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Magic Misadventures Seasonal Tournament Meta Preview (12 Decks)

Seasonal Tournament Meta Preview: Magic Misadventures

Welcome everyone, I’m Jordan “WhatAmI” Abronsona and holy Ionian nonsense Batman, but the format is ridiculously wide right now.

Yes, the elephant in the room is parading around recalling everyone’s stuff and looking unreasonably pleased with itself.

But that deck can be both countered, and, wait for it, banned. This means this might be one of the most varied and balanced formats we’ve had, perhaps literally ever.

This seasonals is going to be insane and I’m here to give you a sneak peek of what that might look like.


Ahri Kennen (LoR Deck)


[See Ahri Kennen deck details]

I know, we’re all pretty tired of hearing about this one, but I would be failing in my duties if I did not make sure to include it in the list of top meta decks as the seasonal draws in. You know a deck is good when it can play Sunk Cost and the rest of the engine will carry it to the top of the ladder anyway.

Aggressive Elusive threats backed up by disruption have always been a very solid way to win games. This jumps to another level though as the card draw inherent in Dancing Droplet and Sai’Nen creates more late-game staying power than any archetype like this has ever had before.

Dancing Droplet (LoR reveal)Sai'nen Thousand-Tailed (lor card)

I’ve covered this deck’s strengths and weaknesses before in-depth, so I’m not going to go too much into that here. Instead, I’ll just hit on what I find the most important ones are if you are looking to try to counter it.

Number one, all of its units are small, so pings can buy you a lot of time to set up your game plan.

Number two, it doesn’t block very well. Overwhelming early aggression can, but a serious damper on a recall-based decks dreams of doing unreasonable things later in the game.


Scouts (LoR Deck)


[See Scouts deck details]

The next set of decks we are going to run through are all extremely aggressive in their special ways. First up is going to be the tried and true classic of scouts. Slam a bunch of dudes and dudettes onto the board and inform your opponent they’d better have answers or the game is ending fast.

Better than that though, we manage to combine the power of swarm with a single threat we can protect that will end the game very quickly all on its own. When Miss Fortune levels your opponent is going to be very quickly missing all of the health their nexus once had.

Miss Fortune level 1 (LoR Card)

This deck is a good choice to prey on traditional Shadow Isles control decks whose small removal and pings won’t be able to keep up with the level and types of threats you present. Ranger’s Resolving a Withering Wail will never get old.

Ranger's Resolve (LoR Card)

If you’re looking for solid ways to defend yourself against this degeneracy then anything with Ravenous Flock is a good choice, as it makes keeping key units on the board very difficult. The other solid option is just to play slightly larger Demacia decks like Pantheon or Sivir, trade down, and win later in the game.


Pirates (LoR Deck)


[See Pirates deck details]

Next up are the two premier burn decks of the format. Instead of looking to add resilience to their swarm-based aggression, they simply add finishing power in the form of damage directly to the dome. The old saying continues to be true, “everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face.”

Of the two pirates likes to go a little bit bigger, and is often a very solid choice in formats that have a bunch of small pings running around. They can present early powerful threats while at the same time having very few units that care all that much about taking a single point of damage.

Pirates has shown itself to be quite solid into anyone who gets too greedy. This often includes control decks that tech too much for mirrors or the aforementioned larger Demacia decks. Whenever you get too large there will always be someone around to cut you off at the knees.

This deck’s greatest problems have always come from decks that have board sweepers and life gain to back them up. That means that Shadow Isles Freljord control is your worst nightmare and wants to be banned on site. For swarm-based burn decks Withering Wail and Blighted Ravine are enemy number one.


Spiders (LoR Deck)


[See Spiders deck details]

If it were possible this deck is, even more, all-in on the burn plan than the one before it. We’re keeping even lower to the ground and throwing in the garbage any units that cost four or more mana. They are simply too slow and we can’t be bothered with them.

Instead, we’re looking to take chunks out of our opponent’s nexus with early fearsome units and then finish the job with burn. While there is still some swarm-style gameplay here, the addition of the evasive keyword of Fearsome gives this deck some extra sticking power.

Whenever small units midrange or control decks are the big cheese, spiders have always loved to come out to play. People who think they will be safe chump blocking with one and two power units are in for a rude surprise and often end up decimated out before they can get over it.

We do unfortunately share the same weaknesses as other burn decks though. Anyone who can sweep us up and pad their health total is going to be feeling pretty good against us. Dodge those Shadow Isles control decks though, find the right greedy midrange decks, and you can have yourself a good time.


Pantheon (LoR Deck)


[See Pantheon deck details]

Speaking of greedy midrange this deck has been on the rise in recent weeks and is looking to put up some serious numbers come seasonals time. People can’t seem to quite agree whether Shyvanna or Taric is the best helper to this high rolling handyman, but whatever the splash there is some serious power here.

Solid, well-protected threats, that just keeps getting bigger and bigger thanks to the Fated keyword can be rough to deal with. Add to that the power of Rally, Spell Shield, and Demacian interaction and you’ve got yourself a contender. Sharpsight and Single Combat have always been good, and this deck makes them shine.

Sharpsight (LoR Card)single combat jpg

Fated deck puts up respectable numbers against top-heavy control while slaughtering other Demacia based midrange decks, as well as most Iceborn Legacy enjoyers. Just being able to go a touch bigger or a touch faster while being hard to effectively interact with gets the job done quite well.

We do still have some hang-ups though. Burn aggro goes often goes under us before we can get properly set up to win the game, and Ahri/Kennen is just awful to try to interact with on the board in the mid game. Anything Ionian, Lee Sin, or even Kindred/Viego, will give our powerful but slightly clunky deck fits.


Sivir (LoR Deck)


[See Sivir deck details]

Last on the list of solid Demacia players is Sivir/Akshan. This deck has been nerfed and forgotten about more times than any other archetype I can think of that is still kicking around. And trust me when I say a kick it still has.

It follows the same style as Pantheon with a few different tricks. Make solid boards, protect them, interact just a tad, and rally in for the win. We’re just a touch faster and lighter than Pantheon though which has its ups and downs.

That touch significantly helps our more aggressive matchups. Especially if we are willing to slot in Radiant Guardian, a unfavored burn matchup can become even or even slightly favored for us.

Radiant Guardian nerf

We do of course have to give up a bit as well though. We’re going to be unfavored into the greedier Demacia variants of this strategy. Pantheon is a tough card to answer. We also lose a touch against control, though that matchup remains favorable as Sivir provides an impressive amount of pressure.


Lee (LoR Deck)


[See Lee deck details]

We’ve been talking a lot about control decks, but we haven’t seen any just yet. First on the list is Lee Sin. Yeah, I know, sneaks his way into every seasonals meta report, doesn’t he? It’s for good reason though, this blind monk has some key things going for him that cement his place in the meta.

Eye of the Dragon is an absolute brick wall. Any aggressively slanted decks trying to force their way through are going to get some serious headaches. Combine that with a boatload of card draw and Deny making other non-Minimorph control matchups favorable, and you’ve got a contender.

Eye of the Dragon (LoR Card)

Lee likes to prey on the two ends of the spectrum. The glacially slow Shadow Isles decks that aren’t doing much until turn nine or ten have problems answering all its threats. And at the same time trying to burn someone out who is blocking and gaining life every turn is rather difficult.

The ways to beat it often involve going right down the middle. Ahri/Kennen and Sivir are both quite powerful decks that boast impressive winrates in this matchup. Or, of course, you could just play Darkness or Tree and Minimorph Lee every time he dares show his face. Deny this Ionia.


Kindred Viego (LoR Deck)


[See Kindred Viego deck details]

This is a new take this season on the old Thresh/Viego Ionia. Kindred getting a much-deserved buff has put her on the map as the killing machine she was always meant to be. Paired with all the other removal tools at this deck’s disposal keeping threats on the table becomes difficult for a quickly frustrated opponent.

We touched on it earlier but this archetype is set out to, more than anything, give midrange and other control decks fit. We’ve trimmed down quite a lot on traditional control tools to give us access to a veritable boatload of anti-interaction and anti-big-creature tech.

Imagine trying to get a Pantheon or Trundle to wade through this sea of Vengeance, Palm, and Deny. Not to mention that we can simply kill off our units with a Kindred in play to sweep away our opponent’s, regardless of size. If even that’s not enough, leveled Viego will shut down anyone.

Kindred level 1 (LoR Card)

The downside here is of course that we have trimmed down on many of the things that traditionally let control beat aggro. If your opponents show up with a burn, scouts, or even something like Sivir you may have problems staying alive long enough for your engines to take over.


FTR (LoR Deck)


[See FTR deck details]

The old classic of control, grandfather to all the iterations that came after it, Shadow Isles/Freljord still has a thing or two to teach the whippersnappers. If people get too swarmy, or simply don’t move fast enough, then this deck will clean them right off its lawn into the defeat bin.

FTR keeps it simple and sweet. Everything in this deck is either a removal spell, a stall tactic, or a way to end the game extremely quickly once the late turns roll around. Survive for a little while, then combine a couple of big units with an atrocity and collect your win.

We’re generally happy anytime we see Noxus or PnZ out of our opponents, except for poros. They’ll generally be either slightly smaller than what we’re doing or extremely vulnerable to our powerful sweeping effects coming through to stop their aggression.

On the flipside, Ionia and Demacia can be problematic. When you’re only playing one or two big spells a turn, decks that cheekily cheat by either countering those or attacking when they are not supposed to are rough. Getting Feel the Rush denied is one of the biggest feels-bad moments there is in Legends of Runeterra.


Poros (LoR Deck)


[See Poros deck details]

Wait, did somebody say that poros was a deck? Jordan’s got to be at the bottom of the barrel and meme-ing on us now right? Nope, these fuzzy little troublemakers are finally in a tournament-worthy package and can prove deadly to the unprepared.

All we want to do here is make poros, make them bigger, and then repeat steps one and two till our opponents fall over. That last bit doesn’t tend to take particularly long when you can present boards full of 3|3 Elusive units staggeringly early in the game.

Anyone that moves at all slowly is going to get blasted by these fuzzy critters. They get too big to sweep up, you can’t answer them mana efficiently enough with larger removal, and Elusive units can’t block them well. So what are we to do against the adorable menace?

Well, they don’t defend themselves particularly effectively either. Slam some burn, or get Pantheon ready to attack twice with huge stats and Overwhelm and you’ll likely be set to go. This deck also occasionally simply won’t draw its pieces and loses to itself, but we’ve seen top-level decks overcome that before.


Darkness (LoR Deck)


[See Darkness deck details]

It’s been a hot topic of debate among the community for quite a while now whether Darkness is a good deck, or just an interesting tournament pick depending on the meta. I think at this point I am coming down on the side of a good deck, if only because it can be teched so many ways.

My current version is playing all the pings in the world and has cut down quite a bit on heavier removal spells and protection for its champions. But if you want to look into beating other matchups Catalogue, Go Hard, Group Shot, and even Box and Hidden Pathways are all swing slots.

Go Hard (LoR card)

This version is hard targeting Ahri/Kennen and other small-dude aggro decks, and should crush them. Even if the Ahri player is going to draw twenty cards later in the game, all you need to do is buy time to set up Veigar, and you can do that just fine.

Veigar Level 1 (LoR card) Veigar Level 2 (LoR card)

We will often be a bit unhappy to see decks that rely on larger units to get the job done though. Pantheon, Lee, and FTR are all quite frightening. That said, sometimes a Veigar will go unanswered and you’ll just accidentally win the game anyway. Seven-point darkness to the face anyone?

Twisted Fish

Twisted Fish (LoR Deck)


[See Twisted Fish deck details]

Last but not least on my list of decks to look out for in this seasonal tourney is a favorite of mine that popped onto all of our radar quite recently. If anyone remembers TF/Fizz this is the saner more reasonable version of that deck that still gets to do some pretty stupid things.

With your god-draw hands, you can have Twisted Fate flipped on turn five, or simply be presenting Elusive lethal with an unreasonable amount of spells and an early Nami flip courtesy of Flash of Brilliance. Even when it plays a tad saner though it’s a solid tempo deck with a bunch of card draw and good burn reach.

Flash of Brilliance (LoR card)

We’re always going to be looking for decks that don’t interact with us well to play against. If we level a champion early then we will simply run away with the game faster than almost anyone else can follow.

The hard matchups here are primarily going to be people who have lots of interaction to deal with the few units that make our deck function. We’ll also occasionally run into some problems with extremely aggressive burn decks.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask WhatAmI during his streams (Tuesday-Thursday around 3PM PST and weekends for tournaments).

WhatAmI streams at twitch.tv/xxwhatamixx Tuesday-Thursday