LoR Gauntlet Decks – Timewinder Call of the Mountain Gauntlet
Before we begin with today's recommendations for Call of the Mountain Gauntlet decks, I wanted to give you a heads-up that not only are the Call of the Mountain cards legal for this Timewinder Gauntlet, but ALSO the following event cards that were released prior to Shurima:
- The KDA Event Cards (Go Hard, Feel The Rush, etc)
- The Aphelios Expansion Cards (Check out Riot’s announcement at the time for the list of cards released with Aphelios)
When in doubt, the easiest way to check if your LoR Gauntlet deck is legal is to first build your lineup with the Foundations, Rising Tides, and Call of the Mountain filters enabled in the deck builder; then go back and check the cards in the above link and see if any of them make sense to add to your Gauntlet deck.
Also, remember: the Gauntlet still remains a Ban-one, Pick-one format, which affects lineup building as well.
Anyways, let’s jump right to it!
Third edition of the Timewinder Gauntlets, and third time that I think a triple-Shadow Isles lineup is probably the strongest thing you can bring if your goal is purely to get that Prime Glory. Six-mana Vengeance is still just too strong, even if the Call of the Mountain expansion added some value engines to the game.
Freljord Shadow Isles
Twisted Fate Elise Go Hard
Thresh Aurelion Sol
It's probably very obvious what we want to do with these decks: sweep anyone brave enough to play aggro decks, or other slower midrange decks (i.e. Draven Ezreal, Twisted Fate Swain).
Anivia continues to be one of the strongest Gauntlet decks in these Timewinders, but this time around she gets some competition in the form of Trundle Tryndamere Feel The Rush. To be honest, both decks will probably perform just as well in this Gauntlet cycle, with no major edge to one or the other, so feel free to pick either. But it’s interesting to look back at history and see where the fight for the best Shadow Isles Freljord control deck started.
To round up the other two control decks, we get Twisted Fate Elise Go Hard, and then Aurelion Sol Thresh. Go Hard was one of the most popular decks at the time, being a heavy presence in the very first Seasonal in LoR's history. If it wasn’t for the very popular Twisted Fate Fizz and Twisted Fate Aphelios, it probably would have had just as much of a presence in Seasonal #2. And the addition of six-mana Vengeance makes it even better.
As for Thresh Aurelion Sol, it was a fringe ladder archetype during Call of the Mountain, but the buffed Vengeance and Sunburst should make it a very powerful Gauntlet deck now.
This combo of triple control should do well against most lineups you run into, especially as more aggressive decks such as Jinx Draven and Pirate Aggro take hold in the current Gauntlet field. The only regions that scare us are Demacia and Ionia, but neither of them are well-positioned in the Call of the Mountain meta. Without Shurima or Vayne around, this is one of the times where Shadow Isles really ran amok with very little counters, so let's take advantage of that here!
Low To The Curve
For every control lineup that I give you, I am contractually required to provide you with an aggro lineup. These three aggro decks mix two very powerful, already-known archetypes, with a new style of aggression that was introduced in Call of the Mountain.
Draven Jinx Discard Aggro
Diana Nocturne Nightfall
Funny how no matter how much time passes, some things remain exactly the same. Draven Jinx Discard Aggro has been the aggro boogeyman since the start of Beta, and Pirate Aggro followed soon after during Rising Tides. And even now, all the way through the Darkin expansion, these two archetypes remain among the best LoR decks. So it makes sense that they can do well against the weaker CotM Gauntlet decks.
To begin with, with Call of the Mountain Draven Jinx gets access to one of its current core cards, Poro Cannon (providing one of its best tools to go for a wide board and set up fancy lethals) and the buffs to Jinx's Super Mega Death Rocket! are also a welcomed change compared to the Draven Jinx of old. Pirate Aggro gets fewer new tools in CotM, but still manages to punch through purely on the amount of pressure it can put on.
To round it up, we get what I think is one of the most interesting aggro decks to come out of Legends of Runeterra, Nightfall Aggro. While we didn't have back then some of the tools we have these days (such as Moonlit Glenkeeper or Unto Dusk), we still have almost everything else that makes Nightfall, well, Nightfall. The buffs to Diana and Nocturne over the past year are also a welcomed addition – and, since there was less removal available in Call of the Mountain, our Champs should excel against other Gauntlet decks.
Our banning strategy is simple: I would focus on banning the Freljord Shadow Isles control decks, and then the Go Hard control decks. If no control decks are present, then you are a very happy camper and can choose whatever you wish. Ideally, we want to beat midrange decks such as Lee Sin Zoe, Fiora Shen, Tahm Kench Soraka, or others that might show up in Call of the Mountain.
This lineup is a bit more experimental, and also a bit more fun if you are looking for that type of style. The idea is to try and beat the control decks that we should expect to bump into in this Gauntlet, such as Anivia and Feel The Rush.
Tahm Kench Soraka Star Spring
Feel The Minah
Come on, you really didn’t think you would go a whole Sirturmund article without me mentioning Tahm Kench Soraka Star Spring at least once, did you??
Back before Quietus, would you believe me if I told you that TK Raka was favorable against control? Yes, you heard me right. I used to play this deck specifically to try and counter control lineups, and the CotM Gauntlet meta should be a good spot for Star Spring to shine. We are still at the mercy of landmark removal, especially with buffs to Aftershock and Scorched Earth, but the only deck in Call of the Mountain that used to play such removal was Ezreal Draven, and I very much doubt anyone will play it with nerfed Ezreal around.
To follow up our anti-control strategy we have to get a bit more creative, since we have no access to Shurima.
The first deck is Leona Garen, taking advantage of buffs to both of its respective champions and the rework of other Daybreak units. This deck ends up applying a lot of pressure, as our units are very beefy, and Leona can stun blockers away. We could potentially also shoot for the Garen level-up, giving us access to Rally for those control matchups. Another plus is that we should be good into other midrange archetypes, as we are the bigger Demacia deck running around.
Lastly, it's Feel The Minah. A variation of Shadow Isles Feel The Rush but going for Ionia rather than Shadow Isles, this deck removes the removal tools such as Vengeance and Vile Feast, and instead replaces them with more disrupting tools like Deny, Will of Ionia and Minah Swiftfoot. The idea is that Deny will make us much better into other Feel The Rush decks, while our access to Recall makes us better into Anivia decks. Then eventually we use our Feel The Rush and simply win the game.
This lineup is probably the only time in this CotM Gauntlet where I will tell you that it's okay to leave Anivia or Feel The Rush open. Test your luck against those very popular decks and let me know how it goes!
For Old Times' Sake
To close it off, I wanted to go with a more midrange-style approach that allows us to play two of the most powerful decks at the end of Targon expansion: Aphelios Twisted Fate and Lee Sin Zoe.
Aphelios Twisted Fate
Lee Sin Zoe
Of course, this is titled "For Old Times' Sake" for a reason. Both Aphelios Twisted Fate and Lee Sin Zoe are far weaker than they ever were at their peaks. As such, play this lineup if you are looking more for nostalgia out of this Gauntlet, rather than an actual competitive advantage.
For once, what made Aphelios Twisted Fate so strong were two things: first, The Veiled Temple used to provide both Power and Health (funny how it is always that pesky extra Health that breaks things, like with Nami or Yordle Explorer!).
Second, Crescendum used to summon a two-cost ally from your deck. This Bilgewater deck abused that by summoning Boxtopus, that would come down with full Health. Without this interaction, this deck makes little sense.
However, we can instead try to pivot to a more Elusive approach (albeit without Shelly around) while still trying to buff our units’ power with Veiled Temple and cheat out additional mana for extra spells, to potentially set up for a big Mind Meld finish.
Would this be good enough? Who knows, but at least it can scratch that itch of old Twisted Fate Aphelios!
Lee Sin Zoe, on the other hand, got nerfed in a huge way by the same Crescendum interaction no longer being able to cheat out Eye of the Dragon... then follow that with a nerf to Zenith Blade no longer being permanent, and Lee Sin requiring more spells to level, and you end up with a much weaker version of what once was the best tournament deck around. To alleviate some of the nerfs, we are trying out Mountain Goat, to give us extra spells to speed our level up – it will still require us to set up an Overwhelm from Gifts from Beyond at just the right time, though.
These two decks are not at their peak anymore, but they should still present quite a bit of trouble to unprepared opponents, especially due to their potentially good matchups against control-types of decks. That is why I chose Shen Fiora as our third Gauntlet deck, being a good Demacia archetype that should also do okay versus control and slower midrange decks. Fiora's rework makes our curve a bit more awkward at times, but we get access to quite enough protection and strikes to make Fiora a huge threat on her own.
So there you go! Triple control, since six-mana Vengeance is busted; triple aggro, as I'm contractually bound to provide; a Star Spring lineup, because hey, this is a Sirturmund article (and because Spring eats control for brunch!); and since it's not all Prime Glories, and fun matters too, a chance to revisit two of the most powerful decks we've ever seen, for old times' sake.
Hope you have enjoyed these LoR Gauntlet decks for the Call of the Mountain Timewinder, and good luck in your runs!
About the author
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 Spring decks to tournaments, you can find Sirturmund lurking around all the social media sites absorbing anything he can about the game, and in his YT channel where he uploads videos daily.