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The Samira tide hits the Demacian shore – will might or flair prevail?
As of Friday, two days into 'Glory in Navori' – which, in case you've just returned to LoR after a hiatus, also rotated a huge chunk of cards – here are the most popular and potent Standard deck lists in Legends of Runeterra, according to Legna and Mastering Runeterra Meta Tier List:
The X-axis is win rate: the higher the bubble, the more that deck wins,
The Y-axis (and also the size of the bubble) is the number of games played (and I'll have to eat my own words: Drisoth, with uncanny intuition & foresight, was correct, and a log scale is needed here, given Sammy Fish's dominance – inverting the X & Y axis was also his suggestion, so double thanks!)
In all cases, it's for the specific deck list (that's to say, not the whole archetype as an aggregate, but the specific deck for that archetype that performs best – the most popular deck list is used in each case).
As seen in the graph… yeah, Sammy Fish is kinda nuts – last time we saw something like this, for the same time window, was Aatrox Kayn right at the start of World Ender.
Let's jump to the decks, which we'll sort by play rate of the most popular specific deck (as in: not by the archetype's overall play rate, but by the number of games of their most popular build).
Sources: MaRu's data (which samples Plat+ players) and Legna's data (which tracks those players that ended in the Top 1K of their respective shards last Season) – both sources in turn get their data directly from Riot (via Riot's API).
Juggernauts – Best Legends of Runeterra Decks
Here we showcase LoR decks with more than 2100 games since 'Glory in Navori' reached Runeterra – a bit too early to tell how the LoR meta will shape up, but these are the early heavy-hitters!
Fish 'n' Chip Damage: Samira Fizz
So, let's spell it out: looking at the data (and, yes, with the "maybe a bit too early to tell" caveat well in place), Samira Fizz's current performance does break past two of the rules of thumb Riot uses to define a deck as "broken": a play rate above 15%, and a win rate above 55%.
In particular, Samira Fizz's best deck punches at 56% across a silly 11,800 games since the patch landed:
For reference, the last two decks to be hotfixed (Aatrox Kayn and Ziggs Acolytes, back in last December) needed the whole weekend to get near those two red lines, while Sam & Fish are already there. So, all in all, calling the deck "overtuned" is, by current data, not too much of a stretch.
While the Desert Rose and her fishy crew have bonkers win and play rate, when looking at matchups:
The strong decks that Sam Fizz beats, such as Karma Sett P&Z, Lurkers, Heimer Jayce, Aatrox Kayn, it doesn't beat by much – a 55% edge at most,
Strong Demacia decks like Gwen Quinn, Aatrox Quinn Vayne, and Garen Jarvan, all have a small edge on Sammy Fish – and in good ol' Scouts' case, said edge goes from small to big,
The hot new old pair, Annie Caitlyn, demolishes the Desert Rose's crew.
In other words, Samira Fizz surely has bonker numbers, but it's not a deck without counters, and for whom its favored matchups (against strong decks) are not exactly a walk in the park.
Karma's a Boss: P&Z Karma Sett
A champion pairing favored by Alanzq – as a rule of thumb, decks that make top players go "Whoa!" need a disclaimer along the lines of "Alanzq is Alanzq, and you're probably not," but in this case the early numbers do support the recommendation.
The most popular Karma Sett deck, going for Piltover and Zaun as its second region, is doing fairly well (4k+ games, win rate above 53%), and there's currently a second variant, going heavier on Followers (in particular, adding Acorn and Augmented Clockling) that is faring even better, at 57% win rate in more than 2,100 games:
Karma Sett seems to be Annie Caitlyn's bane, also demolishing Miss Fortune Samira and Norra decks – Sam Fizz is a bit of a problem, Lurkers are annoying, Demacia decks are bad news (Aatrox Quinn Vayne above all), and Deep is also problematic.
By the way: pairing Sett and Karma with other regions (Targon, or some experiments with Freljord) hasn't panned out just yet.
The Old Guard: Gwen Quinn
The strongest of the decks of old to survive rotation, Gwen Quinn has hit the ground running, and hitting hard: from around 300 games yesterday with its best list, to a whopping 2,400+ today, and without a dent to its superb 59% win rate.
The reason seems obvious: Gwen Quinn reliably beats Sam Fish, slaps Karma Sett over the head, beats several of the surviving pre-rotation decks (like Deep, Lurkers, and Heimer Jayce), and even has an edge against one of the new developments that we'll see next, Annie Caitlyn.
Best of all, Gwen Quinn doesn't seem to have too many predators in sight – it's disfavored against Scouts and Ashe LeBlanc, but not by much, and loses badly only to Jack Seraphine, which doesn't look like a deck that will survive too long.
Something Old, Something New: Annie Caitlyn
Balancing issues aside, it has to be said that, looking at today's Juggernauts, variety is wonderful:
Two decks with new champs, Samira Fizz and Karma Sett,
A surviving pre-rotation deck, Gwen Quinn, and
Here we have a surviving archetype, but with a novel pairing of two old champs: Annie Caitlyn.
By the way, if you're looking for a Caitlyn decks, you'll find a second option further down, Caitlyn Jayce – Caitlyn Teemo, on the other hand, doesn't look too good right now.
Annie Caitlyn is the deck you want to bring to the fight if you want to gut fishes and Desert Roses – odds against Sam Fish are over 66% for the flashbomb girls.
That seems to be their only good matchup against strong decks, though – facing Karma Sett is awful, and Demacia flavors are an uphill struggle.
Heavyweights – Strong LoR Meta Decks
These Legends of Runeterra decks have between 900 and 2100 games since the patch landed – although the LoR meta is nowhere near settled yet, these decks have enough games under their belts to be considered very solid choices.
Rotate Deez: Pyke Rek'Sai, aka Lurkers
If rotation bothers you, and you don't want to think too much between your Standard and Eternal builds, Pyke & crew got you covered: here's an archetype that can swim in any format, and currently smacks at 53% in 1,300 games in the Standard ladder:
Lurkers steamroll on of the strongest returned decks, Aatrox Kayn, and have a slight edge Garen Jarvan, which as we'll see below is looking extremely good. They also have a bit of an edge versus Karma Sett, and aren't too bothered by the Fish 'n' Sammy's tricks…
… their biggest worry is Quinn: Gwen Quinn and Aatrox Quinn Vayne are nightmares for Rek'Sai's offspring.
Return of the World Ender: Aatrox Kayn and Aatrox Quinn Vayne
The World Ender is back with a vengeance, with two of Aatrox's classic decks doing very well.
The most popular is thus far Aatrox Kayn, with about 1100 games played with its best version:
… yet the punchiest option is provided by Demacia and the Aatrox Quinn Vayne version, smacking at a great 57% win rate in about 900 games:
Early matchup data do seem to point towards the Demacia version being better against the current field:
Vayne's version reliably beats Karma Sett and has a small edge on Sammy Fizz (while Kayn's version is even or slightly disfavored),
Vayne busts Lurkers silly, while Kayn gets overrun by Pyke's crew,
Last but not least, Vayne appears to have a tiny edge over Kayn should they face each other.
Still, both decks are looking great right now, so if you're a World Ender fan, pick whichever floats your boat best in the Navori tide.
Change of Tides: Miss Fortune Samira
Now, here's a good example of the "too early to tell" caveat! =)
Yesterday, Miss Fortune Samira wasn't looking too hot, yet things have changed quite a bit today. Yesterday's most popular version (packing Daring Demolisher and Inferna as top end) is still doing badly – but a very aggressive, low-to-the-ground version that brings Jagged Taskmaster to the fray is doing great:
It even seems to beat Sammy Fish, by the way!
Punching Up – Solid LoR Decks
Here we have decks showcasing between 600 and 900 games since the patch landed – fairly large sample sizes, but risk of flukes starts to increase, so be warned
Thralls: Lissandra Taliyah
Left as the lone Standard representatives of the Landmark-heavy decks (now that other Landmark-loving champs have departed in an Eternal journey), Lissandra and Taliyah are seeing moderate success.
They seem able to put a fit against Demacia decks, but get overrun by Sam Fish, and have a bad time against Lurkers.
Deep: Maokai Nautilus
Another very old archetype making a bit of a comeback, Deep was looking very good yesterday, but has deflated a bit – still solid, but doesn't look like it will take over the Navori Tide.
The Elites Onslaught: Garen Jarvan
Now, this is the deck to keep an eye on – one of the reigning powerhouses last patch, Elites' play rate has dropped like a stone but seemingly only due to lack of novelty: only around 700 games played this last two days (whereas it had more than 3,800 last week), but the highest winrate we'll see today: 60%+
In particular: like other Demacia decks, Garen Jarvan has good odds against Samira Fizz and Karma Sett; it also seems to have an edge versus Annie Caitlyn.
Scouts: Miss Fortune Quinn
Scouts are scrambling to find their best version; there are several very different builds (including experiments with Equipment, or adding Stony Suppressor), yet the most punchy seems to just go for the old-school method of filling the board, then buffing your boys 'n' girls 'n' birds 'n' marais 'n' whatever the heck shellshockers are, then punching 'em foes in the face 'till they die.
Your Mileage May Vary – Fringe LoR Decks
Legends of Runeterra decks a few games played in the last three days – these may range from total flukes… to the next big thing.
A bit of a "same old story" here, sadly: after a fairly promising first day, Ashe LeBlanc has deflated quite a bit, and its most popular version sits at around 51%,
The Arcane friends have teamed up post-rotation, and Caitlyn Jayce is doing very well thus far,
There are several Norra flavors running around, and doing fairly well – the most promising partnership thus far appears to be Norra Veigar,
Albeit only in a smallish sample, Ekko Jinx is looking pretty hot, and may have even found a new toy in Augmented Clockling,
The Desert Rose has razzled and dazzled her way into two Targon decks that show a fine amount of promise. On the one hand, Kayle and Leona had welcomed her in their Sunburn shell. And on the other, Samira's knack for playing with herself has caught Pantheon's attention.
(By the way: Jack Samira seemed very solid yesterday, but seems to have been a fluke)
Samira Fizz have no doubt taken the LoR ladder by storm, and they do show numbers that are on the "a bit concerning" end of the spectrum…
… yet several of the decks that do well against her are very good decks in their own right, so it's hard to say where the LoR meta will go from here.
Guess we'll have to jump to the ladder and find out! =)
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