LoR Best Decks
Compared with data we saw on the best Legends of Runeterra decks last Friday, we see:
- Pirates reaffirming their dominance over the Ladder, now undisputedly the best LoR deck both by winrate and playrate (note Balco's 100% Meta Score; a perfect 100 only happens with an archetype topples both charts),
- Taric Poppy and Miss Fortune Quinn, to much rejoice of all Rally aficionados, keep carving a solid spot in the meta,
- Norra yet again pulling one of her many tricks, with yet another promising deck for her!
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 LoR decks by archetype ("archetype" being the aggregate of decks with a specific champion combination) – that's also how matchup data is shown.
Below we'll provide 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: decks with more than 2100 games – these are the best tried-and-true decks for the climbing job.
- Heavyweights: between 2100 and 900 games played – 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, these decks 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 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).
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 LoR decks (ie. specific decklist) you can choose to face the most popular archetypes (since you'll find all versions in the ladder).
Last but not least: all stats and recommendations above are for choosing the best LoR deck for the Legends of Runeterra Ranked Ladder environment – if you are in need of weapons of choice for the Best-of-Three format, be sure to check Sirturmund's & Monte's recommended Tournament & Gauntlet Decks and Lineups (which they usually update every Thursday).
If you have any feedback on how these decks could be showcased differently, do let me know! =)
Juggernauts – Best LoR Meta Decks
Decklists with more than 2100 games: these are the best LoR decks, tried-and-true tools for the climbing job – currently Pirates are the sole dweller of this category!
Miss Fortune Twisted Fate, aka Pirates
Yeah, seems like we're gonna be slapin' the following highlight a lot during the Awakening season: punching over 54% over 2,400+ games, and being the only Juggernaut today, kinda earns Pirates such bragging rights:
Pirates have more depth that people give them credit for, mind you, so it's not "brainless aggro" by any means – but unless the meta shifts quite a lot, Pirates has proven to be the best tool for Ladder, and one of the best for Gauntlets and Tournaments.
Viego Evelynn and TF Nami Ionia are a bit of a headache for Fate and Fortune's merry bunch, and so is today's fresh new face: Heimer Norra. Pirates are also very slightly the underdog against Kat Gwen and Scouts – most of the rest of the field is ripe for plunder.
Heavyweights – Strong LoR Meta Decks
These LoR decks 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".
Twisted Fate Nami Ionia
Ionia's Nami TF version climbs to the most popular and potent of the Heavyweight decks, displacing Kat Gwen from the spot – and with the exact same decklist we saw among the best Legends of Runeterra decks last Friday and last Wednesday. In other words, a very well refined against the current field, punching over 55% in 1,200+ games.
This duo demolishes Pirates, and has very good odds into Timelines and Eve Viego; Kat Gwen, EzKen and Nasus Kindred are very slightly disfavorable matchups; Scouts and Lurkers, on the other hand, would be fairly bad news.
For an in-depth read (and a bit of a different list, although he pioneered Heavy Metal), here you have SharkBait's Nami TF Ionia deck guide, breaking down this archetype's round-by-round strategy.
Or, well, perhaps we should be expecting it by now: the Champ that seemed among the weakest as soon as Awakening launched is giving ample proof that she's in fact not only the punchiest of the batch, but also the most flexible – while this is the only new Norra deck we'll see today, it's not the only strong one, as we'll see in a bit.
This one did come a bit out of nowhere, and took the ladder by storm in the last three days: the decklist below hits at 53%+ in more than 1,200 games and, cherry on top: handily Portals on Pirate's parade by a good margin. It's also very solid into EzKen, Viego Evelynn and Lee Sin Akshan – on the negatives, it has a bit of a problem with Kat Gwen, and weeps bitterly whenever it faces Timelines or Sej Gwen.
Katarina Gwen, ft. Elise
This tough trio has lost a bit of punch – besides Pirates, they were the other only Juggernauts among the best LoR decks last Wednesday, but now they fall behind TF Nami IO and Heimer Norra among the Heavyweights. Nevertheless, they still remain the second most popular archetype overall, and also a great deck for Tournaments or Gauntlets. Their matchup spread is quite balanced (most confrontations are roughly even, signaling a deck with which skilled players will often have an edge), with only Eve Viego, Scouts and Taric Poppy being fairly tough struggles.
For further reading, here's Scissorsbox's Katarina Gwen Deck Guide, breaking down Red Gwen's many combos.
Gaining a lot of traction in the last few days (we saw it as a fringe deck last Wednesday, and picking steam last Friday), the "other" Gwen blend has shown it has what it takes to be taken seriously. Its performance is a bit on the weak end for what we usually recommend among Heavyweights – it jabs a bit below 52%, so a solid-yet-not-amazing punch – but its spike in popularity, and with other Sej Gwen lists performing equally well, makes it a solid bet as "deck that will get further refined in the next few days."
Sej Gwen beats its Red Gwen sibling, thwacks Timelines, and demolishes Hemeir Norra – it's not ideal against Pirates, though, and both Eve Viego and EzKen are a bit of an uphill struggle.
Ezreal Kennen Ionia
Another powerful archetype being refined; last Wednesday EzKen's best list was found among the "Punching Up" decks – now their most popular list is a bona-fide Heavyweight (close to 1,000 games and striking at 53%+), and in case you're in the mood for experimenting, the second most popular list performs even better (56%+ in around 600 games) by cutting Navori Conspirator and Tasty Faefolk to make room for more spells.
Pirates and Scouts continue being EzKen's nightmares (what can spells do against such reckless face-punching?) and Heimer Norra is seriously bad news – on the other hand, they run circles around Lee Sin and Nasus Kindred, squash Timelines most brutally, and have a very good edge against both Red and Sej Gwen.
A deck we'll include here a bit on grounds of novelty – pushing a playable 51% in 900 games even though Pirates, EzKen and Eve Viego are truly awful matchups.
By the way: Akshan seems, by a mile, the champ with whom brewers are experimenting the most right now. A lots of those experiments are on the "Hoooly crap that's bad!" corner of the Lab, at least for now, but there's a lot of interest in making him work in novel ways.
Notably Absent – Nasus Kindred, Trundle Timelines
While not unplayable (50%-ish WR), Nasus Kindred is nevertheless a deck that seems too popular given its current performance.
Trundle Timelines, and Concurrent Timelines in particular, have now joined the growing group of decks and cards that, in the future, you'll be able to point at whenever somebody, on the first couple of days of the Expansion, starts screeching, "Hotfix!! Hotfix, for design space's sake!! Hotfix now, or all is lost!!"
"Chill like an Iceborn, friend, and just give the Meta some Timelines to settle," you'll be able to say. "Maybe it's indeed not okay ('Sa), as you say, but… who knows? Maybe it shall all take care of itself!"
Punching Up – Off-Meta LoR Decks Doing Great
LoR decks with between 300 and 900 games played in the last three days in Platinum and above – 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 deck).
I'm starting to feel Ahri Bard about this one (a deck that for weeks pilots forcefully ignored back in its day, even though its numbers were unfailingly great): Eve Viego, a Heavyweight last week, now falls to our Punching Up category in spite of pummeling at close to 55%, and being very good against Pirates, Red & Sej Gwen, Nasus Kindred, Scouts, and Taric Poppy – that's to say, most of the Top Dogs!
And even its poor matchups (EzKen, Heimer Norra, Nami TF Ionia, and Timelines) are around 45%, which is very manageable (or downright unnoticeable unless you play tons of games) so… one of those puzzling decks that is surely solid, yet doesn't click with pilots for some reason!
Scouts, aka Miss Fortune Quinn
The other Fortune formula keeps doing quite well, and like in Metas past, with quite a lot of experimentation in what would seem and otherwise rather straightforward archetype: their Heavyweight deck, seen below (quite close to versions from older metas), hits at nearly 53% in 800+ games – a spicier take, though, has learned from Fortune's piratic adventures and has added Eye of Nagakabouros and Riptide Sermon to their mix.
Scouts are terrified by Viego Evelynn, but scare the heck out of Kat Gwen, EzKen, and Nami TF, while having a small edge on Pirates and Heimer Norra.
As said above, Heimer may be Norra's newest, flashiest partner, but Elise keeps being a very good friend – and three copies of Treasured Trash keep doing the trick! Has wonderful odds against Pirates, by the way.
And yet another Norra blend that is doing great – a fringe option last week, but now with a very solid 53%+ in 500+ games (and with the exact same list), we can very much call it "the real deal."
Pyke Rek'Sai, aka Lurkers
Buried Armory having become an mainstain, Pyke and Rek'Sai keep doing their 54%+ thing – one of the most high-rolly LoR decks (arguably the strongest when going first, among the weakest when going second), mostly kept at bay by its horrendous odds versus Pirates.
Your Mileage May Vary – Fringe LoR Decks
LoR decks with less than 300 games played in the last few days – promising, but too little data to say for sure!
Taric Poppy Demacia
Last Wednesday, Taric and Poppy were doing great but with nary a new toy to play with. By last Friday though, they picked up The Darkin Lodestone, and oh boy are they crushing skulls now. Definitely the pick for Rally fans, if Scouts are not your thing (and, yeah, you haven't really lived until you pull a Mountain Sojourners Support Conga Line! =).
A very "scattered" archetype, by the way: there are tons of different list (some of them doing truly awful), none of them with too many games – should pilots agree on the best list, Taric Poppy would for sure become a ladder Heavyweight.
Miss Gwen, ft. Rex
Grab Pirates, and slice off the Noxus side.
Then grab Kat Gwen, and remove the Noxus side too.
Add Riptide Rex.
Ramp Aurelion Sol
It's always heart-warming to see these two champs together (if you haven't yet, listening to their voice lines would be reason enough to take this deck for a spin), and they keep performing very well in the fringes (56%!), as they did two days ago. Tread with care (WR is quite likely being pushed upwards by very experienced pilots), but a very different deck from anything else you'll find in LoR.
Lee Sin Nami, ft. Twisted Fate
Nami TF, but with less Red and Gold cards, a lot more kick! Probably blasphemous for a good chunk of both TF and Lee Sin fans, but very solid numbers.
Pushed to the fringes, Vi Jax (aka "The Other Timelines Deck") seems to be doing okay – if you want further reading, GeneralSchwartz put together a Vi Jax Deck Guide you may want to check out.
Another list probably pushed by die-hard expert fans, but you can't look at a 58% WR (in quite the small sample: barely above 100 games) and not wonder if there's something truly scary here.
Ahri Kennen Shurima
Oh, look who's back!
If you weren't around LoR at the start of this year, you may not know: these two ruled the Meta with an iron fist for a whole Season. They seem to have found new toys and friends to play with, and are doing very well on the fringes.
Pirates keep their grip on the ladder, while Norra keeps showing up in new decks (which trash Pirates) – and the Meta seems to be settling down, which is usually when somebody finds the key to make something work real well (like, again, Pirates themselves by the tail end of Forces from Beyond). So, we'll see how things shape up! =)
To close today's recommendations, the usual reminder: all stats and recommendations above are for choosing the best LoR deck for the Legends of Runeterra Ladder – if you are in need of weapons of choice for a Tournament or Gauntlet run, be sure to check Sirturmund's & Monte's recommended Best-of-Three decks and lineups.
Good luck out there! =)
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 LoR Poetry Discord (we talk a fair bit about decks and data, too! =): https://discord.gg/VNN5NmGhXY,
Or find more writings on substack: https://riwan.substack.com/