Welcome, my friend! Glad to see you again!
Please, step inside, and leave your worries by the door. And let me show what we have selected for you today – brews and blends, from popular to exotic, furnished by formidable formulistas Balco, Legna and Seth, along with prominent pilot's takes overhead at the Blue Bird Inn, and those that we've collected ourselves.
A Glimpse to our Meta
The Meta that keeps on giving: two fresh new faces at the top…
… yet all archetypes, as described by Riot's own RubinZoo:
There's nearly a dozen archetypes comfortably hovering in the 53-54.9% range – while no meta will make every possible champ pair competitive, it's hard to argue against our current times being, as long as numbers are concerned, Peak LoR.
Cream of the Crop
The best of the best – Meta Staples that perform above 54% WR when Platinum and upper ranks are considered.
Professor and bright student still cling to the top – the meta changes around them, yet this resilient pair's ingenuity provides answers for everything.
Unlike the next two blends in this category, though, Heimer Jayce tends to have more polarized matchups (good matchups tend to be great, bad matchups tend to be awful).
Strong Against: Viego Deserter, Jhinnie, Elise Annie, Illaoi Demacia
Struggles Against: Thralls (quite badly), Sun Disc, Galio Bard
Twisted Fate Nami Shadows
First fresh face among the Top Dogs!
And do be mindful of regions, my friend: one of the traps that our current meta hides beneath the surface is the existence of a very popular yet quite horrid blend (below 45%) marrying this champion pair with P&Z – that's very much not a blend you want to pilot, if you value your LPs!
On the contrary, this pairing of Bilgewater and the Shadow Isles is currently the left-field meta-breaker, with WR between "silly" and "stupid".
Strong Against: Jhinnie, Viego Noxus, Lurkers – solid odds against most of the field
Struggles Against: Thralls
Katarina Ziggs Annie
Another left-field development of the last few days – you may remember our recommendation last week, which now has added Katarina to the mix and changed its top end quite a bit, while sticking with the powerful one-drop flood that Noxus and Shurima can supply.
Strong Against: Viego Noxus, Jhinnie, Fizz Riven
Struggles Against: Thralls (slightly), Heimer Jayce, Vi Zoe Aphelios
Other Strong Meta Staples
Other extremely solid choices, all above the 53% WR in Platinum and upper rungs of the ladder.
Vi Zoe Aphelios
We again find this Chompers delicacy firmly lodged near the top. As superb scribe Card Gamer described it, it's a complex blend to pilot – yet has proven, in the last two weeks, that it is an archetype you may profit from learning intimately, giving its staying power.
Its matchup spread is excellent, too, with a single Achilles' Heel: truly abysmal odds against Thralls.
Strong Against: Viego Noxus, Jhinnie, Lurkers, Katarina Ziggs Annie
Struggles Against: Thralls (horribly!), Heimer Jayce (slightly).
Demacian Krakens are still a force to be reckoned with, in large part given how they crush Thralls underfoot – but, in turn, being kept at bay by Viego Noxus, with Deserter easily going bigger than Tentacles.
Strong Against: Thralls, Jhinnie
Struggles Against: Viego Noxus, Heimer Jayce, Fizz Riven (slightly), Katarina Ziggs Annie.
Another blend that has been quietly gaining traction and which, like Illaoi Demacia, has a fairly easy time against Thralls while suffering against Viego Noxus – although both matchups are less lopsided in Taric Poppy's case.
We'll recommend the second most popular formula here, which has been performing excellently.
Strong Against: Thralls, Fizz Riven, Vi Zoe Aphelios
Struggles Against: Viego Noxus, Galio Bard, Heimer Jayce
While nowhere near the powerhouse it was until this Patch, the Feline Fae and the Warrior seem to have found a footing in this meta – our recommended formula, the most popular, actually performs well above the 55% mark.
Katarina Ziggs Annie bloodily murders Yuumi Pantheon, though, meaning that this blend's fate is far from secure.
Strong Against: Galio Bard, Lurkers, Fizz Riven, Illaoi Demacia
Struggles Against: Katarina Ziggs Annie (horribly!), Viego Noxus, Jhinnie, Annie Elise.
Now, something for the Combo enjoyers!
A medley that proved itself strong from the early days of the patch, and has remained strong ever since – and, in particular, one of the few decks that is favored both versus Thralls (slightly) and Viego Noxus (quite a bit).
In fact, Fizz Riven can be said to have one of the best matchup spreads, being a clear underdog only against Jhinnie.
Strong Against: Thralls (slightly), Viego Noxus (very), Elise Annie, Heimer Jayce, Lurkers, Sun Disc
Struggles Against: Jhinnie
Hidden among averages, we find a formula that performs north of 54% (and with less popular variations doing even better, although we'll recommend the most popular on grounds of sample size).
Strong Against: Thralls, Jhinnie
Struggles Against: Viego Noxus, Heimer Jayce (quite badly), Galio Bard
Ah, the Shirtless King! Dethroned more by math than performance, one would say!
Viego Noxus' most popular formula, which performs very well, marries him with Katarina and Elise, not straying too far from what superb skipper and sublime scribe Sirturmund recommends in his learned treatise.
When looking at specific formulas, it's clear by the numbers – as it was last week – that eschewing Kat in favor of Elise produces the strongest blend, which we shall recommend below.
Strong Against: Thralls, Jhinnie, Illaoi Demacia
Struggles Against: Fizz Riven, Heimer Jayce, Zoe Vi Aphelios
Lissandra Taliyah, aka Thralls
Here we are, my friend, one of this meta's defining archetypes!
This blend's trick seems to be to always have, no matter the field, some foes it crushes like frozen twigs – and an interesting synergy with its own counters, in that few third parties seem able to handily beat both Thralls, and Thralls' predators.
Strong Against: Galio Bard, Elise Annie, Heimer Jayce, Vi Zoe Aphelios
Struggles Against: Viego Deserter, Jhinnie, Illaoi Demacia (badly!)
Last but not least among strong Meta staples, another trickster formula – Galio Bard hides its true power among a flurry of bad lists, which drags its overall performance down. Specifically, if I were to organize my wares not by archetypes but by specific formulas, this one would arguably be at the top of the list.
In plain words: if undecided among all these blends, my recommendation would be this one right here.
Strong Against: Jhinnie, Heimer Jayce, Annie Elise, Ezreal Annie
Struggles Against: Thralls, Viego Noxus
(NOTE: thanks to Djmarcus44 for catching a big typo: Matchups were "upside down", ie Strong as Struggle, and Struggle as strong. Thanks!)
Other Meta Considerations
These are the best formulas available for other popular Meta choices (the deck's name shall provide a link to the full list):
Annie Jhin: Our recommended formula is the most popular, bar none, sitting at 53% WR.
Elise Annie: Another popular archetype suffering from bad formulas – our recommended version sits comfortably over 52%, while playing two fan-favorite landmarks: Ravenbloom Conservatory and Catalogue of Regrets.
Lurkers: While their play rate is tiny compared to their heyday, some Lurkers formulas still perform quite well.
The Connoisseur's Corner
Our selection for those that dislike mirror matches – well-tested (at least two hundred games in the last few days) but little-seen formulas.
Yes: this blend again, my friend. Because it consistently sits among the best performers when you look beyond those that, by popularity, are considered Meta Staples.
It still puzzles me to no end how this blend, which even managed to claw the charts' top spots two weeks ago, has been ditched by most pilots even though its performance remains superb.
Strong Against: Jhinnie
Struggles Against: Thralls, Viego Noxus, Galio Bard
Illaoi & Friends
A quite distinctive take on Demacian Krakens, which has gained popularity above all in the APAC and Americas shards.
Well, what do you know – at long last, pilots have picked up this blend in large enough numbers for me to showcase it among our Corner delicacies!
As frequent visitors may remember, this blend has been a thing for pretty much the whole patch; and has finally received a well-deserved uptick in popularity in the last few days.
This seems to be mostly an European development, though – if you bring this blend to the APAC or Americas ladder, odds of mirrors are slim to none.
Pushed to off-meta status due to their diminished popularity, Feel The Rush still packs quite the punch across several hundred games.
Do you like to play with fire?
Here you go, my friend – arguably the burniest blend of them all, with more than a dozen spells ready to go face, and featuring the finest delicacy of the P&Z arsonist's arsenal: Used Cask Salesman
A Walk on the Wild Side…
Tired of tried and true? Look no further: high performance, little-tested blends to jump into uncharted waters.
Garen Lucian Bannerman
This could rightfully be called THE Rally pair – it's making a bit of waves across a handful of games, with outstanding performance.
Katarina Riven Rumble
A bit like Aphelios, the last batch of patches surely must made Katarina fans ecstatic – no shortage of new blends for her, from quite popular to, like this case, a wild mixture of Noxus and Shurima
Rumble Teemo, aka Air-Strike Rumble
And to close today's selection, my friend, a truly special brew – Air-Strike Rumble, Tomc's extensively-tested brainchild, and with a tasty cherry on top: Tomc's very own detailed instructions about how to pilot this most exotic blend!
Very well, my friend!
I trust today's selection matches your refined tastes, and that your weapon of choice is to be found among our wares.
Any questions or comments, or more data you may need, please feel free to:
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And good luck in your climb!