5 Off-Meta Decks Spotted in Masters – Patch 3.3

It's time to shake things up and try something new! Mezume is here with 5 off-the-beaten path lists that were played to success in Masters this week.

Hello, it’s Mezume here. Every once in a while, we like to share with you guys collections of decks that are a bit less meta, with which you can simply have fun – while still winning! That is exactly the aim of this article, so I hope you can find something for yourself.

Few rules before we dive in: the decks are shown in a rather random order – normally I sort them by strength, but this time they all feel actually fairly close to each other. In order to make this article, the archetypes had to fit the criteria: first of all, they needed to be powerful enough to win games; secondly, they were not already featured on our Meta Tier List at the time of writing.


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Malphite Taliyah created by Mezume • last updated 4 months ago
Midrange

Likely the oldest deck on the list, it is also my favourite. I brought it to the Seasonal Tournament once and it was my best performing list, so I definitely have a lot of sentiment towards it. I took the particular list above from Jasensational, but I also have to mention GrandpaRoji, who is the player to make Taliyah Malphite viable as an archetype.

This deck is the quintessential midrange deck, which looks to stabilize on the board and win the game through simple board advantage. The early game is the part where you just want to survive – your tools include cards like Ancient Preparations, Chip and Rock Hopper, the combination of which can stop any deck right in their tracks.

Midrange power is coming from Salt Spire, especially combined with Taliyah, as well as Endless Devout. Stonebreaker can provide some incredible tempo swings, as well as find lethal damage out of nowhere, while the real finisher of the deck is Malphite and his Unstoppable Force.

The deck struggles mainly against fast strategies, as it can lack the tools to stall aggression – and doesn’t have any healing whatsoever. If you cannot draw into an early Chip and Rock Hopper, you will often find yourself overrun.

If you manage to survive, you’ll be able to navigate the midgame thanks to some good tools that will allow you to fight for board control such as Rite of the Arcane and Ground Slam. You will generally never run out of value with this deck, since Preservarium and Unraveled Earth provide a lot of card draw.

The most fun part of this deck is that it feels so thematic. You play these huge threats in the form of Grumpy Rockbears, follow them up with Taliyah and Malphite and just swing for crazy amounts of damage – especially when you can give them Overwhelm through cards like The Absolver and Herald of the Magus. I recommend this deck to absolutely everyone – it took a while for it to take off, but it’s managed to be an off-meta on many different patches!


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Riven Viktor created by Mezume • last updated 4 months ago
Combo
Burn

Riven Viktor is a new take on an old ‘one-hit-wonder’ – Draven Viktor. This particular list is taken from Żółw Lamparci, who is also known to be the player who make Plunder the most popular deck on the ladder a few seasons ago.

At first glance, this list looks like a weird take on an aggressive deck with some hints of burn. Great early game with cards such as Blade Squire, Zaunite Urchin and Fallen Rider is followed up by a lot of direct damage in the form of Get Excited! and Mystic Shot.

When you look a bit deeper though, it really is a combo list, that can also play the long game thanks to Lost Soul and Viktor. That said, the real fun of this strategy comes from the all-powerful combo – buffing up one of your Augment units or Riven and then attacking with them twice due to Midnight Raid created by Ruined Reckoner.

The deck can be extremely frustrating to play against, as it has so many ways to attack you – but that is also what makes it fun to pilot. Between board pressure, Elusive units from Poro Cannon and Nyandroid, the combo potential with Riven and Ballistic Bot, as well as simply all the burn… Few decks can fight against this onslaught.

That said though, control decks – especially those running Shadow Isles – are able to shut down most of the avenues. With most of your units at 1 HP, the wide board means nothing, cards like Minimorph and Vengeance are circumventing Survival Skills, and healing will render the burn useless.

With all that in mind though, I believe that the deck is still worth giving it a try. It can definitely win many games – sometimes even those that feel unwinnable. It is rare that finding a lethal in LoR feel as satisfying as with this deck – attacking with a 10+ power Riven, twice in a turn.


It’s finally time for something completely new! This deck is one that I found MazeMangler playing – it was so fun when I tried it myself that I found it worthy to include in this list.

This deck does a lot of things that Demacia likes to do – take over the board by using beefy units and Challengers. One of the reasons that Piltover & Zaun has some synergies with Demacia is the ability to give Flame Chompers! more health and the Formidable keyword. In that sense, it is a bit similar to the good old Lulu Jinx.

The deck has a great early game due to being able to cheat out Flame Chompers through the use of Zaunite Urchin and Get Excited!, as well as the Formidable units – Petricite Broadwing and Durand Architect.

The only expensive cards in this strategy are the champions – Jayce serves as a powerful unit that can very occasionally level up in longer games, Jarvan IV is just a great tempo swing, while Galio is a fantastic finisher that makes your board practically uncontestable.

There is not so much out-of-combat interaction in this strategy, outside of the ability to find some of it through Ferros Financier. This makes it so that once you’ve fallen behind, there isn’t so much you can do to come back – outside of hoping your opponent slows down on tempo and lets you build a wall they cannot get through.

With only Sharpsight and Ranger’s Resolve as protection, you can also be quite vulnerable to removal. That said, your units are quite sturdy and there is a fair bit of draw/card generation in the list, making it quite easy to refill the board.

If you like Demacia, you’ll like Galio Jayce. If you like Jayce, you’ll like Galio Jayce. If you don’t like either – still try it out, it does feel quite different from the usual Demacia lists!


The theme of this list has to be golden oldies! Despite feeling seemingly pushed on release, Reputation never took off as a top-tier deck – but it was always viable as an answer to Demacia at the very least. This particular list is the creation of Broken Ball.

This is a pretty straightforward deck in what it wants to do – curve out and leverage Vulnerable in order to trade up using the Quick Attack keyword.

The early game of the deck has a few power cards – such as Thrashing Snapper and Treasure Seeker. They both synergize well with Merciless Hunter and Baccai Sandspinner, which are the two cards that are the reason this deck can do as well as it does in midrange matchups.

LeBlanc and Sivir can pick off Vulnerable enemies, and with the use of Whirling Death and Bloody Business can push your board advantage even further. Incisive Tactician and Captain Farron both act as finishers, but in slightly different ways – one is best to use with a full board, while the other lets you focus completely on burning down your opponent’s Nexus.

In general, this deck is mainly used as a Demacia killer, as it is able to efficiently destroy its threats – it simply has the better tools to fight for the board. This strategy is extremely weak on defence, which makes up for the stronger than average offence. This means that you will have to put a lot of pressure on your opponent on attack turns, as you don’t usually want to block with LeBlanc or Sivir – unless backed up by Whirling Death or Bloody Business. While it is quite weak to aggro, it can still be quite playable in that matchup with the low curve, you just need to be able to outrace them!

If you hate Demacia – here’s your deck. I know many people do, so you’re most welcome! On a more serious note, Reputation is one of the most fun board-based “fair” decks to play and I can’t recommend it more.


Jarvan IV making two appearances in this article was not something I anticipated, but then I came across this little gem. I encountered it played by Snnuy, but also have seen it played on ladder before.

Demacia and Freljord have historically always been the regions with the best midrange capabilities – with decks like Scouts, Frostbite and others being meta at some points. This deck combines the two regions to create a great midrange strategy with powerful units, as well as strong combat tricks.

The early game is actually fairly weak, as the deck starts becoming more powerful as you near turn 4 and are able to put Braum to work. The biggest synergy in the deck – outside of efficient combat tricks combined with sturdy units – is being able to give Braum Formidable. With Regeneration and high health, he will be able to take over the board easily.

The two Jarvans serve as the deck’s finishers, as J4 will nearly always come down levelled with all the Challengers. I also cannot ignore the inclusion of The Howling Abyss in the list – it is just an alternate win condition that allows for even more fun games!

This strategy is weak to hard removal, as it simply has no way to prevent it – and it normally wants wide boards, as that is what Swiftwing Flight best synergizes with. That said, Howling Abyss can make it so that it is possible to still keep up with slower control decks – simply find yourself big levelled champions! This deck is still mostly reliant on Braum; you want to buff him, give him more health, give him Tough, give him Formidable and proceed to win the game – or survive until The Howling Abyss.

Honestly, I think this deck is the weakest of the five, but also the most fun. It is just so different from most decks that are currently (or ever, really) meta. Plus, come on, who doesn’t want to build a huge Braum and win the game with him.


Closing Words

I love writing these articles, because I get to play all these crazy decks that then end up in here.

I hope these five lists will give you guys some fun ideas to play with – my personal favourite is Malphite Taliyah, but if I was to recommend one deck you should give a try, it is Braum J4. It is just such an enjoyable and such a different list.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the decks!

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Mezume

Mezume is a competitive Legends of Runeterra player with an unexplained love for midrange decks. He believes the important thing is not the end result of the game, but the choices made within it. Loves learning more about the game and sharing that knowledge with others!

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