Legends of RuneterraDiscussion

10 Freljord Card Changes Proposed by Kuvira

10 Balance Changes Freljord Needs

Hi everyone, Kuvira here.

Last time, we covered my proposed balance changes for Bandle City.

This time around, we’ll be covering 10 more changes for Freljord.

Note Riot recently put out a ton of new balance changes so that may affect my analysis.

1. Udyr

udyr level 1 (lor card) udyr level 2 (lor card)

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Udyr is one of the revealed champions from the last Bandle City Set. He’s not seeing much play, especially in the competitive scene, and currently has the lowest Freljord champion win rate.

Apart from his low power level, his design was a bit of a miss as well. He’s in the process of receiving a visual, gameplay, and lore change in League so the LoR dev team had to come up with a version of Udyr that is a mix between his current LoL version and the future one.

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Patch 3.6.0 is going to be focused on adjusting multiple champions, Leblanc, Garen and Udyr will receive the “most significant changes”:

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This leads me to believe that they’ll adjust Udyr to his future league update since they most likely have all the necessary info regarding his new changes.

After reading every piece of Udyr lore out there + their recently posted Udyr dev update, I believe I figured out something close to the overall direction that they will be taking.

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Udyr is a spirit walker that can use the power of Freljordian Gods, Anivia, Ornn, Volibear, and a fourth unknown boar god.

I believe that he will be receiving an art/name change to most of his stances(the card art will be different for each one),

Anivia’s spirit will be his Phoenix Stance: AoE damage.

Phoenix Stance (LoR Card)

Ornn’s spirit will be the Ram Stance: generic buff.
Ram Stance (LoR Card)

Volibear’s spirit will be the Bear Stance: attack buff, aggression.

Bear Stance (LoR Card)

Unknown Boar God: Defensive, regen, and health buff, this is the only stance that doesn’t get an art or name change.

Boar Stance (LoR Card)

So these changes aren’t meant to affect his gameplay but they’re there as an update according to his future league kit.

Now regarding Udyr’s balance, this might sound like a hot take but I don’t think Udyr needs that many changes to be viable, he could generate the stances on round start as well for his level 2, his level up condition could be lowered or just buff his base stats.

Right now, a 5 mana 4|4 is just too weak, his stances already put him behind in tempo because of their high mana cost, he’s basically an engine that takes way too long to start running.

That is why I decided to go with a stat change for his level 1 and 2, instead of a 5 mana 4|4, he is now a 5 mana 5|5 that levels into a 6|6.

Now, this is a huge change, 5 health on 5 is much better for survival and the 5 attack can allow him to put more pressure or work with 5+ attack Noxus cards like Reckoning, Bloody Business, Reputation…
Udyr level 2 (LoR Card)

This coupled with his champion spell’s change that I suggested should put him in a much better spot in the meta and make him feel overall less weak.

2. Spirits Unleashed

spirits unleashed (lor card)10 Freljord Card Changes (11)

This current spell is one of my least favourite LoR cards in the whole game. It is the LEAST played Freljord CARD currently.

Yes, the 1 damage to the nexus is a trigger for his level up but the mana cost and the additional effect are a total miss.

Game spots where you have Udyr on the board and start going for his gameplan, casting many stances etc…usually create boards where you only have 2 or 3 units total including Udyr. so giving allies +1/+1 truly doesn’t matter, you’re paying 5 mana to get a slow speed Ice Shard…

In his new LoL update, Udyr is getting an “awakened” mechanic, each of his abilities basically has a levelled-up form that’s more powerful. As you can see in these screenshots:

10 Freljord Card Changes

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So the goal for his champ spell was to synergize with his stances in some way AND preferably help him level up. I also decided to change the name from Spirits Unleashed to Spirits Awakened. I came up with this:
Spirits Awakened (LoR Card)We’re keeping the nexus damage part for his level up and plunder mechanic while giving it an interesting additional effect.

This works really well with his stances, the “Awakened” form of the stance would be twice as powerful, the Phoenix Stance can now deal 2 to everything, giving Udyr 3 triggers total for his level up, the Ram Stance would give +4|+4 total stats, etc…

Getting an additional Stance cast also works well with his level 2 since he gets +1|+1 for each stance cast.

As you guys know from my last champion design article, champion spell, in my opinion, should also preferably work independently in other decks/archetypes that do not include the champion.

This new version of Udyr’s champion spell should see experimentation in decks with fun combos like with Dawn and Dusk, Promising Future, Tri-Beam etc…

It also works with Winter’s Breath and Avalanche which is very flavorful.

In Udyr’s official story, he caused an explosion of spiritual energy that created a big avalanche.

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Casting an Avalanche after Spirits Awakened basically creates a big avalanche that deals 4 to everything which is a cute coincidental flavour.

The only potential issue with this sort of spell is limiting the design of future slow speed spells. I thought about this problem a lot and realised that Karma creates the same design limitations as this new version of Udyr’s champion spell.

Whenever they design a new spell, they probably test it with many cards including Karma, if a spell isn’t problematic with karma’s level 2 then, in most cases, it won’t be a problem with Spirits Awakened.

3. The Tuskraider

OLD The Tuskraider (LoR Card)
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There are a lot of expensive followers in LoR that never see play because of how weak their effects are as finishers for their cost. The Tuskraider is Sejuani’s “boat”, a boat is a follower that tutors a specific champion, these are usually expensive and work well with the champion they’re drawing.

Here’s I see things about expensive champion boats

  • Like every other expensive follower, they should have some kind of impact on the game state the turn they are played.
  • They should put extremely high amounts of pressure when they’re on the board WITH their respective champion.
  • Like most other champion boats, they should preferably have a keyword that makes sense with the overall flavour/playstyle.

Let’s take The Leviathan, for example, it’s a, an 8 mana 5|8 follower that draws Swain, it has to Overwhelm and a high attack that can be used to push damage the turn it is played, it also had a burn effect that chips down the enemy nexus on round start.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily put lots of pressure on the board alone BUT when combined with Swain on the board, The Leviathan becomes a finisher in most game states with the triple Swain stuns.

The Dreadway, Gangplank’s boat, is a 4|6 with Fearsome and an effect that impacts the board right away without needing GP. WITH a leveled GP however, it doubles the damage from his attack effect and Overwhelm damage which usually finishes games.

The Tuskraider, Sejuani’s Boat, doesn’t really do anything the turn it is played, it has an engine effect with an 8 mana cost that should be used for units that actually put pressure right away or threaten to finish the game. By the time all the buffed units are drawn, the outcome of the game has usually already been decided.

The Tuskraider has never been a consideration in any Sejuani deck because of the lack of synergy between them which is sad.

I decided to go for a flavourful change that ticks all the boxes I mentioned above

The Tuskraider (LoR Card)

The Tuskraider now has Regeneration with 5|6 as stats. The effect is also much better, no need for the awkward open attack on 8 to get plunder, you can now play it on 8 and start generating value much faster and without losing tempo.

This still works really well in plunder decks. With Sejuani on the board, the value generation from both definitely represents a solid win con in most game states. Damaging the enemy nexus will freeze their board, double the health and power of the top ally in the deck AND draw it.

This change should accelerate games where your boat + champion are set up while keeping the overall flavour of the card.

4. Shatter
https://cdn-lor.mOLD Shatter (LoR Card)obalytics.gg/production/images/set1/en_us/img/card/game/01FR055.png10 Freljord Card Changes (17)

Shatter is in the top 10 least played Freljord spells despite being in the game since the start of LoR. It has never received a balance change or redesign, it successfully dodged every Patch note.

It has a very interesting effect since it’s slow, it’s a development punisher that can be used to neutralise an enemy unit, and it works well in combination with frostbite or if the unit already has 0 attack.

The problem with Shatter is that it puts you in scenarios where you end up 2 for 1ing yourself. Let’s compare Shatter to Ravenous Flock:

  • 2 mana vs 1 mana.
  • Making an enemy unit damaged is much easier to do than reducing it to 0 health, flock is better.
  • For Shatter, you need to proactively commit two cards to deal with 1 unit whereas, with Flock, you only need to block(reactivity) with an ally to damage their unit and then remove it.

I decided to make Shatter cost 1 instead of 2 and reduce the damage to 3 when the enemy unit is already at 0 power.
Shatter (LoR Card)

I know that this change doesn’t directly help with the 2 for 1 card advantage issue of Shatter but it helps with the tempo/mana lost when trying to use it with a Frostbite card.

It can now be used as a cheap development punisher, somewhat like Guile with an upside: the flexibility of damaging a 0 attack enemy.

Icevale Archer is a staple Freljord card because of its development punishing effect. Having that same effect for 1 less mana that can be from the spell bank is huge in some decks even without getting the 3|1 body stat line.

Shatter now can also be generated from Coral Creatures and Wiggly Burblefish since it’s in the 1 mana spells pool 🙂

5. Ancestral Boon

Ancestral Boon (LoR Card)10 Freljord Card Changes (19)

Ancestral Boon, I bet if the image of the card wasn’t there, most of you guys wouldn’t have remembered the effect. This card is in the top 4 least played Freljord cards with an insanely low winrate of 37%.
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The story behind this card is that if you survive up until you’re enlightened late game (survive the punishing storms) you get rewarded with an effect that lasts for the rest of the game (inner strength that spurs them onward through the rest of their lives). It’s pretty cool lore.

This card’s problem is very similar to The Tuskraider, using 2 mana for basically NO EFFECT that same turn is just a really bad design in my opinion.

Freljord cards are known for giving stats to allies in the deck, but these effects are usually attached to a body so that even if you get the benefits on later turns, you still get to attack/block with the unit( Omen Hawk, Starlight Seer, Avarosan Outriders etc…)

A good example of a spell that has a similar effect is Shared Spoils, it’s a buff to units in the deck but it also does something that same turn by drawing you one of them if you plundered.

It’s fairly simple, the same philosophy should be applied to Ancestral Boon, that’s why I came up with this change:
Ancestral Boon (LoR Card)

On top of the buff, it now draws 1 in its first effect or 2 when enlightened. Naturally, the cost had to be nerfed to 3 mana for the draw.

I also felt that the effect needed to not draw the buffed ally (like Shared Spoils) because of how dangerous tutors can be for this low mana cost.

This change keeps its core flavour while making it actually useful and worth experimenting with in some archetypes.

6. Avarosan Marksman

OLD Avarosan Marksman (LoR Card)

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Avarosan Marksman is also a card from the foundation set that isn’t seeing play at all, it’s in the top 10 least played Freljord units.

For the OGs out there, yes Avarosan Marskman was in a tier 1 deck during the first few months after LoR’s release, it fits in a specific deck but nowhere else. It was Ezreal Frejlord with Elnuks.

It was used solely because it targets an enemy and counts for Ezreal’s level up. I remember Avarosan Marksman being cut from this archetype a few weeks after it became meta, that’s how bad the card was, even back then.

It’s a 3 mana card with 1 health and a restricted effect that only deals 1 to an enemy unit, that is nowhere near enough power level to see play in ANY deck, it wouldn’t even fit in meme decks.

Avarosan Marksman (LoR Card)This is the change that I’m suggesting, the difference between a 3 mana 3|1 and 3|2 is huge, being able to survive Pokey Stick, Vile Feast, Withering Wail etc… is crucial.

The play effect now deals 1 to ANYTHING. This includes allies and any nexus. This might seem like a light change on paper but the difference it makes is incredibly high.

Being able to deal 1 damage to the enemy nexus works really well with Frejlord or Bilgewater archetypes, here are a couple of cards/synergies this enables:

  • Enables Plunder
  • Works with champions like Sejuani, Udyr, Gangplank, Swain etc…
  • Works with the new transform mechanic that relies on damaging the enemy nexus.

I can now see Avarosan Marksman played in Swain Decks, or Noxus decks, in general, to damage enemy units and enable Ravenous Flock, Scorched Earth etc… In Sejuani/ GP decks, Transform archetypes, or even the same old Freljord Ezreal archetype.

Not every change needs to change the card from unplayable to staple/meta-defining. This is meant to move Avarosan Marksman from totally unplayable to a card worth considering in different archetypes.

The rest of these changes are pretty much self-explanatory so I won’t be writing as much for them.

7. Caught in the Cold
OLD Caught in the Cold (LoR Card)Caught in the Cold (LoR Card)

This has always been in my topmost underrated cards in the whole game, it’s a consideration in midrange Freljord decks as a solid removal tool that can also have synergy with frostbite and can be used as a development punisher on defence.

Giving back the action to the opponent in Runeterra can change the whole outcome of that turn. Changing it from slow to focus is a major change that should help the card see play in many Freljord decks.

8.Warmother’s Call

warmother's call jpgWarmother's Call (LoR Card)

This card saw play in LoR’s closed beta in the most dominant deck but also maintained its competitive viability for many months after. But that was until Feel The Rush was released, it just completely replaced it.

Why would you pay the exact same cost for a very similar effect, one of them finishes the game and the other drags it out.

Warmother’s Call also has a MUCH HIGHER deck-building cost than Feel the Rush. It clearly makes no sense for them to be at the same mana cost.

9. Icy Yeti
OLD Icy Yeti (LoR Card)Ice Yeti (LOR Card)

Icy Yeti is a foundation card that has never actually seen play in any deck I can remember. It’s a Yeti that doesn’t even make it in full-on roleplaying Yeti decks because of its weak power level.

Making it 6 mana instead of 7 should make it a solid consideration in Yeti decks, Frostbite archetypes, or even as a standalone value card.

10. Feral Mystic

Feral Mystic (LoR Card)Feral Mystic (LoR Card)

Feral Mystic is another old card that needs some love. This is a spirit walker, like Udyr, that loses control and fully becomes a beast at the end (enlightened).

Making this a 2|3 should make it viable as an early game unit that is also a great buff target. It could seep play in overwhelm decks or some Freljord control/midrange ramp archetype.

Freljord is my favourite region so I’ve really enjoyed making all these changes, hopefully, you also enjoyed reading about them!

Feel free to DM me on Twitter if you have any questions or just want to talk about LoR stuff!