Welcome back to another weekly lineup article by Sirturmund & MonteXristo! We hope you missed us after our week off – the meta was a bit uncertain and we weren’t comfortable suggesting lineups we didn’t fully believe in.
Now that the meta has been shaken up a bit we’re happy to return with another batch of lineups to help you prepare for your Seasonal tournament!
The Vast Shuriman Desert
This is arguably the most powerful lineup in the game at the moment.
Featuring what are widely considered the two best decks, namely Pantheon and Mono Shurima – no, the nerfs weren’t enough to put the Shuriman Car Dealership out of business – this trio forces your opponent into very awkward bans… none of which feel good.
Our own ban strategy is going to be pretty simple: remove the opponent’s Pantheon.
In the case there is no Pantheon you’ll want to take out Pirates or any other aggro deck that’s threatening to mess with your lineup, as all three decks are weak to aggressive strategies.
If there’s no Pantheon and no aggro, and you find yourself against a triple Shurima lineup, you’ll want to protect your Sun Disc from Ziggs Taliyah or anything else that may threaten it, like Zilean Xerath.
You could throw Sion in over Pantheon, but why play the third best deck when you could play the best deck?
I genuinely believe changing this lineup will only weaken it, on paper anyway. If you’ve never practiced one of these lists before you should make a swap to something you’re more comfortable with (but really, just put in the time to learn these!).
This is likely the best aggro lineup at the moment, with my own personal flair thrown in (Nightfall).
I do think Draven Sion + Pirates is the ideal core for a burn lineup, and you should be looking to beat up Pantheon and Sun Disc with this strategy.
This means we’ll be banning out anything that threatens us – for example Feel the Rush or even Sentinels (as we'll see in the next lineup) can be incredibly punishing to our all-in aggro strategy.
If Darkness shows up, you’ll want to get rid of that too, since basically any deck with healing and vast amounts of removal is something we don’t want to deal with.
It’s totally understandable and likely advisable that you should play something else over Nightfall so you can have a better Pantheon matchup, the only trouble is that I don’t know what the best third burn/aggro deck could be.
You could try out Spiders – it does have the matchup spread you want – but I lost faith in that deck during Ahri Kennen meta. YiA is maybe still just good enough to bully Panth but it’s not a matchup I’ve tested and there aren’t enough games for stats to show up.
The Society Against Aggro
Mono Shurima received some nerfs in the latest patch, leading to slightly fewer people playing the deck on the Ladder, in turn allowing Feel The Rush to reemerge at the top of ladder win rate stats.
This trio preys on the more aggressive decks in the current meta (like the three we've just seen above), which themselves target the Shurima and Pantheon lineups.
Feel The Rush
Jayce Sentinel Control
Our target strategy is simple, we want to see at least one aggro deck in our opponent’s lineup.
Popular choices these days are Pirate Aggro and Draven Sion, both sporting considerable decent win rates and popularity, with the latter winning a couple of MaRu daily tournaments. All three of our decks should be able to outlast their aggressive early start and stabilize the longer the game goes.
The decks that we do not want to see mainly come from two regions, Shurima and Demacia. Sun Disc is a very big threat and should probably be banned on sight, as even with their slight nerf they can still beat us faster than we can beat them. From Demacia, rally strategies just race us down as they’re able to capitalize on our high-cost cards to set up for a brutal Rally turn.
If you’re looking for an alternate deck to any of the ones presented here, Aurelion Sol Thresh should be decently positioned to slot into this lineup and still keep similar matchup tables.
These decks might not seem like they share a lot in common, but the idea is that we are playing more aggressively to be able to beat the Shurima decks without fully going into triple aggro lineup.
In fact, this lineup works because it doesn’t outright lose to a triple control lineup.
All three of our decks have great winrates into Sun Disc, making that our main target. Against the rest of the common field, such as Feel The Rush, Draven Sion, Pirate Aggro, and Ziggs Taliyah, we always have at least 2 out of 3 decks with positive win rates versus them. That’s the beauty of this lineup, there aren’t any outright losing lineups.
Except for one deck: Pantheon Yuumi. All three of our decks lose badly to Pantheon Yuumi, so I would recommend always banning the deck if you go against it.
Other big Demacia decks, such as Lux Jayce, can also be problematic as they can abuse their matchup versus our Scouts. So be mindful of that.
Other variations of this lineup could include Sun Disc or Pantheon Yuumi itself, but I feel those decks make you more vulnerable to counter lineups. I would not recommend playing them unless you’re just not comfortable with one of the above.
Sirturmund’s Pick – Trying To Counter The Field
As always, I overthink things too much and try to counter the most popular decks rather than play them myself… Well, sort of! =)
This week my picks are three decks meant to target Sun Disc and Pantheon Yuumi. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a third deck that could really do that, so had to settle for a version of Pantheon Yuumi teched to beat other Pantheon Yuumi decks.
As mentioned, our main targets are Shurima and big Demacia decks like Pantheon and Lux. Azir Irelia is able to race these decks down very fast, and gets a big tempo swing with their recalls.
Similarly, Draven Sion is an aggro midrange deck that can push a lot of damage through Fearsome and Burn.
What I like about this lineup is that we don’t outright lose to control or other midrange piles, either. We have an even-ish spread across the board against these types of decks.
Our boogeyman though is very obvious, aggro. Both Azir Irelia and Pantheon Yuumi are very vulnerable to triple aggro lineups. Unfortunately, if the opponent is playing pure triple aggro, there is not a lot we can do. I would recommend banning their Pirate Aggro and testing your luck against the rest.
Seasonal Prep Tips
With the Open Rounds coming up, here's a few tips we thought may be useful for players that will compete in a Seasonal Tournament for the first time:
Figure out your lineup early.
Find some friends to practice your lineups with,
When choosing your lineup for Open Rounds, try to pick decks you’re comfortable on, but also decks that aren’t very polarized (as in, it's generally better to avoid decks that have highly skewed matchup tables like 70/30).
When it comes to Open Rounds, you can’t expect to hit a matchup you’re trying to target (I learned this the hard way when I saw exactly one Ahri Kennen player during the Ahri Kennen meta – here's a detailed article about my experiences in that Tournament) – more generally, avoid hard target strategies.
Don’t be afraid to just play the best decks. They’re at the top of the Ladder for a reason.
Don’t give up even if you go 2 losses early. This Seasonal counts towards worlds. So every single win that you get in a match will get you some seasonal points. Play it all out even if you have a bad performance.
And good luck!
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!