The Noxian Invasion
Elise Noxus Control
Zoe Aphelios Noxus
The idea here is that you’re completely stopping your opponent’s gameplan through the use of your multiple stuns and removals, while setting up for Tybaulk to come down and make your units and spells stronger.
With the use of stuns and strong removal, you will have no problem beating the likes of Pantheon or Illaoi decks, two archetypes that rely on units going really big rather than going really wide. Disintegrate in particular can be brutal against a big Wounded Whiteflame.
We also have enough tools and blockers to survive against aggro decks and stabilize, making Demacia and aggro our two main targets with this lineup.
Unfortunately, we are very vulnerable to the Feel The Rush control package, and Thralls. If the opponent can just ignore what you want to do and slowly summon their units through means of spells or landmarks, it makes it difficult for us to remove their units.
In terms of alternate decks, I’ll be fully honest here, the P&Z and Shadow Isles variants are both really good but the Targon variant is untested. As such, feel free to swap or edit it for things like Noxus Freljord, Noxus Bandle Control or even Noxus Bilgewater. All those options could be just as good and worth testing out.
Big Body Builders
Sometimes going really big is the answer to all our problems. This lineup focuses on the Demacian strategy of having our units go really big and supporting them with multiple strike spells.
Illaoi Jarvan IV
Between Pantheon, Illaoi, and Udyr, you’re literally going as big as possible. The idea here is that you’re able to fight with board presence against every other deck out there that does not have direct removal. Our main targets will be decks like Scouts or other board-heavy decks that need to attack and survive.
Also notice the keyword up our sleeve: Overwhelm – each deck has tools to give our biggest unit this keyword.
In terms of ban strategy, ban anything with direct removal.
If your opponent is playing Shadow Isles or Noxus control, those tend to be the best targets for our ban. Vengeance becomes a big issue when we are looking to go tall, and Noxus has access to both Scorched Earth and Disintegrate.
There are many other Demacia decks you can play as an alternate in this lineup. I know not everyone is an Udyr believer like I am, but I would recommend playing both Pantheon Yuumi and Illaoi Jarvan as both decks are really, really good.
The third deck though can be swapped for Lux Jayce, Sivir Akshan, or other variations for Formidable, go-big decks.
Rainbowfish somehow avoided nerfs this last patch. As such, it makes sense to continue abusing the strength of this card.
To complete the set, we add in a Bard deck also playing Rainbowfish. Notice that, whenever your Attach units get buffed through Chimes, they will keep the buff for the rest of the game even if the unit they’re attached to dies.
So a few lucky chimes on a Rainbowfish could spiral the game out of control.
The decks are meant to beat Shurima decks, as they bypass the effect of Quicksand. The first two decks also have really great win-rates into aggro decks – Bard is a bit of an unknown variable in that department but should be favorable as you can still go really wide with Fae swarm and have access to a couple of Group Shots.
We also outvalue most Noxus control decks, like Annie Ezreal.
Our main weakness will be Demacia decks – the Fae piles do pretty bad into Pantheon Yuumi or Scouts. Their access to Sharpsight can also be really punishing.
Aside from that, matchups against control such as Feel The Rush are a bit even across the board as they would always ban your Ionia deck.
For alternate decks, Scouts is a an option: while not being on the Rainbowfish plan, it ends up fitting really well with the matchup tables of these decks.
If you’re looking to instead continue with the Rainbowfish nonsense, there are other variants out there such as Shadow Isles Rainbowfish (reducing cost with Island Navigator, combo with Mask Mother) or Rainbowfish Demacia to utilize rallies. Honestly as long as you have the core of Gleaming Lantern plus Rainbowfish, almost anything can work.
A Prodigy’s Homage
While the new patch brought in a ton of new cards, it really didn’t bring many balance changes. This means Prodigy’s winning lineup from this past Seasonal is still a very, very good consideration to bring to any tournaments or gauntlet.
Mono Viego Shurima
To fully understand this lineup, I recommend checking out Prodigy’s write up on his seasonal tournament victory:
Shurima decks are very strong, especially due to cards like Quicksand, and Prodigy proved that. I chose to reuse the same lists as last patch as I don’t believe any of the new tools and cards introduced in the latest patch really make sense in these decks.
The Shuriman landmark, Chamber of Renewal, might be interesting in Ziggs Taliyah or Viego, but don’t believe it’s worth the slot. I’m willing to be proven wrong on that though, as I think it’s an interesting card.
The lineup and the way Prodigy teched it makes it favorable into Sivir Akshan, Ekko Zilean and Viktor Ionia piles. It’s even into a lot of things in the field, including Pantheon Yuumi, Scouts and other Shurima decks. The decks you have to watch out for are Aphelios Fizz and other Rainbowfish decks as you’re unable to deal with their pressure.
Is there another Shurima deck that could slot in this lineup?
Potentially, but I wouldn’t mess with something that has worked for over a month. There is a reason these three decks are the definition of Shurima midrange.
Aggro went through a rollercoaster this patch. They got some amazing new tools in Jhin and Annie, giving us another really good aggro deck to choose from.
At the same time though, their best deck, Pirate aggro, received some nerfs. However this lineup is still very good into the current field.
If you have been playing competitive LoR recently, then you already know the drill with this lineup. It will beat Pantheon Yuumi and Sun Disc, allowing you to target Demacia and Shurima lineups. The nature of aggro means it can also just straight up high-roll even against many midrange decks and steal you the win.
On the other hand though, their weaknesses are very clear: control and Fae swarm. Decks like Feel The Rush or other Shadow Isle control decks are very painful to deal with, as Withering Wail can be such a blowout. And Fae swarm can just fill the board so quickly with blockers and even have access to lifesteal.
Alternate decks are plenty here. Things like Noxus Bandle with Ziggs, Draven Jinx discard aggro, or P&Z Noxus Champless burn could also work well to round the lineup up.
There are a few decks that really speak to me, and one of those as everyone knows is Star Spring.
Another less known favorite of mine is Thralls, and it was with Star Spring + Thralls + Azir Irelia that I made top 4 in a seasonals. With Thralls being buffed once more, I think there is room to consider this core once again.
Soraka Illaoi Star Spring
People will see this and they will hate it. I’m combining what people call the most “uninteractive” decks and put them all in the same lineup. All I’m missing is for Bandle Tree to be good again to include here.
The core of why this lineup worked for me before was due to its great matchup versus control decks, and this is still the case here. All three of these decks should still do very well versus your typical control archetypes such as Feel The Rush. We do well versus other Thrall decks as well, assuming we feel comfortable in the mirror.
We do okay versus a lot of midrange decks, but do struggle versus big Demacia decks since they have no trouble blocking our Thralls or making our attacks with Illaoi or Soraka very awkward.
The big no-no’s that we don’t want to run into is Noxus control decks running Scorched Earth. However, with a lot of Noxus decks cutting it for Disintegrate, it might be unlikely for us to run versus it.
The other iffy match up could be aggro. Star Spring should do well due to Broadbacked Protector, but our other two decks are more vulnerable to that. The hope is that the new Ionia spell, Dragon Ambush, might give Azir Irelia enough time to win.
If you want to keep the theme of being anti control, you can add Scouts instead of Azir Irelia to become a bit less worse into aggro. I would try to keep the Thralls + Star Spring core intact though, as it does very well and has a similar matchup spread. While I recommend giving Illaoi Soraka a shot, you can always always swap back to Tahm Kench instead.
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!