Legends of Runeterra Best Beginner Decks – A Curious Journey Season

Mezume presents his top selection of decks that are great to pick up this season if you are a beginner player trying to learn the game.

Hey, it’s Mezume here! In this article, I will present a few decks that are great to pick up in the current meta if you are a beginner player trying to learn the game. Let’s start with listing some of the criteria for how I’m choosing the decks for this collection.

First of all, the deck needs to be simple to learn and play. To clarify, decks with a high skill ceiling are definitely allowed too – but what’s important is that the entry point, the skill floor, should be low and you don’t need to have excessive game knowledge to win with a deck in question.

The other criteria is that the archetypes here need to be viable as a competitive decks. They do not have to be at the top of the current meta, but have to be able to score your some victories and climb ranks. However, in the case of this particular article, all the decks coincidentally actually ended up around the top of the meta!

Finally, I tried to ensure that I do not take the easy way out and only feature aggressive and burn decks. This list includes two fast decks, but the other two want to take the game at a different pace. Learning to play at different speeds in terms of your gameplan is important to your growth as a player.

With all that said, these are the four decks I decided to showcase for you! They are listed in order of difficulty – from the easiest to the most difficult. Some of them have gameplay videos attached already – while others will have them added in the future.


Demacia Bilgewater Scouts have been around for ages. In fact, it was included in our previous list of beginner-friendly decks and just like that, it makes it here – 7 months later. Scouts seems to be an evergreen archetype, as there aren’t even that many changes list-to-list after all this time.

This archetype is great to pick up – with burn getting more and more subtleties (SPOILER: it will be the next deck in this article) and becoming a more difficult deck to pilot, Scouts is likely the easiest strategy to play in the top tiers.

This archetype will teach you the importance of trading efficiently and you will learn when it’s better to go for a full swing versus when it may be better to keep some of your units in the back row. Because there are no dedicated burn cards in the deck, you will need to rely on your board to achieve a victory.

The deck relies on curving out well – you generally want to use most of your mana on developing units. In the early turns, you want to go as wide as possible, as that will allow you to threaten For Demacia! created by Vanguard Sergeant. The list also has more support for going wide than some previous versions with the Genevieve Elmheart‘s buff, as well as Durand Sculptor.

Miss Fortune’s ability Love Tap helps you in combat – it removes Barriers and kills off 1HP blockers. Due to this ability – as well as her powerful leveled form – she is the main focus of the deck.

With Scout units, Challengers, and a wide board strategy in general, you will most often generate a board advantage in the early turns. To capitalize on that advantage further, the list includes Rally effects in the form of Golden Aegis – in turn also letting Miss Fortune level faster.

Because your units, in general, are rather small, you will need to capitalize on them early – in the late game, the opponent’s bigger units will simply stop you from getting any good attacks; and without burn damage, no attacks means no victories.

It is an easy deck, but here are some things to look out for and keep in mind while piloting it:

  • Protect priority units. Scouts introduces you to the concept of unit protection and it does so in a very simple way. Cithria, the Bold and Quinn are both valuable and worth looking out for, but the one unit you have to always keep alive is Miss Fortune. Keep mana up to be able to Sharpsight or Riposte her if you suspect the opponent will try to threaten her.
  • Double-check and triple-check before attacking. The deck relies fully and completely on board advantage while also consisting mostly of units smaller than those of the opponents’. Always take a moment to make your decision – are you going to be able to refill the board if the opponent trims it down with value trades? Are you pushing enough damage to justify sacrificing your board state?
  • Fringe cases. Always look for small extra advantages! If an enemy priority target has been left open to your Challengers on any particular turn, using Golden Aegis for a surprise attack can be a good choice, even if it doesn’t get a ton of value otherwise. If you’re in desperate need of 1 extra damage – Miss Fortune’s Make it Rain can provide it. There are many small decisions and advantages you can find, so always be on your toes.

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Gnar Burn created by Mezume • last updated 9 months ago
Burn
Aggro

Last time around, I included a burn archetype in Spider Aggro, as the easiest deck on the list. This time, burn has levelled up to include Bandle City and allow for a bit more decision-making in how you are going to play out different matchups. Because of this, I put it as a step above Scouts.

The reason this deck is great to pick up for any player just beginning their LoR journey is that it is still quite straightforward and introduces some of the more simple parts of the game, as well as the easiest win condition of all – take the enemy nexus health to 0 without having to think about board control or any other such things.

While playing this deck, you will learn when to develop versus when to open-attack. On top of that, you will sharpen your skill for finding lethal damage, using both your onboard threats and direct damage tools in your hand. Finally, you will have your first lessons in utilizing spell mana efficiently and sometimes even bluffing – thanks to Noxian Fervor’s ability to answer enemy removal spells.

Gnar Burn relies on building a board in the very early stages of the game and pushing as much damage as humanly possible. With a large amount of 1- and 2- drops, you will almost always dictate the tempo of the game and it is your opponent that will have to respond to your actions.

While you will mostly have to rely on direct damage past that point, Gnar and Teenydactyl are great ways to still threaten your enemies on the board. Because of their transform effects, this deck introduces a sense of planning for the future turns, not just in terms of damage, but also these transformations.

Finally, through the Manifest effect of Conchologist, it lets you learn to establish a clear win condition ahead of time – and pick a card that can help you work towards it.

While this is a really simple deck to pick up, there is still some nuance to it. The things to look out for as you learn the deck are:

  • Be aware of opponent’s removal. If the opponent is likely to play Avalanche in their deck, it might be a good idea to develop Stone Stackers instead of two 1-drops. Similarly, if that isn’t possible, it might be better to attack after developing a single 1-drop. That way you are likely able to push some damage instead of getting your board wiped.
  • Keeping Noxian Fervor mana up. If you suspect your opponent might have removal cards ready – or even worse, some Lifesteal/Drain spells – it is good practice to keep 3 mana open in order to represent Noxian Fervor, even if you don’t have it. While at lower ranks usually would not respect it, you can buy yourself some time to actually draw it if they would.
  • Plan your mana usage for the maximum damage output. For example, if you are playing against a deck with no healing (such as Bandle City or Noxus decks), maybe it’s better not to play that extra Legion Rearguard in order to have more mana and be able to cast double Decimate next turn?
  • Fringe cases. Always look for small extra advantages! Gnar’s champion spell, Wallop, can save you an extra bit of time, but you could also sacrifice your Gnar sometimes just to get that extra Pokey Stick, which could mean more damage than having him on the board. Always be on the lookout for small interactions like this. Know your cards and use them to your advantage!

With Lurk, we are moving away from typical aggro decks for a moment – even if the best Lurk draws will have you believe you are an aggro deck. Lurk is deceptively simple, but has a surprising amount of nuance to it, which make it a difficult deck to master.

Just like with Scouts, you want to win on the board – there is no direct damage in the list. Lurk, however, introduces the concept of deck control through Predict mechanic, as well as it lets you learn to decide when to play for a quick win, as opposed to a long drawn-out game. Unlike the previous inclusions, it has two “modes” that it can play.

The first mode is the more aggressive one – with starting hand full of Xer’Sai Hatchlings, Sharklings and so on. This will feel a lot like Scouts in that you will try to trade up with the higher attack numbers and go as wide as possible to have some of the powerful attackers connect to the nexus.

The second mode is the one which require more expertise – a slow and drawn-out game in which you aim to win through board control and sometimes even card advantage. For that, an impeccable use of Death From Below, as well as knowing when to drop Rek’Sai is crucial.

While Lurk can feel like a highroll deck, there is a lot to it and anyone can learn a lot from playing it – you need to know what your win condition in the matchup is and understand opponent’s weak points. Here are some things to look out for while playing this list:

  • Define your gameplan and priorities in a matchup. At the beginning of each game, you need to assess whether you can realistically try to go wider than your opponent and threaten lethal with those high attack Sharklings. Oftentimes, this will depend on the amount of early game units your opponent plays, as well as their access to removal – running your Hatchlings into a Poison Dart and then a Pokey Stick early on could end the game on the spot, as you’d be left out of gas.
  • Recognize Pyke’s best use. While doing your best to level up Pyke should always be a priority, one of the bigger skill checks in the deck is being able to recognize when to drop Pyke onto the board as a regular play – as well as when to hold Death From Below for a big clear, versus simply using it to summon Pyke and clear a small unit. Being greedy could cost you the game – or win one!
  • Use your removal wisely. This list runs, outside of Pyke’s Death from Below and his champion spell, merely 3 interactive spells. This means that you have to be extremely careful not to mess it up – watch out for ways your opponent to stop Bone Skewer and do not be too greedy with which of your units challenges the opponent made vulnerable by Ruthless Predator.
  • Abuse Call the Pack. Call the Pack is a card that makes or breaks this deck. You will need to learn the best timings of using it – sometimes you’ll want to ensure that your Lurkers do get the buff, no matter what card you put back on top. Other times, holding it for Pyke or Rek’Sai could be the better play.

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Draven Rumble created by Mezume • last updated 9 months ago
Midrange

Draven Rumble is a new and much changed take on the good old Discard Aggro. It is quite convenient for this list, as the old Draven Jinx was a lot more difficult. While Draven Rumble is no piece of cake, it is quite easy to learn.

Similarly to the previous decks, you mostly want to curve out while playing Draven Rumble. The deck’s difficulty comes from some powerful combo turns and knowing when to discard which cards – and when not to discard anything at all.

While Lurk simply had innate synergies where you didn’t have to think about them too much, this strategy is all about utilizing your cards in a way that maximizes said synergy. That combined with having multiple win conditions and gameplans makes the deck a worthy inclusion for the most difficult on this list.

In this list, you will be looking to out-tempo your opponent with the multitude of tools at your disposal. Starts like Zaunite Urchin into Risen Rider, backed up by Mystic Shots and Get Exciteds can snowball into an easy win. The deck can play slower though, with the use of Ballistic Bot and Lost Soul to minimize the negative effect of discard effects on card advantage.

You can win in a plethora of ways. Having one of the most explosive starts in the game, snowballing the board is an option. With a lot of burn, sometimes you’re just going to point it at the nexus instead of the board. As mentioned before, playing slower for a so-called slow burn win condition is also viable due to Ballistic Bot, Decimates and Rumble.

Below are the things that are good to watch out for while playing this Noxus P&Z list:

  • Recognize your win condition. With so many ways to play the deck, this is the key to success. While this is mostly matchup-based, sometimes just based on your hand after mulligan, you’ll have to adjust and accept that you’ll be playing towards a different playstyle.
  • Set up for Survival Skills. While only a 1-of, Survival Skills could win you many games, provided you use it right. If you are holding it in hand, try to set up your board in a way that you’ll be able to protect the right unit – Usually Rumble, Draven or Ballistic Bot.
  • Fringe cases. There are lots of small interactions in the deck that you can abuse to become a better pilot. Don’t forget that Reborn Grenadier is not only a discard pay-off, but also an activator; using Might can help you re-focus Survival Skills. If you have multiple copies of Rumble, you can skip the discarding and simply play it for the Flamespitter champion spell which couldresult in more damage. Always be on the lookout for this and you will get more acquainted to them as you play the deck more.

Closing Words

These decks are fairly simple to play, but they all possess enough power to be able to win games and climb some ranks. They can help you to get a grasp of the LoR’s basics and they all offer different types of learning moments.

I hope you will enjoy playing these and feel like you’re constantly improving by doing so. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them below or in our Discord!

Mezume
Mezume

Mezume is a competitive Legends of Runeterra player with an unexplained love for midrange decks. He believes the important thing is not the end result of the game, but the choices made within it. Loves learning more about the game and sharing that knowledge with others!

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