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Dr. LoR’s Meta Report – Patch 3.4 Week 2

Hey folks, Dr. LoR here to take a look at how Patch 3.4 has evolved. Week 1 was dominated by Sun Disc and aggressive decks looking to beat Sun Disc. Week 2 saw Sun Disc getting bullied down to a more reasonable play rate and a few old and new decks rising into the meta.

Sources and Methodology
  • The 376k matches of data are from April 4 to 10, including 151k matches of Plat+ (Platinum, Diamond, Masters), courtesy of Mobalytics premium. Notably, Mobalytics ranks data are imperfect and come from optical recognition for Mobalytics deck tracker users. This is especially true at the start of each season when ranks reset. There are some ranked games that are therefore uncategorized (~50% right now; help fix that by using Mobalytics Deck Tracker).
  • 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 Sun Disc (some combination of Azir/ Xerath/ Renekton/Nasus sometimes with 1x Zilean), Targon’s Peak (Asol + Zoe/Braum/Tryndamere),  Aphelios Viktor (sometimes with 1x Vi, Zoe, Yuumi), Yordle Rally (Tristana Demacia w/ Fizz/Kennan/Teemo/Gnar/Yuumi), Swain BC (Gnar/Teemo/Swain), Bandle Tree Noxus (some combination of Fizz/Teemo/Kennen/Lulu/Ziggs/Gnar/Poppy), Iceborn Spiders (Elise solo or w/ Trundle, Kindred, Maokai, Tryndamere), Kindred P&Z Sentinels (w/ Kindred/Vi/Elise/Senna/Jayce), Rally Elusives (Zed/Lulu/Poppy) archetypes. I have NOT combined various Pantheon X decks because they show a lot more variance.
  • I will be referring to Bayesian WR (bWR), which is win rate (WR) that has Bayesian smoothing toward 51.5%—the average WR in these data. To understand Bayesian smoothing, check out this primer…basically, we’re trying to avoid statistical flukes for archetypes with fewer data. A deck where one very strong player went 18-2 is probably not a “true” 90% WR deck. A deck with a lot of data (>1000 matches) is likely to have a WR closer to its “true” WR.
  • I calculated meta diversity using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI). TL;DR is that smaller HHI is more diverse and most of my meta reports have been in the 150-350 range, but as high as 500 in the Lurk and AzIrelia metas.
  • I provide 95% Bayesian credible intervals when talking about WRs (using a beta[35,35] prior since LoR deck WRs are essentially always between 35%-65%). 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 of the uncertainty in WR estimates.

Most Popular Archetypes

Here are the play rates (PRs) for the 20 most popular decks by rank (plus Plat+, the combination of Platinum, Diamond, and Masters). These decks have at least a 1% play rate in Plat+ and together they account for about 50% of the Plat+ meta. None have more than a ~10% play rate.

Deck Play Rates
  • Sun Disc (Azir Xerath, sometimes + 1x Zilean) play rate has dropped precipitously from the Shurima frenzy of week 1 but maintains its place as the most played deck. Players are moving away from the heavy-predict version toward the midrange version as well and there is a version (originated by GrandpaRoji and taken to top 20 Masters with a 70% WR) that replaced 1 Azir with 1 Zilean that’s been doing well in high Masters, including FaintHD climbing to rank 1 with a solid 11-3 record and Mtucks 12-4 to rank 20.
  • Riven Viktor has cemented itself as a legitimate T1 deck, solidly the second most played deck and still looking impressive despite the reduction in Sun Disc to prey on. It had the greatest gain in PR amongst all decks.
  • Caitlyn Ezreal remains popular and is better matched for the meta now with the decrease in Sun Disc and increase in Demacia decks.
  • Targon’s Peak (Asol mostly with Zoe/Tryndamere/Trundle/Braum) also surprisingly maintained its popularity. Given its continued meme WR, I can’t imagine that players will continue to trade fun for LP.
  • Ziggs Taliyah BC continues to impress as another take on landmark mid-range. There is also a new version floating around (created by BeastLlama) that drops BC for 3x The List that does decently as well, although I suspect a big part of its success is surprise value.
  • Fizz Lulu continues to show the power of Yordle in Arms, with more players interested in winning picking up the deck. This also explains the rise in FTR (Trundle/Tryndamere SI) in response to it (and Caitlyn Ezreal).
  • Aphelios Viktor continues to perform well at high levels, though it lost a lot of PR overall (second biggest loser after Sun Disc). Players are playing better and there is less Sun Disc around, so I could see its PR growing even further.
  • Yuumi Pantheon (as well as Taric versions) continue to do well at lower than expected PRs. Alongside Scouts and Akshan Sivir, this triumvirate of midrange Demacia is still a force to be reckoned with despite multiple nerfs.
  • FTR gained in popularity as Sun Disc decreased, Fizz Lulu increased, and especially Caitlyn Ezreal remains popular.
  • Spider Burn continues to have a niche role in the early meta but will continue to drop as it has fewer unrefined lists to pick on (and less Sun Disc).
  • Azir Irelia sticks around this week but less Sun Disc to pick on. It has bad matchups into most of the rest of the popular decks so I see this PR decreasing.
  • Teemo Caitlyn BC continues to have its fans despite its sub 50% WR. Alongside Lurk and Darkness, these decks must have really satisfying games to play since they have maintained their popularity throughout one meta after another.
  • Viktor Lee is a newer deck that SirTurmund took to the top of the Masters ladder, with no way to actually OTK with Lee Sin since there’s no want to grant overwhelm. Instead, you chip away with Ballistic Bot and Viktor and control the board with Lee while maintaining your own life totals with Eye of the Dragon. I definitely see this one climbing in popularity.
  • Viktor Vi is another new deck (created by 4LW; this was a hidden gem last week), leaning on P&Z allegiance and splashing 1x Atrocity. Using much of the same Augment package and Ambush, it trades Lee for Vi in somewhat similar roles except that Vi is even better with Ambush. It even plays Sumpsnipe Scavenger! On top of elusive threats, Atrocity and Give it All offer more ways to end the game.
  • Pirates (MF Gangplank sometimes w/ 1x Twisted Fate) hasn’t really changed in many expansions but its same basic gameplan has been effective basically since its release. Given its incredible WR this week, I expect it to grow in popularity.
  • Just off top 20: Predict, Kindred Viego, Caitlyn Swain, Fizz Aphelios BC, Zoe Aphelios Vi, Zoe Aphelios Noxus, Draven Rumble, Ziggs Taliyah The List, Plunder, Swain BC.
  • Meta diversity report: With an HHI of 238, the Plat+ meta is more diversified than last week thanks to the plummeting PR of Sun Disc.

Most Successful Archetypes

Below, you can see the WRs for the 20 most popular decks at Plat+, again grouped by rank. The error bars represent 95% credible intervals for the win rates.

Deck Win Rates
  • These 20 decks are sorted by Plat+ WR. Just for fun, I also grouped them by tier. This is purely based on WR (plus top 20 PR) and is NOT an evaluation of raw deck strength. The right pilot can probably play most of these decks to a Tier 1 win rate and most can be part of a cohesive tournament lineup. There are also decks that would be Tier 1 or 2 that don’t show up here because they aren’t played enough for me to be confident about their win rates.
  • Tier 1 is even wider than last week but we have a new deck on top (that was a hidden gem last week): Pirates! Scouts, FTR, Akshan Sivir, and Viktor Lee are other new entrants into the ten-wide T1.
  • Tier 2 is a bit wider than last week, as the meta adjusts to lower Sun Disc PRs and new decks like Viktor Vi popping up. That’s 4 Viktor decks in Tiers 1 and 2 for those of you counting. Sun Disc is also still solidly T2 once you eliminate the bad lists.
  • Meme Tier: Targon’s Peak and Teemo Caitlyn aren’t exactly laughable, but I wouldn’t be using them to seriously climb either.
  • Balance Watch: Viktor is looking a bit overtuned now but I think people are mostly still OK with letting the Glorious Evolution go for a bit longer. Pirates traditionally can’t hold a spot on top because Noxus aggro has Freljord SI control decks as natural predators.

Here’s a longer list of the top 45 decks at Plat+, sorted by WR. The super-columns are split by rank, including Plat+ (platinum, diamond, and masters combined), Diamond+ (diamond and masters), and Silver- (silver, bronze, iron). Under each supercolumn, you’ll find how many matches were recorded with that deck, the play rate (PR) percentage, the raw win rate (WR), the Bayesian WR (bWR), and a 95% CI (credible intervals), which corresponds to a range of values we’re 95% sure the “true” win rate lies within. More data à tighter CIs. The last column is the change in Plat+ play rate from the last report.


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 ‘kings’ in the current meta, and which decks can be labeled as ‘overplayed’ 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 ‘hidden gems’ – 10 additional decks represented as red dots without ‘whiskers’. These decks have lower play rates, so they have no error bars – they would’ve been would be huge and distracting.

  • Meta Kings: Riven Viktor, Fizz Lulu, Ziggs Taliyah, Sun Disc. Although Sun Disc is not a T1 deck by win rate and has lost almost half of its play rate, it continues to define the meta. As players move away from countering it, I see it stabilizing at just under 10% PR.
  • Overplayed: Targon’s Peak, Ezreal Caitlyn, Teemo Caitlyn. ALSO Sun Disc (the predict versions).
  • Underplayed: Pirates, Scouts, Gnar Darius, Yuumi Pantheon. Pirates is particularly well-positioned at the moment, although that could easily change by midweek!
  • Hidden Gems: P&Z Sentinel Control, Akshan Lee, Draven Viktor. P&Z Sentinels continues to impress, with Kindred and Jayce-centered versions both doing well. Akshan Lee is another old take on Lee Sin that uses The Absolver to quickly OTK; it gained a lot from the Quicksand buff. Draven Viktor plays the same general gameplan as Riven Viktor but has a better long game thanks to Lost Soul.

Summary

The meta is full of playable decks and that makes for a good time playing the game. Tier 1 is 10 decks wide and Tier 2 is another 6 solid decks. Yet, the meta is still evolving as people adjust to the lower Sun Disc play rates, optimizing all the various Viktor lists, and relearning Aphelios. It’s possible that week 3 of Patch 3.4 will warrant a meta report for the first time ever!

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