7 Underplayed Decks That Will Soon Redefine The Meta

New meta: some archetypes rise, some fall. Let’s dive into the most successful archetypes that didn’t get a lot of popularity yet!

Hello, Agigas here! I am a Master player since beta with several #4 peaks and tournament wins, and today, I am happy to share with you some of the most powerful and potentially meta-defining decks that are currently underplayed! I composed this list relying both on Mobalytics stats and my personal experience of climbing back to Master this season. I hope you will find here some interesting decklists to try in this exciting meta, now let’s dive into it! 😄

1. Gangplank/Twisted Fate Burn

Archetype: Midrange Burn.

Description: This deck’s main gameplan is to aggro your opponent down with a strong board presence and direct face damage. However, don’t think that this deck is all-in on direct face damage and in hurry to finish the game very fast! It’s capable of assembling a strong board while dealing with the opponent’s board with removals and Keg’s. It’s also capable of leveling up Gangplank very easily if you are careful about the way you spread your damage between turns, and Riptide Rex offers a terrifying finisher. In some matchups, you can even afford to take it slow and level-up Twisted Fate!

This deck is my personal pick for the most powerful underrated archetype. It has an insanely high win rate on Mobalytics stats (67.5% in master and 60.4% in all rank), and it’s the deck I played from Diamond 1 (0 LP) to Master, without a single loss. There are also other top players who used it for the Master climb as well. In my opinion, this deck is undoubtedly Tier 1 and will see a huge amount of play very soon, so feel free to abuse it before the meta adapts or it gets nerfed!

Similar options: Gangplank/Miss Fortune is quite similar and more aggro burn oriented. I personally like the Twisted Fate version a bit better but you can’t go wrong with either of them. There are also some versions cutting Noxus for another region, as the core of this archetype is Bilgewater. Gangplank/Sejuani is quite similar to this archetype, and leveled-up Sejuani can help in midrange matchups a lot (I also played this deck extensively on Diamond ladder, with an 11-0 record). Another option that is underplayed but has a very promising win rate, playing SI to splash Stalking Shadows, Unspeakable Horror, and Doombeast.

2. Deep

Archetype: Go-Big Control.

Description: This deck’s gameplan is to go Deep around the turns 6-8 using Toss cards, and then start playing very powerful threats. Nautilus is hard to deal with, and once he is leveled-up the discount on Sea Monsters’ cost will make the deck extremely hard to beat. Maokai can help with going Deep faster while dealing with opponents’ threats, and he also offers an alternate win condition to beat control decks.

Deep has been a popular archetype for a long time, but when Invoke and Aurelion Sol were released, the player base turned their back on Deep, seeing it as a ‘worse Aurelion Sol deck’. But, in fact, this deck is not a worse Aurelion Sol deck at all; if anything, it’s actually a better Aurelion Sol deck! With a 60.6% winrate in Master, and 56.1% in all rank, the deck has impressive stats, actually better now than ever before. I expect this deck to make a huge comeback in the meta.

Similar options: One of Deep’s strengths is its ability to adapt: there are tons of different versions of Deep! Here I shared with you the most popular list in Master, but you could also look to play Stalking Shadows, or run more Salvage’s, go for more healing with Withering Wail and Grasp of the Undying, or even play Lure of the Depths! If you are interested in this archetype, I definitely recommend you to explore a bit more to find the version you like the most (you can go to the Mobalytics stats page and filter the decks to display Nautilus decks).

3. Leona/Karma

Archetype: Midrange/Control.

Description: Daybreak package is one of the most powerful synergies introduced in Call of the Mountain, with an ability to develop a strong board presence and slow down the game (or sometimes finish it) with Leona’s stun. The most difficult task has always been in finding a good shell to take full advantage of Daybreak. The deck above uses its synergies to slow down the game to set up Karma and Invoke, winning the game on the back of the insane value you generate. Doubling cards like Starshaping gives you game-winning value while stabilizing your Nexus health. You also have cheaper options to get good value out of Karma with spells like Guiding Touch and Pale Cascade.

This deck doesn’t have a good win rate in All-rank (51.6%) but it has a great win rate in Master (61.2%), even taking the Rank 1 EU spot at the hands of Szychu. I think it’s mainly because the deck isn’t easy to play, as it can be quite tricky to find the best line of play when you have so many possibilities thanks to your overflow of value. Once you’ve mastered it, this deck is really strong. It’s also a great counter to Aurelion Sol decks as you can outvalue them in the late game. Karma is well-positioned against Aurelion Sol and big Celestial units (doubling Celestial removals allow you to go through SpellShields), while Deny is very strong against their Celestial removals.

Similar Options: This deck is quite unique and new so there are not many versions of it right now. If you want to try it out, I suggest you play the list I shared, and focus on getting proficient with it. Then, you’ll be able to adjust it to your liking. If you like these kinds of Karma decks, Spooky Karma is also a good option.

4. They Who Endure

Archetype: Aggro/Combo.

Description: This deck will start the game by playing cheap creatures and can easily overrun the opponent unless they have good ways to deal with early aggression. There are even some degenerate draws that are possible in the early game, like turn 1 Barkbeast, turn 2 Cursed Keeper + Ravenous Butcher, punching for 10 damage on turn 2. While trying to beat down its opponent, this deck will have a lot of units dying, making it very easy to level-up Kalista or close out the game with Neverglade Collector. When the opponent manages to survive the early aggression, They Who Endure with Atrocity backup can easily enable the OTK.

This deck, like Deep, is a long-time favorite of the LoR player base and has been Tier 1 in countless metas. With the introduction of stronger Silences in Targon, especially Hush, to counter They Who Endure, the deck lost a lot of popularity and is now very rare. However, this archetype still holds a very high win rate (59.7% in Master, 57.4% in All-rank). Even with the new Silences, Targon is only 1 out of 8 regions, and the deck still works as well as ever against those other regions. Against Targon, you can win games with your early aggression or if they don’t have their Silence. This deck also got improved by the introduction of Stalking Shadows. Last but not least, the meta has seen huge changes that benefit this deck a lot. Ashe Noxus was one of They Who Endure’s weaknesses and now almost disappeared. Meanwhile, They Who Endure is also one of the best counters to Swain/Twisted Fate, which got very popular lately.

Similar Options: They Who Endure has always struggled to find a consistent and refined list, especially regarding the champion slots, where a lot of players opted to use Elise instead of Sejuani. I personally liked playing 3 Kalista – 2 Elise – 1 Sejuani, because having too many high-cost cards can create very clunky hands, but this is just a personal preference. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with the list I’m sharing, as it looks very promising.

5. Spider Aggro

Archetype: Aggro Burn.

Description: This deck is extremely straight-forward: play out your early units, flood the board, and try to kill the opponent fast. This deck is very good at leveling-up Elise, whose ability to drag away big blockers with 1|1 Spiderling’s to get your biggest units through is very effective at ending games. Even if the opponent survives the early aggression, you still have quite a lot of reach with Decimate, Noxian Fervor, and units like Doombeast and Imperial Demolitionist which you can even duplicate with Stalking Shadows.

The concept of ‘Spider Aggro’ is something as old as the game – in fact, the first player to ever hit Master during Beta season PokrovacHS did it by playing this archetype. But then, the deck got its midrange tools nerfed and it has been an unpopular choice for a very long time. Now, with the new expansion, this deck got very powerful new tools to play with and has once again become one of the premium archetypes to climb fast. It has a very fast average game time and 59.7% win rate in All-rank (with some version even reaching 67.2%) and 64.7% win rate in Master. These win rates are absolutely mind-boggling and this deck is gaining popularity in high rank ladder very quickly – I faced quite a lot of them during the last day of climbing!

Similar Options: There are tons of versions of Spider Aggro, and all are seeing a lot of success – don’t limit yourself to the decklist I shared if you are interested in this archetype. Some versions play Draven instead of the one-of Darius, other ones even completely cut Elise. You can also find lists dropping a lot of SI cards to branch out more into Noxus. Finally, the spiciest lists run Nocturne as their second champion of choice, playing Noxus or even Targon as their supporting region!

6. Ezreal/Karma

Archetype: Control/Combo.

Description: This deck looks to control the opponent and stall the game with a few blockers and a lot of Stuns and removals. In the process of doing so, it will progress Ezreal level-up condition. Once the game reaches the turn 10, its win condition is to play out both leveled-up Karma and leveled-up Ezreal, so you can kill your opponent very easily at Burst speed with a bunch of cheap spells. But, even without the perfect combo, Ezreal can often single-handedly win the game, or alternatively, Karma can do it all by herself doubling burn spells and shrooms.

This deck, like some of the others on my list, is already well-known from the previous meta. It has always been an underestimated deck because of its extremely high difficulty, leading to a low win rate at Mobalytics stats page, often even below 50%. However, in the right hands, this deck has always been strong, especially in tournaments, and many players took it to strong finishes. I personally won a Fight Night Legend Invitational by Giant Slayer playing that deck. In this new season, I’ve been playing this deck on the ladder with a lot of success as it felt like a great counter to slow decks, particularly Invoke lists. Currently, Ezreal/Karma’s win rate is actually at an all-time high: 56.6% in Master and 51.9% in All-rank. If you are to put in the work needed to get proficient with it, this deck is clearly very strong right now!

Similar Options: Above I shared my own list, and so far I feel like Tasty Faefolk is really good in the current meta. I’ve seen a lot of players like running Claws of the Dragon to gain some tempo, though I personally have never been a fan of it. If you’d like some spice, you could also look into adding a Singular Will in your version to annoy midrangy kinds of decks.

7. Leona/Lux

Archetype: Midrange/Control.

Description: You can see how fond I am of the Daybreak package, featuring it in the list for a second time! For what this deck loses in value in comparison to Leona/Karma, it gains in tempo, pressure, and strong removals. The gameplan is to make a solid board while preventing the beats using the Daybreak package, and then start generating value and tempo thanks to Lux’s Final Spark. This deck has access to the very strong Demacia and Celestial removals – in addition to spamming Final Spark, it all makes it easy to deal with the opponent’s key threats.

This list feels like a great home for the Daybreak package, the transition between it and the Lux gameplan feels very natural. It can struggle a bit against greedier decks like Aurelion Sol lists because it is not particularly good at finishing games quickly and it can get outscaled. Still, it is also able to defend itself even in its bad matchups because it is a very polyvalent deck. It has a good matchup against a lot of popular decks, like Swain/Twisted Fate, as it is able to answer their key threats. Its win rate in All-rank isn’t as impressive (53.2%) but it has a good win rate in Master (58.7%). During my climb in Platinum, I played it a lot with good results and also chose it as a part of my line-up for the Giant Slayer Reckoning Invitational tournament, and I’m pretty confident this deck has a bright future.

Similar Options: This deck has some interesting flex slots, and you can encounter some lists playing Pale Cascade, or sometimes Blinding Assault to activate Radiant Guardian easily. Another option is to cut the Daybreak package to play the good old Karma/Lux. The Karma/Lux deck that you will find here is my personal take on the archetype. I have been playing this deck quite a lot and I’ve been surprised by how good it is. The only reason this deck doesn’t have its own part in this article is that I have no stats on it to back it up because I am one of the only players to use it.

Conclusion

That’s all for today! This article is of course not all-encompassing as there are a lot of strong underplayed decks out there. It could also be possible some of the decks I presented here will shortly disappear, but I’m still confident in their potential. I hope this article will help you find good decklists to play, and that you enjoy this fresh meta! I’m personally having a great time, it’s always exciting to see one archetype fall and others rise. 😄

If you have any questions or feedback, I will be very happy to answer you in the comment here or on this dedicated Reddit post

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Thanks a lot for reading me!

Agigas

I am a master player since Beta, with several #4 peaks and tournaments win (EU DoR 2, NA DoR 13, GiantSlayer). I am also TSM/Blitz.gg LoR consultant. I love writing guides to share my experience with the game with the community!