Best LoR Decks – Yordles, Yay!
As of Thursday, these are the 7 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
It's still Deep at the top, if you go by popularity…
… but it's Yordles, Yordles all the way up when looking at performance: Tristana's furry crew, in several flavors (Noxus, Bilgewater and Demacia being the most popular), is running rampant.
Still, Illaoi is doing her best to keep the furry tide at bay, and Samira has found a new partner to blow things up, so let's jump into today's best LoR decks!
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, Tristana Gnar Teemo Bilgewater. Illaoi Swain is looking excellent too!
Which is the highest win rate deck in LoR?
Among all decks showcased today: Teemo Tristana Demacia, which sees a bit less play than the Bilgewater or Noxus variant but is looking very, very scary.
Among decks with more than 2,100 games played in the last three days: Illaoi Swain, and Tristana Gnar Teemo Bilgewater.
How do I beat…
How do I beat Tristana decks? There doesn't seem to be a deck that reliably beats all Tristana versions, but there's one deck that comes close: Illaoi Swain has good odds into the two most popular Tristana decks (Teemo Trist Noxus, and Teemo Gnar Trist Bilgewater), an is roughly even against the third (Teemo Trist Demacia).
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 (and Bandle City...) have to offer!
Teemo Tristana Noxus
The most popular Tristana deck, although probably not the strongest (even if still very strong) sees the Yordle Gunner paired with everybody's favorite puffcap-planting Scout, leaning towards Noxus for Spell support and a Ionian Hookmaster:
The best Noxian Teemo Tristana deck punches at a great 54% win rate, and is the most played deck in Runeterra right now, with 5,200+ games under its belt in the last three days… and even if you laser-focus on just this variant, it's not solved yet, with other well-performing versions showing tweaks like adding Legion Saboteur, or switching Brothers' Bond for Whirling Death.
As Yang says in this Tristana Noxus deck guide, this is not your typical aggro deck:
You want to put your opponent in a position where they have to spend way more mana then you for things while at the same time you’re generating cards while playing stuff and your opponent isn’t. What ends up happening is that even though you might be behind on the very early game, your deck has so much card generation and cheap units that even if you have several bad trades, you’ll still end up with a full board ready to block or attack again and refill again and the cycle goes on.
The Noxian version loses to Tristana Bilgewater when they go toe to toe, seems to have a bit of trouble against Demacia decks like Aatrox Quinn Vayne and Illaoi Jarvan, and loses to Illaoi Swain – on the backswing, though, it demolishes Deep, Ashe LeBlanc, Karma, Lurkers, and turns into a bloody pulp any weaker deck that stands in its way.
Gnar Teemo Tristana Bilgewater
Yordles go "Yarr!", and move to Bilgewater – and for this trip, Tristana tends to favor Gnar, with only a single copy of Teemo. Followers see the addition of The King's Court, and spells lean a lot more into what Bandle City has to offer:
Tristana Gnar Teemo Bilgewater makes a very strong argument for being the best LoR deck right now: whopping 58%+ winrate across about 4,100 games, it beats Teemo Tristana Noxus, steamrolls two of the the previous patch's Top Dogs (Karma Sett and Ashe LeBlanc) while having a slight edge against a third (Samira Fizz), and chops both Deep and Lurkers into thin-sliced sashimi. Also, Illaoi Jarvan goes from very tough for the Noxian version, to fairly favored for the Bilgewater version.
Its weak spots are Illaoi Swain, Aatrox Quinn Vayne and, interestingly, Pantheon Samira (a very bad matchup for these Yordles).
Teemo Tristana Demacia
Scout and Gunner rekindle their friendship and leave Gnar behind when turning to Demacia – this archetype sees less play than the Noxian or Bilgewater versions, but its numbers are similarly scary:
The best Demacian Teemo Tristana deck punches at a silly 60%+ (the highest winrate we'll see among all decks showcased today) with about 1,900 games played.
This Tristana version is roughly even when confronting the other two (with perhaps a slight edge against the Noxian version, and a bit of a struggle against the Bilgewater version), and thus far the rest of its matchup spread seems similar to the other two variants with a couple of exceptions: Ashe LeBlanc is an even matchup here (rather than markedly favored for the Yordles); Pantheon Samira looks like a slightly favored matchup; and Tristana Demacia is, unlike other versions, unafraid of Illaoi Swain.
Nautilus Maokai, aka Deep
Well… it was fun while it lasted!
After a brief time as the punchiest deck in Runeterra last week, Deep slides to "solid, very playable, very popular archetype" – which, compared with Deep's history pre-rotation, is still a marked improvement!
Nautilus Maokai performs at a very good 53% win rate across 4,200+ games with their most popular version, and has great odds against quite a bit of the field: Karma Sett, Ashe LeBlanc, Ekko Jinx, and Aatrox Quinn Vayne (along with a slew of weaker decks) are easy pickings for Nautilus' school.
Yordles, on the other hand… as if Fizz wasn't enough of a pain already (with Fizz Samira, even after its many nerfs, being insurmountable for Deep), turns out the amphibious Yorlde has friends. Lots of friends. And all Yordle flavors steamroll Deep mercilessly.
Further reading: Nautilus Maokai Deck Guide
Ah, how the tide changes!
Although (as we'll see right next) Illaoi Jarvan remains a powerhouse, today it's the Grand General who the Priestess has chosen as her preferred partner: with nearly 3,000 games on record, the best Illaoi Swain deck showcases one of the highest win rates today (nearly 60%), overshadowing most other Tristana builds in that department.
The plot twist, in one word: Yordles.
Illaoi Swain has very good odds against both the Noxian and Bilgewater versions of Tristana, and is only a tiny bit disadvantaged against the Demacian flavor. It also has a small edge over Deep and Karma Sett, and good odds against Ashe LeBlanc, and has the upper hand against Illaio Jarvan.
Illaoi Jarvan IV
The Demacian Prince is overshadowed today by the Noxian Grand General, but don't let that fool you: Priestess and Prince are very much a powerhouse, punching above 55% in 2,400 games.
If you've read the Illaoi Swain section, then you why Jarvan is only the second-best Illaoi deck today: although Priestess and Priest reliably beat Teemo Tristana Noxus (also bludgeoning Deep, Karma Sett, Ekko Jinx, and Fizz Samira in the process), they crumble against Gnar Teemo Tristana, which Illaoi Swain beat.
Illaoi Jarvan is also a serious underdog to Ashe LeBlanc (which Illaoi Swain dominates), and Lurkers (another easy pickings for Priestess and Grand General).
Further reading: Illaoi Jarvan Deck Guide
To round up today's Juggernauts, the Zaunite friends are on the upswing, big time. Their most popular version (this one, with Xenotype Researchers) is only okay (51%), but the classic Ekko Jinx version performs above the 55% winrate mark in more than 2,200 games:
Yordles are not a welcome sight, but are not terribly bad, either; Deep, Karma Sett and Ashe LeBlanc are all uphill struggles, but again not unwinnable. On the other hand, the Zaunite Boom Crew has an edge against Lurkers, Fizz Samira, and Pantheon Samira.
Not Working Too Well
As with most fresh metas, there are quite a few decks that see a lot of play… but not too much success.
Karma Sett Piltover & Zaun is hanging in there – it struggles at 50%, so not the sort of climbing tool you'd recommend, but definitely playable if you're skilled with it, or just like the play style.
On the other hand Azir Nasus Renekton, Aurelion Sol Diana (sometimes with Norra), Bard Norra, and Evelynn Maokai have thus far shown awful results – not decks that we can recommend at this stage.
Heavyweights – Strong LoR Meta Decks
These Legends of Runeterra decks have between 1000 and 2100 games in the last three days – solid picks for climbing the LoR ladder!
Now, time for something brand-new: Stylish Rockets!
Or, if you're a LoR veteran: Return of Discard Aggro. With an 'F' for Draven – we miss you, buddy.
Jinx Samira runs circles around Deep, Karma Sett, Ashe LeBlanc and Lurkers, while looking roughly even against Tristana decks. And, probably the most important: you get to play the brand-new iteration of the coolest archetype in all of LoR's history – that's an objective fact, in case you were wondering! =)
Aatrox Quinn Vayne
Monster Hunter and World Ender are having quite a good time in the current LoR meta – win rate north of 55% in close to 1,800 games, good odds against Noxian and Bilgewater Yordles, and its two main nightmares (Deep and Ashe LeBlanc) now a bit in the decline, giving Aatrox Quinn Vayne decks more room to breathe.
With Jinx Samira coming out of nowhere and all rockets blazing, Pantheon Samira has been relegated to second-best Samira deck, yet is still a blend worthy of respect: very good 53%+ win rate across 1,400 games, and is perhaps the deck to hunt down Bilgewater Yordles with, as its odds against Teemo Trist Bilgewater are excellent.
Pyke Rek'Sai, aka Lurkers
If you go by stats, Lurkers should see a bit more play (which is a weird thing to write, since they usually tend to see more play than they should!).
With great win rate overall (55%+), Lurkers suffer a very similar fate to Deep's: a couple of weeks ago, when we learned that their respective predators would get nerfed, it was reasonable to expect that Deep and Lurkers would surge upwards. That was until Yordles showed up and gunned everybody down – Pyke's crew, like Deep, is weak to all things furry.
The rest of Lurkers' matchups look very solid, though, including amazing odds against Illaoi Jarvan, and a good edge against Ashe LeBlanc, Deep, and Karma Sett.
Miss Fortune Samira
Pirates' latest iteration, that saw a bit of play but little success pre-balance, now finds a firmer footing with a 53% win rate and 1,300 games played. Odds against Yordles are disastrous, though, so we'll see if Fortune favors the Stylish.
Knocked off the top of the LoR meta after Ashe's nerf, Ice Queen and Black Rose are trying new tricks – with quite a bit of success!
While older versions (still packing Reckoning) are not doing well, adding The Darkin Spear and one copy of Brutal Skirmish does wonders, and the best Ashe LeBlanc deck sees an excellent 55% win rate in about 1,200 games.
Further reading: Ashe LeBlanc Noxus Deck Guide
Turns out it was not a fluke! =)
Shervan showed up in last week's data, in the odd position of a deck that, without any buffs was competing neck-to-neck with Jarvan Illaoi (itself an established powerhouse in the previous patch).
The pairing of Priestess and Prince does seem stronger nowadays, but Shen Jarvan has accrued a great enough performance (54% win rate in about 1,100 games) to qualify as a real-deal deck, and not just an early-days fluke.
Professor and Student make a spectacular comeback this week, showcasing one of the highest winrates we'll find today: 58%+, across a bit less than 1,100 games.
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.
Twice-Champ FloppyMudkip highlights grit, resolve, and a "Never give up" attitude as key skills for competitive players – and Fizz Samira is taking a page from Floppy's book, rebounding from its many nerfs to showcase today a scary 58% win rate across 900 games.
In particular, Fizz is unafraid of his furry Yordle cousins, and except for Demacia decks (Illaoi Jarvan and Aatrox Quinn Vayne) the deck doesn't show any particularly weak spots.
Further reading: Samira Fizz Deck Guide
Gnar Norra was a low-key powerhouse before the buffs and nerfs; the current field is not as kind to these particular Yordles, but they still manage a 53% win rate.
They suffer greatly against Deep and Karma Sett, which as we've seen are not enjoying as much success as they did (even if both are still very popular), so the tide may shift again in Gnar Norra's favor.
As the polar opposite of Gnar Norra, here's a Champion pair that failed to find success by the end of the previous patch, and now is punching very, very hard – and seem particularly apt at ruin a Yordle's day.
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.
Priestess and Portalista are a fairly popular pairing, but they are not doing too well… until you dig a bit and find this particular build, punching at nearly 55% in 500 games.
A bit of an odd case: Annie Jhin managed to show spectacular performance last patch, but only in the fringes – and they are doing exactly the same right now, so it may be a case of veteran pilots pushing their favorite brew's performance upwards. At any rate, Annie Jhin's performance is impressive.
Deep managed to stay very relevant in this LoR meta… Malphite Taliyah, not so much, despite its grand performance pre-patch. It's still rocking hard, but it's fringe-hard now.
The Desert Rose joins Seraphine in a Bar-less pile that is doing remarkably well (and, in fact, has one of the highest winrates from among all decks showcased today…) but, as our fringest brew today: pilots beware!