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Monte & Leer’s World Ender Meta Voyage

Monte & Leer take Ziggs Acolytes, Teemo Zoe, Taliyah Malphite, Taliyah Ziggs IO, and Leona Zoe for a spin in the LoR ladder!

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another voyage through the Legends of Runeterra meta-game with Leer and MonteXristo!

The World Championship has just finished, we’ve got a brand-new batch of cards, and the competitors have also gifted us with a whole bunch of new decks to take for a spin. We’ll talk you through what we thought of some of the different decks that you might expect to see in the upcoming weeks. There may also be some decks here that disappear in a week or two (as it's always the case with early meta-games); things are unstable and decks that may seem good can fall off hard once things settle. 


Mono Ziggs Reliquary

Regions
Shurima
28 cards
Bandlecity
15 cards
Rarities
17 500
champion
3
epic
2
rare
13
common
22
Mana cost
0
0
9
1
15
2
13
3
2
4
1
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
3
3
Ziggs
3
Ziggs
Landmarks
8
1
Acolyte's Reliquary
3
Acolyte's Reliquary
1
Hexplosive Minefield
2
Hexplosive Minefield
2
Preservarium
3
Preservarium
Followers
12
1
Inventive Chemist
3
Inventive Chemist
2
Ruinous Acolyte
3
Ruinous Acolyte
3
Endless Devout
3
Endless Devout
3
Waste Walker
2
Waste Walker
5
Safety Inspector
1
Safety Inspector
Spells
17
1
Construct of Desolation
1
Construct of Desolation
2
Drop the Bomb
3
Drop the Bomb
2
Pokey Stick
3
Pokey Stick
2
Rite of Passage
3
Rite of Passage
3
Rite of the Arcane
1
Rite of the Arcane
3
Unleashed Energy
2
Unleashed Energy
3
Unraveled Earth
2
Unraveled Earth
4
Rite of Negation
2
Rite of Negation
Open deck in builder

Monte’s Experience

This Ziggs deck really surprised me. I made a few changes from the original netdeck to suit my personal preferences, but there was no major issue with the original list.

When I first saw Acolyte's Reliquary I assumed the card would be bad because it ends up bricking your draw. What I didn’t realize is that you don’t need to use it right away in a deck that is built around having landmarks to destroy. For example, leaving it on the board for use with Rite of the ArcaneRite of the Arcane or Unleashed EnergyUnleashed Energy was really powerful. You can also play really hard into this with Rite of PassageRite of Passage and draw cards to make huge Ruinous AcolyteRuinous Acolytes in the late game.

This deck also has a surprising amount of burn through ZiggsZiggs! He ends up dealing tons of damage once leveled up, something that occurs rather quickly. We don’t have any real protection for Ziggs, though, so consider whether his attack is worth more than potential future damage off of landmarks. One cute trick is locking the opponent out with Ziggs (level 2)Ziggs (level 2) and Unraveled EarthUnraveled Earth, this can be quite difficult for any board-based deck to overcome. 

I had a ton of fun playing this deck – I’ve been looking for an archetype that utilizes Ziggs in this manner for a long time. I found it fun and amusing because although it is really linear, you can take a lot of different lines to set yourself up to achieve your endgame in different ways. This early-game puzzle makes games very interesting and fun, so I would definitely recommend you try this one out soon because I’m not sure it sticks around!


Leer’s Experience

I really liked Monte’s changes to the ladder list and netdecked his version (please don’t tell him). Waste WalkerWaste Walkers are the perfect addition to pressure our opponent early, considering that we rapidly destroy landmarks. This also blends in well with ZiggsZiggs’ level-up condition.

I’m not gonna lie – I got steamrolled my first few games because I was confused about how to realize the full potential of Ruinous AcolyteRuinous Acolyte. After a few tries, I started keeping ZiggsZiggs more often in my Mulligan, as he is an integral part in our combo and is usually leveled by round five.

Against RyzeRyze blends, I’m looking for PreservariumPreservarium to fill my hand and flood the board with Ruinous AcolyteRuinous Acolytes on one to two rounds, when the foe can’t react to all of them. 

I was impressed by the utility of Rite of PassageRite of Passage, as it allows us to either dig for a combo piece (by reviving PreservariumPreservarium), or give us another Acolyte's Reliquary to pressure the board.

As Monte explained, Holy Ziggs will hit the spot for any puzzle lovers that like to find the perfect line of play. What is the optima time to pop Acolyte's Reliquary? When is the best spot to drop ZiggsZiggs and transition into a burn game plan?

Just keep in mind that you will fail the first few times trying to crack the code. But be reassured: the trouble is worth the effort. If “having fun” is not a good enough reason for you to play this deck, worry none – Xerath’ Ziggs’ Acolytes have a 58% WR on the LoR ladder, making it one of the most powerful Legends of Runeterra decks right now!


Zoe Teemo

Regions
Piltover & Zaun
12 cards
Mount Targon
28 cards
Rarities
28 400
champion
6
epic
6
rare
2
common
26
Mana cost
3
0
11
1
17
2
3
3
3
4
3
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
1
Teemo
3
Teemo
1
Zoe
3
Zoe
Equipments
3
2
The Darkin Lodestone
3
The Darkin Lodestone
Followers
14
1
Acorn, the Hextechnician
3
Acorn, the Hextechnician
1
The Flight
2
The Flight
2
Esmus, Breath of the World
3
Esmus, Breath of the World
2
Lunari Shadestalker
3
Lunari Shadestalker
3
Winged Messenger
3
Winged Messenger
Spells
17
0
Poro Cannon
3
Poro Cannon
2
Celestial Blessing
2
Celestial Blessing
2
Mystic Shot
3
Mystic Shot
2
Pale Cascade
3
Pale Cascade
4
Purifying Flames
3
Purifying Flames
5
Battle Bonds
3
Battle Bonds
Open deck in builder

Monte’s Experience

Elusive SMOrc makes its return, slightly differently from the Domination build . With the nerf making The Sudden SurgeThe Sudden Surge to grow to 4/4 (rather than 5/5, as during Domination), we’ve abandoned BCBandle City in favor of PZPiltover & Zaun. This is because we gain access to the incredibly powerful Acorn, the HextechnicianAcorn, the Hextechnician, who lets us make use of our expensive buff spells, Battle BondsBattle Bonds and Purifying FlamesPurifying Flames, a round or two earlier.

Battle Bonds Purifying Flames

You don’t need to come out of the gates super fast every single game with this Elusives deck. It can be okay to pass into Purifying FlamesPurifying Flames for setup, before starting your Nexus beatdown. 

I like this version more than the Bandle list because I felt the setup of weapons was always awkward. Targon got Winged MessengerWinged Messenger this expansion, which gives us more than enough Elusive units to jump out of Bandle, and Celestial BlessingCelestial Blessing means that the Empowered activation is never a problem. As before, The Darkin LodestoneThe Darkin Lodestone makes for a great way to buff up your units in the early game while also giving you access to a game-ending buff through HoraziHorazi

This deck is going to be really good for climbing in the early days of the expansion – I felt a bit dirty playing it, to be honest. I would definitely be looking at Zoe Teemo for a tournament lineup, but I think I’ll stay away from it on the ladder for now. It’s not unfun but I’ve played enough elusives at this point, I’m good for now. If you’re looking for a strong deck to get under your belt, I expect this one to stick around. 


Leer’s Experience

As Monte observantly pointed out, Acorn, the HextechnicianAcorn, the Hextechnician and Purifying FlamesPurifying Flames are powerful additions to Zoe Teemo Elusives. Additionally, Mystic ShotMystic Shot makes for powerful burn that we lack in BCBandle City.

Despite these facts, I am personally not a big fan of the dip into PZPiltover & Zaun. This is because we lack blockers that give us the time to deal lethal damage with our Elusives. In BCBandle City we had access to Byrd, The BellringerByrd, The Bellringer, Bandle CommandoBandle Commando creating Hungry OwlcatHungry Owlcats, and Wandering ShepherdWandering Shepherd to fill that role – in PZPiltover & Zaun, we run none of those.

Another part I can’t wrap my head around is Poro CannonPoro Cannon. Except Supercool StarchartSupercool Starchart, we have no efficient discard targets, and we do not lack Elusive units to justify running this card. It might be that I am missing something about Poro CannonPoro Cannon, but in most of my games it sat dead in my hand, forcing me to discard a Battle BondsBattle Bonds or Mystic ShotMystic Shot to play it. In the end, the best discard target for Poro CannonPoro Cannon was another copy of Poro CannonPoro Cannon... =)

I like Teemo Zoe Elusives (to the point that I’ve written a guide about the Bandle version!). It is true that the nerf to The Sudden SurgeThe Sudden Surge is huge, to the point that for example we can’t kill KaynKayn anymore, and while this encouraged players and World competitors to scrutinize other regions for a better Elusive pairing, I believe that the PZPiltover & Zaun version overlooks the necessity to block enemy units. In a lot of games, I had to take suboptimal trades, giving up my Elusive units to survive an attack, where a non-Elusive one would’ve gotten the job done more efficiently. 

There is definitely something here, with the addition of Purifying FlamesPurifying Flames and Winged MessengerWinged Messenger, that needs more testing to be translated into a refined update of Teemo Zoe…

… or maybe I’m just being a dumbo and miss the point of this new version. I’d say 50/50! =)


Taliyah Malphite & Taliyah Ziggs

Monte’s Experience

I opted to group these two decks together as I feel they’re similar. Taliyah Malphite is World's competitor GrandpaRoji’s signature deck, and this is his list card for card. I was really impressed by how good the deck felt to me, but I have been a long-time Taliyah Malphite fanboy.

Regions
Shurima
28 cards
Mount Targon
12 cards
Rarities
28 400
champion
6
epic
4
rare
13
common
17
Mana cost
0
0
6
1
9
2
11
3
4
4
5
5
2
6
3
7+
Champions
6
5
Taliyah
3
Taliyah
7
Malphite
3
Malphite
Landmarks
7
1
Ancient Preparations
3
Ancient Preparations
2
Preservarium
2
Preservarium
4
Salt Spire
2
Salt Spire
Followers
15
1
Chip
3
Chip
2
Blue Sentinel
2
Blue Sentinel
2
Rock Hopper
3
Rock Hopper
3
Endless Devout
3
Endless Devout
3
Rockbear Shepherd
2
Rockbear Shepherd
6
Stonebreaker
2
Stonebreaker
Spells
12
2
The Absolver
2
The Absolver
3
Quicksand
2
Quicksand
3
Rite of the Arcane
2
Rite of the Arcane
3
Unraveled Earth
2
Unraveled Earth
4
Rite of Negation
2
Rite of Negation
5
Sunburst
2
Sunburst
Open deck in builder

Still, I don’t know if there has been a better meta-game for the Taliyah Malphite deck: Roji brought it to worlds, and previous World Champion Alan praised him for his lineup choice. 

The other deck, Taliyah Ziggs Ionia, is the brainchild of our new World Champion, EMEA’s Aragornn. This Greek player managed to brew up something no one else seemed to even consider, and it’s quite strong!

Regions
Shurima
36 cards
Ionia
4 cards
Rarities
30 100
champion
6
epic
5
rare
16
common
13
Mana cost
0
0
6
1
10
2
16
3
3
4
5
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Ziggs
3
Ziggs
5
Taliyah
3
Taliyah
Landmarks
8
1
Ancient Preparations
3
Ancient Preparations
2
Preservarium
3
Preservarium
2
The Black Flame
2
The Black Flame
Followers
12
1
Forsaken Baccai
3
Forsaken Baccai
2
Rock Hopper
3
Rock Hopper
3
Endless Devout
3
Endless Devout
3
Rockbear Shepherd
3
Rockbear Shepherd
Spells
14
2
The Absolver
2
The Absolver
3
Quicksand
2
Quicksand
3
Rite of the Arcane
3
Rite of the Arcane
3
Unraveled Earth
2
Unraveled Earth
4
Rite of Negation
3
Rite of Negation
5
Unworthy Soul
2
Unworthy Soul
Open deck in builder

Making use of the new landmark, The Black FlameThe Black Flame, as a way to duplicate your Taliyah (or any other powerful unit you have) was absolutely genius! This landmark is also just a good way to gain extra value out of summon effects. You can even use it as a way to heal a unit, by capturing and releasing it. 

Both these decks were a lot of fun and brought me a good amount of success. They were a good bit stronger than previous iterations, namely due to Rockbear ShepherdRockbear Shepherd. They did, however, suffer when I began to encounter aggressive players on champless burn, Discard aggro, and Annie Jhin. I expect there to be some form of a landmark deck in the upcoming meta, although which one exactly is left to be seen. But, you should definitely pick one to learn and play as there are a lot of transferable skills on these decks.

Whichever one you choose, be sure to manage your board space. One of the trickiest things is knowing when you can develop, or and when you have to refrain so you have space for Taliyah: the last thing you want is to find yourself in a spot where you’re burning your duplicated landmark off Taliyah’s summon effect. There are spots where it’s correct to do exactly that, but more often than not you’ll want to get your value. 


Zoe Leona

Leer’s Experience

When I saw Leona being brought to Worlds, I just had to try it out myself. I netdecked this list card for card from Worlds competitor Da Tank Buster.

Regions
Demacia
10 cards
Mount Targon
30 cards
Rarities
29 800
champion
6
epic
6
rare
9
common
19
Mana cost
0
0
6
1
18
2
3
3
0
4
9
5
1
6
3
7+
Champions
6
1
Zoe
3
Zoe
5
Leona
3
Leona
Followers
20
1
Solari Soldier
3
Solari Soldier
2
Laurent Duelist
2
Laurent Duelist
2
Solari Shieldbearer
3
Solari Shieldbearer
2
Solari Sunhawk
3
Solari Sunhawk
2
Twilit Protector
3
Twilit Protector
3
Sun Guardian
3
Sun Guardian
5
Rahvun, Daylight's Spear
3
Rahvun, Daylight's Spear
Spells
14
2
Pale Cascade
3
Pale Cascade
2
Sharpsight
1
Sharpsight
2
Single Combat
3
Single Combat
5
Concerted Strike
1
Concerted Strike
5
Sunburst
2
Sunburst
6
Celestial Trifecta
1
Celestial Trifecta
8
Champions' Strength
3
Champions' Strength
Open deck in builder

As noted in the World Championship decks article from yesterday, Zoe Leona is supposed to counter Champions' StrengthChampions, and since those archetypes are not too common in the LoR ladder I didn’t have high expectations for this list. 

And what ended up happening was exactly that – I didn’t run into any Champions' StrengthChampions blends ,and found letdowns like Solari ShieldbearerSolari Shieldbearer and Laurent DuelistLaurent Duelist in my hand. The games I did end up winning were against RyzeRyze decks, because they are free like AM players at Worlds, and when I drew Champions' StrengthChampions. With how this list is built, we lack the late-game to out-muscle control archetypes, and instead run two-drops that in reality serve no other use than being Champions' StrengthChampions targets. Unfortunately, this reliance on Champions' StrengthChampions makes us weak against Rite of NegationRite of Negation and we lack the usual alternative of The Winding LightThe Winding Light.

If I had to go again, I’d go for the Leona DEDemacia version of another Worlds competitor – ABG Aurora’s Leona Aurelion Sol.

Regions
Demacia
7 cards
Mount Targon
33 cards
Rarities
25 500
champion
5
epic
4
rare
13
common
18
Mana cost
0
0
3
1
11
2
6
3
5
4
10
5
0
6
5
7+
Champions
5
5
Leona
3
Leona
10
Aurelion Sol
2
Aurelion Sol
Followers
21
1
Solari Soldier
3
Solari Soldier
2
Solari Shieldbearer
1
Solari Shieldbearer
2
Solari Sunhawk
3
Solari Sunhawk
3
Solari Priestess
3
Solari Priestess
3
Sun Guardian
3
Sun Guardian
4
Solari Sunforger
3
Solari Sunforger
5
Rahvun, Daylight's Spear
3
Rahvun, Daylight's Spear
7
Eclipse Dragon
2
Eclipse Dragon
Spells
14
2
Guiding Touch
1
Guiding Touch
2
Pale Cascade
3
Pale Cascade
2
Single Combat
3
Single Combat
4
Riposte
2
Riposte
5
Concerted Strike
1
Concerted Strike
5
Sunburst
3
Sunburst
8
Champions' Strength
1
Champions' Strength
Open deck in builder

This list scales down the amount of two-drops and replaces them with the value-seeking Solari PriestessSolari Priestess and Eclipse DragonEclipse Dragon for more longveity, and Aurelion SolAurelion Sol over ZoeZoe makes us less reliant on Champions' StrengthChampions to close out the game.


Wrapping Up

… and that’s it for our first dip into the early Legends of Runeterra meta that World Ender has brought us! With Worlds decks tested, and a new World Champion crowned, we are in for an exciting and chaotic meta. And, as we can see in brews like Mono Ziggs (which nobody in Worlds found), the LoR meta is far from figured out.

We hope you got an idea of what some of these archetypes do in this article, and encourage you to try them yourself!



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