Legends of Runeterra Patch 1.2 launches today, May 26, bringing a lot of (much needed) balance changes to the game. Some of the most dominant cards and archetypes in the meta are getting nerfed, while some underused cards have received a boost.
Karma and Vi nerfed
Karma and Vi are both getting nerfed this patch. Karma has been the go-to control champion in all Ionia decks throughout all stages of Runeterra’s meta, including the older Spooky Karma control and the newer Ezreal/Karma combo/controls.
Both levels of Karma now cost 6 mana up from 5, which A) slows down when you can play Karma in the mid-game by one turn; and B) leaves less mana for spells when played on Round 10 as Enlightened.
The heart of the champion is still unchanged, however, so it’s unlikely Karma controls will disappear. Her spell generation and potential for combo burst in the late game remain valuable.
Vi is getting her health nerfed on both levels: 5 to 4 on level 1 and 6 to 5 on level 2. The nerf was expected. Vi has been the best-in-slot P&Z champion in all decks but burn aggro, including all forms of control and midrange decks. Her durability made her not only a great combat-trader, but a serious threat against control decks, because 5 health with Toughness is hard to deal with.
At 4 health, Vi dies to weaker Thermogenic Beams, but also is killable by 2x 3-damage spells/blocks, i.e. a lot of the single-target removal in the game (Get Excited, Grasp of the Undying, Gotcha).
Burn Aggro nerfed
Burn Aggro has been the most dominant aggro deck in the game for a long time. One of its strongest cards has undoubtedly been Boomcrew Rookie, which often deals insane amount of Nexus damage for just 2 mana by having a durable 1/4 body.
Boomcrew Rookie is now a 1/3, making it much easier to kill. It now dies to 3-attack followers, a Round 2 Thermogenic Beam, and even early 3-damage spells like Get Excited and a top-decked Gotcha. This is a huge nerf to the P&Z Burn and it’s unlikely Boomcrew Rookie gets more than 1-2 attacks by being softened.
The king of aggro 1-drops, Legion Rearguard, has also received a health nerf, from 2 to 1. This is another change that is likely to down down P&Z Burn significantly, as Rearguard now dies to Vile Feasts and Round 1 Thermogenic Beams, and can even be chump-blocked and killed by Elise’s 1/1 Spiders.
Demacian Badgers nerfed
Demacia got a great curve boost with Rising Tides with the introduction of the 4/1 Grizzled Ranger and the possibly the best 3-drop follower in the game, the 4/4 Loyal Badgerbear, which also spawns when a Grizzled Ranger dies. Both of those cards have had their Attack decreased from 4 to 3.
This should make both of those followers less “must-block” and allow the opponent to decide how they want to deal with them, although it’s likely they won’t completely disappear from Bannerman, Scouts, and Lux Control decks.
There’s a lot more balance changes in the patch too: Brood Awakening, Stand Alone and Deep Mediation now cost one more, weakening Corina Controls, Stand Alone OTKs, and Ionia Controls; Slotbot has been buffed from 0/3 to 1/4, making it one of the followers to watch in Patch 1.2; and Hecarim and Shen have both been buffed in attempt to get them back in the meta.
We’ll monitor how the metagame changes with Patch 1.2 and bring you the best new decks in Legends of Runeterra, as always.