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Weekend Warrior Weapons

Nineteen Powerful Brews, from Meta Staples to Exotics Blends, for the Discerning Ladder Climber!
Runeterra Decks

To read the the latest issue of Weekend Warrior Weapons, check this link!


Welcome, my friend! Welcome back!

Nerfs and buffs have finally seeped and morphed the Meta, which looks quite distinct than last week…

… but, I'm getting ahead of myself! Please, step inside and let me show you our selection from among what admirable APIarists Balco and Legna have collected, to which we have added insights from prominent pilots overhead at the Blue Bird Inn.


Glimpse at our New Meta

One perhaps could say that no other Meta showcases Demacian resilience as well as this one…

… and, while nerfs have finally caught up with Jarvan Poppy Bard and Galio Bard, pushing these two former powerhouses out of the top of the charts…

… Scouts, hot on Thrall's trail, have returned among the most powerful blends – and another Demacian deck, Taric Poppy, finds itself at the very top!


Cream of the Crop

These are currently the best of the best: archetypes that enjoy both a high enough play rate to be considered a Meta deck, and WR above 55%.  


Taric Poppy

While everybody was scouting the horizon, glinting towards the icy tundra and waiting for Thralls to arrive…

… turns out that what smashes the ladder right now are axes and hammers from Mount Targon.

Taric and Poppy met quite long ago, reforged their partnership during the last patch – when they were always an excellent weapon of choice for climbers – and now find themselves at the top of the charts.

Their success is explained in no small part by how favorable the current meta is for them.

Strong Against: Thralls, Ahri Bard, Jhinnie, Azirelia, TF Nami

Struggles Against: Heimer Jayce, Ashe LeBlanc

(note: thanks to Transidental for noting a typo with these matchups!)

Regions
Demacia
22 cards
Mount Targon
18 cards
Rarities
25 900
champion
6
epic
3
rare
6
common
25
Mana cost
0
0
5
1
16
2
3
3
11
4
5
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
4
Poppy
3
Poppy
4
Taric
3
Taric
Followers
19
1
Fleetfeather Tracker
3
1
Solari Soldier
2
2
Brightsteel Protector
2
2
Esmus, Breath of the World
3
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
3
Laurent Protege
3
5
Mountain Sojourners
3
Spells
15
2
Guiding Touch
3
2
Pale Cascade
3
2
Single Combat
2
4
Bastion
1
4
Golden Aegis
3
4
Relentless Pursuit
1
5
Concerted Strike
2

Lissandra Taliyah, aka Thralls

… but Thralls did arrive, and in brutal, bloody fashion.

The recommended list below, my friend, is arguably the most efficient climbing tool right now, performing even better than its archetype as a whole – the most popular version is also the one with the best WR, therefore making our recommendation an extremely safe bet.

Its main predators right now are the Virtuose and the burning brat, which Thralls find a nearly insurmountable matchup.

Strong Against: TF blends, Aphelios blends

Struggles Against: Jhinnie (horribly!), Azirelia, Scouts, Renekton Akshan – slight underdog to Ahri Bard

Regions
Freljord
24 cards
Shurima
16 cards
Rarities
31 500
champion
6
epic
7
rare
12
common
15
Mana cost
0
0
8
1
9
2
6
3
5
4
6
5
4
6
2
7+
Champions
6
3
Lissandra
3
Lissandra
5
Taliyah
3
Taliyah
Landmarks
6
1
Frozen Thrall
3
4
Blighted Ravine
3
Followers
12
2
Clockwork Curator
3
2
Harbinger of Thralls
3
3
Kindly Tavernkeeper
3
5
Draklorn Inquisitor
3
Spells
16
1
Imagined Possibilities
2
1
Three Sisters
3
2
Time in a Bottle
3
4
Rite of Negation
2
6
Harsh Winds
1
6
Sands of Time
3
9
Buried in Ice
2

Other Top Dogs

This, my friend, are other Meta archetypes that reach or surpass the 53% WR threshold – sturdy, well-tested brews that you can put your full faith into.


Miss Fortune Quinn, aka Scouts

Thralls are not the only blend returning to the top – Scouts are on their trail, and hunting down most other popular medleys, too.

And not only on the ladder, it should be noted – as superb scholars Sirturmund and MonteXristo detail, Scouts are undeniably the hot new trend in Tournaments and Gauntlets.

For this blend, I'll recommend to you the second most popular formula, which performs above the most popular.

Strong Against: TF Blends, Azirelia, Jhinnie, Fizz Riven – murders Ahri Bard – slight edge against Thralls

Struggles Against: Heimer Jayce, Ashe LeBlanc, Lux Jayce (horribly!)

Regions
Demacia
28 cards
Bilgewater
12 cards
Rarities
29 900
champion
6
epic
5
rare
15
common
14
Mana cost
0
0
5
1
15
2
6
3
9
4
3
5
2
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Miss Fortune
3
Miss Fortune
5
Quinn
3
Quinn
Followers
25
1
Fleetfeather Tracker
3
1
Shellshocker
1
2
Brightsteel Protector
2
2
Durand Sculptor
3
2
Marai Warden
2
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
3
Vanguard Sergeant
3
4
Island Navigator
3
4
Zap Sprayfin
3
6
Genevieve Elmheart
2
Spells
9
1
Ranger's Resolve
1
2
Inspiring Light
3
2
Sharpsight
2
4
Golden Aegis
3

Vi Aphelios Viktor

Ah, a most interesting medley! There are a couple of factors at play here that you may want to be made aware of.

First, the Vi version has proven superior – the non-Vi Aphelios Viktor variant does not currently have a formula worth recommending.

Second, this is quite clearly a medley undergoing a refinement process. Several good lists exist, with their main difference being their spell composition although there's also variations in their followers. We'll recommend the most popular version, which comfortably reaches 53% in more than six hundred games in the last few days.

Lastly: this blend, my friend, is terrified of Thralls; do bear that in mind.

Strong Against: TF Nami, Azirelia, Ahri Bard

Struggles Against: Thralls, Heimer Jayce, Ashe LeBlanc

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
23 cards
Mount Targon
17 cards
Rarities
22 800
champion
6
epic
0
rare
7
common
27
Mana cost
2
0
6
1
16
2
9
3
2
4
2
5
0
6
3
7+
Champions
6
3
Aphelios
3
Aphelios
4
Viktor
2
Viktor
5
Vi
1
Vi
Followers
21
1
Lunari Duskbringer
3
1
Spacey Sketcher
1
1
Zaunite Urchin
2
2
Boom Baboon
3
2
Ferros Financier
2
2
Flame Chompers!
1
2
Mountain Goat
3
3
Sump Dredger
3
7
The Winding Light
3
Spells
13
0
Poro Cannon
2
2
Iterative Improvement
1
2
Mystic Shot
3
2
Pale Cascade
3
3
Get Excited!
3
5
Moonlight Affliction
1

Fizz Riven

Reforger and fishy Yordle find themselves in an interesting spot: quite happy with Thralls' return, yet wary of Scouts doing so.

Regardless, it has remained one of the strongest blends for weeks on end now, and should work wonders in the hands of Combo connoisseurs.

In this case, too, we shall recommend the second most popular blend, that outperforms the most often-found version.

Strong Against: TF blends, Thralls, Vi Zoe Aphelios, Heimer Jayce

Struggles Against: Scouts, Ashe LeBlanc (horribly!)

Regions
Noxus
18 cards
Bandlecity
22 cards
Rarities
26 700
champion
6
epic
3
rare
10
common
21
Mana cost
0
0
17
1
12
2
6
3
2
4
3
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
1
Fizz
3
Fizz
3
Riven
3
Riven
Followers
20
1
Blade Squire
3
1
Yordle Squire
3
2
Assistant Librarian
3
2
Conchologist
3
2
Runeweaver
3
4
Ruined Reckoner
2
5
Papercraft Dragon
3
Spells
14
1
Elixir of Wrath
3
1
Fae Sprout
3
1
Noxian Tellstones
2
2
Pokey Stick
3
3
Might
2
3
Wallop
1

Lux Jayce

These two lovers of expensive spells are also in an interesting spot: they are none too happy with Thralls, yet they profit from Thralls murdering TF Annie.

And they are very, very happy to see Scouts back

This is also a very scattered archetype, with lots of different lists – we'll recommend the most popular, which performs admirably.

Strong Against: murders Scouts – slight edge on Jhinnie

Struggles Against: Thralls, Ahri Bard, Azirelia, TF Annie

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
23 cards
Demacia
17 cards
Rarities
25 900
champion
6
epic
1
rare
17
common
16
Mana cost
2
0
3
1
15
2
4
3
3
4
5
5
7
6
1
7+
Champions
6
4
Jayce
3
Jayce
5
Lux
3
Lux
Landmarks
2
3
The Forge Of Tomorrow
2
Followers
14
1
Forge Chief
2
2
Ferros Financier
3
2
Mageseeker Persuader
3
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
3
Vanguard Sergeant
2
7
Albus Ferros
1
Spells
18
0
Thermogenic Beam
2
1
Piltovan Tellstones
1
2
Mystic Shot
3
2
Sharpsight
3
5
Concerted Strike
2
6
Assembly Line
3
6
Back to Back
1
6
Shock Blast
3

Annie Jhin

The Virtuoso and the blazing brat remain one of the most potent Ladder medleys, and our recommended formula below is one of the most popular and powerful.

It is somewhat of a polarizing brew, with favorable matchups being excellent, yet poor matchups being awful.

Strong Against: destroys Azirelia, Ahri Bard, Thralls and Ashe LeBlanc

Struggles Against: dies horribly to Scouts, Heimer Jayce and Vi Zoe Aphelios

Regions
Runeterra
3 cards
Noxus
19 cards
Rarities
22 000
champion
6
epic
0
rare
3
common
31
Mana cost
0
0
12
1
15
2
7
3
3
4
3
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
1
Annie
3
Annie
4
Jhin
3
Jhin
Followers
28
1
Crackshot Corsair
3
1
Legion Rearguard
3
1
Legion Saboteur
3
2
Boomcrew Rookie
3
2
Imperial Demolitionist
3
2
Solari Sunhawk
3
2
The Stagehand
3
2
Tusk Speaker
3
3
Arachnoid Sentry
1
3
Doombeast
3
Spells
6
3
Noxian Fervor
3
5
Decimate
3

Heimer Jayce

An astute observer such as yourself, my friend, surely noticed how this blend comes up when listing the Achilles' heels of other powerful blends, and therein lies its strength.

On the other hand, Professor and Student lack no small amount of uphill struggles in the current meta.

Quite a rewarding blend to master, and which has remained strong for a couple of patches now.

Strong Against: Jhinnie, Scouts, Ashe LeBlanc, Taric Poppy, Jarvan Poppy Bard

Struggles Against: Fizz Riven, Vi Zoe Aphelios, TF blends

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
32 cards
Shadow Isles
8 cards
Rarities
26 400
champion
6
epic
2
rare
14
common
18
Mana cost
6
0
4
1
8
2
9
3
3
4
3
5
7
6
0
7+
Champions
6
4
Jayce
3
Jayce
5
Heimerdinger
3
Heimerdinger
Followers
13
1
Adaptatron 3000
2
1
Forge Chief
2
2
Ferros Financier
3
3
Hextech Handler
3
3
Station Archivist
3
Spells
21
0
Production Surge
3
0
Thermogenic Beam
3
2
Mystic Shot
2
2
Vile Feast
3
3
Flash of Brilliance
3
6
Piercing Darkness
2
6
Shock Blast
2
6
Vengeance
3

Other Solid Meta Options

If your personal playstyle is satisfied with the previous choices, here are other solid options – all with play rates above 1%.

Tryndamere Trundle, while not really able to gain too much traction, has been a solid choice for quite some time now, being very well positioned against Annie blends – their odds against Azirelia are disastrous, though,

Although Annie TF is not in the best spot right now, the Miss Fortune Annie Twisted Fate version performs quite well,

Trundle Caitlyn is proving quite the resilient blend – nothing spectacular, but surely gets the job done, 

Last but not least, one should not disregard Ahri Bard too quickly; their archetype seems polluted by bad lists, as they try to adapt to the current Meta, but their most popular version performs very solidly.


Connoisseur's Corner

Here, my friend is our selection of less-seen blends, but still with a large enough number of games to be recommended with confidence…

… and, in this case, a medley that's a Meta archetype by play rate, but with so many bad versions of it that it currently hides its true power at the bottom of the charts. 


Ashe LeBlanc

As said above, by play rate, this blend is popular enough to be considered a Meta deck, seen more than 1% of the time in Platinum and above.

And, by its archetype's performance, we would discard it unceremoniously.

Yet, true to one of its scheming champions, it's most popular list, with more than a thousand games played, is a force to be reckoned with – and it is its less-refined variants that are dragging the archetype down.

Matchup data should always be taken carefully in these cases, since it's hard to parse how much the less successful builds influence the outcomes.

Strong Against: Thralls, Azirelia, Scouts

Struggles Against: Annie blends (horribly!)

Regions
Freljord
25 cards
Noxus
15 cards
Rarities
28 800
champion
6
epic
4
rare
15
common
15
Mana cost
0
0
7
1
9
2
11
3
8
4
3
5
1
6
1
7+
Champions
6
3
LeBlanc
3
LeBlanc
4
Ashe
3
Ashe
Followers
18
1
Omen Hawk
2
2
Icevale Archer
3
2
Trifarian Gloryseeker
3
3
Avarosan Trapper
3
4
Trifarian Assessor
3
5
Avarosan Hearthguard
3
8
Incisive Tactician
1
Spells
16
1
Brittle Steel
2
1
Elixir of Iron
2
1
Three Sisters
1
2
Troll Chant
3
3
Culling Strike
2
3
Flash Freeze
3
4
Whispered Words
2
6
Reckoning
1

Bandle Renekton Akshan

The hottest trend in the last day, and our recommended list punches well above 55% in nearly 600 games.

And, when looking at the matchup spread, the "Butcher" nickname is surely well-earned.

An interesting medley that can overpower through sheer, overwhelming brutality, or go for the Papercraft combo finish.

Strong Against: Thralls, TF blends, Scouts, Azirelia, Vi Zoe Aphelios, Ahri Bard, and the list goes one…

Struggles Against: Annie Jhin; probably Ashe LeBlanc (tiny sample)

Regions
Bandlecity
13 cards
Shurima
27 cards
Rarities
28 000
champion
6
epic
6
rare
0
common
28
Mana cost
0
0
10
1
11
2
7
3
6
4
6
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Akshan
3
Akshan
4
Renekton
3
Renekton
Followers
19
1
Byrd, The Bellringer
3
1
Yordle Squire
3
2
Aspiring Chronomancer
2
3
Merciless Hunter
3
3
Vekauran Vagabond
2
5
Papercraft Dragon
3
5
Ruin Runner
3
Spells
15
1
Exhaust
2
1
Shaped Stone
2
2
Pokey Stick
2
2
Ruthless Predator
2
2
The Absolver
2
3
Wallop
2
4
Rite of Negation
3

Bandle Akshan Gnar

A very similar take to the previous blend – similar performance, although across a smaller number of games.

Regions
Bandlecity
20 cards
Shurima
20 cards
Rarities
28 200
champion
6
epic
6
rare
1
common
27
Mana cost
0
0
12
1
9
2
7
3
6
4
6
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Akshan
3
Akshan
4
Gnar
3
Gnar
Followers
19
1
Byrd, The Bellringer
3
1
Inventive Chemist
2
1
Yordle Squire
3
3
Merciless Hunter
3
3
Vekauran Vagabond
2
5
Papercraft Dragon
3
5
Ruin Runner
3
Spells
15
1
Shaped Stone
3
1
Shuriman Tellstones
1
2
Flamespitter
1
2
Pokey Stick
3
2
The Absolver
2
3
Wallop
2
4
Rite of Negation
3

Bandle Sejuani Gnar

Another blend performing quite well in the last few days, and really excellently in the last twenty-four hours.

Regions
Freljord
22 cards
Bandlecity
21 cards
Rarities
22 400
champion
6
epic
0
rare
5
common
29
Mana cost
0
0
11
1
12
2
3
3
8
4
3
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
4
Gnar
3
Gnar
6
Sejuani
3
Sejuani
Followers
23
1
Byrd, The Bellringer
3
1
Omen Hawk
3
2
Bitsy Lizard
3
2
Tusk Speaker
3
3
Chief Nakotak
3
4
Murkwolf Shaman
2
4
Teenydactyl
3
5
Ursine Spiritwalker
3
Spells
11
1
Poison Dart
3
1
Three Sisters
2
2
Pokey Stick
3
2
Troll Chant
3

Katarina Ziggs Annie Shurima

Some Champ trios just want to watch the world burn…

Regions
Noxus
23 cards
Shurima
17 cards
Rarities
23 200
champion
6
epic
0
rare
9
common
25
Mana cost
0
0
15
1
9
2
9
3
1
4
6
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
1
Annie
3
Annie
3
Katarina
1
Katarina
3
Ziggs
2
Ziggs
Followers
25
1
Baccai Reaper
3
1
Legion Rearguard
3
1
Legion Saboteur
3
1
Treasure Seeker
3
2
Imperial Demolitionist
3
2
Legion Grenadier
3
3
Merciless Hunter
3
4
Captive Greyback
1
5
Ruin Runner
3
Spells
9
2
Ruinous Path
3
3
Might
1
3
Noxian Fervor
2
5
Decimate
3

A Walk on the Wild Side

If looking for the truly rare…

… here's our Wild Side selection, my friend – excellent performances, small data samples.

Flukes, or the real thing?

Only way to know is taking them for a spin! 


Illaoi Bard

The Caretaker wanders into Bilgewater…

… and the results are fairly interesting: there are a handful of different lists, and all perform excellently.

Regions
Bilgewater
28 cards
Runeterra
3 cards
Rarities
23 600
champion
6
epic
0
rare
11
common
23
Mana cost
0
0
8
1
11
2
3
3
9
4
8
5
1
6
0
7+
Champions
6
4
Bard
3
Bard
4
Illaoi
3
Illaoi
Followers
22
1
Byrd, The Bellringer
3
1
Watchful Idol
3
2
Esmus, Breath of the World
3
2
Fortune Croaker
3
2
Hired Gun
3
3
The Sea's Voice
3
5
Buhru Lookout
3
6
Maduli, The Gatekeeper
1
Spells
12
1
Shakedown
2
2
Answered Prayer
2
4
Tentacle Smash
3
5
Cosmic Binding
2
5
Eye of Nagakabouros
3

Ramp Aurelion Sol

Variations of this formula have been surviving in the Meta's fringe for a couple of weeks now… and this particular formula's performance is nothing to scoff at.

Regions
Freljord
25 cards
Mount Targon
15 cards
Rarities
36 300
champion
6
epic
11
rare
14
common
9
Mana cost
0
0
8
1
4
2
0
3
6
4
8
5
0
6
14
7+
Champions
6
1
Zoe
3
Zoe
10
Aurelion Sol
3
Aurelion Sol
Landmarks
6
4
Blighted Ravine
3
5
Targon's Peak
3
Followers
12
1
Spacey Sketcher
3
2
Faces of the Old Ones
3
8
It That Stares
3
10
She Who Wanders
3
Spells
16
1
Three Sisters
2
2
Guiding Touch
1
4
Avalanche
3
5
Catalyst of Aeons
3
5
Starshaping
2
9
Buried in Ice
2
12
Feel The Rush
3

Twisted Fate Sejuani Pandemonium

Despite how weird it looks, this blend works – and works even better than last Sunday, when we showcased this list.

Regions
Freljord
7 cards
Bilgewater
33 cards
Rarities
22 200
champion
3
epic
7
rare
9
common
21
Mana cost
3
0
8
1
15
2
0
3
8
4
3
5
2
6
1
7+
Champions
3
4
Twisted Fate
2
Twisted Fate
6
Sejuani
1
Sejuani
Landmarks
3
4
Blighted Ravine
3
Followers
15
1
Crackshot Corsair
3
1
Jagged Butcher
3
1
Pool Shark
2
2
Black Market Merchant
3
2
Jagged Taskmaster
3
8
Riptide Rex
1
Spells
19
0
Warning Shot
3
2
Make it Rain
3
2
Monkey Business
3
2
Shared Spoils
3
4
Powder Pandemonium
3
5
Eye of Nagakabouros
3
6
Monster Harpoon
1

Very well, my friend!

Best LoR Ladder Decks

In an interesting twist, nerfs seem to have caught up with Demacia – Galio Bard is now only a mediocre brew, and Jarvan Poppy Bard remains a playable option but not strong enough to be recommended – while Thralls' strive in spite of theirs.

And, as we enter Seasonals week and top pilots push towards the Open Rounds cutoff, one can only hope the Meta will throw a couple more curve balls our way.

Any questions or comments, or more data you may need, please feel free to:

Poke me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HerkoKerghans,

Ping me on Discord: https://discord.gg/VNN5NmGhXY,

Or find more writings on substack: https://riwan.substack.com/

And good luck in your climb!


Best LoR Ladder Decks