Legends of Runeterra 1.16 Patch Notes Discussion

by in Legends of Runeterra | Dec, 15th 2020

Riot Games has a new expansion coming to Legends of Runeterra on Dec. 16. That’s right, the 1.16 patch notes for Legends of Runeterra herald the final act of Call of the Mountain – Cosmic Creation! Three new champions come in this expansion, and they are incredible. There are 40 cards total in this expansion, so it’s not a huge one. That said, there’s many compelling options here, a new keyword, and ways to deal with some of the threats of the previous expansions (Landmarks in particular). 

We’ll go over new keyword/mechanics, the new champions, such as helping Lee Sin decks become even more powerful. We’ve got a new way to customize your cards (Prismatic Card Styles), some updates to the Region Road, a Special Lab, and some Expeditions adjustments. Since there are new cards to deal with, Expeditions had to see some updates. 

What’s New?

With new champions and cards, we have to have new abilities/mechanics. That’s how card games work. The new major keyword included in the 1.16 patch notes of Legends of Runeterra is Augment. Any follower with Augment gains +1/+0 anytime a “created” card is played after they’ve been summoned. Created cards are not in your deck but created through the course of the game. Whether it’s invoked, created and put in your deck, or created in your hand. There will be some cards that will be clarified to notify that they’re created.

There’s also a new ability that is not specifically a keyword. Reforge is another brand-new feature. Reforge creates a Random Blade Fragment that is still needed to create the Blade of the Exile. Once you’ve cast all three, you then create Blade of the Exile. Here are the Blade Fragments:

  • Glinting Blade Fragment (1-Cost Spell, Burst): Give an ally +2/+0 this round. Can’t be cast in combat or in response to a spell.
  • Keen Blade Fragment (1-Cost Spell, Burst): Give an ally Quick Attack this round. Can’t be cast in combat or in response to a spell.
  • Heavy Blade Fragment (1-Cost Spell, Burst): Give an ally Overwhelm this round. Can’t be cast in combat or in response to a spell.

When you cast all three, you get this spell: 

  • Blade of The Exile (3-Cost Spell, Slow): Grant an ally +2/+0, Overwhelm, and Quick Attack. 

Bear in mind that the Blade buff is permanent. It will do wonders on Riven, but can you imagine dropping this on Lee Sin? Giving him Quick Attack and Overwhelm on top of the other buffs he can get? Absolutely vile. The other fragments are Burst and can be dropped in a variety of fun ways. My favorite is Glinting Blade Fragment since it’s +2/+0 for the round, for 1 mana. It’s a great way to set up damage when you’re ready to be aggressive. 

Are there enough creatures to use Reforge? I think there are several. Right now, Blade Squire is a ½ for 1 and has Last Breath: Reforge. This is perfect for aggressive, low-cost, early answers to setting up a Blade of the Exile. Runeweaver is a 3/1 for 2 and Reforges when it’s summoned. Finally, Weapon Hilt is a 2-cost Burst spell that gives +2/+0 for the round and is Burst Speed. It also Reforges!

This is an excellent mechanic, and I’m glad you can’t use the Reforge spells in combat. That would make them wildly powerful, and we want it to foreshadow doom, not create impossible to lose scenarios. But next, we have some awesome Champions.

Champion the Cause

The Legends of Runeterra 1.16 patch notes reveal that Targon, Noxus, and Piltover & Zaun are the recipients of new champions. How will they shake up the meta, and what can they do? Whew. So, for Targon, we have Zoe, in Noxus, we gain Riven, and Piltover & Zaun bring forth Viktor! For my money, Zoe is the strongest of the Champions, but that’s just what I look for in decks I build. We’ll go over all of them though, do not worry. 

Zoe (1-Cost Champion, Targon, 1/1 Elusive): Zoe’s going to be just fine in Celestial decks. After all, she levels up after she witnesses you play 10 cards with different names. That’s not going to be hard at all. Plus, she’s a 1/1 with Elusive. Her Nexus Strike grants a card that helps set up her level up. When she hits the enemy Nexus, create a Supercool Starchart in hand. Or if you already have one, reduce its cost by 1. 

  • Supercool Starchart (2-Cost Spell, Burst): Invoke a Celestial card that costs 3 or less

What happens when Zoe levels up? This is when she’s a real terror. She’s now a 2/2 Elusive! Sounds terrifying, right? How about this then? “For the rest of the game, when you summon an ally, grant its keywords to all allies”. Can you imagine how devastating this can be? On top of that, her Nexus Strike now creates a Behold the Infinite that costs 0 mana. Now you can Burst Speed, a 0-cost spell that Invokes a Celestial Card for you. 

If you can keep Zoe alive via heals, buffs, Barrier is going to be a nightmare. You can get a lot of keywords for free from Invoke. Combine that with Aurelion Sol because he makes your Celestial cards free, we can do absolutely nonsense things. 

Riven (3-Cost Champion, Noxus, ¾): Whenever you gain the Attack Token, Reforge. If you can somehow pair this with a Scout deck, you can stack up those shards of Riven’s blade. Once she sees you have Blade of the Exile in your hand, she levels up. It is not going to be hard to get the Blade of the Exile. Riven’s leveled-up form is quite frankly terrifying. I’d also like to see a Targon/Noxus deck, with this in mind. I want to give Riven more keywords. Though, giving her Blade of the Exile will give her Quick Attack and Overwhelm. What else does Riven do when leveled up? She goes from a ¾ to a ⅘ and still Reforges upon gaining the Attack Token. However, when her Power is increased for the first time each round, increase it by twice as much. TWICE. AS. MUCH. 

Did you cast Weapon Hilt? She gains +4/+0 for the round. Blade of the Exile? Permanent +4/+0. Any other nonsense Noxus buffs you have? Remember, it’s the first time each round, so this can happen even when it’s not your turn to attack. It’s not her life as well, at least. We can use this to make some horrifying OTK with Riven, I’m calling it. Lee Sin/Riven could be a lot of fun together. 

Viktor (4-Cost Champion, Piltover & Zaun, 2/4 Augment): Behold, the glorious Evolution! As far as character concepts in League of Legends go, Viktor is in my top 3. I love that superb evil robot scientist. So creating a new card gives him a permanent +1/+0. Each round, you create a Hex Core Upgrade, so that’s already moving towards his level up. The level up requirement is “You’ve played 8+ created cards.”

  • Hex Core Upgrade (1-Cost Spell, Slow Speed): Grant Viktor a random keyword.

Good. Lord. This is going to get out of hand very fast. Another spell goes with him to help this move on: Viktor’s Death Ray – MK 1. This is the card you get when you already have Viktor in play. This is a Fast Spell for 1 mana and deals 1 damage to a unit. You then create a Death Ray – MK 2 in your deck’s top 3 cards and shuffles a Viktor into your deck. 

Then your Death Ray – MK 2 is a 2-cost Fast Spell that deals 2 damage to a unit and creates a Death Ray – MK 3, a 3-cost Fast spell. It deals 3 damage. That’s just a chain of damage that comes in slow waves. These only damage units, so no direct Nexus damage. 

When you level up Viktor, he becomes a ⅗, before the Augment power you gain from created spells. Your created cards also cost 1 less. You still get the Hex Core Upgrade every round start, so you can keep giving new keywords to Viktor. This is also futureproofed! As new keywords come to the game, this will keep Viktor relevant. The more created spells you make, the bigger Viktor gets. There’s no cap to his power! 

Huge fan of these Champions. They will be useful in the upcoming meta shift this expansion creates. 

Prismatic Card Styles, Region Road Updates

Did you want to show off newer, cooler versions of your cards? That’s what Prismatic Card Styles will do for you! Each card in your collection can become Prismatic in a few ways. Thankfully, when you upgrade one version of a card, all of them will upgrade in the future. This is a nice change of pace from Gold Cards in Hearthstone. The Legends of Runeterra 1.16 patch notes go over how this can happen.

  • Prismatic Chests: Opening one of these lets you choose one of three cards to upgrade to Prismatic and gives you some of a new resource, Essence. These Chests can be earned through new Card Styles Quests, which are different from Daily Quests. They’re also included in Ranked Rewards at the end of a Season. The higher you climb, the more/the better the Prismatic Chests will be.
  • Essence: This resource comes from Prismatic Chests, Essence Pouches, and Quests. It can be used in your collection to upgrade a card of your choice into a Prismatic. It varies based on the card rarity, from Common to Champion.
  • Coins: Coins can also upgrade a card of your choice to Prismatic.

Riot Games point out that this is the first step in card customization. There are way more options coming in 2021, and also point out that once you upgrade a card, it’s permanent. In the future, you’ll be able to toggle individual Prismatics on and off.

Region Roads for Noxusl, Piltover & Zaun, and Targon will extend from 25-30 to help build your collection of new cards. A Zaun card back is also going to be added to the Region Road at level 29. On top of that, all Region Roads extend to 30 levels. You get an icon for that region at level 30. 

Special Labs, Expedition Updates

Labs are changing permanently! As of this expansion, Multilab is in effect. Moving forward, there will be multiple labs available at a time. Occasionally, one will be rotated out for something else, constantly giving players some new content to experiment with. The Legend of Runeterra 1.16 patch notes detail that three fan favorites are coming back:

  • Quick Draw (1.7): Think on your feet and find the right plays to earn your victory! Each round gives you a new hand of random, cost-reduced cards.
  • Star Power (1.13): Choose a pre-con deck or build your own, and hit the stage with powerful special abilities! You equip one of five great passives and use them to your advantage.
  • Journey to the Peak (1.11): You battle your way to Targon’s Peak with Leona or Diana in a series of single-player battles. Each has its unique ability, and you build your deck as you challenge increasingly difficult AI foes.

I like this change. Having options for the fun Lab content is excellent. Shuffling them around and always having something new will be brilliant. I already loved Labs, and having more of them can’t possibly be a bad thing.

With a new expansion, we get adjustments to Expeditions. There are four new Cosmic Creation archetypes added to the Expeditions draft pool. These new expeditions are three times as likely to appear as they would in initial Champion Picks. Cosmic Creation cards have also been added to a variety of archetypes. For further information, you can see the full patch notes via Riot Games.

  • Awesome Augments: Viktor and Zoe come together to create tons of cards and hopefully summon a Catastrophe.
  • Blades and Buffs: Archetype based on enhancing your units, starring Riven and Taric.
  • Augmented Assault: Viktor and Riven come together for plenty of Augmented nonsense, thanks to all those Reforge procs.
  • Vault of Crowns: Garen and Thresh have a new archetype, built around the Grand Plaza and Vaults of Helia cards. 

Final Thoughts

There are a wealth of great cards coming to Legends of Runeterra in Cosmic Creations. There are lots of fun combos to come, and I only wish I had access to the cards earlier to dissect them! This was an exciting experiment. The Call of the Mountain expansion was broken into three parts, and I enjoyed it. Some people may not have liked having to wait for the faction cards they wanted, but I liked it being broken down this way. One of the best parts of a purely digital card game is that we can do things like this. We can also nerf/buff cards! I do sort of worry these champions will be overpowered, but only time will tell on that.


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