Climbing in card games (CCGs) can be really rough. Thankfully, Legends of Runeterra competitive decks are rich and diverse, and budget variations of decks can still be viable.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the best cheap decks to craft in Legends of Runeterra if you're looking to climb the ladder.
- Archetype: Control/Combo
- Crafting Cost: 15,500 Shards
- Creator: squishyflap (new list)
First up we have Endure Spiders, a deck that rapidly throws weak units at your opponent before finishing the game with a buffed up They Who Endure combined with Atrocity.
This strategy worked well in the Beta patches of Runeterra, and the creator has updated the list with some of the new expansion's cards — notably, Neverglade Collector for added chip damage.
A newer version of the list has started adding in Maokai, but that adds a lot of expense, pushing it out of the "budget" category.
- Archetype: Midrange/Aggro
- Crafting Cost: 18,200 Shards
- Creator: swim
Kinkou Elusives was a staple in the meta during LoR's Beta patches. This deck was relevant for months and with good reason: it's a solid deck that can end games relatively early with decent consistency.
The gameplan is still viable and pretty simple; you use Zed and Elusive units to swing over your opponent's board.
At 18,200 shards, this is a reasonably-priced deck that can definitely win you games. Alternative cards include Concussive Palm and Shared Spoils, but this deck can also run effectively without a full playset of Zed if need be.
More recent versions have been experimenting with a Bilgewater build to utilize Fizz and other new Elusive units, but that's still a little unproven.
- Archetype: Aggro
- Crafting Cost: 14,500 Shards
- Creator: swim (new list)
Next up we have an aggressive burn deck that tries to win the game before your opponent can get online. This is an older deck that's been enhanced by the addition of Noxian Fervor and Imperial Demolitionist in the latest expansion.
There isn't much else to say about this deck; just play cheap units and swing until your opponent's Nexus explodes.
Some versions of this list have even started cutting Draven, slotting in Transfusion and Statikk Shock instead. This gives the deck even more early kill potential and makes it a budget-friendly deck that can win games quickly.
- Archetype: Control
- Crafting Cost: 18,600 Shards
- Creator: Alanzq (full list)
This is a budget version of Corina Control, which is one of the best Control decks in the meta right now.
The full version includes three copies of Vi, three copies of Elise and Commander Ledros, and so on, but this is still a potent budget version.
The idea here is to stall the game with your spells until you can use Commander Ledros and Corina Veraza to quickly put the game to bed.
One of the main reasons why I'd recommend this deck is because a good chunk of these cards is given to you during the tutorial and the daily login rewards, so most players will already have the majority of a Corina Control core.
- Archetype: Midrange
- Crafting Cost: 11,100 Shards
- Creator: Mogwai
While Undying decks haven't really seen much interest since the Rising Tides Expansion, this is a very viable budget deck that won't waste any shards or wildcards on Champions.
This deck has multiple ways to kill The Undying and bring it back even stronger, and most decks don't have good tools to out-value this strategy.
Blighted Caretaker could be one consideration to add from the latest expansion, as it's another way to kill your units to give you more board presence.
- Archetype: Midrange
- Crafting Cost: 22,900 Shards
- Creator: BBG (old list)
Finally, this suggestion is a little off-the-wall. Ashe/Garen was a concept that floated around in the final week of the Beta patches, and I think there's a good chance we'll see a similar list make a return.
This deck has a great matchup against other Demacian Midrange decks, which are extremely popular at the moment.
The exact build pictured above is based off the cards that are given during the tutorial and as daily login rewards, so this should be an extremely cheap deck to test out and change as you see fit.
As with other Midrange decks, the winning strategy is to play strong units as soon as you can and defend them in battle.
That's it for our best cheap decks to climb with guide. We have loads of additional tips and guides for Legends of Runeterra over on our dedicated page, including a look at how to play Aggro, Midrange, and Control decks!