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%.
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
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
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!)
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
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!)
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
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
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
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.
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.
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!)
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)
Bandle Akshan Gnar
A very similar take to the previous blend – similar performance, although across a smaller number of games.
Bandle Sejuani Gnar
Another blend performing quite well in the last few days, and really excellently in the last twenty-four hours.
Katarina Ziggs Annie Shurima
Some Champ trios just want to watch the world burn…
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!
The Caretaker wanders into Bilgewater…
… and the results are fairly interesting: there are a handful of different lists, and all perform excellently.
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.
Twisted Fate Sejuani Pandemonium
Despite how weird it looks, this blend works – and works even better than last Sunday, when we showcased this list.
Very well, my friend!
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!