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Legends of Runeterra has been out for a little more than two months, and already the game is making waves. At the beginning of March, the EU Creators Invitational was hosted by AFK Creators with publisher Riot Games’ permission. While unofficial, the Creators tournament was the first major tournament the community has seen. Then, earlier this week, we saw Riot Games Korea wrap up the Legends of Runeterra Invitational. Between these two tournaments, several decks have emerged as top contenders in the meta.
While the meta has cooled a little (with some nerfs in the most recent patch), there is no denying the power of this deck. It may seem like an aggro list; however, Hecarim Rally is more of a mid-range deck. The strength of the deck is its consistency. There are nine cards with the Spider follower subtype, along with three copies of Vile Feast to drain some life and make a new Spider follower. This early game consistency puts a lot of pressure on your opponents and helps to destabilize their board.
Mistwraiths make up more of your mid-game plan. Each Mistwraith you play boosts the power of all others, both in play and in your deck. Wraithcaller is an easy 2-for-1 the majority of the time, as there are only two non-Shadow Isles cards in the list. And with two Chronicler of Ruins in the list, you kill a Mistwraith and then revive it to boost all other Mistwraiths.
This deck’s late-game relies on overwhelming the opponent with Hecarim, Rhasa the Sunderer, and The Harrowing. Hecarim creates two ephemeral 3/2 followers whenever he attacks. That’s 10 damage coming in the turn he comes down. Following up your attack with a Rally spell to give yourself a second attack phase can oftentimes secure a win. Rhasa the Sunderer can just wipe out your opponent’s board under the right conditions. When the game isn’t going your way, bring back all the best units from the game with The Harrowing.
There is also a very powerful interaction that protects against losing much of your board. It’s a little situational since it relies on having two cards plus a Hecarim in the discard pile. With The Rekindler on the board, play a Chronicler of Ruin, killing and reviving The Rekindler, who in turn brings back Hecarim. Keeping this interaction in mind, players can turn the tide of a match.
Deck Code: CEAQSAIFBYICEJZIFIYTKOACAEAQAFIFAECQGFAWEARQCAIBAUJQ
Zed Illusives is a problem for this list, along with any Jinx/Draven Discard aggro lists. The Quick Attack keyword can tear through most of your units. A lot of the early game cards have three or less health and don’t offer up much defense against these cards. The best way to combat this is with Black Spear and Mark of the Isles. Use Black Spear after trading a smaller spider unit to take out the enemy champion after combat. This might mean you take some damage early on, so play carefully. Just remember that your life total is as much of a resource as your mana.
My personal favorite of these three lists is Harrowing Ashe. This list takes the strengths of a powerful champion and combines it with the consistency of the Shadow Isles region. If left alone, Ashe can close out a game in just a couple of turns. With multiple Ashes out on the field, you can steamroll through your opponent’s strongest units. This is also the most resilient Legends of Runeterra list against both targeted removal and board wipes.
This list does well against other decks that rely heavily on a single champion. Between all the Frostbite effects, Rimefang Wolf and Ashe herself, it is easy to control the board. Once the game moves to the mid-game, Chronicler or Ruin and The Rekindler can take over. Trading up your Ashe doesn’t feel so bad when you can recur it immediately. The spell Mist’s Call also helps maintain a board state and has some funny interactions with Glimpse Beyond. Killing a unit to draw two and then bringing that unit back to play nets you the same amount of cards and units in play.
At the top end, you have The Harrowing, a card that can close out a match with little set-up. The trick with this card is what happens after you cast a champion’s unique spell card. The spell, Ashe’s Flash Freeze, in this case, returns to a copy of Ashe after it is cast. So when The Harrowing resolves, it sees Ashe in the discard pile instead of Ashe’s Flash Freeze.
Deck Code: CEBAKAIFCQQCELRRAYAQCAYLCIPCMKQBAMAQKAZYHIAQCAIBA4
Because a lot of this list relies on Ashe, players need to work around a lot of removal. There’s nothing in this kit for boosting Ashe’s health, so players have to rely on The Rekindler to return dead champions. Because this deck plays a lot like a mid-range list, it can suffer in the late game. Watch your Harsh Winds and Ashe’s Flash Freeze to tackle high cost, high power units with your Rimefang Wolf.
S/I Champless Control
Straight from the recent Korean Invitational comes a pretty unique list from player N3. This list features zero champions and instead focuses on powerful elusive and lifesteal units. With a healthy mix of board control and resource denial, this list can quickly overwhelm an opponent. N3 took this list to the top 8, so let’s see what makes it so powerful.
Elusive has always been a pretty dominant archetype during the Legends of Runeterra beta. While this list isn’t maxed out on elusive units, it plays the best. Shadow Assassin and Kinkou Lifeblade take up your three and four mana slots, which puts a lot of pressure on any deck.
A unique removal combo in this list involves the spell Death Mark and any unit with ephemeral. Death Mark removes the ephemeral keyword from your unit and gives it to an enemy’s. Death Mark can transfer ephemeral to champions as well as follower units so it’s an easy way to kill a unit with minimal effort. It is also the best feeling in the world to remove ephemeral from your own Darkwater Scourge to take down a Darius.
Your top-end consists of Rhasa the Sunderer, Minah Swiftfoot, and a single Commander Ledros. Rhasa will trigger fairly often, taking out the two weakest enemies. Just remember that Legends of Runeterra calculates the weakest enemies first by lowest power, then health, and finally unit cost when there are ties.
Deck Code: CEBAGAIFAQLCGCABAIBAGIJIFUYTKOICAEAQEJICAECTMNYBAEAQKII
Much like the Hecarim Rally list from before, watch your life total. With a high concentration of lifesteal units, you shouldn’t be afraid to take some hits early on. One of the major things to watch for from your opponents are Elise spider lists. An opponent who can go wide early on will hurt and make it difficult to stabilize.
Hopefully, these decks will help you grind out games in a constantly evolving meta. With more opportunities for Riot Games to shift to online tournaments, it’s best to get your practice in now.
Let us know in the comments below which of these lists works best for you. If you have a spicy brew let us know too! We’re always on the lookout for fun Legends of Runeterra decks to experiment with. For all your Legends of Runeterra decks, updates, and more, follow us at Daily Esports.
Ryan Hay is a writer and content creator currently living in New York. Video games, anime, and Magic: The Gathering have all been strong passions in his life and being able to share those passions with others is his motivation for writing. You can find him on Twitter where he complains about losing on MTG Arena a lot.