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Dominating LoR – A Meta Voyage by Monte and Leer

Join Monte & Leer as they test-drive three Vayne decks and four Seraphine decks – including Monte's own homebrews!

Our two heroes are back to dive into the depth of this chaotic first week of the Domination meta. Join them in this first foray into the field as they test-drive three Vayne decks and four Seraphine decks – including Monte's own Serapine homebrews!

Zed Vayne – Leer's Test Drive

Vayne Zed was one of the first decks that came to mind when I saw Vayne’s announcement. Poppy Zed was an absolute menace one year ago, where it dominated the meta together with Plunder.

Now, rather than buffing our board with Poppy, we let Zed attack again and again through Tumble. What’s best is that Vayne has a much nicer booty body than Poppy and doesn’t need extra protection, letting us keep our precious pump spells for Zed.

Regions
Demacia
18 cards
Ionia
22 cards
Rarities
26 800
champion
6
epic
2
rare
16
common
16
Mana cost
0
0
10
1
17
2
8
3
2
4
3
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Vayne
3
Vayne
3
Zed
3
Zed
Equipments
2
2
The Darkin Aegis
2
The Darkin Aegis
Followers
16
1
Fleetfeather Tracker
3
Fleetfeather Tracker
2
Greenglade Duo
3
Greenglade Duo
2
Ionian Hookmaster
3
Ionian Hookmaster
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
Petricite Broadwing
2
Young Witch
2
Young Witch
4
Combat Cook
2
Combat Cook
Spells
16
1
Momentous Choice
3
Momentous Choice
1
Ranger's Resolve
1
Ranger's Resolve
1
Wuju Style
3
Wuju Style
2
Sharpsight
1
Sharpsight
2
Twin Disciplines
3
Twin Disciplines
3
Memory's Cloak
2
Memory's Cloak
5
Golden Aegis
3
Golden Aegis
Open deck in builder

In the 18 games I tested this archetype, I found a 72% winrate on ladder. While I wasn’t so sure about Vayne Zed on patch day since it can lose to itself by not drawing its champions, the following days of data reassured me that this deck is worth the time investment.

Here’s a quick mulligan guide: We’re looking for Zed, Zed, and Zed. Almost every card in this deck is tailored to enable Zed, like Challengers dragging blockers away or pump spells protecting him directly. The only exception here is Vayne – we can also keep her since she provides a lot of value on her own, and works with Zed, Young Witch, and Greenglade Duo.

If we have found our shady savage, keep protection for him. Twin Disciplines is the best, but any spell works. After some testing, I replaced Deny with Memory's Cloak, because we would only ever cast Deny to protect Zed, just like Katarina Yasuo does to protect Yasuo.

There’s a lot more I have to share about this archetype, so keep your eyes open for a Vayne Zed deck guide by yours truly in the coming week! =)


Vayne Leblanc – Monte's Field test

It was day two or three of the expansion and I wasn’t really feeling any deck in particular. No inspiration for anything new, nor did I have a hankering to play something old. As such, I took to the stats sites and scoured for something that was over-performing… I found Leblanc Vayne!

Regions
Noxus
19 cards
Demacia
21 cards
Rarities
31 300
champion
6
epic
7
rare
11
common
16
Mana cost
0
0
3
1
18
2
8
3
8
4
2
5
1
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
LeBlanc
3
LeBlanc
3
Vayne
3
Vayne
Equipments
3
2
The Darkin Aegis
3
The Darkin Aegis
Followers
18
1
Thrashing Snapper
3
Thrashing Snapper
2
Ionian Hookmaster
3
Ionian Hookmaster
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
Petricite Broadwing
2
Trifarian Gloryseeker
3
Trifarian Gloryseeker
4
Combat Cook
3
Combat Cook
4
Ruined Reckoner
2
Ruined Reckoner
6
Bloodcursed Harpy
1
Bloodcursed Harpy
Spells
13
2
Fish Fight
2
Fish Fight
2
Sharpsight
3
Sharpsight
2
Single Combat
1
Single Combat
3
Might
2
Might
4
Whispered Words
3
Whispered Words
5
Concerted Strike
2
Concerted Strike
Open deck in builder

A bit reminiscent of LeBard (we’re abusing additional stats on strong Noxian units and making use of strong strike combat tricks) the deck is a lot of fun and shockingly powerful for Demacia Noxus.  

As it turns out, Leblanc with a Shepherd's Authority on her is nearly unstoppable. The other improvised equipment is just as good too! Vayne and Ruined Reckoner give you access to free attacks that make leveling LeBlanc a piece of cake. One cute trick to know with LeBlanc (level 2) is that you can almost always generate a second copy of Mirror Image for free, by using the first on LeBlanc herself and placing the ephemeral LB as the last one in the attack pattern. Both LeBlanc’s will have their condition fulfilled simultaneously, resulting in a much cheaper Mirror Image.

I don’t believe the posted list is fully refined, so have at it trying to improve it – I’d love to find a way to make Mirror Image better in this deck. Let me know what you discover!


Seraphine Twisted Fate, aka Twisted Sera – Leer's Test Drive

Seraphine Twisted Fate is a concept Genesis introduced me to on patch day. Like Nami TF, Twisted Sera is looking to pop off with Fleet Admiral Shelly buffing several Elusives like Wiggly Burblefish in a single round, to deal lethal Nexus damage.

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
24 cards
Bilgewater
16 cards
Rarities
36 600
champion
6
epic
12
rare
10
common
12
Mana cost
0
0
4
1
18
2
3
3
3
4
6
5
3
6
3
7+
Champions
6
2
Seraphine
3
Seraphine
4
Twisted Fate
3
Twisted Fate
Followers
16
1
Acorn, the Hextechnician
3
Acorn, the Hextechnician
1
Zaunite Urchin
1
Zaunite Urchin
2
Ballistic Bot
3
Ballistic Bot
2
Coral Creatures
3
Coral Creatures
5
Fleet Admiral Shelly
3
Fleet Admiral Shelly
6
Wiggly Burblefish
3
Wiggly Burblefish
Spells
18
2
Heavy Metal
2
Heavy Metal
2
Iterative Improvement
3
Iterative Improvement
2
Mystic Shot
2
Mystic Shot
2
Pick a Card
2
Pick a Card
3
Get Excited!
3
Get Excited!
5
Drum Solo
3
Drum Solo
7
Sputtering Songspinner
3
Sputtering Songspinner
Open deck in builder

Instead of a nerfed Nami, Twisted Sera utilizes Seraphine to double any spell we will play when Shelly comes down to assure us double the buffs.

In the games we tested the deck, this concept turned out to be more successful in a theoretical world than in digital life. While it’s true that it’s easy to level Seraphine with one-mana spells we create through Wiggly Burblefish and Coral Creatures, copying those spells with Seraphine (level 2) leaves much to be desired.

While Nami was a second Fleet Admiral Shelly, Seraphine fulfills a different role. This means that we are much more reliant on drawing Shelly, while also having to find Burblefishes, a pop star, and ways to keep said pop star alive.

In my opinion, Twisted Sera needs too many aligned planets to work out. Its highs are unbeatable when Seraphine and Shelly see the board at the same time, but otherwise, the deck is only mediocre.

Of course, I could be totally wrong about this and Twisted Sera is a jewel to be discovered. The deck is incredibly difficult to pilot correctly, so there’s an above-zero chance that I missed its strength due to my misplays!


Seraphine Viktor – Monte's Field Test

I think this deck is fantastic! Incredibly versatile and probably the best Seraphine deck at the time of writing. SI Seraphine is a great deck for anyone who enjoys control, loves generating insane amounts of value, or likes building massive units. Definitely a great deck for climbing in the early days of the expansion, and one that’s likely to stick around. 

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
31 cards
Shadow Isles
9 cards
Rarities
32 400
champion
6
epic
8
rare
11
common
15
Mana cost
1
0
7
1
14
2
2
3
3
4
6
5
5
6
2
7+
Champions
6
2
Seraphine
3
Seraphine
4
Viktor
3
Viktor
Landmarks
3
6
Back Alley Bar
3
Back Alley Bar
Equipments
1
2
Inspired Plans
1
Inspired Plans
Followers
9
1
Acorn, the Hextechnician
2
Acorn, the Hextechnician
2
Ferros Financier
2
Ferros Financier
2
Minion
1
Minion
5
Fanclub President
3
Fanclub President
5
Subpurrsible
1
Subpurrsible
Spells
21
0
Thermogenic Beam
1
Thermogenic Beam
1
Piltovan Tellstones
2
Piltovan Tellstones
1
Quietus
3
Quietus
2
High Note
1
High Note
2
Mystic Shot
2
Mystic Shot
2
Time Trick
1
Time Trick
2
Unspeakable Horror
1
Unspeakable Horror
2
Vile Feast
2
Vile Feast
3
Get Excited!
1
Get Excited!
3
Sump Fumes
1
Sump Fumes
5
Drum Solo
2
Drum Solo
6
Vengeance
2
Vengeance
7
Sputtering Songspinner
2
Sputtering Songspinner
Open deck in builder

The deck generally wants to take its time and remove the enemy units while slowly flipping our Champions. Once we’ve established a board state we’re comfortable with, we can throw down our Champs and slaughter our opponent with an unending tide of value. Between the Back Alley Bars and manifested spells, this deck will always have more gas.

Finding yourself time to put down your Bar can be tricky, though – be ready to pass a lot more than you’d expect. Always try to stay reactive with your plays and avoid removing threats until absolutely necessary. You also need to be aware that the Bar will bring some of your spells' cost down into Seraphine’s double-cast range – be sure to use this to your tactical advantage!

All in all, I would highly recommend this deck to anyone looking for something new, exciting and likely to stick around!


Vayne Rumble, aka Rayn – Leer's Test Drive

Vayne Rumble is an unintuitive concept that caught my eye while skimming the data for dark horses. In my podcast with Drisoth and Conansson, we rated Legionary Charge a 3 out of 10 due to its not-so-obvious tutor target. Little did we know that Rumble had prepared for this moment his entire life.

Add to Legionary Charge – whose only draw target is Rumble – the newly released Vayne, and we have what's arguably one of the best LoR decks right now.

Regions
Demacia
9 cards
Noxus
31 cards
Rarities
26 700
champion
6
epic
3
rare
10
common
21
Mana cost
0
0
5
1
18
2
9
3
7
4
1
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Vayne
3
Vayne
4
Rumble
3
Rumble
Equipments
3
2
Great Hammers
3
Great Hammers
Followers
18
1
Blade Squire
3
Blade Squire
2
Fallen Rider
3
Fallen Rider
2
Ionian Hookmaster
3
Ionian Hookmaster
2
Rune Squire
3
Rune Squire
2
Runeweaver
3
Runeweaver
4
Ruined Reckoner
3
Ruined Reckoner
Spells
13
1
Noxian Tellstones
2
Noxian Tellstones
2
Legionary Charge
3
Legionary Charge
3
Cataclysm
3
Cataclysm
3
Prismatic Barrier
3
Prismatic Barrier
4
Whispered Words
1
Whispered Words
5
Survival Skills
1
Survival Skills
Open deck in builder

For those who don’t think Legionary Charge is a big deal in Rumble Vayne – imagine having a two-mana spell in Vayne Zed that tutors Zed. Legionary Charge allows us to build a deck around Rumble, and Rumble alone.

This being said, how did my ladder games go? 

I won precisely two-thirds of the games I tested Rayn. I started out with a list running Riposte, but quickly realized (thanks to net-decking Seasonal champ Kuraschi) that Prismatic Barrier is a much better choice. Similar to how we include Memory's Cloak over Deny in Vayne Zed, Prismatic Barrier allows us to cast a protection spell for Rumble solely off of spell mana.

In my mulligans, I usually looked for Rumble, while also keeping units that create Blade Fragments to discard with Rumble later on. Since we effectively run six copies of Rumble, we are allowed to keep more cards in the mulligan to ease our rounds before Rumble

After all, if we play him in round four, but don’t have attractive discard targets, we will have to throw away half of our hand, leaving us with little value to facilitate or protect Rumble.


Monte's Homebrews – Freljord & Shurima Seraphine

These two decks are some cute alternative ways to play Seraphine that I came up with. They are definitely not the best, nor the strongest builds for her but they’re good decks that are a lot of fun to play and let you accomplish some crazy things.

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
28 cards
Freljord
12 cards
Rarities
27 800
champion
6
epic
4
rare
10
common
20
Mana cost
1
0
8
1
19
2
1
3
4
4
4
5
2
6
1
7+
Champions
6
2
Seraphine
3
Seraphine
4
Gnar
2
Gnar
4
Viktor
1
Viktor
Landmarks
2
6
Back Alley Bar
2
Back Alley Bar
Equipments
1
2
Inspired Plans
1
Inspired Plans
Followers
11
1
Fallen Feline
3
Fallen Feline
2
Favored Artisan
1
Favored Artisan
2
Ferros Financier
3
Ferros Financier
2
Vulpine Wanderer
2
Vulpine Wanderer
5
Fanclub President
2
Fanclub President
Spells
20
0
Thermogenic Beam
1
Thermogenic Beam
1
Brittle Steel
1
Brittle Steel
1
Elixir of Iron
1
Elixir of Iron
1
Piltovan Tellstones
1
Piltovan Tellstones
1
Three Sisters
2
Three Sisters
2
Concurrent Timelines
1
Concurrent Timelines
2
High Note
1
High Note
2
Inner Beast
1
Inner Beast
2
Mystic Shot
2
Mystic Shot
2
Time Trick
2
Time Trick
2
Troll Chant
2
Troll Chant
3
Sump Fumes
1
Sump Fumes
4
Gotcha!
1
Gotcha!
5
Drum Solo
2
Drum Solo
7
Sputtering Songspinner
1
Sputtering Songspinner
Open deck in builder

I want to stress that these are not the most competitive decks and will not result in the swiftest climb. They will, however, result in moments of you laughing your butt off while you OTK your opponent with a double cast Absolver + Curse of the Tomb combo, or when you double-cast Pokey Stick for lethal in a Freljord deck!

Regions
Shurima
20 cards
Piltover & Zaun
20 cards
Rarities
27 100
champion
6
epic
3
rare
12
common
19
Mana cost
0
0
15
1
16
2
5
3
0
4
3
5
1
6
0
7+
Champions
6
2
Akshan
3
Akshan
2
Seraphine
3
Seraphine
Equipments
3
1
The Darkin Bloodletters
2
The Darkin Bloodletters
2
The Darkin Harp
1
The Darkin Harp
Followers
12
1
Fallen Feline
3
Fallen Feline
1
Forge Chief
1
Forge Chief
1
Forsaken Baccai
3
Forsaken Baccai
1
Treasure Seeker
1
Treasure Seeker
2
Ferros Financier
1
Ferros Financier
3
Station Archivist
2
Station Archivist
3
Vekauran Vagabond
1
Vekauran Vagabond
Spells
19
1
Piltovan Tellstones
1
Piltovan Tellstones
1
Scrying Sands
1
Scrying Sands
1
Shaped Stone
1
Shaped Stone
1
Shuriman Tellstones
2
Shuriman Tellstones
2
Mystic Shot
2
Mystic Shot
2
Ruinous Path
1
Ruinous Path
2
The Absolver
2
The Absolver
2
Time Trick
3
Time Trick
3
Curse of the Tomb
1
Curse of the Tomb
3
Quicksand
1
Quicksand
5
Drum Solo
3
Drum Solo
6
Sands of Time
1
Sands of Time
Open deck in builder

One thing I discovered while messing around with these decks and coming up with the lists is that The Darkin Harp is actually really good! I started with Akshan Seraphine as a way to test The Darkin Altar with Bloodletters and the Harp. That build proved to be too cute, but I did have some fun moments like playing a three-mana Xolaani and a five-mana Styraatu.

If you’re looking for something different to try or just hit a ranked floor and want to mess around with something a bit more experimental, then these are the decks for you! If you decide to change the lists up a bit and land on something you feel is quite strong I’d love to know!


Wrapping Up

Hope you enjoyed our first foray into the field! The Domination expansion has surely shaken the meta, and there's tons of decks to try – hope there's something here you may like to take for a spin, and do let us know how it went!



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