Underrated LoR Champions: Riven, Lucian, and Jinx
In Legends of Runeterra, certain champions can sometimes dominate the metagame for months at a time.
But that doesn’t mean that underplayed champs aren’t capable of having strong decks and being the centerpiece of their own strategy.
Each champion in LOR has a set of skills that are unique to them, and in this article, I’m taking a look at three of them.
Let’s explore what it takes to make these champions shine, and what decks unlock their potential best!
Riven is a champion with good stats on curve, and enables extremely strong turn 6-8 attacking sequences on the cheap using her blades. The most important part of a good riven deck is creating multiple threats on those key turns, to be more resilient against hard removal in the vein of Vengeance or Palm.
There are many ways to achieve this, but the two most common methods are via Ambush or Fated creating alternate lethal threats.
Riven’s best fits at present are in PZ/NX and Pantheon, two relatively meta decks. As such, her decks are potent – around tier 2 as tournament decks – but competition for her champion slots in those decks is fierce.
The main advantages she brings to the table are devaluing blockers and pure speed. If the opponent is playing an aggro deck that isn’t going to interact with your kill turn, you can speed the clock way up and blast through for a turn 6 lethal.
Deck Code: CEDACAIDAIAQKAYNAECQIFACAMBQGBYDAECCOLJUAMBQIAYFCIBQCAIDCMAQGBACAECQGCIBAEBQGDY
Keep your one drops, two drops, and Riven
The game plan is to lay down a bit of chip damage during the first couple of turns, then start gearing up for a giant attack on turn 5-7 to get the opponent into burn range. Between Ambush, Might, and Riven’s blades, it’s not uncommon to be sending three lethal attackers in on turn 7.
Deck Code: CICQCAIDBMAQIAYPAIBQSI24AMBQGAIDA4CAKCIDAUDAUAQBAUEQQAQDBEJTGAIBAMETA
Look for units that cost 3 or less to stabilize the early game with. The way this particular list is ratioed you almost never want to keep a spell in your mulligan.
Spread out your buffs and blades across as many fated threats as possible to be more resilient against hard removal. You don’t have many options for defense turns since you have so many temporary buffs, so try to play your Bloody Businesses and Blinded Mystics on defense instead of offense so you’ll have powerful plays on both sides of the attack token.
Level 2 Lucian is one of the strongest champions in the game period. The issue his decks need to overcome is getting consistently over that hurdle.
Curving Lucian into Senna is a difficult board to untangle for the opponent, but simply including the two lovers in your deck doesn’t make for an effective strategy.
Powerful Lucian decks often make full use of Ephemeral units to force ally deaths and convert on that level 2 power spike when you do manage it.
Deck Code: CMCACAYABYBAEAACBEBQCAAJCYZQGBAHAMZTMBABAEADMAICAADQCBAHAEBAIAACAMAQGBAHDQ3YUAI
Keep champs and one drops only
You’re an aggressive deck so you do have to get moving and find an advantage on board before you get outscaled, but it’s perfectly fine to spend a few turns setting up Dias and Azir before you make any big moves with Rallies or Scout attacks. Try to keep Lucian as safe as possible.
Deck Code: CECQCAIACYAQEAAJAIBQACQOAMCAKNJWG4CQCBIBAQDSWMIBAECAKDICAEAQKCQBAMCQC
Full mull for Plaza.
This deck utilizes ephemeral summon cards like Haunted Relic to get the most out of Plaza and Lucian. The constant Challenger attacks do a huge amount to cut the opponent’s board to size, and if a champion is on your board you can pull everything out of the way for a clean hit to the nexus. The Viego package synergizes surprisingly well with both Plaza and Lucian, as well as providing some necessary threat density and late-game staying power.
Everyone’s second favorite arcane sister takes charge as the top end for a discard-focused aggro deck, allowing for even more deck slots to be devoted to early game aggression knowing she’ll keep things running if you stall out.
Jinx isn’t the most concrete wincon in the game, but she can shine all alone. If Jinx is alive, the game isn’t over – no matter how poorly things have been going to that point. Knowing that, there does exist one piece of dark technology in the realm of Jinx decks…
Deck Code: CECACAYECIAQIBAQAQAQIHBHFAWQKAIDA4ERIJZXAEBACBAMBUBQCAIEAEAQGAYPAECQGAQ
Keep Draven, Baboon, and Zaunite Urchin
Whatever hand you end up with, the goal is to play everything out and go wide to push damage past the opponent’s blockers. Vision and Battlecaster buff everything up, so being 6 wide on turn 4-5 is your strongest part of the game. Once things stall out, it’s Jinx’s turn to take the wheel and force the opponent to remove her on pain of death.
Unkillable Hypercarry Jinx
Deck Code: CICQCBAECAAQKCIDAECQIGIDAMESGMDCAQAQIJZIFU2AEAIDBEJQEBIJAUDAIAIBAQGQCAYJFUAQGBASAECAIBY
Keep one drops and Jinx
Getting your hand emptied is a trickier task than with normal discard Jinx, but once you have Jinx 2 the deck really goes into overdrive. Using permanent health buffs and Pantheons, your opponent is going to have a really hard time removing all of your threats after recovering from your onslaught of one drops. If either champ goes unanswered they’ll carry you across the finish line.
All in all these decks are legitimately powerful and will win you games, even though they aren’t at the top of the meta currently. Ultimately, even the least utilized champions show promise in strategies that cover for their weaknesses and get the most out of their strengths.
These unsung champions lurk just outside the limelight, lying in wait for the moment when their strategy has a crushing matchup against one of the top meta staples.