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Mastering Runeterra Podcast Ep 67 Recap; New Patch Meta

Majiinbae and Jason Fleurant give their detailed thoughts on how the meta looks after a few days

The show opens with Majiinbae and Jason praising Riot for how well balanced the patch and meta immediately seem so far, aside from Majiin's slight concerns about the Illaoi decks' power. Jason acknowledges that the deck is very powerful mostly due to Tentacle Crush, feeling it carries the deck. Majiin expects the rise of Illaoi Demacia to cause a counter-surge of Noxus decks, since Scorched Earth and Flock decks are typically good against Demacia lists.

Jason then lays out the episode's overall format; the two will go down a meta tier list and give their current thoughts on the decks on the top five, and then any other standout decks. Limiting it at such since the meta feels like a LOT of things are very viable. This is in contrast to the conclusion of last season where at the end, Afaelios and Pantheon were universally seen as "The strongest" decks.

They start with Annie Jhin, with Jason feeling that it's solidification as a pillar of the meta has equalized things. It being a strong aggro deck that is a baseline for people to work off and around has brought down old gods such as Pantheon and made way for newer decks to have play. They both agree that while the deck has a <50% winrate currently, that's due in part to it being the most played, meaning many people are playing it poorly, playing suboptimal builds, or being countered. Majiin even points out how the two of them disagree on what are good or bad cards for the deck as well, suggesting it isn't as clear cut as one may think.

Reportedly the deck feels bad to lose to as well, leading to many people favoring decks that do well into it on ladder. Jason feels the deck will be much better when people hammer out a proper list akin to Mono Shurima. Majiin felt that the deck does have certain cards that nearly counter it, such as Blighted Ravine, while Jason's experience suggests it's a good match for Annie Jhin. Jason's experience is that the Illaoi decks, Deep, and anything where they have early units and any amount of life gain counter it.

The second deck on the list is Bard Zed, which Majiin feels is mostly due to people wanting to play with the new champs, and this being the theorycrafted deck prior to release, due to the hand buff synergies (Kinkou Lifeblade, Navori Highwayman, Zed, etc). Jason feels that Bard is overall rather 'fair' of a champion, many things need to come together to really get there, and you can lowroll fairly badly. The effect in general doesn't appeal to him. Majiin feels that Bard in general is good, and that Bard Zoe is very fun. They agree that the support card that came along with bard is a lot more powerful than expected. Jason mentions that during a roundtable Riot held about the champs that Riot seemed insistent that Bard was better than the participants thought. Majiin points out this was more reactionary from how low everyone was on Bard rather than hyping him up.

There is an agreement that there may be some secret formula that unlocks Bard that they are yet unaware of, but they feel he is good overall.

With that they move onto the third deck; Deep (Maokai Nautilus). Jason is glad to see it coming to some prominence since it had felt very 'fair' and okay up to this point but not quite powerful enough to be relevant. In the past Jason had enjoyed the deck even though he could never really use it competitively due to it's power level. With the addition of Undergrowth especially (and Megatusk to a lesser extent,) the deck is now in the upper tiers of the meta. The addition of Undergrowth gives Deep a variety of flex cards, and gives the deck a lot more ground against aggro decks, letting it get to it's powerful late game. Majiinbae almost brought deep to the Riot Grand Prix but ended up taking other decks that seemed very fun, regretting not taking Deep.
Since the tournament, Majiin has tried getting in some ladder time on Deep, and has had good experiences so far, being 11-5.

Next on the list was Lissandra Taliyah Thralls, a deck Jason enjoys. The addition of Harbinger of Thralls, and Sands of Time have pushed it to prevalence. While it's new tools have given it power, Jason laments that the deck does need a lot of things to go well to win in the current meta, as it doesn't do well into Annie Jhin. The decks it preys upon aren't currently represented that much either. They expect it to get better as the meta shifts around.

Illaoi Lux is the next deck to be brought up, the first entry with a powerful 58% winrate over 4000 matches. Jason has been destroyed by the deck many times already, but feels like the deck will lose a lot of power when people realize how to deal with tentacles properly. Illaoi's attack power and speed is a lot better than they expected on release. Majiin has more experience with the Jarvan version than the lux version, but does not enjoy it due to it being a basic midrange Demacia pile. They equate how a similar deck in style, Sivir Akshan, is a lot more enjoyable due to it's skill expressive nature.

They mention that Lurk is back in force thanks to the new card increasing consistency, although they disagree whether it does well versus afaelios or not. Jason has already suffered a few bad beats to the deck and doesn't expect that to change.

Caitlyn Ezreal is already seeing a rise to combat the Illaoi strategies with a 54% winrate.

Pantheon Yuumi has a low playrate but still a 57% winrate although it plays poorly into Annie Jhin.

Annie Ezreal is a deck that has started taking off, and Majiin has seen some success on. It has famously been taken up by a notable community member BBG (BruisedByGod) after a moderator of theirs has made a bet with him. The bet is that if BBG can get to rank 1 with Annie Ezreal, the mod will give BBG 1000 gift subs. The pair are uncertain how he will fare, feeling that the competition is a fair bit stiffer than in the past, with a legendary player Ace returning to play ladder, known for reaching rank 1 on all servers at once for LoR.

At this point Majiin pulls up his stream, finding he's been live for 10 hours at that point, going hard at the bet. They find he's already in masters, at 95 LP, a stone's throw from reaching Rank 1 already, with Rank 1 being 159 LP at that point.

After a short sidebar, Jason brings up the concept of burnout on LoR. It's easy to feel defeated after a chain of losses and get discouraged about things. Jason has found that discussing the game with others, getting the competitive juices flowing and playing with others helps spur him on in the face of burnout. The two agree this is a problem they've both encountered, with Majiin preferring a bit of a different approach to get into the competitive feel of LoR. He's a big fan of getting snacks, then jamming one deck seriously for several hours straight on ladder.

While Jason would prefer to play Best of Three more often, Majiin enjoys grinding out solo games on ladder, switching between the decks that interest him.

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