Hey folks, Dr. LoR here with an updated meta report.
In the previous week’s update, we saw a flood of Jayce decks, representing over 20% of the meta, which is a LOT for a single card. We also saw less data than usual due to the release of the LoR PvE mode, Path of Champions (approx. half the games Plat+ players played were in that mode).
This week, Ranked play has more than bounced back, which makes sense since Seasonals is this Saturday! That makes this meta report particularly relevant for constructing and anticipating Seasonals line-ups.
- The 133k matches of Platinum+ data and 31k matches of Gold data are from November 15th to 21st, courtesy of Mobalytics Premium.
- Mobalytics archetypes are defined as a champions + regions combo. This means, for example, that Bandle Tree Noxus is spread across multiple archetypes. I therefore combine some archetypes that are largely the same across different champion combinations. This mainly affects Dragons (Shyvana/Asol w/ Zoe/Jarvan), Bandle Tree Noxus (Fizz/Poppy, Fizz/Teemo/Poppy, Fizz/Lulu/Poppy, etc.), Glorious Shellfolk (Fizz/Vi/Poppy), Poke City (TF/Gangplank/MF), Yordle Burn (Ziggs/Poppy/Teemo/Darius), Rally Elusives (Zed/Lulu/Poppy), and Targon’s Peak (Zoe/Braum/Tryndamere + Asol) archetypes.
- Mobalytics ranks data are imperfect and come from optical recognition for Mobalytics deck tracker users. There are many ranked games that are left uncategorized (~45%).
- I use Bayesian smoothing toward a win rate of 51.5% (which is the average win rate number in this sample of data). It is a technique that allows avoiding statistical flukes for archetypes with less data. If you want to learn more about the concept, check out this explainer.
- I use Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) to calculate meta diversity. The smaller HHI is – the more diverse is the meta. Read this if you would like to know more about the method.
- I provide 95% Bayesian credible intervals when talking about WRs. 95% credible intervals provide a range of WRs around the average WR for a deck, and it means that we can be 95% sure that the ‘true’ WR for the deck lands somewhere between these two numbers. Of course, ‘true’ WR isn’t a static number since the meta is always evolving but the point of the 95% CI is to give a sense for the uncertainty in WR estimates.
Most Popular Archetypes
Here are the play rates for the 20 most popular decks in week 2 of Patch 2.19, sorted by rank. Each of these decks has at least a 1% play rate in Plat+. All of these decks together account for approximately 55% of the meta.
- Jayce still has three decks in the top 20, with 9% total PR, but that’s down from 22% last report. Jayce Lux remains the most popular of these decks, with Jayce Heimerdinger BC in second place, and Jayce Sentinels (with Elise, or Elise and Vi) in third. Jayce Heimerdinger Ionia is in a distant fourth place and no other Jayce deck cracks 0.2% PR. The consensus seems that Jayce is a solid but not amazing champion, and people are mostly back to their old favorites.
- Plunder and Rally Elusives (Zed Poppy) are back on top of the meta, at least in terms of playrate. Plunder played a bigger role in driving Jayce out of the meta as a major counter, but Rally Elusives is currently edging it out for the crown since it’s one of the few decks with a positive matchup into Plunder.
- Turbo Thralls is about as popular as it has ever been, having reached high Masters positions across regions, including Minasia’s #1 in Americas. It’s one of the best counters to Plunder, although it’s very weak to Rally Elusives. Plus, who doesn’t love smashing with focus-speed 8/8 Overwhelms?
- Lurk and Darkness are two favorites that have maintained their playrate despite Tier 2 winrates.
- Swain BC (mostly Teemo) has gained a bit thanks to its good matchup into Rally Elusives, but is help back by its weakness to Plunder (36%).
- Glorious Shellfolk (most often Fizz Vi but sometimes Fizz only, sometimes Vi only, and sometimes Fizz Vi Poppy) is a deck espoused by many top players as possibly the best deck in the meta, but its complexity has made its PR and WR lower than you’d expect from a ‘best deck.’ Nonetheless, it rounds out the top 10 most played decks this meta with a solid 2% PR.
- Targon’s Peak has snuck back into the top 20, doubling in PR since last report. Not sure why, since it maintains its meme-tier win rate.
- Meta diversity remains high, with an HHI of 291 in Plat+, a bit higher than last week, but still the best diversity score in CCGs.
Most Successful Archetypes
Below, you can see the win rates for the 20 highest play rate decks, again grouped by rank. I also included 95% confidence intervals (for the explanation of the concept, see Sources and Methodology section), which you can see as thin vertical lines on top of each bar.
- These 20 decks are sorted by Plat+ WR. Just for fun, I also grouped them by tier. This is purely based on WR and is not an evaluation of raw deck strength. The right pilot can probably play any of these decks to a Tier 1 win rate and they can all be part of a cohesive tournament lineup.
- The best decks should be no surprise by now, all with very proactive game plans. Rally Elusives are close to Tier 0 at this point but that’s a function of the meta, not its overwhelming strength relative to Plunder and Yordle Burn. Poke City is less played but it’s a relatively good counter to Rally Elusives. Draven Sion finds itself at the bottom of Tier 1 for the first time ever.
- Jayce Sentinel Control has settled into in a virtual tie with Jayce Lux as the best Jayce deck. They both differ from Jayce Heimer in having more proactive game plans and life gain, which makes surviving other proactive meta decks more likely.
- Outside the top 20 playrate decks, a few other standouts include classic Pirates, MF Poppy, Ziggs Taliyah BC, and Feel the Minah (Feel the Rush in Ionia with Trundle/Tryndamere/Sejuani). FtM is an oldie but the newest versions by Scathus have been quite a force, especially at Masters.
- Turbo Thralls may be good versus Plunder, but it has a terrible Rally Elusives matchup, and isn’t great against Sion or Burn, so I’m not surprised its WR is so low. I still think it just barely squeaks into the playable decks category, despite its sub 50% WR in Plat+.
- Jayce Heimer BC continues to have <50% WR, but there are three other top 20 decks without even lower WRs, Glorious Shellfolk (notoriously hard to play), Teemo Caitlyn BC, and Targon’s Peak? At #21 is Predict, perennial meme-tier deck.
- Balance Watch: Rally Elusives continues to be an issue, but we know that they’re going to hit Poppy in the January patch. Let’s see if the December Bandle City second expansion will shake things up any.
Below is a spreadsheet of the top 45 decks in Gold+, sorted by win rate. The table is split into super-columns by rank. Under each super-column, you’ll find a sample size (match), the play rate (PR), win rate (WR), and the win rate adjusted using the Bayesian smoothing technique (bWR).
For the full table in higher resolution, click here.
In addition, the data includes a margin of error (for example, we can be 95% sure that in Plat +, Rally Elusives has a ‘true’ win rate that lands somewhere between 55.8% and 57.3%). More data available leads to a smaller margin of error.
Underplayed and Overplayed Archetypes
In the chart below I’ve plotted win rates versus play rates of 20 decks to demonstrate which archetypes can be seen as the most impactful in the current meta, and which decks can be labeled as ‘over-‘ or ‘underplayed’.
In the graph, you can see dots and vertical error bars (‘whiskers’) for each archetype. These ‘whiskers’ represent the 95% credible intervals for win rates (the true win rate is 95% likely to be in this range). The X-axis (play rate) is placed on a logarithmic scale to prevent too much lumping on the left.
I also included the 10 additional decks as red dots without ‘whiskers’. There are 400-1200 matches with these decks, so I’m less confident about their winrates, and the error bars for them would be huge and distracting.
- Plunder and Rally Elusives are both great decks with few bad matchups and the high playrates they deserve. Yordle Burn and Poke City are as effective, but are much less played.
- Like last week, Pirates (MF GP) and Ziggs Taliyah are hidden gems. I still don’t blame people for not playing Pirates since both Poke City and Yordle Burn feel like more resilient versions of the same strategy, but Ziggs Taliyah is performing way above expectation and has continued to impress. Give it a try!
- Joining those hidden gems is Feel the Minah, which is a different take on Feel The Rush decks using Ionia since Deny is really good against 6+ mana spells that flooded the early patch meta. This is possible the strongest control deck in the meta right now in terms of raw WR right now.
- Jayce Sentinels still needs refinement but is another strong control option, joining Swain BC, and both perform between than the more popular Darkness.
- Glorious Shellfolk, Teemo Caitlyn, and Targon’s Peak continue to be overplayed for their average WRs. I’m personally rocking a 50% WR with Shellfolk but I swear I’m improving ^_^
Players have returned from Path of Champions to play Ranked at the end of the Between Worlds season.
Jayce has settled into a solid role player in the meta, with two higher Tier 2 decks to show for it. Still, I suspect Seasonals will look more similar to last season than some would care for. Definitely eagerly awaiting the spoilers to start sometime next week!
My next full meta report will be about 1 week after the next expansion drops. Follow me on Twitter for smaller meta updates and deck optimizations in the meantime!