LoR Best Decks – The Plunder Ballad
As of early Tuesday, these are the best LoR decks right now, according to Balco and Mastering Runeterra Meta Tier List:
Comparing with data we checked last Sunday, and Leer's Monday Meta Report:
- The Portal Yordles, aka Heimer Norra, have lost much of their edge (they are not even shown in the above graph) – they still remain the third most popular deck (thus affecting the meta quite a bit, given their good odds versus Plunder and Pirates), but most of their lists currently perform below 50%,
- There's a clear trend to switch from Nami TF Ionia to Lee Sin Nami (usually still featuring a single copy of TF) – and Lee Sin seems a bit like Akshan these days: he shows up in a lot of decks.
Let's check decklists in detail!
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) and articles (like Leer's LoR Meta Decks Report last Monday) sorts LoR decks by archetype ("archetype" being the aggregate of decks with a specific champion combination) – that's also how matchup data is shown.
In this article, we'll sort 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: 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). As a rule of thumb, decks with a winrate (WR) above 52% catch our eye, above 53% are eye-widening, and anything 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 – 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).
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
Decklists with more than 2100 games and good-to-great WR. Tried-and-true tools for the climbing job – if you are looking for the best deck in Runeterra, it's probably in this category.
Plunder, aka Sejuani Gangplank
They haven't earned a "Stop reading right now, just play this deck" tag just yet, but they are close – and, today, the only Juggernaut in sight. Their most popular deck (same as last Sunday) punches at nearly 55% in a massively large 7,200+ game sample.
Plunder is a rock in a sea of scissors: it crushes Pirates, Nasus Kindred and Kat Gwen; beats Timelines; has an edge on Taric Poppy, Scouts, Ezreal Kennen, and is not too afraid of Heimer Norra or Nami Ionia.
Only decks that ruin Plunder's parade are Thresh Viego Ionia and Eve Viego (even though, as noted in previous articles, pilots always seem reluctant to pilot the latter).
Notably Absent: Heimerdinger Norra Shadows
Last week's hot trend, and still very popular, Heimer Norra is not doing too well – they do have a Juggernaut deck by play rate (2,100+ games) but it performs below 50%, so we won't recommend it today.
The Portal Yordles still have good lists, though, as we'll see in the Punching Up category further down.
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."
Pirates, aka Miss Fortune Twisted Fate
Dropping from Juggernaut to Heavyweight, Pirates' best list has lost none of its punch: a whopping 57%+ across 1900 games in the last three days. Shellshocker and Slippery Waverider have become staples, putting this build way above other Pirates versions.
And, as noted last Sunday, only Plunder, Portals (which is in steep decline) and Eve Viego (a deck that never manages to get traction, for some odd reason) are bad news for Pirates – Gangplank may have stolen the limelights from Fate and Fortune, but they still remain one of the best decks in Runeterra.
Twisted Fate Nami Ionia
Last Sunday we wondered why Nami TF is seeing such a sharp decrease in popularity and performance – a puzzling trend, given its very good matchup table: it beats Heimer Norra, and has a slight edge on both Pirates and Plunder (that's to say, the three most popular archetypes), while also having good to great odds against most of the field, with Taric Poppy being Nami TF's only nightmare.
As it stands, the explanation may simply be that Nami Lee Sin, which we will see a bit further down, is the superior build, and pilots are migrating to it.
Trundle Vi Timelines
After a grand time bullying the Yordle Portals (a bit like he did in the early Awakening days, when he rose to prominence mostly by bashing weak decks while crumbling to strong ones), the Troll King remains popular and quite playable, but looking signs of trending down: the exact same build that was at 55% last Sunday is now at 52%, across nearly 1300 games.
Taric Poppy Demacia
Unlike Timelines, Taric and Poppy keep inching upwards – their best build now hammers at 54%.
They look like a contributing factor to the migration from "classic" Nami Ionia to Lee Sin Nami, by the way: they have a slight edge on the latter, but utterly crushes the former.
Overall, Taric Poppy has only two bad matchups among popular decks: Pirates (which is very bad), and Lee Sin Akshan – all in all a very solid option to look into, if you are fond of Demacia and its Rallies.
Lee Sin Nami, ft. Twisted Fate
One of the hottest trends in town! =)
Performance itself is an eye-opener: with their best list, these three champs kick at a ridiculously high 57%+ in more than 1,000 games. And it's all the more impressive when considering their surge in popularity: more than twice the play rate, compared with just two days ago. And top pilots endorse the trend, to boot.
Pirates seem to be the only truly bad matchup here, with Taric Poppy looking (in a smallish sample size) a bit of a struggle. Everything else that is popular right now, including Plunder, looks like a good matchup for Lee Sin Nami.
Notably Absent: Karma Viktor, Luly Poppy, Nasus Kindred
All these archetypes are still playable, hovering at 50% - still, not what we'd recommend taking to ladder right now.
Punching Up – Runeterra Decks Doing Great
Runeterra 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).
Aaand here we find the first good Portal Yordles list – you have to dig quite a bit (this is their fifth most popular version), but seems to work quite well.
Elise Twisted Fate, aka Pandemonium
Monkeys are on the upswing: the list seen below punches at 55% in nearly 500 games, and there are a couple of others with similar numbers.
Most likely reason? They beat Plunder, and brutally murder Pirates.
Word of caution, though: odds for most other matchups range from slightly rough to quite ugly, so Pandemonium may be a bit of a risky bet. But, if you want to show Gangplank and Miss Fortune who's really the Captain, this would be the deck to bring!
Katarina Gwen, ft. Elise
Far from its heyday, Katarina Gwen keeps getting the job done – being weak to Plunder and a bit of the underNasus to Pirates and Portals is not a great place to be, though, so while still a solid Ladder option (nearly 53% in roughly 400 games), the field may have shifted too aggressively against this three champs.
Veigar Norra Shadows
Seems that the spice has legs? =)
One of our fringe decks last Sunday confidently climbs to the "perhaps it's not a fluke" category – decent performance (roughly 52%), nearly 400 games in the last three days (when last Sunday it was just around 100), and now that we have a bit of data, the matchups do look interesting: Norra Veigar appears even against Plunder, quite favored into Pirates, and excellent against Heimer Norra.
A deck worth looking into if you miss Veigar, or if you want to play Norra but Turrets are not your thing!
Having enjoyed a bit of the spotlight last week, Sejuani Gwen is a somewhat fringe option (its most popular list has a bit over 300 games), but is packing one hell of a punch: 55%+.
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.
Today we'll find quite a few archetypes that were popular or strong (or both!) just a few days ago, and also quite "scattered" (as in, archetypes that have a lot of different decklists with similar playrate, thus suggesting pilots have not yet found the optimal list for the current field) – goes to show, shifts in the meta can cut quite deep, even when the archetypes at the top may remain remain.
The current best Viego Evelynn list (54%+ WR, nearly 300 games) has gotten a bit greedier, eschewing Hapless Aristocrat for Spirit Leech and going all-in on Neverglade Collector.
As noted in past reports, it's really a weird archetype: pilots don't quite like it, even if its matchups are fairly good (beats Pirates and Plunder, and its roughly even against most other popular choices, with no truly awful matchup in sight), and as such Eve Viego never gains traction. On the other hand, it's currently quite "scattered" (lots of slightly different builds), as if pilots were indeed interested in refining and optimizing this archetype.
Truly a mystery! =)
Pink Thresh Viego
On the other hand, this is perhaps the "cool" Viego deck, with great matchups against Plunder, Pirates and Portals, and solid odds against the rest of the field.
If Eve Viego is not doing it for you, maybe try this deck instead!
Pink Ezreal Kennen
It would seem times are indeed rough for (or pilots are bored of?) Ezreal Kennen – regardless how high top pilots may rate this deck, popularity is in sharp decline. Its most popular list sits at a bit below 200 games played, although with a great 53% WR.
And it keeps refusing to go out quietly into the night!
Fiercely fighting in the fringes, Vi Jax is punching well above 55%, giving its all to not be pushed out of the Meta.
Akshan Lee Sin
An extremely scattered archetype (the most popular list is less than 5% of the archetype's data sample), and therefore it's quite hard to draw conclusions about the optimal build. Still, both the Akshan Lee Sin archetype as a whole, and the majority of the most popular lists, are performing very well.
If you are new to Legends of Runeterra, this deck (like the next, Nightfall) may be something that will probably feel fresh and different, given the extensive use of a particular mechanic – also recommended if, a bit like Timelines, you enjoy archetypes offering a lot of "choose among three" choices (although, in Predict's case, those choices are from among cards already in your deck).
Quite an aggressive deck, going for early chip damage and then rallying with Ekko's spell.
As Leer noted in his Monday Meta Report, Nightfall is doing quite well. If you are a Nightfall enjoyer, may be the perfect time to rejoin with Diana and Nocturne – if you've never tried the archetype, then it's a good opportunity to check a deck that plays a bit differently than any other (and which is much, much subtler than it may look at first glance).
For our final and fringiest recommendation, a champ combo that wouldn't have surprised a couple of patches ago, when "Let's slap Bard here" was always a solid deck-building option. Yet it does punch at 55% currently, and with two champs you don't see anywhere else nowadays!
With around a week to go until the next balance patch (in principle scheduled for Wed 28th, if Riot sticks to their usual patch cadence), it seems like we'll finish this first Awakening chapter with Plunder, Pirates and Portals on top…
… but, as noted, Portals seem to be in sharp decline, and our Meta hates a vacuum, so there may still have a couple of surprises in store.
We'll see! =)
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,
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