Hey there, Raphterra here! Patch 3.13 is probably the shortest meta in Legends of Runeterra, as there will be a new expansion just two weeks after the shakeup from the huge balance patch. Ranked ladder is still primarily dominated by Kai’sa Demacia and Pirate Burn, but I believe the meta is still very far from getting solved.
As the Forces From Beyond season quickly approaches its end, it’s time for another list of off-meta decks spotted in Masters ladder!
Torra Gwen Reckoners
Starting off the list is Torra‘s Gwen Katarina Elise Reckoner, a flexible deck that he used to hit Rank 1 Masters at 77.5% winrate in 58 games. The deck is also having success across the board with an overall winrate of 55.2% in 1,400+ games.
This potent brew can be hard to categorize since it has a a little bit of aggro, midrange, combo, and control. You always have the option to go aggressive with early units like Boisterous Host, Legion Rearguard, House Spider, and Phantom Butler.
Getting early Hallowed stacks can pay off when attacking with Gwen or Fallen Reckoner in the mid-game. Arachnoid Sentry, Fallen Reckoner and Risen Reckoner removes blockers which makes your Hallowed attacks even more devastating. Rallying with Ruined Reckoner and Katarina will allow you to utilize the Hallowed bonus multiple times in a single turn.
Eternal Dancers and The Harrowing opens up combo plays in the late game. Reviving units can lead to different ways of winning games: Ruined Reckoner or Katarina gives you more attacks, Fallen Reckoner removes more blockers, and Gwen pushes more damage.
PvH Nocturne Nightfall
After the small buff to Duskpetal Dust, Nightfall might finally be back! PvH has been playing this Nightfall deck in Masters at 70.2% winrate in 37 games. The deck looks to be very favored against Kai’sa Demacia, as PvH went 6-1 when playing against the notorious midrange menace.
Slower combo / aggro decks like Nightfall seem to be thriving with the meta slowing down significantly after Patch 3.13. Aggressive Nightfall builds are slightly slower than the usual aggro decks, but they have the edge in the aggro mirror due to Doombeast‘s drain effect.
This list resembles more of the classic Nightfall build, running Nocturne over Aphelios and running Cygnus the Moonstalker over The Winding Light. Two notable inclusions to this version are Boisterous Host and We Stand Together. Boisterous Host‘s Hallowed stacks can make attacks more effective when combined with Diana‘s Challenger, Nocturne‘s Fearsome, Crescent Guardian‘s Overwhelm, or Cygnus the Moonstalker‘s Elusive. A one-of of We Stand Together is likely being used as combat trick or a fourth copy of Pale Cascade.
Several community members told me that they were waiting for the time when the classic Nocturne Nightfall comes back. If you are one of these players, this might be the moment you were waiting for!
Broken Ball Aphelios Lux
Invoke control makes another appearance in this series, with Broken Ball playing Aphelios Lux at 77.7% winrate in 27 games. The deck does well against Kai’sa Demacia and Pirate Aggro. Broken Ball went 7-0 when playing against these two popular decks. Blinded Mystic is a key card in the Kai’sa Demacia matchup with its ability to single-handedly shut down Void Abomination.
The gameplan of this deck is straightforward: outvalue and outgrind. The Invoke package, Lux, and Aphelios allow this deck to outgrind most matchups over a long game. This archetype in particular has a good balance of strong early units (Mountain Goat, Petricite Broadwing) and late-game invokes (The Great Beyond, The Scourge).
The mid-game is where this deck is most vulnerable. These are usually the turns where it is looking to setup with Aphelios, Solari Priestess, or Lux. Once the deck can goes past this phase unscathed, it can start slowly outvaluing opposing decks with Invokes and removals.
Similar to the other decks in this list, this is another archetype that’s benefiting from Patch 3.13 slowing down the meta. Not to mention, the patch also brought small buffs to Starshaping and The Traveler.
춤추는종나니 Leblanc Yetis
Yetis making strides in Masters ladder? This Leblanc Katarina Yeti list has been successful for 춤추는종나니, with their stats showing 63.6% winrate across 99 games. I’ve faced several variants of this archetype in my own ranked games: Solo Leblanc, Solo Katarina, Leblanc Sion, etc.
This build goes all-in on the Yeti synergy. Yeti-focused strategies generally look to flood the board in the mid game with multiple 5/5 bodies. Avarosan Trapper, Yeti Yearling, Tall Tales, and Ancient Yeti are all included as 3-ofs to ensure Abominable Guardian‘s activation.
Most decks will have a hard time dealing with the mid-game pressure from a wide board of Yetis. Freljord’s combat tricks (Troll Chant, Elixir of Iron, Three Sisters) makes it even riskier to trade against multiple 5/5 bodies. Yetis also make it easier to activate powerful Reputation cards like Whispered Words and the recently-buffed Bloody Business.
Most decks that can activate Reputation usually run cards that allow them to Rally. Yeti decks are no different; this version uses Katarina, but I’ve also faced lists that use Trifarian Training Pits or Incisive Tactician instead.
(Bonus) Raphterra Darkness
As a bonus to this list, I’m also sharing the version of Darkness that I found the most success with. With this list, I had a winrate of 63.5% in 52 games, peaking at 250 LP Masters.
Something you’ll immediately notice is that I’m only running one copy if Darkbulb Acolyte. In my games with Darkness, Darkbulb Acolyte is a card that I never wanted to draw as an early unit. It has below-average stats, and you usually don’t get to use the Darkness that it generates early. The card is still decent in the late game once you’ve already buffed up Darkness, similar to Ixtali Sentinel. This is why I replaced two copies of Darkbulb Acolyte with two copies of Byrd, The Bellringer instead.
You’ll also notice that I’m running two copies of Formal Invitation. This is a replacement experiment for Hidden Pathways, since it now feels too expensive to run in a mana-hungry deck. Formal Invitation felt decent for the most part, since the Darkness archetype depends a lot on its followers. The card still has some disadvantages: (1) sometimes you get the low roll with Vile Feast‘s Spider or Byrd, The Bellringer, (2) you need to wait for your good followers to die, and (3) you can’t “draw” champions with the card. Going 1 copy of Formal Invitation and 1 copy of Glimpse Beyond might be the way to go.
I know that there are lots of Darkness lovers out there! I wanted to share my thoughts on the archetype since this is still currently the most-played deck in the game.
I believe there hasn’t been enough time for the meta to settle before Patch 3.13 ends in a few days. The meta still constantly evolving. It’s possible that some of the decks featured in this article might rise to the top of the meta once the new expansion launches next week.