Whenever a new patch drops, players quickly take their new creations to the testing phase. The meta is all over the place as players try to figure out the best decks in the new patch.
Today, I’ll showcase seven decks that performed well on the first day of Patch 4.1.
Jax Ornn was the most played deck on the first day of the new patch. The archetype received multiple buffs for different cards in its list. Jax, Ornn, Weaponsmith’s Apprentice, Favored Artisan, and Hearthblood Mentor were all buffed to perform better in the meta.
This deck uses equipment to advance its game plan. Jax can become an Overwhelm win condition when leveled. The Overwhelm keyword, additional stats he gains, and forge can turn him into a threat that can’t be ignored.
You’re now able to run Fish Fight in any of Jax’s decks. It’s a powerful spell to kill pesky units that play a crucial role in your opponent’s game plan.
Ornn is a powerful unit that takes advantage of your weapons. Copying an Overwhelm or Scout weapon can put immediate pressure on the opponent. If Ornn is leveled, he will summon a Spirit of the Ram capable of dealing massive overwhelm damage.
The list runs another win condition in case Jax and Ornn are not enough to end the game. Wrought Colossus can be a frightening sight for your opponent, putting a powerful unit on the board and generating value by creating a cheaper copy when you equip it with a weapon.
Twisted Fate Illaoi
Illaoi and Tentacle Smash got buffed in patch 4.1. The archetype was a popular choice for players on the first day. Twisted Fate Illaoi is the Ionia version of the deck that takes advantage of the protection tool Ionia offers.
The main objective of the deck is to grow your Tentacle and use those stats to buff up an Illaoi. The Overwhelm keyword on Illaoi makes it impossible for your opponent to ignore her.
The Sea’s Voice can give Overwhelm to your Tentacle, turning those stats into a destructive attack capable of ending the game. If Sea’s of Voice is nowhere to be found, do not fret! Ghost lets us give Tentacle the elusive keyword and sneak a lethal attack.
A leveled-up Viego will take over the game, turning the board pressure in your favor and allowing you to set up stronger attacks that your opponent will struggle to keep up with.
Furthermore, the addition of Soul Cleave provides the deck with a variety of unique plays. For instance, you can play Soul Cleave on a Camavoran Soldier, allowing you to resummon more Encroaching Mists and potentially level up Viego in one turn. Another method to get value out of Soul Cleave is to play it with Aloof Travelers, reactivating his effect twice, which discards two cards from your opponent’s hand and draws you two.
Invasive Hydravine can be a value engine in the late game, providing an Enroaching Mist that can’t be ignored in the late game.
The list runs one Atrocity in case you need to destroy the opponent’s Nexus by sacrificing one of your units.
Every single follower outside of Navori the Highwayman will buff up the power of your units and advance your game plan.
Zed is more of a nuisance on the board that keeps your opponent occupied while you work on your main game plan. Kayle can become a win condition once she levels up; her Overwhelm damage combined with Double Attack can threaten to end the game on the spot.
Xolaani, Aspect’s Bane along with at least one follower on the board, can be too powerful for your opponent to handle. Multiple Xolaani’s attacking is just too difficult for most decks to deal with, which means your opponent will have to shut down your Xolaani the second she’s played.
The Thralls deck made a comeback on day one. Lissandra received a buff allowing her to advance the Frozen Thrall she summons by 2. In the early game, Lissandra can accelerate the pressure you impose on the opponent.
Lissandra Taliyah wants to summon Frozen Thralls on the board and start advancing them to create a board of Frostguard Thralls that can deal a lot of Overwhelm damage.
Taliyah gives you more value from your Frozen Thrall. Ideally, you want to play Taliyah on the Frozen Thrall with the lowest countdown.
The Frostguard Thralls help you level up Lissandra and start working on The Watcher. In most cases, the Frostguard Thralls should be enough to close out the game on their own, but The Watcher comes in handy as an alternate win condition.
Who would have guessed that an Anivia deck would be one of the top ten most-played decks? The archetype had all eyes on it after the reveal of Soul Cleave. The card synergizes perfectly with Anivia, allowing you to take advantage of it in more than one way.
Anivia Shadow Isles is a control deck that looks to prolong the game with the help of the Shadow Isles removal cards and Freljords Freeze cards until you hit turn 10.
Once you’re on turn 10, Anivia can start dealing AOE damage and removing low-health enemy units. That AOE damage can become more problematic for your opponent if you manage to summon more than one Anivia on the board with the help of The Harrowing or The Rekindler.
With the addition of Soul Cleave, you can play the card on an Anivia, which summons two other Anivias along with an Anivia Egg on the board. You’re now creating a board of three Anivias with just a 3-mana spell. If it goes through without your opponent interrupting it, you’ll be far ahead of your opponent and will most likely close out the game in the upcoming turns.
Soul Cleave can also assist you in ramping. Ramping in Anivia is important to level your bird faster. If you play Soul Cleave on Hunting Bear, you’ll be able to ramp for 3, allowing you to accelerate the game.
Master Yi Ryze
Ryze decks were always underperforming on the ranked ladder, barely hitting a 40% win rate. However, the new patch gives a buff to Shard of Reverence, letting you refill all your spell mana.
Although this appears to be a minor buff, the extra 1 mana can be useful in the early stages of the game, allowing you to set up more plays and keep up with an opponent who is doing everything they can to end the game as quickly as possible.
An early Master Yi on the board can start reducing the cost of your spells, making it more difficult for your opponent to play around cards.
The list has a lot of tools to help you stay in the game and slow down your opponent. Cards like Homecoming and Unworthy Soul can recall expensive units on your opponent’s side of the board and give you enough breathing room to continue summoning your World Runes.
World Runes provide value to help you keep up with your opponent. The ability to stun with Rune Prison can be important to shut down powerful attacks.
Once all five world runes are on the board, the opponent’s Nexus will be destroyed the moment Ryze attacks.
The first day was quite exciting. The meta felt fresh, and players were experimenting with different archetypes.
I played Master Yi Ryze, Twisted Fate Illaoi, Norra Viego, and Jax Ornn. All four decks held up well on the first day, and I managed to maintain a positive win rate and climb up to platinum 1.