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Legends of Runeterra: Understanding the Meta- A breakdown of the 0.9.0 balance changes.

An in-depth look at the changes coming in patch 0.9.0
An in-depth look at the changes coming in patch 0.9.0
Modified 19 Feb 2020

With the Legends of Runeterra patch notes for 0.9.0 out, players will soon be seeing significant shifts in the meta.

In this article, we take a detailed look at some of the balance tweaks that Riot has done in this patch and attempt to understand why they were made and how they’re going to be affecting the meta in the coming days.

Champion Changes

Lux (buff)

Level one

  • Power: Three → four
  • Health: Four → five

Level two

  • Power: Four → five
  • Health: Five → six

As far as champion cards go, Lux has had a very low impact in the game. It was very hard to keep her alive more than a round or two as her low health would get her bursted down by fast spells in the blink of an eye.


The health buff is, therefore, going to be quite a decent change and it will give her more survivability and help the player generate more final sparks.

Yasuo (Buff)

Level two

  • Level up: You Stun or Recall 6+ units → You Stun or Recall 5+ units

Yasuo’s decks are not exactly in the meta at the moment. They are pretty hard to execute, as the players will have to rely on a great deal of favorable rng to get the deck going properly.

Reducing the conditions to attain his level two can help him out a lot;However , it’s not enough to make him a coveted deck choice any time soon.

Spells and Followers.


Back to Back (Nerf) 

  • Cost: Five six

Back to Back acts as a free ‘get out of jail’ card, and at moments can even help players snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. 

Increasing its cost will lower its impact a bit and restrict some of the playmaking abilities it possesses when combined with other low-cost spells.


Arena Battlecaster (Buff)

  • Health: One → Two

For low mana cost cards, even a one-point increase in health is a very big deal. In a meta which is dominated by Dawnspider Decks, spells like Vile Feast can make you have a very bad time if your hand is filled with one health, low-cost cards. 

Hence, this buff to Arena battle caster is quite significant and will increase his value as an early game card by a lot.

Crimson Curator (Buff)

  • Health: Two → Three

The reason for having ‘card draw’ spells or followers in a deck, is to not let your hand run dry. So, if your card draw engine is getting killed by a mystic shot every time, then why at all sacrifice a spot for it?

And this is why the health buff on the Crimson Curator comes as a much welcome change for Noxian deck users. And we believe that it will be more than enough to bring him back in the meta, as it improves his reliability.


Deny (Nerf)

  • Cost: Three four

The ‘big NOPE’ spell is finally getting a nerf. 

Ionia decks are one of the hardest to play against and counter, and it’s majorly because of the Deny spell card. Having the power to cancel out the enemy's major spell cards has what made this region so very oppressive against decks that focus around mages.


And now, with a cost increase nerf and buffs made to Lux, Ionia decks will be less impactful, and mage decks will finally start becoming a meta pick.

Inspiring Mentor (buff + nerf)

  • Health: One → two
  • Old text: Play: Grant an ally in hand + 1|1
  • New text: Play: Grant an ally in hand + 1|0

Though the card itself is getting a health buff, the nerfs to its passive is what affects the meta the most. The Ionian Elusive Deck is one of the best ranked climbing meta decks at the moment, and much of their success lay at how well one would use the Inspiring Mentor and his passive. 

And a direct nerf to his passive, is a direct nerf to the entire Elusive deck composition, and Elusive cards now will have a more difficult time of surviving against removal spells.

Jeweled Protector (Buff)

  • Power: Three → four
  • Health: Three → four

The buffs to Jeweled Protector were made to compensate for the nerfs that the Inspiring Mentor got. It will help balance out decks that rely on handbuff cards and a slow and controlled playstyle.

Kinkou Lifeblade (Nerf)

  • Health: Three two

Yet more nerfs to the Elusive meta decks. With the reduced health, Kinkou Lifeblade will now be in direct mystic shot range. Even Inspired Mentor will not be able to buff its health up, and he is sure to lose a lot of viability as a result.

Shadow isles.

Commander Ledros (Nerf)

  • Cost: Eight nine
  • Power: Eight nine

Well, every CCG has a card that literally comes and wreaks havoc, and for Legends of Runeterra, it’s Commander Ledros that literally breaks the game. And though a higher power may seem like a buff, the higher cost makes for a significant enough nerf for the card to fall off the meta.

Allowing the opponent, one extra round can be the difference between a win and a loss.

Rhasa the Sunderer (Nerf)

  • Cost: Seven eight

Much like with Ledros, a one mana cost increase for Rasha too is going to be a significant nerf to those deck composition, which are centered around him. As Shadow Isles decks, in general, are pretty good at taking the game to later stages, at times hitting 9 and even 10 mana, these cost nerfs come as a great boost for opponent comps which rely on early to mid-game units.

Scuttlegeist (Buff)

  • Keywords: None [Fearsome]

Scuttlegeist has been one of the most underplayed cards in the game till now. Ans Riot is looking to make it more viable by introducing a new passive keyword, which Shadow Isles deck users can use to their advantage.

However. Scuttlegeist will still not be universally viable and can only be used in decks that revolve around cards with the ‘Last Breath’ passive.

Tortured Prodigy (Buff)

  • Power: Three four

Though this is a nice buff to this very underplayed card, it’s still not going to be enough incentive for players to pick him up more often. As Shadow Isles decks have more of a unit based playstyle than a spell-based one, he will still feel like a bit of an anomaly in any composition.

Wraithcaller (Nerf)

  • Keywords: [Fearsome] None

Fearsome cards are a headache to deal with, especially when you’re playing a low-cost, low-power unit deck. And with Wraitcaller losing its Fearsome, small units will now be able to successfully block it, and some of the S-tier Shadow Isles decks will soon be losing its potency.


Published 19 Feb 2020, 18:32 IST
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