Power Rankings Patch 4.0 – 8 Best Decks To Climb – January 2023

If you’re a competitive Runeterra player looking for the best ladder decks to start your climb, well, you’re in the right place.

The seasonal tournament is approaching, and players are doing their best to make it into the top 700 on the ranked ladder for a shot at the $10,000 prize.

After Aatrox and Seraphine decks were hit with nerfs, the ranked ladder received a complete overhaul. New decks found an opportunity to shine and perform well, bringing a diverse meta.

What is Power Rankings? Power Rankings is an article where I rank up my eight best decks for a serious ladder climb! The ranking mostly relies on my own ladder experience, and I’ve been playing a lot of ranked ladder! I’ll take matchup stats into consideration as well to help me sort out the rankings more accurately.

Let’s get started! Here are my eight best decks and a bonus!


1- Lulu Jinx

The winner of this week’s Power Rankings is none other than the popular Lulu Jinx.

The archetype was putting up good numbers in the previous patch but was held back by Aatrox’s ladder dominance. The nerfs to Aatrox decks in Patch 4.00 gave room for Lulu Jinx to take over. Since then, the aggressive deck has been a great choice for a ladder climb.

Many top players I’ve seen rely on Lulu Jinx to help them climb the ranks with a higher win rate. The deck has a lot of depth to it when setting up your attacks and how to approach each matchup in terms of going fully aggressive or focusing on winning the board.

Moreover, the matchup table gives you an idea of how solid the archetype is against the meta. Lulu Jinx can beat the likes of Gwen Katarina, Zed Hecarim, Trundle Tryndamere (SI), Draven Jinx, Pirates, and Rumble Vayne.

It has a difficult matchup against Norra Veigar and Aatrox decks.

A lot of players are running greedy Trundle Tryndamere (SI) lists, which means you’re able to steal wins against them. However, a version teched for aggressive matchups can be too difficult for Lulu Jinx to beat.


2- Varus Pantheon

The runner-up for my Power Rankings is Varus Pantheon!

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Pantheon Varus on the ranked ladder, but the shift in the meta and the increase of Shadow Isles decks have brought back the archetype.

The mid-range deck received nerfs to Saga Seeker and Unforgiving Cold but still holds a solid performance in Patch 4.0.

Pantheon Varus beats decks like Trundle Tryndamere (SI), Norra Veigar, Gwen Katarina, Annie Twisted Fate, and Mono Shurima. It’s slightly unfavored against Lulu Jinx and Gangplank Sejuani but can put up a good fight against both decks.

Pirates, Katarina Leona, and Ekko Jinx are decks you don’t want to match up against, as their aggression can be too difficult to keep up with.


3- Ekko Jinx

Ekko Jinx is extremely difficult to pilot efficiently, but once mastered, you’ll be able to get insane value out of the deck.

This deck relies on Chronobreaks to set up a powerful turn and slam down the opponent’s Nexus. Voice of the Risen buffs up the Power of your units, which turns weak units into a threat your opponent has to deal with.

The Predict deck can take longer to level up Jinx, which means she acts as a secondary win condition, capable of setting up a burn plan if you’re unable to end the game with sheer board damage.

Ekko Jinx has an amazing matchup table, beating both Trundle Tryndamere (SI) and Lulu Jinx. It mostly has a hard time against decks that can deal with Ekko and Jinx on the spot. For example, Ezreal Seraphine (BC) can be a tough matchup.

The list I featured doesn’t run Get Excited or Rite of Negation, but they are considerations to add. Get Excited can be good against Jinx Lulu, and Rite of Negation is a great answer for Feel the Rush or removal cards.


4- Norra Veigar

Norra Veigar makes the list! After the Aatrox nerf and Quietus remaining one of the most powerful cheap spells available, swarm Shadow Isles decks were bound to gain popularity.

The question was: which swarm deck will take over? The competition was fierce between Heimerdinger Norra, Elise Norra, and Veigar Norra. Players are favoring the Veigar version, and its ladder performance backs it up as one of the strongest decks in the current meta.

The archetype can swarm the board and start chipping away at the Nexus’ health. Veigar acts as a winning tool for the later stages of the game with the Darkness he generates. Dess & Ada can take advantage of a buffed-up Darkness, allowing you to wipe out your opponent’s board and set up a powerful swing.

Norra Veigar is a great choice if you’re looking to beat Jinx Lulu, Lurk, Gwen Katarina, Zed Hecarim, and Gangplank Sejauni.

Decks like Trundle Tryndamere (SI), Aatrox Kayn, Aatrox Vayne, and Azir Xerath can crush Norra Veigar.


5- Aphelios Leona

Aphelios Leona isn’t a popular choice on the ranked ladder, but it has proven its capabilities in dealing with aggressive decks. It also maintains a powerful midgame with the help of both Aphelios and Leona.

The deck runs multiple win conditions; you’re able to win the board presence with Aphelios’ moon weapons and Leona’s ability to pick off pesky units. From there, you can launch powerful attacks or go wide on the board and follow it up with a Winding Light play; the overwhelm damage may be too much for the opponent to handle.

Additionally, the deck runs Celestial Trifecta, a spell capable of Invoking an answer like The Great Beyond or The Immortal Fire that can push a lot of Elusive damage toward the opponent’s Nexus.

Aphelios Leona has been doing great against the popular Lulu Jinx, which makes it a great anti-meta deck. It also does well against Katarina Leona, Lurk, and Gwen Katarina.

It has an almost even matchup against Norra Veigar but falls short against Trundle Tryndamere (SI).


6- Trundle Tryndamere (SI)

Trundle Tryndamere is back, and it’s been putting up good numbers! The control ramp deck that wants to keep the board in check while setting up big, beefy Overwhelm units has been a popular choice for players.

The Feel the Rush deck does well against Norra Veigar, Aatrox decks, and Draven Jinx. It gets crushed by Zed Hecarim.

Even though the stats suggest that Trundle Tryndamere has an unfavored matchup against Jinx Lulu, a well-teched version for aggressive matchups will turn the odds in your favor.

The version I showcased runs The Box, Withering Wail, and Kindly Tavernkeeper to help you against the Lulu Jinx decks infesting the ladder. It will be worse against non-aggressive matchups, so it’ll be up to you on which list you favor playing.


7- Kai’Sa (DE)

Kai’Sa Demacia wreaked havoc on release, and nerfs were needed to stop the deck’s ladder dominance. Since then, Kai’Sa Demacia has mostly dropped out of the meta, only resurfacing as a counter-meta deck.

With Trundle Tryndamere returning to the top tier, Kai’Sa is a good choice to consider. I even took it for a ladder run and had success with this list.

The mid-range deck can be extremely aggressive with a leveled-up Kai’Sa on the board. The fact that she’s capable of damaging the board with her ability lets you deal with pesky cheap units.

Kai’Sa (DE) can beat popular decks like Trundle Tryndamere (SI), Lulu Jinx, Ekko Jinx, Ezreal Seraphine (SI), and Zed Hecarim. It has a bad matchup against Gangplank Sejuani and Veigar Norra.


8- Taliyah Ziggs

Taliyah Ziggs is a great choice to counter Shadow Isles decks. The deck adopts an aggressive game plan, with Taliyah putting a lot of board pressure on turn 5/6.

The Overwhelm keyword on both Ziggs and Taliyah through Herald of the Magus or The Absolver will threaten to deal a lot of Nexus damage that could threaten to end the game.

Additionally, a leveled-up Ziggs can be enough to burn down their Nexus if not answered on the spot.

Taliyah Ziggs beats popular decks like Norra Veigar, Trundle Tryndamere (SI), and Gwen Katarina. It struggles against Katarina Leona and Gangplank Sejuani. You’re slightly unfavored against Lulu Jinx but can still take them down with a powerful Taliyah Overwhelm attack.


Bonus: Vayne Aatrox Quinn

Vayne Aatrox was one of my favorite decks for a serious ladder climb, and although it was hit with multiple nerfs, the deck is still holding up well and slowly making its comeback.

The nerfs hit World Ender, Vayne, and The Darkin Aegis in an attempt to tone down the power of the deck, which was dominating the ranked ladder.

Vayne Aatrox still has a good matchup against Jinx Lulu, Norra Veigar, Pirates, and Ezreal Seraphine (BC). The deck has a bad matchup against Trundle Tryndamere (SI) and Gangplank Sejuani, so if your ladder experience is mostly against those two decks, you might want to switch off.


Closing Words

The hotfix has brought a lot of new decks into the mix, giving us a more diverse meta where you’re not destroyed by Aatrox and Seraphine decks.

Keep in mind that while the Power Rankings showcases my top 8 decks, there are still a lot of solid decks like Gangplank Sejuani and Katarina Leona that can be used for a serious ladder climb.

This is it from me; I’ll see you at the next one! If you enjoy my content, consider following me on Twitter.

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Alaa "TricksterSorry" Yassine is a competitive Legends of Runeterra player. His love for card games began at a young game, with games like Yugioh and Pokemon. Now, he focuses on competing at a professional level in Runeterra while providing video and written content.

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