Hey all, Raphterra here again! Legends of Runeterra’s 2023 kicks off with a fresh new Call of the Mountain Timewinder Gauntlet, set to open on January 5. As usual, I will be providing some decklists that you can include for your gauntlet lineups.
Today, I’m going to feature a whopping 17 decks! Not all of these decks will be competitive; some of them are meant to be played just for fun. If you’re looking to secure a Prime Glory in your first gauntlet run, no worries! I will classify each deck as either casual or competitive. The decks I marked as “competitive” will be the ones I would personally consider including in my gauntlet lineup!
Let’s start right away!
Teemo Ezreal ( Casual )
Teemo Ezreal was the first competitive Poison Puffcap deck in Runeterra. The release of Hexcore Foundry in Call of the Mountain sparked the creation of this fan-favorite combo/control deck. Teemo Ezreal can be included in lineups that plan to counter slow control decks and midrange Demacia decks.
Without the recent nerf to Ezreal‘s level-up requirement, I wouldn’t hesitate classifying this list as a competitive deck! Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and Ezreal might just be too slow without the modern spells that exist in the current card pool.
Teemo Sejuani ( Casual )
This is another variation of Teemo Freljord Puffcaps that runs Sejuani instead of Ezreal. Teemo‘s Poison Puffcaps can trigger Sejuani‘s level-up requirement easily, making this another potential counter to most Demacia decks. Starlit Seer adds more to the deck’s fun factor; drawing big units always feels good! That being said, this is probably the inferior version of Freljord Puffcaps when compared to Teemo Ezreal.
Tahm Kench Soraka ( Competitive )
Behold, our first Targon deck, Tahm Kench Soraka! Star Spring Control is a great deck to include in a lineup that looks to punish control decks. Midrange decks that rely on attacks are also great matchups for Soraka Tahm Kench. Depending on the rest of your lineup, you can consider adding more copies of Broadbacked Protector to improve your matchups against aggro.
Leona Aurelion Sol Zoe ( Competitive )
The reworked Daybreak cards should shine brightly in the Call of the Mountain gauntlet. For this list, I’m pairing up Leona‘s Daybreak package with the space dragon himself, Aurelion Sol! The meta back then wasn’t as fast as it is now, but beware that Aurelion Sol always brings the risk of getting bricked hands in the early game. I’m expecting reworked Leona to be a powerhouse in the gauntlet, especially against opposing midrange decks.
Shen Lulu ( Casual )
Fiora Shen was the premiere Barrier deck of the past, but the new 4-cost Fiora can be very awkard to play with Shen, another 4-cost unit. Lulu‘s release in Call of the Mountain gives Shen an alternative champion pairing. This is a midrange deck that combines support units like Shen, Lulu, and Young Witch with Challenger units from Demacia. I still classified Shen Lulu as a casual deck because of the lack of efficient Rally spells.
Spooky Aphelios Zoe ( Casual )
Call of the Mountain was the expansion for Targon, and back then, invoke decks were very competitive! This is the classic Targon invoke allegiance deck with a splash of Shadow Isles’ Atrocity. Getting value was not too easy back then! Aphelios, Zoe, and the other invoke cards were able to outvalue most opposing decks over a long game. Unfortunately, The Fangs nerf hurts this deck a lot, so I’m still putting it in the casual category.
Aphelios Zoe Viktor ( Competitive )
Following Aphelios Diana is another invoke deck: Aphelios P&Z with Viktor and Zoe. P&Z is usually paired with Targon because of the region’s wide arsenal of cheap removal spells like Mystic Shot and Thermogenic Beam. This is an archetype that kept evolving itself with every expansion (Aphelios Seraphine is the latest version in today’s meta). In Call of the Mountain, Viktor and Subpurrsible were the deck’s main win conditions alongside late-game invokes from Starshaping.
Ezreal Draven Tribeam ( Casual )
Next comes the original Tri-beam Improbulator tempo/control deck, Ezreal Draven! This archetype utilized 3-cost cards from Noxus and P&Z to buff up Tri-beam Improbulator‘s damage. Ezreal Draven was a top tier deck for a long time, but it received several harsh nerfs that stopped it from seeing play in today’s meta. Fortunately, it should still be playable as a fun deck in the Call of the Mountain gauntlet.
Feel The Rush Control ( Competitive )
Call of the Mountain included the release of one of the most iconic cards in Freljord: Feel The Rush. Feel The Rush control has been competitive in almost every meta since its release, including today in World Ender. This classic control deck will benefit from several buffed cards e.g. She Who Wanders, Harsh Winds, and Vengeance.
Mono Anivia Gluttony ( Competitive )
Mono Anivia is probably the inferior control deck when compared to Feel The Rush control, but die-hard fans of the Cryophoenix had a lot to look forward to when this expansion came out. Gluttony was an Anivia support card that made it easier to get multiple Anivias on board consistently. Despite being inferior to Feel The Rush, Anivia control is still a competitive counter to aggressive lineups.
Twisted Fate Elise Go Hard ( Competitive )
Go Hard / 1-mana Pack Your Bags was arguably one of the strongest cards in Legends of Runeterra when it was released. This Go Hard deck used Bilgewater‘s draw cards to consistently get more Go Hards in hand while also having Twisted Fate as an alternate win condition. Pack Your Bags was eventually nerfed to 5 mana, but this deck should still have a place in a lineup that targets aggro decks.
Twisted Fate Fizz ( Casual )
Wiggly Burblefish‘s release led to the creation of the most notorious Elusive deck in Legends of Runeterra: Twisted Fate Fizz. This was the strongest deck in Call of the Mountain, and it has received well-deserved nerfs to several cards (Twisted Fate, Ballistic Bot, Rummage, Wiggly Burblefish) since then. I’m not too certain of its competitive viability due to these nerfs, so I’m putting it in the casual category.
Discard Aggro ( Competitive )
Another Timewinder Gauntlet article, that means another feature slot for Jinx Draven Discard. Discard Aggro will be very close to its peak power in Call of the Mountain. This expansion brought two support cards for this archetype that still see play even in the modern Discard aggro lists: Poro Cannon and Survival Skills.
Ashe Frostbite ( Competitive )
Frostbite Ashe should still be a decent deck to include in lineups that want to counter midrange decks. The deck is mostly the same from the list I featured in my previous gauntlet article. The main difference is the inclusion of the best combat trick from Freljord, Troll Chant!
Swain Twisted Fate ( Competitive )
This Twisted Fate Swain list is also very similar to what I featured for the Rising Tides gauntlet, but with some nice additions from Call of the Mountain. Crusty Codger and Fortune Croaker are Tahm Kench‘s support units, but Swain also benefits from their self-damage effect. Scorched Earth is another efficient unit and landmark removal spell that Call of the Mountain added to Swain‘s arsenal.
Pirate Aggro ( Competitive )
Pirate Aggro, as expected, will still be present for my competitive recommendations! I’m adding Jack, the Winner to the list as the deck’s alternate finisher and a replacement for Gangplank. With Gangplank gone, Twisted Fate can take the freed up champion slots to give the deck more room for mid-game options and flexibility.
Nautilus Maokai Deep ( Competitive )
The final deck of the article is the fan-favorite, Nautilus Maokai Deep! I didn’t make any changes from the previous list I featured. The only Deep support card added from Call of the Mountain was The Slaughter Docks, and I think the card is too slow to include in a competitive list. As usual, you should run Deep alongside other Shadow Isles control decks like Feel The Rush or Mono Anivia control.
This is the last timewinder gauntlet before we revert back to the standard gauntlets, so enjoy it while you still can. I’m looking forward to what other gauntlets Riot has in store for us in 2023!