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Weekend Warrior Weapons

Twenty potent brews, from Staples to Exotics, for the discerning Ladder climber!
Best LoR Ladder Decks

Welcome, my friend! Welcome back!

I hope your weekday worries have left you some respite – let me show our wares, while we celebrate us reaching Friday at last!

Formidable formulistas Balco and Legna have furnished us with their very best brews and blends, to which we have added insights from prominent pilots overhead at the Blue Bird Inn.


A Glimpse to the Current Best LoR Ladder Decks

We shall soon run out of accolades and praise for this Meta, my friend, because it has happened again:

… while Ahri, with her playful ways, has broken past the 55% mark, the meta not only remains as widely open as ever, it also shows a wonderful tendency of renewing some of the faces we see at the top.


Cream of the Crop

These are the best of the best, my friend! If you care mostly about solid performance, look no further.


Ahri Bard

Well, my friend… as you may have heard me say last Sunday, and last Friday, and pretty much every time we spoke for the last two weeks, Ahri Bard happens to be a thing.

Which just so happens to be our new Queen and King of the meta, with examples like prominent pilot Kannan taking it to the top of the charts, and further cementing the notion that it was Bard, after all, the most flexible of the four new champions.

And this trend will likely not stop now: the most popular list, recommended below, is also the best-performer (and well above 56%), meaning the majority of pilots are already aware of the best list – the only real danger for Ahri Bard is Annie Jhin, with an excellent matchup spread otherwise.

Strong Against: Thralls, Viego Noxus, Heimer Jayce, Sun Disc, Yuumi Pantheon, Akshan Infinite – slight edge against TF Nami Shadows

Struggles Against: Annie Jhin (horribly), Zoe Vi Aphelios, Jarvan Poppy Bard

Regions
Ionia
31 cards
Runeterra
3 cards
Rarities
23 400
champion
6
epic
0
rare
10
common
24
Mana cost
0
0
14
1
15
2
3
3
8
4
0
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Ahri
3
4
Bard
3
Followers
18
1
Byrd, The Bellringer
3
1
Dancing Droplet
3
1
The Mourned
3
2
Esmus, Breath of the World
3
2
Navori Conspirator
3
3
Shadow Assassin
3
Spells
16
1
Ionian Tellstones
2
1
Recall
3
2
Nopeify!
3
2
Twin Disciplines
3
4
Deny
2
4
Homecoming
3

Yuumi Pantheon

The Warrior and the Feline Fae claw their way back to the top!

After being pushed aside most of this patch, this pair seems to have regained a bit of their former glory.

They walk on somewhat unstable terrain, though, having a rather polarized matchup spread (good matchups are grand, but bad matchups tend to be terrible) – any shift in the meta may propel this archetype higher, or again push it to the side.

Like Ahri Bard, this is a very refined blend, with the most popular list also being among the best performers.

Strong Against: Thralls, Jarvan Poppy Bard, TF Nami Shadows

Struggles Against: Viego Noxus, Annie blends, Ezreal Caitlyn, Ahri Bard

Regions
Mount Targon
24 cards
Demacia
16 cards
Rarities
23 200
champion
6
epic
0
rare
9
common
25
Mana cost
0
0
3
1
16
2
12
3
7
4
2
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Yuumi
3
4
Pantheon
3
Followers
14
1
Saga Seeker
3
2
Brightsteel Protector
3
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
3
Wounded Whiteflame
3
4
Blinded Mystic
2
Spells
20
2
Gifts From Beyond
1
2
Guiding Touch
2
2
Pale Cascade
2
2
Sharpsight
2
2
Single Combat
3
3
Cataclysm
3
3
Zenith Blade
3
4
Bastion
2
5
Concerted Strike
2

Jarvan Poppy Bard

Taking the ladder by storm last week, this trio has shown to be no fluke – it's the most popular blend at Platinum and above, and its performance surely justify being such a common choice of weapon.

Interestingly, though, the most popular blend is not the best (even if quite powerful) – the second most popular, with nearly 4,200 games played, is far superior.

Strong Against: Annie Jhin, Annie Bard, Zoe Vi Aphelios, murders Akshan Infinite – a slight edge on Thralls

Struggles Against: Heimer Jayce, Ezreal Caitlyn, Yuumi Pantheon – slight underdog to Sun Disc and TF Nami Shadows

Regions
Demacia
34 cards
Runeterra
3 cards
Rarities
25 800
champion
6
epic
2
rare
11
common
21
Mana cost
0
0
8
1
10
2
4
3
15
4
2
5
1
6
0
7+
Champions
6
4
Bard
3
4
Poppy
2
6
Jarvan IV
1
Followers
26
1
Byrd, The Bellringer
3
1
Fleetfeather Tracker
3
1
Penitent Squire
2
2
Brightsteel Protector
2
2
Durand Sculptor
3
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
3
Laurent Protege
2
3
Vanguard Sergeant
2
4
Silverwing Vanguard
1
4
Swiftwing Flight
2
4
Vanguard Bannerman
3
Spells
8
2
Sharpsight
2
4
Golden Aegis
3
4
Relentless Pursuit
1
5
Concerted Strike
2

Galio Bard

Another Bard Demacia blend – which actually emerged before Jarvan Poppy Bard – and with nearly the same punch overall, although with a different matchup table.

A very refined archetype, with most pilots bringing the best blend – recommended below – to the fray.

Strong Against: Annie Jhin, TF Nami Shadows, murders Elise Annie

Struggles Against: Sun Disc (horribly), Ahri Bard – slight underdog to Jarvan Poppy Bard, Thralls and Viego Noxus

Regions
Demacia
32 cards
Runeterra
3 cards
Rarities
26 500
champion
6
epic
3
rare
9
common
22
Mana cost
0
0
6
1
14
2
6
3
9
4
2
5
0
6
3
7+
Champions
6
4
Bard
3
7
Galio
3
Followers
25
1
Byrd, The Bellringer
3
1
Fleetfeather Tracker
2
2
Brightsteel Protector
3
2
Durand Sculptor
3
2
Esmus, Breath of the World
2
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
3
Vanguard Redeemer
2
3
Vanguard Sergeant
2
4
Silverwing Vanguard
2
4
Swiftwing Flight
3
Spells
9
1
Ranger's Resolve
1
2
Sharpsight
3
3
Shield of Durand
2
4
Golden Aegis
1
5
Concerted Strike
2

Thralls

Lissandra Taliyah closes our Cream of the Crop selection – surpassed by Jarvan Poppy Bard in popularity, this is still the second most seen archetype at Platinum and above. It also remains one of the main factors in Tournament play, with seasoned pilots looking to either bring, ban or target this medley.

We'll recommend the second most popular formula for this archetype – although not nearly as well-tested as other blends in this section, it still has more than 600 games played in the last few days and performs well above the 55% WR mark.

Strong Against: TF Nami Shadows, Ezreal Annie, Heimer Jayce, Ezreal Caitlyn 

Struggles Against: Jarvan Poppy Bard, Viego Noxus, Sun Disc, Annie Jhin (quite badly), Ahri Bard

Regions
Freljord
17 cards
Shurima
23 cards
Rarities
29 900
champion
6
epic
5
rare
15
common
14
Mana cost
0
0
9
1
12
2
5
3
8
4
3
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Lissandra
3
5
Taliyah
3
Landmarks
9
1
Frozen Thrall
3
2
Preservarium
3
4
Blighted Ravine
3
Followers
8
2
Clockwork Curator
3
2
Harbinger of Thralls
3
3
Kindly Tavernkeeper
2
Spells
17
1
Imagined Possibilities
3
1
Three Sisters
3
2
Time in a Bottle
3
4
Promising Future
3
4
Rite of Negation
2
6
Sands of Time
3

Other Strong Meta Options

These are all very popular choices, with performances in the 53-54% range in Platinum and above – the difference with the Cream of the Crop, while not negligible, is well inside the range that a skilled pilot would overcome, so any medley in this section is still an excellent choice if you wish to pilot one of the strongest decks in the current field.


Illaoi Demacia

Krakens have resurfaced in Demacia – by far the most popular and potent brew in the early days of the patch, they fell a bit into obscurity last week, but now return to their smashing ways.

Our recommended formula, which is the most popular, punches at 55%. Notice that it is favored into the two currently most popular blends, namely Thralls and Jarvan Poppy Bard

Strong Against: Jarvan Poppy Bard, TF Nami Shadows, Sun Disc – murders Thralls and Elise Annie

Struggles Against: Viego Noxus (rather badly), Ezreal blends (especially Tri-beam blends)

Regions
Demacia
19 cards
Bilgewater
21 cards
Rarities
27 100
champion
6
epic
3
rare
12
common
19
Mana cost
0
0
3
1
13
2
6
3
9
4
6
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
4
Illaoi
3
6
Jarvan IV
3
Followers
18
1
Watchful Idol
3
2
Brightsteel Protector
3
2
Hired Gun
3
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
3
The Sea's Voice
3
4
Zap Sprayfin
3
Spells
16
2
Sharpsight
2
2
Single Combat
2
3
Cataclysm
3
4
Tentacle Smash
3
5
Concerted Strike
3
5
Eye of Nagakabouros
3

Aphelios Viktor

I would recommend you keep an eye on this archetype, my friend, if it happens to be your cup of tea. It is perhaps one of the blends with the mildest matchup spreads – nearly all confrontations have similar odds for both you and your foe, thus giving the better pilot a chance to shine.

It is also performing excellently overall, with our recommended formula surpassing the 55% WR mark across nearly 500 games.

Strong Against: Annie Jhin, Akshan Infinite

Struggles Against: Thralls

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
22 cards
Mount Targon
18 cards
Rarities
23 800
champion
6
epic
0
rare
12
common
22
Mana cost
3
0
5
1
15
2
11
3
3
4
0
5
1
6
2
7+
Champions
6
3
Aphelios
3
4
Viktor
3
Followers
17
1
Lunari Duskbringer
2
1
Spacey Sketcher
2
2
Boom Baboon
3
2
Ferros Financier
3
2
Mountain Goat
2
3
Sump Dredger
3
7
The Winding Light
2
Spells
17
0
Poro Cannon
2
0
Thermogenic Beam
1
1
Piltovan Tellstones
1
2
Guiding Touch
1
2
Mystic Shot
3
2
Pale Cascade
3
3
Get Excited!
3
3
Hush
2
6
Celestial Trifecta
1

Heimer Jayce

Dislodged from the top of the charts, Professor and Student are still a force to be reckoned with – and, while as usual held back by their horrible Thralls matchup, this pair absolutely wrecks Jarvan Poppy Bard.

A somewhat polarizing blend, with good matchups being great, and bad matchups proving quite the uphill struggle.

Strong Against: Jarvan Poppy Bard, Viego Noxus, Ezreal Annie, Annie Jhin, Ezreal Caitlyn

Struggles Against: Thralls (horribly!), Sun Disc, Ahri Bard.

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
32 cards
Shadow Isles
8 cards
Rarities
27 300
champion
6
epic
3
rare
13
common
18
Mana cost
5
0
4
1
8
2
9
3
3
4
3
5
7
6
1
7+
Champions
6
4
Jayce
3
5
Heimerdinger
3
Followers
14
1
Adaptatron 3000
2
1
Forge Chief
2
2
Ferros Financier
3
3
Hextech Handler
3
3
Station Archivist
3
7
Albus Ferros
1
Spells
20
0
Production Surge
3
0
Thermogenic Beam
2
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 Considerations

If resources or personal play patterns prevent you from playing any of the above, but you still want to stick to tried-and-true, then you may consider:

Fizz Riven, if Combo decks are your cup of tea,

Zed Bard, which seems to have regained a bit of its footing,

Ezreal Caitlyn, aka Tri-beam, currently putting pressure on some of the most popular archetypes,

Vi Zoe Aphelios, considered by superb scholar Sirturmund to be one of the best Tournament decks.


Connoisseur's Corner

Here you shall find well-tested brews that nevertheless do not reach the popularity thresholds to be called Meta Decks – the perfect marriage between exclusivity and potency!

This week, a good number of pilots seem to be rediscovering good, solid blends that were for some reason discarded in recent weeks.


Illaoi Lux

This was the hottest new trend the first day of the patch – yet it was soon overshadowed by other Illaoi Demacia blends, with different combinations of Jarvan, Twisted Fate and Garen.

It seems to be (like other Illaoi Demacia medleys) on an upwards trend again – the archetype overall reaches the 55% WR mark, and the most common blend, found on all three shards, performs even better.

Strong Against: Thralls, Annie Jhin

Struggles Against: Viego Noxus

Regions
Demacia
21 cards
Bilgewater
19 cards
Rarities
24 600
champion
6
epic
0
rare
16
common
18
Mana cost
0
0
5
1
11
2
10
3
6
4
8
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
4
Illaoi
3
5
Lux
3
Followers
18
1
Watchful Idol
3
2
Brightsteel Protector
3
2
Hired Gun
2
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
3
Durand Protege
2
3
The Sea's Voice
3
3
Vanguard Sergeant
2
Spells
16
1
Demacian Tellstones
2
2
Answered Prayer
2
2
Single Combat
1
3
Cataclysm
1
3
Shield of Durand
2
4
Tentacle Smash
3
5
Concerted Strike
2
5
Eye of Nagakabouros
3

Bard Ezreal

Bard Ezreal keeps pulling great results, as noted last Tuesday – it performs well over 55%, and our recommended blend is the most popular in all three shards (although APAC seems to favor this archetype the most, by a good margin).

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
32 cards
Runeterra
3 cards
Rarities
23 000
champion
6
epic
0
rare
8
common
26
Mana cost
4
0
6
1
14
2
8
3
8
4
0
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Ezreal
3
4
Bard
3
Followers
22
1
Byrd, The Bellringer
3
1
Zaunite Urchin
3
2
Boom Baboon
3
2
Esmus, Breath of the World
2
2
Ferros Financier
3
2
Flame Chompers!
3
3
Station Archivist
1
3
Sump Dredger
2
4
Aloof Travelers
2
Spells
12
0
Poro Cannon
1
0
Thermogenic Beam
3
2
Mystic Shot
3
3
Get Excited!
2
4
Aftershock
1
4
Statikk Shock
2

Jayce Lux

We shall not say much about this archetype, lest we sound like a broken record, but the numbers indicate without a doubt that it is one of the best off-meta decks.

It sees very little play in the APAC shard, by the way, so if you play this blend on the Eastern ladder your odds to stumble on a mirror are extremely low – the vast majority of this medley's pilots are currently found in the Americas server.

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
21 cards
Demacia
19 cards
Rarities
25 300
champion
6
epic
1
rare
14
common
19
Mana cost
0
0
4
1
17
2
4
3
3
4
5
5
6
6
1
7+
Champions
6
4
Jayce
3
5
Lux
3
Landmarks
1
3
The Forge Of Tomorrow
1
Followers
19
1
Forge Chief
3
2
Brightsteel Protector
3
2
Ferros Financier
3
2
Mageseeker Persuader
3
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
3
Vanguard Sergeant
3
7
Albus Ferros
1
Spells
14
1
Piltovan Tellstones
1
2
Mystic Shot
3
2
Single Combat
2
5
Concerted Strike
2
6
Assembly Line
3
6
Shock Blast
3

Sivir Akshan Demacia

A classic of every patch cycle, once the "shiny new toys" effect wears off: Sivir Akshan returns to the fray, and with some scarily high performance.

Regions
Demacia
16 cards
Shurima
24 cards
Rarities
24 700
champion
6
epic
1
rare
11
common
22
Mana cost
0
0
7
1
14
2
8
3
6
4
5
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Akshan
3
4
Sivir
3
Landmarks
1
2
Preservarium
1
Followers
19
1
Fleetfeather Tracker
2
1
Treasure Seeker
3
2
Brightsteel Protector
3
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
3
Merciless Hunter
3
3
Vekauran Vagabond
2
5
Vekauran Bruiser
3
Spells
14
1
Shaped Stone
2
2
Sharpsight
2
2
The Absolver
2
3
Cataclysm
1
3
Quicksand
1
3
Shield of Durand
1
4
Golden Aegis
2
4
Rite of Negation
1
5
Concerted Strike
2

Scouts, aka Miss Fortune Quinn

This seems indeed to be the week in which pilots go back to old flames!

Scouts has been performing admirably, and the most common formula can be found in all three shards – EMEA, though, seems to prefer this blend more than the other two servers.

Regions
Demacia
29 cards
Bilgewater
11 cards
Rarities
27 700
champion
6
epic
3
rare
15
common
16
Mana cost
0
0
6
1
16
2
6
3
6
4
3
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Miss Fortune
3
5
Quinn
3
Followers
25
1
Fleetfeather Tracker
3
1
Shellshocker
2
2
Brightsteel Protector
3
2
Durand Sculptor
3
2
Marai Warden
3
2
Petricite Broadwing
2
3
Vanguard Sergeant
3
4
Island Navigator
3
6
Cithria the Bold
3
Spells
9
1
Ranger's Resolve
1
2
Inspiring Light
3
2
Sharpsight
2
4
Golden Aegis
3

A Word on Infinite Akshan

This week's hot button seems to be "infinite" combos – a debate for which I believe we should thank the Aspects for, since it seems to be nowhere near as vitriolic and entrenched a clash as deck trackers.

From the point of view of the data, the several variations of Akshan P&Z all currently perform horribly. As far as performance is concerned, there seems to be no reason to bring this archetype to the ladder.


Wild Side

These are little-played, and therefore little-tested brews – while they all perform excellently, small sample sizes make these a somewhat dicey choice.

Yet, what is life without a little risk and adventure, my friend?

And, furthermore, there is one factor these blends can guarantee: odds of finding yourself in a mirror match are slim to none!


Twisted Fate Annie

A blend that pilots tested quite extensively early on, without much success – yet, in the last couple of weeks, it is steadily gaining traction on the fringes, and with numbers to back it up.

In fact, were its playrate just a bit higher, it would be one of our strongest Connoisseur's Corner recommendations.

Regions
Noxus
24 cards
Bilgewater
16 cards
Rarities
23 600
champion
6
epic
0
rare
11
common
23
Mana cost
0
0
15
1
15
2
0
3
6
4
4
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
1
Annie
3
4
Twisted Fate
3
Landmarks
3
1
Ravenbloom Conservatory
3
Followers
14
1
Pool Shark
3
2
Fortune Croaker
3
2
House Spider
3
2
Spell Slinger
3
5
Ruined Rex
2
Spells
17
1
Blade's Edge
3
1
Ravenous Flock
3
2
Disintegrate
3
2
Make it Rain
3
4
Whispered Words
3
5
Eye of Nagakabouros
2

Ashe Leblanc

Relying only rarely on Reputation mechanics, this blend has been punching up quite nicely across more than a hundred games.

No yetis to be found though, sadly!

Regions
Freljord
10 cards
Noxus
30 cards
Rarities
30 300
champion
6
epic
7
rare
6
common
21
Mana cost
0
0
9
1
10
2
9
3
5
4
2
5
4
6
1
7+
Champions
6
3
LeBlanc
3
4
Ashe
3
Landmarks
2
2
The Gray Apothecary
1
6
The Howling Abyss
1
Followers
21
1
Blade Squire
3
1
Legion Rearguard
3
2
Trifarian Gloryseeker
3
2
Trifarian Hopeful
3
3
Reckless Trifarian
3
3
Thorn of the Rose
3
5
Kato The Arm
2
8
Incisive Tactician
1
Spells
11
1
Brittle Steel
3
2
Troll Chant
3
4
Whispered Words
2
6
Reckoning
3

Curious Ezreal Viktor

Curious Shellfolk decks don't seem to be able to get a foothold in this meta, but this fairly standard Glorious Evolution blend does look promising right now.

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
24 cards
Bandlecity
16 cards
Rarities
28 000
champion
6
epic
4
rare
11
common
19
Mana cost
2
0
6
1
14
2
10
3
4
4
0
5
3
6
1
7+
Champions
6
3
Ezreal
3
4
Viktor
3
Followers
14
1
Otterpus
2
2
Conchologist
3
2
Ferros Financier
3
3
Station Archivist
3
6
Curious Shellfolk
3
Spells
20
0
Thermogenic Beam
2
1
Group Shot
1
1
Trinket Trade
3
2
Mystic Shot
3
2
Pokey Stick
3
2
Time Trick
2
3
Sump Fumes
3
3
Wallop
1
4
Aftershock
1
10
Glorious Evolution
1

Very well, my friend…

Best LoR Ladder Decks

I hope you have found a blend to your liking among our current selection!

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