‘sup. This week proves I’m a fortune-teller who should get to decide the meta. Endless amounts of Ahri and Pantheon decks… =)
Sorting their data by playrate, Balco’s inequality just got proven: Senna Veigar (Darkness) and Pyke Rek’Sai (Urgh) will always be overplayed, no matter the circumstances. Both top the chart together with Miss Fortune Quinn (Scouts), sporting a 6% playrate (PR).
Trundle Gnar (Gnarlines) and Yuumi Pantheon Demacia (PhDE) meet at the same 5.8% PR, but with opposite momentums: PhDE is on its road to victory, while Gnarlines is approaching free fall.
Tristana DE shows that it wants to stay in the meta, reaching a 4.2% PR.
Gnar Ziggs keeps clinging onto existence with a 3% PR.
Sorting by winrate, we see the beloved duo of cat and muscle man at the top with a 54% winrate (WR), just like Tristana DE, Scouts, and Sivir Akshan.
Aggro has made a mini-comeback this week, with Gnar Ziggs keeping its 53% WR, as well as Draven Rumble reaching the same mark.
Taric Pantheon Yuumi is not really a new archetype, differing most of the time in a single card – one copy of Taric – so we will just group it together with PhDE.
As we saw last week, Scouts and Gnarlines have been incredibly popular with another key similarity: they lose to PhDE. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Pantheon decks are standing on top.
As it turns out, I’ve just written a Pantheon Yuumi DE guide a couple of days ago. If you wanna learn how to pilot the strongest deck in the current meta to success, including nuances of different versions of the archetype, how to mulligan properly, and how to win each popular matchup on the ladder, check out my premium in-depth guide here (link)!
This might change next week though should Gnar Ziggs and Draven Rumble increase in popularity, as PhDE struggles very much against aggro decks.
On the other hand, Darkness has peaked the charts again regarding PR… for no good reason. I’ve chatted with Sirturmund a bit during the MaRu Writers vs Pandex showdown (link) we had yesterday, and he argued that Darkness might need a nerf due to its non-existent bad matchups.
While the data might disagree with nerfing Darkness, this reveals an important insight into Darkness’ popularity: Players are not rational beings.
They don’t always play what's optimal -- Darkness is fun to play because you can win most matchups, and it has few bad matchups, but it also lacks convincingly good ones in the current meta.
One of the few good matchups of Darkness happen to be aggro decks, though. We might infer that it’s not looking so good for that aggro comeback strategy!
With the increase in popularity of Tristana DE, we get a matchup table from Legna’s website:
We can see that the archetype is an overall powerhouse that lacks bad matchups. What it doesn’t lack is good ones though. If you wanna learn more about the deck and how to climb with it, check out Maybenextime’s premium guide here (link)!
With this kind of a matchup table, I don’t believe this deck is going anywhere soon. Prepare to face this one a lot more in the coming weeks!
Talking about Akshan Sivir feels like talking about my own flesh and blood. Ever since its nerf, the deck hasn’t been played much. But it has always been on the edge of the charts, barely missing a top-cut appearance.
This week though, they’ve finally made it! I’ve written two guides about the deck, this (this is a link that you can click) one being the latest one.
With a strategy and matchup table similar to PhDE, it's no wonder this deck is doing so well. If you consider bringing a Pantheon deck in your Gauntlet lineup, consider bringing this one as well!
One of the most important facts is that it beats Darkness and is fine into Scouts and Urgh. This is a good rule of thumb – If you can beat one of the most popular decks while being solid into the other ones, you will win a lot of games!
How could I not include Aphelios in this section if I get the chance to?!
EMEA Seasonal winner Painas has been popping off with it this week!
While low sample size, the deck appears to be working well into Scouts and Pantheon Yuumi, which is a great sign! It’s struggling against Darkness and Gnarlines though, so make sure to ban them if you decide to wield it in your next Gauntlet lineup!
I’m not sure why I haven’t featured this one earlier. Darius Gnar has been going strong the past two weeks. While the idea of Fallen Reckoner being good has been discarded upon its release, a certain prehistoric Yordle had something to say about that.
The archetype works surprisingly well and can confound the opponent if they don’t know what they’re up against. This deck totally got me with Ruined Reckoner – more times than I’m willing to admit! =)
Vi Sentinels has been a dark horse ever since the Kindred buff. Last seasonals, it was amongst the top-performing decks.
While its best matchups are into aggro decks, it’s also doing well against Scouts.
Its bad matchups into Demacia decks like Akshan Sivir and PhDE might mean that it will be gatekept for now though.
I’ll end this section with a crazy one. While Braum J4 might seem like a far stretch, it’s actually a working archetype.
The sample size for this deck is incredibly low, but I got destroyed by this one in a match as PhDE. It might have something to do with me not finding my fated units and them high-rolling out of their mind. But you know, they’ve instilled enough fear in me to feature it in this section. =)
While this week’s metagame was fairly predictable, it's up in the air what happens next.
Will Balco’s Inequality extend to more decks in the future?
Will Tristana rise as the new op deck that surpasses any deck by a mile?
I think we should appreciate the current meta. Unlike most past metas, no WR is over 55% – Remember Ahri Kennen, Zed Poppy, or Azir Irelia?
People keep complaining about Bandle City, but I think they miss the big picture. Let’s focus on the positive facts instead of searching for negative, irrelevant ones.
Or write me a hate comment and increase the article’s engagement! 😛
If you’ve managed to read this far: Who’s your favorite LoR player (doesn’t have to be a streamer)? Just type their name in the Reddit thread comments without any context (though you could also include a reason as to why you chose that person) =)
For me, it would have to be Sorry. He seems to be an incredibly down-to-earth guy that’s also great at the game. I’m still not over his semi-final match of the Rise Of The Underworlds Seasonals he lost because of the timer! Also… he has a cute cat, how could I resist that?!
The data has been due to the amazing website by Balco while the matchup tables have been from Legna’s website. 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!!
Thanks also go to Hydroflare and Herko Kerghans, they have been doing a lot of editing and proofreading that deserves appreciation!
Thanks for reading and see ya next week! =)