How to Make Your LoR Deck Better
As a new player, copying refined decks online is the easiest way to start learning how the game works and mastering the fundamentals.
However, deck building skills are crucial to fully understand how to play around different archetypes and counter them.
This article is about how to make your deck better, it’s not specifically about the basics of deckbuilding but rather more about general tips to understand how to make your own decks or net decks better.
For additional explanations on the topics we’ll be covering throughout this article, be sure to also tune into the video below!
The Problems with Netdecking:
- Your own personal playstyle may influence your card choices.
- Deckbuilding will always be different depending on multiple factors, each rank has its own meta environment, some decks that perform very well in Masters might not perform as well on lower ranks (like Lee Sin/Zoe).
- For example, a deck that relies on a lot on predicting your opponent’s moves and bluffing, and decks that have a bad win rate in Masters can be extremely effective in lower ranks, like MF/GP Pirates:
This is the win rate of MF/GP in Master:
The same deck has a net +14.9% win rate in a lower ELO like Gold:
This is mainly due to the fact that some decks are more effective than others in a field where the fundamentals of the game, like open attacking, open passing, etc…are not as mastered.
Different regions have different metas – for example, EU is more known for a control meta where people prefer slow decks compared to NA and Asian regions.
The play rate of decks and archetypes influence a lot of decision making when choosing cards in deck building.
Surprise value: this concept mostly only works at higher ranks where people usually play around with specific cards in your deck.
Adding one or two unexpected cards that can swing the game in your favor can be a great tech choice in top level of play.
When playing on ladder, you can use Mobalytics’s Meta Stats section, and selecting the most popular version of the deck that has the same champions you’re playing against will help you play around cards more.
To start the process, you have to get a deck, either your own or from my website, www.swimstrim.com/runeterra/decks-and-meta.
This website is considered one of the best places to find every high win rate deck for climbing to and in Masters.
It is generally updated once a week and has different deck archetypes depending on preferences.
You can also check out the Mobalytics Meta Report which I help curate.
For this section, we’ll use Fiora Shen as an example:
The first step is to consider other alternatives to the version you have in hand, comparing key cards and ratios. Using the Mobalytics Meta Stats section again:
Start by filtering the regions to Demacia and Ionia, this will give you access to all the different versions of Fiora Shen :
You can also use the Champions Filter if different archetypes and champions are under the same combination of colors.
Currently, these are the two most-played versions:
Only a few cards are different but the key changes can reflect what can be changed to fit a different meta environment.
For example, the second version is running 2x Nopeify! but the first version isn’t, which means that Nopeify! is a solid tech choice when facing decks like Go Hard or Ez Draven.
Looking at the different versions of an archetype or a deck will allow you to compare stats and tweak some card choices to adjust it depending on what you’re facing on ladder.
As mentioned before, filtering by ranks will show different win rates of the same deck. at least 500 games is a safe threshold for an accurate sample size.
As a rule of thumb:
Tier 1: ~56+% win rate at high ranks. ~25 games to rank up a division.
Tier 2: ~53-55% win rate at high ranks. ~33 games to rank up a division.
Tier 3: ~50-52% win rate at high ranks. ~40 games to rank up a division.
Get an edge by using a less common version of a deck:
For example, this version of Fiora Shen has a high win rate compared to other versions solely because of the surprise value they can generate with cards like Radiant Guardian and Unyielding Spirit.
These two cards can win you games because the opponent will most likely not play around them.
Refining a Deck Idea
Using stats and by comparing different versions of the same deck, if the versions with a specific card are showing lower win rates, it’s a safe indicator that the card is underperforming and maybe doesn’t fit in the archetype.
For example, Soul Shepherd is present in the lower win rates versions only.
How to think like a deck builder
How do you decide which version is better or which specific card is better for a deck when the win rates are close? The answer is a principle called “Spot Counting”.
Spot Counting is thinking about spots where a card could be better or worse than another during the game.
A good way to approach this is by writing down or memorizing the different cards in the multiple versions, pick one of those versions and start counting spots where a card would’ve gotten you more value than another.
For example, while playing a Fiora Shen version with 1x Brightsteel Formation instead of 2, and 2x Cithria the Bold instead of 1, if you find that late game, you would rather build a board for a later Brightsteel Formation instead of playing Cithria the Bold early, that’s a strong indicator that Brightsteel Formation might be better for the speed of the meta environment you’re playing in.
This technique improves your functional sample size and will allow you to come up with the conclusion that X card is better than Y faster.
Instead of counting the wins and losses, you’re able to track every decision point that’s relevant for a specific card in a game.
When you’re looking at how well a card is performing in a specific situation, don’t fall into the trap of over-evaluating win more cards like Pack Mentality, that looks like it’s doing a lot, but in reality, it’s only good when you’re already ahead in the game, by having a wide board.
A good way of evaluating cards like these is by asking yourself if the card works for the deck or if the deck works for the card.
You want cards that help your deck’s win con or bad spots instead of cards that make your winning spot even more flashy.
Hopefully, you guys learned something from this, Being a good deck builder is directly correlated with being a good player, improving your deck building skills will drastically improve your in-game mechanics and understanding of win conditions and matchup.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask Swim during his streams (10AM-6PM PDT).