The State of Legends of Runeterra (Post Bandle)
At the beginning of August, we took a journey to reflect on the history of Legends of Runeterra. We dug deep and recalled their core design philosophies and remembered what the developers had promised us.
Beyond that, we scavenged through the ups and downs, reviewed the rougher times, and saw promising hopes of returning to the glory days. The future was bright and it still is!
It’s Trevor “Shugo” Yung here and almost two months have passed since our last discussion…and what a time it’s been! We finally got to dive into our tenth and final region; Bandle City.
Love it or hate it, we’ve gained a ton of new archetypes and tools to play with. There’s an absurd amount of variety right now coming off the back of Worlds.
Despite the handful of top contenders, there’s still a solid 10-20 decks you could use to climb the ladder.
Even then, there’s still plenty of room to experiment.
Before I get too caught up in optimism, let’s rewind a bit to a slightly darker time.
Bandle City Launch
While the launch of Beyond the Bandlewood was overall a success, there were still some immediate issues that needed to be addressed.
It wasn’t long before the new card hype began to be overshadowed by the powerful players of the previous metagame.
For a short period, our morale was low and the backlash was high. Do you remember the days of pre-nerf Azir Irelia?
Quite possibly the darkest of times, and all due to the one key mistake — lack of balance changes.
This was a common struggle for a while until the devs readdressed our desire for frequent patches.
Our prayers had been heard and we were at the forefront of change.
But coming off the expansion we began to relive a similar past which left us with a bad taste. It felt like we took a step back for the worse.
You see, there’s a particular card you may have heard of. Y’know, that Shurima fellow… Merciless Hunter was it? Oh yeah, that’s the name.. Right Arda?
Trolling aside, this was enough of an issue that the Legends of Runeterra subreddit was filled with Merciless Hunter memes.
And honestly, rightly so. While that wasn’t the only culprit card deserving of a nerf, it was definitely the face to prompt a change.
With the World Championship right around the corner, it was only inevitable that something would need to happen.
On August 30th the hotfix was announced which fixed a handful of problematic cards, and thus put us back on the path to success!
Post-Changes & Worlds
After the adjustments, we gained a lot more room to explore and a new metagame began to form.
No longer were players queueing into more Akshan Sivir than they could handle, and we were free to experiment and discover even more powerful decks!
The only real downside to the hotfix was its abrupt time frame.
Anyone preparing to compete in the World Championships had to adapt to a fresh metagame with less time to prepare.
Regardless, it was still the right choice as it led to an incredible event. The World Championship was a huge success!
Riot delivered an exceptional tournament. We had a fantastic panel of casters that were both entertaining and informative.
We got to live vicariously through the players and experience the emotion from the many unbelievable moments in each game.
Overall, the first World Championship was a home run. Everyone from the casters, players, and viewers provided extremely positive feedback.
For many of us, we got to see the game in a whole different light.
There are so many intricacies in each lineup, matchup, and play pattern that get overlooked on the surface. We truly got to experience a showcase of skillful and methodical play.
The depth of gameplay isn’t always obvious on the surface, but we got the privilege to watch and learn from a masterpiece. If you weren’t convinced of Runeterra’s competitive potential, you are now!
For more on Worlds, check out this article by WhatamI, who got 4th place in the event!
I wanna take a moment to showcase the diverse metagame we’re in. It’s not common for card game metas to be flourishing at all times, so when it happens, truly bask in its glory.
There’s a little something for everyone no matter what kind of deck you like to play.
Aggro, Midrange, Control, Combo; we’ve got it all! Let’s take a quick look at some examples.
Keep in mind some of these decks could be considered a mix of something else, but this should give you a rough idea.
- Bandle Burn (Ziggs/Poppy)
- Pirate Aggro (MF/GP)
- Poke City (TF/GP)
- Rally Elusives (Lulu/Zed)
- Discard (Draven/Sion)
- Plunder (GP/Sejuani)
- Sivir Akshan
- Darkness (Veigar/Senna)
- Swain TF
- Zilean Xerath
- Zoe Nami
- Teemo Caitlyn
- Shellfolk Pranks (Ezreal/Vi)
This is only scratching the surface of what’s available. There’s plenty of other decks not even listed on here, but you get the idea.
We’re in a space where we can play basically anything we want and not feel completely punished for it.
Of course, some will fare better on ladder than others, but for many of these, there is a justification for its existence; even if it’s niche.
The only issue worth addressing is that we do have a number of archetypes that feel very samey.
For example, most of the Bandle City decks include the same package of Bandle City Mayor, Poppy, and friends.
However, this is the reality and pretty normal considering our limited card pool for the region. Things should progress nicely as we move into the next expansions.
So what’s next? We actually have no further updates since the end of Worlds. While we can see the date of the upcoming seasonal tournament, there’s not much information beyond that.
The current road map has reached its end as we wait for the future. We’re likely to see our next mini-expansion which will help further establish Bandle City as a region.
Perhaps there’ll be some additional surprises as well? We’ll have to wait and see!
Shugo’s Productivity Thought of the Day
What’s important today, often isn’t important tomorrow.
Are you overvaluing something now that will be meaningless later?
Did you enjoy this read? Check out more articles and guides by our writer, Shugo.