LoR Best Decks – Return of Scouts
As of early Friday, these are the best LoR decks and archetypes, according to Balco and Mastering Runeterra Meta Tier List:
Scouts' newest version jumps to the top of the archetypes chart! Fiora Vayne had already proved that Demacia and Piltover could work together – now Quinn Vayne Piltover & Zaun, as noted by Leer's Monday Meta Report yesterday, turns from hot-yet-fringe deck to a real-deal Meta deck. And, as we'll see below, a rejuvenated, 'classic' Scouts is also doing quite well.
Leona Diana Shadow Isles also rises among the top dogs, while Ezreal Seraphine remains the undisputed crowd favorite even as its performance has cooled off quite a bit.
Technical note – About overall archetypes and specific decklists, and what we mean by "LoR best decks"
Balco's chart above (like most data sites, including MaRu's Meta Tier List) and articles like Leer's Monday Meta Report sort LoR decks by archetype ("archetype" being the aggregate of decks 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 Legends of Runeterra decks by the best specific decklist for each archetype – 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 amount of games played in the last three days 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.
- 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 300 games played – 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, these decks can put up one hell of a fight.
- YMMV: decks with 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 decks in Platinum and above, and in the last three days, unless stated otherwise – and when talking about decks in general, or best LoR 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). As a rule of thumb, decks with a winrate (WR) above 52% catch our eye, above 53% are eye-widening, and anything with a WR over 55% is exceptional.
On the other hand, do notice that when talking about matchup tables, it's always about archetypes – in other words, we'll recommend which are the best Legend of Runeterra decks (ie. specific decklist) you can choose to face the most popular archetypes (since you'll find all versions in the LoR ladder).
Last but not least: all stats and recommendations above are for choosing the best LoR deck for the Legends of Runeterra Ladder environment – the Best-of-Three format (found in Tournaments and Gauntlets) is a very different kettle of fish!
Sources: Balco, Legna, Mastering Runeterra Meta Tier List.
If you have any feedback on how these decks could be showcased differently, do let me know! =)
Juggernauts – Best LoR Meta Decks
Here we showcase LoR decks with more than 2100 games and good-to-great WR – the best tried-and-true tools for the climbing job.
The Crowd Favorite: Seraphine Ezreal Noxus
As their WR stabilizes in the good-but-clearly-not-broken range (close to 53% with their best list, down from 54% last Friday) it seems clear that Seraphine and Ezreal do have a good number die-hard fans that play the deck not just because how strong it is: SerEz remains the most popular archetype as a whole, and the most popular specific decklist, by a huge margin – even though it's clear now that, by performance alone, they are not the best deck against the current field.
Strong against: Rumble Vayne, Zed Vayne, Leona Diana Shadows.
Struggles against: Pantheon Vayne, Vayne Jax, Seraphine Viktor Shadows – and now also Miss Fortune Swain has gained an edge on SerEz.
Further reading: Card Gamer's extensive Seraphine and The Clash at Noxus – A Seraphine Ezreal LoR Deck Guide
Probably solved: Rumble Vayne
Exact same build from two weeks now, crushing it at 55%+ in more than 2,700 games – despite being the underdog to Seraphine Ezreal, and one of the weakest Vayne flavors if you were to organize an "Only Vayne Decks Showdown" tournament, Rumble Vayne has consistently remained one of the best Juggernauts, in part due to how well it does against all other Seraphine decks, and how brutally efficient it is against everything else.
Further reading: Card Gamer's Tumble on the Rumble – A Vayne Rumble LoR Deck Guide.
⛏Best Tool for the Climbing Job: Privateers, aka Miss Fortune Swain
After shooting from fringe option at the start of the patch to the strongest Juggernaut last Friday, Privateers have locked their title of Best Deck for Climbing: 2,300 games in the last three days, and WR that has improved from 56%+ to 59%.
We don't always slap this label in these reports, but when the numbers scream yawp if from the rooftops, so must we:
This is the best LoR ladder deck right now, folks! If you want to climb fast, this is it! =)
Only solid counters are Vayne Jax, Leona Diana Shadows, and Swain TF (but in the latter case, you'd be piloting an overall much weaker version of Bilgewater Noxus) – outside those three, Privateers steamroll all popular decks.
Further reading: PakiInPyjamas' By Her Guns Shall Noxus Rise – A Miss Fortune Swain LoR Deck Guide
The Immutable Object: Annie Jhin
Nope, they haven't gone anywhere – their performance has dipped quite a bit, though (nearly 53% now, down from 55% last Friday, across a similar 2,400-game sample), so the field may be turning hostile for our Immutable Object. The main factors against it seem to be Miss Fortune Swain and Leona Diana on the rise (both awful matchups for Jhinnie), Zed Hecarim on the downswing (a matchup that feeds Jhinnie with lots of LPs), and also bad news from the ascending Riven Viktor.
⭐Rising Star: Riven Viktor
Now this is a rags-to-riches story!
Last Friday we saw these old friends rekindle their partnership in around 350 games – in the last three days they have grown sevenfold, and across 2,200 games they puch at a very solid 52%.
Seraphine may be the Queen of Popularity, but Riven sure has fans too! =)
Well, technically speaking Seraphine crushes Riven underfoot, judging by how badly Viktor and Riven fare against all Seraphine flavors – but they make up for it by farming Hecarim Zed, and having good odds against the majority of Vayne decks (with Vayne Jax in particular) and Annie Jhin.
Cooling off a bit, Zed Vayne's WR drops to 54%, always with around 2,100 games played. Being one of the main sources of nourishment for Privateers, while also slightly unfavored against Ezreal Seraphine, is not an ideal spot to be in this meta – but Zed Vayne's matchup spread is otherwise excellent, and more that makes up for its weak spots.
(And, ironically, Privateers' ascension may actually be good news: Zed Vayne's worst matchup is in fact Swain TF, which is in the decline now that Privateers is clearly the best Swain deck overall).
Further reading: Leer's Return of Rally Elusives – A Vayne Zed LoR Deck Guide
Heavyweights – Strong LoR Meta Decks
These LoR decks have between 900 and 2100 games in the last three days – now that the Domination dust is settling, it's very likely all these are the real deal!
⭐Rising Star: Ezreal Seraphine Ionia
Jumping from nowhere to our most popular Heavyweight, this Seraphine deck mixes the Noxus and the Viktor Ionia versions, with fairly solid results: WR over 51%, across 1,400 games.
It doesn't appear stronger than either of the original concepts, though – perhaps tweaks and refinements will find a better build, but as of right now it's more novelty than performance. Also note that Viktor Ionia, as we'll see below, has also jumped onto the Ezreal bandwagon, and seems to be working much better.
Twilight, aka Dark Leona Diana
Increasing their play rate a bit since last Friday and with a great 54% WR, our Twilight lovers demonstrate they are very much the real deal.
Leona Diana does have a hard time against Ezreal Sera Noxus, Rumble Vayne and Pantheon Vayne – but shows amazing odds against both Jhinnie and Vax, while also being a very solid counter to Privateers.
Precious Elise Nocturne
Another Rising Star from last week that has shown it has lots of legs – has cooled off a bit, yet maintains a great 53% WR. Elise Nocturne is weak to Vayne decks (except Gwen Vayne, which is an even matchup), but strong against all Seraphine decks, Jhinnie, and Privateers.
💡Brilliant Tweak: Viktor Seraphine Ionia, ft. Ezreal
Following the trend seen above with Seraphine Ezreal Ionia, Viktor and Seraphine have ditched Karma for a single copy of Gauntlet Boy.
Matchup data is fuzzy (since some data websites group this archetype with the Karma version), but the specific Viktor Seraphine deck seen below is doing great, punching at 54% in a bit more than 900 games.
Other Playable Options
Among solid, 51% decks we also have:
Pantheon Varus, and
Not the strongest of decks if you go strictly by the numbers, but all decks with a positive WR and suitable options to climb if you prefer their playstyles.
Punching Up – Runeterra Decks Doing Great
Runeterra decks with between 300 and 900 games in the last three days – solid picks if you'd rather pilot something a bit less played.
⭐Rising Star: Bandle Teemo Zoe
The pesky, tiny, buffed-up Elusives concept is (yet again) bringing the numbers! A fringe option last week, it jumps today from 200 to 800 games played in a three-day window, with WR not dropping a single bit: Teemo Zoe still strikes above 55%.
⭐Rising Star: Elise Gwen
Spider-Gwen also keeps gaining traction without losing its edge: nearly 800 games now (up from 500) and WR at 58% – seems clear that the Spiders aggressive package works well in this meta, and Elise Gwen is bringing it to bear with full force: while awful against Zed Vayne, it's great against the Noxus-based Juggernauts, namely Ezreal Seraphine, Privateers, and Jhinnie.
And, now that both Red Gwen and Vayne Gwen have been pushed to the fringes, Elise Gwen is currently the best Gwen deck.
Further reading: Scissorsbox's Spider-Gwen: an Elise Gwen Deck Guide
Viktor Seraphine Shadow Isles
A fairly solved build by now, in spite of its plethora of one-offs, Viktor Seraphine Shadows has kept steady on the play rate front while inching upwards in performance: above 55% now in around 700 games.
Further Reading: Yangzera's Quiet High Note – A Spooky Seraphine Viktor LoR Deck Guide.
❄Cooling Off: Tryndamere Trundle, aka Feel The Rush
Shrinking in both play rate and performance, Feel The Rush is still a solid option offering a unique playstyle, quite different from other decks showcased today. It utterly wrecks Seraphine's Noxus and Shadow Isles flavors (although not Ionia: it's hard to play big spells against Deny), and has good game against Leona Diana – the rest of its matchup spread against Top Dogs, though, looks from weak to horrible.
⭐Rising Star: Miss Fortune Vayne, ft. Quinn
After all the Vayne hoopla in every other region pairing, pilots are going back to roots when it comes to attacking plenty and often. This close-to-classic Scouts take, with the staple Fortune - Island Navigator punch, punches at a solid 52% WR in around 600 games. They may be a tad too old-school, though, as we'll see a bit below when showcasing the Quinn Vayne deck.
Seraphine's Silencer: Vayne Jax
Pilots are finally agreeing on the best Jax Vayne deck – while still quite "scattered," Jax Vayne's best build has been the most popular for over a week now, having lost not an inch of its great 56% WR.
It's a bit odd to find that its popularity has not increased, though, considering that Jax Vayne beats all Seraphine flavors, while very strong against Privateers and solid into most Top Dogs – Leona Diana is an awful matchup, but doesn't seem popular enough to become too much of a worry.
Perhaps it's simply a matter of Vayne being so popular and flexible that some of her best pairings end up hiding in plain sight, so to speak?
Further reading: Wekhar's Improvise, Adapt, Overwhelm – A Jax Vayne LoR Deck Guide.
🔥🔥Blazing Hot: Quinn Vayne Piltover & Zaun, aka New Scouts
Cat's out of the bag at last! =)
What has been the hottest fringe deck for the last week or so is making mainstream waves now, with nearly 500 games and silly-high WR. Jarvan IV is gone from the best build (we're back at a classic 3:3 Champion split), and Chempunk Pickpocket has been cast away for Durand Sculptor.
Like last Friday, Kayn Vayne is a deck that finally learned how to shine when pushed to the fringes: 56% in around 400 games, able to go toe-to-toe with Privateers, Jhinnie and Seraphine flavors.
Piltover Fiora Vayne
Stabilizing close to the fringes after dropping in play rate for a whole week, Fiora Vayne are further proof, alongside Quinn Vayne, that Demacia and Zaun are a good mix – punching above 54% now in nearly 400 games, Fiora Vayne is even or favored against all Top Dogs except Privateers.
Further reading: Scissorsbox's Tumble and Strike – A Vayne Fiora LoR Deck Guide
Other Playable Options
Among solid, 51% decks in this category also have:
Elise Kindred, ft Vi, aka Sentinels, and
Twisted Fate Swain, ft. Riptide Rex.
Your Mileage May Vary – Fringe LoR Decks
Runeterra decks with less than 300 games played in the last few days – promising, but too little data to say for sure how they currently fare.
Seraphine's tour has reached the vast Shuriman desert, and of course everybody's favorite rogue with a grappling hook has bought all the front seats. Arguably the least Seraphine-y deck out there (just Fanclub President, and a single Drum Solo), packing a 52% punch in close to 300 games.
❄Cooling Off: Gwen Vayne
Dropping further still in popularity, die-hard pilots have kept Gwen Vayne's WR steady, now at around 53% in close to 300 games.
Further reading: Scissorsbox's Midnight Tumble – A Gwen Vayne LoR Deck Guide
Ramp Aurelion Sol
Ah, the good ol' Space Dragon! A handful of pilots seem quite fond of taking Aurelion Sol for a spin once the meta settles: it's not rare for this Ramp deck (either featuring Trundle like right now, either paired with Zoe) to show up three or four weeks into a patch, and like now with solid results: 52% WR in about 160 games.