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LoR Competitive Week in Review for 11/1 - 11/7

Arcane is one of the most aggressively marketed media endeavors in recent memory, but the non-stop Arcane action couldn't shake up the Legends of Runeterra tournament meta. Vi is really the only character from the show you would expect to see pop up in this report, and, by golly: you’re right! Sion was apparently pulled aside this week and gave a stern talking to on how he bullied Jinx out of the meta by taking over the Noxus/PnZ combination, so he wasn’t able to do quite as much winning as he normally does. Don’t worry though, Sivir and Gangplank are still here for you.

We kicked things off as we always do with the EU Fight Night, where SaltySimon took Ziggs/Poppy and Plunder to a first-place finish over Ultraman on Teemo/Swain and Plunder. Teemo/Swain Bandle City is an archetype we’ve seen slowly climb the popularity ladder since the release of patch 2.18, as the deck kicked off the patch with a 2nd place finish at OLS #33. From there the deck evolved to replace the Teemo with Riven, but it wasn’t an adaptation meant to last as players unanimously switched back to Teemo after just a few days. The deck has been continuing to ramp up in both ladder and tournament play. This is thanks to Lecturing Yordle being so good at setting up the full suit of execute style effects the deck tends to play. While we may see Teemo phase out again for the next week and try a new champion, Bandle City Swain seems here to stay. If you’re starting to think seriously about Seasonal prep, it’s certainly a deck to keep in the back of your mind.

Over on the side of AM Fight Night, we see another previous week's champion fight their way to a 2nd place finish as Jtamonda with his Sion and Sivir/Akshan fall in the finals to Maitiri’s Spooky Viego and Bandle Pirates. With Sivir/Sion/Gangplank all checked off for their regularly scheduled finals appearance, we look to Spooky Viego to give us a little insight into life outside the Runeterra meta penthouse. When metas become predictable, counter strategies become more and more enticing. As we look to a field full of midrange decks, many players are starting to branch out more into control. Darkness and Feel The Rush both had some success this weekend alongside Viego, and it’s important to remember that you don’t necessarily have to all-in on a counter strategy like this- you can simply pepper it into your otherwise standard lineup. 

And to round things out, we have the Online League Series #34, whose top 8 consisted of:

Sivir: 4
Sion: 3

Plunder: 3
Teemo/Swain: 2
Lux/Poppy/Shellfolk: 2
Glorious Evolution Shellfolk: 1

Legion Marauders: 1

Pirate Aggro: 1

Ziggs/Poppy: 1
Darkness: 1

Rubin’s Zoo: 1

Elusive Rally: 1

Lee Sin: 1
Feel the Rush: 1
Thresh/ASol: 1

The finals came down to a head-to-head between 2 players with near-identical lineups, as Kais3r used Sivir/Akshan / Teemo/Swain / Lux/Poppy Shellfolk to defeat Maybenextime on Sivir/Akshan / Lux/Poppy Shellfolk / Darkness. That’s right, both players in the finals were not only playing Sivir/Akshan but both were also playing Lux/Poppy Shellfolk. The deck is a winning combination of some of the strongest cards that Demacia and Bandle City have to offer, with Poppy acting as a payoff for the wide board and Lux as a payoff for the spells. The deck may look a little odd at first glance, but the micro synergies come together as you watch the deck play out, and with it taking both 1st and 2nd at this week's OLS it’ll be hard for players to ignore. Beyond the Shellfolk decks in the finals, both players came in with some less than popular choices for their third decks. Sion and Gangplank are among the more obvious choices when rounding out a lineup, but it was Darkness and Teemo/Swain that the finalists chose. It’s hard to make any groundbreaking observations about these deck choices as neither are totally out of left field and both have proven track records in the tournament scene in patch 2.18, and they’re just not the most popular decks in the meta. And that’s an arguable strength of the decks - you’ll often hear players having success with decks because their opponent doesn’t know how to play against them. Upon looking at the deck yourself, it’s questionable whether the power level of the deck will hold up once people know how to play against it. While Darkness and Teemo/Swain have the power level to compete, they’re fringe enough that people preparing for tournaments likely aren’t grinding games against them like they are against Sivir/Sion/Gangplank. Whether or not this is a real advantage is debatable, but you already know whether or not you’re a player who puts stake in this philosophy.

 

And so patch 2.18 comes to an end, with Sion/Sivir/Poppy/Gangplank starting and ending at the top while other decks fight it out to round out the top 5. I hope that next week I’ll be writing about Jayce and all of his practical applications, but it’s not really up to me - it’s up to you. If you don’t top an event with Jayce, I can’t write about him. So get to deckbuilding and show me what the Defender of Tomorrow can do!

Tagged: esports
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