The first preview patch of Riot Games’ new digital card game, Legends of Runeterra, has come and gone. And while players discovered a myriad of new strategies, one deck seems to have dominated the competition.
The most-played decks for the top five players in the Americas, European, and Asian servers were revealed on the LoR Twitter today. Among the 15 players highlighted, Control was used most often by seven players. Aggro decks came in a close second with five players, and Midrange closed it out with three, according to Mobalytics.
The purpose of a Control deck is to influence the tempo of a match with card advantage, denials, and destroying enemy units. The “Control” strategy is a powerful tool in Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone—and it seems for LoR it’s no different.
The Mage class in Hearthstone is known for freezing, destroying, or taking control of enemy units in order to buy time for a destructive late game. The majority of the LoR Control decks used by the top players—six out of seven—used Freljord cards which also focus on freezing and mana gain.
The Frostbite effect, commonly used by Freljord cards like “Ashe” or “Harsh Winds,” sets a unit’s power to zero for the round. Players can use Frostbite to stop enemy units from dealing damage when they attack, or to protect their own units when attacking. This controls the match by allowing you to choose when your opponents can and can’t deal damage.
Players who used Control decks prioritized Spell cards that Frostbite, Drain, or flat out destroy enemy units. Some players included over 20 Spells in a deck made up of 40 cards, opting to control enemy units instead of summoning their own.
Though Control was definitely the most-popular deck across all three servers, it was only used by one of the top five players in the Americas server. Aggro decks, which quickly deal as much damage as possible, were the most common among the top Americas players.
This is a testament to how unique strategies emerge from each region. In League of Legends, for example, North America, Korea, and Europe adapt to the meta in dramatically different ways. The same regional discrepancy will likely occur in LoR.
LoR fans can jump back into the card slingin’ action on Nov. 14, when the second preview patch goes live.