Welcome to Monday LoR Meta Report for Dec 20, a weekly series where we take a look at the most dominant decks in the past 7 days and analyze why they are currently on top of the meta. Let’s get right into it!
We look at Balco's Meta Tier List. Going by play rate, Pantheon/Taric is the most popular deck with a 7% one. Plunder (Gangplank/Sejuani) comes in second at 5%, while Lee/Zoe and Bandle Tree follow next with a 4% play rate. Lurk (Pyke/Rek'sai), Turbo Thralls (Lissandra/Taliyah), and Darkness (Senna/Veigar) are the only decks with a 3% play rate.
Looking at win rates, we see a drastically different image. Lulu/Ahri tops the chart with winning 57% of their games, though the relatively small sample size of 1.5k games might not reveal the true win rate of this deck.
Pantheon/Taric is a dominant, board-centered deck that only gets stronger with time thanks to the new Fated keyword. Most decks can't compete against their continuous value generation and big hitters with Overwhelm.
If you want to learn more about how the deck functions and how to pilot it to success, check out my new guide here!
If you've paid attention, the second most winning deck isn't Pantheon/Taric, but Mono Pantheon. The decklists only differ in 2-3 cards - so they work incredibly similar - but playing Taric seems to lower the win rate by 3%.
Since I've piloted both decks a lot this week, my verdict is this: While Taric has some game-breaking mechanics with Rally effects and other value cards, it's a higher-cost, win-more type unit. Mono Pantheon is more consistent at activating Fated and leveling up Pantheon, resulting in an increased win rate.
Lee/Zoe has been a rock-solid deck for the past… year. With the addition of Wounded Whiteflame, this deck has a new mini Lee Sin, making the deck even more consistent. It also has a great matchup into Pantheon/Taric and Plunder, making it a solid pick in the meta.
Where it gets nutty though is when we look at Ahri decks. I mean, I love foxgirls and wouldn’t mind Ahri appearing in my dreams, but can it please not be a nightmare in which she is beating my beloved muscle man??
I have not played a lot of/against Ahri/Lulu - which makes sense, looking at its play rate - but I know that it beats the shit out of Pantheon decks. They can burst-speed summon Flame Chompers!, challenging your blockers and letting its other units hit your nexus. If Ahri is on the board, they can even recall their chompers for free, effectively making your blockers useless.
Ahri/Kennen might sound like they could have a similar game plan to the Lulu variant, but it’s surprisingly different. The deck excels at quickly leveling up Ahri and capitalizing on her repeated strikes in the same attack with The Absolver.
They can deny pretty much everything you are trying to accomplish with spells like Concussive Palm or Nopeify!. The fact that they can also protect their units with recall effects from your removal makes this an extremely difficult deck to play against, though it falters to aggressive archetypes.
We can see Pirates finding success on the ladder, as it seems to be the only competitive aggro deck at the moment alongside Teemo/Ziggs after the nerfs to Poppy and Rumble’s… let’s say slightly underwhelming entrance 🙂
We don’t have enough data for matchup tables yet, but Pirates seems to be doing well into Pantheon decks and Ahri/Kennen alike, so if you are in it for short games with a quick learning curve, this archetype is for you!
Lastly, Nami/TF has been a novel deck that has been doing surprisingly well over the past few days. Its playstyle is hard to define, but they are great at pushing out handfuls of units, making it difficult for decks to rush them down.
They also have a seemingly infinite amount of value generators with Nami, Curious Shellfolk, Fleet Admiral Shelly, and even Mind Meld. Additionally, this is one of the few decks where Twisted Fate is likely to level up.
Besides Pantheon decks and Turbo Thralls, they don’t seem to have bad matchups for now, making it a worthwhile pick to try out on your own!
I will come clean with you right off the bat… I don’t want you to play Ahri decks. They are nasty little things that I want to enjoy for myself before they might dominate the meta. But I think it’s too late for that, you have seen the stats.
It will be intriguing to see if Ahri decks indeed will become more popular and grasp the meta in its fangs, or if the meta responds accordingly with more aggro decks to shut her down.
Besides that, we will have to see if people will catch on to the hint that playing Taric in their Pantheon deck is making them lose more games. If you’ve played the Taric variant yourself and are unsure about dropping him out of the deck: I was there too. Playing Chain Vest over a champion seems like a ridiculous idea, but try it out yourself. You will see that stats don’t lie, usually 😉
Twisted Fate/Nami appears to be an incredibly solid deck with a promising future - at least in theory. The most baffling fact to me is that this deck doesn’t run a single card from the new expansion. How is it possible that this deck wasn’t found sooner? Likely a side effect of Poppy pushing everything else out of meta, huh. Since the meta is so new though it’s difficult to say if this deck is here to stay, let’s come back to it next week!
With the emergency hotfix patch last week, the meta has been incredibly versatile with many decks on the uprising and surely many more to come. We can see this by hot new decks like Ahri/Lulu and Nami/TF. Let’s hope they don’t confuse our ripped man in shining armor too much if he wants to stay in the meta or not!
Thanks go to Balco for their incredibly important Meta Tier list and continuous efforts to provide data to the player community. (The same goes for Legna, though his data wasn’t featured in today’s report) Thanks also go to Herko Keghans, MonteXristo, and Hydroflare, they have been doing a lot of editing and proofreading that deserves appreciation!
If you’ve made it this far, leave a “Hi” in the Reddit thread, I wanna know how many people actually read this till the end! 😀
As always, thank you very much for reading and until next week!