1.6 Patch Balance Update – The Meta Shift

by | Jul 25, 2020 | Legends of Runeterra | 0 comments

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Hello! Kairux here for another post. This time, I thought I’d look into the recent patch 1.6 and the possible changes it will bring in the current metagame. Let’s get right to it.

Heimerdinger and Flash Of Brilliance

Ah yes, the nerf that we all saw coming. Heimerdinger followed by a Flash Of Brilliance drop to produce 3/1 Elusive units was just too efficient, especially because it can be done multiple times in a turn. This lead to Vimerdinger decks being classified as S-tier for the longest time. The deck was so stable that even when multiple meta shifts occurred, it still maintained its spot among one of the best decks to climb the ladder with due to its superb consistency.

The changes were directed towards decreasing Heimerdinger’s and Flash Of Brilliance’s efficiency. It now takes a lot more mana to summon an Elusive turret, which is a good balance change in my opinion. The previous bread-and-butter becomes an ace-in-the-hole. Spamming Flash Of Brilliance gets you Overwhelm units. Still strong, but at least you can do something about them even if you have no removal spells on-hand. Getting swarmed by multiple Elusive units in the mid-game while having no removals nor Elusive units is a nightmare to deal with.

With this change, Veimerdinger decks will drop or even exit from the tier lists. I also think we’ll see Heimerdinger being paired with regions with notable 6-mana spell drops to take advantage of MK6: Floor-B-Gone. There is a possibility that we’ll see decks like Heimerdinger-Lux Remembrance and Heimerdinger-Braum Poro in the future.

Braum and Eggnivia

The big winners of patch 1.4. Braum-Anivia Control decks came out to be a bit too strong. It immediately became an S-tier deck despite the prominence of Darius Aggro decks after the aforementioned patch dropped. That 1 Attack buff to Braum really made him a threat to 1 Health units on the board. This is especially strong because Braum also has the Regeneration keyword. With this and the Mighty Poro summoning effect, Braum was simply too good.  Nerfing his damage by 1 will definitely have a big impact on his play rate.

Eggnivia’s change, on the other hand, will not be too impactful in my opinion. It gives more wiggle room for counterplay as she will be easier to kill but her value will not dwindle by too much. Overall, I think Anivia decks will still be doing okay in patch 1.6, just not as strong as its previous peak form.

Relentless Pursuit

Not really a big change for this card but the nerf reduces the flexibility of this card by a bit. After using this card, your opponent will have an opportunity to drop a unit or a slow spell to mitigate the effects of your offense. Relentless Pursuit will still be a key component to Scout decks though.

Basilisk Rider, Crimson Disciple, and Legion Grenadier

With the buffs Aggro has received in patch 1.4, the ladder had been filled by different variations of Darius Aggro decks. The meta slowed down after a few weeks, but Aggro decks, especially Darius Harrowing decks, remained at the top of the tier lists. However, I think Aggro will take a backseat with these changes post patch 1.6.

Basilisk Rider was a little too difficult to handle with a boosted 4 Health. Dropping his Attack by 1 is a good balance change in my opinion. This way, he still is difficult to remove from the board but his damage will not be too oppressive anymore. Crimson Disciple will not be as popular as before in Noxus decks. Previously Crimson Disciple and Transfusion were core early game cards for most Noxus decks. While the combo is still good overall, this nerf will foster more experimentation for other early game substitutes. Lastly, I find the changes with Legion Grenadier to be quite interesting. I think the aim of this change is to increase his value as a unit rather than just be considered a  1 damage bomb to the Nexus.

Overall, I think we won’t be seeing much Aggro this patch. Control and especially Midrange will run rampant in the ladder.

Arena Bookie, Sump Dredger, Zaunite Urchin

I never knew I needed these changes before this patch 1.6. This update will make discard-based PnZ decks run like a well-oiled machine. I think that using a deck with a mechanic that can cycle through your cards while not losing out on value is fun and interesting. Champions like Twisted Fate, Draven, and Jinx will benefit from these changes and there is a huge possibility that decks will be built around them with the card-cycling mechanic in mind. We’ll also probably see an upgraded version of Slotbot’s Casino and other decks with a similar playstyle.

Shadow Assassin, Rivershaper, Will Of Ionia, and Steel Tempest

For Ionian decks, Shadow Assassin was simply too good of a card to pass up. Why wouldn’t she be? She’s a little slow but a 2/2 Elusive unit that gets you a draw makes a solid 3-mana drop. The Shadow Assassin nerf in patch 1.6 coincides with the buff to Rivershaper. I think we’ll see some experimentation with Rivershaper for that 3-drop slot on some Ionian decks.

Steel Tempest might also see play for Control-based Ionian decks. Yasuo decks will also benefit by a bit from this. The buff does not really give that big of an impact though. On the other hand, the Will Of Ionia nerf will be a huge blow to the region. While it is still a good card, its usage will be more restricted due to the cost increase. I think players will be doing some experimentation to find cheaper stalling alternatives than the current Will Of Ionia.

Hunting Fleet and Golden Narwhal

I’m not very sure about how this change will impact the current meta. I literally only have seen Hunting Fleet and Golden Narwhal get played on Expeditions but never in the ladder nor in casual games. Hunting Fleet being a 6/6 4-mana drop looks promising though.  It is possible that there might be some experimental Bilgewater decks that would include this card in the near future.

There you have it, my personal rundown of patch 1.6. I think that this update orients Legends Of Runeterra towards a good direction going forward. I’m super excited to see what new decks will appear in the near future.

Many thanks for indulging me in this post. I hope you enjoyed and learned something from this. If you want to read about my previous deck reviews, you can find them here at Captain.

Until the next post. Ciao!

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