Welcome to the Monday Meta Report, 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.
Note that you can click on bolded names for deck codes. Let’s get into it!
Going by winrate (WR), we see a different hierarchy.
While Ahri Kennen Shurima still sits at the top with a 55% WR, it’s Scouts who take second place.
The Shadow Isles (SI) counterpart of Ahri Kennen comes in third with a 54% WR, and a flock of decks follow winning 53% of their games: Darkness, Pantheon Shyvanna, Urgh, and FTR.
After the crazy chaos following the balance patch, we see the wheat separate from the chaff: Iceborn Poros and Howling Spiders are nowhere to be found. Rumors have it they were seen in Philadelphia rambling with homeless people for breakfast.
Instead, we see the rise of Scouts, an old archetype that hasn’t seen much play even after the buff to Quinn. The deck has a fairly unique playstyle that lies somewhere between Aggro and Rally decks. Most foes struggle to deal with the early tempo plays of Scouts pressuring the board, and Miss Fortune is a unique win condition that is particularly useful against Ahri Kennen’s one-health units.
I will leave it at that with the matchup table from Legna’s website. If you want to learn more about the deck, keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming guide on Tuesday! =)
While I wasn’t a big fan of the SI variant of Ahri Kennen -- solely because of its inferior stats on paper -- the deck has continued to grow more competitive to its Shuriman sister.
Alanzq even described the deck as resourceful with comeback mechanics, while he calls the Shuriman version “horseshit, dogshit, and pigshit.”
The stats still don’t agree with him on the second statement, but in a matchup table comparison we can see that the Shuriman version has a lot of highs and some lows compared to the more smooth matchups of the SI counterpart.
Most notably, the SI variant has a better matchup into aggro decks like Draven Rumble and Spider Aggro, and is also superior in the mirror match.
On the other hand, the Shurima version performs better into midrange decks like Pantheon Shyvana and tempo decks like Iceborn Poros.
Darkness has slowly but surely grown both in playrate and winrate. And it also has grown on me!
The deck is super fun to play with reasonable amounts of decisions to take. While its matchup table doesn’t look convincing at first glance, having an almost 50% winrate against the most played deck and no clearly horrible matchup below 40% results in a more than solid 53% WR.
That the meta yearns for slow and Controlling decks is not only proven by the rise of Darkness but also the reemergence of FTR. After the buff to Vengeance and our favorite troll, the deck seems to have awoken from its frozen slumber. Also, it’s good to know Trundle didn’t get lost in The Howling Abyss and found his way to Tryndamere to feel the rush. Or how Trundle would put it: “Haha! You didn’t see that coming!”
The deck shortly spiked to a WR beyond 55% but descended to more reasonable numbers soon after.
The matchup table validates the fact that FTR crushes aggro decks and even does well into Ahri Kennen. Its weakness appears to be tempo-based decks like Iceborn Poros and Scouts that are a little more robust to AoE removal!
The demise of Spider Aggro also lies here. With all these Control decks running rampage on the ladder, even their good matchups into Ahri Kennen and Iceborn Poros can’t save them from a sub 50% WR.
Shyvana Pantheon continues to outperform its Taric and Mono Pantheon counterparts. I might have exaggerated a little bit about Iceborn Poros vanishing completely. They are still being played 4% of the time and serve as fodder for the dragons, nourishing them enough to stand at eye level beside our beloved muscle man. =)
As you can see by its matchup table, the deck is hit or miss. You either hit the right matchup and have a 60%+ chance to win the game or you get queued into the wrong one, go to bed, and cry.
While I enjoy the Mono Pantheon version the most, it can’t be ignored that the Shyvana variant performs better in the current meta against Iceborn Poros and overall feels more consistent running more than six copies (Saga Seeker and Wounded Whiteflame) that you want to see in your mulligan.
Since we established that the meta favors heavy hitters, Urgh couldn’t be far! The deck is never far away. They either get played for unknown reasons on the ladder with a subpar winrate, or hunt you in your nightmares… or both.
If you haven’t noticed yet, I dislike Urgh’s high-rolly playstyle very much. We even have an article (link) on our site that explores how coin-flippy this deck is -- they have a 10% WR gap depending on if they attack turn one or not. Despite the controversy in deck design, Urgh is quite consistent at beating slow Control decks.
Urgh is good at putting out high attack units that aren’t particularly weak to AoE removal due to their increasing health. Decks like FTR aren’t good at developing low-cost blockers either and oftentimes have to sacrifice big units like Trundle to survive. Here’s the matchup table:
Looking Back // Moving Forward
In the last week, we have seen quite a drastic shift of decks being played. Remember everyone going nuts because the ladder was flooded with Iceborn Legacy decks? Well, turns out they aren’t so busted!
You could even make a case for Iceborn Poros to have invited aggro decks into the meta, making them viable not only as a counter to Ahri Kennen decks. If this theory holds though, we might just see another shift in the meta as aggro decks like Spider Aggro are falling below the 50% WR threshold.
To me, the biggest surprise this week is that Ahri Kennen has lost some of its momentum due to its unfavorable matchups into FTR and Scouts. In the right meta, Ahri Kennen might not be a completely over-tuned deck. Crazy, right?!
A variety of decks haven’t made it into this week’s top cut, but are worth mentioning nonetheless. Since they are quite niche, I haven’t tried them out myself and instead will guide you to the right people to teach you more about the respective decks. These include:
I know, I’ve just shit-talked them a couple of paragraphs above, but they aren’t that bad. Hey, they might’ve won that fight with the homeless guy!
The deck is exactly the type of slow Control deck that found success in the past week, it just fell a little bit behind in popularity. Since the Iceborn Legacy and The Howling Abyss gameplan invites quite a different playstyle, I suggest trying this deck out yourself!
Also, Lo and behold - we have an in-house deck guide for this one: check out Wamuu’s detailed guide out in this link here!
I’m not sure how cheap it is to include this one in the honorable mentions section, but Draven Rumble is still performing strongly.
If you can dodge FTR and Scouts you will be doing quite well. In the past 2 days it has found a 53% WR -- still kicking and alive! Also, could you believe it? Wamuu wrote another guide about this deck?! Check it out in this link here. (Not-so-sneaky plugs are my thing today!)
I already included this in last week’s report and I will do it again - the deck is hot.
With a 55% WR over the past two days the deck remains an underrated jewel that gets overlooked probably due to the Bandle City Mayor nerf. The deck performs especially well into tempo and aggro deck but has a wide plethora of good matchups. The only real deck that you could consider a counter to this is FTR (<40% WR).
If there is one deck that benefits from the decrease in aggro decks, it's Taliyah Ziggs!
While there is not enough data to say for sure, the deck looks good into most Control stuff like Darkness and FTR and even does fine into Scouts. The deck sits at a 55% WR over the past 2 days!
Just be aware that the lack of Zilean in the deck means that Ahri Kennen slaps your ass. =)
Just like Howling Spiders, this deck fits perfectly into the type of slow Control decks that have been on the rise this week. Anivia was gone for a long time, but she’s finally returned alongside a chilling buff on our dear Articuno cosplayer. The deck even achieved a 51% WR in the past two days!
While Alanzq can have some weird takes on certain meta decks, he is an incredibly smart player who isn’t afraid of spicing up things. The list was taken directly from him alongside his The Howling Abyss tech. If you don’t like it, just swap it with a The Harrowing. You can study his gameplay to learn the deck here.
The balancing patch from two weeks continues to show its signs on the meta. We have new and old decks emerge alike to battle it out for a spot at the top of the meta. I hope the meta remains this way and we continue to see new and exciting decks pop up in the future!
If you’ve made it this far, tell me your favorite anime (manga and webtoons also count!) in the r/LegendsOfRuneterra Reddit thread comments (link). Just the title without context. I might answer with my opinion if I’ve seen the show and reveal my favorite next week! Also, what have you always dreamed of being asked at the end of a LoR article? 🙂
As always, thank you for reading and until next week!