‘sup everyone. With me winning Fight Night twice, my words surely tell triple the truth now! =)
Sorting Balco’s Meta Tier List by playrate (PR), we see the following:
Annie Jhin, the third most-played deck both this and last week, meets the same fate of losing 1% of its PR, and now sits at a 4.7% PR.
Demacia Fried Chicken (Galio Bard) lost 1% PR as well but clings onto its fourth place by the feathers of their wings. Swordfish (Fizz Riven) and Urgh (Rek’sai Pyke) share a 2.8% PR with the feathery fellow.
Shadow Tech (Heimerdinger Jayce) finally makes a breakthrough to the PR chart after dominating the WR chart for a long time, with a solid 2.7% PR.
Turning to winrates (WR), we get this result:
Illaoi Demacia returns to former glory and now finds itself achieving a 53,5% WR.
Last week, we saw the surprising rise of Poppy Bard, who outshone Demacia Fried Chicken. Poppy has been a pretty dead champion after the double nerf to her attack power, but seems to have found her meta to return.
Let’s look at the differences between the Galio and Poppy versions:
Both decks have similar matchups, though some of them are more favored for one than the other. E.g. Annie Elise is more heavily favored for Galio, while Jhinnie is for Poppy.
Though the biggest difference is the Thralls matchup – For Bard Poppy, the matchup is (convincingly) favored, while for Galio it’s unfavored.
Similar to these two decks, Poppy Taric has made a comeback! The deck was somewhat of a no-name Petricite Broadwing and Brightsteel Protector user that some people used to climb to Masters at the start of the season when Jhinnie was overhyped. Now, it turns out that Poppy Taric is more than a Jhinnie counter that actually packs a punch!
There’s not much data like a matchup table, but it works similar to Bard Poppy and has similar matchups – it beats Thralls and Jhinnie and is okay (46% WR) versus Viego NX.
Similar to Bard Poppy, Kata Ziggs Annie came out of the blue. Aggro decks have a reputation of not being meta right now, but rather sit at the edge with high winrates. (Jhinnie is an exception =) – Kata Ziggs falls in just that category.
You might remember Gnar Ziggs and say: "Dude, we already know that deck, it was meta for like three seasons with Poppy or Teemo as well, shaddup!" and punch your computer screen.
But then I would reply: "Dude, chill. Why are you punching your computer screen over me mentioning a deck? Deep breaths, deep breaths!" and tell you it is a Noxus Shurima blend!
Kata Ziggs Annie is leaning slightly more toward the burn side of aggro thanks to Ruinous Path. What makes the step into Shurima over Bandle City truly worth it though is Baccai Reaper. A one-mana Fearsome unit will almost always go unblocked on its first attack, similar to Precious Pet and Xer'sai Hatchling. Also, since the opponent is heavily incentivized to block your attackers if the well-being of their Nexus is of their concern, Baccai Reaper will often grow to 3+ attack by turn three and kill their blocker.
After the nerf to Lecturing Yordle and other Bandle City cards, the old (Poppy/Teemo/) Gnar Ziggs combo wasn’t doing it anymore, and adding some Shuriman cards alongside Annie and Katarina seems to do the trick!
There’s no matchup table available due to the low PR, but it’s the same deal with most aggro decks:
Annie Kata Ziggs works well against the midrange-y Viego NX, Swordfish, and Fated, but struggles against the swarm of Aphelios Zoe and Bard Demacia decks, and removal of Annie Elise.
What surprised me is the fact that an aggro deck works well against Thralls (55% WR) despite their AoE removal and heal, and Jhinnie (65% WR).
What a rollercoaster ride it has been for Illaoi Demacia. From one of the most-winning decks on release week, to almost out of meta, to being back at it again!
The most apparent reason for this development is the rise and signs of descent of Viego NX. Illaoi DE has a horrid matchup (37% WR) against Viego NX and the popularity of that deck correlates with Illaoi DE’s success on ladder!
Here is a full matchup table:
Pretty bright looking future for Illaoi DE I would say, as long as Shadow Tech doesn’t become the next big archetype! =)
Zoe Aphelios Yuumi
Zoe Aphel Yuumi is a weapon chosen by 4LW for his climb to masters. Of course, 4LW is one of the best players in the Americas shard, so his performance doesn’t mean you’ll be able to replicate his. But the deck looks fun, and who doesn’t enjoy Invoking Celestials and Atrocity’ing the foe’s Nexus?
No ladder data, but 4LW managed to reach a 72% WR with Zoe Aphel Yuumi!
Teemo Tristana Allegiance
Talking about Atrocity. Teemo Tristana is something akin to Fizz Aphelios, Tristana Demacia, or the slower Fizz Riven builds. It relies on broken combos that Gleaming Lantern and Grandfather Fae let you play, as well as everyone’s beloved (and now nerfed) Yordles in Arms .
I played against this on Friday in one of my Fight Night matches. Alas, I happened to run a counter matchup with Akshan Sivir, Scouts, and Fated, but those decks don't see much play on the ladder currently.
The deck seems super fun and even runs Gruff Grenadier to its almost Mono Bandle City-ness! Same deal, no data about Teemo Tristana’s performance since it’s taken from a tourney! =)
Riven Viktor was a menace and a disappointment during the same patch that Mono Shurima was overplayed. It was excruciatingly good at demolishing Sun Disc, but fell short in other metrics.
This week, it seems to be up again with a 55% WR in the past two days over 200 games. There’s even a Premium guide by Card Gamer available on Mastering Runeterra!
By most metrics, this week's Meta happens to be one of the most well-balanced ones. Novel, high-winrate archetypes pop up all the time, while not overstepping the 55% WR bar.
And if you look closely at the WR chart, all decks have an above 53% WR. Think that Aphelios Zoe Vi fell off after last week? Nope, it remained with its 53.3% WR but didn't show up in the graph that is capped at 10 archetypes!
This illustrate not only how well-balanced, but how varied the meta is at the moment. If last week this fact was shown through no deck reaching a 55% WR, this week it shows through having 10+ decks above a 53% WR!
What’s your favorite deck to play, and what do you expect to be on the rise next week?
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, I will “Hi” you back! =)
I’ve recently written a letter about my journey in competitive card games and what it meant to me to win a Fight Night tournament. So if you want to learn more about the person who’s behind these meta reports, check out my experience here~
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!