Going by the playrate (PR) of Balco’s Meta Tier List, we see that MF Quinn (Scouts) takes the crown this week with a 7% PR. Veigar Senna (Darkness) comes in as a close second with a 6.5% PR, while Pyke Rek’Sai (Urgh) and Kennen Ahri SH share third place with a 5.5% one.
Zilean Xerath and Kennen Ahri SI are the only decks with a 3% PR.
When we sort by winrate…
… as always, we can see quite a different image looking at winrates (WR). Here, Kennen Ahri Shurima takes first place, Pantheon Taric second and Kennen Ahri Shadows third, all at a whopping 57% WR.
There occurs a pretty big gap here, with the fourth most winning deck- Fizz Lulu - only at a 55% WR, a whole 2% behind third place! Finally, three decks show a close to 54% WR - Scouts, Shyvana Pantheon, and Elise Trundle (Howling Spiders).
Notice that after those decks, the next one in line would be Mono Pantheon with only a 52.3% WR - once again an almost 2% jump in WR!
Scouts have been on the rise since last week because of their favorable matchup into Ahri Kennen and control decks. As it turns out, Scouts has become the meta-defining deck, that - at least for a short time - appears to be the new Ahri Kennen. If you want to learn how to pilot this deck to success, check out my new guide here (link)!
While this brings a refreshing brush of air into the meta, we can see decks already preying on the inflation of Scouts and the downswing of games played with Ahri Kennen. Pantheon decks do especially well against Scouts (60% WR) and extraordinarily bad against Ahri Kennen (23% WR). Here’s the matchup table for the deck:
Darkness still is a meta staple of the meta, having winnable matchups against almost every deck in the meta (as in, decks included in the data above) except for Pantheon Taric (35% WR). It’s also a ton of fun to play, just sayin’. =)
While the rise of Scouts might mislead you into thinking otherwise, Ahri Kennen still is the meta's MVD (most valuable deck). Ahri Kennen SH only sits at a 44% WR against Scouts, and otherwise still has phenomenal matchups above a 60% WR, excluding Ahri Kennen SI (43% WR) and FTR (44% WR).
As we have already noted, Pantheon Taric is very well positioned in the current meta with its convincing matchups into Scouts and Darkness.
I'd like to take a second to pray to our beloved muscle man:
Now that this is over, I want to talk about Taric.
Previously, Mono Pantheon was the Pantheon deck that had more than a 3% WR advantage over its Taric counterpart (check Dec 20th, 55.4% vs 52% WR). So why do we see these two versions switch roles?
In the old meta, we saw decks like GP Sej, Lee Zoe, and Bandle Tree who were all threatening to win the game by turn 6 or 7 if you let them do their thing. That’s why it was important to level your Pantheon ASAP and don’t waste time setting up more value engines besides your fated units.
In today’s meta, we see decks like FTR, Howling Spiders, and most importantly Darkness who all don’t have a fast way of closing out the game. Instead, they are good at removing units with spells like Minimorph or Vengeance. While Taric often delays your Pantheon leveling up by one turn, he becomes an additional value generator that your opponent needs to remove to survive.
Of course, this is not a black-or-white scenario. Taric still loses you games against decks like Urgh or Scouts - but as the data shows he wins you more in the current meta. Finally, I will leave you with the matchup table for Pantheon Taric:
I’ve been talking up Fizz Lulu at least for the past three weeks now and they finally show up in the data again! While the deck is only okayish into Ahri Kenen, Darkness, and struggles against FTR, it otherwise only has good matchups. We confirm with the matchup table from Legna’s website:
Howling Spiders seem to be the go-to control deck at the moment since it has a little more anti-tempo (different from anti-aggro!) mechanics with its Iceborn Legacy - Spiderlings combo, helping it against decks like Scouts (50% WR).
Looking Back // Moving forward
As said above, Ahri Kennen still rocks. It’s just that the entire meta doesn’t revolve around it anymore. Scouts, Darkness, FTR, and Fizz Lulu are all decks that have found a place in the meta and which aren’t countered by this oppressing archetype.
I think this is a phenomenal sign of the diversity of the meta and I’m very glad that you don’t have to go for the “beat it or join it”-mentality on Ladder!
Personally, I have found a lot of success with Pantheon Taric and climbed to 450LP with the deck. If you run into too many Ahri decks, consider switching the deck for an hour or so until you see more of Scouts and Darkness again. If you are interested in learning the deck, you can check out my guide here (link)!
It will be exciting to see how Scouts play, and how the winrate will develop. Will Pantheon Taric rise in play rate to the point where Scouts have to take a hit in play- and winrate? Will Ahri Kennen and other contenders strike back and feast on the incoming Pantheon decks?
Only the future can tell! Let’s stay hyped for next week’s data =)
For this week, I bump into decks - either by going through the data or in my ladder games - that appear promising but didn’t quite make it into the top cut. Since I don’t know much about these decks, I will link you to experts from which you can study the deck if I found one!
Yup… didn’t find an expert for this one =)
The deck has been hanging out at the edge of playability ever since the Kindred buff (... remember my rad Pokémon joke from last week?!). With a 51.4% WR in the past two days in the Master tier, the deck seems ever so solid. Here’s its matchup table (explicit content - parental advisory recommended):
The deck has made it into this section last week and it’s here again! The deck struggles into aggro and Ahri Kennen (surprise!) but does very well into control decks and survives Scouts (50% WR). The Arsenal inclusion makes this deck look like the small brother (... or more expensive, so big brother?!) of Pantheon.
The deck rocks a 52.4% WR over the past two days in the Master tier. Check out Sorry’s stream VODs (link) for some insightful gameplay!
Elise Spider Aggro
Aggro is far from coming back into the meta, but Spider Aggro seems to fulfill its swingy nature to the dot: it bounces every week between borderline trash and a solid deck. Currently, it’s in the more rigid state with a 52% WR over the past two days in the Master tier.
Wonder how we don’t have a guide for this deck yet? Yeah, me too =) Check out SaltySimon’s stream VODs (link) for some salt ‘n pepper gameplay! Here’s the matchup table, provided by Legna’s LLoRR Stats:
Akshan Sivir shortly spiked to a 54% WR during the week and is now at a solid 52% WR again. One could describe this archetype as a tempo-based one that plays similar to Pantheon decks.
It has tempo plays and Rally cards as well as the ability to go into value generation mode with Akshan and Vekauran Bruiser and remove select key threats with a variety of removal cards like Single Combat and Concerted Strike.
You can check out my old guide here (link) or wait ‘till later this week for an updated version!
With the rise of Scouts, we have seen an exciting shift away from Ahri Kennen and into an elegant dance between control decks, tempo-based archetypes, and Ahri Kennen. Aggro decks weren’t invited, though… =(
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it. If you’ve made it this far, tell me your favorite home decoration article you have in your room in the r/LegendsOfRuneterra Reddit thread comments (link)! Just the thing without any context =) You may want to check out my (extensive) answer to last week’s question below.
Thanks go to Balco and Legna for providing the community with valuable statistics, these reports wouldn’t be possible without you!
My continuous gratitude also goes to Herko Keghans, MonteXristo, and Hydroflare, they have been doing a lot of editing and proofreading that deserves appreciation!!
As always, thank you for reading and until next week!
Bonus Track! =)
Anime, Manga, and Webtoons
Last week, I asked for your favorite anime, manga, or webtoon. There were a lot of comments - some I knew and a lot I’ll have to check out in the near future. Thanks for the recommendations!
As for me, I will misuse my powers to not only name one show >:)
Nichijou has to be one of my favorite anime ever. The humor hits very close to home - I love to make random and incoherent jokes in real life with my friends all the time - whether they want to or not =)
Clannad has to be another one. When I started to watch anime around middle school, I was a pretty depressed teenager with trouble at home, hence the pivot toward drama anime. I still enjoy melancholic themes to this day, though I try to not let them shine through!
Steins;Gate is an incredibly complex anime that deals with one of my favorite subjects - time travel. When done well, time travel makes for great (and dramatic) stories (know Professor Layton and the Unwound Future?!). Back then, I didn’t see the obvious romance pairing coming - pretty embarrassing to admit, haha!
Every Ghibli movie makes me the happiest person in the world. The creativity and beauty of these motion pictures are incredible and the world-building is simply breathtaking. Hayao Miyazaki and the studio he built are nothing short of genius! It’s impossible to decide a favorite here - I remember soon master toying Princess Mononoke as a child for its serious themes. At the time I had only watched harmless tv shows (even anime like Pokemon or One Piece where no one got seriously hurt ever) and Princess Mononoke introduced me to profound topics like the fear of death (Ashitaka trying to rid himself of the curse that consumes his body) or the destruction of nature and wildlife (Lady Eboshi vs. Wolf Girl San).
I’m currently reading Tokyo Ghoul as my first physical manga. I remember enjoying the first season of the anime as a teenager and deeply identifying with Kaneki’s struggle of not fitting into the world (yeah, I’m the type of guy who likes the pathetic protagonists =)). While the manga lacks the soundtrack of TK from Ling Toshite Shigure that sends shivers down your spine, the manga doesn’t turn into a letdown after the first season! I’m making an ongoing effort of studying Japanese and my dream is to read a Tokyo Ghoul volume in its original language one day!
Mushishi can be described as the following: Imagine being a doctor in the world of Ghibli’s Nausicaä, traveling the unique world of curious spirits and peculiar insects to cure people of said ones. Once you start reading, you’ll never want to leave the pages of this strange world.
… And the title contains an inappropriate german word for vagina =)
If you don’t know what Webtoons are, you make me pretty happy by not feeling old =) It’s the main medium I read nowadays, feel free to hit me up about one you like or wanna talk about!
Aerial Magic is set in a world of …magic, surprise! But not the spectacular, let’s fight for domination of the world type. It’s the slice-of-life, calming and curious type of magic. The story is about a witch apprentice who aspires to repair broken items while dealing with home-sickness and learning to live in a big city and making new friends. The art style is the most colorful and beautiful one I’ve ever experienced in my life.
Crumbs is similar in the way that it’s set in a slice-of-life type of magic world. It deals with a witch apprentice (I swear I don’t have a soft spot for witches! …Unless it’s one with a black cat named Jiji) who’s a regular in a cafe selling baked treats that make you feel a specific emotion - be it inspiration, support or confidence. I really enjoy the idea of winding down and embracing a distinct sentiment. The protagonist learns to deal with her talent (/curse) of seeing the (possible) future of anything she touches. I always find it fascinating how even in such an otherworldly setting, you can still feel for imaginary characters and identify with them.
Down to Earth deals with an alien that’s… down to earth =) It’s about an alien girl that fled from her homeworld to escape into a new life on earth. What I love about this webtoon is that it’s not exclusively about the alien girl, but just the same about the human who takes her in and teaches her how to live on earth. It’s about their growing relationship and the heart-breaking struggles of some random earthling.
The World Where I Belong deals with two high schoolers who independent from each other try to commit suicide but are stopped by spirits who then become their “guardian”. It’s not about guides that know the answer to every question, but rather beings that also try to figure out their own situation while helping their subject to deal with life. One of my favorite things about webtoons is that everyone has a unique art style. While T.W.W.I.B. might seem odd due to its over-realistic faces, every panel is a blessing that’s exceptionally well placed in the scene. Unfortunately, the author struggled for three years to continue the series and decided to cut it short, I hope he’s okay :/
Room of Swords has one of the most complex and well-thought-out plots you will ever read. If fighting shounen set in a sci-fi world with slow-burning plot twists that heat up throughout the series are your kind of thing, you will thoroughly enjoy this! To be honest, I don’t know how to describe this series or what to compare it to, as so much is happening and it’s so unique. Imagine Steins;Gate and one Piece mixed - a pretty absurd idea right?!
Also… Toaster Dude exists. It’s literally about a guy whose whole life dream is buying a toaster and making toast. Well… what could go wrong?! The humor is pretty close to Nichijou I would say =)