With Patch 5.1 approaching, it's time to show some love to the underdogs—the cards that have been lingering in the shadows. The buffs could foster new archetypes to shake up the Standard meta and give players a fresh ladder experience.
Remember that it's not definitive that we'll be getting a balance update in Patch 5.1. In a previous article, I went through the cards I'd want to be nerfed in the upcoming patch.
Here are 8 cards I want to be buffed in Patch 5.1.
Once the queen of early-game dominance with her Flair + Quick Attack combo, Samira took a hit with the Flair nerf. The nerf slowed down her early pressure immensely, making it difficult for decks to get much value out of her without sacrificing a lot of mana.
Reverting Samira's Flair cost to 1 mana might seem like the obvious move, but I don't want us to end up with the same problem of Samira doing too much in the early game.
Instead, we could revert Samira's level 2 Flair cost, giving her back those 0 mana Flairs. It's a subtle buff that encourages players to work for the level-up while keeping the early-game pressure in check.
2- Perfidious Promoter
I suggested this buff in the past and it could benefit the Jack Sett archetype. Perfidious Promoter struggles to find a place in decks due to the randomness of the value it provides. Adding Attune would activate its effect immediately upon play, allowing players to create a 1 or 2-cost unit on turn 5 or 6.
This might be a huge buff to Perfidious Promoter, so it's understandable if a health nerf down to 3 is needed to keep it in line.
3- Flurry of Fists
A combo spell that saw play back when Akshan Sivir Ionia was part of the meta. It was later hit with a nerf, increasing its cost by 1 mana.
A revert back to 3 mana could make the card playable again with champions like Sivir, Akshan, and Master Yi. Its synergy with the Quick Attack keyword can set up a Double Attack lethal play when combined with the Overwhelm keyword.
4- Master Bingwen, The Sieve
Master Bingwen, the Sieve, hasn't found its place in the meta. The 5-cost unit might be a bit expensive for combo decks to get value from the double summon effect, especially given its one-turn play effect.
Buffing the card could involve making the effect permanent, with a potential increase in mana cost, or maintaining it as a one-turn play effect while reducing the mana cost to 4. Opting for the latter allows players to deploy Master Bingwen, the Sieve a turn earlier or with additional mana for protection.
5- Lecturing Yordle
Lecturing Yordle vanished from the meta following the removal of its summon effect. Once a staple card in decks like Teemo Caitlyn and Gangplank Twisted Fate Ping City, a revert to Lecturing Yordle could reintroduce it to Bandle City decks, particularly those capable of leveraging Poison Puffcap.
6- Fleet Admiral Shelly
Fleet Admiral Shelly needs the Attune keyword back! I was testing out the Norra Fizz deck with Condense + Riptide Rex, and dropping Fleet Admiral Shelly on turn 5/6 felt lackluster without the Attune keyword
A buff to Shelly by giving it the Attune keyword back could give a boost to decks like Nami, Norra Fizz, and Samira Fizz.
7- Banana Blaster
Since its release, Banana Blaster has struggled to make a significant impact, relying heavily on archetypes that can boost its Power, such as Bard or Concurrent Timelines.
Increasing its Power by 1 could be a huge buff for Banana Blaster, allowing it to eliminate higher health units while also presenting a threat on the board with additional Power to dish out.
8- Grizzled Ranger
Grizzled Ranger, a once-prominent card, has fallen off the radar since its nerf in Patch 1.2. Both Grizzled Ranger and Loyal Badgerbear lost 1 Power, kicking them completely out of the meta.
Decks like Scouts or Vayne could use Grizzled Ranger for its Scout attack and enable a solid mid-game plan. Adding 1 health to Grizzled Ranger makes it less vulnerable to ping spells like Pie Toss, ensuring a more reliable Scout attack before your opponent can eliminate Grizzled Ranger.
While I initially considered buffs for champions like Jack and Nami, the only viable Nami buff I could think of is reverting her to her old level-up condition. The concern is whether this would make her too frustrating to face, potentially leading to the same issues we encountered pre-nerf.
As for Jack, Drisoth proposed an interesting suggestion, giving leveled Jack the ability to turn Coins from Focus to Burst speed. This can be a massive buff that'll allow players to set up counterplays on their opponent's turn.