It has been a week since Patch 3.17 went live, and the dust has finally settled. We now have a clear idea of the best performers in the meta.
Vayne and Seraphine have seen the most play, even existing in various successful archetypes. As for Varus, the champion seems to have found success with Pantheon but has not had the same impact on the meta as the other two champions have had.
Here are six of the best new decks on the ranked ladder!
Ezreal Seraphine Noxus
If you’ve been playing in ranked mode, you were probably matched against Ezreal Seraphine Noxus at one point during your ranked climb. The archetype has the highest play rate and it’s the most potent Seraphine version out there that crushes most matchups.
The Noxus PnZ deck wants to play cheap spells to work on the level-up of both Ezreal and Seraphine. Those cheap spells help you keep the board in check and make sure your opponent can’t overtake the board’s presence early on. The list runs a lot of value generation and card draws like Fanclub President, Drum Solo, and Back Alley Bar to make sure you don’t run out of gas.
Once both champions are leveled, you’ll be able to set up the burn plan. Having both Seraphine and Ezreal on the board means you’ll be able to benefit further with Seraphine’s double cast, giving Ezreal an extra trigger to his damage ability.
Pantheon Vayne works on leveling up Pantheon as soon as possible with the assistance of target spells and equipment.
Bloodcursed Harpy‘s scout keyword along with equipment puts a lot of pressure on the opponent. It forces them into unfavored trades once the Harpy attacks and even gets some resources out of them to deal with the champion’s extra life.
As for Pantheon, the champion acts as your main win condition. He’s capable of generating at least 5 keywords that could make him difficult to deal with, and with his Overwhelm and Fated keywords, the champion can strike for a lot of Nexus damage!
Pantheon Varus is the best-performing Varus deck on the ranked ladder, and it has a favorable matchup against Demacia decks. Both champions act as a win condition due to their capability of pushing Overwhelm damage.
In the early game, you’ll focus on leveling up Pantheon while buffing up your Saga Seeker. At the same time, Varus can hit the board on turn 4/5, and thanks to his Quick Attack keyword, the champion is capable of attacking and forcing an unfavorable block for your opponent. The deck runs equipment and a lot of ally target spells to help advance both Varus and Pantheon’s level-up conditions.
Once Varus is leveled, he’ll gain the overwhelm keyword. The Darkin Bow and Varus’ new ability that buffs up his power means the champion can slam the opponent’s Nexus for a lot of damage if not answered.
A leveled-up Pantheon puts even more pressure on the opponent, now having to deal with two champions that are dominating the board.
Targon also offers The Expanse’s Protection, a cheap spell to give your champion Spell Shield and keep them safe from a removal spell.
The Unforgiving Cold is a powerful tool to win trades, especially against Demacia decks that rely heavily on unit combat to win the board.
Seraphine Viktor SI
Seraphine and Viktor have been a popular pair since the expansion dropped. The two champions have existed in Bandle City, Ionia, and Shadow Isles regions. I’ll feature the Shadow Isles version in this article as it seems to be the community’s favorite and has an edge against the popular Seraphine Ezreal Noxus!
The Viktor Seraphine deck focuses more on outvaluing the opponent rather than adopting a straight-out burn plan like Ezreal Seraphine. The longer Viktor sticks on the board, the more problematic he’ll become, eventually becoming your main win condition, capable of dealing a lot of Nexus damage if he hits an elusive or overwhelm keyword.
Ferros Financier, Back Alley Bar, Fanclub President, and Drum Solo make sure the engine keeps running with more cards and options to choose from. The list runs three Quietus as it’s one of the best cheap cards for the current meta. It’s capable of killing Seraphine or Ezreal, two champions you want off the board as soon as possible, and it can destroy equipment, which is perfect against Vayne decks.
Fiora Vayne PNZ
Demacia PNZ left its mark on the ranked ladder. The deck takes advantage of The Darkin Harp to empower challenger units to take value trades and stay on the board longer. Fiora specifically benefits from both The Darkin Harp and The Darkin Aegis. An extra layer of protection for Fiora means she’ll kill more units and threaten to win the game once she fulfills her condition.
It can be difficult to strike the opponent’s Nexus with Chempunk Pickpocket, but the additional card you create can put you ahead of your opponent in terms of value. Here is where The Darkin Harp shines. The equipment gives Chempunk Pickpocket the Quick Attack keyword, which means your opponent has 3 choices; either kill the Chempunk with a spell; block the Chempunk and lose the trades in order to prevent the card creation; or take the direct Nexus damage and give up a free spell.
Bloodcursed Harpy puts a lot of pressure on the board along with Vayne’s Tumble, allowing it to attack on the defensive turns as well.
In the late game, Styraatu can be summoned on the board off of The Darkin Harp. The high-stat unit with Quick Attack is difficult to deal with, but what makes Styraatu worth having on the board is its ability to draw you additional cards at a cheaper mana cost. The additional cards can come in handy late in the game when you start running out of gas.
The combo-oriented deck that relies on Rumble as a win condition has gained a lot of popularity on the ranked ladder. The archetype isn’t exactly new, it has existed in the past, but Rumble was mainly paired with Draven.
With Vayne joining the Runeterra roster, she quickly fit into the deck’s play style, even adding to its aggression and advancing its game plan with the Tumble she creates.
You want to set up a Rumble on the board as soon as possible and work on leveling him up. The Great Hammer is essential in the deck as it provides the Overwhelm keyword to Rumble. Combined with Quick Attack and Spell Shield, Rumble is pretty annoying to deal with and remove from the board. He’ll now be capable of pushing direct Nexus damage and with Tumble, Golden Aegis, and Cataclysm as enablers to set him up for more swings, it’s a matter of time before the opponent’s Nexus shatters.
Since Rumble is an important part of the deck’s game plan, Legionary Charge is crucial in the deck to help you find Rumble and start working on your game plan. The list does not run any 5+ power units outside of Rumble, so you’ll guarantee a Rumble draw every time you cast it.
The meta has settled down and we have a clear idea of the best-performing decks. This obviously doesn’t mean that we have seen the end of new innovations. There is room for new decks to rise, especially anti-meta decks that try to counter the Seraphine and Vayne archetypes taking over the ladder.