Hello everyone, DragonGuy here, and today I want to talk about the best performing decks that emerged from Week 4 of the Aegis Esports league.
What is the Aegis Esports league? Aegis Esports, formerly Runeterra Academy, hosts a 7-week LOR league that pits each team of 3-4 players against 7 other teams in their groups. Every week, they’ll face 2 other teams in their group. Each player has to bring 3 decks in the Riot Lock format, and with 3 players playing per team each week, this means 9 decks total. The twist is that each region combination and champion can only be used twice, so each team can’t bring the same deck more than twice. Each of the 3 players plays a BO3, and the team that wins the most BO3 wins the match. The league contains many top players from ladder, so I believe it is a great place to see what decks are doing well in the meta. With 32 teams in the Americas and 16 teams in EMEA, there are a lot of different decks people could bring, so without further ado let’s take a look at the most popular decks and the best performing decks.
This is the first week of games after the big shake-up in the meta that came from Patch 3.8. This will be a good insight into some of the strong decks in the meta and can give some solid foundations for a seasonal lineup. Because of that, this week will focus on 5 of the top-performing decks from this week, with a little spice thrown in at the end.
- 32 players (#1)
- Times banned: 27/64 (42.19%)
- Winrate: 19/37 (51.35%)
- 17 players (#2)
- Times banned: 15/34 (44.2%)
- Winrate: 8/15 (54.55%)
Pantheon Yuumi has come roaring out of the gates, boasting one of the highest play rates across both regions. While the deck had a modest play rate last patch, it has quickly become a dominant force in the meta. One reason is the considerable buff it received with the play cast changes. Now, Fated will trigger before the resolution of fast and slow speed spells, growing your units immediately and ensuring Pantheon level progress.
Pantheon Yuumi thrives by creating one or multiple tall units, as it can turn any unit with the fated keyword into a lethal threat if it isn’t answered. The core of the deck is Saga Seeker, Wounded Whiteflame, and Pantheon. These units will grow into your win conditions over a few turns thanks to their Fated Keyword. The rest of the deck contains a plethora of ways to proc Fated, from combat tricks like Sharpsight to strike spells like Single Combat. Zenith Blade turns your non-overwhelm fated units from overstated beaters into lethal threats and replaces itself on Daybreak to provide some card advantage. Cataclysm lets you threaten to end the game on non-attacking turns, while also acting as another way to remove opposing units with yours.
Few decks can go over Pantheon Yuumi, and any deck that needs to attack through their board will struggle greatly. This gives it solid matchups into many different decks that adopt a mid-range strategy, such as Jayce Lux and Taliyah Ziggs. However, one major weakness of the deck is that it can be susceptible to early units. While it can quickly recover board, which is why it beats some aggressive strategies like Scouts, there is little life gain available, meaning burn strategies like Pirates and Draven Sion can be quite effective against it. Despite these counters, the deck still garnered a high ban rate, which shows that it is quite effective against many other decks in the field. Overall, Pantheon Yuumi is a solid deck that can fit into many lineups.
- 30 players(#2)
- Times banned: 13/60 (21.67%)
- Winrate: 23/44 (52.77%)
- 20 players(#1)
- Times banned 7/40(17.50%)
- Winrate: 18/33 (53.33%)
The other deck with the highest presence this week was Taliyah Ziggs, a deck that’s still holding onto a top spot after the balance patch. Despite many things changing around it, the deck itself remained unchanged, and its gameplan matched up well into many of the decks that emerged at the top of this new meta.
The main power of this deck lies in its inherent landmark synergies. You have some strong early game units, and with a plethora of Roiling Sands, you make it awkward for the opponent to develop their units while progressing your game plan. Taliyah and Ziggs can end the game quickly once leveled, especially when paired with The Absolver to push for a ton of overwhelm damage. While you can pressure your opponent early on, you also have the ability to slow the game down and play later into the game. Ancient Hourglass gives you amazing protection for your units for 2 mana, and with Taliyah can allow for some interesting shenanigans. Rite of the Arcane provides a powerful removal tool, and The Arsenal can come down and end any game that’s been going on for too long.
Landmarks are inherently difficult to interact with, as there aren’t many good removal options that line up into them. This lets the deck accrue value and progress its game plan in a way that’s difficult for the opponent to interact with. As a result, the deck has amazing matchups into slower control decks like Sun Disc, Feel The Rush, and Caitlyn Ezreal Tribeam. However, the deck does struggle against fast decks like Pirates, Scouts, and Aphelios Fizz, as it can struggle to set up its game plan in time. Overall, solid results show this deck as a powerful contender in the meta, and a lower ban rate suggests people aren’t playing around this deck nearly as much as they are Pantheon.
Mono Shurima (Xerath/Azir)
- 18 players (#3)
- Bans: 7/36 (19.44%)
- Winrate: 14/35 (40.00%)
- 14 players (#3)
- Bans: 3/28(33.33%)
- Winrate: 14/24(58.33%)
Mono Shurima, despite taking a decent nerf to the speed for flipping the Sun Disc, has still maintained a high presence. As the number 3 deck for each region, plenty of players still find the deck powerful in its new form.
Azir Xerath is a deck built around the Buried Sun Disc, with your primary game plan to restore it. The deck has plenty of early game units and landmarks to progress the level-ups of both your champions. This can give you some decent early board pressure, and even allow you to push through some considerable damage early. If this doesn’t work out, you can stall and prioritize flipping your champions and restoring the Sun Disc, giving you access to their incredibly powerful level 3 forms. Xerath level 3 will quickly churn through your opponent’s board with his deal 5 ability, and Azir’s Emperor’s deck can give you plenty of powerful cards to play.
The recent nerf made the deck slower, as without countdown cards the earliest turn to flip the disc was moved from turn 6 to turn 8. Some players have adopted to add Clockwork Curator to allow them to flip disc still on 6, others have continued to play a similar list to before the nerf, dealing with the deck being a bit slower. Still, the deck has maintained a solid win rate into slower decks like Feel The Rush, Tribeam, and Jayce Lux. However, with the nerf, decks like Pantheon Yuumi and Scouts are now quite favorable into it, and Pirates absolutely runs this deck over. Additionally, the deck did not put up amazing results, only maintaining a positive win rate in EMEA. However, the deck received a small percentage of bans, which indicates the deck isn’t being targeted as much as in the last patch. Overall, if you’re looking to target slower lineups, few decks will serve you as well as Mono Shurima.
- 12 players (#5)
- Bans: 10/24 (41.67%)
- Winrate: 6/11 (54.45%)
- 7 players (#4)
- Bans: 7/14 (50%)
- Winrate: 5/8 (62.5%)
Draven Sion is back thanks to the +1 power buff to Sion. The discard archetype had been struggling since the Sion nerf a few patches back, but now it’s revitalized and coming back at full force.
Draven Sion is an aggressive deck that seeks to utilize discard synergies to give access to powerful fearsome units like Risen Rider and Twinblade Revenant. All the discarding will quickly level Sion, allowing him to come down flipped and quickly end the game with his overwhelm and Sion Returned form. The deck is also packing a suite of burn with Mystic Shot and Get Excited, with some versions speccing into Decimate and even Noxian Fervor. Despite the aggressive game plan, it has a surprising amount of consistency thanks to all the draw effects like Zaunite Urchin and Sump Dredger.
While Draven Sion was the most popular version of the deck that was brought this week, it was not the only version. There were also versions running Vi and Rumble as a third champ. This gives the deck some added flexibility with a different champ to play around at the cost of a bit of consistency, as you won’t find your other champs as often. Still, the decks posted solid results of their own, so there could be a consideration to try the different champion packages. Please note, however, that these other versions change more than just the champs played, and require a few adjustments to the deck itself to shine.
When it comes to matchups, Draven Sion has been able to carve out a nice niche in the current metagame. It has good matchups against Heimerdinger Jayce, Sun Disc, and Viego Shurima, and goes even with more decks like Pirates, Pantheon, and Taliyah Ziggs. There are some decks it struggles against, like Scouts, Aphelios Fizz, and Kennen Ezreal. Overall, this deck fills a nice niche of being good into other midrange decks and is a good choice for a lineup targeting these decks.
- 10 players (#8)
- Bans: 14/18 (77.78%)
- Winrate: 6/7 (85.71%)
- 7 players (#6)
- Bans: 8/14 (57.14%)
- Winrate: 4/7 (57.14%)
For the final deck, we have the plunderers of the Seas, it’s Pirates! Here, we had a few different champ combinations present, with some mixture of Miss Fortune, Twisted Fate, and Gangplank. Unlike with Draven Sion, these changes in champions only really adjusted the champion ratios, and not the rest of the deck. As a result, I’ve combined all of the stats for the decks.
Pirates is an incredibly aggressive deck, seeking to spew out a swarm of units early turns to push out damage. It runs a minimum of 12 one drops, sometimes more, ensuring it will almost always have a turn 1 play. After the initial onslaught, it seeks to use burn damage to close out the game. Noxian Fervor and Decimate provide burn damage through spells, with Noxian Fervor able to be drawn by Zap Sprayfin. Imperial Demolitionist provides additional burn, and Crackshot Corsair and Miss Fortune can chip in extra damage each attack. Twisted Fate offers some nice flexibility for the deck because of the different cards from his play effect. Gangplank may have been nerfed recently, but he still can provide a strong end game threat and his level 2 form will often end the game.
If you’ve been reading through the part about matchups, you’ll notice the first 3 decks all had something in common: a weakness to Pirates. It has very favorable matchup tables currently, including against other decks like Akshan Udyr and Ezreal Kennen. While good against many top decks, the deck still has its struggles, with bad matchups into decks like Feel The Rush, Aphelios Fizz, and Scouts. This gives pirates a solid niche for targeting mid-range strategies, although this carries a bit more risk than the other lineups. This deck is less nuanced than other lists and has fewer options for winning its bad matchups. Still, it fulfills its role exceptionally well, and with many of the decks it preys upon also being popular, you’ll be able to find a favorable matchup against most lineups.
One Hit Wonder
Here in this final section, I wanted to try something new and highlight some really niche decks that only 1 player brought. Bringing unique decks can be a useful strategy, as opponents might not know how to play the matchups. This can backfire, however, as these decks are often less proven and can still have rough matchups. Still, here I wanted to highlight one of the decks that went 2-0 this week that only one player brought. Once you see what it is, I think you’ll understand why…
Zed Katarina Yasuo
- Player: StolenConch
- Bans: 0 (0%)
- Wins: 2 (100%)
From the player who brought triple Purrsuit of Perfection and Riven Aurelion Sol, here we have the only
Katarina Yasuo Zed deck this week. StolenConch was able to go 2-0 in Aegis this week with this deck, showing that this deck definitely has the potential to take games.
This deck has a deceptively solid early game, with The Mourned and Zed able to mount a lot of early pressure. The myriad of stun and recall effects allows the deck to stall out board states, or prevent units from blocking before making a decisive attack. These also pair nicely with Ravenous Flock and Yasuo, allowing you to use these effects as removal spells instead. With the addition of Ionia’s protection suite of spells like Deny, Spirit’s Refuge, and Twin Disciplines, you are also able to protect your units decently well. With all the stall the deck has, the 1x Katarina has a chance to act as a win condition, and her rally lets you take advantage of units stunned defensively.
Now, what are the matchups for this deck? Well, I’m honestly not too sure, as I haven’t played the deck to know for sure, and there’s not any data available for it. This means that you can’t be sure if you’re favored. However, your opponent won’t know what the matchup is either, putting you on even ground.
While StolenConch won with the deck, I won’t claim that it’s secretly OP. The deck is still largely untested, but there is definitely some potential here. I’d say if you’re looking for a serious deck for a seasonals lineup, you should probably pass this deck by. If you’re looking for a fun new deck to try out, or just want to use Yasuo finally, then you might want to give it a try.
There we have it, the 5 decks that performed quite well last week in the Aegis Esports league with a bit of spice on the side.
The next set of matches will be taking place this Thursday at 8:00 EST for Americas and Friday 8:00 PM BST for EMEA. It will be a great opportunity to look at lineups for Seasonals, as many of the players will be competing in Seasonals this Saturday. If you want to check it out, you can watch the stream of it over on their Twitch. Anyways, thank you all for reading, and have a great day.