Giant Slayer


LoR Competitive Week In Review For 2/14 - 2/20

 It’s a new expansion and some things are changing in the competitive week - most notably the inclusion of Fight Night: Legends as they’ve recently overhauled their format to the standardized 3 deck “Riot Lock” format used in Seasonal tournaments and most grassroots events. This means their results are more pertinent to the meta as a whole, but they’ve also opened their signups for anyone looking to prove their mettle against some of the best of the best in Legends of Runeterra. Keep tuning in every week for these recaps and that might just be you.

We’re looking at 4 events from the opening weekend; all 3 iterations of Fight Night: Legends as well as the RuneterraLife x GGToor $1000 event, the decklists for which can all be found below.

Runeterra Life x GGToor 1k Top 8

1st Phansora  - Darkness / Lee Sin / Bandle Tree

2nd Painas - Pantheon/Yuumi / Yordles in Arms / Gnar/Ziggs Burn

Top 4 Dudu de Nunu - Darkness / Bandle Tree / Trundle Timelines

Top 4 FloppyMudkip - Lee Sin / Lulu/Ahri Chompers / Gnardles in Arms

Top 8 Sergi2Vamos - Scouts / Lux/Aphelios/Zoe / Bandle Tree

Top 8 Ez2Win - Darkness / Scouts / Trundle Timelines

Top 8 Shadawx - Poppy/Tristana / Braum/Galio / Gnar/Sejuani

Top 8 Wasrusso - Yordles in Arms / Scouts / Bandle Tree

Fight Night: Legends


1st  FloppyMudkip - Lee Sin / Lulu/Ahri Chompers / Gnardles in Arms

2nd Beastllama - Ekko/Zilean / AkGnar / Scouts


1st BajAtakk - Darkness / Lee Sin / Bandle Tree

2nd Arren2398 - Gnardles in Arms / Sivir/Akshan / Lulu/Ahri Chompers


1st Garretz - Yordles in Arms / Ekko/Zilean / AK Go Hard

2nd Rodsmtg - Darkness / BC Swain / Lee Sin/Gnar

There are a few things that stand out among the results from this weekend, the main one being that it’s Gnar’s world and we’re just living in it. Gnar put up some incredible (but not surprising) numbers this week, appearing in all 14 top cut lineups; the first champion to ever do it. While debates will rage on as to the power level of the prehistoric Yordle, the reason for his widespread presence is how versatile he is. Reminiscent of Draven, he’s a generically good champion in a variety of strategies but isn’t a build-around card. We’re not seeing 14 players bringing “Gnar decks”, moreso just decks with Gnar in them. What I’m trying to get at here is that Gnar is dominant and here to stay, but what he’s taking away from the meta in champion diversity he’s giving back in archetypal diversity. 

A secondary, more boring observation, is that Darkness / Lee Sin / Bandle Tree are still a dominant force in the meta, winning both the RuneterraLife event as well as the EMEA Fight Night. All 3 decks put up admirable performances at the Magic Misadventures Seasonal, with Bandle Tree especially spiking in the top 32 and making up 4/6 decks in the finals. Bandle Tree has only gotten stronger since then, with Gnar providing a strong Freljord option for the deck as well as additional draw power. On top of that, Bandle Tree was one of the decks that cared the least about its champion slots, often leaving 1 or 2 of them unused. Gnar brings the deck (which was already well-positioned) together beautifully, shoring up nearly every weakness in the deck in one card. Darkness and Lee Sin remain mostly unchanged. They’re just good decks. 

Scattered throughout the top cut we have a deck rising in popularity that shows off the flexibility of Gnar in making a lineup: Yordles in Arms. Above you’ll notice I’ve labeled the lists as Yordles in Arms or Gnardles in Arms to let you differentiate between the two at a glance, Yordles playing Lulu and Flame Chompers while Gnardles plays Gnar and Ballistic Bot. While there are going to be more nuanced variations on a list-to-list basis, that’s the gist of it. I mentioned earlier that we’re not seeing Gnar decks, just decks with Gnar in them, and this archetype is a prime example of one that is strong with or without the topical champion of the week. Figuring out the hierarchy of Gnar in terms of “which deck needs Gnar the most” will likely become more obvious as time goes on but may have been a falter point for some lineups on the opening weekend. As for Yordles in Arms, it likely falls into the category of “needs Gnar the least”, making it a great inclusion for players who already have him committed elsewhere as well as those who don’t. FloppyMudkip certainly found his fair share of success with the Gnardles version, taking a Fight Night win AND a RuneterraLife top 4.

Looking toward next week I would expect Gnar to continue his 100% top rate for at least one more week, an arguably cold take on my end. With takes like that looking cold, it’s hard to have any hot ones, but I’ll take a stab at it; next week we should see enough refinement for Tristana that Bandle City’s worst champion can join their new golden boy Gnar in a top cut, or even multiple. See? Even that one felt lukewarm at best. With my hands and takes no longer running hot it seems like a good time to end this wrap-up and remind you to check back next week as we’ll have another loaded weekend of tournaments to catch you up on so you can keep your finger on the pulse of history in the making as we track how long Gnar can keep his hot streak up.

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