Giant Slayer


LoR Competitive Week in Review for 4/26 - 5/2

                                                                LoR Competitive Week in Review for 4/26 - 5/2 by @CasterBoulevard

It’s 10 pm on Tuesday, May 3rd. Boulevard sits alone in his office sorting through a stack of files. Their assistant knocks, then immediately enters the room. “Boulevard,” they say. “What on Earth are you submitting this week? Giant Slayer’s Fight Night: Legends is on hiatus, and Aegis Esports took the week off due to the many bugs that came with the new patch. But it’s new patch week! We have to find something for new patch week!”. 

I take my head out of my hands and look them in the eye. “There’s nothing. Everything was canceled because of the bugs, most of which are fixed, but it wasn’t enough. We’ll have to call Giant Slayer and tell them we’ve got nothing. There’s no meta this week. I’m through, finished. I’ll never work in this town again.”

“Oh, I don’t know about all that,” chimes a friendly voice from behind the door. I catch a glimpse of their silhouette through the smoked glass before a thump through the mail slot draws my attention. I rush over to find a thick manilla envelope with 2 letters embroidered on it: MR.

Mastering Runeterra: Road To Seasonals #1-6


1st Foreto - Rubin Pile / Viktor/Lee / Tri-Beam Control

2nd Muctarr - Papercraft Fizz/Riven / Viktor/Lee/Vi/Heimerdinger / AK Absolver


1st XxWhatAmIxX - Pantheon/Yuumi/Taric / Sentinel Control / Draven/Sion

2nd Gravetrayal - Pantheon/Yuumi/Taric / Sun Disc / Ziggs/Taliyah


1st SonikHolik - AFaelios / Ezreal/Heimer / Draven/Sion

2nd Mati24Mayo - Tri-Beam Control / Apehlios/Lux / Sivir/Akshan


1st JustSomeBadJuju - Targon's Peak / AFaelios / Pantheon/Yuumi

2nd Foreto - Tri-Beam Control / Rubin Pile / Viktor/Lee


1st H3ko - Ezreal/Viktor / AFaelios / Jayce/Lux

2nd BamBooper - Sun Disc / Pantheon/Yuumi / Taliyah/Malphite


1st Dudu de Nunu - Jayce/Lux / Sun Disc / Pantheon/Yuumi/Taric

2nd ThePhlebotomisTV - Feel The Rush / AFaelios / Sun Disc

With the fine folks over at Mastering Runeterra running daily tournaments since the release of patch 3.6, what we lack in variety of event size/type we make up for with a real-time meta progression. 

The most important of these progressions is the continued success of Pantheon and Aphelios, as well as the back to back wins in the two most recent events by Jayce/Lux. With the new rules change, Fated units now gain +1/+1 when they are targeted with a spell, a rather impactful change for the deck as it makes it extremely difficult to remove the units in response to Zenith Blade. Even before the change the deck was in a fine spot, though it could get singled out as a punching bag for aggro or control. Neither of those archetypes have been prevalent as a full 3 of in a lineup throughout the Road To Seasonal events thus far, and I have a few guesses as to why. Aggro has been in a bit of an awkward spot since last patch as it doesn’t race down Shurima as effectively as one would hope and the high presence of Aphelios makes for a lot of games ending with a simple Infernum + Severum combo to remove the counterplay of Noxian Fervor. As for control (specifically Shadow Isles Control), while it was a top contender on patch 3.4 that didn’t receive any direct card nerfs, it has certainly been knocked down a peg. For starters Shurima didn’t take many hits from the patch, leaving Sun Disc and Taliyah/Ziggs in fine spots coming into the patch. Additionally, the rules change was an overall net negative for Control - the removal of counterplay to champions like Lux and Ezreal by killing them before the spell resolves was a big hit for Vengeance fans around the world. 

Of course, despite this, Control is still putting up numbers, just not quite like it used to and not in the exact same form. Sentinel Control and Feel the Rush have both made finals appearances, and decks like Tri-Beam Control and Lux are still Control decks even if they’re not Shadow Isles. Triple Control is what we’re missing, but looking at the lineups of these players I’m more getting the sense that they’re throwing decks at the wall to see what sticks rather than looking to flesh out lineups right now, which is probably the correct way to approach things given the infancy of the meta. You need to know what you’re playing to beat if you’re going to build to beat it, and reactive Control decks from the Shadow Isles need to carefully build out their toolbox of removal to beat what they’re going to run into.

Jayce/Lux has been a known factor for quite some time but has really stolen the spotlight with the 2 most recent events, taking back to back wins. The rules change was good for Lux (she now creates a Final Spark once the 6th mana worth of spells has been put on the stack, not when she sees it resolve) but was actually bad for the pair in the dream scenario, as Lux will no longer generate a Final Spark off of the copy of a spell that Jayce generates. So, if you have out Jayce and Lux and you play a For Demacia, you will generate 1 Final Spark and your board will get +6/+6. Aside from the rules change interactions, Jayce/Lux is thriving as a proactive deck with solid removal tools. And that’s really the story I’ve put together from the results of these Mastering Runeterra Road To Seasonals events - everything is going according to plan. It’s natural for proactive decks to thrive at the start of a meta, and the progression we’ve seen from the day to day so far has just been changing the flavor of the proactivity, not moving away from it. This is why Sentinel Control has won an event, why previous dark horses like Aphelios and Jayce/Lux are making waves, and why Pantheon is the most represented deck amongst finalists. 

Whether you view my oversimplification as a good thing or not, it’s hard to say how much of this will stick come the Seasonal in *looks at my watch* about 10 days time. While the Open Rounds are a mystery and thus favor proactivity, we might be setting up for one of the largest swaps between the Open Rounds meta and Top 32 meta as we don’t have a clear idea of the anti-meta based on what we’ve seen so far. It’s all still very up in the air, but I want to again thank our friends over at Mastering Runeterra for saving my bacon and giving us a glimpse into the opening weekend meta. This weekend they’re putting on a larger event with GGToor and the OLS will be firing off its pre-Seasonal tournament, and that should give us a clear indicator what we’re heading into with the Open Rounds. 

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