Another Seasonal tournament has come and gone, this time Worldwalker's seasonal results shone a spotlight not on the newest champions, but on the impact support cards can have for their archetypes! Only two of the four newest champions showed up in the top 32 to a notable extent, with the most visible of them still eclipsed by champions that had been out of style for quite some time coming back in overwhelming force. Let's look at a breakdown of archetypes and champions before diving into the lineups.
A lot of the info here is to be expected, with the top three decks being the predicted top three by many outlets, with the minor note of Aphelios Viktor showing up a lot more than the ladder-dominant Aphelios Zoe version. Fourth in the ranking is a deck that took ladder by storm in the week leading up to seasonals, proving it is more than an anomaly by lodging 7 copies of the Croc in top 32. This is followed closely by Jayce Heimer control and Ahri Bard rounding out the notable datapoints.
While the chart only shows the number of decks with at least one copy of the champion in question, I don't think anyone expected VI to top this list even with that caveat! More than a few of the decks that typically saw three Aphelios, two support champs (Zoe or Viktor), and one Vi shifted the formula, opting for TWO Vi due to her power and potency in the meta, with few decks packing efficient removal for her. Following behind the deluge of moonboy and punchgirl, we have thralls, bard variations, and expected followups. The last interesting data points come from the regions seen in the top 32.
This one tells us that the more things change the more they stay the same, the regions with the most multifaceted interaction tools, PnZ and Shadow Isles, are still near the absolute top. With Shurima in there due to their powerful tools for landmark decks, and Croc stuff. Some day we may evolve past the baseline of Mystic Shot as an everpresent measuring stick, but it sure as hay wasn't worldwalker's job to do that.
With the overall look done, lets dig into the lineups!
5-8th Place - ak jta
Immediately we have an example of Mystic Shots and the PnZ value suite being very powerful right now. This is almost entirely the Aphelios Winding Light shell but with Bard, Byrd, and Esmus scooched right in there to get more value off your cyclers drawing through the deck. It has a large amount of card generators to flip Viktor, and the thought of landing a chime or chimes on either a Poro or Viktor seem quite potent. It is a list I have not seen before this but to me it demonstrates the power of the shell plus how versatile Bard is more than anything else.
Heimerdinger Jayce SI
Our staple control list came out in force today. Jta has a rather typical build of it, opting in to a Tellstone for the versatility and double turret off Heimerdinger. His list also goes for Flash of Brilliance to add more of an unexpected factor and explosively fill the board the moment Heimer touches down.
Aphelios Vi Zoe
If you're reading an article about tournament results, you're likely already at least mildly acquainted with this deck. It aims to fill the board with cheap top-heavy units and chip in aggressively, utilizing Zoe, and Aphelios as early pressure and value tools, before finishing the game with a Turn 5-7 Winding Light swing. It makes heavy use of the discard value package in Zaunite Urchin, Boom Baboon and Sump Dredger in concert with other units that make things like Zoe, Lunari Duskbringer, Ferros Financier, and Mountain Goat. This potent list has shown up since shortly after Winding Light dropped with various tweaks here and there.
Notably, we see the 2 Vi 1 Zoe version here with the opt for one of Hush rather than the typical Moonlight affliction, leveraging the Vialue a 5-drop challenger with tough brings to the table, and the cheapness of Hush as a burst answer to problematic threats.
5-8th Place - AJTehPro
Aphelios Viktor Vi
The Viktor variant looks to make itself stronger for a long game if they can't run the opponent down with a turbo winding light. Through having Viktor as a massive threat that can slowly take over the game in addition to Aphelios, there is a lot more pressure put on the opponent to invest multiple cards to answer your threats. AJ's version also opts for no silence effects and one Iterative Improvement, something that goes quite well with chompers, Winding light, or just stealing what your opponent has and doing it better.
Nami Twisted Fate SI
The second of our marquis control-style decks in the format, this one is less popular overall and has a lower general winrate due to it's higher skill floor, but does have a much higher skill ceiling as well. It aims to follow a typical Nami leveling gameplan, playing spells for removal and generating blockers, playing a Twisted Fate as a removal piece before threatening to level him as a potent win con, and able to fall back on dropping Nami or a Shelly alongside 1-5 Wiggly Burblefish to OTK the opponent. This version has some interesting changes, including no Harrowing that the deck is known for, and an inclusion of a Bone Skewer to protect key threats like Nami and TF.
Papercraft Croc is a deck that has stormed the ladder over the last week, boasting ludicrous winrates from higher elo players and having an immense amount of inherent power. With the predators that stopped the original Papercraft Gnar Akshan deck missing, this deck has come back to prominence fielding three Rite of Negation to stop interaction, and having the capacity to toss out a Ruin Runner, into Papercraft holding mana for Rite on curve. The notable Tech choice here is opting into a Stress Defense which is crippling in the mirror and a great way to get a one turn window when your opponent is swinging for the game to allow for a lethal crack-back!
5-8th Place - Squallywag
I hear they nerfed this deck, all that did was get the deck-of-the-month players off it so that it can thrive. With the huge nerf of the countdown doubler, the deck has opted to up the amount of Avalances and early interaction again since turboing out 3+ thralls is a bit less viable now. The inclusion of Harbinger of Thralls and Sands of Time leave it an absolute powerhouse and menace in the current meta. Notable choices in Squallywag's version are one of Quicksand, a Buried in Ice to stop blocks or attacks for a critical turn cycle, and no additional freezes outside of Three Sisters
Sandy Viego has been a Bo3 staple for some time now, this version opting for less Vengeance since it isn't that efficient in the current meta, and going for one Mist's Call.
The Bizarro version of Renekton Papercraft, this list opts to play a bit slower for more consistency and board control, having early drops to hold down the board better, and more Wallops in the form of Gnar alongside the Pokey(s) he can generate.
This is the closest we have to a stock list right now, the only difference from Squally's is -1 Quicksand and +1 Imagined Possibilities to up consistency.
Nami Twisted Fate Shadow Isles
Speaking of stock, this! Featuring the Harrowing, three Tellstones, and exactly one (1) Answered Prayer as an additional body making spell.
Aphelios Vi Viktor
The spice in this list is upping the Sketcher count to two to get more silencing and discounting celestial cards and one (1) Blinded mystic to get around Spellshield for silences and do so at focus/unit speed.
Nearly stock aside from -1 Imagined and +1 Preservarium for early value and curving out.
Caitlyn Elise Jayce
Sentinel Control is a deck we have seen on the downswing for some time now, this one goes hard though, having the full six sentinels, Ferros, Aloof, and three Albus as game enders.
Feel the Rush is still around and taking names, this version is heavy on the ramp with three Faces of the Old Ones and one Voices of the Old Ones in addition to Catalysts and all the cheap and aoe removal you can shake a stick at.
3/4th Place - Ptash
The more wholesome Trundle deck that falls into mediocrity when it doesn't find it's one-cost spell Concurrent Timelines. It aims to make use of powerful play or enter the field effects by swapping out smaller bodies for big ones with Concurrent, making things like Aloof, Revna, and Ice Pillar incredibly efficient threats. This version also opts for a Blighted Ravine. Because Ravine is cool.
Aphelios Vi Zoe
This variant on the Aph PnZ list goes for a We Stand Together to keep your more fragile threats out of common removal range like Aphelios and Zoe, it also has a Sunhawk as a develop punisher.
This version of thralls goes in for one Succumb to the Cold over a Kindly Tavernkeeper to be able to target freeze singular attackers effectively.
Aphelios Vi Viktor
After X versions of the deck, we have nearly a stock version. One Tellstones as a thrall hedge, one Moonlight affliction to push big damage or stop buffed attacks/blocks are rather normal, making it's ability to respond to big threats in the format much more potent and speedier than aphelios' guns can usually manage.
Nami Twisted Fate Shadow Isles
Standard but effective.
Heimerdinger Jayce Shadow Isles
A slightly more varied version of the list, opting to make it harder for the opponent to play with many more one-ofs than usual and a pair of Tellstones.
Heimerdinger Jayce Shadow Isles
The Champ's version opts for more of the potent cards rather than being so broad in it's catch-all nature, going for full three Production Surge, Forge Chief, Financier, Hextech Handler, and Vengeances, holding one Ruination to keep the opponent honest.
This one is interesting, it seems that Trivo felt that Viktor is strong enough to eschew the typical Vi in the 6th Champ slot, keeping the list mostly low to the ground and packed with the same threats rather than many fringe or cute picks (aside from one (1) tellstones).