How Are Seraphine's and Vayne's Decks Doing Post-Patch?
Most of Runeterra's recent nerfs were aimed at Vayne and Seraphine, and for good reason: Seraphine was the star of the most popular deck in Runeterra, while Vayne's flexibility allowed her to have the most decks among the Top Ten that a Champ has had in quite some time.
So, how hard have they been struck by the recent nerfs, and how are their decks doing? Let's find out!
Vayne herself was technically buffed, but her signature spell, Tumble, now costs one extra mana. And a staple Demacian spell often seen alongside Vayne, namely Golden Aegis, also saw its cost increased.
Vayne's many decks have reacted in various different ways, as we'll see below: from Quinn Vayne not caring one bit, to Zed Vayne probably now being a has-been.
Still a Powerhouse – Quinn Vayne, ft. Fiora
Quinn Vayne has seemingly shrugged off and brushed asides the nerfs as if they were really no big deal – what was pre-patch one of the best meta decks in Runeterra still hits like a truck today:
Across 1,500+ games since the patch reached Runeterra, Quinn Vayne's best deck exhibits a winrate (WR) above 55%, and quite the impressive matchup spread: except for Teemo Zoe, Quinn Vayne has an edge (even if small) against most other popular Runeterra decks.
Bottom Line: While it's not surprising for established, refined decks to do very well in the first new days of a new meta (since they prey upon unrefined concepts), Quinn Vayne's excellent matchup spread suggests that Vayne was more of a support card in this archetype, rather than a centerpiece, and the deck seems to work perfectly well in spite of the recent nerfs.
Nerfed, Yet Not (Yet) Beaten – Rumble Vayne
Rumble Vayne has surely seen better days (it became one of Legends of Runeterra's best decks right as Domination was launched, and remained so until the recent balance patch), but still packs a punch:
Its WR has dropped to a bit below 52% across 1,000 games since the patch landed, and as we can see below..
… its matchup spread does not look too rosy. Annie Jhin was always a thorn in Rumble Vayne's thigh, but now Draven Jinx also presents really rough odds, and there's no matchup save Taliyah (which, should be noted, is a really bad deck) that Rumble Vayne can win consistently.
There may be hope still, though, as pilots tweak and refine it: a more aggressive Rumble Vayne version is doing quite well (around 54% in nearly 400 games), so perhaps all that's needed is to adapt and evolve.
Bottom Line: Rumble Vayne's current matchup spread is quite the red flag – but perhaps it's a matter of the deck not yet having been adapted to the changes brought by the patch, and perhaps tweaks and refinements can make it click again.
Surprise! – Gwen Vayne
Overall, as an archetype, Gwen Vayne is not doing splendid (it's barely holding to a 50% WR), yet its best version performs great: WR above 55%, albeit in a smallish, 200-game sample:
Gwen Vayne was on track to becoming irrelevant by the end of last patch, so it's a bit surprising to find it doing well now (above all considering the nerfs to one of its champs) – while this may very well be a fluke, current numbers are encouraging.
Bottom Line: Hard to say – promising early numbers, but too small a sample size to say for sure.
An Improvised Struggle – Jax Vayne
Jax Vayne, a bit like Rumble Vayne, still shows a moderately good WR, at around 51%...
… but, again like Rumble Vayne, has quite the discouraging matchup spread: Annie Jhin, Teemo Zoe and Quinn Vayne are all very bad matchups. Tweaks and refinements may still bring this brew forward (Jax Vayne has always been an archetype with lots of different versions), but right now the future looks grim.
Bottom Line: Like Rumble Vayne, while still alive Jax Vayne seems to be facing an "Evolve, or Die" ultimatum.
Presumed Dead – Zed Vayne, and Pantheon Vayne
Both Zed Vayne and Pantheon Vayne have seen quite a bit of play this patch, but with fairly disappointing WRs, well below the 50% mark.
Step Aside, Piltover Boy! – Viktor Seraphine Shadows
With Ezreal out of the picture, Seraphine has turned to her Zaunite co-star: after a few tweaks to adapt to the nerfs, Viktor Seraphine looks like it's ready to bring the house down.
Whatever negatives the nerfs may have brought seem amply compensated by how juicy some of the most popular decks look, when you look at them from Seraphine Viktor's PoV:
Both Draven Jinx and Teemo Zoe look like easy prey, same does Annie Jhin, and while there's no lack of disfavorable matchups, none of them is disastrous.
Bottom Line: Viktor Seraphine SI was already Seraphine's strongest deck (although not the most popular, by a long shot) right before the patch landed – and the current matchup spread looks very enticing, suggesting it may be a great counter-deck for the upcoming meta.
Moonstruck – Aphelios Seraphine, ft. Zoe
Slowly getting traction since the balance patch landed, the best Aphelios Seraphine deck, featuring Zoe, now sits at a comfy 52%+ WR with more than 500 games under their belts.
Pre-patch, Seraphine Aphelios was already running just a single copy of Fanclub President, which probably made the deck more resilient to the nerfs.
Bottom Line: It's as if there was no patch for Aphelios Seraphine, and numbers are pretty similar to its pre-patch performance. A proven concept still doing well, making it quite a promising deck.
A New Chapter? – Bandle Viktor Seraphine
This deck's sample size is tiny (nearly 100 games), so we'll showcase it mostly on grounds of novelty – and an amazing 58% WR.
Presumed Dead – Ezreal Seraphine, and Viktor Seraphine Ionia
Both these decks have seen quite a lot of play, along with pretty awful results. Tweaks and improvements may revive them, but thus far they look like goners.
You have to give it to Riot's devs, nerfs to Vayne and Seraphine seem to have hit just right: they are no longer a cut above every other champion in Runeterra, but they both still retain at least one strong deck (Quinn Vayne and Viktor Seraphine Shadows, respectively), and with tweaks and refinements there may end up having a couple more.
All in all, thus far it looks like a job well done!