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A Case for Minimorph

Many people have been choosing Minimorph as the whipping boy for these Bandle decks but let's not punish the card for the rest of the region’s sins.

Minimorph is one of the most divisive cards in recent memory. The Bandle City powerhouse removal spell can instantly turn any threat into a textless 3/3, ignoring any interaction outside of an easily removed spell shield. This has made several strategies almost completely irrelevant. For example, when was the last time you saw an all-in Fiora deck? Sick Sion bro, crazy how he only attacks for 3. This effect is too powerful and it’s completely ruining the game… Or is it?

 

I believe that Minimorph is a balanced card. I like having these kinds of effects in the game, without cards like Minimorph and Hush champions with strong effects like Sion, Lee Sin, and Sejuani would have even less counterplay. Catch all removal should exist, and it should also be more expensive than its more limited counterparts. We see this exemplified with Minimorph’s high cost and the drawback of leaving behind a 3/3 for your opponent. Leaving behind a 3/3 doesn’t seem like a high cost but that’s worth generally about 3 mana. Compare these effects to Vengeance which only costs 1 extra mana but leaves behind nothing, giving it about a 2 mana advantage over Minimorph.

I believe that the main problems with Minimorph currently are that Bandle City happens to be the most powerful and flexible region in the game and that it simply feels really really bad to get your champ or giant follower minimorphed. While I believe that Bandle City will get balanced in the same way that Shurima and Targon were previously, I can understand the frustration of going up against a region with insane tempo, card advantage, and answers for both small and large targets. Take any champion, add bandle city, and you have a solid tier 2 deck with little effort or thought. Lose to these decks often enough and you look for a card to blame.

 

Many people have been choosing Minimorph as the whipping boy for these Bandle decks but let’s not punish the card for the rest of the region’s sins. If the region didn’t have absolute powerhouse cards like Poppy, Bandle City Mayor, Curious Shellfolk, and Lecturing Yordle, then nobody would care if they had Minimorph. It’s only because they have access to the most flexible removal spell AND some of the best cards in the entire game that it becomes a problem. Once Targon was hit with the nerf bat, nobody cared anymore that it got to play Hush.

 

+ = #$%&”#”!!!

The other issue is a little harder to address, it feels bad to play against. Getting the big champ that you’ve been playing towards all game turned into a Mini-Minitee at an uncounterable burst speed is not fun, however, I think it is necessary. Powerful engines and win conditions are a lot of fun to have in the game as long as you can interact with them. The second that they become too difficult to deal with the game becomes less fun because it turns into two people racing to establish their win conditions and engines while disregarding the back and forth interaction that makes LoR so fun. We are currently seeing that with various midrange decks and Sion. Several region combinations have no way to deal with a sion when he hits the board (Pnz, Noxus, Bilgewater for example), making playing these region combinations impossible because when Sion hits the board, you lose. And It. Feels. Horrible.

 

+ = ROFL!!!

What if Pnz had a way to deal with this? Even if it wasn’t incredibly efficient? This is the spot in the game that Minimorph fills, it gives regions a way to deal with these extreme game-ending threats if you need it. Bandle decks aren’t going to slam 3x of the card in every deck because in a vacuum it’s not a good card. But it’s there when the format needs it, creating sort of checks and balances. Too many high-costed game-ending threats? Play more minimorphs. Too many minimorphs? Go under them with cheaper units that don’t care if they get turned into 3/3’s. This ability to react to the meta is vitally important in card games, and LoR especially.

While I agree that Bandle has tons of problems, I don’t think that Minimorph is one of them. It creates a lot of feel-bad moments and maybe that’s enough reasons to change it but I would like to see first if the complaints go away once Bandle City’s balance is fixed. Riot has done a pretty solid job balancing out the game when the patches do release and I have every faith that eventually Bandle will get smoothed out as well. Let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter.