LoR Best Decks – Husks, Abominations and Pirates
As of early Sunday, this is how the top Legends of Runeterra achetypes look like, according to Balco:
On Weekend Warrior Weapons last Friday, we noted the Meta was wide open, with Darkness being a key player – this has changed a bit when we look at specific decklists: Pirates and Akshan Kai'Sa are in tier of their own, and Darkness has been violently pushed to the sides when it comes to performance, even if it still remain the most popular deck.
Technical note – about archetypes and decklists, and what we mean by "LoR best decks"
Balco's chart above, like most data sites (including MaRu's Meta Tier List) groups decks by archetype ("archetype" being the aggregate decklists of a specific champion combination) – that's also how matchup data is shown.
Below we'll provide the best decklists for these archetypes – since in each archetype some decklists fare better than others (and sometimes the difference is quite noticeable), we'll broadly group decklists in four arbitrary categories, by amount of games played in the last few days in the data samples we check:
- Juggernauts: decklists with more than 2100 games – best tried-and-true tools for the climbing job.
- Heavyweights: between 2100 and 900 games – other excellent choices with large enough samples to confidently say, "Yeah, this works".
- Punching Up: between 900 and 300 games – we're entering the Land of Small Sample Sizes here, on top of the meta being up in the air, but as far as numbers go, it looks like these decklists can put up one hell of a fight.
- YMMV: between 300 and 150 games – risky stuff, but here's where you usually find the spice.
For this article, in all cases we'll look at decklists in Platinum and above, and usually in the last three days (unless stated otherwise).
Sources: Balco, Legna, MaRu's own Meta Tier List.
If you have any feedback on how these decklists could be showcased differently, do let me know! =)
Juggernauts – Best Decks in Legends of Runeterra
Decklists with more than 2100 games: these are the best LoR decks, tried-and-true tools for the climbing job.
Pirates, aka Miss Fortune Twisted Fate
Nasty, brutal and short: a brief description of life when facing Pirates (unless you are a pirate yourself – then it's a bloody brutal mirror; also short). Pirates are this week's Lone Kaisa (if you compare with last week), or this week's Illaoi Bard (when comparing with three weeks ago): they are both the most popular and the best performing list, with nearly 7,000 games in the last three days and a stupidly high 57%+ WR.
When looking at matchups, the only clouds in Pirates' sky are Darkness, Ekko Zilean, Tryndamere Trundle, and Monkey Pandemonium, all of which are either not too popular or in the downswing – Pirates are otherwise quite favored into Akshan Kai'Sa, they bloody murder Ezreal Kennen and Jhinnie, and are even of have an edge against everything else that is popular right now.
The only other Juggernaut to be found – the best list has almost the exact same WR as Pirates, with 4,400 games played in the last three days.
As said above, there is only one reason why Akshan Kai'Sa is not the tyrant that Lone Kai'Sa was last week: Pirates, which are an uphill struggle (nearly 40/60 odds for AkKai). Interestingly, Akshan Kai'Sa is quite favored into Darkness (which is one Pirates' few bad matchups for Pirates) therefore contributing to their predator's success.
Heavyweights – Very Solid LoR Decks
These decklists have between 900 and 2100 games in the last three days, making them solid choices with large enough samples to confidently say, "Yeah, this works".
Ezreal Kennen Ionia
KennEz remained on the fringes all of this year, after being so broken during last December that Riot had to hotfix it. The recent buffs have brought it back to relevance, with the most popular list punching at 53%+ in more than 1300 games.
The bad news? Dies horribly to Pirates; also to Jhinnie and Ramp Aurelion Sol. The good news, though, is that KennEz has an otherwise very balanced matchup spread, which usually signals a deck where pilot skills matter.
Viego Evelynn, aka It's a Thing! (part I)
An archetype that never quite managed to find its footing last patch, now punching at 53%+ in 900+ games, probably thanks to the buffs to Hate Spike and Neverglade Collector. Has Evelynn found a home, at long last?
It's a tad too soon to say, since they are at slight disadvantage against all the most popular decks (Darkness, Pirates, AkKai and KennEz), without having popular matchups they can crush to compensate. Still, by current number, indeed a most playable Evelynn deck!
Notably Absent – Jhinnie, Darkness, Deep, and Ramp Asol
All these archetypes have decklists in the Heavyweight category by play rate (900+ games), but their WRs being below 50% make them poor recommendations. Darkness' case is particularly notable, since it has two decklists with 1,000+ games but both fail to reach even 48%.
Decklists with between 300 and 900 games played in the last three days – note that several popular archetypes can be found here, meaning that they tend to be quite "scattered" (ie, have lots of different lists, unlike the Juggernauts in which the majority of pilots choose the same list).
Evelynn Gwen, aka It's a Thing! (part II)
The buffs have brought not one but two Evelynn decks, this one brand new!
Evelynn and Gwen's best deck punches at 53% in 800+ games, and with an interesting twist: they seem slightly favored into both Pirates and KennEz, while only very slightly the underdog to Akshan Kai'Sa. Their odds against Darkness are truly horrible, but since Veigar and Senna are having one hell of a bad Sunday, this may end up being the most promising Evelynn version.
As noted in the Heavyweights section, Jhinnie's most popular decklist is performing quite poorly. Their second most popular, though, with a single tweak (switching one copy of Crackshot Corsair for Sigil of Malice) manages to break past 52% in more than 800 games – it seems hard to believe that a single copy of a card can improve the WR by more than 4%, though, so this may simply signal a spicy list that some top-tier pilots are pushing upwards.
(NOTE: Thanks to Warulex for noting a mistake when posting this decklist!)
Tryndamere Trundle Shadows
Feel The Rush finds itself in an interesting spot: they crush Darkness and Pirates, and have an edge against KennEz, but get brutally murdered by Akshan Kai'Sa (and also by Deep).
Guessing how this archetype will fare is pretty much a coin toss – since a lot will depend on how the rest of the field shapes up – but as of now their best deck punches at 53%. Several other less-played versions are testing different spell compositions, by the way (1x of The Box seems to be doing wonders, for example), so there may be room for optimization once the meta settles down a bit.
Last week's tyrant still packs a punch – well over 55%, in fact, across 600 games. It's an underdog to both Pirates and KennEz, though, so there doesn't seem to be a good reason to play this deck over the Akshan Kai'Sa version.
Twisted Fate Nami Shadows
One of Runeterra's hardest decks to play (it tends to do great for top-tier pilots, but whenever its play rate goes up, its WR plummets), doing awesomely well right now by focusing on Go Hard – north of 55% in 400+ games.
Scant little data, but appears even against Pirates while underdog to Akshan Kai'Sa and Tryndamere Trundle.
Miss Fortune Quinn, aka Scouts
Last Friday, Scouts seemed ready to punch up hard, but thus far have not gained much traction – awful odds against AkKai may be the reason, although they farm KennEz and Jhinnie, and are not afraid of Pirates. Their most popular list, seen below, punches above 55% across 300 games.
Your Mileage May Vary
Decklists with less than 300 games played in the last few days – promising, but too little data to say for sure.
Bandle Fizz Lee Sin
Now, this is new: a Lee Sin deck, but with Prank instead of Overwhelm, so to speak. Results are quite promising!
Howling Galio Udyr
Another fresh take, including two copies of The Howling Abyss and nine strike spells.
The Protean archetype: no matter the meta, Professor and Student seem to have a gazillion slightly different lists, all doing fairly well but neither of them with too high a play rate – what in these articles tend to call a "scattered" archetype. We'll recommend the second most popular, punching above 55%+ in nearly 300 games.
Katarina Gwen, ft. Elise
A weird mix of a Noxus tempo Flock pile and infinite combo that doesn't stray too far from the Gwen-finity concept that MaRu resident Rogue Deck Doctor WhatAmI envisioned when the Forces from Beyond arrived.
The best list, seen below, punches at a silly 60%+ in around 200 games; a very different Katarina Gwen take (leaning a lot more into the Noxus control tools, including a plethora of pings and Disintegrate) is also doing quite well, although with a lot less games played.
Yet another Gwen deck punching foes in the fringes, this one already having seen quite a bit of success pre-patch. Notice there's a different version, running Babbling Bjerg, that is not doing too good – the version below, though, easily breaks past 55%+.
Undying Zilean Nasus Shadows
A fairly old concept that never got traction (nor, if we are being honest, success to justify said traction in the first place…), yet now punching a good 55% in a bit more than 100 games. The fringest deck we'll recommend today, so pilots doubly beware!
With the usual "Too early to tell" caveat that the Data-Crunchers Guild demands of articles like these, it seems quite likely that this very short, two-week-long patch will be remembered as the Golden Age of Piracy – there doesn't seem to be a popular counter in sight, it is quite favored against the second-best juggernaut, and short game duration is always enticing when Ladder cut-offs are right around the corner.
Still, there seems to be no shortage of novel decks to try (did we mention there are two very playable Evelynn decks right now?) so…
… we'll see! =)
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 Poetry Discord (we talk a fair bit about the LoR best decks and data, too! =): https://discord.gg/VNN5NmGhXY,
Or find more writings on substack: https://riwan.substack.com/
And good luck in your climb!