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5 Meta Decks to Counter the Sun (disc)

Even after ebbs and flows, Shurima still stands, what is a ladder player to do? Greg has you covered with 5 powerful meta decks that also COUNTER Sun Disc

Despite all odds, Shurima has found a way to Rise, fall, and rise from the sand once more. It turns out the buffs to AzirAzir and QuicksandQuicksand (making it the most backbreaking combat trick in the game) were a great way to bring back Buried Sun DiscBuried Sun Disc in a format-warping way. If you want to climb in this meta, a strong consideration is any deck that also counters Sun Disc.

At the last check, Sun Disc is clocking in at roughly 12% playrate out of all games on ladder which is a far cry from the 25% playrate we saw on day one, but leagues above the next closest deck; Riven/Viktor with 6%. 

The Target; Azir Xerath Buried Sun Disc

Regions
Shurima
40 cards
Rarities
27 500
champion
6
epic
3
rare
14
common
17
Mana cost
0
0
8
1
8
2
16
3
8
4
0
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Azir
3
Azir
4
Xerath
3
Xerath
Landmarks
7
1
Ancient Preparations
3
Ancient Preparations
1
Buried Sun Disc
1
Buried Sun Disc
2
Preservarium
3
Preservarium
Followers
14
1
Treasure Seeker
3
Treasure Seeker
2
Rock Hopper
3
Rock Hopper
2
Soothsayer
2
Soothsayer
3
Endless Devout
3
Endless Devout
4
Desert Naturalist
1
Desert Naturalist
4
Golden Ambassador
2
Golden Ambassador
Spells
13
1
Rite of Calling
1
Rite of Calling
3
Ancient Hourglass
2
Ancient Hourglass
3
Quicksand
3
Quicksand
3
Rite of the Arcane
2
Rite of the Arcane
3
Unraveled Earth
3
Unraveled Earth
4
Rite of Negation
2
Rite of Negation
Open deck in builder

In case you aren't aware, the latest patch buffed AzirAzir by making Landmarks count towards his level-up condition. This change highly increased the efficacy of cards like Ancient PreparationsAncient Preparations, Rock HopperRock Hopper, Endless DevoutEndless Devout, and Unraveled EarthUnraveled Earth when it comes to speed-leveling Mr.Birdface. 

It just so happens that XerathXerath also loves the concept of summoning landmarks, with this core, you level both Azir and Xerath VERY quickly. Their goal is to pop the disc, get a pair of god-like Level 3 Champions with Xerath shutting down any death synergies you may have and slowly zapping you into the dust. If that's not enough they can make use of the Emperor's Deck to pound you into the sand.

Their main forms of interaction are Rite of the ArcaneRite of the Arcane (something they semi-often cast with the mana-gem destroying option), QuicksandQuicksand which can act as a double-hush for decks that only have one or two medium-sized unit trying to get in for damage, and the various Roiling SandsRoiling Sands creators trying to give vulnerable to your units so they can dictate combat.

With this circular golden menace in mind, let’s go over some prime ladder decks for climbing with shattering the sun disc (through winning against them) as our prime consideration. I'll be focusing on this specific matchup for the mentioned decks, and will link to the latest guide we have for the given deck when possible.


Riven Viktor - 65.8% Winrate vs Sun Disc

Riven Viktor Ambush

Regions
Noxus
16 cards
Piltover & Zaun
24 cards
Rarities
24 000
champion
6
epic
0
rare
13
common
21
Mana cost
0
0
8
1
9
2
14
3
5
4
1
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Riven
3
Riven
4
Viktor
3
Viktor
Followers
18
1
Blade Squire
3
Blade Squire
1
Zaunite Urchin
3
Zaunite Urchin
2
Ballistic Bot
3
Ballistic Bot
2
Runeweaver
3
Runeweaver
3
Nyandroid
3
Nyandroid
3
Station Archivist
1
Station Archivist
4
Ruined Reckoner
2
Ruined Reckoner
Spells
16
1
Poro Cannon
2
Poro Cannon
2
Mystic Shot
3
Mystic Shot
3
Ambush
3
Ambush
3
Get Excited!
3
Get Excited!
3
Might
1
Might
5
Survival Skills
1
Survival Skills
6
Decimate
3
Decimate
Open deck in builder

A fresh combo deck that came out with the same patch as the new Sun disc deck. We have a full guide (link) on the ins and outs of the deck here (link). Their only forms of interaction are Rite of the ArcaneRite of the Arcane, making your units Vulnerable with Roiling SandsRoiling Sands  and QuicksandQuicksand

Rite can be mitigated by open attacking when applicable to push early damage with Daring PoroDaring Poros and other small units,then holding Survival SkillsSurvival Skills.  You can avoid giving them a chance to play Rite by burst casting blade fragments and AmbushAmbush into the attack.

Roiling SandsRoiling Sands can be played around by chucking a fodder unit down before something valuable whenever they get one out. Consider holding a 1 or 2 drop if you can. It's important to  avoid letting your RivenRiven or ViktorViktor get tripped up.

QuicksandQuicksand is trickier, and there are a few ways to approach it. First, you can simply try to fork your attack into three threats, such as a RivenRiven, a ViktorViktor, and a Ballistic BotBallistic Bot sporting an AmbushAmbush or overwhelm, this forces them to have multiple quicksands. This requires them to hold up or use a lot of mana when they want to play out things every turn to level their champs.

Second, you can consider their blockers and hold some sort of additional protection, such as a Survival SkillsSurvival Skills, or a Mystic ShotMystic Shot to kill their blocker.  

The third option can seem strange, but some versions for this very reason run MightMight to push through damage after a QuicksandQuicksand  block. 

Their interaction aside, you are a lot faster at killing than they are. If you play around their answers as best you can, you should be able to overcome them before the movie rolls.

Fizz Lulu - 60.3% Winrate vs Sun Disc

Fizz Lulu Yordles in Arms

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
19 cards
Bandlecity
21 cards
Rarities
19 900
champion
5
epic
0
rare
7
common
28
Mana cost
0
0
11
1
15
2
7
3
3
4
3
5
0
6
1
7+
Champions
5
1
Fizz
2
Fizz
3
Lulu
3
Lulu
Followers
15
1
Zaunite Urchin
3
Zaunite Urchin
2
Bomber Twins
3
Bomber Twins
2
Boom Baboon
3
Boom Baboon
2
Flame Chompers!
3
Flame Chompers!
4
Yordle Captain
3
Yordle Captain
Spells
20
1
Jury-Rig
1
Jury-Rig
1
Poro Cannon
3
Poro Cannon
1
Scrapheap
2
Scrapheap
2
Mystic Shot
3
Mystic Shot
2
Pokey Stick
3
Pokey Stick
3
Get Excited!
3
Get Excited!
3
Yordle Portal
1
Yordle Portal
5
Yordles in Arms
3
Yordles in Arms
10
Treasured Trash
1
Treasured Trash
Open deck in builder

Same as Riviktor, we have a guide on Fizz Lulu so I’ll stick to the specific matchup (link here).

FizzFizz LuluLulu Yordles in Arms Yordles in Arms is a brick house of pressure. When facing down Sun disc I tend to look to ‘complete’ Yordles in Arms Yordles in Arms (play 4 regions so that it gives a +4/+4 buff rather than +2/+2) and present LuluLulu + Flame Chompers!Flame Chompers!, as both paths lead to victory. This means more than usual, we really want to find Lulu, as she lends herself to both paths being both Bandle City and Ionia. I will typically keep one FizzFizz and one of either Bomber TwinsBomber Twins or a Boom BaboonBoom Baboon if they are offered to me, then throw back anything that doesn’t enable LuluLulu + Chompers ((a discard outlet like Poro CannonPoro Cannon)) or is a Yordles in Arms Yordles in Arms itself. 

The common misconception is that if they kill your LuluLulu or Rite of NegationRite of Negation your Yordles in Arms Yordles in Arms , you lose. If that is the case then they already had you backed into a corner and you have already lost. You want to poke in for chip damage whenever you can, be it through Daring PoroDaring Poros made by a Poro CannonPoro Cannon, triggering a FizzFizz to slide in for two, pulling a DunekeeperDunekeeper or SoothsayerSoothsayer with chompers to get in for 2-3, it all adds up and they have no healing. 

If they’re pressured, then they can’t do things optimally and need to focus on responding to you rather than furthering their gameplan. Their deck is low on effective blockers aside from Endless DevoutEndless Devout which you want to avoid killing if at all possible. 

Pantheon - 57.3% Winrate vs Sun Disc

Pantheon Yuumi Wounded Whiteflame

Regions
Demacia
15 cards
Mount Targon
25 cards
Rarities
23 400
champion
6
epic
0
rare
10
common
24
Mana cost
0
0
3
1
17
2
12
3
4
4
4
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Yuumi
3
Yuumi
4
Pantheon
3
Pantheon
Followers
11
1
Saga Seeker
3
Saga Seeker
2
Brightsteel Protector
3
Brightsteel Protector
2
Mountain Goat
2
Mountain Goat
3
Wounded Whiteflame
3
Wounded Whiteflame
Spells
23
2
Guiding Touch
3
Guiding Touch
2
Pale Cascade
3
Pale Cascade
2
Sharpsight
3
Sharpsight
2
Single Combat
3
Single Combat
3
Cataclysm
2
Cataclysm
3
Hush
1
Hush
3
Zenith Blade
3
Zenith Blade
4
Bastion
1
Bastion
5
Concerted Strike
2
Concerted Strike
5
Golden Aegis
2
Golden Aegis
Open deck in builder

PantheonPantheon (and often YuumiYuumi) goes very tall very fast. whether you’ll be able to push enough damage fast enough in your average game, boils down to finding overwhelm in the form of Zenith BladeZenith Blade.   Mono Shurima does have a decent ability to chump-block your big Wounded WhiteflameWounded Whiteflames and Saga SeekerSaga Seekers.

Four health is the key number you want to keep in mind for the matchup, as they can’t do more than that unless they have double Rite of the ArcaneRite of the Arcane, and even then only as slow into slow (allowing for things such as GemGems or Brightsteel ProtectorBrightsteel Protector to be used in between if you feel a tad nervous)). 

A large advantage you have compared to most decks is that  you can very efficiently answer whatever champion they play with a Single CombatSingle Combat or CataclysmCataclysm. Unless they have a Ancient HourglassAncient Hourglass or Rite of NegationRite of Negation at the ready,  their champs are doomed. 

This turns down the threat of them popping disc on seven with no counterplay, as they physically cannot go AzirAzir, Negate your removal, then XerathXerath. They can play hourglass, but that does require them to have banked mana earlier, and you can try to plan for this and hold two pieces of removal to stop their shenanigans. 

They are a QuicksandQuicksand deck so a PantheonPantheon without Spellshield is less of a guaranteed win than we’d like, but even a base-stat leveled Pantheon is hard for them to kill with a block. Especially if you have even one combat trick like a Pale CascadePale Cascade to give him the health to live through everything aside from a leveled champ, a Sandstone ChargerSandstone Charger, or a Restored DevoutRestored Devout. If PantheonPantheon lives through their attempt to Quicksand him, then they’ve likely lost their one shot at stopping you.

Azir Irelia - 61.9% Winrate vs Sun Disc

Azir Irelia

Regions
Ionia
24 cards
Shurima
16 cards
Rarities
23 800
champion
6
epic
0
rare
12
common
22
Mana cost
0
0
13
1
15
2
6
3
0
4
6
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Azir
3
Azir
3
Irelia
3
Irelia
Landmarks
3
2
Emperor's Dais
3
Emperor's Dais
Followers
18
1
Dunekeeper
3
Dunekeeper
1
Sparring Student
3
Sparring Student
1
Treasure Seeker
3
Treasure Seeker
2
Greenglade Duo
3
Greenglade Duo
2
Ribbon Dancer
3
Ribbon Dancer
5
Blossoming Blade
3
Blossoming Blade
Spells
13
1
Rite of Calling
1
Rite of Calling
1
Shaped Stone
3
Shaped Stone
2
Lead and Follow
1
Lead and Follow
2
Nopeify!
2
Nopeify!
2
Retreat
1
Retreat
2
Twin Disciplines
2
Twin Disciplines
5
Defiant Dance
3
Defiant Dance
Open deck in builder

It turns out that the deck that just wants to play solitaire and make its numbers go down is bad against anything that can go face multiple times per turn. As a result AzirAzir IreliaIrelia is very favored in the matchup.

They have almost no good blockers for the onslaught of BladeBlades and Sand SoldierSand Soldiers you can throw at them. If they do block with AzirAzir and you have a chance to burn a couple pump spells like Twin DisciplinesTwin Disciplines or Shaped StoneShaped Stone to kill him, it is definitely worth it, as that will slow their clock SUBSTANTIALLY.  

Each time you summon a blade or soldier, it will pop any Roiling SandsRoiling Sands your opponent has left, making it almost impossible to give anything you care about vulnerable. It’s also relevant to note that anything that has Blade Dance will result in the Vulnerable going on the attacking Blade/Soldier rather than the dancer itself, as Play effects go off BEFORE the unit touches the board, then the unit counts as being on the board. 

Same as the other decks, watch for when they can play a Rite of the ArcaneRite of the Arcane for profit (ie; when they could pop a SarcophagusSarcophagus to do so) in a way that kills one of your champs, keep tossing knives at them and it’s quite easy to rush them down before the credits roll.

Pirate Aggro - 70.6% Winrate into Sun Disc

Miss Fortune Gangplank Twisted Fate

Regions
Bilgewater
20 cards
Noxus
20 cards
Rarities
26 300
champion
6
epic
3
rare
8
common
23
Mana cost
0
0
13
1
10
2
6
3
6
4
2
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Miss Fortune
3
Miss Fortune
4
Twisted Fate
1
Twisted Fate
5
Gangplank
2
Gangplank
Followers
26
1
Crackshot Corsair
3
Crackshot Corsair
1
Jagged Butcher
1
Jagged Butcher
1
Legion Rearguard
3
Legion Rearguard
1
Legion Saboteur
3
Legion Saboteur
1
Precious Pet
3
Precious Pet
2
Imperial Demolitionist
3
Imperial Demolitionist
2
Legion Grenadier
2
Legion Grenadier
2
Marai Warden
3
Marai Warden
4
Island Navigator
2
Island Navigator
4
Zap Sprayfin
3
Zap Sprayfin
Spells
8
2
Make it Rain
2
Make it Rain
3
Noxian Fervor
3
Noxian Fervor
6
Decimate
3
Decimate
Open deck in builder

Similar to Azir Irelia, you massively pressure Sun Disc with your onslaught of low-cost high-impact units. Their blockers are poor and trade at best, or die to Miss FortuneMiss Fortune’s attack trigger at worst. This combined with their only removal being three mana and slow adds up to a bad time for them.

If you run Twisted FateTwisted Fate then don’t be afraid to use him for a Gold or Blue card if you need more gas or want to push in more damage on an attack turn. Miss FortuneMiss Fortune is an evergreen threat, that if they Rite of the ArcaneRite of the Arcane on curve, then they’re typically popping a mana gem to do so, don’t be too afraid to play her. At the top of the curve GangplankGangplank is as straightforward as usual; try to plunder him up to leveling if possible, but don’t put everything into that. A 5/4 overwhelm and a keg for five mana is often good enough to push in and close things out.

They have no removal outside of slow speed, so your Noxian FervorNoxian Fervors and Imperial DemolitionistImperial Demolitionist triggers are guaranteed outside of a Rite of NegationRite of Negation. The average Sun Disc list only runs two Negations, so even if they do stop that Fervor that would slam the nail in the coffin for them, you’re typically alright with that since you have more burn coming while they need the stars to align to find their second rite. 

Attack often, and rely on your spells and play effects to burn them out at the end. It’s fairly easy to force them to spend mana first to try and develop blockers before you go for the burn. They can’t sit around and hold up four mana forever, while you can soft-pass by playing one-drops and still hold up mana for burn if they lower their guard.

There is almost no case where you want to use spells to remove their champions or units except perhaps Gangplank's Parrrley, or Make it RainMake it Rain. Although typically you’re better off aiming the Parrrley at the face to guarantee the damage, three DecimateDecimates is a lot of reach to take them down with and every point of damage counts.


Closing Thought

Sun Disc is strong and popular but far from unbeatable, it has a fairly polarized matchup table, with 30% vs Pirates, and +60% vs TrundleTrundle TryndamereTryndamere for example. A big part of the points it gains or loses in matchups comes from players being wise to their tricks, and not playing into the obvious pitfalls. 

The calls to winrates and playrates are courtesy of Legna's data posted on https://www.llorr-stats.com/, thanks to them and all others who help the community with their data analysis contributions. 

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