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Dr. LoR’s Meta Report – Patch 3.0 Week 2

Hey folks, Dr. LoR here with another look at the Patch 3.0 meta.

Last week, we saw a surge of Iceborn Legacy Poros and Spiders that has since receded. After such large meta shifts, where has the meta settled since then? Is Ahri Kennen still as dominant as last time? What new decks have arisen to take advantage of the new environment?

UPDATE: It turns out that Mobalytics hasn’t updated in 3 days as of Jan 18th, which means that this data covers 2 fewer days than I thought.

Sources and Methodology
  • The 100k matches of Platinum+ data and 32k matches of Gold data are from January 11 to 17 15th, 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 Sun Disc (Azir/Renekton/Xerath/Nasus), Iceborn Spiders (Elise solo or w/ Trundle, Kindred, Maokai, Tryndamere), Kindred P&Z Sentinels (w/ Vi/Elise/Senna), Bandle Tree Noxus (Poppy Noxus with Fizz/Teemo/Kennen/Lulu/Ziggs), Rally Elusives (Zed/Lulu/Poppy), Yordle Burn (Ziggs/Poppy/Teemo/Darius), Glorious Shellfolk (Fizz/Vi/Poppy), Poke City (TF/Gangplank/MF), Yordle Rally (Poppy Demacia w/ Teemo/Fizz/Lulu/Ziggs), and Targon’s Peak (Asol + Zoe/Braum/Tryndamere). I have NOT combined various Rumble/Draven/Sion/Jinx decks because they show a lot more variance. I also have not combined Ahri Kennen because the non-Ionian splash affects the deck’s gameplan considerably.
  • 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 many Ranked games that are therefore 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. For example, most of recent meta reports have been in the 250-350 range, but in Azir Irelia it showed number as high as 500. Read this if you would like to know more about the method.
  • I provide 95% Bayesian credible intervals when talking about WRs. The interval is represented by two percentage numbers, and we can be 95% sure that the ‘true’ win rate for the deck in question lands somewhere in-between these percentages. Margin of error is a single percentage number – we can be 95% sure that the true win rate of the decks is within +/- of their margins of error.

Most Popular Archetypes

Here are the play rates for the 20 most popular decks, sorted by rank. Each of these decks has at least a 1% play rate in Plat+. All of these decks together account for approximately half of the meta (which is low).

  • Kennen Ahri Absolver holds the meta top spot by the narrowest of leads. I am curious why more people aren’t playing it. This is literally the least played #1 deck I’ve ever seen while doing these meta reports!
  • Darkness is at its highest relative PR ranking since its initial release, but this is more a function of other decks becoming less popular than Darkness gaining that much absolute PR.
  • Feel The Rush (FTR) is many people’s idea of a “real” control deck, one with mostly response cards and relatively few finishers. The fact that it’s reached #3 on this list, along with many other control decks, has LoR socials and media happily proclaiming that ‘control is back.’
  • Iceborn Poros’s meteoric rise and fall are reminiscent of Dragons after their most recent round of buffs – but unlike Dragons, Poros seems good enough to hold onto a decently sized piece of the meta pie.
  • Kindred P&Z Sentinels (with some combination of Vi/Elise/Senna) showed a lot of early promise and gained a lot of playrate with many streamers and Youtubers covering the deck. The deck is more proactive than other control decks but with fewer slots for removal, it needs to tech well against the meta.
  • Spider Burn emerged as a counter to Pantheon and Kennen Ahri decks last meta, and they’re still around. There were fewer Poros to prey on last week but more Pantheon.
  • Lurk is always popular, but its WR is the highest it’s been in many metas, suggesting Lurk has a justification for its playrate finally.
  • Iceborn Spiders (Elise w/ Trundle, Kindred, Maokai, or Tryndamere) is another potentially proactive approach to SI control, although there’s still so much variation in the archetype that I suspect the archetype will continue to evolve.
  • MF Quinn Scouts is the biggest story of the past week, with many top players doing successful climbs with the deck. Just like in its heyday, it’s here to prey on its natural target, FTR and other SI control decks. Having a decent matchup against almost every other non-Pantheon, non-Lurk deck in the meta is just gravy. It’s not even that bad against Lurk! I fully expect this to have a top 5 slot soon.
  • Kindred Viego is yet another SI control deck, but along with Anivia, its power level and popularity just don’t match up to FTR.
  • Pantheon decks (mono-Pantheon, Shyvana, and Taric) offer the best Timmy experience in the game right now (assuming you also want to win). Their strength into control is a bonus that means I expect these decks to gain polarity this week.
  • Zilean Xerath BC has been a decent alternative control option, with The Arsenal as a very effective end game. Its play patterns are less intuitive though so its win rates have never been that high, although Gamebreak0r did manage to win Fight Night EU with the deck in his lineup, so the deck definitely has legs.
  • Sun Disc…people didn’t give up after the first disastrous week. With Mogwai covering the deck recently, I expect this deck to still be in the top 20 next week… F’s for your LP.
  • Draven Rumble P&Z became the preferred Discard aggro deck towards the end of the last patch, with favorable matches in many of the top decks. With Sion’s (perhaps too late) nerf, this is even more true now.
  • Teemo Caitlyn and Turbo Thralls were just off the top 20 last week, so not much changed here. Neither is super well situated for the meta. Well, to be honest, Teemo Caitlyn hasn’t been good in any meta…
  • Just below top 20: Zoe Diana (45.6% WR; seemed promising but kinda meme), Plunder (51.4% WR, slipped out of meta for first time in months), Rally Elusives (51.9% WR; last week’s performance was a flash in the pan), Deep (48.1% WR; yeah, Maokai buff didn’t matter), and Kennen Ahri Go Hard (52.8% WR; weaker into meta than its more aggressive Shurima sibling).
  • Meta diversity: With an HHI of 169, the Plat+ meta got even more diverse than last week. The diversity at lower levels is even more impressive.

Most Successful Archetypes

Below, you can see the win rates for the 20 highest play rate decks, grouped by rank. I also included 95% credible 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.

  • Tier 1 is still quite large. Kennen Ahri continues to dominate and is seated atop the meta. Returning to prominence after a long absence is Scouts, followed by various flavors of Pantheon (Taric, Shyvana, and mono-). Seems like a good meta for Demacia midrange. Lurk is another decent option into midrange, and its only truly horrendous matchup is Kennen Ahri. FTR continues to be proving itself the best control deck in the current meta (but definitely not the only). Draven Rumble is the best aggro deck, probably because of Rumble’s Spellshield and burn cards giving more closing power against control.
  • Tier 2 is mostly control decks, headlined by Darkness but rounded out by Iceborn Spiders, Kindred Sentinels, Kindred Viego, and Xilean Xerath. Poros no longer has a target on its back and settled into Tier 2 as many expected, although it briefly dipped below 50% WR last week. Spider Burn is still a solid option, but it’s quite weak into control decks (~25% vs. FTR for example). Finally, Turbo Thralls is another way of attack control decks and isn’t terrible against midrange.
  • Meme Tier: Below that, we have 5 decks with sub 50% WRs, which is usually followed by decreasing playrates and falling out of the meta. Targon’s Peak keeps cycling back into the meta but it continues to be weak. Anivia SI is mostly a worse version of FTR. Teemo Caitlyn BC continues to defy expectations as a popular option considering it’s been meme tier for months. And then, there’s Sun Disc… A few popular streamers have tackled this recently so I guess it’ll still hang around a little longer.
  • Balance Watch: Kennen Ahri is still a tad too good. Perhaps if the meta responds more to it, it’ll fall below the 55% WR threshold soon. Still, the best WR Absolver version has under 5% PR, which suggests the meta is still holding it back a little.

Below is a spreadsheet of the top 45 decks in Plat+, 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). The last column – Plat+ΔPR – shows the change in play rate for the archetype since the previous report.

In addition, the data includes a margin of error (for example, we can be 95% sure that in Plat +, Kennen Ahri Absolver has a ‘true’ win rate that lands somewhere between 55.3% and 57.8%). 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 ‘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 how lower play rates, so I’m less confident about their win rates, and the error bars for them would be huge and distracting.

  • Meta Kings: Kennen Ahri Absolver, Scouts.
    These are synergistic decks that look to kill you around turns 6-8 and are resilient to control decks. Kennen Ahri is frankly in its own category in power level, but that’s also a function of the meta just not turning to counter it that much.
  • Overplayed: Sun Disc, Iceborn Poros, Iceborn Spiders, Zoe Diana.
    Mostly all the same offenders as last week, but less playrate for each of these decks. Zoe Diana is the newcomer. With so many choices every turn, it gives a lot of fun player agency, but the power level doesn’t quite seem to be there.
  • Underplayed: Draven Rumble, Pantheon.
    These share many common features with the meta kings, being resilient to control and aiming to finish in the midgame.
  • Hidden Gems
    Akshan Sivir and Dragons continue the Demacia midrange train. Jayce Lux is a bit more spell-heavy and late-game oriented, but is still relying on Demacia midrange tools (see a pattern)? Ziggs Taliyah is another solid midrange option. Ahri Lulu and Fizz Lulu are still Tier 1 aggro decks from last meta that people haven’t returned to.

Conclusion

Although Kennen Ahri is still wearing the meta crown, this is very much a midrange environment that’s dominated by a variety of Demacia decks and other archetypes resilient to the variety of SI control decks.

With nearly peak diversity, it’s a great time to play LoR. Thanks, everyone – Kennen Ahri appears less than once in 20 games!

Follow me on Twitter for mini-meta updates and deck optimizations in the meantime, or join me on my Discord to talk more about all things LoR data.

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