World Ender: Solving the Meta

Legends of Runeterra

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World Ender: Solving the Meta

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This article is aimed at presenting the situation regarding new champions and how the meta is shaping in a broad sense, with the best decks and suggestions to beat them.

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Joey Sticks

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Introduction

On December 7th, the World Ender expansion was released, the last part of the Darkin Saga. This expansion brought more than 50 new cards, including three champions: Aatrox, Kayle and Ryze.

In just a few days into the World Ender release, we were able to gauge the most powerful decks based on the following cards: Aatrox, Champions' Strength and Acolyte's Reliquary. However, Riot acted quickly, and on December 13th they released a hotfix that weakened four cards:

Acolyte's Reliquary, previously costing 1, now costs 2;

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The Unforgiving Cold, previously costing 4, now costs 5;

Blooming Cultist lost its "attune" keyword;

Champions' Strength, previously costing 8, now costs 9.

In this article, we will tackle how the meta is after the release of the expansion and the hotfix, and with this information, I'll help you know what you are most likely to face in ranked ladder or tournaments. I will also bring some suggestion of counters to answer the most powerful decks currently!

Regarding the New Champions

I believe that just by new champions being released, there is a possibility of them seeing play in the meta, even if they don't have a good deck. We have to remember that there will be players who are interested in testing out this new champion just because they liked their presentation, their theme, or they like them in League of Legends and want to know how are they like in Legends of Runeterra.

In case you fit this group of players, don't worry because I will present for you now how the new champions are placed in the meta and I will suggest new decks for you to try out.

Aatrox

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I believe I can say with certainty that of all the new champions, this Great Darkin General is the one that is showing most raw power, being the face of the expansion.

This champion has two very efficient decks, both breaking the 50% win rate barrier, even though among them - Aatrox Kayn - was hit by the nerfs to The Unforgiving Cold and Blooming Cultist.

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The first list that we're checking out is the most popular one: Aatrox's list alongside Kayn. Riot really did it right with the Cultist idea, so much that you don't even miss another region when you play with this deck, as unit and spell options among Cultists can perform their roles pretty well.

If you wish favorable trades, you have The Unforgiving Cold; for protection against removals, there is The Expanse's Protection and for board pressure, we have Ranger-Knight Defector. This list has 77813 matches played and a 54.88% win rate.

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The second Aatrox deck we will present is alongside Vayne and Quinn. The idea of this deck is using cheap units to host your Darkin equipment and soon afterward put on a lot of pressure on your opponent. Besides that, some units have "challenger" and you can use The Darkin Harp to create favorable trades.

Quinn is relevant as she brings a unit with her, and because this unit doesn't require you to pass your priority or spend mana to develop, it opens the possibility for you to also put down equipment on it through Catch! in the middle of combat, or even get a faster board development going, so you can use World Ender faster. This Aatrox Demacia list has fewer matches when compared to Kayn's, but it has a higher win rate: 58711 matches and a 57.61% win rate.

Kayle

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Kayle's situation is a bit harsh, as unlike Aatrox, most of her decks are having trouble breaking the 50% win rate barrier. I believe this champion is a proper candidate to get buffed in the next balance patch if this keeps going. However, there is still one hope for Kayle fans.

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Currently, there is a deck with 4179 matches and a 51.4% win rate, being the only Kayle deck with a positive win rate. To be honest, I like the idea of this list a lot, and I was always a Leona fan; however, I always felt difficulty in closing games. Now we can use Champions' Strength, which remains strong even after the nerf, and a level 2 Kayle with overwhelm to finish games.

How does Kayle level up in this deck? Solari Soldier or Sun Guardian, units that got buffs from Twilit Protector or any unit equipped with The Darkin Aegis help this champion get more attack points, as after all Kayle gets +1 attack point for each ally that attacked with their power increased in the whole match. Never forget that she needs to have 11 attack at round start so she can level, so temporary buffs will not level her up, as these types of effects run out at round end.

Ryze

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If you're a Ryze fan, I'm so sorry. Kayle's situation was already looking rough, but Ryze is much worse when compared to the Targon champion. Most of his decks have around 30% win rate.

One of Ryze's problems, in my view, is that you need four mana to execute his game plan. I'm referring to the two mana necessary to use Delve Into The Past and then two mana more to put the rune chosen on board. And of course, building a deck for him and playing (usually without followers) makes it even harder to play with him.

If, even so, you like this champion and want to keep trying to play with him without waiting for a buff or a better list, I have the answer.

Seraphine and Back Alley Bar bring a second option regarding game plans for you to work with in this deck, and can even become your secondary win condition. Back Alley Bar is interesting because it reduces the cost of the Global Runes and, therefore, lower the overall cost of executing Ryze's win condition.

This list has Assembly Bot, a card that had never before seen competitive play. In this deck, it becomes interesting as it becomes a unit that can easily grow (due to the number of spells), and this way it is also a unit that can help you hold out games or trade enemy threats.

At the moment, this deck has 5188 matches and a 47.19% win rate. It is the closest thing to a good Ryze deck that you can find.

The Usual Suspects

We've finished presenting new champions, and if you were curious about testing good decks or piles with them, the work has been done. Now we will delve into the old decks that have the best performances.

As these decks aren't new, I won't go too deep into them, but I will call attention to what made them powerful in the first place. This can be a buff in some balance patch, a new card that came in this expansion or even if they are a suggestion for you to answer a really strong deck of the latest patch.

Annie Jhin

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Annie Jhin is the first deck we will talk about. This deck didn't get any buffs or new cards, and even so it has a positive win rate. This deck has, so far, 17084 matches and a 54.08% win rate.

Even so, with a good win rate, the overall situation isn't good for Jhin Annie, if we compare it to the most popular decks. This deck has negative numbers against Aatrox, Gwen Katarina, Seraphine Viktor Ez and Gangplank Sejuani lists. It basically loses to everything that is popular, according to the stats. This win rate was probably made by winning against half-baked decks that were being tested or less popular decks.

Ashe Kindred

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Our next deck got some buffs in the latest balance patch. It is the case of Shatter, which had its cost reduced from two mana to one mana, and Rimefang Wolf, which had its stats altered, before a 3/2 which is now a 2/3, and it is now a more resistant card. This deck has 2776 matches and a 49.57% win rate.

I know, you're probably wondering about its negative numbers, and you're right in doing so. However, I didn't bring this deck for you to use it in your ranked ladder. Ashe Kindred is a deck that I suggest you bring to tournaments, specially if your lineup is trying to play against Aatrox, and this is Ashe Kindred's strength. We have 215 matches against this deck and Aatrox Demacia, and the freeze deck won 65.12% of the matches. If you compare it to Aatrox Kayn, we have 121 matches and again the freeze deck wins 66.94% of the matches.

Gangplank Sejuani

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The Plunder deck is another deck that got some buffs in the latest balance patch, when the card Spirits Unleashed no longer gave +1+1 markers to allies on board and started to grant this +1+1 buff to all allies globally. By the way, in my opinion, it was a buff that made this card so much better that it not only brought Gangplank Sejuani back into the meta as it also made Spirits Unleashed reach a new level of power.

Here, numbers state there were 13683 matches and a 54.05% win rate. In a meta with so many midrange decks, Sejuani becomes very powerful due to her freezing effect. It is the demise of any midrange decks, so much so that this deck can face Aatrox and Gwen Katarina lists head on because of that.

As someone who plays with this deck a lot, I will leave here my suggestion for you to try adding Fracture to help you deal with equipment decks (not only Aatrox) and also aggro decks. Another card I like adding is Babbling Bjerg, even more so because since Spirits Unleashed made the list, the card Yordle Grifter - the Bilgewater Allegiance card - is no longer used in the deck, which frees up space for more Freljord cards to make the list.

Gwen Vermelha ou Gwen Katarina

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We've reached a deck that benefitted from new cards: Crimson Pigeon and Redeemed Prodigy. However, it weren't the new cards that made this deck stronger. Red Gwen is a deck that has been powerful for a long time. It even got nerfed through The Harrowing, which now costs 10 mana, but it wasn't enough to make this deck weaker.

Red Gwen has 32692 matches and an above 55% win rate, currently sitting at 56.24%. It is a powerful choice and definitely one of the current meta's pillar decks. Be it for ranked ladder or tournaments, I suggest you prepare yourself to play against it, play with it or even in some cases, add it to your lineup to be banned.

If you would like to hear suggestions to beat this deck, I can say them, no problem: aagro decks. Even though Gwen's healing is a strong trait, when looking at the data, I realized many aggro decks such as Draven Jinx, Lulu Jinx, Pirates and Elise Gwen are among Red Gwen's worst matchups.

You should know the version without Elise is more popular at the moment, but, on the other hand, adding one copy of this Shadow Isles champion still brings in good numbers.

Hecarim Zed

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Our next deck can seem a bit odd when we compare it to the others here, but I'll let you know that Zed Hecarim has a 50.28% win rate with 18576 matches. It is one of the most popular decks right now, and that is not coincidentally. Riot wants ephemerals to see play, and it is trying to make it happen.

The first step was buffing Hecarim, which started granting +3+0 to ephemeral allies globally at level up. After that, more and more this archetype has been receiving new cards, as it's the case of Moonlit Glenkeeper, The Darkin Fan and Dragon Ambush. Besides that, Zed Hecarim can take advantage of cards from Gwen's set, such as Redeemed Prodigy and Opulent Foyer.

It is a deck to keep an eye on, and that's why I decided to list it. Another great point about Zed Hecarim is that its combo helps to close out games quickly, and as a result, it becomes another viable option against Aatrox Kayn and Rumble Vayne.

Jinx

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If you're a fan of this Zaun champion and missed her in the meta, my friend... I have great news! She doesn't only have one good deck currently, but in total there are three lists with great numbers.

What helped her make her comeback? The buff she got in patch 3.19 was pivotal, and from that patch on she started creating Super Mega Death Rocket! at level up.

Jinx Draven

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The first deck I'll show is Draven Jinx, the oldest and most popular one. It won 56% of the times in a total of 20921 matches. This version doesn't use Crowd Favorite, as the focus is having more cheap units so you can strengthen the attacks of these units through the card Vision and the new card called Reveler's Feast.

Jinx Lulu

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How is Jinx Lulu? We have a 56.88% win rate in 12779 matches. Jinx Lulu also has an aggro discard strategy, and therefore has a similar play style to Jinx Draven. The difference is that this version offers the possibility of you pulling a unit with Flame Chompers! and you can make it grow with Lulu's buff and remove an enemy unit.

Sneezy Biggledust! is the card you must have to help you close out games, as it strengthens ally attacks.

Jinx Teemo

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The Champions' Strength nerf made this card less popular, but it seems to be very powerful still, as Jinx Teemo won 56.79% out of 7302 matches. The idea is similar to the other two decks presented before: you build your board, pressure your opponent, and then use this spell to strengthen your units.

Rumble Vayne

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Rumble Vayne has a 54.22% win rate in 14560 matches. This deck is for those who enjoy a more OTK combo strategy, as you play around Rumble. As a result, the card Legionary Charge becomes essential, as it is a way of guaranteeing his draw. I must warn you that if you don't draw him, the deck undeniably loses a lot of its strength.

I've never played Rumble Vayne due to it not being my style, but I've heard from people who do play it that you must never discard three cards again after you've already played the first level 1 Rumble discarding three cards. So, that's a tip for those who are about to play Rumble Vayne for the first time.

Seraphine Ezreal Viktor

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In the last balance patch, the 3.19 patch to be exact, Seraphine was weakened: her level up condition was altered, going from needing 6 new spells played to level up to 9 new spells played. At that time, the strongest deck this champion had was beside Ezreal with a Noxus pairing.

As she was nerfed, this previous deck simply disappeared. However, Seraphine and Ezreal found a new home in Bandlecity. It is understandable if you stop to think that she needs more new spells now, and Bandlecity becomes a great pairing for being a region that, among its traits, it's known for creating countless new cards, which make it easier for Seraphine to level up. Viktor is a champion that also benefits a lot from that, being a good finisher to have alongside Ezreal as an alternative win condition.

At the moment, Seraphine Ezreal has a 53.04% win rate out of 42243 matches.

Trundle

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Just like Jinx, Trundle will show up here with more than one deck. However, unlike Jinx who appeared here due to her good numbers, Trundle will show up here as my own suggestion for you to answer the meta, specially against that certain Darkin card that I must have mentioned 20 times already.

The way Trundle answers the meta is by including Buried in Ice in his lists, a card that, in my opinion, is one of the best removals in the game.

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This card destroys a board full of units that are equipped due to the "obliterate" text it has, and obliterating is the only way you can remove equipment definitely (without outright equipment destruction, of course). It is a flexible card that can be used also to hold off an enemy board and to get an open attack and finish the game. There is also the possibility of removing the whole enemy board when you use this card alongside It That Stares in the following round to Buried In Ice, as it can be the case to answer a Gwen Katarina The Harrowing.

Timelines

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There isn't much to say about this deck. You must draw Concurrent Timelines early on, so you can transform your units into other units with better stats so you can pressure your opponent. Even supposing you didn't draw it, keep at it. From turn 6 on you can drop Revna, the Lorekeeper to strengthen your units by +2+2 and make it harder for your enemy to remove them and deal with their damage output. Speaking of removals, this deck has access to some, can create cards and, finally, has access to freezes and healing to hold off games. By the way, with the nerf to The Unforgiving Cold, this is one more card that got into Fanclub President's pool of cards.

Regarding Trundle Vi's numbers, I found a 50.37% win rate in 3760 matches.

Trundle Elise

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In case you're not a fan of the RNG involved in Timelines, I also got an option for you, and this is Trundle Elise.

There were balancing changes to this deck regarding the card Iceborn Legacy, going from slow to burst and then to focus speed, and among the decks that came out with this change, one of them was Trundle Elise. This version I'm bringing is an update to that list. You replace Iceborn Legacy with Spirits Unleashed, and that's a reason as to why I mentioned before this card is now in a different power level as before.

It has the same idea of controlling the enemy board as you pressure your opponent. A new thing is the new card called Wild Mysticism: it creates a body on board and ramps, and in other cases can be a 6/6 for just five mana. Finally, regarding numbers, this deck has only 979 matches and a 54.34% win rate, so it is still a very new option for players.

Varus Akshan Sivir

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This deck has a similar style to old Akshan Sivir Demacia. If you liked that deck, you will probably like this one. The idea is to build your board, get favorable trades through buffs and removals, and then attack with everyone beside Sivir, with the chance of offering overwhelm to everyone through The Absolver, that is, everything Sivir Akshan used to do. The new thing is Varus acting as a new win condition and the card Swinging Glaive, which creates buffs and keywords for allies.

You lose Demacia's rally cards, but get the versatility of cultist cards. The deck's stats show 8438 matches with a win rate of 52.06%.

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Final Thoughts

And that is all, people, I hope I helped you understand the best decks of the patch better or find a new list to answer the infamous Aatrox. This is a new format that we are testing out here at Cards Realm, so your feedback is very important. I found it relevant not to talk about only what is strong, but also ways of answering other decks. Leave your comment down below regarding what you think we should've included here! See ya!

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SEJUmilde

Comecei no jogo em Mares Crescentes e sou jogador de Legends Of Runeterra pela Lótus. Sou um amante de sobrepujar, e se fosse possível todo deck que jogo rodaria pelo menos uma Fúria de Batalha, pois não acredito no meta, acredito na magia do sobrepujar.

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