Giant Slayer


LoR Competitive Week in Review for 10/18 - 10/24

The long and arduous Worlds meta has finally come to an end, and with the 2.18 balance patch, we are officially in the Between Worlds season (that’s the actual official name for this ladder season). While the opening weekend has been marred by login issues that resulted in the cancellation of both EU and AM Fight Nights, the players who could log in showed up to the 33rd installation of the Online League Series as well as the Bandle Gunners Duo Cup #1. The Duo Cup allowed for players experiencing login issues to still play as the 2v2 nature of the event functioned similarly to EU Masters, with one singular pilot but multiple players advising the decisions and playing together. This meant that while the top 8 of the Duo Cup contained 16 players or 8 teams, it still produced the normal 24 decklists. Below I’ve combined the top 8 from the Duo Cup and the OLS for a more streamlined look at the meta. 

Top 8 OLS #33 + RuneterraLifes Bandle Gunner Duo Cup #1

Sion - 7

Bandle Pirates - 5

Shellfolk - 4

Bandle Tree - 3

Darkness - 3
Sivir/Akshan - 3

Lurk - 3

Ziggs/Poppy - 3

Zed/Poppy - 2

Zoe/Lee Sin - 2

Spooky Viego - 2

Plunder - 2

Akshan/Lee Sin - 1

Teemo/Swain - 1

Teemo/Sejuani - 1

Targon’s Peak - 1

Zilean/Ekko - 1

Scouts - 1

Dragons - 1

Frostbite Midrange - 1

Feel The Rush - 1

With 21 different decks popping into the top 8s this weekend (with 9 one-off decks), we’re starting things off on the right foot. While Sion is still sitting at the tippy top of the meta, the slap on the wrist it received from the patch has been felt. Many players will rejoice to see that Nami is nowhere to be seen, and Curious Shellfolk seems to have taken up residence in the top 3 spots. Many players are likely familiar with the Shellfolk archetype given it won the World Championship, but the deck has undergone a recent evolution. A glorious one, even. 3 of the 4 Shellfolk decks that topped have dropped Ezreal as one of the deck’s win conditions and slotted in Glorious Evolution with Poro Cannon. This allows for big OTK combo turns involving the 0 mana Daring Poros that now have augment getting pumped up for every card you play. I, for one, am just happy to see Glorious Evolution being played in a competitive capacity.

Now as far as winning lineups go, the OLS was taken down by Kwoth on Akshan/Lee, Bandle Pirates, and Ziggs/Poppy over Dr Chekhov on Teemo/Swain, Sion, and Bandle Pirates. Admittedly I’m not sure what conclusion to draw from each player's respective off-meta choice in this tournament, but I will say that the Akshan/Lee Sin from Kwoth looked leagues better than the Teemo/Swain. The other decks performed as expected, with Bandle Pirates being the one bit of overlap from both finalists and the 2nd most popular deck on the weekend. This is a little unexpected given the Tenor or Terror nerf alongside Stone Stackers, but the deck was admittedly a little heavy on the 4 drops during last patch. I don’t expect Bandle Pirates to remain in the top 3 as the meta progresses, but it’s something players should learn to love as I don’t think it’ll be going away completely either.

Then in the Bandle Gunners Duo Cup #1, Aikado took a break from relentlessly bullying Cameron Hanzo and teamed up to form team Aikanzo to win the tournament with their lineup of Sivir/Akshan, Glorious Shellfolk, and Spooky Viego. They took down team O brabo e o fã (‘The brave and the fan’ according to Google translate) composed of team NNT members Maitiri and Job who were playing Darkness, Spooky Viego, and Plunder. Despite being the same format when all is said and done, the top 8 of the OLS and the Duo Cup were quite different. Bandle Pirates was replaced by Spooky Viego as the deck of choice for both finalists, and in fact of the 5 Bandle Pirates to top this weekend 4 of them were in the OLS, contrasted by the Duo Cup having custody of all 3 Sivir/Akshan. It may take a little for the metas to converge into a singular timeline, and as it happens we’ll see less and less diversity. But it should come from more of the 1-off decks being eradicated rather than any of the staples per-se.

Patch 2.17 was littered with new decks popping up left and right, and the login issues have played a factor in the early stage experimentation we tend to see right after a patch. While Dragons rose to the top of the ladder day 1, they weren’t even able to last until the opening weekend. Lux and Leona were also absent despite buffs to their archetypes, but it’s way too early to rule either of them out as potential upsets down the line when a little more refinement happens. Ultimately this opening weekend didn’t shake things up as much as one may have hoped, but the adaptation of Shellfolk away from Ezreal and towards Glorious Evolution is a consolation prize that I will happily take to the bank while waiting to see what comes next. Once the login issues are fixed and everyone once again has access to Runeterra, we should be full steam ahead. 

So be sure to check back next week to see what’s changed in the tournament landscape as we continue to enjoy our small off-season!


Tagged: esports
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