Legends of Runeterra


Tutorial: How to build lineups for tourneys

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In this article, I explain how Riot Lock works, bring many lineup methods and some tools to help you ban decks.

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The competitive scene in Legends of Runeterra is quite popular all over the world, with many daily tourneys that serve as training grounds for players to enhance their skills when it comes the time to play Gauntlets and consequently, Seasonals.

With a scene full of opportunities, there are always new players just starting out their competitive journey. However, there are always some questions that flood rookies' minds: What is Riot Lock? How do I build an ideal lineup? How do I ban? And that is what I will answer in this article. Let's go!


About Riot Lock

All LoR tourneys (except for special tourneys with different rules) follow the rules stated by Riot themselves. The famous Riot Lock format consists of 3 decks, in which you can't repeat region combinations or champions. Besides that, only one of these decks can be championless. I bring an example so it can be clearer:

Image content of the Website

Ionia shows up in all three decks, but it is paired with other regions: Bandle City, Piltover & Zaun and Bilgewater. Like so, there isn't a repeat of region combinations and the champions are also not repeated, so the lineup is following the Riot Lock format.

What about Runeterra champions?

The arrival of Runeterra champions caused a lot of confusion to some players, but it is quite simple to understand: Runeterra isn't a region, it is only a category to include this assortment of champions. Like so, each champion is independent and they are the ones considered for Riot Lock.

In LoR's client itself, in the decks with Runeterra Champions they don't show up with the Runeterra region icon, but instead the picture of the champion itself because it is as if they are the region itself. Have a look at this example, so you can see it in practice:

Image content of the Website

You must be asking yourselves: oh, but aren't all three decks Shurima Runeterra decks? The answer is no.

As I explained previously, Runeterra is more of a tag than a region, the champions from there are actually the region counted for Riot Lock, and like so, we have: Kayn Shurima, Bard Shurima and Evelynn Shurima. Again, there wasn't a region combination repetition, and no champions were repeated as well, so the lineup is according to the format.

Lineup Building Methods

There isn't one certain way to build lineups, but it is clear that there are many methods, and I will briefly explain the most popular ones.

3 Meta Decks

Starting simple, the idea here is to get the 3 strongest meta decks and you're done. Halfway there. But you need to know how to play these decks because you can't just take something strong just because it is strong and then not know how to play it, right?

At the time Kai'Sa and Bard Illaoi were dominating the meta with Azir Irelia, it was quite common to use all 3 of those decks in one lineup.

2 Meta Decks + 1 Comfort Deck

As it is quite common for folks to use the first method, mirror matches are quite common and the idea here is to indeed put in a third deck that is different, which can catch your opponent off guard.

It is recommendable that it is a deck you're quite comfortable with and that you've played lots of matches with, so you can pilot it inside and out.

Triple X

There are players that prefer to build lineups centered around one game style. It is the case of triple aggro, triple rally, triple control lineups, etc.

The positive side of this type of lineup is that they can perform really well against certain lineups (example: triple control is quite good against triple aggro and triple aggro is strong against triple midrange), but the negative side is indeed in the presence of only one game style.


Triple control, for instance, can play against many types of decks, but suffers a lot to triple rally. It is practically impossible to win! And the same can be said about triple aggro trying to win against triple control.

Target Lineup

When there is one dominant deck (Kai'Sa is a great example of that), it is quite common for players to build lineups centered around winning against this strong deck.

In this strategy, you won't ban the strong deck and instead will do everything you can to win against it twice. The problem with this type of lineup is that in case you find many different lineups that don't bring the strong deck, you can feel lost.

That is without mentioning that decks that win against the strong deck don't necessarily win against other meta decks.

3 Comfort Decks

Last but not least: follow your heart. It's not worth it to build a thousand and one different strategies, when you can simply just play with what you know how to play. Your mastery with each deck counts a lot in tourneys, because you can pilot them better than anyone, so it is a great idea to bring decks that you feel pleasure playing.

I speak from experience in this matter, because the Seasonals I had my best performance yet was the one I brought 3 entirely different decks from one another, but that I enjoyed playing a lot. The lineup in question was Scouts, Caitlyn Ezreal and Taliyah Ziggs.

Tools to help you Ban

Ok, you've built your lineup, challenged your opponent and is ready to start the match but then... What are you going to ban?

Many say that the game starts at exactly that time: ban time! I usually ban intuitively, banning decks that I don't like facing or the ones I feel my decks are going to have a lot of trouble winning against.

However, there are some tools that can help at this time. I brought LoR Meta Report's Ban Helperlink outside website and Mastering Runeterra's Ban Helperlink outside website.

Both work the same way: you put in your decks and your opponent's decks and there you go, the sites show up the statistics regarding each matchup. I put in the same lineup in both examples: Pirate Aggro, Jax Vi and Nasus Kindred - against - Elise Gwen Katarina, Akshan Kayn and Timelines Trundle Ornn.

The results you can check out down below:

LoR Meta Report's Result
LoR Meta Report's Result

Mastering Runeterra's Result
Mastering Runeterra's Result

Both sites would indicate that the recommended ban would be Elise Gwen Katarina, and like so, both are in agreement, so, in case one is down, you can check the other one out.

Final Thoughts

This was my tutorial to help everyone who wants to get into the competitive LoR scene. If you have any other questions, you already know: just ask in the comment section.

If you have any other suggestions of articles with these themes, please also put them in the comment section. Till next time!