Hey there, Raphterra here! This article is part of RuneterraCCG‘s coverage of the best decks for the buffed champions in Patch 3.16. Leona will be this article’s featured champion with her Daybreak package arguably getting the biggest card reworks in Legends of Runeterra history.
The Most Popular – Leona Aurelion Sol Zoe
Leona Aurelion Sol Zoe leads our list of the best Leona decks! This is the most popular champion combination for Leona, with the archetype having an overall winrate of 48.8% in 10,500+ games. The overall winrate of Leona Aurelion Sol isn’t anything to be happy about, but I found a promising decklist with a winrate of 55.3% in 200+ games.
The list I picked out is likely seeing success because of some tech choices in its spell cards. This build is running Sharpsight instead of Pale Cascade; this is probably a meta call for blocking Elusive units against Nami Ionia. The single copy of Judgment might have also contributed to multiple wins since most players don’t play around this board wipe.
Leona Aurelion Sol is actually performing decently against other popular Demacia decks like Fiora Pantheon and Taric Poppy. However, this archetype struggles against several popular decks: Twisted Fate Swain, Nami Ionia and Karma Master Yi.
Big Boards – Leona Galio Jarvan IV
Following Leona Aurelion Sol is another Demacia Targon deck: Leona Galio Jarvan IV! This archetype currently has an overall winrate of only 48.9% in 4100+ games, but the featured list above is rocking a high winrate of 57.4% in 300 games. This would be my best recommendation for climbing if you’re looking to use a Leona deck in ranked ladder.
A gameplan relying on Aurelion Sol can be too slow for the current meta, which is why this list instead runs Galio and Jarvan IV. As 6-cost and 7-cost units, Galio and Jarvan IV fit Daybreak‘s curve perfectly. It will be common for both champions to level-up on the turn that they are summoned. Galio levels up when played with a wide board, which is something that Daybreak decks already look to build. Leona‘s Barrier and Challenger keywords should make it easier to get procs for Jarvan IV‘s level up requirement.
A downside to playing this deck is that you might struggle a bit against the most-played decks in the meta. Leona Galio Jarvan IV is unfavored against Fiora Pantheon, Twisted Fate Swain and Lee Sin Nami. There is a silver lining, as this archetype is doing decently against Karma Master Yi, Taric Poppy, and Annie Jhin.
To No One’s Surprise, Rally Works – Leona Taric
If you love Leona and if you like playing Poppy Taric, this is the deck for you! I didn’t want to include another Demacia deck to this list, but it looks like pairing Targon with Demacia is the key to building the best Leona decks. Leona Taric has an overall winrate of 51.8% in 1100+ games, but the specific list above has an impressive winrate of 70.2% in 47 Masters games.
If you’re not living under a rock, you should be very familiar with the Taric Demacia playstyle. This list uses Daybreak‘s stun lock combos to unleash lethal turns with Taric + Golden Aegis / Relentless Pursuit. Just take note, Taric‘s level up will be slower in this version because of the lack of support units like Esmus, Breath of the World and Mountain Sojourners.
A Stunning Duo – Leona Yasuo
It would be criminal to not have a Yasuo pairing in a list of the best Leona decks. Leona Yasuo is performing poorly as an archetype with a winrate of 42% in 3800+ games, but that might just be because players are using the wrong list. The deck list I picked out has an impressive winrate of 65.8% in 73 Masters games.
The synergy here is pretty straightforward: Yasuo likes stuns, and Daybreak has multiple stuns! If this deck gets the right setup of Yasuo + Leona / Rahvun, Daylight’s Spear, it will be very difficult to establish board presence because of the stun lockdown. There will be a big tempo-swing opportunity if you can curve out Yasuo on 4 into Leona on 5. Pairing Targon with Ionia gives Daybreak access to some of the strongest utility spells in the game: Deny, Nopeify!, and Concussive Palm.
Bard Returns? – Leona Bard
Now, we will start going into heavy spice territory! Leona Bard is an uncommon pairing with an overall winrate of 45.6% in 677+ games. The decklist above stands out with its 60% winrate in 40 Masters games. That’s quite decent for a Bard deck, but this sample size is very small. Be wary when playing this deck in ranked ladder!
Bard‘s Chimes give Daybreak units some more muscle to finish off games in the later turns. Solari Soldier, Solari Shieldbearer, and Sun Guardian also contribute to Bard‘s level-up requirement. An interesting inclusion to this list is three copies of The Winding Light. We haven’t seen much competitive play from this card since its nerf, but it might just be a case of players forgetting it exists.
Sun and Moon – Leona Diana
Closing off this list is another promising archetype with a small sample size: Leona Diana. The list I featured has a spectacular 75% winrate in Masters, but with a VERY small sample size of only 20 games. This list has potential but we definitely need to see more games before we can make final conclusions.
This is another Leona deck that uses The Winding Light as a finisher. The list leans towards more aggression, running Nightfall cards like Diana, Stygian Onlooker, Crescent Guardian, and Doombeast. It also has the option of using Nexus burn to win with Unto Dusk, Unspeakable Horror, and Atrocity.
In my assessment for Patch 3.16, I thought that there would be a Tier 1 Daybreak deck in the meta. Unfortunately, it can be hard for this archetype to shine in a meta dominated by Nami and Lee Sin. I still believe that there is a lot of potential in Daybreak! Hopefully we can see the archetype in the spotlight once the dominance of Ionia ends.