Hello there, Raphterra here again. This is a very exciting time for Legends of Runeterra! With Patch 3.20, Riot has released a new way to enjoy the game with Timewinder Gauntlets. The decks in these gauntlets will be built with limited card pools that allow us to go back in time and enjoy the early seasons. As of the moment, the developers have announced three Timewinder Gauntlets: Foundations (Nov 24 – Dec 21), Rising Tides (Dec 22 – Jan 4), and Call of the Mountain (Jan 5 – Jan 15).
In this article, I’ll be sharing 10 Classic Decks that you can use for the Foundations Timewinder Gauntlet!
Foundations Anivia Tryndamere Warmother’s Call
I’m starting off the list with the OG control deck, Warmother’s Control! Anivia and Warmother’s Call were the premium Freljord late game cards way back when Feel The Rush didn’t exist yet. This is a hard control deck that aims to survive the early and mid game with several control spells. Warmother’s Call, Anivia, and Tryndamere can then dominate the late game.
Next up is my pick for one of the two strongest decks for the Foundations Timewinder Gauntlet, Ashe Katarina Frostbite. As we all know, Frostbite has been the recipient of several targetted buffs in the recent patches. This version of Foundations Frostbite will enjoy buffed versions of Ashe, Katarina, and Harsh Winds.
Jinx Draven Discard is my other pick for the strongest decks in the Foundations Timewinder Gauntlet, alongside Ashe Katarina Frostbite. Level 2 Jinx is already a burn menace in the current meta. She will only be stronger if she goes back in time with her upgrades. This aggro deck won’t be affected by the nerf to Decimate, because buffed Jinx is more than enough to compensate!
Fast-paced aggro decks have always existed in Legends of Runeterra. Just be aware that Shadow Isles / Freljord control decks will be there to keep them in check.
Following Discard Aggro is another aggressive deck: Darius Harrowing aka “Darrowing”. Back then, playing strong units on curve was already enough to win games. That’s exactly what this Noxus allegiance deck does! Play strong aggressive units on curve, deal as much Nexus damage as possible, then finish games with Level 2 Darius, Decisive Maneuver, or The Harrowing.
The four decks above would be my personal recommendations if you just really want to win games in the gauntlets. The decklists that follow might not be the best choices in terms of power level, but I’m still going to feature them for players just looking to have a good time. There’s always fun in feeling nostalgia for playing the classics!
Foundations Mono Fiora Freljord
Mono Fiora Freljord is another classic strategy from early LOR, until Fiora‘s huge nerf in Patch 2.5. Patch 3.16 brought out a reworked, more expensive version of Fiora. Since then, she has been seeing consistent play in competitive decks as a solid midrange unit. I’m doubtful if a 4-cost Fiora will still be good enough for a mono-champion gameplan. Nonehtheless, I’m including it in this list just because the deck has a very unique playstyle.
Next up is a unique midrange deck: Dawnspiders! This archetype uses Dawnspeakers to buff up wide boards of Spiders, Mistwraiths, and Ephemerals from Shadow Isles. I wanted to include more finisher cards from Demacia like Cithria the Bold, but I think adding too many Demacia cards to a Shadow Isles allegiance deck is a bad idea.
Rhasa the Sunderer (used to be 7-cost), Mark of the Isles (used to be +3/+3), and Frenzied Skitterer (used to have 3 health) were all nerfed in beta. They might no longer be the most optimal card choices for this archetype.
Foundations Lux Heimerdinger Control
Lux Heimerdinger is the second control deck in this list. Both Lux and Heimerdinger were positively affected by the play/cast changes in Patch 3.6. That being said, the lack of access to viable 6+ cost spells was definitely one of the struggles I had when building this particular deck. We may see Lux and Heimerdinger shine more in the Rising Tides or the Call of the Mountain gauntlets.
Zed Kinkou Elusives
Zed Kinkou Elusives! Ahh, what a classic! This is one of the original uninteractive combo decks; comparable to Azir Irelia and Kai’sa Demacia. Unfortunately, this deck will probably not be as strong as it was due to the huge nerfs to Kinkou Wayfinder (used to summon 2 one-cost units) and Solitary Monk (used to have 4 power).
As we move closer to the end of the list, we go to another classic archetype: Fiora Shen. This deck should benefit from Shen‘s now innate Barrier keyword. However, losing the curve of Turn 3 Fiora into Turn 4 Shen will still significantly affect this deck’s mid-game play patterns. Brightsteel Formation was one of my favorite cards in the past, and I’m hoping that the Foundations meta will be slow enough for the card to be viable.
In terms of power level, Fiora Shen will probably be peaking in the Rising Tides gauntlet. Concerted Strike is a key spell card for this archetype, and it wasn’t in the game yet during the Foundations era.
Garen Bannerman Allegiance
Closing off this list is another midrange Demacia deck, Garen Bannerman Allegiance. Similar to Fiora Shen, this archetype might need to wait until the Rising Tides Timewinder gauntlet before it can truly shine. Concerted Strike is a key removal card for Demacia, and Ranger’s Resolve is very important to counter Freljord’s early board wipes. I personally wouldn’t recommend playing this in the Foundations Timewinder Gauntlet, unless you’re a hardcore Demacia fan!
Gauntlet has always been a game mode with a lot of potential for competitive Runeterra, but it has been held back by the fact that there are very few reasons to play the game mode.
I love the idea of Timewinder Gauntlets, and I think this will invigorate the community to play gauntlets for a short period. However, I’d like to see better rewards for playing and winning the game mode; a player icon just isn’t enough to motivate me to play the mode continuously. My suggestion would be: (1) unique card backs, boards, guardians, or (2) in-game advantages in the seasonal tournament open rounds.
That being said, I believe in the LOR developers, and I’m very excited for what they have in store for us in 2023!