Legends of Runeterra has seen its first card updates since entering open beta in 2020. And per the patch notes, we also know that changes have been made to how XP and Expeditions rewards work in-game.
It appears that around 16 cards have seen balance changes today, the first since Legends of Runeterra was launched on PC.
The LOR team have provided a short overview of its goals when it comes to balancing cards in the longterm, telling fans: “Every champion should have a deck where they’re the best fit and their “dream” can be realized.
“Non-champion cards should have at least one deck where they’re a good option. Regions should have at least one competitively viable deck.
“The meta should support the widest possible array of competitively viable decks.”
Adding: “While buffing cards in pursuit of these targets is the fun part, we will also power down cards where necessary.
“When we do, we want to avoid over-nerfs (cards and their archetypes / decks should remain playable) as well as minimize collateral damage to cards or decks that aren’t the actual target of a given change.
“We fully plan to monitor changes, rather than drop them and forget, and will make further tweaks in future patches as needed.”
The first card updates for Legends of Runeterra Champions can be found below and come directly from the new patch notes shared today:
Lux (Level 1)
- Power: 3 → 4
- Health: 4 → 5
Lux’s weaker statline made it a little too difficult to utilize her as a linchpin, “build-around-me” card. Buffing her stats will help her ability to both stick around as an engine and act as a meaningful threat on her own.
Lux (Level 2)
- Power: 4 → 5
- Health: 5 → 6
Yasuo (Level 1)
Level up: You Stun or Recall 6+ units → You Stun or Recall 5+ units
While testing Ionia changes internally, we found that Yasuo was catching collateral damage from changes aimed at elusive and handbuff decks. Inspiring Mentor was one of the best cards to utilize while leveling up Yasuo, and together with Deny would provide pivotal protection (extra important when heavily building around Yasuo). We’ve also found Yasuo often difficult to level up in Expeditions, especially when not paired with Noxus. This quest buff should address both issues.
FOLLOWERS AND SPELLS CARDS
Back to Back
- Cost: 5 → 6
One of the things we love about LoR is that combat tricks are very playable in our constructed format, which really contributes to compelling, interactive gameplay moments. That said, Back to Back can be a huge blowout Burst-speed trick that often leaves opponents without profitable avenues for playing around it. We like this kind of effect, but such a swingy card ultimately warrants a higher cost.
- Health: 1 → 2
Battlecaster isn’t seeing a ton of use, so it’s getting a small buff to help it line up better with other two-drops and make it a more compelling option for Noxus decks.
- Health: 2 → 3
“Battle Scars” decks have been underperforming, and the Noxus side of the theme has been a bit one-dimensional. Improving Crimson Curator should increase both options and viability for these decks
- Cost: 3 → 4
Deny is moving from watchlist to changelist after rigorous internal testing and debate. While there are good arguments for Deny to exist at three mana, ultimately it’s proven too prevalent and disruptive to the metagame, heavily restricting viable card options.
When testing this change internally, we found that play patterns involving Deny tended to feel more fair. Holding up Deny now always costs at least one mana per turn that you’d otherwise use to develop your board, a cost that makes for more involved decision making than when Deny was fully castable with spell mana.
- Health: 1 → 2
- Old text: Play: Grant an ally in hand + 1|1
- New text: Play: Grant an ally in hand + 1|0
Inspiring Mentor was providing too much curve efficiency and resilience to Ionia decks, with the stats granted to the buffed unit often overly protecting them by putting them out of range of similarly-costed removal. Curving Inspiring Mentor into one or even two 4|3 Navori Conspirators was too powerful a play pattern considering its consistency. With this change, we’re ensuring an intended weakness of elusive units—their low health—can be more exploitable
- Power: 3 → 4
- Health: 3 → 4
This change is complementary to the one made to Inspiring Mentor, as we don’t want to over-nerf the “Handbuff” archetype. Shifting power from Mentor to Protector (and into later parts of the game) should increase deckbuilding options and give opponents a bit more time to react or set up their own game plans.
Health: 3 → 2
We previously mentioned that we’ve been keeping an eye on Elusive strategies, and working to identify any specific candidates to adjust. One of the intended weaknesses of Elusive decks is that fast decks should be able to effectively race them, since Elusive units are naturally smaller and less cost efficient. Kinkuo Lifeblade often closed that door on what should be a fundamental weakness of the deck, so we’re adjusting its stats to decrease blocking power and make it easier for opposing decks to answer.
- Cost: 8 → 9
- Power: 8 → 9
- Old text: Play: Cut the enemy Nexus Health in half.
- New text: Play: Cut the enemy Nexus Health in half, rounded up.
Commander Ledros is an extremely powerful game-ending bomb that also acts as a recursive threat, and is flexible to boot, offering both excellent stabilization in close games and close-out potential for aggro decks that might’ve otherwise come up short. Overall, Ledros was a bit too good at “undoing” whatever previously happened in a game, especially for a card that doesn’t require any synergy to be effective. A card that does so much should incur a higher opportunity cost and provide opponents more room to win before and after it’s dropped, so we’re bumping its cost up to nine, which will not only delay Ledros’ arrival but also allow less flexibility when recasting it. To partially compensate, we’re bumping Ledros’ power by one—if it connects, it should be ending the game.
Blade of Ledros
- Old text: Cut the enemy Nexus Health in half.
- New text: Cut the enemy Nexus Health in half, rounded up.
Rhasa, the Sunderer
- Cost: 7 → 8
Rhasa offers consistent blowout potential across many matchups, and the required setup is cheap to achieve in Shadow Isles. This often makes Rhasa difficult for opponents to profitably play around, and can leave them in a rough state where they know they’re going to get Rhasa’ed but there’s not much they can do about it. The rate was just too favorable, so we’re bumping Rhasa up to eight mana in order to give opponents more room to play against it.
- Keywords: None → [Fearsome]
We’re removing some raw power from Shadow Isles with our other changes, as it’s just doing too many things too well. On the other hand, we do want to help players build more synergy-driven Shadow Isles decks, so we’re providing small buffs to Scuttlegeist and Tortured Prodigy to make them more compelling options for those kinds of decks.
- Power: 3 → 4
- Keywords: [Fearsome] → None
Wraithcaller has been a dominant value card for Fearsome-based decks—the combination of two bodies, boosting all Mistwraiths, and evasion made this among the most efficient cards in LoR. Considering the free Mistwraith already comes with Fearsome, we’re cutting the keyword from Wraithcaller to reduce the amount of evasion and overall value it puts on the board.
Other changes have also been confirmed and include the following tweaks to XP and Expeditions Rewards:
“Play the way you want to play” is an incredibly important goal for our progression systems—we want players to feel LoR respects their time regardless of whether they prefer to climb Ranked or jam AI games. With the help of your feedback, we identified some tuning issues that encouraged players to play in ways they might not want to simply because it was the optimal way to get XP
First up, end-of-trial bonus XP was too high relative to other modes. The bonus XP is meant to account for the slower pace of Expeditions matches and time spent drafting, but it was so high that it was really just the optimal way to grind XP. We don’t players to feel forced to grind Expeditions to build up their collections, so we’re reducing the XP granted when completing a trial.
- End-of-trial XP reduced:
- 0 wins: 100 → 50
- 1 win: 300 → 150
- 2 wins: 500 → 250
- 3 wins: 700 → 400
- 4 wins: 900 → 600
- 5 wins: 1200 → 800
- 6 wins: 1500 → 1000
- 7 wins: 2000 → 1500
To complement this change, we’re tweaking daily adjustments to PVP win XP to help out folks looking to heavily grind XP or just play a ton. We want to make sure constructed PVP wins always offer a reward, and that players don’t feel forced to play AI matches just because they’re out of PVP XP for the day.
- Reduced XP adjustments for daily PVP wins—you’ll now receive more XP at high numbers of PVP wins in one day, and will always receive at least 100 XP for constructed PVP wins.
- Base PVP win XP: 200 in Normal / Ranked, 100 in Expeditions (no change)
- 1-10 wins: full XP (no change)
- 11-15 wins: -50 XP → full XP
- 16-20 wins: -100 XP (no change)
- 21-30 wins: -150 XP → -100 XP
- 31+ wins: -200 XP → -100 XP
We’re also re-designed the XP structure for Friend Challenge. While we want matches against friends to be rewarding, the previous values overly encouraged snap concessions and win / loss trading to reap full PvP XP
- Friend Challenge wins now grant 100 XP for the first 5 wins, and 0 XP for 6+.
- Friend Challenges losses / ties now grant 0 XP.
- Friend Challenge matches no longer count towards daily PVP wins / losses or first wins of the day bonuses. They still count for quest progress.
Moving on to Expeditions rewards, we’ve heard some frustration that a 6-win run rewarded only 33% of the Shards (1000) needed to play another Expedition. While we believe overall Expedition rewards are in a good spot, we’re shifting some of the rewarded Shards from 7 wins to 6 wins to make sure the latter achievement still feels appropriately rewarding.
- 6-win Expeditions reward now 1500 shards (was 1000), as well as a random champion card and golden chest (unchanged).
- 7-win Expeditions reward now 3000 shards (was 3500), as well as a champion capsule (unchanged).