LoR Best Decks – The More Things Change…
The more things change, the more they stay the same… Lissandra and Taliyah have fulfilled their promise from last Friday and, looking at archetypes, Thralls is once again at the top.
According to Balco:
Lone Kai'Sa's play rate remains only half a percentage point below what Riot considers a yellow flag (15%), Illaoi Bard remains a powerhouse, but far from its "Broken Blend" status…
… and the tide has brought us Deep and Nami TF, back among the top dogs!
On a bit of a less cheery note, pilots have been a bit less eager to play this week – by the sources we check, around 10% less games were played these last three days, compared to Tuesday last week.
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 own) 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, usually in the last three days (unless stated otherwise).
If you have any feedback on how these decklists could be showcased differently, do let me know! =)
Juggernauts – Best Decks in LoR
Decklists with more than 2100 games: these are the best LoR decks, tried-and-true tools for the climbing job.
Kai'Sa has mutated to adapt to the Sharpsight bugfix last week, which for her counted as a nerf: Sharpsight is no longer found in her best-performing list, while Ranger's Resolve (rather than Chain Vest) and three copies of Cataclysm are part of the spell menu.
Also note that Void Abomination is absent, while a lot of units are two-of.
With these mutations, the list below is, by the numbers, the best tool to climb the ladder: it's the most played list (more than 3,300 games in the last three days) and punches at 55,7%.
Only thing seemingly able to stop this mutated Juggernaut in her tracks is Yasuo Katarina, and Azirelia has a slight edge – everything else is either (roughly) even or favored for Kai'Sa.
tl;dr: want to climb? Pilot this! Need tips? Here's Seasonal Champ Prodigy's Deck Guide about it!
The Church of Chimes and Tentacles is far from dead or gone – while they do have a decklist that falls strictly on the Juggernaut range (this one, punching at nearly 53% in 2,500 games), for clarity's sake we'll bend our rules slightly and recommend the second, which by play rate would be a Heavyweight (roughly 1,600 games played) but performs much better, at nearly 55%.
Except for Shen Bard, Illaoi Bard's matchup spread remains impressive – it's even against Lone Kai'Sa and Pandemonium (which has become quite trendy), and is the top dog in most other popular matchups.
tl;dr: Want to climb, but not with Kai'Sa? Then pilot this one instead!
Pandemonium lists (there are several versions, since their real champions are indeed the monkeys) came to the fore last week – but, even though they managed impressive results on Tournaments, on Ladder they are not looking that hot.
Still, their best list, recommended below, manages an okay 51%+ WR in 2300 games, and as a new archetype, there's probably lots of room for tweaks.
They are quite favored into Jhinnie and Kat TF, and even against Illaoi Bard – Kai'Sa is a bad matchup, though, and Thralls absolutely demolished them.
Notably Absent – Jhinnie
Blazing brat and bullet buff are having a rough week – their list struggles at 50%, hence we cannot recommend it currently.
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".
Still squeezing points from their excellent odds against Illaoi Bard (and even though they suffer horribly in front of Lone Kai'Sa), Shen Bard's best list performs at 53% in 1,600 games.
Notably Absent: Other Decklists!
Between Kai'Sa, Illaoi and Pandemonium, they seem to have squeezed the Heavyweight category dry: most pilots have migrated to the Juggernauts, are losing LPs with weak brews, or are looking for other options in less-popular decklists, as we'll see in the categories below.
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).
Azir's followers' faith probably shook a bit last week, since Azirelia's odds against Pandemonium are quite bad.
Still, they are slightly favored against Lone Kai'Sa, and very favored against Thralls, allowing their most popular list easily reach 54% in around 800 games.
Thralls is an interesting case, as one very "scattered" archetype: lots of very similar lists, all doing from good to great, which speaks of an archetype with lots of room for improvement once pilots settled on the optimal build.
We'll recommend for now the second most popular, punching at 53%+ in 500+ games.
It should be noted that Thrall's matchups are all over the place: they demolish Pandemonium and Kat/Annie TF decks (the former is probably why they are doing so well now), while losing badly to Kai'Sa, Illaoi Bard, Azirelia and Jhinnie.
Sivir Kai'Sa (DE)
The chic choice for those that want to climb with Kai'Sa, but don't quite like going all-in in the Lone version – a lot less popular, Sivir Kai'Sa performs excellently, with our recommended list punching above 55% in 400+ games, and with a handful of other lists pulling similar numbers.
The Sivir variant is a slight underdog against the Lone variant – it also suffers with Jhinnie, while being favored into Illaoi Bard, Pandemonium, and slightly favored versus both Thralls and Azirelia.
A bit less punchy than last Friday, Zed Bard still brings the numbers (nearly 53% in around 350 games) and, as noted back then, is even or favored into three of the most popular archetypes: Lone Kai'Sa, Illaoi Bard, and Pandemonium.
Nami Twisted Fate
In the fringes, the big-brained champion pair keeps doing quite well, punching above 54%.
Not an easy deck to steer, so pilots beware!
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.
Ahri Bard remains a thing (as it has been since early Worldwalker days!) – if you want the Bard deck that beats other Bard decks, by the way, this would be it.
Draven Sion (PZ)
Another very "scattered" archetype (lots of different lists, and all of them doing pretty well) – dies horribly to Shen Bard and Thralls, but has game against pretty much everything else.
Interesting times indeed… this is actually the best-performing decklist in the YMMV category! Sometimes that's simply due to small sample sizes (hence more variance), but the numbers are impressive: well over 55% WR!
Katarina Ziggs Annie Shurima
Noxurimaggro, always at the fringe, always doing very well there (above 55%, actually!) – if you want to go "Punch face first, ask burning questions later," then this is the decklist you want.
We have to go this… well, this deep to find the first Deep list – yet another very "scattered" archetype, so each decklist's play rate is tiny. Below, the most popular, nearing 54% WR.
Curious Zilean Akshan
If you are relatively new to LoR, this is probably a novelty for you: a Curious Shellfolk list. And doing quite well, by the way, although with a very small sample (barely above 100 games), so pilots beware.
As noted in the opening, pilots played around 10% less games this week, compared to last Tuesday – and, as seen by the lack of recommendable Heavyweights, a lot of pilots migrated to either the most powerful decklists, or are searching options in the fringe.
Still, nobody expected Powder Monkeys last week, so the Meta may have a couple of surprises still…
… and, at any rate, there's a balance patch next week, on Wed 17.
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!