This is an older Meta Report -- for the latest Report, check this link!!
‘sup everyone, we have a brand new expansion in our hands and oh boy did it shake up the meta. Let’s find out together which decks you should use for an early climb, and which ones you should steer clear from!
LoR Meta Decks
Sorting Balco’s Meta Tier List by playrate (PR), we see the following:
Azir Irelia (Azirelia) has overtaken the meta and is now the most played archetype in the game with a 5.8% PR.
Immediately after that, we can see a champion of the new expansion, namely Kai'Sa in Akshan Kai'Sa Demacia, sporting a 5.5% PR!
Another popular champion pairing is Evelynn Kai'Sa, putting up a 4.7% PR despite its truly horrendous 42% WR. Trust me, it is horrendous -- here's how it went for me, if you want to share my pain.
Katarina Yasuo is a historical deck that has never quite made it into the top cut of a meta. In this new expansion, it has finally achieved its dream with a 4.2% PR!
Twisted Fates Annie (Twisted Annie) has suffered in popularity due to the new gunners taking the spotlight, but still holds a 3.9% PR.
Going to a 2% PR, we can find a multitude of decks, which didn’t all fit in the graph. We have: Viktor Kai'Sa, Sivir Kai'Sa (submit nicknames pls!), good ol’ Lissandra Taliyah (Thralls), Gwen Annie (Gwennie), Jhin Annie (Jhinnie), Shen Kai'Sa, Kai'Sa Demacia, and Elise Gwen (Spider-Gwen).
Turning to winrates (WR), we get this result:
As usual at the start of a new expansion, we see the tried-and-true archetypes of the previous season at the top. Additionally, WR stats are overall inflated because we see low WR decks like Evelynn Kai'Sa with massive PRs.
This means that Illaoi Bard (Chimey Tentacles) takes the crown this Monday with a breathtaking 59.4% WR.
Twisted Annie might have lost some popularity, but its WR heavily benefited from the influx of new decks, elevating it to 58.4%.
Heimerdinger Jayce (Shadow Tech) is the third archetype with an absurd winrate, coming in at 58.3%.
Thralls remains a meta titan with a 56.6% WR.
Now, we finally see a novel deck make the cut – Sivir Kai'Sa sports a 56.4% WR!
In the past few months, Azirelia was never able to reach a reasonable WR that resonated with its high PR. This time around though, it is actually punching numbers, sitting at a 56.3% WR.
Lulu Sneezy Biggledust! (Sneezy Lulu) is another new archetype that benefits from a new card and comes in at a 55.8% WR.
As aggro tends to do especially well at the beginning of a season, where people try out less-than-optimal decks that struggle to survive the early game, Jhinnie takes names with a 55.5% WR. (Heh, Jhin wouldn’t agree, but in this context having all fives is better than having all fours! =)
Finally, we see another two new archetypes make the cut – Kai'Sa DE with a 54.2% WR, and Spider-Gwen with a 53.8% WR.
Before we consider the best-performing archetypes, let’s look at novel decks that have found substantial success. Specially Kai'Sa variants have been putting up numbers, let’s look at the three decks featured this Monday:
When comparing Kai'Sa Sivir and Mono Kai'Sa, we quickly realize that Kai'Sa Sivir is simply the better deck. It has a better WR in every single matchup besides the direct head-to-head one. This motivated us to only consider Sivir Kai'Sa from now on in matchup discussions and infer that the Mono Kai'Sa matchups are slightly worse.
Looking at Kai'Sa Sivir and Akshan Kai'Sa though, we can see that Kai'Sa Sivir has mostly better matchups besides the Gwennie one.
For example against Katarina Yasuo and Twisted Annie, Sivir’s Spellshield (and hence Kai'Sa’s ability to copy it) turns bad (/even) matchups into good ones.
On the other hand, Akshan shines in matchups where there are a lot of chump blockers that disturb Sivir’s ability, like Gwennie, and aggro matches like Jhinnie.
Thus, the Akshan and Sivir versions have different strengths and weaknesses and hence will be considered different archetypes! =)
Sneezy Lulu is another new deck that might not include a new champion, but a new evolution of Yordles in Arms ! To me, the success of this archetype doesn’t come as a surprise, as Fizz Lulu and Ahri Lulu were meta-bullies for a long time until they eventually fell off.
Sneezy Lulu is this type of deck that does what it wants without really considering the foe’s game plan. If the opponent can kill Lulu and clear wide boards, they win – otherwise, Sneezy Lulu wins.
We can see this in the matchup table above. Azirelia is too slow in its medium-burn game plan (they should maybe consider having their steak rare! =), and it gets their engine units like Sparring Student and even Irelia slaughtered by a hugeified Flame Chompers!.
On the other hand, Twisted Annie can clear wide boards and disrupt Lulu's attack, so this matchup spells misery for Sneezy Lulu.
Matchups that are more even are against Kai'Sa decks, where the Kai'Sa pilot has some interaction with challenger units and threats on their own.
Especially if they can level Kai'Sa early, her Icathian Rain clears Sneezy Lulu’s board and stops any Sneezy Biggledust! attempts in its tracks. Similarly, Yasuo Katarina can stun Lulu attacks, but struggles to put Sneezy Lulu under pressure and can't handle big boards if they don’t find Yasuo and Intimidating Roar.
As previously mentioned, tried-and-true decks of the former season have proven themselves in a competitive environment, and thus it’s no surprise that they also do well in this new and chaotic meta.
Two old archetypes have benefitted more than others from the entropy though – Twisted Annie and Azirelia.
As we can see, Twisted Annie murders Azirelia and Yasuo Katarina (brutally). Twisted Annie is efficient at removing low-health units like Sparring Student and Greenglade Duo, and Katarina Yasuo is bad at presenting meaningful threats to finish the game before Riptide Rex and Tybaulk threaten to end Yasuo and Katarina’s lives.
For the same reason as Yasuo Katarina, Gwennie is also a good matchup for Twisted Annie.
And since Twisted Annie can be considered as a textbook control deck (minus the heal =), it also performs well against aggro decks like Jhinnie.
It only really struggles against the new Kai'Sa blends, especially Kai'Sa Sivir, since it’s difficult for them to remove a Spellshielded champion and run out of cards too quickly against their multiple threats.
Azir Irelia is a little different. It doesn’t have the high amount of good matchups as Twisted Annie, but remember that it also sports a 2% lower WR, so the shape of this matchup table is no surprise.
As we can see, the combo-oriented medium-burn deck struggles against Twisted Annie's cheap removal and Jhinnie's aggressive playstyle, which doesn’t give them enough time to set up their landmarks and champions (joke's on me, Emperor's Dais is actually considered the third champion in Azirelia =).
On the other hand, Azirelia is a notorious demolishing company for slow control decks like FTR and Lissandra SI, so it also performs well against the slow Yasuo Katarina. The deck also is favored into the mid-range gameplan that Akshan Sivir goes for, though it’s only even against Kai'Sa Sivir. Turns out that if they can’t Recall Sivir, they lose quite a bit of winning percentages.
With absolutely no new cards in this deck, it’s an immense surprise that this deck is thriving over the better-known Annie Ziggs Katarina variant.
The deck has a similarly aggressive playstyle, and instead of relying on Katarina and Treasured Trash to get the job done, it aims for an unleveled Sivir + Kato The Arm/Might combo.
We will have to see if this archetype will remain favorable over Annie Ziggs Katarina; for now, Ziggs Sivir has the upper hand with a 60.7% WR in the past two days over a tiny sample size of 180 games!
Illaoi Lux aka Illux
Illux is a creation of the streamer Kuvira and boomed with the release of Illaoi. People quickly figured out that the Lux package was not really doing it and Jarvan IV and Twisted Fate were simply better comrades of Illaoi.
This changed with the release of Riptide Sermon. The card turns out to be a staple in everything Illaoi and brings Lux back into the discussion. Since the Illaoi TF J4 version isn’t getting played, it’s a little unfair to say that Illux is the better Illaoi Demacia version but for now, Illux has convincing stats – It sports a 60% WR in the past two days over 870 games!
This deck not only made it into this section because it has great stats, but also because I have been losing against it on ladder quite a bit.
In theory, Gnar Sejuani should be amazing against Kai'Sa decks. Frostbiting and Challenging an enemy Kai'Sa with Sejuani is absolutely game-winning, and Pokey Stick is an efficient way of popping Sivir’s Spellshield.
The freezy dinosaurs are punching chilling numbers – 56.1% since the past two days in over 350 games!
With the new expansion, we are seeing an influx of novel decks that make playing the game exciting again. While numbers are padded by LP gifters left and right, we see some new archetypes succeed, especially the ones building around Kai'Sa!
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 the amazing website by Balco 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 Balco's data 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!