Legends of Runeterra patch 0.9.2 is the second major update since the start of the Legends of Runeterra open beta on 24th January. In this patch, several of the top-performing decks saw some significant updates. The main two archetypes targetted in this update are the Shadow Isle decks, and the Elnuk overwhelm decks.
A small change with a drastic impact
The Elnuk deck gained a lot of popularity after the 0.9.1 game update. So much so that several of the top Legends of Runeterra players climbed with the Elnuks to the top of the ranked ladder. After seeing the performance of the deck, the developers decided to make a change to reduce the strength of the deck significantly. The card they chose for this was the heart of the Elnuk decks, Troop of the Elnuk.
OLD TEXT: Play: Summon each Elnuk in the top 10 cards of your deck.
NEW TEXT: Play: For the top 6 cards in your deck, summon each Elnuk and shuffle the rest into your deck.
The aim of this change, as described by Live Design Lead, RubinZoo, is to allow a dedicated Elnuk deck to remain stable. However, for the deck to stay outside of the competitive metagame. The reason the developers don’t want this deck to exist at the top of the meta is a large amount of negative variance that this card creates.
In addition to this change to the Elnuk decks, the redesign of the Iceborn Legacy card. Iceborn Legacy, in its past form, gained some popularity in recent weeks in various of the Freljord decks. However, the developers decided to redesign the card entirely, changing several critical aspects of the card.
COST: 3 → 5
OLD TEXT: [Burst] Grant an ally and all allied copies of it EVERYWHERE +1|+1.
NEW TEXT:[Slow] Grant an ally and all allied copies of it EVERYWHERE +2|+2.
In Legends of Runeterra, Burst spells are incredibly powerful. Burst Spells, unlike Slow spells, can be used at any point during a round. Because of this, it is hard to see this change as anything but a nerf to the overall strength of Iceborn Legacy. Being able to find exciting ways to spend your excess mana, and forcing your opponent to play around Iceborn Legacy created various exciting scenarios at the higher ranks of play. Because of this, many members of the community are disappointed by this change.
The changes to Shadow Isles
Several of the popular Shadow Isles heroes received changes this update. The most popular hero of Legends of Runeterra, Hecarim, is among the cards updated this time around. In various builds of the Shadow Isles & Ionia aggressive builts, Hecarim was the key hero of the deck.
As RubinZoo explains, Hecarim never levels up due to his strength in the mid-game against various of its opposing decks. Because of this, in the current update, the base version of Hecarim has its health reduced by 1, from 6 to 5. To make up for this, however, Hecarim is now easier to level up, requiring one less Ephemeral allies to attack, from 8 down to 7.
The levelled-up version of Hecarim, however, gained a lot of strength in this update. The change reduces Hecarim 2’s health from 7 to 6. To make up for this, Hecarim now grants all allies a +3 attack buff. In the past, Hecarim gave all attacking allies a +2 attack buff instead.
The least played champion of patch 0.9.1
HEALTH: 2 → 3
OLD TEXT: [Fearsome] Play: Bond with an ally. Grant it +2 | +0 while we are bonded. Level Up: I’ve seen 3+ allies die.
NEW TEXT: [Fearsome] Level Up: 4 allies die
The other Shadow Isles hero getting an update is Kalista. Kalista was the single least played champion of patch 0.9.1, according to RubinZoo.
Because of this, she has seen a significant redesign in this update. Kalista’s strength is in her level-ed version when she gains her new passive. Her new passive revives an attacking Ephemeral copy of the strongest dead allied follower. This Ephemeral follower is bonded with Kalista and takes the damage otherwise dealt with Kalista this round. It is important to note that this dead ally can not be a different champion.
This Legends of Runeterra update includes far more updates to cards you probably never played before. However, you can check these changes and more out on the official Legends of Runeterra website.