Alright, maybe there isn’t even a good second aggro deck but Moe’s champless burn deck will suffice.
It also makes this lineup’s title work – there’s only four champs in this lineup!
Jokes aside, your job here is to take down Thralls. All three of our decks should have a positive matchup into the current Meta Queens – just be sure to take Lissandra off the board as soon as you reasonably can. A Tough Nexus can be a real pain for our burn and our combo turn, you’ll want to win the game before that happens.
This lineup also has fair odds into anything with Pantheon. Fizz Riven can be a liability there, but your other two decks should have no trouble.
Another benefit of bringing Fizz Riven is its positive matchup into Afaelios. Interestingly, your other two decks may struggle in that matchup, but you may be able to squeeze through regardless.
The final benefit to this lineup is that it will absolutely smush Sun Disc which has been lurking just below the meta's surface and is poised to be an excellent pick this week.
If you’ve not queued into a control lineup but a Demacian one, you’ll have to decide between banning Illaoi and Pantheon; I might lean towards an Illaoi ban myself. Despite Riven Fizz’s good matchup into it, Afaelios may also be a good ban for this lineup as Severum can be game-ending for you.
Alternate decks you could run here include Pirates, Nightfall, Draven Sion (burn version), or any other aggro deck you feel confident in. You could also spin this a different way, dropping Fizz Riven for Viego Noxus as it beats both Pantheon and Thralls quite handily.
Triple Shurima Returns
I’ve already mentioned how I think Sun Disc is an excellent choice right now, so we’re bringing back the triple shurima lineup to accommodate it.
Thralls and mono Viego are both excellent decks at the moment: this lineup looks to beat opposing Thralls lineups by virtue of being bigger.
Mono Viego SI
While this lineup seeks to beat up other thrall lineups, it may have some problems into Demacia.
Disc is just barely positive in both the Pantheon and Illaoi matchups when looking at the stats across all ranks. This leads me to believe both of those matchups will be quite difficult and will come down to player skill. As such, you may wish to ban one of the two; my ban would be Illaoi as she is better into your own Thralls than Pantheon is.
You will certainly want to ban out Irelia Azir if you run into it, as that matchup is a nightmare for all three of your decks.
Aggro decks like Jhin Annie are also worth a ban as you can expect them to ban out your Viego and leave you with only poor matchups.
Alternate decks you could consider here include Ziggs Taliyah, Fae Fizz with either Aphelios or Riven (Aphelios will give you a worse Thralls matchup though), or an Illaoi deck of your own (both Ionia and Demacia do well into Thralls).
Go Big or Go Home
These three decks may seem a bit odd to pair together, as Viego Noxus beats Thralls while the other two lose to them, but this lineup does have some synergy, however: all three do decently well into Illaoi, they are all also quite good into Annie Jhin and other aggressive lists.
My Aegis team designed this lineup around the Jayce Heimerdinger & Bard Galio core.
By starting off with Jayce and Galio as the lineup's core, we do a few things.
First, we ensure having a decent matchup into Ravenbloom decks and Aphelios PnZ piles.
Second, because Aegis playoffs are a ‘last man standing’ format, the lineup is fairly non-committal and we can adjust our strategy with the third deck.
And these decks can definitely take games off of Afaelios, which is another bonus.
We’ve decided to pair these three together with the idea of banning Thralls. While Viego Noxus is good into Thralls, the other two decks will suffer a fair bit. We chose Viego Nox with the idea of being slightly better into Demacia decks, while also having game against Sun Disc. We’re looking to beat up on Illaoi when possible, or aggro when not.
Other decks you could look to include in this final slot are Fizz Aphelios/Riven, either flavour works here depending on how you wish to skew your lineup. You could consider playing Thralls, Sun Disc, or even Deep can fit if you’re looking to hard-target something like Annie Ezreal. If you’re Aikaido you can even play YEP CROC.
Attack, Attack and Attack Again!
Thralls continue to dominate the meta, so it is necessary for us to provide an anti-Thralls lineup as you’ll see this deck in a quarter or more of the matches you do this weekend.
Last week we explored a lineup with Jhin Annie and Viego Legion Deserter – today we approach it from a different angle: Demacia midrange.
Illaoi Twisted Fate Jarvan
Well… almost full Demacia midrange. I couldn’t pass on Azir Irelia in a lineup meant to counter Thralls.
All three of these decks have something in common: they put a lot of pressure onto the opponent due to their rallies or free attacks. Freljord decks, including Thralls, have a hard time dealing with this constant pressure of extra attacks.
These decks also have the benefits of doing well into other slower decks, such as control. Once again the rallies, Cataclysm or free attacks apply enough pressure that such foes are unable to effectively use their mana.
However, not every lineup is perfect and this one suffers from horrible matchups into aggro and Noxus midrange. If running into a triple-aggro lineup, your Azir Irelia will be countered. If running into Noxus control, they will have enough removal to stop your other two decks in their tracks. In general, Noxus is bad for us regardless and usually banning the deck in the opponents lineup that has Noxus is the correct choice.
For alternate deck ideas, you could play Pantheon Yuumi over Taric Poppy if you don’t believe in that deck. Decks like Poppy Bard could also be a good replacement over Taric Poppy.
What if trying to beat Thralls is the wrong way to approach things?
What if instead the deck is good enough that we should ban it every time?
I want my days to be sunny and warm, so bye-bye Thralls!
Therefore, our follow-up question is, can we do a lineup that should do well versus the rest of the field?
Feel The Rush
Heimerdinger Jayce SI
The decks in this lineup are all decks being pushed to the side due to Thralls' ever-growing popularity. By automatically banning Thralls, we open ourselves to possibilities against other meta decks.
This is a control lineup at heart. It’s not playing triple Shadow Isles, but it’s close enough to do that.
As such, we have favorable matchups against a lot of the aggro or more midrange decks that do not play rallies – our disruption tools and removal spells are enough to help us stabilize against the popular aggressive decks present in this meta. This is what we hope to see in our opponent’s line up.
Playing control does bring some weakness to it though. Aside from Thralls, we are vulnerable to the other deck everyone loves to hate: Azir Irelia.
We are also vulnerable to Demacia decks that play triple rally, as they will be able to finish the game before we have time to react.
Lastly, Shurima, while not currently as popular as before, is also a region we have to worry about. Their key decks like Sun Disc and Viego Shurima are both able to do well versus ours.
Slotting in alternate decks for this lineup is pretty straightforward: we want control decks with enough removal. Shadow Isles plus Noxus, for example, has been a popular control deck recently, playing Senna and Kindred, and could slot right into our lineup.
Alternatively, we can switch to go more Noxus-oriented.
Regardless of which one, these are decks that can breathe a sigh of relief without Thralls to worry about.
The Anti Shuriman Classic
Believe it or not, it seems like, slowly the triple Shurima boogeyman of the last Seasonal is making a comeback. And it makes sense: the decks and key cards like Quicksand didn’t really get touched that much.
As I see more of these Shurima lineups topping community tournaments again, I want you to be prepared ahead of time with this classic.
If this is the first time seeing this lineup, the idea is simple. Both of the Rainbowfish decks do really well into all the Shurima decks, as Rainbowfish allows you to bypass Quicksand. So it is very easy to swarm the opponent with multiple smaller Fae units, and one big elusive unit that they cannot deal with.
Scouts, on the other hand, just has great matchups across the board versus Shurima decks.
We are not putting all our eggs in a single basket though. This lineup also does very well into all aggro decks. With Jhin Annie being among the five most played decks, it is not unlikely to expect some players to play triple aggro. In which case you’re now prepared.
The bad apple that we do not want to see is mainly Thralls. All three decks, even including rally-centric Scouts, lose to Thralls due to Sands of Time and Blighted Ravine. Banning perhaps the best deck of the season so far it’s not the worst idea, anyways.
Second most dangerous enemy will be Demacia decks, such as Pantheon Yuumi or Illaoi Demacia. Their access to Sharpsight or Petricite Broadwing can completely overwhelm you with pressure. Ban these on site if you don't see Thralls.
For an alternate deck, we can replace Scouts and try other flavors of Rainbowfish, such as mono Bard with Bandle, or maybe Poppy or Gnar as an alternate champ, then fill in with the Fae package for rest of deck. Honestly any deck with triple Gleaming Lantern and Rainbowfish will usually be a good consideration. Just have to test out which of the Rainbowfish variants you prefer to keep.
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!