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Legends of Runeterra - Best Decks (November 2019)

You'll be off to a flying start with these decks.

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About James Law

James can usually be found wearing dungarees, playing Hearthstone, drinking coffee, or all of the above. For his sins, he has been cursed to forever main heavies in Smash.

We’re looking forward to the full release of Legends of Runeterra, but until then we’re keeping an eye on the best decks to try when starting out.

Here’s our guide to the best decks to try out at the start of the Expeditions Preview Patch in Legends of Runeterra. We’ve gone and found a variety of successful decks from the last preview patch, and given a bit of insight into how best to pilot them. It’s well worth giving them a shot, and remember: the meta isn’t completely developed so feel free to make your own changes if you fancy yourself as a deckbuilder!

What decks should I try in Legends of Runeterra?

Players have been doing some experimenting with decks and come up with some interesting ideas. We’ve picked out decks in the Control, Midrange, Aggro and Combo archetypes for you to try out, and we’ll be keeping this all updated once the meta develops a bit more.

Control Deck - Warmother Control

This deck, created by streamer Hewitt Benson, combines the Regions of the Shadow Isles and Freljord. The Shadow Isles is able to provide powerful removal for your enemy’s units, whilst Freljord offers big units to force your opponent to make suboptimal plays.

FreljordShadow Isles
3 x Avarosan Sentry3 x Vile Feast
3 x Wyrding Stones2 x Withering Wail
3 x Avalanche3 x Grasp of the Undying
3 x Catalyst of Aeons3 x Vengeance
3 x Avarosan Hearthguard3 x The Ruination
3 x Anivia
3 x Tryndamere
3 x She Who Wanders
2 x Warmother’s Call

Warmother’s Call is a vital piece in this deck, allowing you to grind out extreme long-term value if you’re able to afford the 12 mana in the late game. The high cost you’ll have to sink into Warmother’s Call will pay dividends if you manage to get a bunch of copies of Tryndamere onto the board. Use the likes of Vile Feast early to get rid of enemy units, and Wyrding Stones to ramp your mana in order to get to your high-value cards faster. Later on in the game, Vengeance and The Ruination can be great catchup cards, able to save you before a more aggressive foe finishes you off, and after that your control gameplan can start choking out their remaining value.

To play this deck, log into the Legends of Runeterra client, open your Collection and click ‘Decks’. Click on 'Import Deck', and paste the deck import code below and then save.


Midrange Deck - Tidesoftime’s Midrange Freljord

Tidesoftime came up with an enjoyable way to play Freljord’s powerful on-board cards, combining them with the Recall abilities of Ionia. This deck’s strength lies in its versatility. Unlike some Legends of Runeterra decks, you’re not necessarily completely screwed if you don’t draw your champions. Even so, you’ve got a fair few ways to ensure you draw your powerful cards, and we’d wholeheartedly recommend giving this one a go. It’s an easy deck to pick up too, so if you’re struggling with the more complex interactions in Legends of Runeterra, this is the way to go.

3 x Omen Hawk2 x Herald of Spring
3 x Avarosan Sentry3 x Deny
3 x Stalking Wolf1 x Scaled Snapper
3 x Braum2 x Shadow Assassin
3 x Wyrding Stones3 x Will of Ionia
3 x Avalanche2 x Minah Swiftfoot
3 x Babbling Bjerg
3 x Avarosan Hearthguard
1 x Tryndamere
2 x She Who Wanders

In the game’s mulligan stage, you’ll want to be looking for a solid mana curve. Omen Hawk sets you up brilliantly for future plays, and Avarosan Sentry offers card cycle whilst trading favourably with stronger early units. Of course, getting Braum out on turn 3 is optimal, and you should always be trying to make that happen. Otherwise, Wyrding Stones offers a great deal of future value with its mana ramp, as well as a solid health total to block incoming damage from aggressors.

Try to level up your Braum when you can, absorbing damage from attackers and defenders alike with Challenger. He can really snowball if your enemy can’t deal with him, delivering a constant stream of Mighty Poros once he’s absorbed 10 damage and levelled up. The likes of Babbling Bjerg are great options for drawing out your big units, and Avarosan Hearthguard offers long-term value for every unit in your entire deck for the rest of the game. A Tryndamere with an extra +2/+2 is even scarier, and this buff sticks around once he’s levelled up.

Your late-game consists of a brutal amount of removal. She Who Wanders can clear enemies from both the board and their hand, but be warned: it obliterates your own units too. Minah Swiftfoot is more targeted, allowing you to remove 3 enemy units from the board and return them to their hand, whilst also offering a solid board presence, with a 6/5 statline. Will of Ionia is a quick Recall ability too, and don’t be afraid to use it when you’d otherwise be in the path of a big hit. Forcing your enemy to recall their expensive units is a great tempo play, and it’s one of many strong closing plays to seal victory against your opponent.

To play this deck, log into the Legends of Runeterra client, open your Collection and click ‘Decks’. Click on 'Import Deck', and paste the deck import code below and then save.


Midrange Deck - Spell-Flux Zoo

This deck, designed by Hai_l10, combines the Shadow Isles’ excellent removal with Piltover & Zaun’s versatile gameplan. With early-game units like Clump of Whumps and the unit-summoning Scrapdash Assembly, you’ll be able to block too much damage from hitting your Nexus. From there, you’ve got a solid bit of late-game power to bring out.

Piltover & ZaunShadow Isles
3 x Thermogenic Beam3 x Vile Feast
2 x Scrapdash Assembly2 x Glimpse Beyond
3 x Mystic Shot1 x Black Spear
3 x Clump of Whumps2 x Grasp of the Undying
3 x Ezreal2 x Withering Wail
2 x Chump Whump3 x Vengeance
2 x Statikk Shock
3 x Heimerdinger
3 x Trueshot Barrage
3 x Corina Veraza

Heimerdinger is an excellent win condition for this deck, as well as acting as a defensive tool. You’ve got the opportunity to save up your Mushroom Clouds, generated by cards like Clump of Whumps and Chump Whump, and use them with Heimerdinger in order to both deal damage by setting traps in your opponent’s deck as well as generate Turrets in your hand to protect your Nexus and go on the offensive.

Once you’ve levelled up Heimerdinger, you’ll be able to play upgraded Turrets too, which allows you to start putting pressure on your opponent. Remember, the Turrets generated by Heimerdinger every time you cast a spell are Fleeting, so you’ll need to play them as soon as you get them in your hand. Each level of Turret has a different keyword too, so make as good use of these as possible - against aggro it’s often best to get a whole bunch of 1/1 Wrenchbots, but when you’re the aggressor it might be better to get Quick Attack or Overwhelm Turrets.

Aside from Heimerdinger’s enormous value, this deck is able to use chip damage to whittle the enemy Nexus down, and burst damage to land the final blow. The aforementioned generators of Mushroom Clouds gives you some good consistency against control, and your area-of-effect and removal spells like Withering Wail and Grasp of the Undying help you put a stop to aggression. This deck has an answer to most things, and as long as you keep control of the board and keep in mind that your Heimerdinger Turrets will be discarded if not played immediately.

To play this deck, log into the Legends of Runeterra client, open your Collection and click ‘Decks’. Click on 'Import Deck', and paste the deck import code below and then save.


Combo deck - Yasuo OTK

This deck is based on one from v1ci0us, and offers a one-turn kill after controlling the game. We made a couple tiny tweaks to the original deck, in order to help get a bit more Recall synergy. Playing Katarina, with her self-recall as well as the fact that she can Ready your Attack at any time after upgrading, upgrades Yasuo, pressures the enemy into making poor plays, and gives you more time to set up your combo.

2 x Ghost1 x Guile
1 x Recall2 x Death Lotus
1 x Rush3 x Arachnoid Sentry
3 x Fae Bladetwirler1 x Katarina
2 x Deny2 x Noxian Guillotine
3 x Rivershaper3 x Intimidating Roar
2 x Zed2 x Legion General
3 x Yasuo3 x Minotaur Reckoner
3 x Dawn and Dusk
3 x Yone, Windchaser

You’re going to want to play this deck as grindy and control-focused as possible. It’s difficult to handle your constant stun effects, especially when Yasuo is dealing damage each and every time. Once he gets upgraded, things start looking awful for your enemies, and you should be able to choke out the game effectively. Katarina’s self-recall helps with Yasuo’s upgrade, and Zed’s constant threat to the enemy Nexus forces them to use removal cards and units, wasting resources for the long run.

Once you get later on in the game, you’ll have been Stunning and Recalling enemies a whole lot. This’ll make your Legion General absolutely massive. The OTK combo relies on you having a buffed Legion General, and from there casting Ghost on it to give the unit Elusive. Cast Dawn and Dusk to create 2 Ephemeral copies of the unit, and then attack. As long as the enemy board isn’t full of Elusive minions (or a Deny in their hand), you’ve got a 12 mana turn for big damage. If you’ve had a Fae Bladetwirler alive for a while, you can kill the enemy with that as well, as Dawn and Dusk summons copies of the unit with the exact same stats and keywords. Make sure you don’t waste your combo pieces unless you desperately need to, and remember to only try playing the combo out when you’ve got an Attack Token.

Even without this combo, you can stifle the enemy and kill them on board. Minotaur Reckoner and Yone, Windchaser are extremely annoying to fight against, and Intimidating Roar can stop your foe in their tracks, potentially clearing them off completely with Yasuo. It’s this versatility that makes Yasuo such a pivotal Champion to keep alive - protect him at all costs.

To play this deck, log into the Legends of Runeterra client, open your Collection and click ‘Decks’. Click on 'Import Deck', and paste the deck import code below and then save.


Control deck - Teemo Shadow Isles

Teemo is an adorable little bugger who bloody loves a good mushroom. Unfortunately for your opponents, those mushrooms deal Nexus damage and kill you if you’re not careful. Basically, this deck focuses on getting Teemo to hit the enemy Nexus to shuffle Poisonous Puffcaps into your enemy’s deck. These function similarly to Bombs in Hearthstone. Teemo levels up when you’ve shuffled 15 Puffcaps into the enemy deck as well, and after that every Nexus attack he does doubles the number of mushrooms the enemy has to deal with. It can get out of hand really fast if your enemy doesn’t have the ability to deal with him (with Challenger, Elusive or direct-damage spells).

Piltover & ZaunShadow Isles
2 x Counterfeit Copies2 x Black Spear
3 x Mushroom Cloud2 x Mist’s Call
3 x Teemo3 x Scribe of Sorrows
3 x Mystic Shot3 x Splinter Soul
3 x Puffcap Peddler2 x Grasp of the Undying
2 x Chump Whump3 x The Rekindler
2 x Trueshot Barrage2 x Rhasa the Sunderer
3 x Vengeance
2 x The Ruination

Remember, Teemo doesn’t need to ‘see’ you plant 15 Poisonous Puffcaps. If you play him and you’ve got the mushrooms planted before, he’ll immediately upgrade. The rest of your deck is mostly from the Shadow Isles, and is extremely grindy and control-based. You’re trying to chip the enemy down with Puffcap damage (each of which deals 1 damage), but you can never know when exactly lethal damage will come about. This means you have to stay alive almost indefinitely while you constantly increase the enemy’s mushroom count. Kill enemies with Vengeance, The Ruination and Trueshot Barrage, bring back Teemo with The Rekindler, and keep those mushrooms shuffling with Puffcap Peddler and you might just stand a chance.

Remember, it’s not easy to pull off a Teemo combo, but when it does it’s extremely satisfying. Honestly, a lot of the time we found aggression just countered us too horribly, as you’ve got to get so many mushrooms in the deck to actually put your enemy at risk. Still, give it a go if you fancy a hilarious challenge.

To play this deck, log into the Legends of Runeterra client, open your Collection and click ‘Decks’. Click on 'Import Deck', and paste the deck import code below and then save.


Dog’s Aggro Deck

One of the top pro players in several card and strategy games, Dog, had a blast playing aggressive decks and stomping on opponents throughout the last preview patch. Here’s one of the decks he piloted to a great deal of success - you can see it in action on Twitch if you fancy as well.

2 x Ghost2 x Elixir of Wrath
3 x Navori Bladescout1 x Draven’s Biggest Fan
3 x Inspiring Mentor1 x Blade’s Edge
3 x Fae Bladetwirler2 x Legion Rearguard
3 x Greenglade Duo1 x Brothers’ Bond
3 x Navori Conspirator1 x House Spider
1 x Zed3 x Katarina
3 x Shadow Assassin2 x Draven
3 x Deny1 x Intimidating Roar
2 x Will of Ionia

The strategy for this deck is pretty simple: play aggressively. You want to slam down your early cards on curve to put pressure on as soon as possible, and once your Katarina, Zed and Draven can be summoned, get them hitting the enemy Nexus immediately. Once your Champions are levelled up, they’ll be dealing even more damage, and often you’ll have destroyed your opponent before they can even begin to respond. Topping off the deck are the likes of Intimidating Roar, which causes Stun on all enemies with 4 or less power. This can be the perfect finisher, as when an enemy is Stunned, they can’t block your attacks for a turn, meaning you’ll find it much easier to squeeze in that last bit of damage.

To play this deck, log into the Legends of Runeterra client, open your Collection and click ‘Decks’. Click on 'Import Deck', and paste the deck import code below and then save.


Combo Deck - Barrier Fiora

This deck is also designed by Hewitt Benson, and utilises the popular Fiora win condition. Fiora’s Challenger ability lets her choose which enemy to fight on offensive turns, and her level up condition requires her to kill enemies. This means you’re able to pick out the most convenient foes to take out, minimising damage to Fiora herself. Get her levelled up twice with the barrier synergies this deck has, and you’ll win the game.

3 x Greenglade Caretaker3 x Fleetfeather Tracker
3 x Ki Guardian3 x Brightsteel Protector
3 x Rivershaper3 x Single Combat
3 x Shen3 x Fiora
3 x Spirit’s Refuge3 x Prismatic Barrier
3 x Yusari3 x Riposte
3 x Laurent Chevalier
1 x Judgment

A solid strategy for playing this deck is to hard-mulligan for Champions. Shen can give Barrier to Fiora, protecting her upon attack, keeping her alive and helping her level up. Aside from this win condition, this deck contains a lot of other synergies, such as Greenglade Caretaker, which gains 2 attack whenever a friendly unit is given Barrier, offering the opportunity for a great deal of scaling. You’ll want to be hitting the board early and forcing your opponent to respond. Remember, you can win by destroying their Nexus as well as levelling up Fiora, so don’t forget to keep the pressure up. If your Greenglade Caretakers get sufficiently beefy, you’ll likely be able to start hitting the enemy for big chunks of damage, forcing them to use up their removal spells and units on non-Fiora targets. Judgment is a scary spell for your opponents to deal with too, since it allows a unit to deal its damage to every single enemy unit on the battlefield, potentially clearing them all off.

You can see Disguised Toast pilot a similar deck below for more details.

To play this deck, log into the Legends of Runeterra client, open your Collection and click ‘Decks’. Click on 'Import Deck', and paste the deck import code below and then save.


You can check out our other coverage of Legends of Runeterra while you wait for access to the game! We’ve got a Legends of Runeterra guide hub available, as well as a page on getting access to the game’s beta.

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