Good evening card gamers! IzzetTinkerer has returned to tinker in this brave new world.
Patch 2.18 has been live for a few days, and the metagame has been shaken up completely. The biggest buff of them all was one that people saw coming. Lux, going to 5 mana, is a huge boon in her favour. There are many spell-slinging, controlling shells that Lux could be played in, but I’ve decided to return to my roots.
When I started playing Legends of Runeterra it was with Lux Karma. Back when the deck was at its strongest, a little after Rising Tides was released, it was able to contend with the emerging Pirate Aggro archetype thanks to the Lifesteal on Eye of the Dragon and 5-power Radiant Guardian whilst bringing the pressure with 4-power Loyal Badgerbear and Grizzled Ranger.
Back then, the deck relied on its two champions as a synergistic engine to end the game. Lux Karma in the current meta takes even a stronger approach towards using the champions to close matches.
Lux Karma is a spell-oriented control deck, that has multiple avenues of winning centred around its two champions.
The early turns are spent stalling and contesting the board, followed up by developing threats that crush enemies with For Demacia!, and then pairing leveled Lux and Karma to burn down the opponent.
Low-cost interactive spells help you delay until the late game. Steel Tempest is an underappreciated spell that stops their biggest attacker, we run it alongside auto-includes like Concussive Palm and Will of Ionia.
When units follow, Single Combat is also effective, especially in conjunction with Lux’s Barrier. A card like Blinding Assault is very fitting in this deck, because it’s a spell that spawns a unit that picks off other early units very well. For this reason, I prefer it to Eye of the Dragon, which this deck struggles to consistently enable.
The spell selection is curated to ensure you can level up Lux efficiently. Their mana costs are all even numbers that easily add to 6. If you go over 6 mana trying to level up Lux, that extra mana doesn’t carry over; levelled up Lux will need to see another 6 mana used up on spells before creating another Final Spark. By being as efficient as possible, playing one of the 6 mana spells, or a 2-cost and 4-cost spell, you’re ensuring the most value from your spells and your laser cannon.
The suite of 6-cost spells is particularly important. Remembrance is always a card that will be played alongside Lux. With the buff to Aurelion Sol and Faces of the Old Ones, we can expect slower, ramp style decks on the ladder, which makes turn 3 Remembrance a great play in slower matchups.
The Back to Back and Stand United are there because they are the 6-cost Burst-speed spells. You can generate a Final Spark with either spell, keeping your champions safe from removal, and possibly firing off the Final Spark, all in a single priority phase. These 6-cost spells are also excellent for the suite of Mageseekers in the deck.
Lux Karma is a callback to the glory days for me. This version, unlike the earliest versions of the deck, relies much more on both champions, however, it has enough tempo to contend the board very well.
Lux at 5 mana is exactly what this archetype needed to become competitive and this is definitely a version that can contend at multiple rankings on the ladder.
The other strong versions of Lux at present feature Bandle City, because playing Minimorph to instantly level Lux is probably stronger than Back to Back or Stand United, but the Bandle decks rely on Poppy and a midrange gameplan to win.
This version is pure spell combo that can stabilise against aggression and pressure against control. This is a deck I will personally be playing very often to grind the ladder and can fit very well in a value or toolbox Gauntlet selection.