Best LoR Decks: The Bard Meta – Power Rankings by Sorry – August 2022
Hello everyone, Sorry here! Power Rankings is back and we have a lot to talk about!
If you’re new here, Power Rankings is where I rank my top 8 best Legends of Runeterra decks to climb the ranked ladder. The ranking is based on my experience playing ranked mode and experimenting with different archetypes. It should supplement our meta tier list for a more complete look at the current meta.
Let’s get this started!
1. Kai’Sa Demacia
It doesn’t come as a shock that Kai’Sa Demacia is this week’s number one. Both Mono Kai’Sa Demacia and Kai’Sa Sivir Demacia have been putting up numbers! As for the Akshan version, it’s still performing well, but the other two versions seem to be on top.
Honestly, the archetype is busted, I managed to climb relatively easily with Kai’Sa Sivir from Diamond 3 to Master in a couple of hours holding a 70% win rate. In many scenarios, the archetype doesn’t give your opponent the time for a reliable counterplay, dominating the board pretty early on once Kai’Sa hits the board. Void Abomination is a strong 8 drop that can end the game with the Scout, Overwhelm, and Spell Shield keywords.
Kai’Sa DE has an amazing matchup table, it beats powerhouse decks like Illaoi Bard, Shen Bard, and Annie Twisted Fate. Your main worries are aggressive decks like Azir Irelia and Annie Jhin. Funnily enough, even with the slow decline in Yasuo Katarina‘s win rate and play rate, the deck actually beats Kai’Sa DE.
2. Shen Bard
Runner up for this week’s Power Rankings is Shen Bard! The barrier deck quickly gained popularity on the competitive ladder, mostly for its capability to protect its units with barriers and keep a late game plan with Bard and Chimes.
Kinkou Student is one of the strongest cards in the deck, it can be a nightmare for other midrange decks. The barrier you gain on her when committing a protection barrier on another unit ensures she’s protected and ready to block or attack.
Bard Shen is the ideal opponent for Illaoi Bard and Ashe Leblanc, the barriers will make sure you win your trades. However, it does struggle against Kai’Sa DE, mostly because of Kai’Sa’s ability to render your barriers useless with her ability.
3. Illaoi Bard
The meta’s top performer! Illaoi Bard is the perfect deck to take for your ladder climb. It takes advantage of the Chimes early on to give an extra layer of protection while also putting board pressure. Additionally, the stats buff you gain will matter once Illaoi hits the board thanks to her Overwhelm keyword.
Bard Illaoi does well against most of the meta, only struggling against Ashe Leblanc, Kai’Sa DE decks, and Bard Shen.
Keep in mind, that the Sharpsight bug that gave Kai’Sa DE an advantage has been fixed in the latest patch, which means Illaoi Bard should have a slightly better experience in the matchup.
4. Draven Sion
Although we rarely see Draven Sion on the competitive ladder, the archetype is a hidden gem to counter the meta. The aggressive deck is favored against Kai’Sa DE and Illaoi Bard, two decks that are extremely popular in the meta.
Moreover, Draven Sion beats Annie Twisted Fate, Azir Irelia, and Annie Jhin all of which are decks you’ll probably encounter on your climb.
It does, however, heavily lose to Shen Bard, but if you manage to dodge that matchup, you should be able to stomp your way up the ladder.
5. Gwen Elise NX
Aggressive decks are perfect due to the popularity of Kai’Sa DE. Gwen Elise NX relies on the Fearsome keyword to set up a fast-paced game plan that wants to swarm the board with units, push Nexus damage, and switch to the burn plan with Noxian Fervor and Decimate.
You have a favored matchup against Kai’Sa DE and Azir Irelia. An almost even matchup against Annie Twisted Fate and Bard Shen. As for your unfavored matchups, Illaoi Bard is your main concern. The deck can keep up with your pace, especially if they manage to hit a couple of early Chimes early on.
6. Annie Jhin
The aggressive burn deck is one of the best choices for a ladder climb. Your early game plan is to swarm the board with cheap units like Legion Rearguard, Legion Saboteur, Boomcrew Rookie, and Tusk Speaker.
Your units have a unique ability that allows them to push direct Nexus damage. This comes in handy as a slow burn, and if you have a Jhin in your hand, you’ll be able to deal additional Nexus damage.
Once you’ve dealt your early damage, the burn plan is the next step, Noxian Fervour, Decimate, Doombeast, and Imperial Demolitionist will squeeze in the rest of the damage needed to end the game.
Annie Jhin is a great choice as a ladder deck since it’s capable of beating popular decks like Kai’Sa DE, Shen Bard, and Azir Irelia.
However, Annie Jhin falls behind against Illaoi Bard and Shadow Isles control decks with a lot of cheap removals.
7. Katarina Twisted Fate
This version of the Twisted Fate Ravenbloom deck is slowly gaining popularity over the original Annie Twisted version. Players have started to favor Katarina over Annie due to Annie’s vulnerability when she’s challenged by units like Petricite Broadwing or Valor. Additionally, Tentacle Smash kills your Annie without the Tentacles receiving any damage, forcing you to commit an additional card to deal with the Tentacle.
Another addition to the deck is Culling Strike. It’s good to catch Illaoi Bard and Azir Irelia off guard early on in the game.
Katarina Twisted Fate has an almost even matchup against both Kai’Sa DE and Bard Illaoi. It’s also great against aggressive decks like Azir Irelia, Elise Gwen NX, and Annie Jhin.
8. Nami Twisted Fate SI
Last season’s popular archetype has slowly been gaining its play rate again. Many top players agree that in the right hands, Nami Twisted Fate is one of the best decks in the meta.
It’s capable of creating a buffed-up board of Elusive units with the assistance of Nami and Fleet Admiral Shelly! It can keep up with Bard decks, especially if Fleet Admiral Shelly is not answered! The archetype is also great against aggressive decks, it runs cheap units and Vile Feast to keep your opponent’s aggression in check.
Annie Gwen Catalagou, Bard Shen, Irelia Azir, and Annie Twisted Fate can have a hard time dealing with Nami Twisted Fate. In the event that you lose your entire board, having a Harrowing in your list can set up for a final winning play.
I do believe that Nami Twisted Fate is a skill-intensive deck and can take you a long way once you master it fully!
With the Sharpsight bug finally resolved, Kai’Sa’s early game pressure has been toned down a bit, allowing more decks to have a fighting chance.
The meta is clearly favored for Bard decks at the moment. Many versions are performing well on the ladder, and I do expect a nerf is around the corner for Bard.
You can check out the Power Rankings video here!