Insider Knowledge: Leona Kayle
Leona Kayle is one of the most played lists in the ranked ladder, and the second-highest win rate as well.
Let's take a look at this deck and find out the reasons why it is so strong.
We have just gone through a particularly troubled meta. It wasn't clear what indeed worked, both in the ranked ladder and in tournaments. But things are finally calming down, and, as a result, the Kayle Leona deck is finally having its moment.
For quite some time, the Noxus-Control archetypes dominated the meta, because the ranked ladder was filled with Midrange lists, such as Twisted Fate Illaoi and Jax Ornn. And Noxus Control simply destroys all hopes of any Midrange archetype seeing play. But, out of nowhere, its reign began: the fearsome Ryze deck.
And as a result, Ryze was responsible for retiring a great portion of the Noxus Control decks from the ranked ladder. Ryze is such a popular and strong deck, that, currently, you're either playing Ryze, or trying to beat it.
And that's when the Leona Kayle comes in, because you beat Ryze, and also beats some of the lists that beat Ryze. The best of both worlds. That's why this list is so strong.
Understanding the strength of this deck in the ranked ladder
Pressure through stats
— You have many 1 cost cards, which have very strong stats. The number 3 is the magical number for early game Runterra, and all your low-cost followers have it: they can either reach up to 3 attack, or 3 health.
— The Daybreak package is incredibly strong. Daybreak cards have very strong stats when compared to their mana cost.
— In general, all your cards will have synergy with each other, and will guarantee more stats to the board overall. That means, always play thinking about or preparing a big offensive turn, in which all your board will attack with high-power stats.
— This list is so fast, that there isn't time for control lists to prepare removals or answers enough to stop your pressure.
— Limiting your opponent's blockers is your great win condition.
— Your units and stun effects, in general, cost a lot less to activate than the mana your enemy will use to position blockers.
— You can punish slow plays, or lifesteal units, very easily.
Multiple Win Conditions
— You can win solely through low-cost units putting on pressure.
— Shunpo is a surprising card. Always try to set up an open attack turn. And after your opponent spends all their resources to stop your offensive, you attack again.
The whole Noxus Control package and Norra's portals are your nightmares. And both together are the perfect recipe for you to simply become unable to play.
But... Wasn't Noxus-Control the most played archetype a few weeks ago? Why would I play a list that loses miserably to that type of deck?
Remember, Ryze became popular, because he wins against Noxus Control, and Leona and Kayle can win against Ryze and also win against the majority of lists that also win against Ryze. At the end of the day, the math just doesn't add up for the Noxus Control lists, as your win rate with Leona's deck covers a higher number of meta decks.
Apart from that, you won't have much issue with the rest of the ranked ladder decks.
Here are some cards that make your list simply unable to do what it needs:
Kayle Leona in Tournaments
For now, it remains unseen in tournaments. It doesn't perform in term very well.
That happens because the tournament meta and the ranked meta are quite different. And usually in tournaments, the lists are slower, and more focused on interactivity with your opponent.
The ranked ladder always has a faster meta due to the time players are willing to invest in the game. You can play 2 to 3 games of Leona and Kayle, and it will be the same time it took for someone to play one match of Norra Veigar, for instance. This way, it has faster results.
I would recommend much more a lineup with three Shadow Isles control lists for the current meta, or two Shadow Isles lists and a Ryze. But here is my suggestion for lineups using Leona Kayle.
Important Tips and Considerations for the future of the deck
- Kayle is only there to be pretty for now, as it is a synergistic champion that makes a lot of sense with the deck. But you can be sure that most matches you win are not gonna be because of Kayle. So, consider using other champions such as Katarina or even Darius, in case you know them well and prefer them.
- This deck is strong enough to mask your piloting mistakes. Be careful, because you won't be punished as often in case you miss the order of an attack or play a bit sussy.
- In case you want to increase your skill level and bring this list to the competitive scene, I recommend you spend a bit of time training. In tournaments, you will certainly be punished a lot more than in ranked, and you might get frustrated a bit with the performance of this deck at a competitive level.
Certainly, this list still has a long way to go until perfection, and I believe the future of this archetype is quite fruitful. I believe the current nerf and changes radar is not looking at this deck, and it's close to becoming the new meta threat.
That's all, in case you've read this far, you're now up-to-date with the meta and the Leona Kayle list!
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