Monday Meta Report
'sup everyone. We have a new World champion, AragOrnn. If you're interested in the Worlds tournament meta specifically, I did a write-up about it two days ago!
LoR Meta Decks
Sorting MaRu’s Meta Tier List by playrate (PR), we see the following:
We saw plenty of these Runeterra decks at Worlds — Aatrox Kayn and Aatrox Vayne take the lead in ladder popularity. At first, and although thought to be the worst champion of the World Ender expansion, Aatrox is now the most popular character in the game!
Starting from this report, we sum up Elise Gwen Katarina and Gwen Kata into one archetype, and it shows — despite the hype of new World Ender decks, Red Gwen remains among the top 3 most played archetypes in LoR!
Every season a new expansion drops we see the same phenomenon — suboptimal brews with horrendous winrates that nevertheless show a spike in PR. This time around, Bard Kayle and Ryze decks have that dubious honor. If we summed up all Ryze decks running rampant on the LoR ladder, it would likely be the most-played archetype in the game. People are fond of Ryze and are trying to make him work, but to no avail yet.
We saw Aatrox blends at Worlds, and there was no shortage of old brews like Red Gwen. What Worlds competitors missed is the power of Acolyte's Reliquary in combination with Ziggs. Ziggs’ Acolytes picked up steam quickly, and despite what might sound like a meme-tier deck, it can back up its PR with a commendable winrate and is now among one of the best LoR Decks – Monte and I got some hands-on experience with Ziggs while test-driving World Ender decks, and we were highly impressed.
With the introduction of Rockbear Shepherd, we see Azir Xerath (Sun Disc) make a resurgence, while Annie Jhin (Jhinnie) is the aggro deck of choice to farm LP in the first week of the expansion.
Turning to winrates (WR), we get this result:
Jinx Champions' Strength is the most powerful archetype in Legends of Runeterra with two variants — Mono Jinx and Jinx Teemo. We were able to observe those in the lineups of top 8 player mati24mayo and runner-up Teddy!
As mentioned previously, Ziggs' Acolytes was not found by Worlds competitors but is under the top three best-performing decks on ladder!
What most Worlds competitors did find out, though, is Aatrox Kayn and Quinn Vayne Aatrox. In the head-to-head comparison, Vayne Quinn Aatrox appears to be the better version of Vayne Aatrox. That being said, the distinction is not that easy — in Vayne Aatrox we find both versions with and without Roar of Icathia.
Apart from those two iconic archetypes — Aatrox and Champions' Strength — we find several pre-patch powerhouses: Jinx Lulu, Jhinnie, Gangplank Sejuani (Plunder), and Red Gwen.
As always, WR numbers are pushed by the ensuing chaos of a new expansion. This time, Ryze is the reason for almost all of this LP donation, having archetype combinations with almost all regions in the game. Unnecessary to say they all hold a WR below 40%. =)
Jinx Demacia, Vayne Kayn, and Ziggs’ Acolytes are in a Rock-Paper-Scissors relationship, so it’s time for another Emotion Chart™:
Jinx Demacia beats Aatrox blends which beat Ziggs’ Acolytes which beats Jinx Demacia.
This is because Aatrox brews tend to lack the units and early removal to deal with a wide board that later transitions into Champions' Strength, or Jinx launching rockets at their Nexus.
On the contrary, Aatrox blends can out-trade Ruinous Acolyte due to their combat spells, especially the Cultist version with The Unforgiving Cold. They can also pressure with Ranger-Knight Defector + The Darkin Harp, abusing the fact that Mono Ziggs has no good chump blockers.
On the contrary contrary, Ziggs’ Acolytes can shatter Jinx’ low-health units with Drop the Bomb and Pokey Stick, and SMOrc the foe with Fearsome Ruinous Acolytes before Jinx can burn the Ziggs player down or refill their board to recuperate with Champions' Strength.
Here are the relations put in numbers:
We already saw Aatrox brews and Jinx Demacia at worlds, you can read more about them in my Worlds meta write-up.
Ziggs’ Acolytes is a novel archetype emerging thanks to the addition of Acolyte's Reliquary. It runs the standard Shurima landmark shell of Endless Devout, Inventive Chemist, and Rite of the Arcane.
Where it deviates from archetypes like Taliyah Ziggs is the abandonment of tempo plays like Desert Naturalist and Taliyah, as well as Rock Hopper to level Taliyah, in favor of adding the Ruinous Acolyte package.
Especially Preservarium and Rite of Passage give this archetype the flexibility of switching between tempo and value plays, although the archetype mostly plays like an aggro deck!
Once we have enough cards in hand, we can pop off with Ruinous Acolytes and rapidly level Ziggs. The combination of growing Fearsome units and Ziggs (level 2) present an aggressive playstyle not many decks in Runeterra are able to withstand.
As we can see in the matchup table, the only LoR decks favored against Ziggs’ Acolytes are Aatrox blends, and they aren’t too heavily favored.
On the upside, although Mono Ziggs is strong, it's not utterly destroying every archetype. It holds a solid 55% WR against most meta decks, while only really demolishing Jinx Demacia.
If Ziggs’ Acolytes can hold this strong position remains to be seen, but their rising popularity indicates that they might be targeted sooner rather than later! If you want to read more about it, Monte and I wrote about Ziggs as we test-drove World Ender decks.
Braum Sejuani Gnar
I get the feeling that any deck with Champions' Strength has the ability to high-roll itself into the top WR decks. This seems to be the case for Braum Gnar Sejuani.
The Freljord brew runs the Ricko Rex Overwhelm shell, slaps Champions' Strength on top, et voila – you have a 57% WR deck with 230 games over the past two days!
Draven Jinx Discard Aggro
When trying to avoid Champions' Strength blends while featuring top off-meta decks, we have to pivot towards aggro.
Discard Aggro received a spike in popularity after the Jinx buff in the Domination balance patch. Over time, control brews reemerged and repressed aggro, until Jinx Lulu was the only Jinx deck left in the meta.
With Ryze control blends being meme-tier, and Aatrox and Ziggs archetypes being midrange, Discard Aggro is in a prime position to take back its footing on ladder.
This statement is also backed by stats – Discard Aggro sports a 56.5% WR over 770 games in the past two days!
After Illaoi’s support package got murdered in a balance patch, she has been one of the least-played champions in Legends of Runeterra. While I wanted to avoid featuring another Champions' Strength deck, seeing Illaoi revived is a good compromise, in my opinion!
Popularized by Syzchu, the Tentacle deck got a powerful champ in Vayne and the new toys Eye of God and The Darkin Aegis since its last appearance.
The Illaoi deck holds a 57% WR over 470 games in the past two days. If you want to enjoy Illaoi again, you’ll have to be quick before the meta rids itself of LP donors and Champions' Strength gets nerfed!
Thank you for reading this week's meta-report and making it this far. If you’re still here and read this, leave a “Hi” in the Reddit thread comments, and I will “Hi” you back! =)
The data has been due to MaRu’s Meta Tier List while the matchup tables have been from Legna’s brilliant homepage. They are doing an insane job at collecting all this data and presenting it to us in an approachable manner. They deserve all the praise in the world!
The talented Hazy has been converting the metadata into these stunning graphs for the Monday Meta Report, I can't express my gratitude enough to him!
Thanks also to Herko Khergans, he has been doing lots of editing and proofreading that deserves appreciation!!
You can reach me on Twitter (@Leer97) or on Discord (Leer#2026)!
Thanks for reading and see ya next week!