Patch 2.12 In-Depth Statistical Meta Report

Hey folks, Dr. LoR here with an updated meta report. Patch 2.12 threw two new champs – Akshan and Viego – into the mix of a meta that hadn’t quite been solved ever since the big shifts that happened at the beginning of the season.

The new champions were designed to fit into a wide variety of decks, so the meta has been extra diverse over the past couple of weeks!

Sources and Methodology
  • The 534k matches of data for the analysis below come from Mobalytics Meta Stats. The timeframe is July 21-28.
  • I am relying on Mobalytics’s archetype algorithm, which uses champions and regions to define archetypes. This means that, for example, that Sivir Ionia deck is spread across three separate archetypes: Akshan Sivir, Akshan/Zed/Sivir, and Zed/Sivir. Where appropriate, I manually combined Mobalytics archetypes that show slightly different champion combinations. This time, this mainly affected Sivir Ionia, Viego Shurima, Viego Ionia, Turbo Thralls, Overwhelm, Ashe Noxus, and Dragons archetypes.
  • I use Bayesian smoothing toward a win rate of 50.4% (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. Read this if you would like to know more about the method.
  • I include 95% confidence intervals and margin of error when talking about win rate stats. The interval is represented by two percentages, 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 in Patch 2.12, sorted by rank. Each of these decks has at least a 1% play rate in Plat+. All of these decks together account for approximately 60% of the meta.

  • Azir Irelia is somehow back on top of the meta again at every rank but Masters, with an impressive WR to back it up. Defiant Dance and 2-mana Twin Disciplines definitely helped soften the nerfs. Not broken anymore but still powerful and now you won’t get dirty looks for playing it (at least not as many.)
  • Sivir Ionia (Zed/Akshan + Sivir) is still a force to be reckoned with. The Zed version is slightly more popular than the Akshan version (3.8% vs. 2.8% PR) but Akshan version has higher WR (54.8% vs. 53.3%). Akshan+Zed version is also starting to gain more traction (1.8% PR with 55.4% WR).
  • Lurk is no longer the shiniest toy in the room. Its PR has fallen considerably to and its WR is of a solid Tier 2. Surprisingly, it’s more played in Masters than other ranks, despite its lower WR there.
  • Viego is the other star of the newest expansion, with four archetypes in the top 20! Viego Shurima (mostly solo Viego or with Nasus) is the most popular version, largely using a shell of Thresh Nasus. However, Viego Ionia (mostly solo Viego, but some versions feature Thresh, Kalista, or Zed) is catching on. Meanwhile, Viego Demacia (1.3%) and Freljord (1.1%) are barely hanging on.
  • Meta diversity is very high, with an HHI of 300 in Plat+, the best it’s been in any of my full meta reports. Even in Masters, it’s only 378. If the Patch 2.11 was ‘a Golden Age’ of LoR metas, then this is ‘the Platinum Age’.

Most Successful Archetypes

Below, you can see the win rates for the 25 highest play rate decks, again grouped by rank. I also included 95% confidence 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.

  • Pirates has 56.4% win rate at Plat+, followed by Discard (55.2%) and Azir Irelia (54.9%). Control decks that can efficiently deal with these archetypes are overall not that popular, with only EZ Karma, TF Swain, and Viego Freljord making an appearance in the top 25 played decks.
  • With Predict and Sun Disc largely gone from the meta, the new worst high-play rate decks are Viego Demacia, Frozen Puffcaps (Teemo + EZ Sejuani), and Akshan Lee. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of these involve Viego and Akshan.
  • Most decks follow the common pattern of showing lower WRs at higher ranks. The major exceptions are Viego Freljord and Viego Shurima, along with Turbo Thralls and TF Swain. The art of passing is hard!

Below is a spreadsheet of all the decks with more than 1000 matches 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).

In addition, the data includes a margin of error (for example, we can be 95% sure that in Plat +, Pirates has a ‘true’ win rate that lands somewhere close to 56.4%, +/- 0.7%). More data available leads to a smaller margin of error.


Most Meta-Defining Archetypes

In the chart below I’ve plotted win rates versus play rates of 25 decks in Platinum+, to demonstrate which archetypes can be seen as the most impactful in the current meta, and which decks can be labeled as ‘over-‘ or ‘underplayed’.

In the graph, you can see dots and vertical error bars (‘whiskers’) for each archetype. These ‘whiskers’ represent the 95% confidence intervals for win rates. The X-axis (play rate) is placed on a logarithmic scale to prevent too much lumping on the left.

  • Most of the decks that have higher play rates than justified by their win rates feature Viego. Simply put, Viego may feel good when is deck works, but it doesn’t actually work half the time (or more). I still think that given enough time and refinement, top players will find solid decks around him, but we’re not quite there, yet.
  • Akshan Lee is the more popular Lee Sin deck but it’s win rate is clearly not justifying its play rate. Zoe Lee only has 0.7% PR but has a higher 50.6% WR, so people looking to kick their opponents’ Nexus to death should stick with that combo.
  • Sivir Ionia and Azir Irelia both justify their play rates as two of the strongest decks in the game. Lurk is also fine, as a popular Tier 2 deck.
  • Pirates and Discard are long-standing aggro decks with linear gameplans that get boring fast. That might explain why they’re always underplayed relative to their WR.
  • Shen Jarvan is the other top 5 deck in terms of WR that should probably see a bit more play, although some of its players are recently being diverted to Fiora Shen in response to the renewed popularity of Azir Irelia (53.6% WR with 1823 matches, 0.4% PR).

Conclusion

July 2021 has been a banger for LoR, with two back-to-back expansions and a ton of balance changes leading to the most diverse meta we’ve had in recent memory.

Yet, I suspect that some of the players are already sick of playing against Ionia and Shurima – the top 4 archetypes all feature Shurima, and three of the top 5 feature Ionia. I’m quite curious to see what innovations players will find before Seasonals and before Bandle City arrives to throw everything into chaos again.

Follow me on Twitter for updates! My next meta report will be 1 week after Bandle City, but I will be posting other content between now and then!

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