LoR Patch Rundown (Patch 2.11.0)
In this patch breakdown and new card review, we’ll discuss all the buffs/nerfs/adjustments from the latest balance changes.
We recommend following along with the official Riot patch notes if you’re looking for their explanations related to game design.
Overall, we’ll be focusing on how impactful the changes are in regards to their strength in the game and the general meta.
Miss Fortune – Level 2 (buffed)
This change is nice since Miss Fortune/Scouts have seen a huge decline in play the past few seasons.
Although I don’t think this brings Scouts back to their former glory, I do think this is a step in the right direction to give them a powerful win con.
Jarvan IV – Level 1 (buffed)
This change is HUGE when considered in unison with all the other Shen Jarvan buffs in this patch. Shen Jarvan gets multiple buffs this patch, as well as new cards, and this change also helps put them as a contender for tier 1.
Jarvan leveling earlier turns him into a huge threat which can win the game by himself with Cataclysm + him gaining Barrier each attack.
Tryndamere – Level 2 (buffed)
Not sure how much this will change Tryndamere, but this will certainly make him better. With The Watcher being nerfed, Feel the Rush may be considered again which is traditionally used with Tryndamere.
If a 10|10 Tryndamere wasn’t good enough, then a 10|10 Tryndamere with Tough should certainly be terrifying to face against.
Karma – Level 1 & 2 (buffed)
This is a huge change for Karma lovers everywhere. Karma is a potent champion who previously was one of the best in the game when she was 5 mana on multiple occasions.
Since then the meta has changed and it will be exciting to see how she stands in this new environment.
Irelia – Level 1 (nerfed)
One of the most requested parts of this patch was Irelia/Azir nerfs and here is the delivery. Irelia now needs to see 2 more allies attack to level up.
A lot of the time Irelia would level at exactly 12 and this makes her need to see an extra attack to level up and gain a Bladesurger to hand.
Riven – Level 1 & 2 (buffed)
This is an interesting change to Riven in the form of a buff and a nerf. Previously Riven didn’t get a Blade Fragment right away but you gained a Blade Fragment whenever you gained the attack token.
Now Riven gets one right away on summon instead if you have the attack token. This makes her worst in decks like Riven Scouts but better overall and I’d say it’s an overall buff to Riven decks everywhere.
Heimerdinger – Level 1 & 2 (buffed)
Heimerdinger received a direct stat buff which makes him much more of a contender. Having the extra attack won’t matter much, but having the extra health stat is huge.
He likes to stay on the backrow and generate Turrets which can be done much easier with 4 health keeping him alive from threats like Get Excited.
Hecarim – Level 1 & 2 (buffed)
Hecarim gained a buff in the form of one extra health stat. This extra health stat allows him to attack safer without dying in combat which could potentially give him the chance to get one more attack in and level up.
In the beta, Hecarim was the best champion in the game and this health buff could be a step into bringing him back to his former glory.
Azir – Level 1 (nerfed)
As said before Irelia/Azir nerfs were one of the most requested things this patch and they were delivered. Azir needs 3 more units to level up which is huge since his old level up of 10 units was incredibly easy to achieve.
Azir is a potent win-con when leveled up and this should make him take longer to sweep a game.
Nasus – Level 1 (nerfed)
Nasus level 1 not having Fearsome is a huge change to Nasus. In the mid-game Nasus can always threaten a chip attack so that your opponent can be put into Atrocity range.
To stop this they had to block with a decently stated unit since he had Fearsome, but now your opponent can chump block and keep a strong field for counterplay since he doesn’t have Fearsome anymore in his level 1 form.
Sivir – Level 1 (buffed)
This is a HUGE buff to Sivir. Sivir is an extremely potent win-con that was held back by her level-up taking too long so the threat wasn’t as scary.
Now with her leveling up faster, you are forced to deal with her which is tough because of her Spellshield.
I could see Sivir Leblanc variants running more Kato the Arm to utilize her easier level up to give all units Overwhelm.
Taliyah – Level 2 (buffed)
Taliyah no longer needs Landmark with her leveled-up form to deal damage.
This won’t matter too much but every once in a while when it comes up it is a nice change.
Taric – Level 1 & 2 (buffed)
Taric gaining one extra health stat is an insane buff for him. He gains Tough when he attacks and 5 health + Tough is hard for a lot of decks to deal with on curve.
This buff should make him easier to level up and easier to get multiple attacks in so you can generate a lot of value off of Taric.
Aphelios – Level 1 & 2 (buffed)
Aphelios gains one extra health back which should put him at the perfect power level. When he was a 3|2 with 2 mana Moon Weapons he was one of the strongest champions Runeterra has ever seen, while as a 3|2 with 3 mana Moon Weapons he is a bit too weak.
This should be the perfect statline for him to be a fair but good champion.
Followers, Landmarks, & Spells
Make it Rain / Miss Fortune’s Make it Rain (buffed)
This is by far one of the most impactful changes of the patch. For people who didn’t play when Make It Rain cost 2, it was one of the best and most meta-defining cards in the game.
This card will bring Bilgewater back to new heights with access to one of their best Bilgewater cards again. I expect to see this card played again in decks like Ezreal Twisted Fate, Pirate Aggro, and Twisted Fate Swain.
Back when Make It Rain cost 2, Ezreal needed 8 procs to level up. Now with him only needing 6 to level up, I can only imagine how strong this will be.
Black Market Merchant (buffed)
This is a sizable stat buff to Black Market Merchant. Black Market Merchant is amazing at generating value by Nabbing discounted cards, and with Make It Rain back to 2 mana it’s a great buff for this card to have the extra health.
Double Up (buffed)
Double Up cost is reduced by one which helps it a lot since it was previously one of the least played cards in the game. I don’t think this change will quite push it to playable but it is a step in the right direction and could be splashed in some Bilgewater decks.
Slotbot now is able to gain stat changes on summoning as well as Round Start.
In Slotbot decks, you are able to draw a ton so this is a great change to gain immediate benefit and start getting a powerful Slotbot rolling.
Confront / Shyvana’s Confront (buffed)
This change is phenomenal for Shyvana A Sol decks everywhere. Shyvana’s champ spell was previously too expensive and it would usually be a dead card in hand to double draw Shyvana.
Now having a second Shyvana is amazing and you can push for some powerful plays with Shyvana/Screeching Dragon + Confront.
I don’t think you main deck Confront in Dragons at least, but having two Shyvana is now a much better scenario.
Mageseeker Inciter (buffed)
Mageseeker Inciter gets a direct stat buff in the form of one extra health. Previously if you played a 6+ cost spell then it became a 6|5, but now it becomes a 6|6.
This is a buff to Lux decks and Mageseeker Yetis (along with a new Yeti coming out) which is a great addition to the game.
Laurent Bladekeeper (buffed)
This change makes Laurant Bladekeeper much better at combat trading when he already has immediate value when played.
This change is one of many that was given to Shen Jarvan as well as helping out Field Promotion Zed decks. I would expect to see a lot more Laurent Bladekeeper in the meta with this direct stat buff.
Howling Abyss (buffed)
Howling Abyss’s mana cost going from 7 to 6 allows you to start getting those powerful level 2 champs to your hand earlier.
This card made a big debut being played in SI/Frej decks on release but then fell off. With the Watcher nerf this may be one of the first places they look for win-con replacements.
Ren Shadowblade (buffed)
With a 4|3 statline, Quick Attack, and a powerful effect I think this may be the first time Ren Shadowblade becomes truly playable.
There has been a lot of buffs to the Shen Jarvan archetypes/Zed archetypes this patch and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ren Shadowblade sneak into the lists.
This deck can create pressure while also generating value which is a unique mixture of effects.
Dancing Droplet (nerfed)
Hey all, WhatamI here, I’ll be taking over the rest of our patch breakdown.
This change to Dancing Droplet looks innocuous but is absolutely huge. There might be no bigger mana point change than the difference between 0 and 1.
This will take something that was an automatic three of in its archetypes and potentially pull it out of play altogether.
We’ll have to see if the draw effect is powerful enough for it to still warrant any slots, but I’m not convinced.
Greenglade Lookout (buffed)
I am so happy about this one. This little dude has been looking for something exactly like this for his chance to shine for a long time.
Not dying to things like Vile Feast or Ice Shard means he is suddenly a perfect anti-control tempo tool and worthy of some serious testing.
Young Witch (buffed)
I was already ranting about how Lulu/Shen was potentially going to be a thing before I saw this and now I am loving it. Another tiny powerful beater that doesn’t just get pinged out anymore and creates tempo for you? Sign-me-up!
Will of Ionia (buffed)
The boogeyman has returned from its long exile, everyone flee in terror! Ok all silliness aside this will probably once more be a powerful card.
However, with Homecoming already around doing basically this effect but often even better I would be surprised to see this buff actually change all that much.
Twin Disciplines (buffed)
Ooooookay, so Ionia just got a premier new two mana buff spell. I guess that Sharpsight and Troll Chant needed some competition on the throne of “these are cracked.”
Expect to see this as two or potentially even three of’s in basically every Ionia deck for the foreseeable future. No, I don’t think I am over-reacting.
Incisive Tactician (buffed)
This one is nice because it lets Tactician proc reputation for you if you somehow manage to play him without it. More importantly though it means that if your opponent survives the rally then your follow-up Trifarian Asessor will be sufficiently impressed with tactics-boy here to give you an extra card.
City Breaker (buffed)
I’ll admit this one confuses me a little. This card is very cute and has occasionally seen play specifically with Swain/Sejuani attempting to turbo proc your champions.
It was never really attacking anyway so I suppose this will make it an alright blocker but I don’t think that’s enough to really push it through.
Jae Medarda (buffed)
Another one for the cute pile here methinks. The problem with Jae is that in basically every situation you’d rather just use your pump spells on cards that can actually kill your opponent.
Making him a sqwuidgen larger is not going to really address his fundamental design flaw.
Middenstoke Henchman (buffed)
This one I am a little more hesitant to dismiss. Four health is solidly on the line of very difficult to remove and a single connection, while unlikely can be game-breaking.
Given the number of ways we have to try to cheat out those connections I’m still going to call myself a doubter here, but this could be worth some actual looking into.
Wooof is this one going to hurt. Rummage is such a good card that in the right archetypes with the right discard fodder it is still likely to see play, which is the sign of a good nerf.
That said in those archetypes every mana point counts and this is not one you wanted to lose.
Tri-Beam Improbulator (nerfed)
Another one that is certainly going to sting here, but is richly deserved. Tri-beam will remain an absolute blowout of both value and tempo even at five mana.
I would be seriously surprised to not see some kind of either tier one or high tier two Tri-beam deck continue to exist. It will just need to plan out its turn a little more carefully as its mana points bump up.
WOOOOOOOOOOO! I mean, ahem, I am a professional and will be reviewing this in an objective- Nah. WOOOOOO! They did it.
They took the single most toxic thing in Runeterra and decided that it should try to be reasonable again and on par with everything else.
This is still a game-destroying win-condition, but now you actually have to work for it and it has some serious counterplay. I honestly cannot express how much I love this nerf.
Rhasa the Sunderer (buffed)
A little bit more lukewarm about this one. While Rhasa certainly used to be an absolute menace at seven mana I’m really not sure it would be anymore.
And really giving a card that already usually ended the game if it connected an extra 1|1 is not really likely to help it see more play.
Kind of the same reaction as above on this one. Glad to see a scary friend here getting a little love but five mana is still an awful lot to ask from what is really quite an aggressive deck.
Don’t really expect this to change much about this card seeing play outside of when it gets generated.
Escaped Abomination (nerfed)
This is very called for and exactly what this card needs. Now it will still be an impressively powerful early aggression tool but will be blockable and answerable by tools on the same mana point instead of dominating them. Very good call here.
Stalking Shadows (nerfed)
Not gonna lie I have called this the best card in the game many a time and while I absolutely love playing with it I can’t claim this wasn’t deserved.
Another one that will force people to plan out their turns and mana points a bit more carefully but should still see powerful play.
The Clock Hand (buffed)
And then he was a large lad, wasn’t he? This will give this card a chance to shine and be a serious buff to any Frozen Thrall-based archetype.
I’ll admit this scares me a little as that archetype was already pretty impressively powerful, but we’ll have to see how our testing of it shakes out.
Raz Bloodmane (buffed)
This tweak is a bit odd to me but definitely could see this coming in as a top-end finisher in some sort of Fearsome-based aggro/midrange deck.
I think it will be hard to upset Harrowing from that slot, but perhaps he could slot in if there were too many Deny affects running around the meta.
Given that this card is generally made to be aggressive this is definitely a nerf. However, it will allow it to survive fights with 1/1’s and random ice shards being thrown around so it’s not only a nerf.
This still feels like one of Shurima’s premier one drops and is likely to find many homes.
Mountain Sojourners (buffed)
That’s a pretty massive jump right there ain’t it? Not only did we suddenly become able to trade favorably into basically everything we ran right out of Culling Strike range while we are at it.
I cannot overstate how huge this is. It might not create a supporting Targon archetype out of literally nowhere, but the fact that it’s going to even make me test that again is hugely impressive.
Sun Guardian (buffed)
This is actually pretty huge. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a six-mana beater that becomes very understated after its first attack and is extremely vulnerable to stun and silence effects.
However, the difference between 3 and 4 health in this game makes things pretty impressively hard to kill.
As much as this one will hurt me personally I am very on board with this.
Trading life-positive against a Decimate while still finding your game-ending threat really was a bit much. This will likely still see play and as I have said above that’s generally the sign of a good nerf.
Ooooof, that one is nasty. This will make serpent the pick significantly less often. It will still have its uses, but this narrows the range of the things that it gets to trade into significantly.
This hurts the celestials archetype way more than hitting Starshaping does. Only testing will see if it survives or not.
This is another massive one. Not only does this take away a point of healing and damage on an enemy, but this also gets rid of one of the few Fearsome blockers that deck had access to.
The nerf may see Fangs sidelined in favor of old reliable Solari Sunforger, but only time will tell if the Invoke attached is still sufficient for the now seriously deficient stats to be acceptable.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask NicMakesPlays during his streams (usually 6PM-1230AM EST).