Legends of Runeterra Patch Notes 0.9.2 Discussion


by in General | Mar, 16th 2020

Legends of Runeterra’s Patch 0.9.2 is on the way, and with it will come a series of serious balance changes. The Open Beta continues to evolve, and it will even have a couple of major reworks to cards. This comes to Kalista and the roster of “Mageseekers” cards, so that’s huge. The pace of the game and Expedition will also see some adjustments also.

As always, anything we do not cover can be found in this link! The full details of everything will be in their official patch notes, but we want to bring you some of our thoughts on these moves.

Legends of Runeterra Patch 0.9.2: Champion Adjustments

As far as champions go, we only have a pair of champions being looked at, and conveniently, both are in the Shadow Isles! Shadow Isles are the most played, and probably the most powerful faction in the game right now. That’s not to say that Riot is nerfing it into the ground, but they see some changes.

Shadow Isles has a lot of low-cost, high-value spells to abuse, so it’s likely to see a lot of play, if nothing else, as a secondary faction in a deck. However, one of the patch 0.9.2 changes to Legends of Runeterra is because a champion simply isn’t being played. Kalista! She’s the least-played champion in the last patch, so she was looked at.

Kalista: Kalista’s “bond” ability that we’re familiar with from League of Legends is now gone. That’s great because it was silly. She was too fragile to have an ability like that. She received some additional health in this patch for both levels and a change to her level up.

She’s appealing to both Fearsome and Ephemeral decks since her level up now requires 4 allies to die. Her redesign will make her appealing to more decks and has a very fun level 2 series of abilities. They say they want to be careful, though, because Shadow Isles are in a very powerful place right now. If she winds up overperforming now, they’ll look to adjust that. We’ll have to see. But what does she do?

Level 1: Health: 2 -> 3

Old Text: [Fearsome] Play: Bond with an ally. Grant it +2/+0 while bonded. Level Up: She’s seen 3+ allies die.

New Text: [Fearsome] Level Up: 4 allies die.

Level 2: Health: 3 -> 4

Old Text: [Fearsome] Play: Bond with an ally. Grant it +2/+0 while bonded. Attack: Revive that ally attacking and reforge the bond.

New Text: [Fearsome] The first time they attack each round, revive an attacking [Ephemeral] copy of the [Strongest] dead allied follower. That round, they are bonded and takes damage for Kalista.

Okay, that’s bonkers. There are so many ways you can use this as a fantastic anti-defense bomb. You can get back awesome creatures that die again for Kalista and have a great chance to kill anything that blocks her. With the right deck, this can also be a win-con, by dealing damage to their Nexus when your allies die. So, yeah. This is wild and crazy. Maybe a wild and crazy kid?

Hecarim: Hecarim’s adjustments are potentially minor. Hecarim was ultimately a giant finisher bomb for a variety of decks and was powerful no matter what. He was still strong, even while not leveling up. That’s a sign that a character is perhaps too often. In the Legends of Runeterra patch 0.9.2, devs are going to adjust him so that he fits more into Ephemeral synergy. He’ll still be viable for other decks, but weaker than before.

Level 1: Health: 6 -> 5

Level Up: You’ve attacked with 8+ [Ephemeral] units -> You’ve attacked with 7+ [Ephemeral] units.

Level 2: Health: 7 -> 6

Old Text: Attack: Summon 2 attacking [Spectral Rider] units. [Ephemeral] allies have +2/+0

New Text: Attack: Summon 2 attacking [Spectral Rider] units. [Ephemeral] allies have +3/+0

The reduction of 1 health across his levels I think, was wildly needed. Also, his [Spectral Rider] units reduced in power by 1 (3 -> 2). The [Onslaught of Shadows] spell reduced in cost to match this change (3 -> 2). His ability to dole out tons of damage was just too easy for far too many decks. This will hopefully reduce places he’s seen and focus him as a game-ending bomb for Ephemeral decks.

Legends of Runeterra Patch 0.9.2: Follower Adjustments

There are a lot of followers and spell changes in the Legends of Runeterra patch 0.9.2, so we’re going to break them up. We will highlight some of our favorites, though, and above there will be a link to find the full, detailed patch notes.

One of the biggest changes to the game in this patch is the “Mageseeker” line of cards. They are Demacian cards that aren’t soldiers, which is weird. One of the principals that Riot is trying to adhere to is that “all cards have a home.”

Mageseekers don’t have that going for them right now. They have been reworked as a group, to make them a bit more well-rounded. They also offer Lux and other spell-decks some fun options for their deckbuilding. So here’s what you can expect.

Mageseeker Inciter

Power: 1 -> 4

Health: 4 -> 3

Old Text: Play: Discard a spell to grant me Power equal to its cost.

New Text: Grant me +2/+2 once you’ve cast a 6-cost spell this game.

If this were “+2/+2 each time”, it would be horrifying as a power. Then you just have to cast big spells and cackle as you build a huge Mageseeker. But this is a nice change, offering up a 4/3 with a useful power.

Mageseeker Investigator

Old Text: Play: If you cast a spell this round, remove all text and keywords from an enemy follower.

New Text: Create a {Detain} card once you’ve cast a 6+ cost spell this game.

This is nice and simple. Now you have access to even more Detains in your deck, which means “Huzzah, exiling creatures!” and I’m a huge fan of doing stuff like that in games. You can still run them in your deck, but a few Mageseeker Investigators can give you even more of them.

Mageseeker Persuader

Cost: 6 -> 2

Power: 4 -> 3

Health: 1 -> 2

Old Text: [Challenger] Play: Discard a spell to grant me health equal to its cost.

New Text: Grant me +1/+1 and [Challenger] once you’ve cast a 6-cost spell this game.

Why was this a 6-cost follower? I do not get that. Sure, it can be a beefy tank, but it was such a weird choice overall. This is a much better use of a card and can Make a 4/3 for 2 if you’ve cast a 6-cost spell previously.

Crowd Favorite

Health: 2 -> 1

Crowd Favorite has constantly been overperforming for aggro Noxus decks, and it can be tough to deal with. Losing that bit of health will make it a bit easier to work around, while also still being quite powerful as an early game aggressive choice. It’s just not going to make you feel miserable every time it’s cast in the early game.

Troop of Elnuks

Old Text: Play: Summon each Elnuk in the top 10 cards of your deck.

New Text: Play: For the top 6 cards in your deck, summon each Elnuk and shuffle the rest into your deck.

God. I hate this card. I’m glad it sees a slight change, while not nerfing it into the ground. Troop of Elnuks is a very powerful card for the “Counterfeit Copies” style decks, so it’s key to not make it useless. They used a hypergeometric calculator and did some playtesting to find a better rate for Troop of Elnuks that will let it stay strong, without it being something that makes every player scream in anger. Is 6 the right answer? We’ll just have to see. I think it might work out.

Spell Adjustments

Whew! There are a lot of changes in the Legends of Runeterra patch 0.9.2! A fair amount of it falls into the lap of the Shadow Isles because, again, they’re strong. We will cover the ones that are perhaps the most needed and/or interesting. Please see the Legends of Runeterra patch 0.9.2 notes above for the complete details.

Flash of Brilliance

Old Text: Create a random spell in hand. Refill your spell mana.

New Text: Create a random spell that costs 6+ mana. Refill your spell mana.

I’m torn on how I feel about this. On one hand, it’s going to make Heimerdinger and Lux more powerful potentially. On the other hand, no Deny will come of it now! It also won’t let a player burn their Spell Mana, play this, and re-burn their spell mana without using (potentially) all their regular mana. This feels like more Mageseeker/Lux synergy if you ask me. This will still be great for Piltover and Demacia. You will still do terrifying, game-winning things with it. But so many of those cheap-to-free spells will no longer crop up.

Mark of the Isles

Old Text: Grant an ally +3/+3 and [Ephemeral]

New Text: Grant an ally +2/+2 and [Ephemeral]

Remember where we said the Shadow Isles spells have a ton of value for little cost? This is one of those cards. It’s still going to be an incredible bomb, don’t get me wrong. The creature targeted will still die because of Ephemeral, but it’s not going to be an unstoppable force of nature suddenly. Players could easily win the game if they had a few of these in hand, and Mark of the Isles was perhaps too versatile, too strong. This was a necessary change to make it less of a groan-inducing spell.

Rummage

Old Text: To play, discard 2. Draw 2.

New Text: To play, discard 2. Draw 2. If you have exactly 1 other card in hand, discard 1 to draw 1.

Previously, Rummage could not be cast if you didn’t have 2 cards in hand, which only hurts Jinx. This isn’t a major change but will make Rummage feel better to use. Now, Jinx can still use it without having to wait, and wait, and wait for a time where they have 2 cards in hand. That could completely ruin her gameplay.

Iceborn Legacy

Cost: 3 -> 5

Old Text: [Burst] Grant an ally and all allied copies of it EVERYWHERE +1/+1

New Text: [Slow] Grant an ally and all allied copies of it EVERYWHERE +2/+2

Now, this is weird, but an exciting choice! Iceborn Legacy wasn’t seeing a lot of gameplay, so they shook the card up. They doubled the effect of it, with higher investment, for more potential use. I already liked Iceborn Legacy, and I can see it being very useful in decks that run clones or bring the same creature back over and over. I can see some major uses in this new version, even if it is [Slow], which means it can be countered and played around. Burst is dangerous and frustrating. I like this new version of Iceborn Legacy though.

Pack Mentality

Old Text: Give an ally and other allies of its group +3/+3 and [Overwhelm] this round.

New Text: Give allies +2/+2 and [Overwhelm].

What a weird, confusing card this was! If you weren’t running tribal deck {all creatures have the same “type”), it was a waste of a card. Plus, it was only until the end of the round, so if I ran it at all, it was a game-winner. It just sat in my hand, doing nothing. This change makes it significantly better, and the +2/+2/Overwhelm staying around, that’s money. This is a fantastic card for a nice range of aggro/mid-range decks.

Legends of Runeterra Patch 0.9.2: Miscellaneous Changes

Turn Timer Improvements

There’s still work to do, but there are many players who are frustrated with their inability to complete actions, not getting to act at all, or other scenarios cropping up thanks to how the turn timers work. They set up some quick fixes to account for this. The next step is to look at early game turns that go on too long, late-game turns that are too quick, and dealing with being “roped” turn after turn by players who aren’t actually playing.

“Roping” means you’re constantly forced to wait for them to take any action to the point where the timer shows up and grinds down all the way. The following changes were implemented:

  • Casting a burst spell now puts some time back on your turn timer.
  • You’ll now get some extra time on your turn after your opponent casts spells on theirs (to guard against a bunch of your opponents’ end-of-turn Burst spells eating away your turn).

Expeditions Archetypes

Several Expedition Archetypes have seen some changes in terms of cards being added/removed. Their patch notes will offer a detailed explanation as to why these changes were made, but here is what you can expect:

Demacian Steel

  • Added: Mobilize
  • Removed: Back to Back

Noxian Might

  • Added: Guile
  • Removed: Elixir of Wrath

Shroom and Boom

  • Added: Scrapdash Assembly
  • Removed: Amateur Aeronaut

Spellbound

  • Added: Back to Back
  • Removed: Detain

Relentless

  • Added: Lucian, Laurent Duelist
  • Removed: Garen, Brightsteel Protector

Battle Scars

  • Added: Might, Alpha Wildclaw, Avarosan Marksman, Battle Fury
  • Removed: Blood for Blood, Bull Elnuk, Kindly Tavernkeeper, Starlit Seer

Shadows and Dust

  • Increased the chance that Shadows and Dust will appear in Wild Picks when it’s your primary archetype.

Total Recall

  • Added: Amateur Aeronaut
  • Removed: Golden Crushbot

Arachnophilia

  • Added: Elixir of Wrath

Legends of Runeterra Patch 0.9.2: The Watchlist

The watchlist is a series of cards and types that are looked at for potential nerfs/buffs for future updates. We will give you their exact words as to why these cards are looked at, instead of paraphrasing or offering our thoughts. That way it’s exactly what they are thinking about these changes.

Elise/Frenzied Skitterer: We’ve previously mentioned keeping an eye on Fearsome units, so consider this an addendum directed at specific cards. Elise and Frenzied Skitterer are both durable, versatile, and evasive threats we’ve seen used in a larger number of decks than we think is healthy.

We want to take it slow when powering down regions and avoid over-nerfing cards, so we’re hoping the changes to other Shadow Isles tools reduce the effectiveness of these spiders. For now, we’ll continue to monitor the strength of these two and make additional changes in the future if needed.

Glimpse Beyond: Glimpse Beyond is an efficient card advantage tool that doubles as a synergy play in many Shadow Isles decks. We’ve decided to watchlist Glimpse, as the card advantage combined with the ability to soft-“Deny” strikes or certain spells can be frustrating to play against.

That said, we’re hoping it can stay at its current cost, as Glimpse Beyond is a pivotal core card for Shadow Isles and its synergies. Like Elise, our tuning options here are constrained given Glimpse’s low mana cost design, and any change at all may end up severely nerfing it. If we see indications that Glimpse is overly problematic even after the other Shadow Isles changes settle, we’ll reconsider.

Shadow Assassin: Shadow Assassin is the most played card in Legends of Runeterra, and for good reason. Reasonable Elusive stats plus free card advantage make this card a near auto-include for Ionia and a frequently “splashed” card for other regions.

We’ve discussed and tested out number-based changes (such as 1|2, 2|1 or 4c 2|2), but none of them left the Assassin in a spot that felt right. For now, we decided to watchlist Shadow Assassin and continue to monitor her for potential changes in the future.

What do you guys think of the changes in the Legends of Runeterra patch 0.9.2? We’re excited to see such a close eye on what is working and what isn’t. The idea that all cards should have a place is a great idea to see. There are lots of cards in other card games that exist simply to exist. They don’t belong anywhere in particular, or if they do, they’re jank decks that don’t see tournament/ranked play often. The Shadow Isles changes are mostly very good ideas, and I’m looking forward to the future of this card game.

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