Legends of Runeterra Patch Notes 2.1.0 Discussion

by in Legends of Runeterra | Feb, 2nd 2021

This is a pretty exciting patch; I have to say! Now, there are some changes I was desperately hoping for that did not happen. Spoiler Warning: There is no Zoe nerf. I was praying for it as I unzipped the patch notes on my computer, but alas. My voice fell on deaf ears. There are some changes I’m wildly happy about for my personal playing experience. It’s not all bad news! We’ve got a new champion for Targon in Aphelios, Weapon of the Faithful. He’s pretty rad and doesn’t seem too broken. Time will tell on that. We’ll be talking about all the important notes for patch 2.1.0 in Legends of Runeterra, don’t worry.

What’s going down? Well, for starters, Aphelios drops down from Mount Targon to aid the faithful. There are a few pretty important card changes to boot. This includes Champions, Followers, Landmarks & Spells. 2.1.0 also has a lab for those PVE-minded people. Lab of Legends is a new single-player Lab, and we also have the confirmed new Multilab Rotation. Finally, we’ll go over, in brief, the changes to Expeditions archetypes. We have some bug fixes for you as well. Those we’ll list so you can see what was fixed.

With that in mind, let’s start talking about some card games!

Aphelios, Weapon of the Faithful

Aphelios is the first of the Champion Expansions. These will be patches focused around a particular champion, and several more will come throughout the year. The first one drops in the 2.1.0 patch notes for Legends of Runeterra – Aphelios, Weapon of the Faithful! He doesn’t feel quite as clunky and frustrating as he does in League of Legends, either! 

Aphelios has a pretty interesting loadout, so let’s talk about it.

The Weapon of the Faithful comes into play as a 3/3 for 3 Mana and has Nightfall: Pick a Moon Weapon to create in hand. When you’ve played two other cards in a round, create the phased Moon Weapon in hand if you don’t already have one. His Level Up: You’ve cast 4+ Moon Weapons. The phased part is explained as well. When he casts a Moon Weapon, you pick one of two choices to phase-in. All of the Moon Weapons are Slow Speed Spells and cost 2 Mana. 

Since he has Nightfall, you do not want to cast him first on a turn to get immediate value from him. His leveled up form is a 4/4 Quick Attack, also for three Mana. He has the same Nightfall ability as well. His passive changes to “Round Start and when you’ve played two other cards in a round, create the phased Moon Weapon in hand if you don’t already have one. Your Moon Weapons cost one less. It’s good that the spells don’t become Fast or Burst or anything like that. Even if it’s a 1-cost Slow Spell, we can respond to them in kind and deal with it before it gets out of control. Do you know who might be fun with Aphelios? Karma. Or any champion that relies on us playing many spells (Lee Sin, maybe? Or Shen?). Just some food for thought. 

Here is the Moon Weapons you can pick from:

  • Calibrum: Calibrum deals three damage to a targeted follower. Phase Severum or Gravitum. 
  • Severum: Severum gives an ally +1/+2 and Lifesteal this Round. Phase Gravitum or Infernum. 
  • Gravitum: Gravitum Stuns an enemy., If it’s a follower, Stun it again at the next Round Start. Phase Inferum or Crescendum. 
  • Infernum: Infernum gives an ally +2/+1 and Overwhelm this Round. Phase Crescendum or Caliburm.
  • Crescendum: Crescendum summons a two-cost follower from your deck. If it has Nightfall, activate it. Phase Calibrum or Severum. 

Aphelios also has the spell Gifts from Beyond (2-Cost, Burst Speed). It has you choose a Moon Weapon to create in hand. I imagine this is the spell you receive if you already have Aphelios in hand. Either way, it’s another beneficial spell he’ll potentially have access to. He’s a very interesting champion, and I can see many exciting uses for him. The key to success is being aware of what weapon turns into what is on the fly. You’re going to know what you need to have access to. Crescendum, in particular, is pretty awesome. I like the idea of pulling followers from the deck and triggering Nightfall for them (if they have it). 

So far, the 2.1.0 patch notes for Legends of Runeterra are pretty rad. Next on the chopping block are cards that are buffed/nerfed! There isn’t a ton, but some of these were desperately needed.

Card Balance in 2.1.0

Cosmic Creation brought us three new Champions: Zoe, Viktor, and Riven. The Legends of Runeterra devs have kept an eye on their progress and made some changes to some cards going into the 2.1.0 patch notes. Sadly, no nerfs to Zoe. Zoe’s doing remarkably well right now, but Viktor and Riven aren’t really in a good place right now. For Riven, it’s more the cards around her, it seems. The focus of 2.1.0 is some updates to give a few of these champions a better fighting chance. 

As a part of these patch notes, the devs did have something interesting to say in regards to card balance: “Like with Viktor and Riven in this patch, as we move forward with future card updates, you’re going to generally see more attention paid to newly-released cards to ensure they’re performing at an appropriate level compared to previously-released sets. However, that doesn’t mean cards from Foundations, Rising Tides, or Call of the Mountain won’t see adjustments. This philosophy is specifically in regards to live design & balance and has been established to ensure that we continue to promote meta health and deck diversity as we continue to add new sets and expansions in the future. “

This is a smart move on their part for sure. But if they’ve been keeping an eye on things, I’d like to know why Zoe isn’t seeing adjustments. Is that the power level they want for the adorable little troublemaker? She’s positively infuriating to see on the other side of the field right now. But who saw adjustments and who didn’t?


Miss Fortune (Nerfed): When Miss Fortune hits level 2, the game is typically over. There’s not a whole lot that can stop that kind of damage. Her stats and abilities have not changed, but she loses Overwhelm. It’s not exactly hard to get Level 2 Miss Fortune and tacking Overwhelm onto her ton top of what she does seem moderately unfair (to me anyway).

  • Miss Fortune Level 2: Removed Overwhelm after level up.

Viktor (Buff/Adjustment): These changes are designed to make Viktor seem more viable and not just a weird niche’ pick. These changes go to both Level 1 and Level 2 Viktor. His Level Up has been adjusted slightly (7+ cards played instead of 8+). He also creates a Hex Core Upgrade on both Round Start and Play for both Levels. This should make him a bigger threat, without likely making him overpowered. He was just too slow to use, but this ought to put some grease in his gears.

  • Viktor Level 1 and 2: Level Up Reduced (7+ cards played), Hex Core Upgrade on Play, and Round Start

Followers, Landmarks, & Spells

The Grand Plaza: Admittedly, I was hoping this change would go the other way. This card has made Demacia decks wildly strong and is used in so many of them. It was effortless to get high-stat, low-cost followers into play with Challenger. Now they were resilient, aggressive, and hard-hitting. Legends of Runeterra removed the health buff in the 2.1.0 patch notes. Hopefully, this makes the followers that drop in survive a bit less. I’d rather see them receive +0/+1 myself, but this is what we get. 

  • The Grand Plaza: When an ally is summoned, give it +1/+0 and Challenger this round.

War Chefs (Adjustment): In the last changes to this card, they thought the health was more useful than the attack, but this is not the case. Given how important it is for Support units to trade, another change was made to War Chefs’ stats overall. This one doesn’t impact me personally, but I don’t think it’s a bad adjustment.

  • War Chefs: New Base Stats: 2/2 (from ⅓)

Homecoming (Buff): Ionia is the only faction that can Recall enemies, but their spells, their great ones, always feel so darn expensive. This change was made to provide some texture and potential for more usable spells in the Ionia faction. So, it’s been made slightly cheaper.

  • Homecoming: Cost: 4 (from 5)

Greenglade Elder (Buff): The 1/1 stats of the Greenglade Elder made it all but useless. It needs to have a potential impact on the board, and it’s something it lacked. The new stats ought to make the fans of Hand Buffing decks happy. Now they have some significant board presence with the Elder while they set up their bigger friends for success.

  • Greenglade Elder: New Base Stats: 3/1 (from 1/1)

Captain Farron (Nerf): Ugh. Captain Farron makes me want to scream. Knowing my opponent suddenly has 3 Decimates to hit me with? Never fun. This change was made to keep Captain Farron as a viable card and threat but not make it feel impossible to deal with against certain match-ups. So we have one less Decimate to stress about.

  • Captain Farron: When I’m summoned, create 2 Decimates in hand (from 3).

Blade of the Exile (Buff): This is an excellent change for fans of Riven. The Blade of the Exile spell was amazing if you could manage to cast it. Three mana just felt clunky and frustrating. If you manage to ramp it out early in the early game, you weren’t left with the mana to capitalize on the Blade. Rejoice, Riven fans!

  • Blade of the Exile: Cost: 1 (from 3)

Blade Squire (Adjustment): One of the weaknesses of Riven, according to the devs is having to water down her deck with her followers. So many of them were pretty mediocre compared to other options you have. Blade Squire’s stats have been adjusted to make it a bit more aggressive instead of what it had.

  • Blade Squire: New Base Stats: 2/1 (from ½)

Hush (Nerf): Of course, this was going to happen. When Deny got nerfed in its casting cost, and I saw Hush? It was only a matter of time before it met the same fate. Hush counters so many things, perhaps too well. It’s mana efficient and frustrating. Even though I love/use Hush in several decks, I’d be a liar if I didn’t think it was way too powerful. Now it has a reasonable casting cost.

  • Hush: Cost: 3 (from 2)

Pale Cascade / Diana’s Pale Cascade (Nerf): Here’s another card that I use in my Soraka deck. The power it gives Targon decks of any flavor cannot possibly be denied. It’s secured so many fights that I was woefully underpowered to win. The overall damage Pale Cascade provides is being lowered to make better, riskier trades and remove our ability to way outscale people. 

  • Pale Cascade / Diana’s Pale Cascade: Nightfall: Draw 1. Give an Ally +1/+1 this round

I’m not a liar, so I’m bummed at the Hush/Pale Cascade nerfs, but they make sense. I was more hoping to see nerfs built around Zoe, but perhaps that will happen in the next patch if she stays such a violent threat.

Single-Player Lab: Lab of Legends

With patch 2.1.0, we have a new rotation for Multilab: Lab of Legends, United Front, Quick Draw. But Lab of Legends is new and interesting! Fresh from the lab of Heimerdinger, Lab of Legends is the first Legends Lab and a foray into single-play content. Now, this is what I was looking for. I love PVP, but sometimes I want challenging, fun, single-player content, too. 

These Legends Labs are focused on progression, customization, and adaptation. They ought to be a lot of fun. In particular, the Lab of Legends gives us a choice between 8 Champions. Each has its own premade deck. You will then face a series of increasingly-difficult encounters. However, as you progress, you earn new cards, passive abilities, and items that will power up your cards! No two runs will be the same, so there will no doubt be hilarious and incredible. One more thing: Your Nexus’ health carries over between rounds and is only refilled after a Boss encounter. If you win a run (or are “Viktorius”. . . Huh? Huh?), you will earn a unique icon based on your selected Champion. 

Honestly? This sounds amazing. I love wild content like this and cannot wait to see which Champions were picked and what kind of nonsense combos can be made. This is doubly great for people who want to play the game without stress on the PVP side. Sometimes, you need a break.


Of course, with a new Champion, we have new additions and changes to the Expeditions scene. They seem pretty happy with the current archetypes, so these changes are mostly mild. One of the most significant changes was to make the Fishbones archetype a bit more aggressive, which is fine. Also, the following changes in regards to Aphelios were made:

  • Cards from the Aphelios expansion have been added to various archetypes, and Aphelios himself has been added to Luminous Dusk as an alternate Targon champion alongside Diana.
  • Luminous Dusk will be four times as likely as normal to show up in the initial Champion Picks. This chance will be reduced in a future patch.

Augmented Assault

Added: Brutal Hunter


Added: Will of Ionia

Removed: Shadow Flare


Added: Ballistic Bot, Veteran Investigator

Removed: Eager Apprentice, Hexcore Foundry, Monkey Business, Monkey Idol, Scrapdash Assembly

Luminous Dusk

Removed: Pesky Specter

Mega Keg

Removed: Monkey Business, Strong-arm

Moonlit Heist

Removed: Monkey Business


Added: Zaunite Urchin

Removed: Veteran Investigator

Shadows and Dust

Added: Shadow Flare

Removed: Trevor Snoozebottom

Spell Slingers

Added: Jaull Hunters, Ye Been Warned

Removed: Pocket Aces, Yordle Grifter

Final Thoughts

This is a small but impactful patch. I love the idea of Champion-themed expansions that drop throughout the year. Not every card drop has to be for every single player. You might not care about these, but that could change as time passes. We’ve got some pretty neat buffs and nerfs in this patch too. I’m very excited to see what people with Aphelios, too. I’m not sold on him being in my decks, but we’ll come back and look at him very soon to see what he offers the game as a whole. We’ll also include the bug fixes below. There are a few, but you might be curious! As always, make sure to check the official patch notes on the Riot Games website!

Bug Fixes

⦁ Fixed a crash related to switching your Player Icon after completing a match.

⦁ Fixed a crash related to switching between the Home and Play menus.

⦁ Fixed an issue where The Dancer card back would display in-game as The Rising Star.

⦁ Fixed a bug that would sometimes prevent a unit from being silenced a second time in the same round.

⦁ Fixed an issue where sometimes Lulu’s supported unit would not be fully buffed.

⦁ Fixed an issue where sometimes a unit would incorrectly die if silenced multiple times.


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