Hello everyone! With the last weekend of Gauntlet and Tournaments before the new patch, this might be your last chance to try out some of the great meta decks running around at the moment! While Demacia decks are still on top, we have seen a resurgence of old archetypes like Lee Sin Zoe and Trundle Lissandra Control (TLC) making a splash in tournament winners’ lineups.
Sit with us again today as we explore six different lineups that might bring you to glory!
A Homage To A Curious Journey Patch
A Curious Journey has had a lot of people unhappy with the game, due to the general strength and randomness of Bandle City. However, from a Best of Three and tournament perspective, it wasn’t Bandle City that stole the show. This patch belongs to the Demacia midrange decks, which have come back in full force in all different flavors, and this lineup is a homage to that.
The idea here is simple, beat your opponents through a big rally turn. Each of these three decks has their own way of setting up for said turn.
Pantheon Yuumi Taric can set up a big Pantheon, big Overwhelm Wounded Whiteflame, or Taric before they Golden Aegis for the win. Akshan Sivir can set up a leveled up Sivir with The Absolver or use For Demacia! on a wide board, then rally to great effect.
And finally, everyone’s favorite deck Faetality, can just straight up win with Yordles in Arms , having the rally as icing on the cake if needed.
With this lineup you are targeting the slower decks that cannot deal with your board and rally pressure. So we do well vs decks like Darkness, Feel The Rush , and Lee Sin Zoe. All these decks can present a powerful board presence as well, allowing us to go toe to toe with most other Demacia midrange decks.
In terms of ban targets, our biggest enemies will be aggro burn lineups. Things like Spider Aggro, Draven Rumble, and Lulu Fizz present a lot of problems for us since they can go wider quicker than we can and just finish us off with burn after they push enough damage.
If your opponent does not have any of those burn aggro decks, then my next go to ban would be Ionia decks with Deny or Concussive Palm. Both Deny and Palm are powerful tools that can stop our big tempo rally turn in its tracks.
If you are looking for an alternate deck to play, Scouts is a consideration. Although Scouts will make us more vulnerable to other midrange Demacia lineups, as usually Pantheon and Sivir decks can beat Scouts. A fifth option is something more like Braum Jarvan IV or a Braum Galio that includes some number of rallies. The access to Freljord's Troll Chant and freezes can also increase your edge against other Demacia decks.
Winner’s Lineup With A Splash
Lee Sin comes out of nowhere to start winning tournaments again. Here we cover Codemanjack’s winning lineup, with a small change from my part.
Lee Sin Zoe
Lulu Fizz Yordle In Arms
Draven Sion Burn
This past Sunday we had a $200 MasteringRuneterra tournament and a player named Codemanjack won it all with a lineup consisting of Lee Sin Zoe, Lulu Fizz Yordles in Arms and Draven Rumble. Two of the deck lists above are directly from his tournament lineup, but for the third deck I decided to swap to Draven Sion burn instead of Rumble.
In Codemanjack’s own words when asked if he would change anything on his lineup: “If there is a good replacement for Drumble that fits the game plan, I would swap it as the deck didn’t feel amazing for me.”
Now, changing from Rumble to Sion might be a bit of a cop out, especially since our Sion list is playing a more burn-oriented style with Decimate. However, the change is significant because I believe that Sion is more consistent and a better deck for beating both Pantheon and Tristana Fae. Rumble can be a bit awkward due to his discard condition and overreliance on Might. Sion becomes a big finisher that gives us a potential rally and allows us to play more Lost Souls.
The idea with this lineup is to target both Tristana Fae Swarm (Faetality) and Pantheon. Lee wins these matchups through using Deny and stuns to stop their big turns. Lulu Fizz wins through going wide versus Pantheon, and having the top end burn versus Faetality. Draven Sion plays similarly to Lulu Fizz, going wide versus Pantheon and taking advantage of Fearsome units early in the Faetality match up, closing the game out with burn.
In terms of bans, control lineups will present a bit of an issue for us. Especially if they leave Draven Sion open. However, because of Sion’s ability to revive when he dies, he is much better equipped to steal games versus control decks that rely on Vengeance. However, I would recommend still banning Darkness when possible as that is also a tough matchup versus Lee Sin.
For alternative decks, you could just run Draven Rumble if my arguments for Draven Sion did not convince you, seeing how successful Codemanjack was with the lineup. A full on COPIUM alternative might be Viego Kindred Ionia. The deck historically does well versus Pantheon decks, you would just have to tech in some cards to also be able to do well versus Faetality. Access to Deny and Concussive Palm does help towards that idea, but does not guarantee you can survive their onslaught of units.
Sirturmund’s Pick - Casting A Wide Net
For better or for worse, my weekly picks are always very spicy hot takes. While last week’s pick did not find me much success in the tournament I played, I believe this week’s might do a bit better!
As I have already discussed during today’s recommendations, Lee Sin Zoe is back. Codemanjack won Sunday’s tournament with Lee in his lineup, Squallywag came third with Lee as one of his decks, and Mtuck also brought Lee to win MasteringRuneterra’s Wednesday Night Tournament. With Lee making a comeback, so does my favorite pastime in LoR’s history: Coming up with lineups that beat Lee.
I ended up with these three decks above, which I believe are not only teched to beat Lee Sin Zoe, but are also teched to do well versus both Pantheon decks and Darkness. I ended up casting a very wide net and came back with this, so sit with me as I walk you through my thinking here.
Bandle Tree is a pretty straightforward counter to both Darkness and Lee Sin. Both of those decks have little to no ways to deal with The Bandle Tree once it comes down. The addition of Wallop to this specific deck list not only improves your odds against Lee even more, but gives you some points versus Pantheon decks as well. Add to that triple Minimorph, double Aloof Travelers and double Arachnoid Sentry, and now we have a deck that should be able to reliably deal with Pantheon’s big units long enough to win with The Bandle Tree.
The second deck, Darkness, is already a well known Lee Sin counter. We go even further on that concept in this version,by adding Aloof Travelers, Minimorphs, Wallop, and even Stress Defense. This will allow us to almost never die to a Lee Sin overwhelm, AND I believe should give us enough tools to deal with Pantheon decks. That leaves the mirror vs other Darkness decks, which with Aloof and Minimorph, should be decent for us as well.
The last piece of the puzzle was one I had to dig for. I ended up coming up with Akshan Ahri. We all remember that Ahri Kennen of old was a very good match up into all three Darkness, Lee Sin and Pantheon, and this deck seeks to replicate that magic. This Akshan Ahri deck is objectively worse than Ahri Kennen, but I believe it is still good enough to consistently win those match ups. With Concussive Palm and Homecoming, Lee Sin and Pantheon will have a hard time staying on the board for any significant amount of time. Deny allows us to stop some of Darkness’ Vengeances while we set up the win with our Ahri combo. I would be careful to not play Ahri until she is leveled up though, as she is now vulnerable to a 2 damage Darkness.
Hopefully no matter who you are facing, you end up facing one of Darkness, Lee or Pantheon in their lineup, making our target priority a breeze. Aside from those three decks though, we should still also be favored against other slower control decks, like TLC and Feel The Rush, as we can discard their big win conditions with Aloof Travelers or Deny them.
In terms of ban priority, I would advise banning Yordles in Arms variants or lists relying on units with Spellshield (i.e. Ruin Runner combo decks, Sivir Akshan). Pretty much if you see a match up where Minimorph might not make a difference or could be too difficult to deploy, I would consider banning it. Very wide and fast aggro decks might also present a problem, as Akshan Ahri will struggle to deal with them.
As far as alternate decks to play, it is hard to find something here that fits the wide net game plan we are going for. We could completely pivot to a triple Bandle Tree lineup playing three Minimorphs and other forms of stuns to stop Pantheon, Lee, and Darkness, but that is a completely different lineup which we have recommended in the past here.
No, You Can’t Cast That!
Beat Panth, Ok into YiA
This lineup is straight from CameronHanzo himself and it intends to beat Pantheon, this is a very ‘against the grain’ lineup. If you’re comfortable on some of these more traditional decks then there has almost never been a better time to bring a lineup like this – Pantheon is everywhere and this lineup can hold up into Yordles in Arms Demacia because of all the AoE removal in these decks.
Your goal against Pantheon is going to be to lock up the board with Encroaching Mists as Viego while also threatening to continuously clear their side with Kindred. You’ll eventually level your Viego and he will be able to close out the game. The deck gives you the added benefit of Deny access so you’re less threatened by Rally. Against the swarm decks, you’ll want to build as much of a board as possible and look for a big lifesteal turn if possible. Concussive Palms also happen to be quite good against a Yordles in Arms turn, keep that in mind!
Ban strategy here is to take out anything with Minimorph, place a heavy priority on The Bandle Tree as you’ll have an extremely difficult time closing out games before they can. If there’s no Bandle Tree in your opponent’s lineup just take out any other Minimorph deck as your first priority and then base your ban around what you’re comfortable playing into. With a lineup like this comfort is quite important, not a lot of players have reps on or against Viego at the moment
Rally Done Differently
I figured you folks were probably getting a bit bored with the same old lineups, how many different ways can we do a triple rally lineup anyway? Well, here’s a new spin on it… sort of, Fizz gives us access to Playful Trickster and that counts, right?
Jokes aside, I think this is a pretty solid lineup. It may not have the most coherent ban strategy but it should be able to take on a lot of the stuff out there. I would probably prioritize a Pantheon ban with this lineup and look to beat up on smaller Demacia lists. Yordles in Arms might struggle a bit into the Tristana Demacia version but you should be able to keep control of the board with Lulu and [[Flame Chompers] - for more insight on YiA and this matchup, check out Card Gamer’s Guide!
You can swap any of these decks out for a different rally deck or YiA version. Just remember to apply the rule of Demacia when you’re deciding on how to build your Rally lineup. The bigger Demacia decks will win out over the smaller ones.
Monte’s Lost His Head
Honestly, I won’t lie to you all - this is what I’m playing this weekend and there’s no rhyme or reason behind it other than wanting to play triple aggro, and these are three decks I enjoy. Scouts and Gnar Ziggs are both extremely well positioned and Nightfall is a pet deck of mine. My general strategy is just going to be going face and trying to kill my opponents as fast as possible, I think this lineup should do just fine into the swarm stuff - Burn can race, Scouts can keep the board narrow, and Nightfall should be able to pull Tristana out of the way and go over the top.
You’re going to want to ban Pantheon with this lineup as well. While Gnar Ziggs does have a good matchup into Pantheon, Scouts, and Nightfall are going to struggle so we have to protect them. If there’s no Pantheon you should look to ban the deck with the most healing, or anything carrying a Deny. Something like Taliyah Malphite may also be tricky as it can do well into Scouts and they will almost always have fearsome blockers for Nightfall. They will lose to Bandle Burn more often than not but there are draws involving multiple copies of Chip that will let them survive until the lategame where they have the advantage, current builds are also on multiple copies of Rite of Negation so be wary of stacking spells.
If you wanted to swap it up, what should you bring? Well you could go for a harder Pantheon target by swapping both Scouts and Nightfall for something like YiA and Spiders for a really hard target but be warned, that will leave you weak to just about everything that’s not Panth.
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!