Patch 3.20 has a new, or more accurately, an old, way for us to enjoy the game. Riot released the Timewinder Gauntlet, which limits the card pool your decks are built with. I’m excited to go back in time and experience old metas that got me hooked on the game!
The most entertaining aspect of Foundations is that there isn’t much power creep like there is now. Lineups do not have to be synergistic to perform well in the Foundations environment.
We’ll have three Timewinder Gauntlets: Foundations (Nov 24–Dec 21), Rising Tides (Dec 22–Jan 4), Call of the Mountain (Jan 5–Jan 15)
The Midrange Lineup
Fiora Garen: Probably the strongest midrange deck in the Foundation meta. The Bannerman deck looks to build a Demacia board and buff it up with Vanguard Bannerman, Garen, or Cithria the Bold. Fiora Garen wants to dominate the board and start slamming down the opponent’s Nexus. If the opponent doesn’t find an answer for Fiora, she can threaten to end the game with her own ability.
Lux Thresh: We’re more familiar with Zombie Ashe, but Zombie Lux used to be a solid deck back in the day. The archetype runs a lot of 6+ cost spells that generate a Final Flash from Lux. Lux Thresh performs well against aggressive decks with the help of Radiant Guardian‘s lifesteal. The Rekindler can revive your Lux, bringing back your win condition on the board. This deck wants to face aggressive and midrange decks, as it’s capable of keeping up with the aggression and outvaluing midrange decks the longer the game takes.
Ashe Katarina: The Frostbite deck is one of the best choices to beat midrange and Endure decks. Your freezing capabilities can win you trades and ultimately gain an advantage on the board. Ashe acts as your win condition once she’s leveled up, and the fact that she’s easier to level up will accelerate the deck’s game plan by freezing and locking the opponent’s units from blocking.
The Control Lineup
Karma Ezreal, Anivia, and Elise Corina are decks that want to prolong the game until their game plan is online. These are difficult decks to pilot, as you’ll want to stretch out the games until you start taking over. You’ll need some practice on the decks if you’ve never played them.
Karma Ezreal: We still saw some Karma Ezreal gameplay in previous seasons, but the deck has changed a lot since the Foundations meta. It even ran Yone Winchaser to gain two stacks on Ezreal’s level-up condition, which will feel slower to level up now. On the bright side, Karma has gained additional health since Foundations, which gives her an additional protection layer to stay on the board longer.
Heimerdinger Corina: This archetype makes sure your opponent is incapable of going wide on the board with removal cards from both Shadow Isles and Piltover & Zaun. Heimerdinger adds value to your spells by creating turrets that can build your board. This will force your opponent to commit resources to kill the Heimerdinger.
The many spells the deck runs mean you’ll most likely get the most out of Corina Veraza, allowing you to wipe out your opponent’s board and pave the way for the rest of your units to slam down the Nexus.
Anivia Control: The Shadow Isles deck has the means to keep the board in check. Cards like Avalanche, Withering Wail, Vile Feast, and Vengeance will give you enough time to set up your Anivia. Once Anivia hits the board, you’ll start putting pressure on your attack phase. The Rekindler and The Ruination will bring back your dead Anivia, allowing you to commence your game plan and start pushing damage toward the opponent’s Nexus.
All Around Lineup
Karma Lux: This deck uses both champions as win conditions. Lux will provide the Final Flash, which acts as your removal tool to deal with your opponent’s board. You can build a board and buff it up with For Demacia, allowing you to set up a powerful attack. Karma will take over the game once you reach turn 10. The double spell cast will create the value you need to get an edge over the opponent, and if Lux is on the board to witness the magnificence of a turn 10 Karma, you’ll start double casting your Final Flash removing key units on the opponent’s board.
Warmothers: This was probably one of my most played decks prior to the release of Feel The Rush. We relied on Warmothers’ Call to pull units from the deck and onto the board. The ramp control deck wants to keep the board in check with Avalanche, Vile Feast, and Vengeance until you can play Warmothers Call and slowly outvalue your opponent with the unit it summons from your deck.
Additionally, Avarosan Heathguard will pump up the stats of your units, presenting more of a threat in the later stages of the game. You’ll rely on Tryndamere to push overwhelm damage and Atrocity to close out the game.
Ashe Overwhelm: This version of Ashe uses the overwhelm keyword from Might and Katro the Arm to put more pressure when you go for the swing. The deck retains the Ashe win condition but lacks the late-game buffs that Avarosan Hearthguard offers.
Bonus: Aggressive Lineup
We’re running an aggressive lineup that wants to close out the game as soon as possible. All three decks have a unique playstyle, so you’ll have to approach each game differently. I don’t recommend an aggressive lineup in Foundations but still wanted to include one. The meta has many different Shadow Isles decks with cards like Withering Wail and Grasp that will make your job difficult.
Elise Draven: This deck is capable of going wide on the board and pushing early Nexus damage. Your wide board of units will provide a buffed-up Crowd Favorite once he hits the board. A decisive maneuver can both stun and empower your attackers (ideally, stun the unit blocking your overwhelm attacker).
Endure: an old archetype that was wiped out of existence by Equinox and Hush. The archetype wants their units to die! The more units die, the more powerful Who They Endure becomes. Eventually, Who They Endure will have enough stats to present a lethal attack with the use of its overwhelm keyword. The Atrocity is a secondary way to end the game; if your overwhelm damage is insufficient, it can destroy the Nexus.
Zed Elusives: Unlike the other aggressive decks, Zed elusives tries to swarm the board with units that the opponent will find difficult to block. Navori Bladescout, Greenglade Duo, and Shadow Assasin can chip away at the opponent’s Nexus until Winfarer Hatchling hits the board and buffs up your attackers, potentially setting up a lethal attack.
The Foundations meta is as straightforward as it gets. The card limit means we’ll have less deck versatility, which means a lot of the existing decks can perform well in a tournament atmosphere.