Runeterra Patch Notes 1.2 Overview
Hey everyone, Tchamber5 here to break down the most recent Runeterra Patch, 1.2!
General Thoughts on Balance Changes
Although I was really enjoying the meta game as it was, I will agree with the sentiment that certain archetypes were either a bit too strong, or simply over represented in the meta game. For example, Burn is a huge part of the metagame. Not only is it a cheap-to-craft, and therefore accessible deck for the masses, but it is also just a winning strategy. As an answer to the aggro decks of the format, players started building slower control decks with lots of lifegain, like Vi-Corina Control, and Lux/Karma. The last leg of the metaphorical table is Bannerman, a deck that simply played it’s faction’s best units, on curve. This gave us, aggro, mid-range, and control decks, all in relatively even numbers. I would argue, however, though this sounds like a healthy metagame, The tier-one decks were stifling room for creativity. This is the ever persistent problem for developers of collectible card games: Balancing gameplay, creativity, and availability. I think Riot is doing a good job in general of achieving this balance and I agree with most changes which I’ll talk about, without further ado.
Vladamir (level 2)
Old-->Attack: For each other attacking ally, deal 1 to it and 1 to the enemy Nexus. → For each other attacking ally, deal 1 to it and deal1 to the enemy Nexus.
New-->Attack: For each other attacking ally, deal 1 to it and 1 to the enemy Nexus. → For each other attacking ally, deal 1 to it and drain 1 from the enemy Nexus.
Thoughts: Great change! Vlad wasn’t anywhere other than the fringes and I hope to see more of him in the next iteration of the meta. I think we could certainly see Vlad in a control deck with Swain or Thresh, with his new ability allowing you to stabilize much better on the board when Vlad is flipped.
Karma (level 1 & 2)
Old--> Cost: 5
New--> Cost: 6
This is tough, and I’ll probably be looking at BruisedByGod on patch day to see if Karma is still great. Do I think that the change was necessary? I don’t think so. I think there were cards around Karama that could have been nerfed (like one we will talk about shortly), and this is seemingly arbitrary. I typically don’t slam Karma until she is leveled up, and I will still be able to hold up my Deny on round ten.
Old --> 2 attack, 5 health / 3 attack 6 health
New--> 3 attack, 5 health / 4 attack 6 health
Thoughts: this is great. Ever since the days of Fiora Barrier OTK decks, We haven’t really seen any Shen decks shine, but he is a cool champion, and I would love to see him slot into some different strategies.
Old --> 2 attack, 5 health / 10 attack 6 health
New--> 2 attack, 4 health / 10 attack 5 health
Thoughts: I think this needed to happen, despite my love for Vi. She was simply too hard to kill through combat, and this will make her a little more balanced. I think she will still be just as powerful after she levels up with her new stat lines.
Old --> 4 attack, 5 health / 5 atack 6 health
New--> 5 attack, 5 health / 6 attack 6 health
Thoughts: I don’t know this needed to happen, but Seeing how it’s a buff, the worst that can happen afterwards is they change it back. Hecarim was a fine champion before the change, and I think he will be fine afterwards. There are more powerful things you can be playing in the Shadow Isles than Hecarim, but maybe someone will prove me wrong.
Old --> 4 attack, 1 health
New--> 3 atack, 1 health
I’m not surprised this got changed. I remember the first time I attacked with a Grizzled Ranger, thinking that it was a super high value four drop that either chunked your opponent’s life total or likely traded with a unit and would likely allow you to attack a second time. I think this card will still be very playable, especially in scout decks, but I think that it invites more consideration for other playable four-drops. A 3/1 and a 3/4 for four mana is still a bargain.
Old --> 4/4
Thoughts: for the same reason Grizzled Ranger got nerfed, so too has the Badgerbear. I never thought we would see a vanilla 4/4 get nerfed, but here we are.
Old --> 4/5
Thoughts: According to the developer’s notes, this was so scout decks could have a more viable option up the curve, and would hopefully make up for Grizzled Ranger’s loss of attack. I appreciate the thought, but don’t believe this will make scout decks any higher than tier two.
Old --> Costs 3 mana
New--> Costs 4 mana
Thoughts: This is another card I never thought would get touched when I first started playin, but in the recent weeks I have grown to hate getting bashed in the face for a big chunk of my life total on turn three, and think this is a great change.
Old --> 3/2
Thoughts: This poor Noxian cadet died for the sins of the Burn deck. I don’t think that it was too absurdly powerful on it’s own, but I think this is a good change. According to the data, a turn one Rearguard boosts the win rate of Burn decks by a significant margin, so I suppose that this makes sense. It doesn't seem like a huge stat change until you think of the many ping effects in the format, leading me to believe that Rearguard will likely see a sharp downtick in play.
Old --> 3/2
Thoughts: Uh…..sure! Why not? It doesn't die to mystic shot or double ping effects, so this is likely just a solid anti-aggro tool now.
Old --> 4 cost
New--> 5 cost
Thoughts: I think I have cast this card the most since Rising Tides came out, because this card is absolutely insane, especially in spell based decks. Two mana for a draw two is excellent if you can trigger it consistently, and four mana is a perfectly fine rate, especially later in the game when you need to re-up your hand and have the mana to spare. Though it pains me to say this, this is a great change.
Old --> 4 health
New--> 3 health
Thoughts: Another great change, I think that the rookie was simply too hard to kill for a two drop, and was the best cardin Burn, full stop. Three health seems to be the point at which most of the common removal spells can clean up units.
Old --> 5 cost
New--> 6 cost
Thoughts: I think this is another good change. Vi-Corina Control is a very popular deck right now, and in my opinion, a control deck has no business being able to curve out into a board full of spiders and kill it’s opponent while playing Ledros and Corina in the same deck. This will likely still be a player in go wide decks in the Shadow Isle faction, but it will be less of an auto-include to be certain.
Longtooth (the shark that Fizz makes with Chum The Waters)
Old --> 1 health
New--> 2 health
Thoughts: Another great change. It felt really bad to set up a sweet chum the waters turn and have it die to Vile Feast, so I like this. It still dies to most removal but isn't just a trivial problem anymore, and is a more serious threat on board.
Old --> 4 health
New--> 5 health
Thoughts: I’m not really sure about this one. I have never seen this in constructed, but it’s something to keep in mind for expedition I guess.
Old --> 0 power, 3 health
New--> 1 power, 4 health
Thoughts: Ok. sure Riot.
The Watch List:
Card Stealing effects (Pilfered Goods)
Direct Nexus Damage effects
I’m really glad they released this list in the patch notes. As a player coming from Magic: The Gathering, investing in decks can be a super frustrating experience, because if a deck gets too powerful, you can expect a ban, and you have no warning before your cards tank in value. This sentiment aside, I think these are all reasonable things to have on the list. I am expecting Riot to leave Karma and Ezreal the same moving forward, but I suspect Pilfered Goods will eventually cost three mana. As for Unyielding Spirit? That’s a tough one, but I think that it’s a card that can only grow more frustrating to play against as more cards get released that synergize with it. My suggested fix would be to at least make it fast speed instead of burst speed. There is a dangerous line you walk with burst spells, in which the spells can’t be too powerful or too cheap, because there isn’t a window for your opponent to interact with them. By making it fast, you at least have to play around removal or Deny. while maintaining the powerful effect that it provides at a fair cost. As it stands now, you can just slam Spirit and go to town. It’s a swingy card and I think it needs a fix.
Anyway, that’s all for today! Thanks for the read! What do you think about the patch notes? Did riot miss the mark? Will the meta game improve? Let us know in the comments below or on the official backlash twitter page!