Hello, Mezume here!
We have just experienced what was arguably the most exciting tournament in the history of Legends Runeterra’s competitive play – the first-ever World Championship!
What made it even better for us viewers was the fact that some of the players decided to spice it up and bring some of the more unorthodox or previously underrated lists. This is exactly what this article is going to be about – here are the three decks that piqued my interest in the tournament!
The first list could be no other than the winner’s most banned deck of the tournament – Alanzq’s Ezreal Vi with Curious Shellfolk. This value-based archetype has been banned in 5 out of 6 Alan’s matches, and he did secure the win in the only game he got to play with it, versus Akshan Sivir Demacia.
This particular strategy was actually first created and popularized by ImpetuousPanda and quickly gained traction in the community.
It revolves around Curious Shellfolk and its ability to create nearly endless value through copying cards you are offered by spells such as Time Trick and units like Conchologist. What’s even crazier, Shellfolk can copy your opponent’s cards when you’re Pranking!
To top that off, the deck runs Station Archivist,
It is hard to evaluate the deck’s exact power level on the ladder and how its matchups look – all due to the fact it is insanely difficult to play. There are tons of decisions to be made regarding what cards to pick, and figuring out the right time to go all-in on a Curious Shellfolk turn can be difficult.
Additionally, because the deck has been banned for most of the tournament, it was not showcased nearly enough. What can certainly be said is that it has the same quality as the Plunder deck as it can use your opponent’s cards to give yourself an edge in any matchup.
Those who are willing to play with the full focus the whole game and spend the time mastering the deck are going to end up having real fun; otherwise, you might be in for the rough ride.
Alan was not the only Polish player to bring a completely off-meta deck. Szychu raised the stakes even further – he brought a Heimerdinger deck! It was also banned multiple times, and while it did not sport the best win rate, going 1-2 overall, in the two losses he had Szychu was awfully unlucky.
The deck is a little reminiscent of titans of old such as Veimer Targon or, more recently, Zoe Vi. It does not play a very synergistic combination of cards – instead, it relies on the high individual power of your spells and units.
Both Zoe and Heimerdinger are value engines and they even have a small point of synergy thanks to the fact that Supercool Starchart generates Turrets, and all the different Turrets do count towards Zoe’s level-up.
Additionally, there is a large number of spells included to make the best use of Heimerdinger – there are protection spells, but also removals such as Buster Shot and Sunburst, as well as Starshaping, which doubles up as the source of healing and an additional win condition. Finding The Great Beyond or The Immortal Fire can end the game on the spot.
Fortunately, Bandle City Mayor is another must-kill high priority target in our deck, meaning that it can be difficult for the opponent to keep up with all the backline threats we are presenting.
The amount of healing and a fairly low curve also makes the aggressive matchups more than winnable, while Aloof Travelers can mess up or at least delay combo and control decks, giving Zoe Heimer more time to piece together a win condition.
Another difficult deck to pilot, but this one is a little less punishing than Curious Shellfolk, so I can wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone who wants to play Heimerdinger. It is likely one of – if not the one – strongest ways to play the champion.
While Darkness is not exactly the spiciest deck, as it is a fairly known archetype tried and tested by many players, it is also definitely not a strategy that was considered to be very powerful prior to Worlds.
It was more of a ‘fun deck’ that could win games, but it has never shown much success on the ladder, and we didn’t expect it to shine in the World Championship. Yamato, however, surprised everyone not only by bringing it but also by piloting it nearly to perfection and going undefeated with it throughout the entire tournament with a total record of 5-0.
His list was nothing out of the ordinary – some even considered it slightly outdated as it did not include Aloof Travelers, while the inclusion of Otterpus was something that many players were slowly going away from.
Senna Veigar relies on finding its key cards early to ramp up the damage and reduce the cost of Darkness. Twisted Catalyzer and Veigar are crucial to your gameplan – as is finding the right amount of Darkness generators in Darkbulb Acolytes and the champions.
If we count in Otterpus and Conchologist, the deck has a total of 12 units that cost 2 or less, which is a fairly large number for a control deck to run. Furthermore, the list has access to Vile Feast and Pokey Stick to pick off 1-health units or help your low-cost drops trade with larger midrange cards.
Once again, it is a difficult list to pilot. Yamato impressed everyone with his clean play and I doubt anyone else would be able to get that 5-0 scoreline.
The strategy is vulnerable if the early game plays do not come together – in that case, Darkness can be too slow to remove threats efficiently enough. It can have clunky hands and a generally slow clock, giving the opponent a chance to draw the right answers. If played as well as by Yamato, however, it can be insanely powerful and it showcases the pilot’s skill in all its glory.
Darkness is a deck I can recommend to everyone, just because it is fun – it is a very on-theme deck, it feels good to blast out Darkness at the opposing units and, most of all, one-shotting the enemy Nexus with Ixtali Sentinel and Veigar is extremely satisfying – as rare as it may happen.
Finally, even if you don’t feel like you can play it to the full potential, sometimes you’ll just draw the perfect opener and still feel fantastic about the game.
The first Legends of Runeterra World Championship was a fantastic tournament with many thrilling games and exciting lineup choices. I absolutely loved watching it!
It has definitely showcased that the metas never get completely solved and sometimes a lot of testing and a ton of creativity give birth to unorthodox decks that can succeed even in the most ironclad environments. It also shows how many great opportunities come from having a tournament format with a ban, letting some decks cover their clear weaknesses.
I hope you enjoyed this showcase article and will try some of these decks for yourself – after all, they all made it to the Top 3 of the World Championship!