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Tournament Tech, January 13

In search for some Gauntlet or Tournament lineups? Wamuu explains the current best choices, along with their ban strategies.
Illegal Contraption

Hey there! Wamuu again!

As usual, I’m bringing you this week’s Tournament Tech. In this article I will be covering the Mastering Runeterra 5K Championship Qualifier #4 and $1000 GGtoor x RuneterraLife Cup #3 top 8 player’s lineups.

I will not include all 16 players’ lineups because some lineups are very similar and are not worth covering. Instead, I will be covering different lineups that I consider to be strong. I will also cover the lineups’ strengths and weaknesses.

Here are the lineups in no specific order:

#1 Salty Simon

Regions
Shadow Isles
22 cards
Piltover & Zaun
18 cards
Rarities
27 200
champion
6
epic
4
rare
7
common
23
Mana cost
3
0
6
1
13
2
7
3
6
4
0
5
3
6
2
7+
Champions
6
2
Elise
2
3
Ezreal
1
4
Kindred
3
Followers
15
1
Burgeoning Sentinel
3
2
Ferros Financier
3
3
Buhru Sentinel
3
3
Station Archivist
3
4
Aloof Travelers
2
9
Commander Ledros
1
Spells
19
0
Thermogenic Beam
3
1
Go Hard
3
2
Glimpse Beyond
1
2
Mystic Shot
3
2
Time Trick
2
2
Vile Feast
2
4
Aftershock
1
6
Vengeance
3
7
Atrocity
1
Regions
Shadow Isles
20 cards
Bandlecity
23 cards
Rarities
23 800
champion
6
epic
0
rare
12
common
22
Mana cost
0
0
2
1
15
2
2
3
6
4
6
5
8
6
1
7+
Champions
6
4
Veigar
3
5
Senna
3
Followers
16
2
Conchologist
3
2
Darkbulb Acolyte
3
2
Twisted Catalyzer
3
4
Stilted Robemaker
3
6
Ixtali Sentinel
3
7
The Rekindler
1
Spells
18
1
Group Shot
2
2
Pokey Stick
3
2
Vile Feast
3
3
Mist's Call
2
5
Withering Wail
3
6
Hidden Pathways
1
6
Minimorph
2
6
Vengeance
2
Regions
Freljord
25 cards
Shadow Isles
15 cards
Rarities
26 400
champion
5
epic
5
rare
12
common
18
Mana cost
0
0
0
1
6
2
5
3
8
4
9
5
3
6
9
7+
Champions
5
5
Trundle
3
8
Tryndamere
2
Landmarks
3
4
Blighted Ravine
3
Followers
7
2
Avarosan Sentry
3
3
Kindly Tavernkeeper
3
9
Commander Ledros
1
Spells
25
2
Vile Feast
3
3
Flash Freeze
2
4
Avalanche
3
4
The Box
2
5
Catalyst of Aeons
3
5
Withering Wail
3
6
Vengeance
3
7
Atrocity
2
9
The Ruination
1
12
Feel The Rush
3

Salty Simon was the winner of the 5K Championship Qualifier #4 and for a good reason: he read the tournament meta and made a lineup that countered the two most popular lineups at the time.

His lineup is a triple Shadow Isles Control lineup. Shadow Isles is currently the best region in my opinion -- Vengeance got a massive buff, and cards like Vile Feast, Withering Wail and The Box are all strong against the most popular deck in tournaments, namely Ahri Kennen. AK runs a lot of one health units and the most popular counter to Ahri Kennen is triple aggro. In turn, triple Shadow Isles Control counters both AK and aggro, killing two birds with one stone. Salty Simon realized this and it paid off for him.

GOOD MATCHUP

Not much to say here, triple aggro sucks against triple Shadow Isles Control because of their removal and healing tools. If Salty Simon encountered any triple aggro lineup it was an auto win.

BAD MATCHUP

The problem with running triple Shadow Isles Control is that it does not have access to good landmark removal, so a triple landmark combo deck like this one can be very hard to deal with. The opponent just needs to ban Kindred Sentinels and it should be a pretty easy win for them, as your other decks are unfavored.

TAKEAWAY

This is a very strong lineup in the current meta, but if you plan to use this lineup you need to strike while the iron is hot. Once everyone starts playing triple Shadow Isles Control lineups, counter lineups will start showing up in tournaments and it's not going to be a fun experience.

My prediction is that this lineup will still be good for the tournaments this weekend, but counter lineups will show up for next week’s tournaments so keep that in mind. Otherwise, I recommend this lineup if you love Control decks and passing a lot.

I wouldn’t recommend this lineup to newer players as it is a bit tough to pilot -- but if you can get enough practice on it, give it a try.

#2 ATASTYCARROT 

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
19 cards
Noxus
21 cards
Rarities
24 100
champion
6
epic
1
rare
8
common
25
Mana cost
2
0
4
1
12
2
13
3
4
4
4
5
0
6
1
7+
Champions
6
3
Draven
3
4
Rumble
3
Followers
15
1
Reborn Grenadier
1
1
Zaunite Urchin
3
2
Ballistic Bot
3
2
Boom Baboon
3
2
Fallen Rider
3
4
Ruined Reckoner
1
8
Lost Soul
1
Spells
19
0
Poro Cannon
2
2
Mystic Shot
3
3
Ambush
2
3
Get Excited!
3
3
Might
3
3
Whirling Death
2
5
Decimate
3
5
Survival Skills
1
Regions
Bilgewater
22 cards
Noxus
18 cards
Rarities
26 300
champion
6
epic
3
rare
8
common
23
Mana cost
0
0
12
1
11
2
6
3
5
4
6
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Miss Fortune
3
5
Gangplank
3
Followers
26
1
Crackshot Corsair
3
1
Jagged Butcher
3
1
Legion Rearguard
3
1
Legion Saboteur
3
2
Imperial Demolitionist
3
2
Legion Grenadier
3
2
Marai Warden
3
4
Island Navigator
2
4
Zap Sprayfin
3
Spells
8
2
Make it Rain
2
3
Noxian Fervor
3
5
Decimate
3
Regions
Noxus
21 cards
Shadow Isles
19 cards
Rarities
14 500
champion
3
epic
0
rare
9
common
28
Mana cost
0
0
12
1
12
2
12
3
1
4
3
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
3
2
Elise
3
Followers
28
1
Legion Rearguard
3
1
Legion Saboteur
3
1
Precious Pet
3
1
Stygian Onlooker
3
2
Arachnoid Horror
3
2
House Spider
3
2
Imperial Demolitionist
3
3
Doombeast
3
3
Frenzied Skitterer
3
4
Astral Fox
1
Spells
9
3
Noxian Fervor
3
3
Stalking Shadows
3
5
Decimate
3

ATastyCarrot’s lineup is a simple triple aggro lineup targeting Ahri Kennen.

It is a very simple lineup to play but very effective in the right tournament: Ahri Kennen has trouble blocking, as they usually want to recall their units and only go on the offensive with elusive units. Triple aggro puts too much pressure for AK to develop their game plan comfortably -- they need to focus on survival by sacrificing important units and slowing their win condition by a lot.

Triple aggro lineups can also beat Pantheon decks because they usually play a small number of big units. Therefore, go-wide decks like Pirate Aggro and Spider Aggro can go very wide on them and kill them before they can even level Pantheon.

This was a good meta call for this specific tournament, and it paid off for ATastyCarrot as they got third place in the tournament. 

GOOD MATCHUP

As said before, the reason to bring triple aggro is to beat Shyvana Pantheon and Kennen Ahri.

Naturally, the best matchup for this lineup is one with both decks. As you can see in this table ATastyCarrot only needs to ban Sivir Akshan and they are super favored into the series.

BAD MATCHUP

What we see here is the same scenario from Salty Simon’s good matchup but from the other side of the coin. Any triple Control lineup, especially if it has Shadow Isles on it, is a nightmare scenario for this lineup and it is basically an auto lose.

TAKEAWAY

Even though this lineup performed well in this tournament, currently people are starting to pick up triple Shadow Isles Control lineups.

This means that triple aggro can be absolutely terrible in future tournaments, so I would not recommend playing it in tournaments until Shadow Isles drops in popularity. 

This is a very simple lineup to play but I would still not recommend it for newer players because you will just get clapped if you face someone running triple Control in Gauntlets or in tournaments.

#3 LAKI

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
18 cards
Noxus
22 cards
Rarities
25 000
champion
6
epic
2
rare
7
common
25
Mana cost
2
0
6
1
13
2
10
3
3
4
4
5
0
6
2
7+
Champions
6
3
Draven
3
4
Rumble
3
Followers
17
1
Reborn Grenadier
3
1
Zaunite Urchin
3
2
Ballistic Bot
3
2
Boom Baboon
3
2
Fallen Rider
3
8
Lost Soul
2
Spells
17
0
Poro Cannon
2
2
Mystic Shot
3
2
Rummage
1
3
Get Excited!
3
3
Might
3
3
Whirling Death
1
5
Decimate
3
5
Survival Skills
1
Regions
Demacia
21 cards
Shurima
19 cards
Rarities
24 200
champion
6
epic
0
rare
14
common
20
Mana cost
0
0
4
1
15
2
9
3
6
4
6
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Akshan
3
4
Sivir
3
Landmarks
2
2
Preservarium
2
Followers
17
1
Treasure Seeker
3
2
Brightsteel Protector
3
3
Merciless Hunter
2
3
Vanguard Sergeant
3
3
Vekauran Vagabond
2
5
Radiant Guardian
3
5
Vekauran Bruiser
1
Spells
15
1
Shaped Stone
1
2
Sharpsight
3
2
Single Combat
2
2
The Absolver
2
3
Cataclysm
2
4
Golden Aegis
3
5
Concerted Strike
2
Regions
Freljord
20 cards
Shadow Isles
20 cards
Rarities
20 500
champion
3
epic
4
rare
17
common
16
Mana cost
0
0
1
1
11
2
8
3
7
4
1
5
5
6
7
7+
Champions
3
6
Anivia
3
Landmarks
3
4
Blighted Ravine
3
Followers
10
1
Hapless Aristocrat
1
2
Avarosan Sentry
3
3
Kindly Tavernkeeper
3
7
The Rekindler
3
Spells
24
2
Entreat
2
2
Glimpse Beyond
3
2
Vile Feast
3
3
Flash Freeze
3
3
Gluttony
2
4
Avalanche
3
4
The Box
1
5
Withering Wail
1
6
Vengeance
2
9
The Harrowing
2
9
The Ruination
2

Laki’s lineup is a comfort lineup that doesn’t need to ban Ahri Kennen and is good into triple aggro. This type of lineup isn’t looking to counter anything specifically but doesn’t lose hard to anything either, so it is as good as the pilot.

Instead of going super hard on either Control or aggro, Laki plays three different types of decks: a Control deck, an aggro deck, and a midrange deck.

Draven Rumble beats Ahri Kennen because of the sheer pressure it puts on them as an aggro deck, while Anivia being a Shadow Isles Freljord Control deck can naturally beat Ahri Kennen because of its AoE removal as well as pings.

Sivir Akshan is just a strong deck that goes 50/50 against most decks even though it is unfavored into Ahri Kennen.

Draven Rumble, having a lot of Fearsome blockers, can hard counter aggro decks like Spider aggro while Anivia mostly nukes every aggro deck. Laki’s Akshan Sivir is teched against aggro thanks to three copies of Radiant Guardian.

GOOD MATCHUP

In this table, we can see that Anivia is super favored into all three of the opponent’s decks, so the opponent is forced to ban it.

Therefore, Laki only needs to ban Pirate aggro and he can beat up on Spider aggro because Draven Rumble counters it and Sivir Akshan is a bit favored into it. Considering that Laki runs three Radiant Guardians, the Sivir Akshan vs Spider aggro matchup becomes a lot more favorable as well as the Draven Rumble one. This makes Laki a favorite in the series and probably wins it.

BAD MATCHUP

The counter to this lineup is a Control lineup with decks that beat both Draven Rumble and Sivir Akshan. Three decks that do this are Kennen Ahri Shadow Isles, Lee Zoe, and Feel the Rush. The opponent only needs to ban Anivia and they should be favored into the remaining two decks, so they probably wins the series. This type of lineup is very uncommon, but they can show up as lineups that try to protect Kennen Ahri from being targeted.

TAKEAWAY

This type of lineup is always as good as the player piloting it, so if you are confident with all of these three decks then you should feel pretty good about running it. You probably won’t get hard countered by anything and it is a lineup that can beat almost any other lineup by pure skill.

For inexperienced players, I would not recommend this lineup because the decks play very differently and all three decks require a lot of practice to learn their playstyles.

#4 MINASIA

Regions
Noxus
21 cards
Shadow Isles
19 cards
Rarities
14 500
champion
3
epic
0
rare
9
common
28
Mana cost
0
0
12
1
12
2
12
3
1
4
3
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
3
2
Elise
3
Followers
27
1
Legion Rearguard
3
1
Legion Saboteur
3
1
Precious Pet
3
1
Stygian Onlooker
3
2
Arachnoid Horror
3
2
House Spider
3
2
Imperial Demolitionist
2
3
Doombeast
3
3
Frenzied Skitterer
3
4
Astral Fox
1
Spells
10
2
Brothers' Bond
1
3
Noxian Fervor
3
3
Stalking Shadows
3
5
Decimate
3
Regions
Shadow Isles
17 cards
Mount Targon
23 cards
Rarities
23 400
champion
6
epic
0
rare
10
common
24
Mana cost
3
0
14
1
15
2
4
3
3
4
1
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Diana
3
4
Nocturne
3
Followers
19
1
Lunari Duskbringer
3
1
Solari Soldier
2
1
Stygian Onlooker
3
1
The Flight
3
2
Lunari Shadestalker
3
2
The Sky Shadows
1
3
Crescent Guardian
1
3
Doombeast
3
Spells
15
0
Fading Memories
3
1
Heavens Aligned
3
2
Pale Cascade
3
2
Unspeakable Horror
2
2
Unto Dusk
3
5
Moonlight Affliction
1
Regions
Freljord
3 cards
Ionia
37 cards
Rarities
26 700
champion
6
epic
3
rare
10
common
21
Mana cost
0
0
9
1
14
2
3
3
11
4
0
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
1
Kennen
3
2
Ahri
3
Followers
18
1
Dancing Droplet
3
2
Icevale Archer
3
2
Navori Conspirator
3
3
Shadow Assassin
3
4
Kinkou Wayfinder
3
6
Sai'nen Thousand-Tailed
3
Spells
16
1
Recall
3
2
Nopeify!
2
2
Twin Disciplines
3
4
Concussive Palm
3
4
Deny
2
4
Homecoming
3

Minasia’s lineup is a lineup that targets Pantheon decks specifically.

Ahri Kennen is a known counter to Pantheon decks, while Spider aggro and Moonlight aggro go too wide for Pantheon decks to stand a chance. The curious thing about this lineup is that it is favored in Ahri Kennen mirrors because Minasia is running two aggro decks. Even if the opponent bans one of the aggro decks he would have to beat the mirror matchup or a bad matchup which are pretty good odds for Minasia.

GOOD MATCHUP

Because this lineup was made to do well against both Pantheon decks and Ahri Kennen, the best matchup should be a lineup with both. Here we can see that almost all our matchups are favorable and no matter what our opponent bans they will still have a hard time.

Let’s say our opponent bans Spider Aggro and we ban Shyvana Pantheon -- the opponent now has no good matchups and three bad matchups so Minasia should win the Bo3.

BAD MATCHUP

Salty Simon’s lineup is a great counter to Minasia’s lineup because it targets both Ahri Kennen and aggro. In this case Salty Simon just needs to ban Ahri Kennen and Minasia probably loses the series automatically.

TAKEAWAY

Like other lineups with mostly aggro on them I do not recommend this lineup for future tournaments because it gets hard countered by Shadow Isles Control decks and those are quite popular at the moment. Once Shadow Isles drops in popularity though this lineup can make a comeback if Kennen Ahri remains untouched.

#5 JOSE ESTACIO

Regions
Freljord
24 cards
Mount Targon
16 cards
Rarities
33 200
champion
6
epic
8
rare
15
common
11
Mana cost
0
0
7
1
3
2
4
3
5
4
9
5
2
6
10
7+
Champions
6
1
Zoe
3
5
Trundle
1
10
Aurelion Sol
2
Landmarks
6
4
Blighted Ravine
3
5
Targon's Peak
3
Followers
13
1
Spacey Sketcher
2
2
Faces of the Old Ones
3
3
Kindly Tavernkeeper
3
8
It That Stares
3
8
The Infinite Mindsplitter
1
10
She Who Wanders
1
Spells
15
1
Three Sisters
2
3
Dragon's Clutch
1
4
Avalanche
2
5
Catalyst of Aeons
3
5
Starshaping
2
6
Sunburst
2
12
Feel The Rush
3
Regions
Piltover & Zaun
26 cards
Freljord
14 cards
Rarities
8 400
champion
0
epic
2
rare
11
common
27
Mana cost
3
0
14
1
12
2
6
3
0
4
0
5
5
6
0
7+
Champions
0
Followers
20
1
Daring Poro
3
1
Forge Chief
3
1
Zaunite Urchin
3
2
Avarosan Sentry
3
2
Poro Herder
3
3
Station Archivist
3
6
Augmented Experimenter
2
Spells
20
0
Poro Cannon
3
1
Stress Testing
3
1
Three Sisters
2
2
Iterative Improvement
3
2
Time Trick
3
3
Poro Snax
3
6
Iceborn Legacy
3
Regions
Noxus
7 cards
Bandlecity
33 cards
Rarities
23 800
champion
4
epic
6
rare
8
common
22
Mana cost
0
0
10
1
10
2
7
3
9
4
0
5
4
6
0
7+
Champions
4
1
Kennen
2
4
Poppy
2
Landmarks
3
4
The Bandle Tree
3
Followers
17
1
Proto Poro
2
2
Bomber Twins
2
2
Grumbleslug
2
2
House Spider
3
3
Bandle City Mayor
3
3
Loping Telescope
3
4
Aloof Travelers
2
Spells
16
1
Group Shot
3
1
Ravenous Flock
3
2
Pokey Stick
3
3
Scorched Earth
1
4
Buster Shot
2
6
Hidden Pathways
2
6
Minimorph
2

Jose’s lineup is a very fun combo lineup that looks to target the rising triple Control lineups. It runs an Iceborn Poros deck, a Targon’s peak deck and a Bandle Tree deck.

All three of these decks require a certain condition to win the game.

  • In the case of Targon’s Peak and Bandletree this condition is a landmark, which Shadow Isles Control decks have a hard time dealing with
  • For poros, it's Iceborn Legacy, which is also tough for Shadow Isles because they don’t have enough removal to deal with an army of 3/3 poros. Jose made a good meta call for the GGToor tournament and ended up winning the whole thing with this lineup.

GOOD MATCHUP

As we can see here this lineup counters most Shadow Isles Control decks with the exception of Kindred Sentinels, but even then, Jose just needs to ban it and he is super favored into his opponent no matter what he bans. This lineup should be a free win against any triple Control lineup.

BAD MATCHUP

Because Jose’s lineup is a combo one, the natural counter to his lineup is a triple aggro lineup. The opponent just needs to ban Bandle Tree and Jose should lose the Bo3 without having much of a chance.

TAKEAWAY

This was a very smart lineup to bring by Jose and I believe this lineup will have a good performance for Gauntlet and tournaments this weekend. If you enjoy combo decks you should try this lineup and I heavily recommend bringing it to tournaments this weekend because I predict there is going to be a lot of triple Shadow Isles Control lineups.

I can also recommend this lineup for inexperienced players as the decks are not that hard to play, you just need to practice it a couple of times and read some guides and you should be able to get the gist of it fairly quickly.

Wamuu

Top 200 Master LoR player. I have a lot of passion for this game and love sharing my thoughts and game knowledge through deck guides and articles for competitive play. 

If you would like coaching from me you can dm me in Discord at Wamuu#7531