Best LoR Decks – Vault is the New Sun Disc
As of Thursday, these are the 7 most popular LoR decks according to Legna the Mastering Runeterra Meta Tier List:
Overall LoR Ladder Trends
With the Variety Patch coming to Runeterra next week, let's start with our usual PSA for this time of the patch cycle: if you are short on shards and/or wildcards, you may want to be very frugal with what you craft in the next week or so.
The next patch will not only (probably) shake the current LoR meta, it will (absolutely!) spawn a second, whole new meta: this coming patch the LoR Eternal Ladder will become available, and all bets are off about what decks will prevail in this format.
Having said that, and as it's often the case with the third week of a patch cycle, several newcomers have shown up on the Runeterra Ladder. While the Top Dogs remain largely the same as last week, this week we have:
- A new Nasus version (Azir Nasus) going from fringe deck to arguably best Nasus deck,
- Tristana decks losing quite a bit of play rate, even if their performance is still excellent,
- Samira Seraphine become an overnight Juggernaut,
- Jarvan Illaoi going extinct, and pilots flocking to Shen Jarvan,
- Frozen Puffcaps remaining very relevant,
- Scouts and Bard returning to the LoR ladder in full force!
Let's jump to today's findings!
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: Most likely Samira Fizz, closely followed by Jinx Samira.
Which is the highest win rate deck in LoR?
Among all decks showcased today: Teemo Tristana Demacia, although for some weird reason it's being played a lot less than last week (in spite of such a great win rate).
Among decks with more than 2,100 games played in the last three days: Fizz Samira.
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? Illaoi Swain or Caitlyn Teemo are good tools for this job. Also Ekko Jinx, if you want to fight rockets with rockets.
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
The most played specific deck list in LoR this week is the exact same as right before the Runeterra Open: Nasus Vaults of Helia, with no other Champion besides the Big Dog, accrues 5,400 games in the last three days, with solid 52%+ WR:
It's showing signs of wear and tear, though: as we'll see next, Lone Nasus is one of the weakest-punching Juggernauts, and it's not even the best Vault Nasus version – that would be Azir Nasus, as we'll also see in a bit.
Lone Nasus gets absolutely demolished by Samira Fizz (one of the most lopsided matches among popular decks), gets overrun by Karma Sett, and has a hard time against a popular newcomer: Samira Seraphine.
On the other hand, it has good odds into Ekko Jinx, Deep, Jarvan Shen and Illaoi Swain.
The pew-pew-BOOM pair repeats a rocking performance this week: exact same decklist, nearly exact same play rate (about 5,300 games), and win rate cooling for a bit from a smacking 56%+ to a still excellent 55%+.
Jinx Samira is great against what's arguably the best LoR deck right now, namely Samira Fizz. It also consistently beats all Nasus versions, and blows Lurkers out of the water. It seems to have a bit of a problem with the ascending Samira Seraphine, and somewhat struggles against Ekko Jinx and Illaoi Swain, but seems to have no truly weak spots.
Further reading: Samira Jinx Deck Guide.
As noted before, Fizz Samira did take twice-champ FloppyMudkip's "Never give up" advice to heart: one of the decks that got the most nerfs on the previous patch reinvented itself and, once again, comes out on top. With nearly 5,000 games in the last three days with their best deck, punching above 56%, and being overall the most popular LoR archetype all strongly suggest that Samira Fizz is the best Standard deck in Runeterra.
Samira Fizz is yet another Juggernaut that sticks to the same build from last week, although it should be noted it's quite different from pre-patch iterations:
Fizz Samira utterly thrashes all Vault Nasus versions (which explains in part its current success), also having a huge edge against Lurkers, Deep, and Caitlyn Teemo. And, unlike the previous two Juggernauts, in this case it consistently beats the newly arrived Samira Seraphine.
It's not without weak spots, though: Karma Sett, but above all Jinx decks (both Jinx Samira and Ekko Jinx) are huge roadblocks in Sam Fizz's path.
Further reading: Samira Fizz Deck Guide
⭐Rising Star: Vault Azir Nasus
Last week, we showcased Azir Nasus as one of our fringest brews – a cute oddity, if you will, among other widely more popular Vault Nasus decks.
Goes to show, you should never disrespect the people's Emperor: today, Azir Nasus is likely the best Nasus deck, with 3,600 games and a great 55%+ winrate:
Like Lone Nasus, Azir Nasus has a really bad time against Fizz Samira and Karma Sett (although slightly less atrocious than the Lone version), but on the other hand has a much larger edge against Deep, Ekko Jinx, and Caitlyn Teemo, as well as better performance overall against weaker decks.
⭐Rising Star: Samira Seraphine
And now, for something brand-new!
Seraphine has now partnered with Samira to run the Back Alley Bar, and with fairly solid results: a convincing 52% winrate across 3,500+ games, and particularly good odds against Vault Nasus decks.
Samira Seraphine also seems to have a tiny edge against Karma Sett and Jinx Samira, although Ekko Jinx and above all Caitlyn Teemo look like quite awful confrontations.
Caitlyn Teemo Freljord
Turns out Frozen Puffcaps had what it takes!
A bit of an odd sighting among Juggernauts last week (Caitlyn Teemo tends to always see play but only seldomly with a solid performance), the Traps pair not only kept but improved their win rate this week (from 52% to above 53%) while maintaining a very large 3,200-game sample.
It really is Puffcaps on the Rocks this season!
Teemo and Caitlyn are a very good option if you want to put Karma Sett in ice; they are also excellent against Deep, and very solid against Jinx Samira and Sam Seraphine. They suffer against Nasus decks (the Azir version above all), struggle against Fizz Samira and Ekko Jinx, and get wrecked by Lurkers.
Priestess and Grand General are now not only the best, but the only Illaoi deck worth playing, with Illaoi Jarvan having become nearly extinct (and with those still faithful to the Demacian Prince flocking to Shen Jarvan, as we'll see in a bit).
Illaoi Swain, on its part, remains a 56% powerhouse, although play rate has dropped from nearly 3,000 games to a bit above 2,000.
Very solid odds against Karma Sett, Deep, Samira Jinx, Frozen Puffcaps and Lurkers, while Vault Nasus decks and Fizz Samira are tough matchups.
Not Really Working
Bard Norra and Freljord Aurelion Sol have seen a lot of play and quite the awful performance. These are not decks you want to try to climb with right now.
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!
The Zaunite friends dropped a bit in play rate and performance, but still rock a great 55% win rate. Azir Nasus is problematic and Deep is quite the struggle, but Ekko Jinx beats all the strong Samira decks (with either Fizz, Jinx, or Seraphine), run over Jarvan Shen, and gorge on Frozen Puffcaps for brunch.
Further reading: Ekko Jinx Deck Guide.
⭐Rising Star: Jarvan Shen
Ah, nothing more heartwarming than seeing a low-key good deck getting the recognition it deserves!
Until last week, Jarvan Shen was a fringe brew, largely overshadowed (admittedly for good reasons at that time) by Jarvan Illaoi – but now that the meta has turned truly hostile to the Priestess and Prince pairing, pilots have finally caught up with how solid Jarvan Shen is, and today the deck shows a whopping 57% win rate across 1,600 games.
The rekindled interest has also brought improvements: the best Shen Jarvan deck has cut down on Equipment and Spells to focus more on Followers by adding Brightsteel Protectors and extra Sacred Protectors.
Jarvan Shen is weak to Vault Nasus builds and Ekko Jinx, but has a small edge against Jinx Samira, is even versus Fizz Samira, and beats Caitlyn Teemo, Tristana decks, and Lurkers.
Pantheon Samira remains a very solid option, with a 53% win rate across 1,600 games – clearly not the best Samira deck out there, but the best (and arguably only…) Pantheon brew you'll find in the LoR ladder today. Don't run into Fizz Samira, and you'll be pretty much okay!
Teemo Tristana Demacia
The Yordle tide has been largely contained, and Tristana decks are no longer the rampant LoR ladder tyrant that they were a couple of weeks ago.
Teemo Tristana Demacia is still worthy of much respect, though, actually being the highest-winrate deck we'll showcase today: above 58%. Play rate, on the other hand, has dropped sharply to around 1,500 games in the last three days, a trend shared by other Tristana versions.
It's not entirely clear from the data why Tristana has dropped so sharply in play rate: it does lose to Jinx Samira and Fizz Samira, but those matchups are in the "still manageable" range; and Teemo Trist Demacia has excellent odds against Karma Sett, Lone Nasus, Samira Seraphine, Caitlyn Teemo, Ekko Jinx, and other strong decks.
Perhaps pilots are just tired of Yordles?
The best Karma Sett deck has dropped sharply in play rate (from 2,500 games last week to around 1,400 now, always looking at a three-day window) but has improved its performance a bit, from 52% to 53%+ now.
Karma Sett is one of Vault Nasus' worst nightmares, and also beats Samira Fizz while having a small edge against Ekko Jinx.
Also as good news for the LoR Mint, some of its worst matchups (like Deep and Tristana) are on the downswing, giving the Karma Sett more room to breathe. The bad news here is Frozen Puffcaps, which is both disastrous and quite popular.
Further Reading: MajiinBae's latest Karma Sett Deck Guide.
⭐Rising Star: Bard Garen
Well, what do you know: looks like mono-Demacia players have learned how to splash! =)
Pilots have been trying to make Bard work since post-rotation, but with little overall success other than the Wandering Caretaker providing a bit of support to Sejuani Overwhelm archetypes… but that seems to have changed this week: Bard Garen, with an eye-widening 58% win rate and around 1,400 games played, may have cracked the Chimes formula.
Data samples are small, but thus far Garen Bard seems to beat Karma Sett, Caitlyn Teemo, and Fizz Samira, while being itself very weak to Ekko Jinx and Shen Jarvan.
⭐Rising Star: Miss Fortune Quinn, aka Scouts
Rounding up our Heavyweight category, Scouts make an impactful return to the LoR meta, being another of today's decks that break past the 58% win rate mark and spectacularly putting the 'strength' in Champions' Strength. Apparently very good against Samira Fizz and Karma Sett!
Other Solid Considerations
Garen Jarvan Kai'Sa and Lurkers are solid, 51%-winrate decks with quite a few games under their belts – clearly not the most powerful thing you can do on the LoR ladder, but definitely playable options.
One of last week's strangest findings, Jhin Norra, has also maintained its okay win rate and convincing play rate – again not the scariest thing out there, but a very novel way to play Jhin outside Annie Jhin. Or to play Riptide Rex outside Bilgewater shells!
Azir Nasus Renekton Shurima, on the other hand, would be an atrocious choice, and as such we won't recommend it today. Accept it: Vaults of Helia is the new Buried Sun Disc.
Punching Up – Runeterra Decks Doing Great
Runeterra decks with between 600 and 1000 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.
Maokai Nautilus, aka Deep
Compared to two weeks ago, this is quite the drop in play rate and performance…
… but let's look at the half-full side of things: except for the first few days right of this current patch cycle, when it exploded in popularity and win rate, Deep has never been as good as right now! =)
And it does have great odds against some strong decks: Karma Sett, Ekko Jinx, or Shen Jarvan are all fairly easy for Maokai's crew.
His escapades with Kennen and Norra may be fresh and novel, but his year-old partnership with Annie is the best-performing: Annie Jhin, with its post-rotation list, puts up a sky-high winrate across nearly a thousand games in the last three days. It's especially good at killing Nasus decks and destroying Caitlyn Teemo; folds hard to Samira Seraphine and Samira Jinx (although odds against Samira Fizz are not as bad).
Gnar Teemo Tristana Bilgewater
Tristana Bilgewater joins the overall trend of Tristana decks, dropping sharply in play rate while maintaining a very good winrate (nearly 55% in this case), and with said decrease in play rate being a bit puzzling when looking at matchup data: Gnar Teemo Tristana has nearly no weak spot (Azir Nasus is rough, but still inside the 40/60 range), and it has plenty of good targets.
But, for some reason, and in spite of a very good win rate overall, pilots are remiss to play with Yordles.
Further Reading: Tristana Bilgewater Deck Guide
Aatrox Quinn Vayne
Monster Hunter and World Ender have kept their cozy niche in the current LoR meta – play rate dropping to about 850 games (down from 1,300 last week), win rate close to 53%, and great odds against Karma Sett and Caitlyn Teemo – Vault Nasus decks, though, are very tough matchups.
A couple of very different Veigar decks have seen play and some success: Senna Veigar, sticking to the classic Darkness package, and the novel Veigar Nasus, yet another variation of Vault Nasus but with quite the different approach.
A bit like Deep, Ashe LeBlanc is just a shadow of its former self if you compare it with how the meta looked like a few weeks ago… but if you compare it with how Ashe LeBlanc fared at any other point in time, this is still a very good, very playable deck! =)
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.
Strong Jinx Lucian
Somebody seems to have remembered what happened by the World Ender expansion, when along with Aatrox and Ziggs Acolytes, another card had to be hotfixed: Champions' Strength. Mainly because it was doing broken things when paired with Jinx and Piltover & Zaun...
… as Jinx Lucian is doing right now, with some scarily good results.
I'm pleased to report that this is still a thing!
Much more of a fringe thing than last week (when it had more than 1,300 games played, compared to about just 300 now), but also quite scarier: its win rate has jumped from 51% to above 56%. That may be due entirely to random noise, and/or just because only a handful of experienced pilots have stuck with the brew, but at any rate, it's doing all sorts of nasty things to other decks out there.
Quite the fringe brew, pairing the Yordle Gunner with the Weaponmaster package, with some very promising results.
Aatrox Kalista Maokai
For our weirdest brew today, the World Ender joins Kalista and Maokai for a fairly low-to-the-ground deck. Almost surely the brainchild of a single pilot (given that there are nearly no variations of this build), and showing an excellent performance (around 56%) in nearly 200 games.
As noted in the opening of this article: keep in mind that next week we'll not only have a Variety patch, but also the LoR Eternal Ranked Ladder should become available – if you are short on shards and wildcards, you may want to be frugal with them until the next patch's dust settles, since any of the two LoR metas may have unexpected surprises that you may want to craft.
Having said that, as we've seen, there are several decks that were either fringe or unseen last week now making quite the waves, so if you do have the shards, just go wild.
Hope you find something to round up this patch cycle with, 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,
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 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.