6 Powerful Decks Flying Under the Radar – Beyond the Bandlewood Season
Hello, Agigas here!
The Beyond the Bandlewood meta continues to develop, and we can clearly see that there are still a lot of hidden gems waiting to be found. Gangplank Twisted Fate is a clear example of that, as the deck went from obscurity to a Tier 1 archetype just over these last few days.
In this article, I wanted to talk about some of the powerful decks that are currently massively underplayed. Here, we have a little bit of everything – old forgotten powerhouses, brand new archetypes, and lists that have been underrepresented for a long time – so if you’re looking to play something else than the current meta staples, you’ll certainly find something interesting here!
To find these archetypes, I mainly use stats from various websites (Mobalytics, llorr.stats, Runeterra.AR, lor-meta). Because the sample sizes are quite low for these decks, I also tested each one of them to make sure they all deserve their spot on this list.
At first, I wanted to feature Lulu Jinx in this article. That deck never got the popularity it deserved, and this is especially true this season. Lulu Jinx is showing great performances with a 54.3% win rate in Plat+, and it is a good choice if you want to climb with an underrated deck.
However, you can see that in the end, I went with another archetype, though it does have a similar concept. In the original Lulu Jinx list, Ionia always felt a bit underwhelming to me. However, after the Bandle City was released, Lulu became a dual-region champion, meaning we don’t need to be in Ionia to play her.
Bandle City’s ability to swarm the board at a cheap cost is very impressive. Having access to Bandle City also allows us to trade Jinx for Poppy, who is performing amazingly when supported by our ability to flood the board for cheap. Finally, Yordles in Arms is a great finisher, especially combined with our Elusive units and Flame Chompers!.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any stats on this archetype, as Mobalytics currently is having technical issues and does not properly track decks with dual-region cards. But Jinx Lulu is doing great right now, and this new Lulu Poppy Chompers list felt like a straight upgrade during my practice – I would recommend it without a doubt to anyone who likes flooding boards for quick victories.
I am not done with Poppy! This champion is so powerful it carries several meta archetypes (Elusive Rally, Bandle Swarm, Bandle Tree) – but there’s even more.
Just like the previous deck, this list fits Poppy into an already known, but underrated archetype. In this case, it is Taric Jarvan, which currently has a 58% win rate in Plat+ over 150 games. Because Poppy is a dual-region champion, her version isn’t tracked by Mobalytics’ stats, but I suspect it to be better than Jarvan IV versions.
Taric Poppy uses the powerful Challenger units and combat tricks from Demacia and backs them up with Support synergies. The deck has a very efficient midrange, board-based game plan, but also features the impressive Taric + Golden Aegis combo to quickly accelerate the pressure.
This combo is even better if you happen to have Poppy on board, as she will level up extremely fast – sometimes in a single turn.
Since Nami became a popular champion, hyper-aggressive decks are showing better and better performances.
The goal of this archetype is very simple – play aggressive units early to push damage, then finish the opponent with our numerous Burn spells.
This deck is reminiscent of the classic Pirate Burn archetype – however, it cuts some of its midrange power with Gangplank for even more Burn damage. This version, just like RubinZoo’s, adds 1 copy of Ezreal to mislead the opponent into thinking it’s an Ezreal Draven deck, thus sabotaging their mulligan and early gameplan.
While Burn tends to struggle against Draven Sion, it has an outstanding matchup against Zoe Nami as they can’t defend themselves well during the first turns. If you play against Zoe Nami often, or like quick matches in general, Burn is a great choice to climb the ladder.
Feel the Rush was once a powerhouse in the meta. After Lissandra was released, giving birth to the Watcher Combo, FTR Control disappeared, as the Lissandra version was clearly superior.
Trundle Lissandra Control got nerfed since, and most Freljord Shadow Isles control players fell back to Anivia Control. However, FTR has been showing better stats than Anivia Control for a long time now, with a 51.5% win rate over 800 games in Plat+.
In the early turns, this deck looks to control the opponent’s board and just survive. Mixing Freljord and Shadow Isles gives this archetype some of the best removals and life gain tools in the game.
Later on, Feel The Rush acts as a powerful finisher alongside Trundle and Tryndamere. Atrocity can finish the opponent after a single attack with your 10/10 champions, making this deck very decisive at closing out games.
The archetype already started to gain some popularity the last few days thanks to its great matchup against TF GP Bandle, the flavor deck of the week. FTR looks like it is on the path to reclaiming its staple status – grab it while it’s still fresh!
Akshan Riven was a deck that was starting to see play and showing a lot of promise in the weeks leading up to the Beyond the Bandlewood season.
However, since it did not receive any new cards in the latest expansion, this deck’s hype train was derailed too fast. Akshan Riven doesn’t see much play currently, but it shows a respectable 52.2% win rate over 178 games in Plat+.
Earlier in this article, I’ve already featured a deck that attempts to mislead the opponent by running champions and regions of another very well-known archetype. This aggressive Noxus Bandle City deck does just the same, as it purposefully mimics the Bandle Tree archetype.
This powerful swarm aggression is then followed by a large amount of burn damage with Decimate and Noxian Fervor. These spells are particularly strong when the opponent, who thinks you’re playing Bandle Tree, might be willing to sacrifice Nexus health for board advantages.
While we do not have stats for this archetype, it performs well in testing and some players took it to climb high on the EU ladder, right during the EU Masters tournament qualification period. This decklist was made by the Rise of the Underworlds Seasonal champion Owi, and he piloted it to Rank 14.
If you have a question, want to share feedback, or discuss this article, I’ll be happy to answer you in the comments below!
If you like my content and don’t want to miss out on anything, you can follow me on Twitter, where I share every article I write, but also my tournament performances, my most successful decks, etc… 😉
Thanks for reading!