‘sup everyone, Leer here. It’s Monday Madness again, let’s see what the new patch got for us! =)
Sorting Balco’s Meta Tier List by playrate (PR), we see the following:
Annie Jhin (Jhinnie) is the massive crowd favorite, sporting an 11.6% PR. This number was even higher during earlier days of the patch.
Furthermore, Lissandra Taliyah (Thralls) reaches fourth place with a 4.5%PR and Lux Illaoi (Illlux) follow with a 3.2% PR. Illux was made popular by Kuvira in the early days of the patch, as this Tweet shows (link). =)
Turning to winrates (WR), we get this result:
Yuumi Pantheon Demacia (PhDE) is by far the most successful with a close to 58% WR.
Illaoi TF J4, the small sibling of PhDE, comes in second with a 56.5% WR, closely followed by Miss Fortune Quinn (Scouts) with 56%.
Illux reaches #4 with a 55.3% WR and is the only archetype with a 55% WR.
At 54% WR, we find Tri-beam, Aphelios Fizz (Afaelios), and Taric Poppy.
To close it out, Urgh, Viego Shurima (Sand Viego), and Deep all share a 53% WR.
One glimpse at the WR chart is enough to notice that Demacia is dominating the meta. Poppy Taric for example is hardly a new archetype but is still performing well. As long as Petricite Broadwing and Brightsteel Protector are in your deck, you have a top notch list.
The reason is that those cards are pretty effective against Jhinnie. Petricite Broadwing (or Fleetfeather Tracker) is a nasty counter to Annie but can also challenge other… Jhin units? You know, the followers Jhin allows you to play. Especially Attack Skill units like Legion Saboteur and Boomcrew Rookie. And Brightsteel Protector lets you trade two for one, especially against aggro decks that want/need to attack you.
This brings us to the meta-defining deck – Jhinnie. It never had a positive WR like Mono Shurima did last season, but it still gets overplayed a lot. Hence archetypes that do well against it get a spotlight, though it’s not a requirement – actually, Zed Bard is in quite a similar position, so let’s look at their matchup table together:
We can see a duality going on here, with the exception of Ezreal Annie and Thralls. While Zed Bard struggles against Jhinnie and Ezreal Annie, it is slightly favored into most other meta decks, so no bad deck at all!
On the other hand, as mentioned before, most archetypes prey on Jhinnie and thus leave the deck with not many good matchups. Thralls and Zed Bard are the only decks Jhinnie is at least slightly favored against.
Thralls and Deep are two archetypes that quickly rose to the top during the Jhinnie hype.
I was quite surprised when I saw that Thralls isn’t even favored against that deck. Especially with Illaoi Demacia lists getting more popular, Thralls and Deep struggle a little. Big units that outgrow Frostguard Thrall or Deep units are a natural enemy and Illaoi’s Tentacles (and PhDE’s Fated units) do exactly that.
Nevertheless, Deep still found its way into top cut thanks to its great matchup into Jhinnie.
Lastly, Tri-Beam has regained some of its former glory sitting at a 54.7% WR. With these LP donours at the top, it’s unclear if it will stay this way, but let’s appreciate it for a moment. =)
Tri-Beam, with its removal-oriented playstyle, is naturally good against the aggro deck Jhinnie. Since it does well against PhDE, it’s also great against Illaoi decks and their reliance on vulnerable Tentacles.
The deck slightly struggles against Zed Bard’s handbuffs though, and does horrendous versus Thralls despite their access to Scorched Earth.
It almost feels like a scam doing this section this week as there are so many novel decks anyways. On the other hand, it’s the best time to try out some more experimental stuff while the meta is still this chaotic! =)
GrandpaRoji swears this deck is good, so who am I to Deny him?
The Ionian version of Illaoi utilizes the Tentacles even more with cards like Ghost and Buhru Leader. Since it relies on a big Tentacle so much, we run protection spells like Syncopation and Deny to keep them safe.
With their lack of the Petricite Broadwing and Brightsteel Protector duo though, the deck becomes a little less solid in the early game and more combo/OTK focused.
Illaoi Ionia sits at a 52% WR over 950 games in the past two days. Some even run Zed as a second champ, might be worth a try!
Elise Katarina Viego
Wait, another Katarina deck? Wasn’t Friendly Nihilist’s Seasonal top cut qualification with a Katarina deck enough? We even had Ahri Katarina pretty much as a regular in last season's Honorable Mentions section.
Noxus allows Elise Kata Viego access to Legion Deserter, who benefits from the “everywhere” buffs of Encroaching Mist. While the deck lacks protection spells for Viego, it is more removal focused through Ravenous Flock and Disintegrate.
Thus, Viego Noxus does well into aggro decks like Jhinnie but struggles against Zed Bard and Pyke Rek’Sai (small sample size warning, by the way!).
The archetype sports a 60% WR over 600 games in the last two days. If you happen to test the deck, tell me how useful Katarina was in your games! =)
Jayce Heimerdinger Shadow Isles
Jayce Heimerdinger has been going off since the late days of last season. Now, it’s back again with a 55.5% WR over 1.5k matches in the past two days.
Heimer Jayce excels at controlling the game thanks to its access to Shadow Isles cards. As a control deck, it naturally does well against aggro decks like Jhinnie, while cards like Vengeance and Thermogenic Beam shoot down the many-armed dream of Illaoi. Its only bad matchups appear to be Urgh and Thralls.
This concludes this week’s chaos. Let’s wait and see where the meta current is flowing next week, as it is far from settled.
Maybe we arrive at silent waters, where no sea monsters lurk in the deep? =)
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! =)
If you'd like to watch this report as a YouTube vid:
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!
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!