Lor Patch Rundown (Patch 1.4)
In this patch breakdown, we’ll discuss the buffs, nerfs, and adjustments regarding LoR champions, followers and spells.
We recommend following along with the official Riot patch notes if you’re looking for their explanations related to game design. We’ll be focusing more on how impactful the changes are in regards to their strength in the game and the general meta.
Our key going forward will be green = buffed, red = nerfed, and yellow = adjusted (stats/abilities may have shifted but still has a similar relative strength).
Note that these impressions are from one of our resident Master players, Prohibit, who hit the top 10 in NA.
- Most Anivia decks involve ways to repeatedly summon her with Shadow Isles. Now that she has a lower mana cost than Rekindler it’s a nice buff because she can curve into it now.
- Although mana cost buffs are usually amazing, I don’t see this being the buff that brings Anivia decks into viability just yet.
- Despite the cost increase, getting just 1 Power is a massive change that makes Braum able to impact the board by himself.
- I think this opens Braum up to more decks without being reliant on bad permanent buff cards to function.
- Also, the free Mighty Poro Braum generates is incredible extra value since it’s very hard for your opponent to deal a full 5 damage to Braum or to kill Braum after you ping him with one of your own cards.
- Darius often died to any removal spell after being chump blocked, making him sort of a one-swing wonder.
- The extra 1 Health will give him more consistency as one extra attack through a blocker can often be the difference between winning or losing.
Followers & Spells
Black Market Merchant + Plunder Changes (nerfed)
- 1 health makes Black Market Merchant much more vulnerable and it will often be hard to stick one on the field, even against midrange decks.
- The change to its Plunder effect makes a big deal in Freljord matchups that use Omen Hawk or Yetis decks as you’ll no longer be able to yoink the units opponents are trying to buff and draw.
- All in all, it’s a good nerf for how easy it is to access the card advantage it provides.
- Similar to Black Market Merchant, Pilfered Goods and Yordle Grifter are also receiving the Nab treatment.
Dreg Dredgers (nerfed)
- 2 Power often traded into a lot of 2 drops so losing 1 Power is definitely impactful.
- Dreg is still a great unit to enable your Deep early but he won’t be able to stabilize the board for you as much as before.
Mind Meld (buffed)
- This is a disappointing change for Mind Meld fans (if there are any out there)
- It has two main problems:
- It sets unit Power and Health instead of granting bonus stats so it limits your deck building possibilities since you’ll want to avoid having to downgrade your cards.
- It’s a Slow spell that’s easily counterable and doesn’t make big enough of an impact to be worth including.
Petty Officer (buffed)
- Petty Officer is gaining 1 Health and no longer pulls the random 1-cost follower from all regions.
- Preventing it from being truly random is helpful since you’ll no longer have to worry about pulling cards like Shadow Fiend.
- It was already a good and flexible card but I think these changes will make it more reliable to include.
Genevieve Elmheart (buffed)
- At 4/4, Genevieve was easily chump blocked to death when Scouting for multiple attacks.
- By having 5/5, she’ll be able to deal with multiple 2 attack followers.
- She is competing with cards like Cithria so it’s important that cards like these get buffed to make them worth picking over the standard option.
Unyielding Spirit (nerfed)
- Unfortunately, this card is probably dead because it’s too much of a mana commitment to be played for Fast speed where it can be interrupted by almost all removal.
- It’ll be more niche as you’ll need measures like Deny to make sure it goes through.
Aurora Porealis (buffed)
- This may be the time for Poros with two Poro related cards getting buffed. However, the problem with Porealis is that it’s a very win more card unless you already have board presence.
Poro Herder (buffed)
- A 2 mana 2/3 is a huge deal. This will be much easier to fit into turns, hold down the board in the early game, replace itself, and chump block for you into the late game.
- Overall, I think this is a huge upgrade to this card even at the loss of 1 extra Poro draw.
She Who Wanders (buffed)
- Adding Regeneration back to She Who Wanders won’t change much.
- She’s still suffering from her previous nerfs to her mana cost and the fact that she doesn’t hit champions.
- Regeneration lets her slowly be an inevitability against any deck that isn’t running kill effects but because of her previous nerfs, she lacks that timeliness and the power to punch through for victories.
They Who Endure (nerfed)
- I don’t mind this nerf at all as a turn 6 9/9+ with Overwhelm was incredibly scary.
- The 1 cost increase on this card gives more time to its opponents and makes it harder to chain together in one turn with Atrocity.
Ren Shadowblade (buffed)
- I’m not sure how much I like the new Ren. At 4 mana, it’s coming in with a 3/3 statline that doesn’t immediately affect the board and is a high priority target that dies to most removal.
- Even when it grants you a copy of Shadow Fiend, it’s hard to use that card other than aggressively on your attack turn at slow speed.
- It feels like it wants to be in a more aggressive Ephemeral list but seems too value-oriented to make sense.
Basilisk Rider (buffed)
- This is a huge buff as 4 Health is the magic number to avoid spells Grasp, Get Excited!, and Gotcha!.
- With Rise of the Tides, Noxus has a lot more tools so it’s possible that a Noxus Allegiance deck could come into the fold.
Captain Farron (buffed)
- Getting three Decimates is much better than replacing your hand since you’ll have more flexibility instead of going all or nothing.
- I still don’t see this card being a reliable closer but it can work as a 1 of in longer games that you need to grind out.
Piltover and Zaun
Jae Medarda (buffed)
- The new change to Medarda makes it easier to build deck concepts around him since you don’t have to wait until turn 8.
- In exchange, Jae no longer has Elusive and his statline is a bit worse but he gets to come online two turns earlier to start generating value.
Super Mega Death Rocket! (buffed)
- If Jinx is living long enough to generate Death Rockets you’re probably in a good spot so the difference between 1 and 2 mana isn’t that impactful.
- No longer having the Fleeting keyword will give it more reliability and flexibility.
Escaped Abomination (nerfed)
- This is still a great card when you have a great aggressive curve but isn’t completely oppressive against most decks when you draw the nuts.
The Harrowing (buffed)
- This mana cost reduction is a late compensation for the previous nerf to The Harrowing that made it only summon allied units.
- Sadly, I don’t think this will make the spell attractive enough to start getting included again as a staple option.