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Legends of Runeterra: Taking an in-depth look at the Expedition Archetype and Reward Changes in Patch 0.9.0

Patch 0.9.0 brought a lot of changes to the Expedition game mode Chain vest was added to Demacian Steel
Patch 0.9.0 brought a lot of changes to the Expedition game mode Chain vest was added to Demacian Steel
Modified 20 Feb 2020

The Legends of Runeterra Patch 0.9.0 was a big one, and it’s the first-ever massive balance change that the game saw.

Now, Champion card, Spells, and Followers were not the only things that went through changes this time around. Riot tweaked certain parts of the Expedition mode as well, especially with the XP and the ‘bonus rewards’ from consecutive wins. 

The Expedition game mode is one of the best ways to earn shards and experiences in Legends of Runeterra, and even if you don’t win any games in it, you’re still guaranteed a Champion card, which is just neat.

However, in 0.9.0, the XP reward system for the mode got a slight nerf, and some of the minor archetypes went through balance changes as well. Shard rewards went through certain tweaks, and different numbers of wins will now offer different amounts of shards.

So, let’s take a closer look at some of these changes.

Changes to Archetypes

Some of the Expedition archetypes went through minor balance changes, where some of the more overpowered ones were scaled down a bit.

According to Riot, frequently balancing the game mode will keep it fresh and open up new avenues for including future content.

#1 Demacian Steel (nerf)


The Demacian Steel archetype was by far the strongest and most oppressive set of cards in the Expedition game mode. 

However, in 0.9.0, it got toned down a bit, as Riot is adding a Chain Vest into the draw, which is a pretty weak one-cost spell. It gives a single ally the ‘Tough’ Keyword, which can be crucial in certain situations. 

Though this nerf scales the archetype’s power down a bit, it will still remain one of the best in the Expedition. 

#2 Battle Scars (Buff)

  • Added: Alpha Wildclaw and Might.
  • Removed: Blood for Blood and Bull Elnuk.

The Noxian and Freljordian combination of the Battle Scars archetype is another very strong deck choice in the Expedition game mode. However, it’s not as oppressive as Demacian Steel, and can very easily be counter played with the correct strategy.

Alpha Wildclaw is a very powerful late game card
Alpha Wildclaw is a very powerful late game card

The Battle Scars needed a buff this time around because, according to the data collected by Riot, this archetype has a very rough time in closing out games. It's pretty strong early to mid, but by late-game onwards, its weaknesses start to show.

#3 Suit Up (Nerf)

  • Removed: Alpha Wildclaw.
  • Added: Bull Elnuk

Much like with the Demacian Steel archetype, the Suit Up one is also equally overpowering, and there is not much counterplay against it. So removing the Alpha Wildclaw from it is going to stave off a lot of its dominance, and bring about more balance to this composition.

#4 Shroom and Boom (Buff)

  • Added: Assembly Bot, Statikk Shock, Plaza Guardian.
  • Removed: Academy Prodigy, Chempunk Shredder, and Get Excited.

Teemo decks are one of the most frustrating to play against. But, though powerful in constructed gameplay, it’s not nearly as effective in the Expeditions game mode. 

So, Riot is helping it out a bit by adding some more playmaking potential so that it can go toe-to-toe with the Demacian Steel and the Suit Up Archetypes.

Reward Changes

Expeditions used to be one of the best ways to earn experience that allowed players to move on to unlocking new chests for cards and shards.

Now, this gave those players with more Expedition tokens to have an unfair XP advantage to those who didn’t. Riot wants to balance the XP gain per game, and though the XP gain will be nerfed slightly, the game mode will still remain one of the best ways to earn XP.

XP Expedition rewards (end of trial)

  • Zero wins: 100 reduced to 50
  • One win: 300 reduced to 150
  • Two wins: 500 reduced to 250
  • Three wins: 700 reduced to 400
  • Four wins: 900 reduced to 600
  • Five wins: 1,200 reduced to 800
  • Six wins: 1,500 reduced to 1,000
  • Seven wins: 2,000 reduced to 1,500

However, the power taken away from Expeditions is being transferred over to PVP Constructed gameplay. 

The base PVP and XP rewards in Constructed will be 200 in both normal and ranked, while it will be 100 for Expeditions.

  • One to 10 wins: full XP (no change)
  • 11 to 15 wins: Was -50 XP, increased to full XP
  • 16 to 20 wins: -100 XP (no change)
  • 21 to 30 wins: Was -150 XP; now it’s only -100 XP
  • 31 or more wins: Was -200 XP, now is only -100 XP

The total number of shard gins on the 6th and 7th win got adjusted as well.

  • Six wins: Shard increase to 1,500 from 1,000
  • Seven wins: Shard decreased to 3,000 from 3,500 
Published 20 Feb 2020, 16:58 IST
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