NOTE: These lists are from a previous patch -- for the most up-to-date lists, check this link!
As of early Sunday 10, this is how the top of the charts look like according to Balco:
Below we'll provide the best decklists for these archetypes (an archetype being the aggregate decklists of a specific champion combination -- the numbers you see in the chart above are for archetypes as a whole).
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 2700 games – best tried-and-true tools for the job.
Heavyweights: between 2700 and 900 games – excellent, well-tested choices.
Welterweights: between 300 and 900 games – we're entering the Land of Small Sample Sizes here, but anything in this category is fairly well tested.
Featherweights: between 90 and 300 games – risky stuff, but here's where you usually find the spice.
For this article, in all cases we'll look at decklists with win-rates at 53% or higher, in Platinum and above.
If you have any feedback on how these decklists could be showcased differently, do let me know! =)
If you're in doubt, then there's no doubt: pick any of these two decklists, and forget about the rest of this article.
These are both the most played decklists and also the best performing – it's very, very clear that Master players are not fooling around, because you rarely see such a good overlap between WR and playrate.
If you want every bit of edge and care for nothing else, you bring any (or both…) of them to ladder.
End of the story.
Thralls, aka Lissandra Taliyah
Thralls are not just back – it's been quite a few weeks since a single decklist performed so well: WR well above 55%, and nearly 3,500 games in the last three days.
It's also this archetype's most played list in all three shards, and in APAC in particular it's the overwhelming most popular version.
Two words: Play this! =)
You will likely lose to Jhinnie, Azirelia (quite badly) and Taric Poppy; Fizz Riven is not good news, either.
But, in the current field, you'll squash your favored matchups – TF blends for example – so thoroughly so as to more than make up for it.
If Thralls are the returned menace, Taric Poppy is the left-field deck that could.
The specific list below is the most played deck right now on the Plat+ ladder (even more than the Thralls list we've just seen), again with WR over 55%.
And, again like Thralls, this list is the archetype's most popular version in all three shards, in this case being overwhelmingly preferred in Americas.
Six words: Don't like Thralls? Then play this! =)
Matchups are a bit inverted: Taric Poppy is strong against Jhinnie and Azirelia, and murders Fizz Riven; it's also strong against Thralls.
These decklists have between 900 and 2700 games played in the last three days.
As a rule of thumb, player skill will matter more than the specific choice you go for, but do notice that as of right now, the Juggernauts' performance is really a cut above the rest – in other words, if you're switching decks and are aiming to climb with something you're inexperienced with, the Juggernauts above are probably the best option.
Blazing brat and bullet buff have been displaced as the most popular decklist, yet still remain one of the best tools for the job: nearly 2,500 games with this specific code, and surpassing the 53% WR mark.
They are in the interesting position of being a strong counter to one Juggernaut – namely Thralls – while weak to the other, namely Taric Poppy. They also have excellent odds against Azirelia and Ahri Bard, while being weak to Scouts, Heimer Jayce and Winding Light decks.
Same as Taric Poppy and Thralls, this list can be considered "solved": it's the most popular version, by a landslide, in all three shards – with EMEA in this case being the one that loves it most.
There are three decklists that amply make the Heavyweight cut play rate, but with WR close yet not quite reaching 53% – since in all cases they have more than a thousand games under their belts, they are still very solid choices:
- This Bandle Renekton Akshan list (2600 games, 52%+ WR) has been all the rage as of late; has lost a bit of steam in the last couple of days – probably due to an influx of new pilots – but remains a strong choice for Overwhelm aficionados and Ricko Rex cosplayers. It's also a fairly "fair" deck, in that most matchups are in the 45-55% odds range; try not to run into Ashe Leblanc, though.
- In spite of their archetype's overall performance, the most popular Ahri Bard list (2,000+ games, 52%+ WR) is a solid choice, with lots of tricks up their sleeves.
- And, a bit of a surprise: although their odds against Thralls is humongously bad, Annie TF also has a list that almost makes the Heavyweight cut, with a 52%+ WR in more than a thousand games.
Punchy decklists with between 300 and 900 games, and WR near or above 55%.
Only ten games short of the Heavyweight cut, Reforger and Fishy Yordle punch way above the 55% WR mark.
Beware of Demacia decks and their pesky rallies, and try not to run into Askhan Renekton. Then giggle and run circles around Thralls, Heimer Jayce and Ahri Bard.
Scouts, aka Miss Fortune Quinn
More than 700 games, WR above 55%, and a new trick to play with: Inspiring Light has become one of their staple spells now.
Otherwise, this stalwart archetype has yelled, "We leave no card behind!" – both Brightsteel Protector and Petricite Broadwing still make the cut.
Scouts bloody murders Annie Jhin, Azirelia and Ahir Bard, and can hold their own against Thralls – Taric Poppy and Heimer Jayce are a bit of a problem, though.
Jarvan IV Poppy Bard
Something we see time and again are decks being pushed to the fringe, only for their WR to skyrocket. JPB started the patch strong – at first the Demacia nerfs seemed to have affected not the Prince & Friends – then was pushed to the side as Thralls surged…
… and now seems to be coming back strong.
The list below reaches 54.9% in more than 700 games, and its odds against most of the popular archetypes – including Annie TF, Thralls, Jhinnie, Scouts, Taric Poppy and Azirelia – go from even to great.
Winding Light Brews
It's hard to make clear-cut distinctions between the several Winding Light champion combinations – and I'd agree with Master APIarist Legna that they are, by now, similarly enough to perhaps consider them a single archetype – so I'll just share the stats with minimal comments:
- Vi Aphelios Viktor seems to be the strongest approach to Winding Chompers madness, punching well above 55% in 700+ games in the last few days…
- …. while this Zoe Aphelios Viktor list performs even better with nearly 700 games.
- What used to be the prime Winding Light version, namely Vi Zoe Aphelios, is still played and with solid results (this decklists punches a bit above 52% across 800 games), but seems to not be the best approach against the current field.
Ziggs Annie Shurima
Then again, you could just go for keeping things simple, and just watch 'em burn.
In that case, this list is probably a good choice – a lot less played than other recommendations here (by play rate, it's nearly a Featherweight) but has worked great all this patch, and is working great right now.
You can also go for a version with Katarina, but it doesn't perform as well.
Decklists with great stats, but less than 300 games played in the last few days.
In some cases (like Heimer Jayce or Azirelia) they belong to Meta Staples archetypes that are either so scattered (see Heimer Jayce), or their most popular version being somewhat disappointing (see Azirelia) that their best decklists fall, by number of games played, into the Featherweight category.
Bandle Akshan Gnar
The Renekton variety has proven superior, but this take on Bandle Overwhelm does perform great, and if you're considering an Overwhelm Best-of-Three lineup, may leave Renekton free for a different spot.
Heimerdinger Jayce (SI)
Now, these are a really odd pair – they consistently show at the top of archetype charts (and for good reason), but they seem to have so many possible configurations that each of their specific decklists we usually have to list either in this Featherweight category, or at the bottom of our Middleweights.
This particular recommendation has a 53%+ WR in nearly 300 games, but as noted above there are a lot of slightly different builds all doing from good to great.
Another fairly scattered archetype, with lots of slightly different lists, and on top of that the most popular decklists are not doing too well, but this nearly-Middleweight punches above 55%.
Yep, this is a thing.
Little-tested, scary-looking, teal-reddish kinda thing!
Shen Jarvan IV
Pilots have been experimenting with this champion pair all this patch – this is the first time I've found results promising enough to recommend it.
Only around 100 games though, which likely means a single highly-skilled pilot is pushing the results upwards.
As usual for these write-ups, I've attempted to cover everything from well-tested Meta Staples to fringe Off-Meta brews, since as the saying goes, "Different strokes for different folks…"
… but, given that both the Seasonal cut-off (next Friday) and the Worldwaker Season's End (the Tuesday afterwards) are right around the corner, I'll state it plainly again: if your goal is to climb, the recommended Juggernauts, namely the Thralls and Taric Poppy decklists, are really a cut above everything else.Unless the field shifts quite a bit (which is always a possibility), if your sole focus is LPs I'd strongly recommend picking and sticking with one of those two; they are that good right now.
Last but not least: as shown by Legna's data in bA1ance's Mastery Curves article, it takes about 20-30 games to get the hang of a new deck that you've never played before – bear that in mind when factoring which deck you'll focus on for your last-push climb.
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/
And good luck in your climb!