Hello everyone and welcome back to another recommended lineup article with Sirturmund and MonteXristo.
It’s patch week and you know what that means, unstable meta and uncertain lineups!
Pantheon’s nerfs did not affect him very much, but the rest of the meta has been turned upside-down! We have not one but three different Viktor decks that currently appear viable, an Aphelios list or two, and even Mono-Shruima appears to be competitively viable!
Burn Baby Burn
It’s the early days of the meta so, burn is always a relatively safe bet. The existence of Mono-Shurima is going to warp the tournament meta slightly. Control decks are likely to be non-existent meaning there should be no one around to target this lineup. You might’ve noticed something a little bit different about the Pirates list, Seku was looking to bully the Mono-Shurima players in the early days of the patch and stumbled upon the Sigil of Malice tech. Sigil does a better job of going face than Make it Rain and the extra cost is rather negligible.
Your goal with this lineup is to kill Pantheon and Mono-Shurima. All three of these decks should have a great matchup into our targets, which I expect to be the most popular decks this week. As far as bans go, take out any Tri-Beam deck that you encounter as well as anyone playing traditional Lulu Fizz YiA. Those two decks can be problematic, Tri-Beam can keep you from pushing board-based damage in the early turns through their removal spells and YiA can keep your board clear with Lulu and Flame Chompers!. If your opponent’s not on one of these two decks you can feel free to spend your ban wherever you see fit.
If you wanted to swap out one of these decks for a different aggro deck, go right ahead! This is a pretty flexible lineup, you could even put something like Taliyah Ziggs in to improve your game into Mono-Shurima but beware, that deck doesn’t do particularly well into Pantheon.
Darkness be gone!
If anyone is crazy enough to bring control this week, you’re set to run them over with this lineup. All three of these decks are landmark-based, as a result, it’s really hard for any control archetype to interact with their win conditions. This lineup should also do just fine into most midrange archetypes that people may be exploring.
Your ban is going to be aggro focused, try to count out the burn available to your opponent and think about how they want to push damage in the early stages of the game when deciding which deck to take out of your opponent’s lineup. You’ll also want to ban anything with a lot of landmark removal, like Tri-Beam. Scorched Earth is sure to ruin your day as it forces you to take non-standard lines if you want to increase your win rate against it (ex. In Thralls you actively avoid playing for Promising Future).
Swaps to be made? If you want to stay on theme, you can play the other landmark deck, Star Spring. It did just get a buff in the form of Sheriff Lariette Rose. You could likely fit Pantheon into this lineup if you wanted, even Scouts might still be able to fit this style.
Monte Says Landmarks Are Interactable
I’ll be honest guys, this is a theory lineup based entirely on what I’ve been playing on the ladder. I have no idea if it will be synergistic enough to warrant playing in a future week but at the moment I believe the meta is unstable enough and these three decks are strong enough that I can get away with it.
My idea with this lineup is that all three decks have ways to interact with landmarks so I believe it will be a relatively good lineup into the expected tide of Mono-Shurima. The lineup also can hold its own into most midrange archetypes that are running around. Viktor Aphelios is a toolbox deck and it has ways to deal with almost anything you can throw at it, a skilled pilot will feel fairly even in most matchups. Gnarlines is a deck I’m particularly comfortable with and one that can threaten to instantly close out a game on turn eight. Taliyah Ziggs is a list I’ve grown fond of the past few days and it’s well-positioned at the moment, it’s aggressive enough that it can cheese out a win even in a bad matchup. For all these reasons I’m confident this lineup can find success this weekend.
I’m looking to ban Pantheon here, if you’ve read my previous articles you’ll know that I believe Gnarlines is winning in this matchup but the rest of our decks aren’t so it’s a liability. Beyond the Pantheon ban, I’m looking to take out aggro decks like Riven Viktor or any sort of Rumble archetype that shows up.
Did Anything Change?
Fizz Lulu YiA
Well, these lists look familiar… yes, all three of these decks were nerfed to one degree or another but they are still quite powerful and they happen to beat Mono-Shurima (what I expect to be the most popular deck this week).
Your game plan is the same as it’s been the past four weeks, set up a board that your opponent cannot contest, slam Yordles in Arms , Attack, Rally. If they’ve left Pantheon you know what to do, build a fated unit or two, and connect with the nexus twice. If they’ve got you on the ropes be sure to hit Lifesteal and Scout on your Pantheon just in time.
Ban strategy is going to be protecting Pantheon, this means removing burn decks or your opponent’s own Fizz Lulu deck. It could also mean banning Tri-beam, this is another high priority ban, if your opponent is on some weird lineup that blends burn and Tri-beam you’ll want to consult the matchup tables to get a better idea of what to ban.
The Noxus Invasion
For those familiar with our lineup suggestions, you know by now how much of a fan I am of a triple Noxus control lineup taking advantage of Scorched Earth and Arachnoid Sentry. Today this lineup comes straight from the mind of 4LW who just won an internal Hydra team tournament with it.
The game plan is simple: you take advantage of the multiple control and removal tools from Noxus to get advantages over the opponent. All the while slowly setting up for your late-ish game win conditions.
In terms of targets, we tend to do well into Demacia mid range lists. Our Ravenous Flock and other tools are potent against decks that need to attack to win. It’s very likely that you’ll be able to remove their win condition and boards as needed during the game. We also do well into decks like Bandle Tree that purely rely on their landmark to win, and can do decent versus some control archetypes that rely more on their champions to win (ie Darkness).
Contrary to what you might believe, Mono Shurima should be one of your main ban targets. Although we run Scorched Earth, the midrange versions of Mono Shurima can still win versus our decks purely through tempo oriented game plan. Aside from that, I would focus on banning some of the Viktor decks running around as we have no direct answer to Ambush combo due to them being able to do it burst speed not allowing room for our stuns.
In terms of alternate decks, Gnar Swain is an option if you’re not a fan of the Kindred Swain game style. There are also some versions of Control Noxus running Freljord that you can take advantage of.
With Mono Shurima being incredibly popular this week, I expect a lot of aggro lineups to try and race them down. As such, we are going one step ahead with this lineup and countering those aggro lineups.
Our targets with this lineup are obvious: any aggro burn deck. This includes things like Pirate aggro and spider aggro, but also includes things like Viktor Noxus or Draven Rumble. Any form of aggro will have a hard time versus our triple shadow isles lineup, giving us the edge in those matchups.
Ban priority is also straightforward. We have to ban Mono Shurima decks. Our late game style of game plan does not play well versus Mono Shurima as they will easily trigger the sundisc before our decks get going. Aside from that I would also be careful of some of the rally decks, such as Sivir Akshan due to their presence of spellshield or other ways to refill their board.
If you’re looking for alternate decks, Feel The Rush slots right in if you don’t believe in Anivia decks. Shadow Isles P&Z is also another deck that is worth considering, although I recommend playing Kindred in that deck meaning you’ll not be able to play Kindred Aphelios.
About the Authors
MonteXristo has been playing the game since closed beta and has consistently made it to masters every season he’s been active. His accomplishments include having peaked in the top 20, taking first place in the “Streamer Sideboard Showdown” and LPP Riot Grand Prix. When he’s not writing for Mastering Runeterra he keeps his card-slinging skills sharp by playing in the Runeterra Academy tournament, with his team The Wobbly Wombats!
Sirturmund is a long-time player of the game, having played LoR since beta. He has found competitive success in the past year with a couple of seasonal top cuts finishes, rank 1 ladder placements, and first spot in a Qualifier of Mastering Runeterra's Championship. Best known for being one of the very few to still bring Star Springs to tournaments, you can find Sirturmund lurking around all the social media sites absorbing anything he can about the game!