It’s den, back from writing beginner’s guides to dig into a more competitive part of the game: the Gauntlet. Let’s be honest – there has been a massive patch earlier in the week so a lot of what you will read in this article is based on personal preference and what I expect the meta to look like.
Right now, when changes this big have happened in a game, I would advise going towards comfort decks, as it is tough to gauge what the metagame will look like. But let’s try to play a little game of prediction nonetheless!
1. Triple Aggro
- Ban recommendation: The most defensively-capable deck in the opposing lineup.
There are three resources in LoR: Mana, Health, and Cards. And often, when players are trying to refine their new brews, they need a bit of time to find the precise balance between those types of resources.
As such, the goal of this first lineup will be to exploit this lack of balance in our opponents’ decks to win the game. A simple, well-planned aggressive lineup that relies on basic resource management will punish mistakes heavily.
This lineup is generally riskier when later during a patch’s life-cycle, as players have more experience and knowledge about the matchups we are trying to take advantage of. But it can pay off huge dividends in a new metagame. It also could be a solid way of countering the Lee Sin decks that should rise in the coming days.
When building our lineup, we are looking to add decks that are great at dominating one particular aspect of the game. For example, Scouts is a great deck when it comes to pushing the board advantage. And Azir Burn is powerful when attacking an opponent’s health, forcing decks that haven’t invested enough into healing to race us desperately.
These two make for a great start of a lineup as they are able to pressure and force opponents into weird situations where they need to fight us where we are at our best.
The last deck could go in different directions and if there is another aggressive deck you feel best at, don’t be afraid to use that. I will choose Spider Burn for this particular lineup as it’s the most committed to that same ‘dominating a resource’ plan, alongside Scouts and Azir burn in my mind.
Discard Aggro or Pirates could also work, but being as linear as Spider could actually be a stronger plan in this particular strategy.
2. Powerful Meta Decks
- Ban recommendation: Lee Sin, or the other most combo-oriented deck.
With the nerf to the top dogs, and a meta environment still developing, the strategy of going with ‘the next best thing’ is hard to argue against.
The main problem here we can end up with a weird-looking lineup as the decks don’t necessarily work together as a cohesive unit. The thing to keep in mind here is that we are going for raw power-level, sacrificing some synergy.
Usually, this kind of approach opens up to counter-lineups, as the best decks often have the target on their backs. However, nobody really knows what to expect when entering the gauntlet this time, at least for the first days, so these decks might not get targeted as hard as they should, and we are precisely banking on this.
Zoe Lee and Lissandra Trundle have a really good synergy together in order to beat defensive decks, as they both rely on a combo to win the game.Deep is an interesting pick as the third deck. It was buffed in the recent patch and it is also pretty good at beating defensive strategies.
This trio could be weak against aggro once Lissandra Trundle is banned, but should strike fear in the heart of most other lineups.
- Ban recommendation: Swarm decks – they are really hard to contain with this line up.
Recently, the Overwhelm keyword has gained a lot of power and we’ve seen various decks based on that mechanic rise to success. It is now even possible to go full-Overwhelm in your lineup.
Before the 2.5.0 patch, these decks had the problem against aggressive strategies, who were, in turn, popular because as counters to Fizz TF.
Since there’s no need to counter Fizz TF for now, slower decks have a reason to come back. Also Lissandra Trundle, Lee Sin and Deep should all be popular picks in the next few days. Therefore, building a simple yet effective lineup of midrange decks based on the Overwhelm keyword makes a lot of sense. Let’s simply hope we dodge some of the most aggressive lineups.
Most people are more on the side of Renekton Sejuani as a deck but personally, I like Sivir, and it also lets us save Sejuani for the second overwhelming deck we’ll have. Also, the Spellshield of Sivir is really important against the more defensive decks that we are trying to beat.
Sejuani Tryndamere deck has a slower approach to the game – the two champions we have are at 6 and 8 mana cost. But this is also a deck that can develop a ton of pressure and sustain it for a very long time, which is perfect to go against slower strategies. A Frostbite deck could also work here instead as it is the archetype that is usually doing well against Lee Sin if that is what you are trying to beat.
Our Pirate build is somewhat unique, as we will focus it on the overwhelming part of the deck, and we also add Darius at the top of the curve. There are other options possible for your third choice – we basically want a deck that can punish slower strategies that wouldn’t be as good at dealing with medium-sized units.
4. Greedy Late Game
- Ban recommendation: The deck in the opponent’s lineup that ‘hits the hardest’, we want time to develop.
Fizz TF and Aphelios were preventing a lot of decks from reaching competitive viability. Previously, if a particular deck couldn’t beat at least one of those two, there wasn’t much reason to play it.
The decks in this lineup were often too hard to make work as they give too much time to their opponent. Also, they couldn’t interact well enough with the threats of the mentioned top archetypes. They are value-oriented decks, aiming at reaching a late-game situation where they would dominate against opponents who wouldn’t be able to use their 10 mana as effectively.
This strategy is more viable now after the recent nerfs, but it would still carry some risk, as it opens us up for some very aggressive decks, and we also have to ban Lee Sin.
But if people are looking to play the lineups akin to the one listed as the No.2 in this article, then this lineup could shine and punish decks like Deep or Lissandra Trundle.
5. My Personal Take
- Ban recommendation: The deck you consider the best in the opponent’s lineup – except for Lee Sin, which we don’t mind facing. Scouts could be a problem and is a good ban target.
In the lineups above I’ve tried to present options catering to different players who value different styles. In this last section, I’d like to go deeper and share my own take if I was to enter the gauntlet.
There are three decks that I am mostly considering when building my lineup: Lee Sin, Lissandra Trundle, Fizz TF (+ aggressive decks in general).
Lee Sin is the deck that is called to be the next metagame king after the Fizz TF nerfs. Lissandra Trundle is the highest-profile deck to come out of the Shurima expansion and one of the best decks among the ones untouched by the patch. Lastly, Fizz TF did receive a hit, but now that the deck is not a such well-respected threat, it could do some damage and exploit the unprepared field. Aggro decks in general have been also very popular lately, with at least 5 or 6 viable decks worthy of note.
I tried to design a lineup that can beat most of these things, and though it might be ambitious, I usually feel like a new environment is the best time to take risks. Simply put, I’m trying to find a way to beat both Lee Sin and greedier decks without giving up aggressive matchups either.
Scouts and Discard Aggro feel like a great core right now – they favorable in most aggressive matchups, and capable of beating control decks in longer games unlike more committed fast decks like Pirates or Azir burn.
My last choice was between Overwhelm (to beat Lee Sin and Lissandra Trundle) or Lee Sin itself. Either way, I was opening the aggressive matchups to be a weakness, so I tried to go with the one that I felt will be the best against aggression. Lee Sin is paired up with Targon, which means it has access to healing while the Overwhelm archetypes has none.
I tried to find a list that was good in the mirror and would be relevant against aggressive decks as well, and the inclusion of the newest Startipped Peak over the Mountain Goat gives it a bit more flexibility with the Celestial cards. The triple Concussive Palm should help to slow things down against Overwhelm and in the mirror match.
Here are 5 lineups to take into the gauntlet this weekend! I hope this article was informative and helps you on your quest to a Prime Glory.
Once again, keep in mind that I tried to highlight the different directions one could explore when trying to tackle the gauntlet. What matters the most is your comfort level with the lineup. As you can see in the last lineup, what I would play in the gauntlet isn’t a 100% committed strategy and I favored my comfort level with the decks over anything else.
As usual, feel free to stop by our Discord if you have questions, want to chat, or simply would like to show off that Prime Glory you’ve just collected! If you would have any questions for me or are looking for coaching, my Twitter is a good start.
Good game everyone!