The Top 10 Crazy Old Card Effects
Although LoR is still very much a newer card game, it has come a long way since its early days.
As we get closer to Aphelios and Shrima, we wanted to take a look back and some of the wild changes that may have been forgotten.
This article is about the top 10 craziest cards that got changed in the first patch/patches of the game (before the public beta) because of how strong they were.
In reverse order, we’ll be looking at:
- The Box
- Assembly Bot
- Lux and Final Spark
- Cloud Drinker
- Precious Pet
- Glimpse Beyond
- Intimidating Roar
For more insights about the cards we’re covering, be sure to also check out my video below:
#10: The Box
The Box was a crazy card before it got changed.
It was a Burst speed 4 mana spell that for the duration of the round reduced enemies’ attack by 1 and for the rest of the round, whenever the opponent summoned a unit ( play or summon effects) that unit would take 4 damage.
Cards that have Barriers like Lux take 0 damage but lose the Barrier.
This effect is pretty unique in Runeterra, there’s nothing similar to the old Box in the card pool currently.
The old version of The Box could be used with cards like Frenzied Skitterer or Nocturne by deleting Fearsome blockers and therefore going for some burst lethal game finishes.
It could also be used as a pre-development before the attack, around turn 6,7 or 8, by playing The Box as your first action and developing units, the opponent is effectively locked out of playing their own units to block, they also cannot play any chump blocker because it would just die to the effect.
#9: Assembly Bot
Assembly Bot’s old effect created another Assembly Bot in hand whenever you played a 6+ cost spell and then granted all Assembly Bots everywhere +1|+1.
A very strong effect allowed some decks that were completely built around this card to be broken and competitive.
If Assembly Bot was a 3 mana 2|2 with its old effect in the current meta, some decks could be running a bunch of 6+ cost spells like Remembrance and Unlicensed Innovation to create multiple Assembly Bots and buff them with cheap combat tricks.
Kalista was changed multiple times, her oldest version had a 4|2 stat line with a completely different effect and without the Fearsome keyword.
When you play her, she bonds with an ally that takes all damage for her, meaning that if the ally is a 1|1 Spiderling, if Kalista is targeted by a Mystic Shot that deals 2 damage, the damage would be redirected to the Spiderling that would take 2 damage and die.
If you attacked with Kalista and the bonded ally, placing Kalista first mattered a lot, if the Spiderling is on the left of Kalista when attacking, it could get blocked and die first, leaving Kalista vulnerable to trades.
After seeing 3 allies die, she levels up and gets a new effect, whenever she attacks she would revive the bonded ally if it’s dead, it wasn’t Ephemeral and takes damage for her.
Note that ally could be a champion and not just a unit.
Kalista’s champion spell at the time was a 2 mana card that dealt 3 damage to an enemy unit if an ally died that round.
#7: Lux and Final Spark
Lux’s old form was quite interesting, she was a 5 mana 5|3 and needed to play 6 mana worth of spells in ONE round, instead of keeping the charges of mana spent on spells after ending the round.
She also didn’t create a Final Spark right after leveling up but instead needed to attack to create it.
Final Spark was a 6 Mana Fast Ephemeral spell with the same Overwhelm keyword, meaning that Final Spark was able to be played as a combat trick during that same attack.
The rework was meant to allow Lux to drop later in the game with more defensive stats while being less clunky to level up and being much easier to build around.
#6: Cloud Drinker
Cloud Drinker used to be a 6 mana 3|7 follower and had a bonus effect: When Enlightened, your Burst spells cost 2 less, this additional effect got removed and the stat line was nerfed to a 3|5.
The change was mainly due to the fact that Cloud Drinker is a dangerous combo piece that represents a risky long-term issue that may potentially enable infinite game-ending combos.
Its old Enlightened effect could be used in combination with Karma and her champion spell Insight of Ages that would start creating some crazy value and combos.
Targon would’ve also been pretty problematic with Cloud Drinker, the access to 2 mana Burst speed cycle spells like Pale Cascade and Guiding Touch would be too strong if they cost 0.
#5: Precious Pet
Precious Pet used to have a completely different and unique effect: similarly to The Box, when you summon Precious Pet, for the rest of the round, the next enemy units played or summoned will be stunned that round.
It was a strong development punisher, a 1 mana card that locked the opponent from playing a proper blocker or an additional attacker if they have the attack token.
The change is justified because it was included in every Noxus deck and was far too powerful for its cheap cost.
#4: Glimpse Beyond
Glimpse Beyond is a very powerful card historically, it had and still has a very high play rate, it’s almost auto included as a 3x in every Shadow Isles deck.
Crazily enough, Glimpse Beyond was a Burst speed card, meaning that it wasn’t possible to have any kind of interaction with it.
You were guaranteed to draw and didn’t need to play around the opponent’s cards that may kill your target and deny you the draw.
Being able to kill your own unit at burst speed isn’t really a healthy mechanic for a spell without interaction. In general, Riot wanted units entering and exiting the board to occur at Fast speed or slower to allow interaction.
Unlike the current version of Thresh, he used to have a self-sustain effect allowing him to heal 1 whenever an enemy dies.
He also had 1 less health point and only needed to see 3+ enemies die instead of 6+ allies or enemies.
This means that old thresh would’ve been much more fitting for control style decks because they usually don’t run enough units to level Thresh fast enough.
In decks like Shadow Isles Frejlord, Thresh fits perfectly and would only need to see 3 enemies die to a combination of the turn he Challenges and kills a unit, and two other spells.
#2: Intimidating Roar
This card only received a 4 letters swap, it got changed from a Fast spell to a Slow speed one.
Fast speed Intimidating Roar shuts down so many strategies.
Against aggro decks it could stop an entire attack which matters a lot, that’s buying you two turns worth of development to prepare for the next one.
It could also be used offensively in Overwhelm decks that already run Decisive Maneuver currently, a card that stuns only 1 enemy.
Fast speed Intimidating Roar could be used to push a lot of damage by removing blockers and allowing your Overwhelm units to damage the Noxus.
Anivia was a terror in closed beta. She was a 6 mana 4|3 that couldn’t block, she had the same skill, dealing 1 to all enemies when she attacks and 2 when leveled up.
The major difference lies in Eggnivia.
If Anivia dies she turns into Eggnivia and if the opponent isn’t able to remove it, it would transform back into a leveled-Up Anivia on the next round start.
Meaning that if you Glimpse your Anivia on turn 6 and the opponent doesn’t kill Eggnivia, on Turn 7 you’ll have a leveled Up Anivia already without needing the Enlightenment.
This effect was pretty oppressive, especially when combined with the Shadow Isles cloning package like Mist’s Call and The Rekindler.
Using Island Navigator also allowed Anivia to be cheated out early, turn 4 or 5, allowing to have a leveled Up Anivia on turn 6 or even 5.
Anivia and most of the cards in this top 10 got reworked for a reason and most of the changes were urgently needed.
However some of the effects were unique and fun to play, we could hope to see some of them come back in a more balanced environment.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask Swim during his streams (10AM-6PM PDT).