Legends of Runeterra officially launched last week with a brand new expansion, and the meta has started to settle.
While certain control and combo decks are strong right now, it seems the top tier one deck utilizes aggressive mechanics to quickly run opponents down. Referred to as “burn” decks, this archetype comes in a few flavors, and generally employs the services of Noxus and Piltover & Zaun. Some versions of the deck feature champions like Draven, but many don’t even feature champions at all, which is a rarity in Legends of Runeterra.
The general strategy is very simple. Play a bunch of cheap units, try to hit your opponent’s nexus as much as possible, and then use spells to burn the enemy down over-the-top. The style either wins very quickly or runs out steam on a whim, but it’s very frustrating to lose to because you often feel like you never had a chance to react.
This trend has drawn the ire of many within the community, including on the game’s biggest content creators, Miguel “MegaMogwai” Guerrero.
In a recent tweet, Mogwai says, “We’ve reached the point in which burn is too efficient. This metagame is amazing regarding the possibilities for building competitive decks, yet so many awesome strategies just crumble to Noxus/P&Z, which doesn’t even need to run champions. Definitely needs a nerf, and a big one.”
I'd be ok with the deck if the strategy was somewhat interesting. Aggro decks can be quite intriguing in Runeterra (jinx discard, elise spiders).
This deck is the most boring, by far in the game, though. All it does is vomit out direct damage. It's very unhealthy for the game.
— Mogwai (@MegaMogwai) May 7, 2020
Mogwai then followed up by saying that he would be “ok with the deck if the strategy was somewhat interesting,” but the “deck is the most boring.”
“All it does is vomit out direct damage. It’s very unhealthy for the game,” the streamer tweeted.
Many responded to the tweets in agreement with what Mogwai was saying, while some felt like it’s too early to pass judgement since the meta is still pretty new.
Either way, one reason why this deck is so prominent right now could be the fact that it’s cheap to craft. The deck features an astounding number of common rarity cards, and as mentioned earlier, it doesn’t even need Champions in order to succeed. Also, the game just launched, so there’s a high chance that a lot of new players don’t have the resources to craft slower, more expensive decks. This, coupled with the fact that the deck is fairly easy to play, makes it a perfect storm.
Love to see players enjoying Rising Tides! Patch 1.1 drops next week, and focuses on bugs and post-launch clean-up. We'll resume monthly balance patches starting 1.2, which will also include a TON of text clarity updates – Thanks for the feedback and keep it coming!
— RiotUmbrage (@RiotUmbrage) May 5, 2020
What’s even worse is that it looks like it could be a while before any meaningful changes.
Andrew Yip, Game Director for Legends of Runeterra, tweeted that next week’s 1.1 patch will focus on “bugs and post-launch cleanup.” The earliest that we could possibly see any real balance changes will be in patch 1.2, which will come two weeks after 1.1.
In the meantime, it’s going to be up to the community to combat the oppressive reign of burn decks.
Max is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, Washington. Armed with a BS in Game Design, he is mainly focused on covering Call of Duty, Legends of Runeterra, and streamer culture for Level Push.