Best LoR Decks for a Last-Push Climb!
As of Thursday, (and only a few days before the next LoR expansion, Glory in Navori, reaches Runeterra!) 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
All in all, not too many changes when comparing with last week – Annie Jhin has cemented itself as one of the best deck in Runeterra, with Garen Elites breathing down its neck.
And, not shown when you look at data by archetypes, but very clearly (as we'll see in detail below) when you check specific decks, Pirates is doing wonderfully well and completes the current Top Triad – and there a strong argument for it being the best LoR deck right now.
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, Garen Elites and Pirates. Annie Ezreal (usually with Kat) and Gwen Quinn are also looking great.
Which is the highest win rate deck in LoR?
Among all decks showcased today: Pirates, starring Miss Fortune and Twisted Fate.
Among decks with more than 2,100 games played in the last three days: That would be, again, Pirates!
How do I beat…
How do I beat Annie Jhin? You gotta think like a Pirate! =)
Elites (aka Garen Jarvan) work very well, too.
How do I beat Elites? Heimer Jayce, Jax Ornn or Norra Veigar are your best bets here.
How do I beat Pirates? Elites do a very good job here, and Norra Veigar is a good choice too.
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!
Bullet buff and pyromaniac brat are poised to finish this Ranked season as the top deck in Runeterra, when you consider both play rate and win rate – 4,500+ games with their most popular version, seen below (or, if you wanna go all hipstery and trendy, you can switch one Arachnoid Sentry for one Sigil of Malice), and rocking a 56%+ win rate, just like last week.
Our grinning murderers lose to Elites and Heimer Jayce (pretty badly in both cases), get roflstomped by Pirates, and are slightly disfavored versus Annie Ezreal – yet, in spite of Annie Jhin being the underdog against all these very popular decks, its huge edge on weaker brews (Ryze, Jayce Lux, Eve Kai'Sa, Jax Ornn, Akshan Varus, Taliyah Ziggs, and the list keeps going) more than makes up for its bad matchups.
Lone Demacia: Garen Jarvan
A single Jarvan is the best Jarvan, it seems, and although Elites versions abound (including some with a Kayle splash, which by now has proven much inferior and we won't recommend today), what was best last week – with a single copy of the Demacian Prince – is also the best Garen Jarvan deck this week, strongly suggesting this is a solved blend against the current field:
Punching at 56% across 3,800 games in MaRu's data, and improving to 58% in Legna's sample (a trend seen also with Annie Jhin), Elites are as solid a bet as you can find if you want to climb the LoR ladder before the season ends: while Elites have a couple of fairly bad matchups (Heimer Jayce, Jax Ornn, Taliyah Ziggs), they are otherwise a fairly well-rounded deck without too many weaknesses. And, like Annie Jhin, it beats several of its good matchups (Annie decks and Pirates in particular) by a huge margin, cementing Elites' place in the current LoR meta.
Pirates, aka Miss Fortune Twisted Fate
Fortune favors performance!
A bit of a fringe option last week, when it only showcased about 300 games, Pirates' play rate has grown a mind-boggling 800% and now sits at nearly 2,400 games played, with an equally brain-blowing win rate: 60%.
Which, by the way, is the highest from among all decks showcased today!
If you want to climb the ladder fast and all-guns-blazing, look no further: Pirates it is. Also if you want to play with Twisted Fate before he gets rotated (most likely next week) – there's little we know about how rotation will work, but TF has been confirmed as one of the Champs that will only see play in the Eternal format.
At any rate, Miss Fortune's merry bunch demolishes Annie Jhin (which explains in part Pirates' awesome performance) while also nuking Jayce decks, Ryze, Lurkers, and anything that fails to get on board fast. Its main showstoppers are Elites (a fairly lousy matchup) and Norra decks of all stripes.
Annie Ezreal, ft. Katarina & Broadmane
Another deck showing a huge spike in play rate, Annie Ezreal has proven a very successful archetype. Some versions have toyed with replacing one copy of Formula with Evil Imperfectionist, but the best Annie Ezreal deck remains the same as last week:
This pingy trio has a small edge on Annie Jhin, reliably beats Lurkers and Gwen Quinn, and is one of the few decks with very good odds against Plunder. Has a hard time against all Jayce flavors, Elites is a rough matchup, and is one of the few strong decks that loses badly to Ryze.
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 Rune Mage: Ryze
Always popular but usually sub-par, this is the first time this season that we can confidently recommend Ryze's deck for the LoR ladder: with about 1,500 games played and a modest 51% WR, it's currently a deck showing a solid enough performance so as to be a good climbing tool.
The Rune Mage is very happy with the increase of Annie Ezreal's popularity – AnnEz is, along with Jax Ornn, the only two strong decks that Ryze reliably beats. Most other Top Dogs, though (Elites, Heimer Jayce, Annie Jhin, Pirates, Lurkers…), Ryze gets run over by.
Although Annie Jhin and Pirates will likely end this season much higher in the meta charts, Gwen Quinn is the hands-down winner of the "Low-Key Success" Award: a deck that never made too many waves, nor hogged the spotlight too much, but that has nevertheless consistently gained play rate while showcasing stellar performance – in particular, growing this week both in play rate (from 1,300 last week to 1,600+ games now) and win rate (from a great 55% to an amazing 57%).
If you want a solid, tried-and-true climbing tool but that is also a bit of a connoisseur's choice, Gwen Quinn may be what you're after.
The opulent ladies have improved their odds a bit against Elites (still a disfavored matchup, but not by much now), and get run over by Pirates – on the backswing, they royally ruin Ryze's day, beat Jayce, murder Lurkers, and have a good shot against Annie Jhin.
The Six-Plus Pair: Jayce Lux
Jayce Lux seems ready to join the team of decks that started off amazing, but kind of petered out as the LoR meta settled: still a very playable archetype, but clearly not the powerhouse they were not two weeks ago.
In particular, their most popular version shows subpar performance – their second most popular, though, that has no room for Blocking Badgerbear, punches at a very solid 53%:
Jayce Lux is overall 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, and Lurkers, or bad matchups like Annie Jhin, Eve Kai'Sa, and Taliyah Ziggs) falling close or inside the 45/55% range.
Lurkers, aka Pyke Rek'sai
The Lurking tide is still high! Pyke and friends are excellent against Ryze (if you are sick of Runes, Lurkers is probably what you want to bring to ladder), and overall a very solid 53% deck.
They are fairly even versus two of the current Juggernauts (Annie Jhin and Elites), although rather weak to Annie Ezreal, and completely hopeless against Pirates – but they don't seem to have too many ugly matchups out of those two, and there's plenty of prey to feed upon.
Ah, here's a Champion that knows how to make an elegant exit. Vladimir is one of the few cards that we know for sure will be rotated next week (as noted above: news about rotation have been scarce thus far; there's still little that we know about which cards will only be found in the upcoming Eternal mode, Vladimir being among those very few), and after years of pilots trying their best to make him work, Scarground decks have finally managed to become competitive, right under the wire.
No meta breaker, by any means – just a solid 52% win rate across 1,200 games – but second week in a row that we find Braum and Vladimir with solid performance, so let's call this a fact: at long last, a playable Vladimir deck. And very good against Pirates, by the way!
Another reliable player for Team Low-Key, Akshan Varus yet again enjoys an excellent 55%+ winrate (slightly above last weeks' performance)… which, as noted, is kind of puzzling, given it's among the worst decks to face Annie Jhin with, dies horribly to Pirates, loses to Ryze, Lurkers and Jax Ornn, and is not particularly good against Elites – all in all, other than Jayce decks, Akshan Varus doesn't seem to be too good of a choice against the top dogs. Still, it has shown great numbers all this patch cycle (most likely by farming weaker decks) so it's definitely an excellent choice for your last-push climb.
The Weapon Forge: Jax Ornn
A bit crestfallen, what was early on one of the strongest LoR decks (and an excellent answer to the Demacian tide of that time) has diminished a lot in play rate, yet still remains a very solid climbing tool. And, of course, Jax remains uncontested in the Champion's Best Voicelines department, but that has always been obvious so nothing new there.
Weapon and Forge masters remains the premium choice if you want to punish Demacia decks, be it big-butted Elites or big-spell Jayce Lux, and it also overruns Lurkers, Plunders, and Taliyah Ziggs in brutal fashion. But Jax Ornn is also one of the worst decks to face Ryze with, and the rise of aggressive decks, be it Annie Jhin or Pirates, have been awful news for these two champs.
Punching Up – Runeterra Decks Doing Great
Runeterra decks with between 600 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
Gaining quite a nice bit of traction, Plunder jumps at the forefront of our Punching Up category, with more than 800 games under its belt and striking above 55%.
Annie Ezreal has emerged as quite the scary predator for Plunder, with Jax Ornn and Ryze also being problematic – but, overall, Ganplank Sejuani is either favored (like against Jayce Lux, Annie Jhin, Lurkers) or roughly even (like against Elites, Pirates or Heimer Jayce) versus most strong decks you are likely to bump into while climbing the LoR ladder.
Voluble and variable as ever – Heimer Jayce is the King when it comes to decks with lots of slightly different versions – Professor and Student have rebounded quite a bit: most of its many flavors are both popular and performing well.
Versions with just ten followers seem to perform a bit better than those that go for a dozen, but it's probably down to pilot preference at that point; the version seen below, the second most popular, punches at 57% across close to 600 games.
Norra Decks: Veigar, Vi, or Braum
By now Norra may be one of the most flexible champs in LoR – while usually paired with Shadow Isles, she seems able to wander better than Bard himself.
While Veigar has been, across the patches, her most likely partner (and is still a solid partnership, with a 54% win rate across 600+ games)...
… the Portaling Yordle has found herself a brand-new teammate: Enforcer Vi!
And it's quite the team, I should add: better performance both in play rate (800+ games) and win rate (55%+) than with the Darkness Yordle.
Last but not least, Norra Braum, a fairly novel concept that became popular by the end of last patch, is also very solid:
All in all, no lack of choice for Portal lovers!
Blast from the Past: Trundle Aurelion Sol
Once upon a time, these two were the best LoR deck, no contest, until the nerf hammer hit them and pushed them from the top – they never quite rekindled their partnership after that (the Troll King found in Tryndamere a very solid teammate, and Aurelion Sol has a soft spot for Zoe or Leona), yet perhaps sensing an impending rotation, they have paired again with solid results.
Your Mileage May Vary – Fringe LoR Decks
Legends of Runeterra decks with less than 600 games played in the last three days – very little data, so these may range from total flukes… to the next big thing.
Kayle Leona proudly carries the Targon torch to an excellent 55%+ win rate in about 500 games. Don't be fooled by its fringe status: this deck, either with Kat last patch or with Kayle now, is a very well-tested brew, so you can confidently take it to ladder.
Riding the wave of aggression we've seen as of late in the LoR ladder, Hecarim Zed is enjoying a fairly good bit of success in the fringes.
To close today's selection, here's the weirdest brew we've seen all patch: a very low-on-spells, low-to-the-ground Bilgewater deck, with Aatrox and Xolaani the Bloodweaver as top-end, and chock-full of Equipment.
And it seems to work, too! Small sample (just around 200 games) but win rate close to 54%.
Things are about to change a lot in Runeterra next week – the Glory in Navori expansion, with Sett, Samira and Jack, will almost surely also bring along Rotations: some cards (we still don't know which, save a couple of cases like Vladimir and Twisted Fate) will not be Standard-legal anymore, and will only be playable in the new Eternal format.
In other words: if you're short on shards and wildcards, this is really not a good time to craft anything too expensive – we have no clue how the LoR meta (or, better said, the LoR metas) will shape out, or even which cards will be playable in Standard.
Having said that… if you're looking for a deck for your last-push ladder climb, any of the above should work well.
Hope you like our today's selection, and good luck out there! =)
If you have any questions or comments, or more data you may need, feel free to:
Poke me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HerkoKerghans,
Stop for a chat on the Mastering Runeterra Discord: https://discord.gg/8RQqZECTz2,
Or find more writings on substack: https://riwan.substack.com/
Technical Note – About overall archetypes and specific decks, and what we mean by "LoR best decks"
Most data sites (including our LoR Meta Tier List, and our meta stats page) and articles like Leer's Legends of Runeterra Meta Decks Report sort LoR meta decks by archetype ("Archetype" being the aggregate of all decks in LoR 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 decks by the best specific decklist for each archetype. And, whenever we talk 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).
And, 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 the number 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 at the time of writing.
- 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 450 games in the last three days – fringe, risky stuff, but here's where you usually find the spice!
As a rule of thumb, LoR 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.
Sources: Legna's LoR data website, Mastering Runeterra Meta Tier List, and our LoR meta stats page.