El Clásico Agresivo
There are no signs of the Yuumi Pantheon dominance slowing down. The deck has shot up in playrate, and as such I still expect it to be ever prevalent in the best-of-three metagame.
This lineup is the classic triple aggro lineup that has been used to counter Pantheon decks in the past. I “borrowed” these three lists straight from our very own MaRu Pro player XxWhatAmIxX, who just took 1st place in GiantSlayer’s tournament this past Monday.
Gnar Ziggs Aggro
The idea here is simple: race down your opponents early with units, then finish off with burn. The midrange Demacia decks that are so prevalent do not usually have many heals in their lists, meaning each point of damage you do is very important. The decks that we want to hit are Yuumi Pantheon, Sivir Akshan, Sejuani Gnar, any Galio lists, Lurk, and in general any midrange style of deck.
As for our ban strategy, that is also pretty straightforward. Heals and AoE are our biggest weaknesses, so we want to prioritize bans on the Shadow Isles decks that play Withering Wail, Vile Feast and The Box.
After that, we could focus our attention on Freljord decks with Blighted Ravine and Kindly Tavernkeeper.
Lastly, we do tend to lose the race vs Scouts, so if not against a control lineup, it is worth banning Scouts over other decks.
If you are looking for an alternative to the decks above, any of the Yordle In Arms variants could fit right in as many of them tend to still sport great win rates vs Pantheon Decks. My personal recommendation would be Fizz Lulu as it still gives you some burn to finish the game after your units chip them down.
A Song of Ice and Fire
So when I think of the dominance from all these midrange decks and their rallies, there are two obvious ways that come to mind to stop them: Freezing them and Stunning them.
Last week, I recommended to you all a triple Noxus control lineup – that should still do pretty well – relying more on the stun and damaged units aspect. Today, I wanted to change it around a bit and incorporate more freezes into the idea.
The first deck is the classic Ashe LB deck. We are playing cards like Avarosan Hearthguard to make our units bigger against Scouts. With this deck, rely on the Trifarian Gloryseeker to pick off key units like Miss Fortune or Wounded Whiteflame while preventing their Single Combat and Concerted Strike with Flash Freeze and Icevale Archer.
The second deck is Ezreal Caitlyn and relies more on stunning your opponent to stop their big Rally turns, damaging their units to remove them with Ravenous Flock, and then swinging the game around with a big tempo Tri-beam Improbulator.
Lastly, the Sejuani Gnar list relies on locking down the Demacia opponents with a leveled-up Sejuani. I prefer this over classic GP Sejuani as it has more tools to stop us from getting run down.
Our targets with this lineup are the mid-range Demacia decks that rely on big board presence, rallies, or strikes to win. A well-timed stun or Icevale Archer can completely kill their momentum.
Our ban priority is a big issue. This lineup will struggle against control, especially Darkness, so I recommend banning the deck on sight. We might also get run down too quickly by Yordles in Arms variants, so I recommend having that as a second priority.
Lastly, our decks themselves rely on some key units that need to attack, so I would have decks like Gnar Swain, Ezreal Caitlyn or anything else with stuns as my third priority.
If you are looking for alternatives to the decks listed here, another option is a Swain Braum list. Unfortunately, Ashe Noxus already takes our Freljord and Noxus spot, so you would have to replace that deck for it. Other options include Teemo Sejuani if you prefer to play that over Gnar Sejuani, in which case I would move Gnar to replace LeBlanc in the Ashe deck.
Sirturmund’s Comfort Zone
Darkness is still a menace in the meta, even with all the Pantheon and Sivir Akshan decks running around.
The conventional way to counter Darkness would be a triple rally line up, which we will cover further down in this article. However, I wanted to try a different approach that put me away from playing Pantheon or Sivir Akshan decks, to avoid their hard aggro counter. I came up with this!
Fizz Yuumi Freljord Bandle City
Scouts is straightforward, it does very well into Darkness while not losing into Spider Aggro. It is, in fact, favorable versus an aggro lineup, meaning it will bait the ban out.
Bandle Tree is also pretty straightforward, as it is probably the best straight-up counter into Darkness – Veigar & friends have almost no way to beat The Bandle Tree, and a lot of their spells become useless.
Lastly, Fizz Yuumi.
This is a bit of a spice deck that I have been playing on the ladder recently to great success, taking me to 300 LP and top 15 in masters rank ladder.
The deck has a really great win rate vs Darkness as they struggle versus your big buffed-up elusives. If you manage to hit Fizz, it makes their life even more miserable as he can counter all their spells minus Minimorph. I have a video on this deck if you are not too familiar with it: Toxic Elusive Combo with Yuumi Fizz Freljord! | Deck Breakdown & Gameplay | Legends of Runeterra
Our lineup's strategy is to target control and slow combo decks, so keep those open whenever possible. You should do well versus almost all the usual control suspects, allowing you to take advantage of people trying to counter aggro decks.
We have decent matchups versus a lot of the field minus the Pantheon and Sivir Akshan decks, and the Noxus control decks. So in terms of ban priority, I would go after those two first.
Pantheon and Sivir are troublesome to us because of the Sharpsight, Single Combat and Golden Aegis allowing them to both slow down our attacks and also rush us down. Noxus control is very good against us because of Scorched Earth countering Bandle Tree and the stuns countering our attack-oriented decks, with Gnar Swain being the biggest offender due to also having access to Minimorph.
Monte’s House of Horrors
This is the lineup I played to top four in the Mastering Runeterra Daily tournament last week and it’s a spicy one!
Gnarlines is my favorite deck of the season and the one I’ve played the most so it just makes sense for me to play Gnar there.
We round out the lineup with Pantheon Yuumi and Atrocity Tristana (or Faetality as Sqweeby has named it). I chose these two decks because I believe Pantheon Yuumi to be one of the best decks in the format (which also beats all the smaller Demacia lists). I also like how Faetality does into the Demacia mirror and against Pantheon – with Atrocity as a finisher, the matchup is very winnable.
Your ban priority with this lineup is going to be aggro burn decks – stuff like Bandle Burn, Draven Rumble, or Spiders if anyone’s crazy enough to bring that.
Against a similar double, or triple, rally lineup you’ll want to ban out Pantheon Yuumi or Scouts. While I personally believe Gnarlines beats Pantheon Yuumi, the stats disagree.
Faetality should beat Pantheon Yuumi as well, but a fast Pantheon level-up with the right keywords can stop that plan in its tracks as well, so best to play it safe and remove the deck from the equation.
This is mostly a comfort lineup for me at the moment, as such you should feel free to swap out any list for one you’re comfortable on. Try to ensure they have similar ban goals though, I know from experience that there’s nothing worse than having conflicting ban requirements!
Look to the next attack
Is this lineup starting to look familiar? It should, this has been the ‘Type A’ (meta defining) lineup for the past couple of weeks and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere any time soon.
Scouts, Pantheon, and Tristana Demacia are three of the most individually powerful decks in the current meta-game. Normally triple rally lineups exist to target control, but despite the lack of control this lineup still seems to be everywhere – and quite successful.
As it turns out, when you play three of the best decks together you’ll find some pretty good results. Your game plan with this lineup is going to be setting up a board that your opponent cannot properly contest, and then shoving your advantage with a Rally at a crucial moment in the game. Knowing when to fire off your Rally is very important, so be sure to put some time in and practice with the decks before bringing this to a tournament.
Ban strategy is going to be removing the biggest Demacia deck you can, by this I mean stuff like Yuumi Pantheon, Jayce Lux, and Sivir Akshan.
If your opponent lacks a bigger Demacia deck, you should look to protect your Pantheon list by dropping any burn deck or any Noxus midrange list (like Draven Caitlyn)
You can swap out any one of these Demacia decks for another Demacia deck of your preference - Jayce Lux, Sivir Akshan, even a Galio deck would be fine. Whatever your rally deck of choice is, you can play it in this lineup!
If you want to get really spicy you can play triple rally a different way…. With Sion and Ekko Zilean as your second and third rally decks.
Lets go three weeks into the past
This lineup was very popular not so long ago. It fell a bit to the wayside because Bandle Tree and Darkness are both a bit weak to Scouts and Tristana Demacia. Still, this is a sound lineup if you don’t expect a lot of Demacia, or if you wanted to soft-target Pantheon (Lee and Tree are both pretty good into the avatar of war).
However, if this is what you decide to do, you’ll need to curate your Darkness list differently - I’d suggest adding some number of Wallop, and playing three copies of Vengeance at least.
Your ban strategy is going to be removing Scouts or Tristana swarm decks from the equation, as those two decks both have excellent matchups into your overall lineup. You can also ban out any Bandle Tree mirrors you do not want to face.
Burn is not the worst ban either – Decimate can be denied or healed, but with the right draw they can still sink your tournament dreams.
I actually don’t know what else might fit into this lineup, so have at it with your experimentation and let me know what you come up with in the comments below!
This is the lineup with which Phame won the first Mastering Runeterra EU $100 Daily on March 10, which we'll provide with no commentary:
Caitlyn Ezreal Noxus
About the authors
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!
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!