If you are like me, then you enjoy finding off-meta gems to play into the best decks and come out on top.
With the most recent balance patch, I have felt revitalized with my deck-building as many archetypes received significant buffs while some of the top decks took a hit.
In this article, I will list 4 decks I have whipped up utilizing recent buffs and exploring old and new synergies alike.
If you have been playing Legends of Runeterra for a while now, then this concept might be familiar. Zombie Ashe (as it was called back in the day) has always been a sleeper pick of a strong control deck that absolutely demolishes combat-focused board-centric builds.
If you haven’t played Ashe decks before, it’s quite simple really. Your main goal is to trade in the most favorable way possible, by freezing your way through combat. This is pretty easy when you are running a plethora of Frostbite tools such as Icevale Archer, Brittle Steel, Flash Freeze, Harsh Winds, Rimetusk Shaman, and of course Ashe herself!
The plan of this deck, and one of the main win conditions, is just making sure you have Ashe alive to finish the game. Babbling Bjerg helps you find Ashe (since he can only pull Rimefang Denmother or her), Thresh helps you pull Ashe out of your deck after he levels.
The Rekindler will bring back the Queen of Avarosa as your strongest champion, and The Harrowing also will prioritize her, then Rimefang Denmother. This is where the “Zombie” name comes from. Being able to guarantee most games that you will have an Ashe late in the game puts you in a very good position to secure the win.
Speaking of making your opponent not be able to block your attacks, here is another deck that does just that.
The idea of this deck came from wanting to combine the Fallen Reckoner’s ability to apply Can’t Block, and various Stuns to render the opposing board irrelevant.
My first thought went right to Leona and her Daybreak package which provides exactly what we are looking for. And since we are already in Noxus, and are looking for a big damage unit, Darius with his recent buff fits perfectly! And what goes better with Stuns than a nice Rally – and luckily Apprehend does both!
As with all Daybreak decks, your curve is very important. You want to be activating Daybreak every turn in order to level up Leona as early as possible. Her and Rahvun, Daylight’s Spear are very important to set up your biggest turns.
In the meantime, try to trade efficiently in order to maintain a healthy board for later. We do not have a lot of removal, so you will be playing this game mostly at a Slow speed. This requires some forward-thinking but can be learned easily.
This deck offers a really weird explosive playstyle that I have not seen much in Legends of Runeterra. You have a strong early curve but you are really trying to build up your board and wait for your perfect moment to deal maximum damage to the Nexus. Often this ends up functioning as a One Turn Kill style of deck.
One of my favorite synergies that so far remains quite under-explored is Viego with
Being able to use your Kegs to boost the damage of various spells, while also triggering Viego’s Encroaching Mists is something I have loved since Viego came out. It really allows you to maximize Viego and his mists in a way I have not found any other deck doing.
In previous versions of this deck I had used Thresh or Gangplank over Kindred, but now with Kindred’s recent buff and them moving to 4 mana, they become a perfect fit in this control deck.
Our main win condition is an ever-growing and unstoppable onslaught of Mists. Atrocity is typically our top-end finisher in combination with Mists or Viego himself.
But before we can get to that point, we have to function properly as a control deck by eliminating various threats and keeping our Nexus healthy. Kegs boosting your AOE removal like Make it Rain and Withering Wail can easily clear board-wide threats, while the newly buffed Vengeance takes care of big single targets.
If you are a fan of any version of Shadow Isles control, I highly suggest giving this one a try. It has a unique playstyle compared to typical Shadow Isles + Freljord decks that is much more unit-focused but still offers some similar lines of thinking.
Landmark Aggro is one of my favorite newer archetypes that has been added to Legends of Runeterra. I have played many different versions of landmark-focused decks such as Ziggs Taliyah, Taliyah Malphite, Taliyah Akshan, Ziggs Zilean, and more.
I have tried Xerath in most of those, and he always seemed to be underperforming just a little bit. But with his most recent buff, he has become a lot more reliable as a 4-drop. Now his pairing with Ziggs feels like a perfect addition to an already solid aggressive archetype.
This deck wants to apply a lot of pressure, very quickly. Typically between turns 4 and 6, you’ll have a massive board by using Desert Naturalist on one of your own landmarks, or a Waste Walker growing very large, or having your Endless Devouts come back as 5/3s with Fearsome!
It is on those turns that you have to maximize the amount of damage you are pushing through to your opponent’s Nexus. In the earlier turns, you want to be putting down as many Landmarks as possible while applying whatever pressure you can. This allows you to level up your champions quickly so you can use them as finishing tools a bit later in the game. If the game gets to turn 8 or later, you want to use The Arsenal and pray that RNG favors you with some strong keywords.
Using the Hexplosive Minefield and Unleashed Energy is my favorite combo in this deck, as it allows for a lot of burst damage to get through, as well as a Burst-speed stun which is quite rare in this game.
Besides that, our biggest plays are enabled by Rite of the Arcane which we can use to get some key removal on opposing champions or Lifesteal units. If you missed out on ever trying the Landmark Aggro archetype, do not skip over it again. Give this a try!
If you have enjoyed these decks, and want a little more information on them, I have 5 Minute Deck Breakdowns on my Youtube for all of them.
I will continue providing some off-meta options on there as well, if you are looking for some more fun decks to try out!
I encourage you to use these 4 decks as a bouncing pad. Make changes with them, play around, see where they take you and please feel free to let me know. Thanks for reading!