The early Rising Tides meta in Legends of Runeterra has been established. Every day, a batch of new players is hitting Master, standardizing the list of best decks to play to the highest rank in the game.
Below, we look at the six best decks to choose if you want to get there as well.
Ah, Bannerman Midrange. Invented by BruisedByGod midway through the open beta period, this deck has been the midrange king for months. The incredible powerful Vanguard Bannerman, who buffs all units on the field with +1/+1 is the namesake of the deck, but he’s not the only star.
The deck was already powerful on the basis of a strong curve of units, dropping a value combatant every new turn. Rising Tides brought two more: the 4/4 Loyal Badgebear 3-drop and the 4/1 Scout that is Grizzled Ranger as a 4-drop. Both of these units make a huge difference in the deck and fit the curve perfectly.
Not only is this one of the best decks in the beta, but it’s also one of the easier ones to play. Yes, there are tricks to mastering it, but even novice players can do the “play the most expensive, best unit you can each turn”.
Draven Burn emerged as the successor to the Draven/Jinx Discard of open beta. The key ingredient from Rising Tides here is Imperial Demolitionist: a unit that pings an ally for 1 to deal 2 to the enemy Nexus.
Combined with the already annoying Crimson Disciple, this little combo represents 4 direct damage plus a 2/2 and a 2/3 on the field. Then, there’s Noxian Fervor, a great Fast spell that allows you to get extra value from your dying units, which you can now fling at the Nexus for extra 3 damage.
There’s almost too much Nexus damage in this deck and it’s by far the most reliable pure aggro deck in the mix. Even heavy, life-gaining controls like the next one struggle against a great opening hand and often you can win the game by round 4-5.
It took some time for players to understand that the old Corina Control is still good. It’s even better now with the introduction of Vi.
Vi represents a two-for-one unit in this deck. Against aggro and midrange, it’s a reliable board control mechanic with its challenge ability. Vi’s power grows with every card you play, so she can kill almost anything with a single punch, while her Tough attribute makes her difficult to kill.
Against control, the 5 life and having Tough forces the enemy to have a powerful removal: a big Thermogenic beam or a Vengeance. Otherwise, she’ll almost always trade for two or three, taking a unit and a couple of spells with her.
The rest of the deck is the familiar grind-down combination of Commander Ledros and Corina Veraza plus Atrocity for a flinging finisher.
The Scouts Aggro was the king of the first days of Rising Tides launch and this list by Chinese player Aipotu was the second ever to hit Master. The deck thrives on the great synergy between Miss Fortune and the double attack from Scouts, allowing MF to level up in often just two rounds of attack.
The deck uses the strong curve principle of Bannerman Midrange, but is way more aggressive. If it draws Relentless Pursuit, it can even set up a triple attack in a single round, which represents a lot of direct Nexus damage from MF’s ability.
The deck is somewhat losing popularity nowadays, but it remains one of the best aggro decks in the meta.
Vi/Heimerdinger Control was not very popular, but now that Pokrovac took it to Top 1 Master on Asia, it will certainly start to pop off more. This is essentially the same list as the Heimer/Karma controls of open beta, with a few changes.
First, of course, is the replacement of Karma by Vi, and Vi does what we already discussed in the Corina Control. The second is the pair of Claws of the Dragon, a 3/2 unit that comes in for free when you cast two spells in a round, which is all the time; and Deep Meditation, one of the best new draw spells that Ionia has.
The deck then either wins by infinite Turret value from Heimerdinger, or by just protecting Vi round after round as she punches the enemy down.
Karma/Ezreal comes last not because it’s the worst of the six (in fact, some might argue it’s the best deck in the format right now), but it’s because it’s tricky to play. In the hands of a good combo player, this deck looks broken, but there are a lot of tricky turns to navigate and missing a damage or two can cost you. There are cards like Rummage who require deep consideration on what to discard (because you won’t always have Mushrooms available) and a lot of planning to do around Eye of the Dragon — arguably the best new unit for Ionia.
Still, this is one of the most satisfying controls to master. Even when you can’t level up Ezreal (which will be often against other controls), this deck can take you out from double-cast burn spells through a leveled up Karma, so there’a always a way out.