Best LoR Decks – Rise of the Real Top Dog
Overall LoR Ladder Trends
BaJAtakk took down the Mastering Runeterra Open last week, heralding some of the changes we'll find in the LoR Ladder this week (like the left-field resurrection of Akshan Kai'Sa, or the introduction of Garen Jarvan Kai'Sa)...
… yet there are even more surprises this week, like the unstoppable ascension of Nasus, and not one but two new Jhin brews.
All in all, as the first World Qualifying Runeterra Open approaches, the LoR meta is one of the most diverse we've seen in quite some time. Expect surprises aplenty this weekend!
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: Hard to say today! By performance, probably Samira Jinx, Samira Fizz, and Teemo Tristana Demacia
Which is the highest win rate deck in LoR?
Among all decks showcased today: Fizz Samira.
Among decks with more than 2,100 games played in the last three days: Again, Fizz Samira – that's one scary deck! =)
How do I beat…
How do I beat Fizz Samira? Bring Jinx decks: either Jinx Samira (itself one of the best decks out there), or Ekko Jinx.
And how do I beat Jinx Samira? Your best bet is probably Illaoi Swain: a great deck overall, and very good odds against the pew-pew-BOOM ladies.
And how do I beat Vault Nasus, the most popular deck? Fizz Samira! It turns Nasus into a bloody pulp in no time.
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!
Nasus Vaults of Helia
Alright, now this is a Top Dog! Nasus Vaults of Helia was already gaining a bit of traction last week, but among all the awful Azir Nasus Renekton decks, and struggling Nasus Senna decks, it seemed a bit of a meme-y fluke that had gotten lucky…
… but this week's numbers are nothing short of impressive: the most played archetype overall (a bit ahead of Samira Fizz and Karma Sett) and the most played specific decklist by a landslide (a crazy 12,500 games in the last three days!), Vault Nasus has all the credentials of a real-deal LoR deck:
Its performance is cooling off a bit by now (it was punching much harder earlier in the week), but still retains a very good 53% win rate.
Nasus Shurima matchups, though, are a bit of a red flag – as Leer noted on his Monday Meta report:
The matchup table looks pretty horrendous. The Karma Sett matchup is unplayable due to Aftershock, and Fizz Samira rushes us down before we get to Nasus.
Jinx Samira is also a rough matchup for the Big Dog, and Tristana Demacia is slightly unfavored – but Vault Nasus has no problem stomping over Deep, Ekko Jinx, Tristana Bilgewater, and Illaio Swain, so it does look like a deck that's here to stay.
Rocketing upwards, this pew-pew-BOOM pair is another of today's success stories – same deck as last week, but today with 5,400 games on record and smacking at an amazing 56%+ WR.
Jinx Samira is excellent against Samira Fizz, has a solid edge against Vault Nasus, and runs circles around Deep, Ashe LeBlanc and Lurkers. Tristana decks are roughly even matchups (depending on Tristana's second region), and Illaoi Swain is the only clear weak spot that Samira Jinx shows right now.
Further reading: Samira Jinx Deck Guide.
Twice-Champ FloppyMudkip highlights grit, resolve, and a "Never give up" attitude as key skills for competitive players – and Fizz Samira clearly took a page from Floppy's book: in spite of its many nerfs, it punches today above 57% (the highest win rate we'll see from among all popular LoR decks showcased today) and around 4,500 games played with the best Fizz Samira deck, which is strikingly different from previous builds: all-out aggression, nothing but one- and two-drops, no Inferna shenanigans.
Part of Fizz Samira's rebounding success can be explained in three words: Vaults of Helia. Fizz and crew demolish Vault Nasus, which is a great place to be in the current Runeterra meta. On the backswing, Jinx appears as Fizz Samira's best counter: both Jinx Samira and Ekko Jinx are what you want to be on if you want to punish the tricky aquatic Yordle.
Further reading: Samira Fizz Deck Guide
Caitlyn Teemo Freljord
Another of the unexpected success stories this week: after struggling for ages, Frozen Puffcaps shows a very competitive build!
A bit like Lurkers, Caitlyn Teemo is a champion pair that always sees play, even when there's often not much reason too – but this week, with a 52% win rate across 3,500 games, does look like we're in the middle of Puffcap season.
Do notice that the Piltover & Zaun version still looks bad, and there are several awful variations of the Freljord version that drag the archetype down. Thus far, it looks like Caitlyn Teemo Freljord is very good against Deep, Karma Sett and Samira Jinx, while weak against Lurkers and Fizz Samira.
Priestess and Grand General remain an amazing powerhouse: nearly 3,000 games, punching above 55%, and very good odds against Karma Sett, Deep, Samira Jinx, and Tristana Demacia. The bad news is the unexpected ascension of Vault Nasus (which is an awful matchup for Illaoi Swain) and the unstoppable rebounding of Samira Fizz.
Teemo Tristana Demacia
Teemo Tristana Demacia emerges as possibly the best Tristana deck, slightly outpacing the Bilgewater version and clearly outshining the Noxus variant.
The Demacian Yordles have roughly 50/50 matchups against Vault Nasus, Samira Jinx, and Fizz Samira, getting most of their edge when facing Karma Sett and Deep, and brutally murdering Teemo Caitlyn. They also seem one of the several reasons Ashe LeBlanc is going extinct.
After being pushed to the sides last week, Karma Sett Piltover & Zaun manages to get a foothold in the current Runeterra meta and, with a 52% winrate across 2,500 games, looks very playable today.
This resurgence owes quite a bit to Vault Nasus, which Karma Sett dominates, and Samira Fizz to some extent, a matchup in which KaSett is slightly favored. Tristana blends are disastrous matchups, though, and both Deep and Illaoi Swain remain tough bones to chew.
Further Reading: MajiinBae's latest Karma Sett Deck Guide.
Gnar Teemo Tristana Bilgewater
Tristana Bilgewater is Yang's favorite version, which he considers the strongest of the three:
While not as impressive as last week, numbers for this build are still amazing: 56% winrate across 2,200 games, solid odds against Karma Sett, Deep, Jinx Samira and Lurkers, and nearly no overly weak spots.
Further Reading: Tristana Bilgewater Deck Guide
Like last week, the Zaunite friends round up our Juggernaut section – and, just like last week, their most popular version (this one, with Xenotype researchers) is not doing too well, while the second most popular, seen below, is smashing foes with a 56%+ win rate.
Vault Nasus and Karma Sett are tough matchups, but Fizz Samira and Jinx Samira are favored, and Caitlyn Teemo is a walk in a Piltovan plaza.
Both Pantheon Samira and Maokai Nautilus, aka Deep, remain solid, playable decks – Pantheon has obviously lost the "best Samira deck" title it briefly held in the early patch days, and the LoR meta got fed up with "Deep on Top" puns, but both decks are still solid.
Senna Veigar, Kennen Samira Ionia, and Bard Norra, on the other hand, are popular yet subpar brews, so we won't recommend any of them today.
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!
Another Big Dog surprise!
Veigar heard that Vaults of Helia was a thing, and went "Gimme gimme gimme!" – and it was not just a tantrum, it seems, because Nasus Veigar is packing a whopping 55% punch across 1800 games:
Like for Lone Nasus, Fizz Samira is an impossible matchup, and Jinx Samira is also truly awful – but Veigar Nasus beats enough other strong decks (Tristana Bilgewater, Ekko Jinx, Caitlyn Teemo, Illaoi Swain) to suggest it is yet another real-deal Nasus deck.
Akshan Kai'Sa Demacia
We're not running out of left-field surprises just yet: part of IamNinjaMaster's runner-up lineup in last weekend's MaRu Open, Akshan Kai'Sa shows up as a very solid brew today – and, as we'll see, it's not even the strongest Kai'Sa Demacia today!
Akshan Kai'Sa puts up a very good 53% win rate in about 1,500 games. It doesn't seem to find too much prey among the strong decks, though, while itself being very weak to Vault Nasus, Fizz Samira, and Illaoi Swain.
Jarvan Garen Kai'Sa
You may not like it, but this is what peak Evolution looks like: an amalgamation of Elites, Scouts, and Kai'Sa's Void crew that BaJAtakk took to first place in the MaRu Open and that currently showcases an amazing 55% win rate in about 1,400 games on the LoR ladder.
Unlike the Akshan version, Garen Jarvan Kai'Sa does beat several of the other Top Dogs: it demolishes Karma Sett, good odds against Deep and Ekko Jinx, and an edge against Tristana brews – Vault Nasus and Samira decks seem a bit unfavored, but not unwinnable.
Aatrox Quinn Vayne
Monster Hunter and World Ender are having a fairly good time in the current LoR meta – win rate close to 54% in about 1,300 games, and good odds against Karma Sett and Ekko Jinx – Vault Nasus, though, is a very tough matchup.
Yep, this is a thing!
Not overly scary a thing (win rate of just about 51% in about 1300 games), but worth showcasing anyway just on grounds of Jhin showing up on a non-Annie deck:
Sit tight, though – everybody's favorite Runeterran bullet buff still has more surprises up his sleeve.
Yep, this is a thing too! Again, not a terribly scary thing (52% win rate in this case), and with an awful Vault Nasus matchup, but it's amazing to see Jhin doing well outside of his Annie Jhin shell, and with a fairly large play rate:
Teemo Tristana Noxus
Tristana's Noxus version has slipped downwards quite a bit – with a 53% punch across 1,200 games it's still a very good deck, but seems clearly inferior to the Demacia and Bilgewater versions we've seen among today's Juggernauts.
Further Reading: Tristana Noxus deck guide, this is not your typical aggro deck.
Pyke Rek'Sai, aka Lurkers
Pyke's crew rounds up today's Heavyweights, with a solid 53% in about 1,100 games. Samira decks (both Fizz's and Jinx's version) are a headache for Rek'Sai's offspring, but they have a slight edge against Nasus, and solid odds against Karma Sett and Caitlyn Teemo.
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.
Illaoi Jarvan IV
Prince and Priestess' time under the LoR ladder's spotlight seems over – both of them have found stronger partners, as we've seen (Illaoi with Swain, and Jarvan with Garen and Kai'Sa), and the relentless onslaught of Fizz Samira, Jinx Samira, and Vault Nasus has dented Illaoi Jarvan's performance.
Still a very solid 53% deck, but play rate is clearly waning.
Further reading: Illaoi Jarvan Deck Guide
His escapades with Kennen and Norra may have all the popularity, but his year-old partnership with Annie has the best performance: Annie Jhin, with its post-rotation list, grazes a 56% win rate across 800+ games. And, although matchup data is scarce, it looks very good against the current Biggest Dog, Vault Nasus.
Heimer Jayce is another deck that sees a bit of play and some success. Professor and Student have a tendency to morph their build a lot and you never know when they will be again on top; currently, they are doing fairly okay.
Ashe LeBlanc, sadly… looks like its recent fiery success is cooling off. Builds with The Darkin Spear still have some fight in them, but are rapidly becoming fringe brews.
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.
Miss Fortune Quinn, aka Scouts
A bit too early to claim that Scouts have returned, but there are several versions of this ancient archetype doing well, most of them packing three copies of Champions' Strength – and the most popular version showcasing a 55% win rate in almost 600 games!
Shen Jarvan keeps producing numbers that suggest pilots should pay more attention to it – like many decks today, it does suffer from a "Loses to Vault Nasus" problem, but it's very solid against Samira decks, Karma Sett, and Teemo Tristana Demacia.
Here's a Champion pair that failed to find success by the end of the previous patch, and now is punching quite hard – and Evelynn Lucian seems particularly apt at ruining Tristana's day.
Bard Gnar Sejuani
Why outplay them, when you can Overwhelm them? If you want to go big and mean, just grab a big Bone Club and let them worry about how to block you!