This Looks Familiar…
Don’t worry, you’re not tripping. This is basically the same first line-up as last week’s article and that’s because I believe the core of Nami Twisted Fate SI and Aphelios PnZ is the best starting point for a lineup at the moment.
This week we’ve chosen to round it out with Scouts because I think it’s a mirror-breaker lineup. Scouts should also force the ban from a ‘mirror’ lineup, letting you play the two best decks in the game.
Nami Twisted Fate SI
You may have noticed that the decklists have changed from last week about as much as the lineup has.
Drisoth tweeted about some math he did and it turns out that the last card slot in Nami SI really does come down to player preference.
I’ve added a bit more draw to this week’s list. Additionally, people figured out that Suit Up! is pretty good in Aphelios PnZ – a few copies have been added in as well.
This lineup seeks to beat the mirror lineups. Anything else with Aphelios PnZ and Nami SI as its core should be forced into banning Scouts. This gives you free reign to ban out Aphelios PnZ, which is arguably the best deck in the game right now.
Despite what the stats say, I don’t actually believe Ahri Bard (what I would generally expect to be the 3rd deck in this lineup) is a bad matchup for Nami. They really have no way to interact with Twisted Fate, after all. If you play for the TF flip and know to play around tentacles you should be ok in that matchup. This fact is what will let us get away with banning the Aph PnZ mirror instead.
As for other third deck options, the field is kind of wide open. If you expect a lot of people to be on this version of the lineup you can go for something like Poppy Bard or Bard Galio (big Demacia beats small Demacia)
This one’s for Davebo!
So, I had a funny idea.
After seeing Scouts perform so well with Inspiring Light, I thought there had to be another deck that would make good use of it.
Then I remembered my previous conversations with Davebo regarding Jayce Lux, “It’s just Forge Worker beatdown!” – their 3/3 bodies always make Forge Workers awkward units to trade with, and we make multiples in a single action…
… the deck also plays Baboon and Chompers, is this the answer?
I posed the question to Davebo himself and wouldn’t you know it, I WAS on to something!
This lineup might be the secret sauce – the idea is to beat the type one lineup of Nami SI & Aphelios PnZ.
The statistics show Scouts has a good matchup into Nami SI and Aphelios PnZ. They also show that Jayce Lux has a good matchup into Nami SI, and while they don’t show the same for Aphelios I spoke with the Jayce Lux master (Davebo) and he informed me the matchup felt “more than playable.” As previously mentioned, we’ve also made some changes to the Jayce Lux list which may change the matchup dynamics, and the stats have yet to catch up.
And Thralls, of course, STOMPS Aphelios PnZ.
This lineup is also good because it doesn’t have a large target on its back. The odds are low that people will expect this kind of lineup to be popular, and therefore the tournament meta won’t account for it. Because of this, you should have a very good time progressing through your tournament run.
Your ban strategy with this lineup: take out any bigger Demacia you encounter. This means removing aaallllll the Bard decks, be it Poppy or Galio.
I’ve also heard whispers of people trying out Sivir Akshan again – if you run into it, it’s best to take it out of the equation.
Thralls may also prove to be somewhat problematic, so you feel free to ban them if there is nothing scarier.
As for other decks, you could try a bigger Demacia deck like Poppy Bard or Bard Galio. According to the statistics, Viego Shurima has a 47% matchup into Aphelios PnZ, which might be improved with some slight techs and could be worth considering. You could also try Heimer Jayce, but then you’re locked out of Jayce Lux.
It’s Not A Lineup Article If Monte Doesn’t Include Aggro
I will be candid with you all, this lineup is just the three statistically best Aggro decks right now. Not much more thought went into, it but as always we wanted to include a wide variety of options for everyone’s playstyles.
Blades and Pyrotechnics
This lineup will be good into any Ionia decks that you encounter – despite what the stats say, Draven Sion will be fine into Ahri Bard as this is a burn list. They just won't have enough denies to deal with all of our direct damage.
It should also do more than fine into any Annie Twisted Fate you encounter.
Your ban strategy will be taking out any SI Control, and bear in mind that a competent Nami pilot may also prove to be a problem. You ideally want your ban to be good for more than one of your decks; you should consider what your opponent will ban out and take that into consideration.
The Premier Counter Lineup
Last week I spoke about a lineup that can counter two of the most popular decks in TF Annie and Aphelios P&Z.
I still believe this is a great lineup to bring if that’s what you expect to face, but this time we take a page from Shadawx and add Hecarim Kalista to the mix.
Feel The Rush
It’s obvious that Shadawx is onto something here, finishing 2nd place in OLS and finishing 1st in the MysticShot Poscast tournament over the past week. This adds some legitimacy to the core of Feel The Rush + Thralls to counter most of the meta decks, with the third deck being a matter of preference.
The idea is that you’ll be favored into Aphelios P&Z piles, TF Annie, and even TF Nami. While we do lose the access to 9x Blighted Ravine by not bringing a third Freljord deck, we gain a bit more consistency than relying on something like Targon’s Peak. You will also be better into the mirror due to Hecarim decks being good into control and Thralls.
With that said, we are also weak to the same Hecarim decks, so be mindful of that during your ban phase.
We are also very vulnerable to Scouts, a deck that is once again rising in popularity.
Lastly, Azir Irelia will also be almost impossible to defeat with our decks, so ideally we want to dodge that deck the most.
In terms of alternate options, you could do a repeat of last week’s lineup and run Targons Peak in place of Hecarim Kalista, giving you full access to as many Ravines as possible. Otherwise, we can go for more control archetypes like Anivia or Noxus Freljord variants to fill in the gaps.
A Day In Demacia
One of the most common lineups in LoR history has been triple Demacia lineups, allowing you to fully take advantage of their rallies to burst through your opponent’s defenses.
Triple Demacia is once again back, although a bit different than it looked before.
Let’s face it, Scouts is the flavor of the week. With the new version of Scouts that play Inspiring Light winning some tournaments and topping others, you’ll see the deck very often this week due to its pretty straightforward approach.
So what else can we pair Scouts with? Well, two other Demacia decks playing Golden Aegis is one of the answers.
Our game plan is to abuse both slower control, and aggro decks.
One thing that folks don’t talk about enough with Demacia decks is how well we do into all sorts of aggro decks, due to our many early units and blockers.
And, against control, it’s just a matter of timing your rally to the perfect round to finish off the opponent.
So, right off the bat, we want to see decks like Feel The Rush, Nami TF Shadow Isles, and Jhin Annie.
Following up those general archetypes, we should in theory also do well against other Scout decks. Yes, we will have to win the mirror, but our other two Demacia decks tend to go bigger than Scouts, which tends to stop them in their tracks.
Our weakness is a bit obvious though, and that is Noxus midrange. Ravenous Flock, Scorched Earth, and other such tools can kill our damaged units, and since we usually have to attack every single turn, it means we don’t have ways to prevent their removal.
Aside from that, bigger unit-heavy decks such as Galio Bard, Illaoi Demacia, or even Udyr decks, are a big challenge to us – their units grow much larger than what our Demacia decks can usually handle.
If you want to swap one of these decks out, I still recommend keeping to the idea of triple rally. Other alternatives include Jayce Lux teched in with rallies, pure Elites, Tristana Faes YiA, and the like. Probably wouldn’t recommend Pantheon Yuumi these days, otherwise it would be a great fit here too.
Hedging Against Scouts’ Revival
As we mentioned above, Scouts is more or less the flavor of the week, with a bit of Thralls sprinkled on top of it. This lineup is focusing on beating Scouts, and banning Thralls, hedging your bets against two decks that are seeing a resurgence.
Heimer Jayce SI
Our decks perform really well into Demacia lineups.
It’s hard to find three decks that are favorable against Scouts, but this idea with triple P&Z hits the mark. Simply put, all three of our decks can exert a powerful board presence on their own – whether it’s through removal with Jayce Heimer and Caitlyn Ezreal, or through sheer counter pressure of Ekko Zilean – meaning we’re never getting rushed down by the Demacia boards, and therefore have time to stabilize until we get our gameplan going.
What I like about this lineup is that we are more or less close to even across the board against most other decks. Yes, there are a couple of bad apples in there, such as our horrible matchups into Ahri Bard and Thralls, but everything else sits squarely on the 45% to 55% win-rate bracket. This includes our matchup into Aphelios P&Z piles, which means we aren’t too upset running into them.
Other decks that we are happy to face include most forms of aggro lineups, Hecarim variants, and Elise Annie.
The big no-no’s for us, aside from Thralls and Ahri Bard, are Annie Twisted Fate and slower control decks like Feel The Rush.
As we finish our lineup recommendations for this week, we would recommend taking a look at last week’s article as well for different lineup ideas.
The meta game has not changed a lot over the past week aside from the resurgence of two decks: Thralls and Scouts. So most of the lineups last well will still do the trick just as much as today’s considerations.
And good luck in your last Gauntlet runs!
About the authors
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 Springs to tournaments, you can find Sirturmund lurking around all the social media sites absorbing anything he can about the game!
MonteXristo has been playing the game since closed beta and has consistently made it to masters every season he’s been active. His accomplishments include having peaked in the top 20, taking first place in the “Streamer Sideboard Showdown” and LPP Riot Grand Prix. When he’s not writing for Mastering Runeterra he keeps his card-slinging skills sharp by playing in the Runeterra Academy tournament, with his team The Wobbly Wombats!