Lor Patch Rundown (Patch 2.5.0)
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.
Twisted Fate (nerfed)
This change to Twisted Fate makes it harder to achieve his level up.
This is particularly important to prevent Twisted Fates turn 5 level up.
Previously, you could Summon Twisted Fate picking Blue card, then next turn Rummage discarding Stress Testing to hit 8|8 for his level up and win the game from there.
Now, this isn’t possible with this change, amongst others in this patch.
Overall, this makes Twisted Fate a lot more healthy since his level 1 form is already strong and now his powerful level 2 form is something you have to work towards.
This is a huge change to Fiora and a significant nerf. Nowadays in Runeterra, it’s easy to achieve Fiora’s level 2 win-con since there are so many ways to protect her and stop your opponent’s answers.
Now with 2 health she trades much worse and has to have spells to assist her to get kills on early game units such as 2|1’s.
This nerfs the threat she puts on the board as a “must-kill” because she won’t be able to achieve her win con as quickly or easily.
Jarvan IV (buffed)
This is a huge buff to Jarvan IV with a simple, yet effective stat buff.
The biggest issue with Jarvan IV is that his effect isn’t optional, which still hasn’t changed.
Yet, a stat buff is always welcome and will definitely make him stronger than before.
The change from 3 to 4 health is huge in Runeterra allowing cards to live through Get Excited and trades from 3 attack units.
Making Jarvan beefier will make his presence on the board more impactful after you’ve got the value from his effect.
This change is nice for the flavor and synergy of Dragons but doesn’t change too much.
In some instances this is a buff to get value out of the Fury keyword, in others, it’s a nerf from not having the extra attack stat.
Overall, Dragons have a lot of issues such as needing more synergy.
Buffing Herald of the Dragons would give Dragons more synergy or buffing Shyvana’s Champ Spell on top of this could make Shyvana more viable.
For now, Dragons have other issues, and changing Shyvana like this won’t change how the deck functions that much.
This is an amazing change to Lulu, previously one of the weakest Champions in the game.
While Lulu is still looking for the deck she belongs on, a stat buff is definitely a step in the right direction.
Lulu has an easy level up combined with a strong level 2 form and I could see her being with Shen in a Midrange Ionia Demacia type deck.
Giving her the extra attack allows her to trade slightly better, which is important in a deck where she has to attack to give her support effect.
Followers, Landmarks, & Spells
Pick a Card / Twisted Fate’s Pick a Card (adjusted)
This change is interesting and can shake up Pick a Card’s roles a lot.
The first thing to notice is that this change makes it much harder to level up Twisted Fate.
This is a nice change because Twisted Fate + Pick a Card for an easy Twisted Fate level up was one of the strongest things in Runeterra and what people were expecting to get nerfed.
On the other hand, Pick a Card is less costly and less committal now which could make it so this card can be splashed in other decks.
Wiggly Burblefish (nerfed)
This is a pretty straightforward nerf. Although Wiggly Burblefish has the same role, his impact on the board is a lot weaker because the attack stat nerfs lowers his damage output.
It is also important to note that Wiggly Burblefish is commonly combo’d with Iterative Improvement, so now the damage output of that combo is lowered as well.
This is a good nerf to TF Fizz, which was widely considered the best deck in the game.
Dreg Dredgers (buffed)
This is a huge buff to Deep and makes it so Deep’s early game can trade well and more reliably make it to the turns where you can go Deep.
Previously, Dred Dredgers as a 1|1 had to lose a lot of combat trades vs 3|2’s and you’d fall behind before you could try and get your deck functioning. Now with a 2|1 Dred Dredger, you can go even in these combat trades and smoothly transition to your midgame.
The Dreadway (nerfed)
This is a very interesting buff and changes The Dreadway in many ways.
The first thing to note is this stops the Concurrent Timelines → Ledros → Dreadway one turn kill combo.
Although this combo wasn’t particularly reliable or tier 1, it wasn’t an interaction that the players appreciated so this was a nice change.
Outside of this combo, Dreadway going to 8 can make a Gangplank deck much stronger.
SI Bilge can curve Dreadway into Ledros and win on turn 9 which is strong.
Doubling all your damage as well as being able to search Gangplank is a powerful effect.
Being able to play the Dreadway a turn earlier is a huge threat and I’m excited to see what people come up with to make use of the new and improved Dreadway.
Shadow Assassin (adjusted, leaning towards buffed)
This is a nice buff to Shadow Assassin’s stats.
Elusives with 1 attack aren’t really threatening and don’t have too much of an impact.
Having the extra attack allows Shadow Assassin to chip away for damage so your opponent has to deal with them.
Shadow Assassin already draws you a card on summoning so if they use a spell to remove her then she gets good value.
This is a great change and makes Shadow Assassin able to make use of her Elusive keyword much better.
Fae Guide (buffed)
Fae Guide has never really seen competitive play, but a buff could help change that.
Although the buff isn’t too huge, going from 3 → 4 health is a big difference in Runeterra to live through spells and trade better.
Elusives is a powerful keyword and a direct buff can only make Fae Guide more playable than it was before.
Legion Rearguard (buffed)
This is a huge buff to Legion Rearguard and makes him a consideration for Aggro decks everywhere.
One of the biggest things to note is that Legion Rearguard has one health than many Noxus 1 drop alternatives such as Legion Saboteur and Precious Pet.
Being able to live through Vile Feast and Withering Wail as Aggro is pretty huge, as well as packing a 3 attack stat to push in damage.
Another key thing I’d like to note is that now you have the ability to run more good 1 drops.
Decks such as Pirate Aggro or Spider Aggro could find space to add in Legion Rearguard and have higher chances of having triple 1 drop hands to push for huge damage output.
Sea Scarab (buffed)
This change is absolutely huge for Deep decks or any deck that runs Sea Scarab.
As stated previously with Dred Dredgers, Deep struggled in the early game because it had to lose a lot of combat trades with their blockers to stay alive.
Now with Sea Scarab having a 2|3 statline and Dred Dredgers having a 2|1 statline you can trade favorably and more reliably make it to turns where you are Deep.
A 2|3 statline is amazing since it can block one drop that are 2|1’s such as Legion Saboteur and Duskbringer and hold down the early game.
Another huge perk is that Sea Scarab has Deep itself so it gets buffed to a 5|6 when you go Deep.
This also makes it a better card to get off Slaughter Docks than it was before.
Overall, a 2|3 that helps you go Deep and gets stronger when you do is amazing for the Deep archetype.
Esteemed Hierophant (buffed)
This change is nice and gives Ascended decks a chance to Ascend faster.
In a Mono Shurima Sun Disc deck you run 3 copies of Esteemed Hierophant which can add up if you summon multiple in one game.
With a good statline and an effect that directly helps the win con of your deck, Esteemed Hierophant feels even nicer in Ascended decks than it already did.
Callous Bonecrusher (buffed)
Callous Bonecrusher didn’t really have a home before in Runeterra and this stat buff makes it one step closer. If this card does see play it would be in Sivir Leblanc.
Sivir Leblanc is a Noxus Shurima deck that can reliably get Reputation to discount Callous Bonecrusher.
As I said before, the jump between 3 to 4 health is a significant one and we’ll get to see if Callous Bonecrusher makes the cut in the Sivir Leblanc decks now.
Aphelios’s Moon Weapons (nerfed)
All of Aphelios Moon Weapons now cost 3 which is a significant nerf.
Previously, Aphelios was able to generate card value extremely easily and out value just about any deck.
Now with the Moon Weapons costing 3, this will make his card generation much slower and more costly.
This also makes it so you can’t play Boxtopus as early in Targon Bilgewater.
This is a good change to tone down Aphelios since he was one of the best Champions in the game.
Gifts from Beyond / Aphelios’ Gifts from Beyond (buffed)
This change was made as a nice quality of life so Gifts from Beyond → Moon Weapon still costs 4 mana.
If this change wasn’t made then Gifts from Beyond into a Moon Weapon would be extremely expensive, and they wanted to keep that combo costing the same amount of mana.
The Veiled Temple (nerfed)
Although the mana part of Veiled Temple is the strong portion, nerfing the health is gives to a unit makes them more susceptible to removal.
Before many Champions such as Twisted Fate and Aphelios would receive huge health buffs from Veiled Temple making them hard to remove and they win the game from there.
Now without the health buff, you can try and remove these threats and stop them from taking over the game.
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