Hello everyone, Sorry here! What a journey it's been in Runeterra this year! Last time, missing out on Worlds left me feeling a bit down, so this time around, I gave it my absolute best shot.
To secure a spot in Worlds I needed to accumulate a lot of "Yearly Points" to be among the top 6. To achieve this, my plan was to maintain a high rank on the ladder and consistently perform well in the Runeterra Opens.
Going into the Day 1 Open, I always preferred the “safe choices” when choosing my lineups. This gave me a better shot at whatever opponents I ended up going against. Just making Day 2 guarantees you World Points, and from there, I just needed to focus on going further in the top 64.
The furthest I went were two top 8’s, which played a massive role in advancing to the Worlds!
Day 2 was more of a fiesta, with less than 24 hours to decide whether to stick with the Day 1 lineup or take a bold step with an anti-meta lineup. Day 2 has more skilled players who tend to make fewer mistakes compared to Day 1 players, so gaining an edge with matchups can go a long way.
My decision on whether to opt for a "safe" or "risky" lineup hinged on the meta and whether it made sense to target specific popular decks.
We’re at Worlds!
Just pure happiness being one of the top 64 players to make it onto the big stage, but the real work starts now!
With a new expansion releasing, we had around two weeks to figure out the meta, the new best decks, and what the Worlds meta field would look like. We spent a lot of the early access testing out Heisho, Shell of the World in different archetypes, which ended up being a waste of time after the hotfix nerf.
It's crucial to understand what we might be facing in Worlds and how our lineup will hold up against it.
Scrimming endless hours, reviewing mistakes, testing out different archetypes and ideas, and keeping an open mind when listening to others' opinions are all important during the two weeks of preparation. I was preparing with three other World competitors, and two of them (Kuvira and 4LW) made it to day 2!
It got to a point where Runeterra was all I was doing for the past two weeks while also posting content! I did, though, have to limit the content a bit to keep some solid decks under the radar.
So I had two options in mind: the safe meta choice and the risky anti-meta choice.
The safe lineup that I ended up bringing was Norra Elder Dragon, Mordekaiser Morgana, and Seraphine Sett. Many other players caught up to the strength of this lineup and brought it to their Worlds run too.
It’s an all-around safish lineup that can hold up against whatever is thrown at it. Although Karma was the more popular choice on the ladder, the Seraphine version was beating decks like Morgana Mordekaiser and Karma Sett more consistently, so the choice was Seraphine.
The second lineup was Volibear Shadow Isles, Maokai Mill, and Norra Elder Dragon. The Poro King Targon, Fizz Yuumi, and Caitlyn Teemo were also considerations in this lineup.
It was a riskier choice that struggled against Jax Ornn but aimed to beat Morgana Mordekaiser, Norra Elder, and Seraphine/Karma decks.
Norra Elder Dragon struggles a bit into the Morgana Mordekaiser, but teching 3 Early Bird to discard Mordekaiser can swing the matchup in your favor.
The Maokai Mill deck felt like the scariest bring since I didn’t have much practice on the deck, and if I ended up discarding Watery Grave, games would be rough.
Overall, I think I had a good grasp of the meta, and the hardest choice was whether Mordekaiser Morgana was worth bringing or going for a less popular deck to avoid playing mirror matchups.
Reflecting on the Worlds meta field, my lineup was perhaps the most predictable and safest choice, leading to opponents trying to target it. Surprisingly, many players brought a similar lineup, making my "risky lineup" a potentially strong choice for Day 1. However, fear of taking that risk might have held me back from performing better on Day 1.
There were card techs I would have hoped I included in my decks. I ran only one Early Bird, but going up to three would have been a better call since I was planning not to ban Mordekaiser Morgana. Additionally, adding a The Ruination to Mordekaiser Morgana would have given me a slight edge in mirror matchups and against Jax Ornn.
There were decks brought that I didn’t expect at all, like Janna Nilah and Shyvana Elder. I should have taken a look at those decks and tested them during my preparation in case they were a potential bring.
NERVOUSNESS! I can’t even begin to explain how nervous I was during my first game. I was up against J01, and my hands were SHAKING! You’d think after 3 years of competing in LoR, you’d be more chill in these situations.
A bit of nervousness is fine, but if it gets to the point of affecting your plays, this is a big problem you need to work on. Luckily, after game one, my nerves eased down, and I was able to focus more on my gameplay.
Obviously, minor game-play mistakes happened, but nothing too major that threw my game. I ended day 1 with a 3-4 score, and usually, you'd need a 5-2 score to make it through.
Overall, I think I had an insane competitive Runeterra year. I didn’t get to “win it all,” but I managed to top a lot of tournaments and stay consistent, so I always try to look at that side of the year rather than just focusing on the defeats.
I’ll focus on keeping that consistency in 2024, and hopefully, I get to win it all! I will try taking more risks when the chance is there!