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The Meta Impact of A Curious Journey (Which Decks Have Risen, Fallen, and Debuted)

The Meta Impact of A Curious Journey

Hey everyone, Nicmakesplays here. With a new season comes a new meta. I’m here to talk about what has changed and what the meta currently looks like.

We’ll be covering the decks that got stronger, the decks that got weaker, and then diving into the newcomers and lastly, the decks that are really strong in the current meta.

First, let’s look at what changed from last season.

Decks that got weaker

  • Ahri Kennen: Ahri Kennen got hit in terms of power and consistency. Ahri lost health making her easier to remove via combat or with removal spells. Kinkou Wayfinder now summons one unit instead of two which is a significant nerf to the deck as well as its consistency. Before, summoning two units made it so the deck could reliably level Ahri and Kennen with ease.
  • Iceborn Poros: Iceborn Poros got a direct nerf via the change to Iceborn Legacy. The deck can no longer use Iceborn Legacy with Daring Poro on turn 3 since it now costs 6. Iceborn Legacy being a focus speed spell also makes it so you have to pre-commit it and can’t use it in response to removal spells.
  • Iceborn Spiders: Iceborn Spiders suffer from the Iceborn Legacy nerf as well.

Decks that got stronger

  • GP Sejuani: Gangplank Sejuani got a new card to work with in the form of Tusk Speakers. This card is perfect for the deck because it reliably gives you Plunder triggers in the early game to level your champs, or to trigger Sejuani’s level 2 form.
  • Pantheon: Although Wounded Whiteflame was nerfed, the deck got a plethora of new tools. Particularly Petricite Broadwing is an insanely powerful card to hold down the early game for the deck.
  • Bandle Tree: Bandle Tree can now use Gnar as the Frejlord rep instead of having to use Proto Poro. The deck also has access to Buster Shot which is an amazing answer to Gnar, this positions the deck well.
  • Yordles in Arms: Yordles in Arms also have access to Gnar now and actually were the first deck to hit Master Rank #1 via FaintHD!
  • Scouts: Scouts can use Petricite Broadwing to hold down the early game as well and were the second deck to hit Masters via TheBlackBoss!

New Decks

Now, let’s take a look at some of the newcomers.

Fizz Gnar Yordles In Arms

Fizz Gnar Yordles In Arms (LoR Deck)


[See Fizz Gnar Yordles In Arms deck details]

This new variant of Yordles in Arms is extremely versatile, utilizing both Bandle City Swarm and tons of pings. This deck can keep up card advantage with card generation and Pokey Sticks while widening your board. Then, you can finish off the game with Yordles in Arms + burn spells.

This deck has the ability to switch between aggro pressure or value gameplan in a flash and has hit Rank #1.

It’s strong against the entire field and you want to mulligan for Fizz, Yordles In Arms, and Boom Baboon.

Fizz Gnar Yordles In Arms (LoR Mulligan)

Pantheon Galio

Pantheon Galio (LoR Deck)

[See Pantheon Galio deck details]

This is the Pantheon Galio deck I made which is currently the highest win rate Galio deck in the game. While Soraka Galio is sitting under 50% win rate, this deck is currently at 54%.

The strategy of this deck is to hold down the mid-game with your beefy units and strong buff spells. You only take combat trades you win and try to keep a wide board with your units alive.

Then, you can drop down Galio or Pantheon and win the game. The perk of Pantheon over Soraka is you have two ways to win the game, rather than relying on only Galio. This deck is strong against other combat-oriented decks since you have strong combat tricks, as well as Control due to your high health and buff spells.

In this deck, you want to mulligan for Chain Vest + Petricite Broadwing or Petricite Hound to hold down the early game.

Pantheon Galio (LoR Mulligan)

Ziggs Gnar Aggro

Ziggs Gnar Aggro (LoR Deck)

[See Ziggs Gnar Aggro deck details]

Ziggs Gnar Aggro is the new variant of Noxus Bandle Aggro. It runs the usual Aggro package but now has access to Gnar. Gnar is insanely strong usually pushing 4 damage the turn he comes down and gives you a Pokey Stick.

Then, he helps remove threats with his Vulnerable while pushing for Overwhelm damage. The Pokey Stick he gives also helps you refuel and dig for cards to finish the game like Decimate.

This deck is strong against Midrange decks since you can kill them quicker by being ahead on board and then finishing with burn spells.

You’ll want to mulligan for a strong early game curve such as 1 drops and two drops.

Ziggs Gnar Aggro (LoR Mulligan)

If you already have these, Ziggs is a strong turn 3 and Gnar is good for turn 4 when going second.

Swain Gnar

Swain Gnar (LoR Deck)


[See Swain Gnar deck details]

Swain Gnar is currently the highest win rate deck in the game with a whopping 59% win rate. This deck has answers to just about everything and has tons of card generation to keep up the value. You can hold down the early/mid game with your removal spells, blockers and then summon your powerful Transform units.

All of your Transform units have strong effects and are hard to deal with when backed up by removal to stop enemy threats.

Then, on turn 8 you can drop Leviathan + Swain and lock the game out from there. This deck can deal with just about every scenario while putting on strong pressure with Gnar. Swain Gnar is the perfect counter to Midrange decks.

This deck has Flocks and Guillotines to clear just about any unit, and Culling Strike is great against the new Formidable units as well. Once Leviathan + Swain come down it’s easy to lock combat-oriented decks out of the game.

Mulligan for early game blockers + Flock to get you to the mid-game.

Swain Gnar (LoR Mulligan)

Fiora Yuumi

Fiora Yuumi (LoR Deck)


[See Fiora Yuumi deck details]

Fiora Yuumi is a new and refreshing way to play Fiora. Fiora benefits perfectly from being buffed by Yuumi every turn to turn into a unit the enemy can’t deal with. You can get 4 kills with Fiora to win through her leveled-up ability, or just start attacking for game when she has a high attack.

The new card, Friendship, allows her to have access to Spellshield as well, which protects her from removal spells.

This deck is great against Aggro or any deck that doesn’t have a direct answer to Fiora.

Mulligan for Fiora as a top priority, and then after that Yuumi + protection spells for her.

Fiora Yuumi (LoR Mulligan)

Zoe Lee Sin

Zoe Lee Sin (LoR Deck)

[See Zoe Lee Sin deck details]

Lee Sin is currently the Combo deck of the meta. Usually known as a top-tier tournament deck, this deck also has a unique matchup spread which allows it to have its place on Ranked.

This deck is great against Aggro and Midrange since Eye of the Dragon can hold down the mid-game until you can finish them off with Lee Sin or a Zoe level up.

In this deck, you want to mulligan for Eye of the Dragon or Gifts from Beyond to keep you alive while you set up your hand for a Lee Sin OTK.

Eye of the Dragon (LoR Card)Gifts from Beyond (LoR Card)

What is currently “Meta”?

As of writing this article, it’s only been a few days into the new expansion. But already some decks are performing better than others, so I’m going to go over the ones that are having breakout performances.

New cards such as Gnar and Broadwing Petricite are having huge impacts on the meta and are shaping the game as we know it.

These are the decks I would recommend using on ranked because currently, they are having huge success.

Gnar Swain

Gnar Swain (LoR Deck)

[See Gnar Swain deck details]

Gnar Swain as we talked about earlier has the highest win rate in the whole game right now at 59%.

This deck has answers to just about everything and can utilize Gnar, which is the strongest champ of the new expansion.


Scouts (LoR Deck)

[See Scouts deck details]

Scouts were already performing exceptionally last season and now have some new tools. Petricite Broadwing is amazing in the early game to gain field control from beneficial combat trades.

Durand Sculptor also makes your units much more resilient to removal and is particularly strong since this deck swarms the board. The deck is sitting at a 55% win rate and was one of the first decks to hit Masters.

This deck is great against Control due to Rangers Resolve + Durand Sculptor. It also is great against Aggro since you can just remove their units with Challengers and then finish them off with Rally.

In this deck, you want to mulligan for Miss Fortune since she is the strongest card in your deck. Durand Sculptor is also good to start buffing your board early, and Petricite Broadwing to start controlling the field in the early game.

Scouts (LoR Mulligan)

FaintHD’s Yordles In Arms

FaintHD’s Yordles In Arms (LoR Deck)

[See FaintHD’s Yordles In Arms deck details]

FaintHD’s Yordles In Arms deck was the first to hit Masters Rank #1 and is at the top of the ladder right now.

This deck has tons of ways to keep up card advantage, has many ways to access Pokey Stick which is one of the best spells in the game and can swing for game out of nowhere with Yordles In Arms.

Whether it’s the continuous value this deck generates, the aggressive pressure, or both, this deck is a huge threat to try and keep up with.

Bandle Tree

Bandle Tree (LoR Deck)

[See Bandle Tree deck details]

Here is my Bandle Tree deck with its new addition, Gnar. Some players such as FloppyMudkip even have a 65% win rate with this deck right now.

This is the tried and true Bandle Tree deck that just got second at seasonals, but they now have access to the strongest new champ in the game. As you can see Gnar is everywhere and Buster Shot is the perfect answer to him.

Spending 2 mana to kill Gnar is potentially the best answer in the game to him, and this deck runs 3 copies. This deck is amazing at anything without a direct answer to The Bandle Tree, as well as all the Gnar decks running around.

In this deck, you want to mulligan for early game blockers/Flocks to control the board and start working on your Bandle Tree wincon. Against Gnar decks, you can also mulligan for Buster Shot for him.

Bandle Tree (LoR Mulligan)


Darkness (LoR Deck)


[See Darkness deck details]

Next up is Darkness. Darkness is a deck that was one of the staple top tiers from last season and not much has changed there. Darkness was the first deck to hit Masters on EU and is the premiere Control deck in the game right now. This deck has access to strong openings with Twisted Catalyzer and all of SI’s strong removal spells.

This deck can win in two ways: out valuing the enemy with Senna or destroying the enemy Nexus with leveled Veigar. This deck is great against other Control decks and Aggro.

This deck always wants to mulligan for Twisted Catalyzer, the win rate of this deck is significantly higher when you see this card by turn 2. If you already have him, you can mulligan for more copies or for Stilted Robemaker to buff your Darkness more.

In grindier matchups, Senna is amazing to have, and against Aggro healing such as Go Hard and Vile Feast are must-sees.

Darkness (LoR Mulligan)

Ziggs Gnar Aggro

Ziggs Gnar Aggro (LoR Deck)


[See Ziggs Gnar Aggro deck details]

Last but not least we have Ziggs Gnar Aggro. A deck that is great at getting fast wins in ranked and is really strong if your opponent’s deck isn’t ready for it. This deck can reap on weak openings but push insane damage and then finish off with burn spells. Gnar is perfect for this deck since he can both push damage and generate Pokey Sticks for burn reach and refuel.


Gnar is leading the pack as the strongest new champ in the game. Gnar puts on the pressure, generates you Pokey Sticks, and is a generic strong level up. This allows him to be splashed in all kinds of decks ranging from Midrange to Aggro. On top of this, Bandle City is the strongest region in the game right now.

Bandle City has a powerful toolbox of card generation, removal, and swarm which leads to it being the most well-rounded region.

Now with Gnar in the mix, the game is centered around himself and this region. Petricite Broadwing is also strong as well as Miss Fortune + Scouts still being a viable strategy. Although Gnar and Bandle City are the focal points of the meta, the meta is still extremely versatile in terms of play patterns.

You can play Control with Darkness, Aggro with Gnar Ziggs, Midrange with Galio or Swain Gnar, and Combo with Lee Sin as well.

The meta so far leaves room for all types of play patterns to exist and I’m excited to see how it develops!

For more decks, head to the Deck Library! To build your own, head to the Deck Builder.

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