, though, like this one, put the grumpy bad boy to good use (while ditching The Forge Of Tomorrow).
In other words, far from a solved archetype!
Jayce Lux is looking like an all-rounder deck: it has just a single truly bad matchup (Jax Ornn), with most other confrontations against strong decks (be it good matchups like Elites, Ryze, Heimer Jayce, and Lurkers, or bad matchups like Annie Jhin, Eve Kai'Sa, and Taliyah Ziggs) falling close or inside the 45/55% range.
Not making too many waves, the Landmark Duo is low-key one of the most solid decks this patch, showing good performance no matter how the meta shifts.
Two days ago, it seemed undecided between its Ancient Preparations + Rockbear Shepherd version (this one), and its Hexplosive Minefield + Waste Walker version, seen below:
… and the conundrum remains! MaRu's data show the latter as superior (55% win rate versus 53%, and in a much larger sample), while Legna shows the exact mirroring performance (53% for the Minefield version, 55% for the Ancient Preparations version).
Yet again an archetype that is not solved yet!
Overall, the Landmark Duo is not happy about Annie Jhin's return to center stage, remains unhappy about Jax Ornn's sustained success, and provides a great tool to punch Jayce decks, Elites and Lurkers in the face.
Quite the old pairing making a return – these two are perhaps the quintessential LoR midrange version of a swiss army knife, packing everything from denies to a solid curve to offensive spells to refill.
Same list as two days ago…
… and showing overlapping performance in MaRu & Legna: very solid 53% win rate.
Fiora Shen is amazing against Elites, Jax Ornn and Lurkers (and Kayle Leona, should they find each other), with also an edge against Ryze and Eve Kai'Sa. Its worst nightmare is Taliyah Ziggs, with Heimer Jayce and Plunder also being quite rough.
Don't sleep on these opulent ladies, folks! =)
Another low-key success this patch, Gwen Quinn today showcases an amazing 57% performance across 1,300+ games in MaRu's data – does fall to 55% and 800+ in Legna's, suggesting it may find things harsher the higher it goes, but still amazing numbers all around.
The opulent ladies do have a rather big problem with Elites, but they run circles around Annie Jhin, put Jayce Lux in check, and farm both Ryze and Lurkers like they are cherry-picking in summer.
Annie Ezreal, ft. Katarina & Broadmane
Although Annie has reconnected with Jhin, she still has the spotlight in another quite scary deck, marrying Piltover & Zaun pings with Noxus' control package and a Lord Broadmane top-end.
Its prey is mostly weaker decks, though, with the majority of the strong decks (Elites and Jayce decks above all, but also Annie Jhin, Jax Ornn and Plunder) being uphill struggles.
Yeah, you read that right: Braum Vladimir, aka The Scargrounds, has carved a nice niche in the current LoR meta!
And it's one of the decks for which Legna's data shows better performance (an amazing 56%) than MaRu's (close to 53%), suggesting the upper field is more welcoming to this Tough duo – bear in mind, though, that Scargrounds (like, say, Lurkers) is an archetype with die-hard fans that will play it come Hell or high water, meaning it's reasonable to expect its current performance to be pushed by very experienced pilots.
This fairly old duo has found quite a bit of success against the current field – Norra archetypes abound, yet Veigar looks thus far her punchiest partner, with win rate above 53% in both data samples, across 1000+ games.
Amazing odds versus Annie Jhin, and good odds against Elites; close to auto-lose versus Ryze and quite awful against Jayce Lux, though.
Another Norra build, and also going for Shadow Isles as second region – performance only slightly below Norra Veigar in both play and win rate.
Yet another low-key success this patch, showcasing an excellent near-55% win rate…
… although it's arguably among the worst decks to face Annie Jhin with, though, and also truly awful against Jax Ornn, so this deck's good stars may be beginning to wane.
Privateers, aka Miss Fortune Swain
… aaand here she is: the Captain you want in your ship, if you're considering sailing Jhinnie-infested seas!
First the cons, though: Privateers (same as Pirates, as we'll see in detail later) can't make a dent in Elites unless they are high-rolling hard. Those big Demacia butts are too damn big.
Annie Jhin, or Jayce Lux? Or that silly Mage that thinks he can block with Runes?
Bloodbath, that's what happens when they step in Miss Fortune and Swain's way.
Privateers currently boast the second-highest win rate among all decks we'll showcase today – with Pirates, in the "Punching Up" section below, being the highest.
Evelynn has withdrawn a bit to the sides, after stealing quite a bit of the spotlight when this patch landed – yet still she packs a punch, either with Kai'Sa here, or paired with Viego, as we'll discuss in a bit. The keyword ladies have a major problem with Annie Jhin and Jax Ornn, but their best deck still puts a very solid 53% WR in about 1,000 games
Outshined by Lux as the best Jayce deck, Professor and Student remain quite the solid weapon of choice for the Runeterra ladder (and, as usual, showcase a metric ton of slightly different versions – but, tellingly, most of them with good to great performance nowadays).
The most popular Heimer Jayce deck, seen below, punches at 55% in close to 1,000 games, and it's in a very good spot against the current field: good odds against Annie Jhin, Elites and Jax Ornn, an edge over Ryze, just slightly disfavored against Jayce Lux, and only Taliyah Ziggs as a truly bad matchup.
Not Looking Good
Nasus Zilean is very popular, and may show promise once refined, but is thus far a poor archetype to bring to ladder.
The same is true for Renekton Bilgewater (a Shurima Allegiance deck with a The List splash) and Katarina Yasuo – in spite of some pilots showing great results, these lists show mediocre to bad overall performance.
Kindred Nasus Senna has also deflated quite a bit, and is no longer a deck we can confidently recommend.
Punching Up – Runeterra Decks Doing Great
Runeterra decks with between 450 and 900 games in the last three days – we're sailing into small data samples, yet all decks here have quite a few games under their belts.
Gangplank Sejuani, aka Plunder
As Leer noted last Monday, Plunder is the archetypal all-rounder deck, and that has been true for a very long time.
That's not to say it lacks great matchups, though! Plunder wrecks Jayce Lux, Lurkers, and Eve Kai'Sa – but, when looking at matchups against the majority of the strong decks, odds fall in the 45/55% range.
If you're looking for a deck with a fair chance against pretty much everything, and for whom nearly no confrontation being an auto-win or an auto-lose, Plunder remains among the best choices LoR has to offer!
Kayle is, like Evelynn, another LoR champion that started this patch strong, but now has withdrawn a bit: Kayle Elites is still a thing, but a far cry from the powerhouse it was the first Friday after the patch landed; and on its part, Kayle Leona can still crush foes underfoot, but its play rate (around 700 games with its most popular version) is only a fraction of what it showed two days into the patch.
The above being said, Kayle Leona still proudly carries the Targon torch, and is a very solid choice for pilots that prefer Targon above all.
Another of the decks that we could classify under the "Has Found a Cozy Niche" category, Eve Viego shows up with the exact same deck as last week, and with a solid 53% punch across 700+ games – and, although losing horribly to Ryze, has game against Elites, Jax Ornn, and Taliyah Ziggs.
All in all, it has to be said that the buffs to Evelynn's followers did hit the mark perfectly: two very playable, while clearly not broken, decks for everybody's favorite Lady of Pain!
Pirates, aka Miss Fortune Twisted Fate
Alright, time to talk (again) about the real Lady of Pain, though: Miss Fortune!
Her pairing with Swain is the most popular, yet her partnership with Twisted Fate is the scariest of the two – Pirates is the deck with the highest winrate right now, for decks with more than 300 games played in the last three days: a ridiculously high 61%, to be precise!
As noted for Privateers, Pirates get stonewalled by Garen and his beefy Elites; and Norra decks are a nightmare, with how easily they flood the board. But Pirates can teach Annie Jhin a bloody lesson about murdering foes, wreck Jayce Lux most fouly, and have a huge edge on Ryze.
If you want to hit the hammer while the iron is hot, Pirates is the hottest thing right now!
Now here's an oddity: a very different take on Zed Ephemerals from what we usually see with Hecarim Zed – very low to the ground, and running three copies of Encroaching Shadows. Probably the experiment of some small team of dedicated players (given how few versions there are), and with the main variant showing a stellar 56% win rate across close to 600 games.
Your Mileage May Vary – Fringe LoR Decks
Legends of Runeterra decks with less than 450 games played in the last three days – very little data, so these may range from total flukes… to the next big thing.
The Fated warrior has made a showing in the fringes of the meta! A fairly solid 52% win rate in about 400 games in MaRu's data, although pilots beware: almost non-existent in Legna's, so this may be a Platinum-only fluke.
Rumble Vayne is showing its teeth again (for those that weren't around Runeterra last year, this used to be one of the strongest LoR decks some months ago), and in this case with consistent results in both data samples.