The Heart of the Huntress' World Qualifier Open is coming, and the competitive meta is very varied and fun to play. We're moving towards one of the tournaments with one of the most interesting metas in the last few months, and, as a result, as usual, I come here bearing gifts for those players who find themselves a bit lost regarding their deck builds, or just those who didn't have time to study the meta.
Remember: Big tournament metas like the Runeterra Open are nothing more than a popularity contest for the lists. Many beginner and inexperienced players participate in the first day of the tournament. Therefore, it is possible to see the most various lineups and strategies being played.
Based on my experience playing and casting LoR for three years, I gathered the 5 best and most popular possible competitive lineups for August 5th's World Qualifier Runeterra Open.
The Tournament Meta
Before we start, I need to comment briefly on this World Qualifier Runeterra Open meta. The greatest deck this weekend will be Vayne Aatrox and Quinn, which I talked about on my previous article. This list is the most popular one today in the competitive scene, and was the most popular one in the last big grassroot tournaments, so it is likely that a significant number of players who keep up with the competitive scene will be bringing it, or preparing to beat it.
Vayne Aatrox in the meta means Shadow Isles, as a region, though one of the weakest in the game, becomes relevant again, once the decks that bring this region, all of them, hit Vayne head on. I'll give you some important tips before we move on to lineups:
1 - The Vayne Aatrox list, in general, loses to all other Demacia decks, such as Bard Garen and Scouts, which in turn win against Shadow Isles lists. But these are a bit too dependent on cards such as Champions' Strength, and that can disrupt the performance of these lists in a competitive setting.
2 - Ionia currently has the best answers to the meta, such as Deny, Unworthy Soul and Stun spells, but no Ionia deck is standing out in the meta. That leads to the thought that there is still a lot of space for deck building with this region that might surprise everyone at the tournament.
3 - Elusives are the greatest trick in this tournament, and that is why having answers that deal with that sort of keyword may be crucial to your matches. Blocking Badgerbear is already being considered one of the cards which will perform the best on the weekend.
Most Popular Lineup
Vayne has the best matchups in the competitive ecosystem, and it is that sort of list which averages around 50% win rate against most decks. It is very strong due to its capability of adapting when it comes to deck building.
That means that, if you need to bring any tech card which answers some bad matchup, this deck always finds space for those cards. That makes this list one of the most malleable in the meta, and, in the hands of experienced players, can win games which, on paper, are impossible.
Nasus' list is possibly the best option for the tournament, once it seems to be made to beat Vayne. Another important factor who helps its popularity is the simplicity and strength it has when it's about putting pressure from mid to late game. Throughout the months, Nasus decks got better, so they aren't as dependent on Vaults of Helia, and today you can say the list works even fine without this landmark.
Though, statistically, the Shadow Isles region is one of the weakest in the competitive scene, Nasus deck can dribble these adversities by instating an aggressive game rhythm, full of combos and strong plays, which are hard to answer.
Jinx Kennen is the meta's ugly duckling. It seems incredible on paper, but, in practice, it leaves us disappointed. It is a list that brings an unnecessary complexity to your lineup, and, though it has exceptional numbers on statistic websites, it might not be one of the best options.
This list shows up in the Top 5, as it carries a very important factor for big tournaments: popularity. This deck brings an archetype and a champion which are extremely popular, and that is enough to place it on the competitive radar.
Scouts is maybe one of the most complete aggressive lists in the meta. It is the deck that can bring Control resources, such as the Challenger keyword, and always tries to hit you. Throughout the months, the community went on to fix the value problems in the strategy and, today, Scouts doesn't spend that many resources to position its attackers on board.
The Jinx list was already mentioned, but this version without Kennen is statistically better for some reason. So, it is possible that this version might show up even more than the other one, considering a great majority of players get their decks from statistical websites.
The reason why this version is better is a bit doubtful, and there isn't a right answer, as both decks are almost identical.
Fizz Samira is a bet for the World Qualifier Runeterra Open which can shine in the hands of experienced players. This deck steals victories here and there, and can go by unnoticed on the radar of many new players. It is a list which, in the hands of those who know what they're doing, can destroy the hopes and dreams of many, and that is why it must be respected.
Though it is an archetype which has taken a lot of nerfs, this package of cards converses really well with Runeterra's competitive nature, and, for that reason, it is always a deck that comes prepared to answer any threat.
Illaoi is one of the few champions which can impose a snowball game rhythm, which, if not answered as soon as it's played, wins the game on her own. With so many aggressive lists in the meta, the removals in Swain's deck are the best to deal with that type of strategy, not to mention Bilgewater has one of the best equipment removal tools: Heavy Metal, which ends the hopes and dreams of Vayne's decks.
Heimerdinger Jayce is one of the best when the matter is gameplay diversity. This list is, historically, one of the most complete lists and more well-prepared to perform in any meta, and that is why it makes sense that, in the meta that we are in now, this deck is one of the best.
Currently, it is one of the most played lists in the Americas ranked queue, and it is also one of the lists that most brings different styles of play. Some prefer the more aggressive approach of this archetype, others prefer a slower rhythm; it's all up to personal taste.
Heimerdinger Jayce also fits as a Shadow Isles deck which circumvents the adversities of the region, and which can perform at a higher level, even not being the best option statistically. That happens due to the set of Tech cards which can easily end the game when combo'd in the right way with Shadow Isles removals.
We've already discussed the Nasus deck, but this is the version I suggest you bring to the competitive tournament. You can check out the article I wrote about all Nasus decks in the meta, in which I explain a bit better why this version of the list is so much better prepared for tournaments.
Instead of discussing a specific lineup, this time I'll bring many decks, which, together, can form an Anti-Meta lineup. I believe this Open's meta is very favorable for that type of strategy, and, as a result, it's not fair to select only 3 decks as the strongest ones, as we have many that can be considered high-level.
Jhin Norra, despite being a list that depends a lot on the RNG for Riptide Rex's shots and Norra's portals, is a deck which can perform at a high level. It is filled with the best removal and cards which answer the meta. The unique way of playing it is also a factor that can stand out to the eyes of Control players as well.
Jinx Ekko has always performed well in a competitive setting, and can be a solid option for this weekend's Open. I, particularly, prefer this version of the list without Jinx, but this champion is trending, and can be essential to resolve certain matchups in the meta.
Jax Kennen is an emergent deck which is becoming popular fast. This deck is part of a Good Cards archetype, the name which is given to decks which abuse cards that statistically perform really well, and which, together, perform even better.
These three, despite being lists which are not performing that well on the ranked queue, may surprise players in a competitive setting. The approach to the adventurers' lineup for this Open will be answering Nasus lists, as this deck can show up a lot on the weekend, and building a lineup to win against it might be a great strategy.
Caitlyn Seraphine and Malphite is an emergent strategy which is surprising many in the community, and performing well in grassroot tournaments. It is full of removals and tricks to deal with any adversity.
The problem is that it is very hard to pilot, and doesn't have a clear win condition. But it might be a great option for those who enjoy Control archetypes.
Karma Sett, after the nerfs, finds itself in a neutral state in the meta, and that means the deck only performs well in the hands of those who are already familiar with the list. Knowing that, many experienced players might want to test out this archetype, once it is one of the lists with the best matchup against Nasus.
Teemo shrooms is performing surprisingly solid both in ranked, and tournaments. This deck answers well Control lists, and has one of the best cards to play against aggressive opponents, Sump Monument.
If you've read this far, now you know everything about the August 5th World Qualifier Runeterra Open.
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