What’s up everyone, it’s me again and this is the article to talk about the upcoming 4.11 balance changes! To be quite frank, I didn’t expect a lot of balancing, but Riot turned a complete 180 and flipped the meta over our heads. I’ll briefly talk about the changes I think will impact the game less and then do a recap on what I think will happen to both formats in the end. Let’s get right into it!
This is a very warranted nerf and it will slow down Janna Nilah’s clock by a lot of health points, actually. It’s less relevant in Eternal since the deck has access to some extra burn from Ruined Rex, but in Standard this will reduce a lot of the deck’s burn potential. If you could realistically burn people from 10~12 hp before, you’re looking at a 7~8 HP range now. This drastically slows down the deck and allows for more tempo strategies to try hitting the field.
This nerf is good in a way that it will slow down Janna’s level up by a full round in pretty much every scenario where she would previously level up. There’s also no way she can level up on the very next round after being played, which is a very good and needed change. For Eternal, I don’t think Twisted Fate is suddenly better than her in the BW/PZ deck by any means, and she will probably still be Nilah’s best pairing.
This card was released as 8 mana, grant +4|+4 and Scout, was nerfed to 9 mana, then was nerfed to 8 mana +4|+4 but with no Scout, and now it was nerfed again back to 9 mana, still with no scout.
And it’s still one of the best cards in Demacia.
It would be a pretty decent nerf if they didn’t unprint Cosmic Call. Invoke decks are just not good now it feels like and this is insult to injury.
To be quite frank, everyone would agree with me if I said the whole problem with this card was going Cosmic Call into Living Legends. To fix this problem, you don’t have to remove the card from the game. It would be much more pleasing to change the Big Invoke from the 8 mana version to a mid tier Invoke. It’s still a nerf, since you have a lot less chances at hitting Living Legends now and have to run actual invoke cards on top of triple Starshaping, and putting a mid tier invoke is also more balanced then a small invoke since you can’t go Mountain Scryer into Cosmic Calling The Messenger or The Charger into play immediately and preventing a tempo loss. I am saddened by this change but it is what it is.
It had to die somehow. I also think that this change could justify the card going back to 1 mana, but I’m glad it didn’t. Timelines is an insufferable deck to play against because it will very often create games where neither player has control over its outcome. This type of design is not cool to play as or against. With all that being said, RIP bozo won't be missed.
Maybe they were afraid of bumping his level up quest back to 12 damage because of the newly released dragon, but I wouldn’t mind it after the Watchful Idol nerf.
Dame the Despoiler
Overwhelm mentioned! It’s really hard to evaluate this card because Samira got killed and we haven’t heard of her ever since, but it is now a unit you can battle fury and add into your Gnar Darius deck.
Dedicant of the Challenge
This card needs either a keyword or another stat to be worth playing, in my opinion. I don’t know if Brash is the correct keyword, but maybe a 2/3 could make it work better.
This got changed to become a Titanic unit for Clash of Giants purposes, in my opinion. I don’t think it does a whole lot to change the decks that maybe wanted to play it. There’s no reason to play this in your Sigil deck because you’re in Freljord – the best region in the game – and can just play Anaakca instead, tutoring any attacking follower, not just a dragon.
Ain’t no way 8-mana-do-nothing is ever getting played from hand, especially now that Boadir of Blackened Ice is a card.
It’s an interesting buff, and there are some good cards to be pulled from Freljord like Anaakca, Boadir of Blackened Ice, maybe the new demacian boat. If this card gets played, it’s not going to be the centerpoint of its deck, but a top-end card to try and outvalue the opponent in your “ramp into broken cards” deck.
It’s a pretty nice flavor change that Ledros gets to smack the nexus for half health and just instantly end the game. You could maybe justify a deck that wants to Revitalizing Roar into Commander Ledros and then use the remaining mana to Harsh Winds fearsome blockers out of the way to connect him. I don’t think you ever want to pair it with Atrocity again because Nasus and the buffed They Who Endure are just infinitely better targets.
They Who Endure
You can Endure+Atro face again and we’re back to 2020! In all seriousness, TWE is just a different flavor of Nasus, and I don’t know if you want to play one over the other. To be quite frank, if you are in Freljord this means Boadir of Blackened Ice is an option, but then why are you banking on Endure to win you the game again…?
This card now fits much better into Viego decks. It already did fit in as a one of or maybe 2, but I hope this placebo change encourages more people to try it out, since one thing that Viego decks lack historically is access to face burn especially after Atrocity got rotated.
Alongside the new self-slay card, Spirit Leech not randomly dying to 1 mana cards anymore is a pretty good thing for SI. Maybe now the archetype got enough buffs that it’s playable?
This card still has the problem that the unit you’re sacrificing can be removed and the skill will fizzle entirely, but maybe if we’re targeting The Undying then that’s ok.
Seal in Steel
The weapon being 2 cost now sounds pretty strong considering you can use cards like Catch!, Tumble or equip it directly with the Demacian cards, but my problem is that it locks you into playing Pantheon Vayne.
First of all, Pantheon has no problems getting big, so you’d want this weapon to retain keywords aswell. Second of all, recent Pantheon decks kind of rely on Sacrificial Scholar for value, and the Obliterate part will make it so you are not getting your spells back if you happen to use it on him. It might be an ok card if your intention is to save big stats that were getting removed previously and maybe Catch! them into an attacker that’s not being blocked, but it sounds gimmicky for me to say it’s good without actually playtesting the deck.
Explorer cards make this irrelevant, in my opinion. If the people want The Bandle Tree to be unplayable, they can absolutely make it happen.
Now that Opulent Foyer was fixed, I think Katarina can be reverted. If Freljord decks become too dominant in Eternal – which I personally don’t think they will –, Katarina Yasuo could reappear as a meta call against them.
I don’t know what Landmark you want to advance with this, since Explorer cards exist now and high countdown landmarks aren’t the best thing to protect. There is a chance Sun Disc makes an appearance this meta and I would believe Preservationist can make the cut on the deck.
Being able to cast this card with only spell mana is huge, and there is payoff in it on both Xolaani the Bloodweaver and just Azir in general. It’s definitely worth testing now compared to previously.
I think this card lacks a situation to be good at. If you want to buff a big board and push damage for a face burn finish, Sneezy Biggledust! just seems better. If you actually care about the +1|+1 granted buff, that begs the question if it’s not better to just be a Demacia Champions' Strength deck with Inspiring Light instead.
Whatever buff makes Frenzied Skitterer easier to pull off with Soul Cleave is concerning. At 3 health, it dodges a lot of fast speed combinations of removal and pulling this two-card combo off means your opponent just isn’t blocking fearsome anymore. Very scary buff.
Bandle City gets yet another 1 mana 2/1 and officially becomes the anti-Legion Rearguard region. It’s more fragile to removal now, but if you really want to save this unit in a Bandle/Ionia deck, you absolutely will be able to.
You were definitely using this card for the summon effect with things like Vile Feast or even sometimes Jury-Rig. I think this card has some chance to see peripheral play because it now has a keyword, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s still pretty bad.
The Early Meta
I think these three cards will shape the meta since they’re doing stronger things then any other deck. For eternal, I can definitely see Seraphine dominating the game especially now that Invoke and Timelines were killed. The format can deal with Boadir, but as for standard…
Standard is probably going to become a one-region format. Freljord is just doing stronger things then any other region at the moment and I expect it to really dominate the game in the near future. Maybe there are ways to fight it back, but Boadir of Blackened Ice just looks way too good of a card in an already strong region that dodged all balance, on top of the Janna changes dialing back the one deck that could have a chance against it.
Sky Splitter will dominate standard, while Eternal will have a combination of it and Troll Chant. I expect Freljord to keep dominating the meta, both in ladder and in tournaments – at least in the beginning.
We’ll only have 10 days to discover this patch until the Eternal open, so I’ll definitely be back in a few days with an analysis of the ongoing meta and how it’s developing – keep an eye out for it!