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LoR Competitive Week in Review for 12/6-12/12

We’ve finally entered the world of Magical Misadventures, and with a new set comes a new meta. There were plenty of events to look at this weekend, and as to not bury the lead I’m going to start us off by simply listing the top decks from each event. Click on them, get familiar with them, because the stage has been set for this season!

EU Fight Night

Painas

Pantheon/Taric

Bandle Pirates

Owi

Thralls

Darkness

AM Fight Night

Beastllama

Thralls

Ez/Kennen

sCABBSSs

Sion

Yordle Rally

Online League Series x Mobalytics #36 Top 8

Deriva

Yordle Rally

YiA

Pirates

Dudu De Nunu

Yordle Rally

YiA

Pirates

Kwoth

Bandle Tree

Ez/Kennen

Plunder

Aikado

Glorious Shellfolk

Ez/Kennen

Lux/Poppy Shellfolk

Rogio

Panth/Taric

Ez/Kennen

BC Swain

Lazyguga

Yordle Rally

Kennen/Lulu Burn

Bandle Pirates

Sushiboy

Lee Sin

Ez/Kennen

Plunder

Maitri

Yordle Rally

Bandle Pirates

Thralls

Mastering Runeterra 5k Championship Qualifier #1

BlackBoss

Plunder

Lee Sin

Ez/Kennen

WhatAmI

Feel the Rush

Lee Sin

Thralls

mati24mayo

Sion

Yordle Rally

Plunder

BlackSparrow

Pantheon/Taric

Ez/Kennen

Bandle Tree

renrag27

Zilean Shellfolk

BC Swain

Glorious Shellfolk

Galy

Bandle Tree

Bandle Pirates

Thralls

Metal

Feel the Minah

Invoke

Thralls

GrandpaRoji

Yordle Rally

Sivir/Akshan

Pantheon/Taric

It was a good weekend to be a Seasonal champion it seems, as both Painas and BlackBoss continued on a little streak by winning EU Fight Night and the Mastering Runeterra event respectively. They both came in with a mix of new and old strategies, which was overall the tone for the weekend. While many spectators were excited to see what new breakout strategies would upheave the meta, the fact of the matter is that with only 4 new champions releasing there simply wasn’t a large enough injection of new cards to completely push out the old meta. While Ezreal/Kennen and Yordle Rally are auto inclusions on tier 1 of any tournament tier list, you have to round out your lineup with other decks. Lee Sin and Plunder seemed to be the most popular strategies of old amongst the general field, but even they only made it into 20-25% of the top lineups from this past week. That’s not to say they were poor performers, but much like the AM Seasonal, we’re seeing a lot of 1 ofs popping up to round out lineups, making a concise analysis impossible.

To give you a better idea of what’s been pushed out, let's look at the top 5 performing decks from last Season. Elusive Rally has been replaced by Yordle Rally, Lee Sin and Plunder are still alive and kicking, Sion is hanging on by a thread just as before, and it seems Sivir/Akshan is the biggest victim of the new meta. She did still make an appearance at the Mastering Runeterra event, but she was nowhere to be seen at the Online League Series even if we look at the top 16 of that event. While this could very well be just a week 1 sideline of a deck that players are a little bored of while they try out new cards, there are 2 factors that lead me to believe we may finally be seeing the end of the Sivir era. Number one - Jtamonda did not bring it to Fight Night. After racking up invites week in and week out with his trusty Sion/Sivir lineup, Jtamonda made the switch from Sivir to Plunder this week and his iron grip on AM Fight Night has been usurped. Number two - Kochua, who many may recognize from getting 2nd place at the last two Seasonal championships with Sivir/Akshan both times, sent me a DM before the weekend ominously stating “it’s possible that we’re finally finding the meta that kills Sivir”. With two of the best Sivir players in the Americas jumping ship, I’m inclined to follow.

While normally I’d be jumping for joy at the prospect of Sivir no longer haunting my articles, my happiness is short-lived as usual as a resurgence of Yordles in Arms seeks to dampen my mood. Team Hydra is always one to innovate on the opening weekends, and this time around they took both 1st and 2nd at the OLS with the same lineup of Yordle Rally, Yordles in Arms, and Pirate Aggro. Admittedly, the Yordles in Arms list is a little different than what we’re used to seeing. For naming purposes, I’m referring to it as YiA because it’s an identifiable win condition, but it would be more true to call this a Yordle Burn deck (which I don’t do because that’s what I call Ziggs/Poppy). Lazyguga was one of the first players into Masters last week with a similar Lulu/Poppy burn style list thanks to the new card Electro Harpoon, and pairing that with Pokey Stick, Mystic Shot, and Get Excited offers a lot of board control or burn options. He also made it to the top 8 of the OLS, but it was his teammates who made a few tweaks and added in the YiA that came out on top of the event. Interestingly, the success of team Hydra at the OLS marks the 2nd set release in a row where the event was one by someone countering the ‘best’ day 1 deck. At OLS #31 just 3 days after the release of Beyond the Bandlewood, Pachuki used Zoe/Nami, Karma/Ezreal, and Frostbite Midrange to pick on all the Draven/Sion players at the event despite the meta being so new and open with a new region being released. Now, Pirate aggro made its return alongside the new Yordle cards in order to defeat Ezreal/Kennen.

One thing you may have noticed that’s quite obvious is a total lack of Rumble or Ahri from any of these events. The heavy hitters from the previous meta proved to be just a bit too much for the new champions, and Sion doesn’t seem to get along with Rumble as well as everyone hoped he would. While it’s not out of the question for them to find decks as the meta goes on (especially Ahri), I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on these two. Lee Sin got a nice little boost with Wounded Whiteflame, Thralls is holding its own better than I expected after the meta shift, and overall the previous heavy hitters are proving a little clique-y and hostile to any new blood. At the end of the day, it does seem like at the top end we’ve simply traded Sivir for Kennen. There’s a set limit at the cool kids table and if Ahri or Rumble want to force their way in, they’ve got to knock someone else off the top to make room.

 

Overall this may not have been as flashy of an opening weekend as some of you were hoping for, but after a long 4 months since the release of Bandle City I’m happy with a few facelifts on some of the older decks, even if that facelift was just adding Yordle Explorer (looking at you, Darkness). But it's only been one week and nothing is set in stone, and it’s worth remembering that there will be a balance patch next month before the Magical Misadventure Seasonal tournament. So if the meta didn’t change enough with the new set for your liking, I’m sure we’ll be looking at quite a different lay of the land when it comes time for the pinnacle of competition. Be sure to check back next week for another wrap-up as things tend to move rather quickly in Legends of Runeterra, and I’ll catch you up to speed!

Tagged: esports
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