Giant Slayer


LoR Competitive Week in Review for 3/14 - 3/21

                           LoR Competitive Week in Review for 3/14 - 3/21 by @CasterBoulevard

Only one week remains between us and the much anticipated Balance Patch 3.4, and if you weren’t looking forward to it already, maybe I can help sway you a little bit after showing you the Top 4 from Fight Night: Legends Brazil and Europe.

Fight Night: Legends


Sudrakon - Frostbite Midrange / Plunder / Gnar/Swain

Trivo - Sivir/Akshan / Yordles in Arms PnZ / Yordles in Arms Demacia

Didico - Lee Sin / Pantheon/Yuumi / Scouts

JapaBRinsano - Sivir/Akshan / Yordles in Arms Demacia / Scouts


Jocund - Sivir/Akshan / Scouts / Yordles in Arms Demacia

Ultraman - Tri-Beam Control / Darkness / Feel the Rush

JustATaco - Yordles in Arms Demacia / Pantheon/Yuumi / Jayce/Lux

Smooth Swoleoist - Yordles in Arms Targon / Bandle Tree w/Yordles in Arms / Yordles in Arms Ionia

Off the bat, if you were to search the phrase “Yordles in Arms”, you would notice it pop up 8 times amongst the 8 competitors we’re looking at to give us a snapshot of the meta. Not everyone brought it, as Trivo doubled up on Yordles to bring both the Demacia and Piltover & Zaun variants, but Smooth Swoleoist went overboard and decided to limit-test the archetype for all to see. While we’ve seen Bandle Tree with Yordles in Arms before, it’s usually as a splashed 1-of to try and hedge your bets if you happen to find yourself in a situation where it could be helpful - but Smooth played a full 3 copies, certifying this as a Yordles in Arms deck. Smooth didn’t stop there. While a more reasonable person would have rounded out their lineup as Trivo did with the Demacia and P&Z variants, Smooth fully dedicated to proving the card was too much by leaving the known quantities at home and bringing a Targon variant featuring Zoe and Starry Scamp as well as an Ionian variant sporting Zed, Sa’Nen Thousand-Tailed, Twin Discipline, and Deny. While he came in 4th place and normally wouldn’t be highlighted if we had more events to look at, I have to think it would have been a fast 8th if he had chosen to butcher any other deck as he did.

In other known-factor news, Sivir/Akshan had a good week and Pantheon had a slightly less good week. With control showing some strong performances, this is an expected trend - Sivir/Akshan does well into control, and, even if it didn’t show up as heavily this week, the deck is still solid. Given the shift from multiple players back to triple Demacia it is a little surprising that Pantheon didn’t have a stronger showing, but you can’t expect one deck to completely carry you. This sort of highlights the problem of only being able to look at Fight Night: Legends long-term in assessing the overall meta; because this is a small invitational tournament, the meta is more tailored toward the players. Sudrakon is a great example of this weekend - you cannot copy/paste his lineup and expect to perform in an uncapped open tournament. It was specifically tailored to beat the 7 other players showing up to that Fight Night. I’m mentioning this because Fight Night keeps flipping between control weeks and triple Demacia weeks, and usually, you’d expect the meta to land on one as the better option and go from there. Instead, we just keep flipping. Like an Oroboros consuming its own tail, I am cursed to relive the same events every other week and stay starry-eyed and bushy-tailed as I tell you next week might be different, that something will come and take the throne away from Yordles in Arms, that I’ll get to stop talking about Scouts eventually, but they always come back. 

But at the same time, that's kind of the fun of it - with Fight Night: Legends having open applications, anyone could identify this pattern and bring the counter on the appropriate week. Heck, maybe I should have done that. But this was the last week of our open tournament drought as the Online League Series will be back this weekend and we’ll have an open event to give us a broader look at the meta as a whole before we kiss it goodbye (maybe?) for whatever will come in by Patch 3.4. In the meantime, however, I did want to applaud Sudrakon for being someone who looked at the stale meta and brought an appropriate counter. Frostbite Midrange and Plunder are longstanding soft counters to Demacia, and last week's Top 4 in Brazil was littered with control decks. As such he expected the flip and was rewarded with a win and an invite back to the next event. 

And now my Oroboros gets to release its tail from its mouth, as the tides of change are gently rolling into shore. It’s been fun getting to dive deeper into Fight Night: Legends than normal these past few weeks, and if you’re still looking for that it's available in video form every week. Be sure to check back next week as we look at all 3 Fight Nights (it’s a control week!) as well as the Online League Series and finally get to settle once and for all whether control or Demacia is the one running the show. 

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