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The Way of The Wombats

If you've ever wanted to know how a competitive LoR team works, and what they do to prepare for tournaments - this is the article for you!

Hello everyone, I’m MonteXristo and I’m here today to give you all a look behind the curtains at what it’s like to be part of a Legends of Runeterra team!

For those of you that don’t know, I play for The Wobbly Wombats, we are pretty much just a group of friends who got together to play competitive team leagues such as the LBR and LRA (two Latin American team leagues that I can’t remember the full names of).

I actually joined the team after their initial LBR season and quickly found myself out of my depth.  Surrounded by players that I felt were far better than me, and losing almost every round. As you might imagine, I quickly became very demoralized. This is where I started to understand the benefits of being part of a CCG team. 

I voiced my concerns to my teammates, letting them know that I felt outclassed, out of place, and like I was only holding them back. They of course told me how silly that was! After all, they wouldn’t have invited me to join them if they didn’t think I was competent. This was great for my confidence but I still felt I wasn’t playing at the level I needed to, to feel like a valuable member of the team so we set to work on improving my play!

Convincing myself I belonged

How did we go about doing that?

We started doing regular reviews of my LBR games, at the time I was streaming regularly and we had plenty of VODs to go through once we ran out of LBR games to cover. When reviewing, we didn’t focus on specific misplays but rather on the theory behind why the plays were wrong. One example that sticks out in my mind still today was when we reviewed a ZoeZoe ViVi game I played in the LBR. 

I had two lines of play on turn two, Ballistic BotBallistic Bot or Mountain GoatMountain Goat and I opted to play the Ballistic BotBallistic Bot. My logic for this was, the ballistic bot needs time to scale and we don’t get value out of the ignitions until the turn after it’s played. It should be noted that I had the attack token and the enemy’s only board was ZoeZoe.

Yangzera pointed out why my logic was flawed. Mountain GoatMountain Goat immediately gains value on the attack by generating a GemGem. The GemGem can be played on the Ballistic BotBallistic Bot to buff it up to a higher attack value than a single ignition would. The Ballistic BotBallistic Bot will always passively generate value and pushes less damage up-front than Mountain GoatMountain Goat

This is just one of many theory lessons I learned from VOD review with my teammates.  Beyond VOD review we also focused on scrimmages through which I practiced my hand-reading and learned how to play specific matchups

Scrimming & Lineup Construction

Scrimming is still a HUGE part of what we do as a team; any time we are unsure about a matchup we just test it by playing it against each other, over, and over again. 

This is great for lineup construction as ladder stats are not always correct and we can identify the key cards in any given matchup. Another benefit of scrimming as a team is that we all share the info we gain; anything we learn gets posted in our discord server so others can benefit from the knowledge as well. Scrims also play into our last “team activity”, lineup building! 

We’re constantly firing off lineup ideas in our discord server. We bounce our thoughts off of each other, discuss why we believe a certain lineup will be good this week or why we think our teammate may be trolling by bringing it.

Lineup construction is not just about what three decks you’re going to bring, it’s also about what you’re going to tech your decks for, and collective testing makes the refinement process SO much faster.

This was very apparent at the start of this season when Demacia Yordles was very strong. As a team, we spent the entire first-week testing and refining the deck so we could figure out the best lineup to fit it in and the best build to beat the expected field. We ended up on a build that was very different from the rest out there, we played cards like Gruff GrenadierGruff Grenadier, FizzFizz and even one copy of FlamespitterFlamespitter because they made our deck better into the mirror. Gruff GrenadierGruff Grenadier played while a Yordle ExplorerYordle Explorer was on the field would become a 5/4 letting you threaten to trade even a buffed PoppyPoppy from the opponent. FizzFizz and FlamespitterFlamespitter gave you outs in matchups that were normally more difficult to win by letting you play for an elusive cheese gameplan. 

CameronHanzo came up with the original list for us to modify and everyone tested their own versions with tweaks here and there so we could be sure we didn’t overlook any possible card choices. Milk!!! brought Gruff to the table, I brought Fizz and Flamespitter… Through this team effort, we were able to curate, what we believed to be,  the best list for that meta-game.

Beyond the game

Outside the game, we are still a team. In our server we don’t only discuss LoR, we also talk about our personal lives, our goals, dreams, fears, and much more.

Shadawx is always ready to give life advice when we need it, something I am very grateful for. Shadawx is also a fellow Canadian and is constantly looking for ways to bring the community here together IRL. He is also one of the two players in the team I bounce my crack-pot deck ideas off the most. As our resident ‘mad scientist’, Shadawx comes up with the most exciting brews.

Dyna is the man to talk to if you’re having trouble in your love life or just need the hottest Nightfall list around -- Dyna’s a man who knows what he wants and how he’s going to get it. 

Anzini has become a very good friend of mine and I hope we’ll be able to meet IRL one day. 

Seku and Darkodius are always candid and honest with their advice, I’ve come to value their opinions a lot. Where Seku is wholesome, Darkodius is snarky and this contrast is often comical. 

Cheeserdude isn’t around as much now that school is underway but I learned more from one scrim session with him than I ever did on my own. If not for his training sessions, I’m not sure that I would have felt like I belonged in the team or that my play was up to their caliber. I’ll never forget panicking before my first Fight Night, unsure what I should bring or what match-ups were for the decks I was considering. Cheeser spent over three hours with me just scrimming and getting me ready.

Random7HS is quiet and a bit more reserved but he’s just as quick as anyone to show his support when a teammate has a great tournament run or to weigh in, cool and level-headed when asked for his opinion. I have an immense amount of respect for Random

Yangzera and Patpat bring so much energy to the team, they’re always hyping us up and doing everything they can to keep us from being too down on ourselves after a hard loss - more than once my mental has been revived mid-tourney by one of these gents. 

If you don’t know Cr0cAI you must not have played in a tournament, if you have, then you’ll know Cr0c is the GOAT - always there to hear you out and quick to fix any issues, he’s held down the fort and been our front line of communication with the LBR and LRA representatives. 

Rxbxn is the ultimate supporter, despite no longer playing LoR (he’s moved on to Hearthstone) he continues to pop into my streams and say hello whenever he sees me on. 

Lukio pops in every now and again -- a fellow Ekko Zilean enjoyer, he and I get along splendidly and it’s always a treat when he chimes in with a new deck build or just to say hello.

zTurtle is bogged down with school work lately but he’s one of the most understanding people I’ve ever met, quick to tell you when you’re wrong and to point out why so you can learn and grow as a person. He’s also worked very closely with the MasteringRuneterra team since the beginning.  

Spaiikz and I started our friendship before either of us became a Wombat. When I had just started streaming, I had been invited to a competitive community server that he was already a member of, and I was very vocal about my thoughts on the game. Spaiikz took notice of my passion and eagerness to improve and asked me if I would scrim him, at the time cross-shard still existed, I was taken aback. Here is this absolutely cracked player who competed in the previous EU Masters tournament and he’s asking ME to scrim?

I was so taken aback that I had to ask, “are you sure? IDK if these scrims will be beneficial to you, not that I don’t want to, but are you sure??” 

Spaiikz laughed and said yes, we spent the next week preparing for the next Seasonal together, and if memory serves he made top cut that season!

Sqweeby is one of the first streamer friends I made, he’s kind and genuine, I wouldn’t be half the content creator I am today without his example to follow suit and I definitely wouldn’t know how to make a youtube thumbnail!

Minasia is the young prodigy, bringing with him all the energy and creativity of the youth (not that the rest of us are old, except Shadawx, he’s a boomer), quick to test new techs, and always looking for the next hot deck. Minasia’s enthusiasm for the game is infectious! 

Kannan and Misterbear are our resident APAC players, despite the insane timezone difference they are both always aware of what’s going on with the rest of the team and they’ve come up with some of the strongest lineups we’ve ended up testing.

True Monarch is another teammate who has become a close friend, and he is one of the most caring and supportive persons I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. 

CameronHanzo is such a genuine person, he’s always quick to check-in if something happens and he’s always looking for new ways to get us to bond as teammates. Movie night was one of my favorites!

Then there’s B1tter…B1tter, B1tter, B1tter, bitter is our resident meme-lord. Watch what you say on Twitter because, like Pyke, he’s always there lurking, ready to “who cares+you fell off+ratio+bozo” you.

Eniamor is our second ‘mad scientist’ and he always keeps it real. When I need someone to tell me how it really is, I go to Eni. Worldly and cultured, Eni is always looking to expand his knowledge and better understand what makes people tick. Truly a gem of the community and someone I’ve been very glad to get to know.

Milk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! makes the final member of the (active) team. He is our unwavering leader, quick to solve any disputes, weigh in with his opinion on important matters, organize coordinated scrim sessions, and maintain our server.  Without Milk!!!!!!!!!! The Wobbly Wombats would not exist, I would not be half the player I am, and I wouldn’t have been so unbelievably blessed to have met all these amazing people I get to call my teammates.

However, our team is not just composed of our members. We have a few scrim partners who are honorary wombats or ‘wallabies’ as we have affectionately named them. These are some players you may recognize like Drisoth, MreMoetional, and Cephalopod. These gentlemen may not officially be part of the team but they are still teammates to me! Their input has been just as important and impactful as any full teammate’s and they all know they’re welcome to officially join us should they desire.

The Wisdom

The Wombats are not just a team, we’re a wisdom and together we’re stronger! I hope this article was insightful and informative. If you have more questions about how we operate or feel like there’s something I haven’t covered fully please drop them in the comments below or come by my stream and ask me directly.

We wiggle, we wobble, we win!

About the author

MonteXristo has been playing the game since closed beta and has consistently made it to masters every season he’s been active.  His accomplishments include having peaked in the top 20, taking first place in the “Streamer Sideboard Showdown” and LPP Riot Grand Prix. When he’s not writing for Mastering Runeterra he keeps his card-slinging skills sharp by playing in the Runeterra Academy tournament, with his team The Wobbly Wombats!

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