Hello there, Raphterra here! These are very exciting days for Runeterra, as we are just a few days away from the launch of the World Ender expansion. As we always do, the team at RuneterraCCG will be providing some decklists that you can try out for the first day of the new patch!
I also wrote a set review for the World Ender expansion, make sure to check it out if you haven’t done so yet.
Disclaimer: The decklists in this article are still very theoretical. I wasn’t able to personally test these decks in early access because the server was open only to the Worlds 2022 finalists and their scrim partners. Nonetheless, these lists should be decent starting points for your decks. Remember to edit and optimize as you play more games!
First up is the most obvious shell for the leader of the Darkins: Aatrox Vayne Demacia. This deck is very similar to one of the popular meta decks in Patch 3.19, Vayne P&Z. The advantage of running Aatrox instead of P&Z is that Aatrox gives this deck access to more powerful equipment like The Darkin Lodestone, The Darkin Bloodletters, and The Darkin Halberd. I decided to bring The Darkin Aegis down to two copies to make space for the other Darkin equipments. The Darkin Harp is still ran as a 3-of in the deck because it has great synergy with Demacia‘s challengers. I’m quite skeptical if The Darkin Staff is good enough to include, but I think it’s worth to experiment with it because of its synergy with Scout units.
Aatrox on his own should be more than enough to win the late game for the deck. I think we can get away with running him as a 2-of because (1) we can draw him with his origin effect, and (2) we can revive him with World Ender. If you’re looking to play Aatrox on the first day, I’m expecting his Demacia variant to be the most competitive! A notable weakness of this variant is that there aren’t many good ways to fix a bad starting hand. Hopefully, Aatrox‘s Origin effect will be enough to bail out awkward hand states.
Next is another likely shell of Aatrox with Akshan and Shurima. The advantage of the Shurima variant over the Demacia variant is Shurima‘s capability of fixing bad hands. Akshan‘s Warlord’s Palace / Warlord’s Hoard and Preservarium are good refill options that can help you find the cards that you need in the mid game. Akshan has also been a huge benefactor of the era of equipments; cycling weapons to progress his level-up will never be easier once Aatrox is in the game. Speaking of weapons, I’m including more copies of The Darkin Bloodletters since it’s a cheap tool for progressing Warlord’s Palace.
Similar to my build for Aatrox Demacia, I’m also only including 2 copies of Aatrox. Sivir will occupy the final champion slot to give us a solid unit to play on Turn 4. Other notable one-ofs in the deck are The Altar of Blood and Rockbear Shepherd. The Altar of Blood might allow for some cheeky plays with a discounted Aatrox, while Rockbear Shepherd could accelerate the countdowns of Akshan‘s landmarks.
Following the concept builds for Aatrox is Daybreak Kayle Leona. Leona has been a very solid midrange option ever since the rework to the Daybreak package. This archetype should be able to develop a strong board in the early to mid game, just in time for Kayle or Champions’ Strength to win games late. I believe that Champions’ Strength will be a meta-defining card for Demacia; you will win games most of the time if you can cast it with at least three units on board.
Early Daybreak units like Solari Soldier, Sun Guardian, and Twilit Protector do a decent job of progressing Kayle‘s level-up requirement. Esmus, Breath of the World, The Darkin Lodestone, and Wandering Shepherd are other cards from Targon that can help establish a strong board while also contributing to Kayle’s effect.
Next up is another Kayle deck, this time in an Allegiance Demacia shell with Garen and Elites. Comparable to Daybreak, Elites also have the capability of developing strong boards. Battlesmith, Vanguard Bannerman, and Garen could all progress Kayle‘s level up quickly with board buffs (similar to Twilit Protector).
Trusty Ramhound is the newest support card for Elites, and I’m very curious if it will be impactful enough for the deck. Regardless of Trusty Ramhound‘s viability, I believe Champions’ Strength is strong enough to bring Elites back to at least Tier 2 status. I’m running one copy of Xolaani the Bloodweaver as the deck’s alternate win condition in games where the board is lost.
Mono Ryze Ionia
It’s time for a Ryze deck! As I mentioned in my set review for World Ender, Ryze is the type of champion that needs to be tested extensively. This is my first concept for Ryze, but it will probably take some time after the expansion release before we can find the best build for him.
This is a deck that runs Entreat and goes all-in on the Ryze win condition. Ryze is a combo champion, and Ionia is usually the region where combo champions thrive. Ionia has great tools for champion protection, so Ryze should be very safe from removal spells. Eye of the Dragon will be the deck’s main unit to stall out early, while Concussive Palm and Unworthy Soul are decent options to stop bigger threats.
I’m slightly worried about this deck’s ability to stall out until the late game since Ionia has the weakness of lacking removal spells. We will only know for sure once we can test him out in a few days. I think that Ryze has the potential of becoming a Tier 0 champion, and I’m looking forward to playing him a lot!
Eye of God is one of the most exciting cards in World Ender because of its potential to revive the Spawn archetype. Ever since the heavy nerfs to Bard Illaoi in Patch 3.13, Illaoi has not been a part of any competitive deck. Her health nerf was reverted in Patch 3.16, but her archetype still isn’t strong enough due to the nerfs to Tentacle Smash and Riptide Sermon.
Eye of God as a recurring Tentacle generator might just be what Illaoi needs to make her comeback. Vayne Illaoi is the first pairing that comes to mind not only because of the obvious synergy with equipments, but also because Vayne is just a very strong champion right now. Illaoi has been played in Demacia before with Rally effects, and as I mentioned multiple times in this article, Champions’ Strength is poised to be a meta-defining card!
Community Feature Decks
I have been browsing for more deck ideas on the internet, and below I’m sharing some interesting builds from the LOR community.
Targon Viego Xolaani – @Telha0
Void Gate Husks – Rusticles
Vladimir Pigeon Copium – Wimoba
That’s it for the list! Writing this article was slightly harder than usual because I didn’t get to personally test these suggested decks in the early access server. Nonetheless, I’m excited to watch the new cards in action in the upcoming world tournament. Which decks are you looking forward to play?
As usual, expect my guides to come soon once I find decks that work well for me in ranked ladder!