The Open Rounds of the Empires of the Ascended Seasonal Tournament took place this last weekend. This time the format of the competition was changed to consist of 9 Swiss rounds, where everyone with 8-1 and better records, as well as the top 12 seeded players (based on ladder placement) with 7 wins, are guaranteed to advance.
We’re proud to share that four of RuneterraCCG writers have made it to the playoffs in their respective shards – Agigas (EU), Random7 (NA), Spaiikz (EU), and Raphterra (SEA)! On this page, we’re presenting their lineups and tournament reports – our writers have each contributed a segment where they explain their deck choices and reflect on their performances and meta evaluations.
Enjoy the read, let us know if this new article format of tournament reports from our staff members is something you’re interested to see more of, and feel welcome to hop into our Discord to talk to our team and fellow LoR fans!
Hey everyone! To create my lineup, I was working a lot with matchup tables, which kind of became my speciality with the meta guide series here on RuneterraCCG. 😀 I considered pretty much any meta deck one could think of.
I wanted to have something that I would feel comfortable playing into Thresh Nasus and Lissandra Matron, which I thought would be the two staples of the format. I also needed my decks to have game against pretty much anything – I wanted a very flexible lineup. It was not an easy task to find such a thing, but I am very happy where I finally landed.
Thresh Nasus is the most conventional deck of my lineup, and after a lot of training and practicing, I felt very comfortable with it both against Lissandra and in the mirror. I thought about specifically teching it for the mirror and/or for the Lissandra matchup, but I wanted to keep the deck strong against the whole field so I only made minor changes.
Zoe Vi ‘Rubin’s Pile‘ (named after Steve Rubin who pioneered the deck this season) is not a very well-known archetype, and I didn’t know it existed until a week before the Seasonal Tournament. But when I discovered this deck, it was love at first sight. This deck is both strong and flexible when you learn to play it well, and there aren’t many matchups I’m afraid of. It reminds me a lot of the Targon Heimerdinger Vi deck, which was a favorite of mine back in the day.
Lee Sin combo was one of the best-positioned decks in the meta in my opinion. It is favored into both Thresh Nasus and Lissandra Matron while having a pretty good matchup table overall. The newest version with Gifts from Beyond is amazing – Crescendum is great with Eye of the Dragon, and enabling Dragonlings couldn’t be any easier. However, I wasn’t allowed to play Zoe if I was pairing Lee and Zoe Vi in the same lineup. I started playtesting with a mono-Lee version, and I was blown away by how good it was – at the very least on the same power level as the Zoe version, but even more consistent thanks to Solari Priestess.
In the tournament, the rounds went pretty much according to plan. I wasn’t particularly afraid of anything, but I wasn’t really looking to beat anything in particular either. It was nice to not have to rely on matchmaking to get a good matchup, but it was also extremely tiring – because all matchups are so close, I really had to put my 100% into every game. I honestly would not recommend my lineup for such a long tournament unless you’re extremely comfortable on all three decks.
I started the Open Rounds with a 5-0 record. But right after the 30-minute break – two back-to-back losses! At that point, I was really sad because it felt like everything was falling apart, but I got everything back together and motivated myself to keep doing my very best until the very end. Winning the following two matches, I qualified with a 7-2 record – thanks to my #19 finish on the ladder.
As a note, I am planning to do an in-depth tournament report next week after the top 32, and share my whole run with commentated videos, so stay tuned if you are interested in that! 😀
I made the Top 32 in Empires of the Ascended Seasonal Tournament, going 7-2 with Deep, Lissandra SI (TLC), and Zoe Lee Sin. I lost twice on Deep to TLC and Ezreal Draven and I lost twice on Lee to TLC and Ashe LeBlanc Marauders.
A few days before the event, I decided that this was the strongest lineup that I could competently pilot for 9 rounds straight. As mentioned in my meta analysis before the tournament, I believed that the “rock lineup” would be TLC, Thresh Nasus, and Zoe Lee. I had prior experience playing Lee Sin during the TF Fizz meta and I spent some time laddering with TLC. However, I did not have much experience playing Thresh Nasus, so I instead opted to pair TLC and Zoe Lee with Deep, a long-time comfort pick of mine.
Deep is good against TLC, Ezreal Draven, Ashe, Zoe Asol, and Invokes, but does very poorly against Lee Sin and Scouts. Most people believe that Nasus is favored against Deep, but I personally found the matchup to be fairly even and draw-dependent. This meant that Deep would fit well into a TLC and Zoe Lee lineup designed to beat TLC, Nasus, Ezreal Draven, Zoe Asol, and Invokes.
Against the expected lineup of TLC, Thresh Nasus, and Zoe Lee Sin, my plan was to ban Lee Sin, while my opponent would either ban Lee Sin or Deep. Then, I would beat their TLC list with Deep or Lee Sin and outplay them in the TLC mirror. I ended up not losing a single TLC mirror the entire day.
In my meta analysis, I noted that most players bringing TLC and Thresh Nasus would probably not actually bring Lee Sin, but instead play Ezreal Draven, Ashe, Zoe Asol, or Invokes. My assessment proved to be correct. I’ve been paired against 9 TLC, 6 Thresh Nasus, 2 Ashe LeBlanc, 2 Zoe Asol, 1 Ezreal Draven, and 0 Lee Sin decks. This allowed me to choose between banning either Thresh Nasus or their third deck, depending on which list I felt my lineup was more favored against.
The most interesting ban phase I had was against a TLC list with Go Hard, presumably to win the mirror. I ended up banning it at the last second, only to learn that my opponent predicted my ban and also banned TLC. I thought that was a pretty well-thought-out strategy, but I quickly won the match, beating Thresh Nasus twice with Deep and Lee Sin.
The most interesting lineup I faced was Nolagold’s anti-Nasus lineup of Kench Soraka, TLC, and Scargrounds. (Nolagold’s side of the match can be viewed here.)
Overall, I felt that I made a pretty accurate assessment of the meta and that my decks performed well. I am not yet sure if I will be changing my lineup for the top cut next weekend.
Hey Spaiikz here. Very glad to finally have made the top 32 of a Seasonal. I used a pretty standard lineup, but every deck that I brought had been specifically tailored for the tournament.
All decks are pretty strong on a power level and I just felt that with a decently wide field this was the lineup to bring it home. It’s very solid into a lot of decks but can struggle against specific archetypes such as overwhelm and Sivir LeBlanc and, possibly, Scouts. While I considered those decks to be a threat, I also thought they were of a lower power level and would eventually fall off over the course of the 9 rounds.
During the run, I faced a lot of Thresh Nasus – in 8 out of 9 matches my opponent had a Thresh Nasus deck. The only time it was not included was in a Triple Aggro Lineup consisting of Discard Aggro, Nightfall and Pirates. This opponent actually handed me a loss, even though I felt quite comfortable going into the match with my lineup.
The other decks I faced were quite evenly spread out, and I haven’t actually seen TLC paired up with Thresh Nasus in opposing lineups as much as I expected. I also saw a deck I did not expect at all in Anivia – that person’s lineup was unique and their off-meta lists included cards that surprised (e.g. Arena Bookie in a Discard Aggro deck).
I think all my decks performed pretty well. Asol Zoe J4 had a rough start but picked up the pace later on. Judgment won me a few games as the opponent felt they had to go for a big swing, but I happened to have Judgment in hand and blow out their whole board. I ended up going undefeated on TLC, but it was also the deck that got banned the most by my opponents which is something I anticipated as many lineups can struggle against a heavy control deck.
I’ll do my best now to step up my game even more and perform well coming Saturday. See you there Runeterra.
The meta revolved around two powerful decks, Nasus Thresh Midrange and Trundle Lissandra Control, so a good strategy for building a tournament lineup was to either bring these decks – or target them. The lineup I used during the Open Rounds aimed to beat any lineup with Nasus Thresh Midrange, without needing to ban out Trundle Lissandra Control. With my lineup, I hoped to not face any Triple Aggro lineups, which I expected to be uncommon since Triple Aggro folds to TLC and Nasus Thresh.
I believe Nasus Thresh to be the strongest deck in the meta, as it allows the pilot to outplay almost any deck that is not hard-teched against it. The deck has a lot of favorable matchups, thus adding Nasus Thresh to your lineup will make it better most of the time. I decided to add 2 Withering Wail to my deck as a tech against the mirror. Withering Wail will slay all 1-health units from Thresh Nasus (Blighted Caretaker, Dunekeeper, Fading Icon). Slaying your opponent’s units while keeping yours safe is very crucial since the player with the bigger Nasus usually wins the matchup.
Tahm Kench Soraka is a deck that has always been a solid tournament pick even in past metas due to its good matchup against champion-centric decks (Nasus Thresh, Trundle Lissandra, Zoe Lee Sin). A good number of TK Soraka’s unfavored matchups (Ez Draven, Aggro Decks) are also unfavored against TLC and Nasus Thresh, which meant we expected to see less of these decks in most lineups.
Ashe Noxus is very similar to Tahm Soraka in that it is unfavored against Ez Draven and Aggro decks, but these might not be present in most lineups due to the dominance of Nasus Thresh and TLC. My version of Ashe Noxus is teched with a lot of Freeze cards (3x Flash Freeze, 2x Harsh Winds) to have an advantage against Thresh Nasus and Lee Sin; 1 Shunpo is a tech to have an additional win condition against TLC. Another big advantage of Ashe Noxus is that it is also favorable against Demacia (due to freezes) and Invoke decks (due to insane mid-game pressure).
I ended the Open Rounds with an 8-1 final score. My Ashe Noxus was banned in 7 of my matches, but thankfully Tahm Soraka proved to be very effective against Nasus Thresh (100% win rate vs Nasus Thresh). Withering Wail from Nasus Thresh was also MVP in the mirror, I only lost the mirror once – in a game where I did not draw Withering Wail.
Overall I was very happy with how I read the meta. Nasus Thresh was prevalent in the Open Rounds, so my lineup that was built to bully that deck worked as intended. I faced one Triple Aggro lineup (TF Fizz, Discard Aggro, Spiders Aggro), but thankfully I was able to outplay them even in unfavored matchups (Ashe Noxus and Tahm Soraka).
The Top 32 single-elimination playoffs are happening this upcoming Saturday, May 1 (for the detailed schedule, check out this official source).
Good luck to our writers competing, we’ll be rooting for you!