5 Off-Meta Decks Spotted in Masters – Patch 2.21
Hello everyone, Dragonguy here, and today I wanted to introduce some sweet new off-meta brews that the players were lately testing in high elo with some degree of success.
All of the decks featured below come from different players on the Masters ladder, and I will be leaving the names and the servers they play on when listing their decks.
With the intro out of the way, now let’s get into it!
- Player: Vivo, Server: Americas
The first deck on our list is Pantheon Shyvana – and it is looking quite strong and competitive, as Vivo used it to hit Rank 1 on the Americas server. This deck has some similarities with other Pantheon Demacia lists, but its unique nature comes from the inclusion of Shyvana and the Dragons package.
Pantheon and Shyvana both push for a similar gameplan: they want to go tall and overpower the opponent. Pantheon does this through his Fated keyword, while Shyvana has Fury. To support our ‘go tall’ plan, we are also running Wounded Whiteflame and Screeching Dragon. These two cards have proven to be powerhouses on their own, and since they are Dragons, we get additional synergies.
Dragon Chow serves as the 1-drop of choice over Saga Seeker in this deck. It survives a Wounded Whiteflame strike, allowing for a second draw from another Dragon of ours down the line – or serves as an early blocker.
Dragon’s Clutch gives us a way to grant our Dragons Overwhelm, or draw 2 if we need to. Then, we are using Strafing Strike over Single Combat as our primary strike interaction spell – the Dragon synergies make it worth it.
Of course, the deck has more tools than that. We’re running Mentor of the Stones and Mountain Goat for Gems. These give easy ways to trigger Pantheon’s level-up and let us keep our Dragons healthy.
Blinded Mystic procs Fated and shuts down any problematic followers that the meta is currently rampant with. To round things out, we have a suite of cheap protection spells with cards such as Sharpsight and Guiding Touch.
Overall, this deck has felt incredibly powerful. Pantheon decks usually have only a few major threats to present, and it takes time for them to build up. The Demacia Dragons build gives you more threats to apply your buffs on, and it enables some strong Dragon synergy cards.
Expect to see this deck on the rise more in the coming days, and it might even make an appearance on some tier lists.
- Player: Szychu, Server: EMEA
Targon’s Peak is one of my favorite cards to play. So of course, when I found a deck with it that was doing well, I had to look into it. Szychu is the player I got this list from, and I have been playing the deck a lot on ladder since then.
The goal for a Targon’s Peak deck is to cheat out powerful top-end cards early. You can accomplish this through ramp – Faces of the Old Ones and Catalyst of Aeons – or with the help of the namesake landmark, Targon’s Peak.
Feel The Rush is your best card when you can cast it early. Summoning two 10|10 champions is a definition of powerplay – Aurelion Sol will also be able to level up end of round, and our other champion, Zoe, will enter as a 10|10 Elusive body.
Even if you can’t get him out with the Feel The Rush play, Aurelion Sol is still just a good card to hard-cast from hand, which gives you an expensive Celestial card.
She Who Wanders is another pay-off, and she has risen in value in this meta. Curious Shellfolk and Ahri decks are running rampant right now, and She Who Wanders can completely shut them down. As a 10|10 with Regeneration, it is also a powerful threat by itself that is difficult to remove.
Last but not least, It That Stares can come down early with a devastating effect – either wipe out swarmy boards, or Obliterate all landmarks.
You have a lot of healing cards, like Kindly Tavernkeeper and Starshaping, to help with the transition into your big turns. Blighted Ravine serves the purpose of healing and a board clean-up. Avalanche is another sweeper, giving you enough tools to deal with aggro gameplans.
Sunburst may seem a bit awkward in the deck, as it’s a bit expensive and single-target, but it does wonders at answering key threats. Pantheon decks are everywhere, and on Daybreak, this spell kills every threat in those lists, no exceptions.
Finally, Ground Slam has been an amazing card in the deck. While historically the deck has run Frostbite effects, Ground Slam fulfills a similar role and can even function as Fast-speed removal if needed.
After having played so many games with the deck, it has felt fun, and I’ve been able to climb with it. I will say, however, that this deck does contain elements of randomness that can decide games. While you can try to maximize odds for good hits off of Targon’s Peak, it isn’t always guaranteed.
Still, despite some bad streaks that can happen, it always feels good to get a good hit, slam it into play, and watch the opponent’s Nexus explode as they surrender.
- Player: Raikei, Server: Asia
Coming in next we have Tristana Fizz, a deck that might look odd, but it works surprisingly well.
This list plays quite a few multi-region units to help pump up Tristana, while also activating additional synergies ties to the multi-region requirement. What is the payoff for playing all the cards from other regions? It’s Yordles in Arms.
This deck seeks to flood the board with units, then get off a powerful Yordles in Arms and close out the game. To supplement this plan, we are splashing Demacia for Golden Aegis, which is devastating in conjunction with Yordles in Arms.
On top of this, we are also running quite a bit of efficient removal spells, such as Buster Shot, Pokey Stick, and Group Shot. Buster Shot has an additional point of synergy in this particular archetype, as its cost can be reduced by having Tristana in play.
Bandle City Mayor really accelerates your game plan and lets you flood quickly. Your wide assortment of multi-region units helps to quickly level Tristana, and turn her into a game ending threat. If she can stick for a few turns, she can quickly stack up Impact and threaten a lot of damage, even through blockers.
The deck is also surprisingly flexible. The removal we have access to helps against other aggressive decks, and we have also can present enough swarm to put a lot of pressure on slower decks.
- Player: GrandpaRoji, Server: Americas
GrandpaRoji is a Taliyah Malphite main, well-known known in the Runeterra community because of his love for the archetype, and plenty of strong ladder results with it across the seasons.
Taliyah Malphite is a midrange deck that wants to capitalize on landmark synergies to create strong board states to end games.
Ancient Preparations and Preservarium provide early landmarks to play, and help increase the deck’s consistency. Bomber Twins and Rock Hopper give us a deal on a body + landmark bundle to increase our overall landmark count. Endless Devout gives us a strong turn 3 play, and a body with a Last Breath effect that will be problematic for your opponent.
With all of these cards to get us landmarks, what are our payoffs?
First we have Chip and Ground Slam, both of which get much more powerful once we’ve played a landmark. Salt Spire and Earth Elemental get much stronger once we’ve summoned 4+ landmarks, and Herald of the Magus will give our champs Overwhelm once we’ve destroyed 4 of our landmarks. The biggest payoff, however, is our champions.
Once Taliyah levels, she gets a devastating attack trigger, dealing 2 damage to her blocker or the Nexus 3 times. Malphite is a huge wall with his large statline and Tough keyword.
Once he levels, he gives you an Unstoppable Force spell to Stun all the opponents units on your attack turns. While you do give an opponent priority by casting that Slow spell, few decks are able to effectively punish you in one action for stunning their entire board.
On top of this, we also run The Absolver, which lets our units push through a lot of damage even through chump blockers.
Taliyah Malphite has existed as a fringe concept since Malphite’s release in Guardians of the Ancient expansion, but it has never really caught on. Now, however, things are finally looking up for the rock man. The deck has felt rock solid, and can definitely compete with some of the strong archetypes running around right now.
- Player: addicted98, Server: EMEA
Finally, we have a deck featuring one of my favorite cards, Catalogue of Regrets.
It is a landmark that will slowly gain value over time if you build around it. For this deck, addicted98 paired it with PnZ, and used Caitlyn and Ezreal as champions of choice for the deck.
Caitlyn offers the deck a strong tempo play on turn 3, and can help alleviate the tempo loss that comes with playing Catalogue of Regrets on turn 4. Ezreal, on the other hand, is rarely a turn 3 play, and usually comes down later in the game once he is leveled.
For the other units for the deck, we have Station Archivist and Aloof Travelers. With such a spell-heavy deck, Station Archivist should almost always give you multiple options to choose from, providing card advantage and generating answers to opponents’ threats. Aloof Travelers lets you hit the opponent’s top-end cards before they even get a chance to deploy them, and it replaces itself.
After this, however, it’s all spells. Our spells serve 2 main purposes: removal and card draw.
Some of our removal also provides healing: Piercing Darkness, Vile Feast, and Go Hard. Go Hard is especially potent in this deck, as you can use Catalogue of Regrets to artificially get more copies to accelerate its transformation into Pack Your Bags. Otherwise, we have a suite of PnZ removal spells that can also function as burn spells the later the game goes.
This is a very controlling deck, and every game with it will be a battle of attrition. You aim to try and trade 1-for-1 whenever possible, with a Catalogue of Regrets in play to fuel the resources war.
If you like control with a slower pace playstyle, this is definitely a deck to look into.
We have another batch of interesting decks here playing at different speeds – and every type of player should find something interesting for them on this page.
Whether or not these end up being decks that fade away or rise up and define the meta is still to be seen. Still, the lists above are all very fun to play, and if you’re looking for something new to try, give these a whirl!
The season has a long way to go, with another big patch coming January 5th, so I’m sure we’ll see even more innovative brews coming our way soon. Until then, thanks for reading, and have a good time playing Legends of Runeterra!