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Monte & Leer Voyage Into The New Meta

Is Ashe LeBlanc good now? Did Pantheon survive the nerfs? Are Scouts really back? Monte and Leer set out to find out!

Ashe LeBlanc

Regions
Freljord
22 cards
Noxus
18 cards
Rarities
29 000
champion
6
epic
4
rare
16
common
14
Mana cost
0
0
4
1
9
2
12
3
8
4
4
5
1
6
2
7+
Champions
6
3
LeBlanc
3
LeBlanc
4
Ashe
3
Ashe
Followers
20
1
Omen Hawk
2
Omen Hawk
2
Icevale Archer
3
Icevale Archer
2
Trifarian Gloryseeker
3
Trifarian Gloryseeker
3
Avarosan Trapper
3
Avarosan Trapper
3
Thorn of the Rose
1
Thorn of the Rose
4
Trifarian Assessor
3
Trifarian Assessor
5
Avarosan Hearthguard
3
Avarosan Hearthguard
8
Incisive Tactician
2
Incisive Tactician
Spells
14
1
Brittle Steel
2
Brittle Steel
2
Troll Chant
3
Troll Chant
3
Culling Strike
3
Culling Strike
3
Flash Freeze
2
Flash Freeze
4
Whispered Words
2
Whispered Words
5
Harsh Winds
1
Harsh Winds
6
Reckoning
1
Reckoning
Open deck in builder

Ashe LeBlanc is a fusion of two different concepts. 

The LeBlanc package aims to deal high amounts of unit damage with their fragile bodies. That’s because they want to level LeBlancLeBlanc ASAP, and trigger the Reputation cards Incisive TacticianIncisive Tactician and Whispered WordsWhispered Words.

You hear the word Reputation for the first time because it’s a dead mechanic?

Let us help you out!

What’s the biggest weakness of the LeBlanc package?

Their frail bodies, dummy! 

The Ashe package is trying to create favorable trades through Frostbiting enemy units. What’s their biggest strength? Protecting frail bodies! =)

Naturally, Ashe and LeBlanc complement each other effectively. Especially AsheAshe and Trifarian GloryseekerTrifarian Gloryseeker work well together. The same can be said for Frostbites and Culling StrikeCulling Strike

The main power of this deck stems from Trifarian AssessorTrifarian Assessor, though. Unit-centered archetypes tend to struggle with card advantage, and Trifarian AssessorTrifarian Assessor allows us to refill our hand in an unfair way, often drawing us 3+ cards, especially when we developed Avarosan Hearthguard Avarosan Hearthguard beforehand.


Leer’s Experience

I've been aware of this archetype for a long time now, mainly due to Boky playing it on stream. When I saw AsheAshe, Avarosan Hearthguard Avarosan Hearthguard , and Trifarian AssessorTrifarian Assessor get buffed this patch, I decided it was time to play it myself.

If there’s one word I associate Ashe LeBlanc with, it's “unfair”. Drawing 3+ cards with Trifarian AssessorTrifarian Assessor, or Challenging a Frostbitten unit with Trifarian GloryseekerTrifarian Gloryseeker feels rewarding and unfair.

Unnecessary to say, I enjoy playing the deck! =)

Personally, I find AsheAshe to be overvalued when it comes to keeping her alive.

If you manage to kill a unit with her Frostbite for free, but she gets blocked in the process and kills her blocker, that’s a two-for-one trade in our favor. I found myself seldomly leveling her, and I believe the buff to her level-up condition she received this patch isn’t that impactful.

On the other hand, I found LeBlancLeBlanc to be incredibly valuable!

Her 5/2 Quick Attack body trades into almost everything, and it’s hard to kill her through combat alone. Her main drawback, besides out-of-combat removal like Mystic ShotMystic Shot, is getting chump blocked. But thanks to the Mirror ImageMirror Image she creates when leveling, LeBlancLeBlanc is great at mitigating this weakness. 

Mirror ImageMirror Image is the second MVC (most valuable card) of the deck.

Since the deck runs many powerful “when summoned” units, Mirror ImageMirror Image naturally synergizes well with the deck. It can draw you cards by copying Trifarian AssessorTrifarian Assessor, buff your deck with Avarosan Hearthguard Avarosan Hearthguard , or Rally with Incisive TacticianIncisive Tactician. Worst case, it creates a five-attack unit to swing with, similar to Waking SandsWaking Sands.

One card I found a little awkward is Avarosan TrapperAvarosan Trapper. They shuffle a one-mana 5|5 Yeti on top of your deck, which is cool in the early game. But when you are in the mid- to late-game and need to top-deck a comeback card like Trifarian AssessorTrifarian Assessor, playing Avarosan TrapperAvarosan Trapper and shuffling a blank unit on top of your draw pile sucks. 

Where the deck falls short is against the aforementioned out-of-combat removal. If there are no enemy units to create favorable trades with, Ashe Leblanc will struggle. Unfortunately, one of those decks, Twisted Fate Annie, is the most played archetype in the meta. 

In general, Ashe LeBlanc doesn’t have many favorable matchups in the current meta. It can't deal with Nami TF’s Elusive units, struggles against Aphelios Zoe swarming the board, and Annie Jhin’s aggro playstyle.

It’s not that Ashe LeBlanc is a bad deck, it’s just that the meta doesn’t comply. The buffs to Ashe LeBlanc were beneficial (obviously), but nerfs to Demacia are, in a way, detrimental to our deck: we have very good matchups into them, so when Demacia is nerfed and its play rate decreases, the meta becomes a bit more hostile for the Black Rose and the Treasure Hunter. 

Ashe LeBlanc thrives on creating favorable trades with costly enemy units, just like in most Demacia decks. With the absence of Demacian archetypes from the ladder comes an absence of positive WR numbers for Ashe LeBlanc.


Scouts

Monte's Experience

Miss Fortune'sssss backkkk! Scouts have returned with some new cards!

As it turns out, Inspiring LightInspiring Light is a really good card in Scouts. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it for a moment: this is and always has been a deck that likes to go wide, especially in its current iterations (we were basically Demacia YiA for the last two seasons), so we're going to greatly benefit from a card that buffs our entire board. This is the current version of the deck:

Regions
Demacia
29 cards
Bilgewater
11 cards
Rarities
30 100
champion
6
epic
5
rare
16
common
13
Mana cost
0
0
4
1
15
2
6
3
6
4
6
5
3
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Miss Fortune
3
Miss Fortune
5
Quinn
3
Quinn
Followers
24
1
Fleetfeather Tracker
3
Fleetfeather Tracker
2
Brightsteel Protector
1
Brightsteel Protector
2
Durand Sculptor
3
Durand Sculptor
2
Marai Warden
3
Marai Warden
2
Petricite Broadwing
3
Petricite Broadwing
3
Vanguard Sergeant
3
Vanguard Sergeant
4
Island Navigator
3
Island Navigator
4
Zap Sprayfin
2
Zap Sprayfin
6
Genevieve Elmheart
3
Genevieve Elmheart
Spells
10
1
Ranger's Resolve
1
Ranger's Resolve
2
Inspiring Light
3
Inspiring Light
2
Sharpsight
2
Sharpsight
4
Relentless Pursuit
1
Relentless Pursuit
5
Golden Aegis
3
Golden Aegis
Open deck in builder

Previously, like wayyyy back, we played Vanguard BannermanVanguard Bannerman to achieve the same effect, but the deck has evolved since then to better incorporate the go-wide playstyle. After we switched to Island NavigatorIsland Navigator from Grizzled RangerGrizzled Ranger we no longer had the necessary ratios for an Allegiance card and were forced to drop it despite the value it provided. 

As odd as it may seem, a simple buff of +1/+1 bumps most of your units HP up to an awkward breakpoint. This makes it very difficult for your opponent to trade down the board effectively and efficiently. 

We can capitalize on this with a For Demacia!For Demacia! to heal them all back up and force our opponent to block. Once they have no board left we can simply rally to finish them off!

Scouts has come a long way from the Miss Fortune combo deck it was in the past. It now has multiple avenues of attack, and different play patterns that are better depending on the situation. The key to doing well with this deck is understanding when Miss Fortune is your win condition, and when your win condition is a six-wide For Demacia!! rally turn. 

Once you've identified which matchup is which, you can start to aggressively mulligan for the pieces you'll need. Not every matchup is one or the other, and sometimes you'll whiff on the ideal win-con for a matchup. When that happens you'll have to make due with what you have to try and close out the game. 

I think Scouts is incredibly well positioned at the moment as it beats both Nami and Aphelios. I'm highly considering it for my own seasonal lineup this time around and would recommend you start practicing it now if you are as well.


Azir Irelia

There’s probably no soul that doesn’t know Azir Irelia.

Regions
Ionia
26 cards
Shurima
14 cards
Rarities
26 500
champion
6
epic
3
rare
9
common
22
Mana cost
0
0
10
1
14
2
6
3
5
4
5
5
0
6
0
7+
Champions
6
3
Azir
3
Azir
3
Irelia
3
Irelia
Landmarks
4
1
Ancient Preparations
1
Ancient Preparations
2
Emperor's Dais
3
Emperor's Dais
Followers
17
1
Dunekeeper
2
Dunekeeper
1
Sparring Student
3
Sparring Student
1
Treasure Seeker
2
Treasure Seeker
2
Greenglade Duo
2
Greenglade Duo
2
Ribbon Dancer
3
Ribbon Dancer
2
The Stagehand
1
The Stagehand
4
Field Musicians
2
Field Musicians
5
Blossoming Blade
2
Blossoming Blade
Spells
13
1
Rite of Calling
1
Rite of Calling
1
Shaped Stone
1
Shaped Stone
2
Lead and Follow
2
Lead and Follow
2
Nopeify!
1
Nopeify!
2
Twin Disciplines
2
Twin Disciplines
4
Homecoming
2
Homecoming
4
Rite of Negation
1
Rite of Negation
5
Defiant Dance
3
Defiant Dance
Open deck in builder

No, I mean, seriously: no soul. I even asked my grandmother what Azir Irelia is, and she correctly responded it’s a spawn of hell. 


Leer’s Experience

IreliaIrelia’s buff was absolutely massive. Thanks to her Attune, we can play round two Emperor's Dais or Greenglade DuoGreenglade Duo into round three IreliaIrelia + Flawless DuetFlawless Duet. This is a game-changer and the reason the archetype is so popular again.

Azir Irelia was the first thing I tested on (early) patch day since I was on the same hype train many were on. The deck was fun to play before the buff and is even more so after it.

The main problems I ran into are TF Annie and Annie Jhin. The twisted school girl seems to be the bane of the Shuriman Emperor and Ionian Dancer, and half of my games felt decided on the loading screen... 

… although the other half of the games were fun and engaging though, for example against TF Nami or Jayce Heimerdinger SI. 

Personally, I find the deck too ambivalent to enjoy playing on ladder, but in tournaments we can see the deck thrive (e.g. in the winning lineup of the GGtoor x MasteringRuneterra Cup).

If you want to learn the intricacies of Azir Irelia, check out my Premium in-depth guide (link)! =)


Monte's Experience

Azirelia is a deck I've been a huge fan of ever since it was created, and I'm thrilled that it's playable yet again.

The current list I've been on is a little bit different than the one I tried out last patch. With Irelia gaining Attune, you can afford to play more mana-intensive protection like Lead and FollowLead and Follow.

Regions
Ionia
28 cards
Shurima
12 cards
Rarities
25 400
champion
6
epic
2
rare
9
common
23
Mana cost
0
0
11
1
14
2
7
3
2
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
21
1
Dunekeeper
3
Dunekeeper
1
Shadow Apprentice
3
Shadow Apprentice
1
Sparring Student
3
Sparring Student
2
Greenglade Duo
2
Greenglade Duo
2
Ribbon Dancer
3
Ribbon Dancer
2
The Stagehand
2
The Stagehand
4
Field Musicians
2
Field Musicians
5
Blossoming Blade
3
Blossoming Blade
Spells
10
1
Rite of Calling
2
Rite of Calling
2
Lead and Follow
2
Lead and Follow
2
Twin Disciplines
2
Twin Disciplines
3
Ancient Hourglass
1
Ancient Hourglass
5
Defiant Dance
3
Defiant Dance
Open deck in builder

One card that has carried over from the last list is The StagehandThe Stagehand; providing ready access to a stun and an Ephemeral unit to beef up your Shadow ApprenticeShadow Apprentices, Stagehand is a welcome addition to Azirelia.

The deck is really well positioned because it has excellent game into Ahri Bard, Bard Demacia, Nami, and whatever other Shurima deck you may encounter (Sun Disc and Viego both roll over for us).

If you can believe it, the list has become more aggressive in its latest iteration. I personally pilot the deck in a manner that prioritizes early elusive damage from Shadow Apprentice. As I'm playing the deck in this hyper-aggressive way, I'm often keeping hands full of one-drops. I'm not 100% certain this is correct but I have been having good success with the strategy. You can see me put this strategy into practice and kill my opponent on turn four here.

As you can see, the deck can do some nasty things. It's not every day you see a 16 damage swing on round four. 

If you're a fan of aggressive tempo decks, Azirelia is definitely a list I would recommend picking up. Not only is it incredibly fun but it's a great deck to have in your back pocket for tournaments.


Pantheon Yuumi

Regions
Demacia
14 cards
Mount Targon
26 cards
Rarities
23 600
champion
6
epic
0
rare
11
common
23
Mana cost
0
0
4
1
16
2
12
3
5
4
3
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
2
Brightsteel Protector
2
Mountain Goat
3
Mountain Goat
3
Wounded Whiteflame
3
Wounded Whiteflame
Spells
23
1
Chain Vest
1
Chain Vest
2
Guiding Touch
3
Guiding Touch
2
Pale Cascade
3
Pale Cascade
2
Sharpsight
2
Sharpsight
2
Single Combat
3
Single Combat
3
Cataclysm
3
Cataclysm
3
Zenith Blade
3
Zenith Blade
4
Bastion
2
Bastion
5
Concerted Strike
1
Concerted Strike
5
Golden Aegis
2
Golden Aegis
Open deck in builder

Pantheon Yuumi got dunked on this patch.

Brightsteel ProtectorBrightsteel Protector lost the right to block Fearsome units, or survive pokes by a stick. PantheonPantheon lost the ability to Scout ahead for his comrades. And most importantly, Zenith BladeZenith Blade’s Overwhelming impact isn’t permanent anymore.


Leer’s Experience

Riot, what did you do to my ripped hero?

Pantheon Yuumi was my favorite deck. It was my go-to option when building a tournament lineup, and it was the light that let me know there were no monsters hiding in the dark so I could fall asleep. No, I couldn’t just abandon my pillar of goodwill and love in face of this calamity.

I decided to switch one Brightsteel ProtectorBrightsteel Protector for a Chain VestChain Vest to have more variability, and be more solid against Azir Irelia and aggro. 

On ladder, the deck felt surprisingly good despite the nerfs. It still is incredibly efficient at growing Fated units while cycling cards to find PantheonPantheon.

Zenith BladeZenith Blade is still a worthy inclusion in the deck, because it’s a self-replacing tool to activate Fated and progress PantheonPantheon’s level-up condition. And the stat buffs Zenith BladeZenith Blade provides are permanent, so it still helps with keeping your Fated units alive. 

But the Overhelm provided by Zenith Blade now being "Give" rather than "Grant" – therefore no longer being permanent – undoubtedly loses us games. We can’t open-attack with an Overwhelm unit, which makes us susceptible to Slow-speed stuns and Recalls like Arachnoid SentryArachnoid Sentry or Defiant DanceDefiant Dance, and game-ending Slow-speed cards like DecimateDecimate or Blossoming BladeBlossoming Blade

It is also impossible now to set up an open swing with a leveling YuumiYuumi to protect your Overwhelm unit. If I had to put it in numbers, the nerf to Zenith BladeZenith Blade probably cost Pantheon Yuumi’s winrate around 4-5% points. 

Does that mean Pantheon Yuumi is dead?

I don’t think so… yet. It will take some time to figure out where the archetype stands in the grand scheme of things, and in the current meta of TF Annie and Azir Irelia it’s unfavoured. But I still believe the deck has solid potential.

After all, Riot can nerf Pantheon Yuumi in this mortal card game realm, but it can’t nerf the Pantheon Yuumi in my heart.


Nami Fizz (BC) 


Monte's Experience

So, I'm going to preface this by saying I don't think this is better than Nami SI, and I don't have a good reason to tell you to play it over Nami SI. If you're looking to add a hyper competitive list to your arsenal or you're trying to seriously grind the ladder then you should play the SI version. 

Regions
Bilgewater
26 cards
Bandlecity
17 cards
Rarities
31 900
champion
6
epic
7
rare
14
common
13
Mana cost
0
0
10
1
9
2
7
3
3
4
6
5
3
6
2
7+
Champions
6
1
Fizz
3
Fizz
3
Nami
3
Nami
Followers
14
1
Otterpus
3
Otterpus
2
Conchologist
2
Conchologist
2
Coral Creatures
2
Coral Creatures
5
Fleet Admiral Shelly
3
Fleet Admiral Shelly
6
Wiggly Burblefish
3
Wiggly Burblefish
8
Riptide Rex
1
Riptide Rex
Spells
20
1
Scrapheap
1
Scrapheap
1
Trinket Trade
3
Trinket Trade
2
Answered Prayer
2
Answered Prayer
2
Pokey Stick
3
Pokey Stick
3
Double Trouble
3
Double Trouble
3
Stress Defense
1
Stress Defense
4
Tentacle Smash
3
Tentacle Smash
5
Eye of Nagakabouros
3
Eye of Nagakabouros
10
Treasured Trash
1
Treasured Trash
Open deck in builder

With that out of the way – Nami Fizz BC is probably my favorite deck of all time. I have long felt that the deck could use a bit of burn as a way to finish off some games but did not trust Double UpDouble Up to do the job. With the most recent patch we FINALLY got a Riptide RexRiptide Rex revert! Of course I immediately slammed him into the deck, and wouldn't you know it, it feels pretty good!

Between Rex and Treasured TrashTreasured Trash, we have the top-end on lock. My previous versions had also cut Fleet Admiral ShellyFleet Admiral Shelly in favor of Mind MeldMind Meld, but with the meta shifting to its current state, and the addition of some powerful cards like Tentacle SmashTentacle Smash, it's now more reliable to play for Shelly. 

This deck did very well for me on the ladder – after the patch I played it exclusively from 0 to 250 LP going 31-16. That's a 65.96% win-rate! I hate quoting my personal records in articles since I feel it can be disingenuous at times but here I feel it's necessary to do so, so that I can show the deck has some legs. 

You'll want to play this like any other Nami deck, prioritizing her level-up progress from rounds one through five. Once you've flipped your mermaid, you can begin to pop off with your buffs.

One thing that is very important for you to know when piloting this deck is when to trade  – so you can solo-buff a Fizz – and when to prioritize keeping a wide board. A good rule of thumb for this is: Fizz is excellent against anything with removal (i.e. Noxus PnZ, SI Freljord).

This deck is a ton of fun and you will learn a thing or two about Nami's general play patterns. If you can't get Nami SI to click for you, consider using this deck as training wheels. 


Closing Words

We hope you have enjoyed this Voyage as much as we did – and if you add any of these decks to your Ladder or Lineups choices, good luck out there!



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