Who doesn't love patch day? Here is the entire patch notes including up and coming content, alongside Majiinbae and Jason Fleurant's reactions to the changes!
PATCH 3.4.0 NOTES
We’re experimenting with a new approach to live balance this patch. In addition to the usual card updates, we’ve taken a holistic look at gameplay patterns that aren’t easily or quickly addressable by changing existing cards, so instead, we’re adding a few new cards!
This patch, we took a look at regions that lack core tools to deal with wide boards, as well as elusives, leading to one-sided matchups against that archetype, and we’ve created a new spell card for each of them to help shore up that weakness: Piltover & Zaun, Targon, and Shurima.
While we have some other changes in this patch to help Shurima handle multiple enemies, Shurima has always been reliant on Vulnerable to address single targets. That’s a strong game plan when you can attack, but we felt they needed a tool that could also work on defense rounds. https://www.youtube.com/embed/xTbbL7b0F_I
Targon is great at creating large single threats, but can struggle with wider boards. While we don’t want to change that identity entirely, we did want to give them an option for slowing down multiple attackers so that their slower game plan has a chance. https://www.youtube.com/embed/0EfGpSR5LCQ
Direct damage is meant to be a strength of Piltover & Zaun, and while that was definitely the case for single targets, their AoE options were not living up to that dream. Rocket Barrage should help keep Piltover & Zaun as a strong option to look towards when you want to be sure your deck can deal with a horde of little aggressors. https://www.youtube.com/embed/UhzjaPKL8tc
As mentioned in the new cards section, we wanted to make sure that every region had some tools to deal with the threats they might face. We also wanted to help out a couple of underutilized champions, and give some gentle adjustments to some of the decks that have been leading the metagame for a long while.
That being said, there are a few cards not being updated (yet) that we want to provide some extra context on:
- Yordles in Arms: We work on these patches several weeks in advance, and we worked on this one earlier than usual due to our week out - Yordles in Arms wasn’t seeing nearly as much play when these changes were locked, but we’re watching it now. The new removal cards being added along with the other changes this patch should have an effect on YiA’s efficacy as well, but we’re keeping an eye on it.
- The Bandle Tree: We have changes planned for The Bandle Tree to alleviate the lack of interactivity in its win condition, but the changes are more complex to implement, so we have that targeted for our next balance patch - 3.6.0 on April 27.
Here’s a look at each of the card updates coming in this patch:
Champions & Related Cards
APHELIOS (LEVEL 1) Aphelios isn’t changing directly, but we’re bundling these Moon Weapon updates in the Champions section since they very explicitly affect his game plan:
GIFTS FROM BEYOND
CHANGE: Cost: 1 → 2
ALL MOON WEAPONS Cost: 3 → 2
Moving Aphelios’ Moon Weapons to 3 mana helped contain him at a time where he was dominating the meta. But as we’ve also adjusted other cards he works well with, and as the game has grown, we think the Moon Weapons would be (mostly) safe at their original cost again.
CHANGE: Summon a 2 cost follower from your deck. If it has Nightfall, activate it. → Summon a 2 cost follower from your regions.
Crescendo pr esented a balance problem at any reasonable cost because of its ability to consistently retrieve a specific, powerful 2-cost unit from your deck. While this did offer some interesting deck building challenges, it also limited our ability to make strong 2-cost followers in the future.
AZIR (LEVEL 1)
LEVEL UP REQUIREMENT: You’ve summoned 13+ units. → You’ve summoned 13+ units or landmarks.
Azir’s love of units and Shurima’s love of landmarks led to some internal strife, especially in Shurima-only strategies. This change should help Azir players feel better about their board, no matter how they’re filling it.
GNAR (LEVEL 1)
BASE STATS (LEVEL 1): 4|3 → 3|3
GNAR (LEVEL 2)
BASE STATS (LEVEL 2): 6|5 → 5|5
You may have seen Gnar around Runeterra occasionally recently, and while we’re happy to see a newly released champ succeed, there can be too much of a good thing. We wanted to make a smaller change to tone him back without making him completely un-Mega.
PANTHEON (LEVEL 1)
BASE STATS (LEVEL 1): 4|2 → 3|2
PANTHEON (LEVEL 2)
BASE STATS (LEVEL 2): 5|3 → 4|3
Pantheon has been succeeding in a number of strategies, and with his new feline friend around, we felt he needed to pack a little less punch on his own.
PYKE (LEVEL 1)
BASE STATS (LEVEL 1): 2|3 → 1|3
PYKE (LEVEL 2)
BASE STATS (LEVEL 2): 3|4 → 2|4
Lurkers have been a consistent force for a good bit of time now, and while they aren’t completely dominant, we think that taking a few teeth off the sharks could let other decks shine more. You can see the Xer’Sai Dunebreaker change further along in the patch notes as another example.
RUMBLE (LEVEL 1)
LEVEL UP REQUIREMENT: I’ve dealt 12+ damage. → I’ve seen allied Mecha-Yordles deal 12+ damage.
While Rumble has been having some success on his own, his Mecha-Yordle friends have spent most of their time on the scrapheap. We’re giving several of the weaker mechs a tune-up, and making sure Rumble plays more nicely with his Mecha-Yordle pals.
BASE STATS: 5|3 → 6|3
BASE STATS: 5|6 → 6|6
BASE STATS: 4|5 → 5|5
BASE STATS: 0|4 → 0|5
BASE STATS: 3|2 → 3|3
VIKTOR (LEVEL 1 + HEX CORE UPGRADE TOKEN)
TOKEN COST: Hex Core Upgrade now costs 0.
Viktor’s machine evolution already asks a lot out of a player, between creating cards, playing a Slow spell, and still managing to protect your machine overlord. By taking the mana cost off the Hex Core Upgrade, we hope Viktor can focus on his self improvement without committing resources to the cause every turn.
Followers, Spells, and Landmarks
BASE STATS: 3|6 → 3|5
As with Pyke, we’re toning down Xer’Sai Dunebreaker to help other decks shine against Lurk more overall.
BASE STATS: 3|2 → 2|2
Much like Lurkers, Darkness has been a deck holding its own at the top of the meta for a long while without ever really taking over. We wanted to reduce their ability to trade off with aggressive minions early while also progressing their late game (evil) plans.
BASE STATS: 3|4 → 3|3
While we were glad to see Vanguard Sergeant become more of a general use tool for Demacia, access to a well-statted body and For Demacia! was just too good a deal for the Scouts deck. We’re turning this one back, but going to look at more changes to Elites in a future patch.
BASE STATS: 2|2 → 2|1
COST: 2 → 3
BASE STATS: 2|1 → 2|2
While Bandle City is meant to be good at Manifesting answers, these two were doing so at a remarkably efficient rate.
CHANGE: Deal 4 to an enemy that attacked this round or is Stunned. → Deal 5 to an enemy that attacked this round or is Stunned.
Targon is meant to be good at handling single threats slowly, regardless of size. Paddlestar was certainly nailing the “slowly” part, but was falling short against larger targets.
CHANGE: Give an enemy -4|-0 and disable its keywords (excluding any negative keywords) this round. → Give one enemy -4|-0 or two enemies -2|-0. Disable their positive keywords this round.
Quicksand was potentially a potent answer to enemies with strong keywords, but its single target focus often left it ineffective against the kinds of decks it was meant to address. Now, it’s a much more flexible tool, and can be a strong answer to a single, built-up enemy or multiple sneaky little ones.
SHE WHO WANDERS
CHANGE: Obliterate ALL followers with 4 or less power in play and in hands. → Obliterate ALL units with 4 or less power in play and in hands.
We’ve all come a long way since She Who Wins was dominating LoR, and since she was restricted to only hit Followers, She has mostly Wandered out of people’s decks. We still want her to be a top-rate finisher, and letting her disrupt the opposing gameplan more effectively will hopefully give her a role as a late game option.
SHERIFF LARIETTE ROSE
BASE STATS: 6|5 → 7|6
The Sheriff has a strong effect when she enters play, but was often unable to lay down the law effectively on her own. With a few extra stats, we think she’ll be a more effective answer for Bilgewater decks looking to answer larger units.
CHANGE: Give an ally +2|+2 and “I can block units with Elusive” this round. → Give an ally +1|+2 and “I can block units with Elusive” this round.
CHANGE: Give an ally +3|+0 or +0|+3 this round. → Give an ally +2|+0 or +0|+3 this round.
As we were looking at how to enable more interaction for various regions, we realized that these two premier combat tricks were a big part of what made it feel so hard to answer opposing threats. While we like that both Twin Disciplines and Sharpsight are both great defensive answers to removal, the fact that they were also excellent on offense meant that decks could include them without losing any aggression. This change should push players to have a harder choice between protecting their units and including tools that end the game on the spot.
(Also, we looked at a number of options to keep Twin Disciplines symmetrical, but making them Fraternal Twin Disciplines was ultimately what felt the most fair).
KING JARVAN III
BASE STATS: 3|6 → 5|6
The King has a potent effect when his son is around, but hasn’t been much of a ruler in his own right. With a little more power, he can do more to hold the throne.
CHANGE: Effect is no longer consumed by units that already have Challenger.
This is a small change that should hopefully keep Valor from stealing Quinn’s banner all the time. Darn bird.
CHANGE: When I’m summoned, draw a Shen. Allies with Barrier have Double Attack. → Play: Give an ally Barrier and draw a Shen. Allies with Barrier have Double Attack.
Sacred Protector makes a pretty exciting promise, but does little to deliver it on its own. We wanted to help you not just find Shen, but get him closer to a devastating Level 2 attack.
SIGIL OF MALICE
COST: 4 → 3
While we don’t want Sigil of Malice to become a premier damage spell without Reputation, it can afford to be a little less embarrassing. NOTE: This change only affects the base cost - the cost after Reputation is still 1.
CHANGE: Create an Armed Gearhead, Ballistic Bot, or Nyandroid in hand. → Create an Armed Gearhead, Ballistic Bot, or Nyandroid in hand and grant it +1|+1. Creating a machine army isn’t cheap, so why shouldn’t they come with a couple improvements pre-included?
CHANGE: Cards that previously planted Flashbomb Traps in the top 10 cards of an opponent’s deck now plant them in the top 8 cards of an opponent’s deck.
This affects Caitlyn, Sting Officer, Advanced Intel, Justice Rider, House Whump, Piltover Peacemaker, and various items & powers in The Path of Champions.
Flashbombs are a potent part of the Traps strategy, but shuffling them into a larger pool of cards could often leave you wondering where all those traps actually went. This change should let your bombs pay off more consistently.
COST: 3 → 2
Careful Preparation can let Predict pull off some really exciting and tricky plays, but it was just too expensive to typically make the cut.
CAMPHOR, THE DOUBT
BASE STATS: 5|4 → 6|5CHANGE: When I’m summoned, if you’ve targeted allies 6+ times this game, grant me Spellshield, Overwhelm, and Challenger. → When I’m summoned, if you’ve targeted allies in 4+ rounds this game, grant me Spellshield, Overwhelm, and Challenger.
While Camphor and Pantheon might not get along, we didn’t like that they also asked you to track two different (but very similar) forms of targeting allies. It was also looking doubtful that Camphor would find a place in any decks at her current statline, so we decided to also give her a slight boost.
Gameplay UX Updates
This patch, we’re introducing the first of a suite of gameplay UX updates, which we’re colloquially referring to as “Premonition.”
In patch 3.4.0, we’re introducing the following updates, which you can see in action in the video above!
- Nexus Health Previsualization: We’ve all been there… missing lethal or passing on block because you forgot about that pesky Dreadway or a champion leveling up after committing an attack, and you forget to check the Oracle’s Eye. With Nexus Health Previsualization, you’ll see exactly how much damage you’re dealing, or how much your Nexus is taking before it’s too late. The indicator will get a bit more emphatic if incoming damage is lethal.
- Unit Destruction Previsualization: Just like with Nexus health, it’s easy to lose track of just how much damage a unit is taking, especially when you’re facing a 5-spell stack and Tough / Formidable units on the board. This update makes it so units will now display cracks when they’re facing lethal damage during an interaction.
We have more of these updates on the way in future patches, aimed at further improving overall game clarity & consistency, so let us know if you have feedback once the patch goes live to help us continue to shape future UX updates!
The following personalization items are available with this patch.
Alternate Art + New Level-Up Animation
Alternate Art + New Effects for Mark of the Storm
Insatiable creatures seethe below the molten earth.
This board has special visual effects and music.
Who needs a furnace when you’ve got this little critter?
Guardian Personality: Warm-hearted
Hobby: Juggling fire
Found in volcanic pools, this free-spirited creature loves a good adventure.
Guardian Personality: Impulsive
Hobby: Swimming through hoops of fire
Don’t get him too fired up, if you value your things.
Guardian Personality: Hot-headed
Eats: Flaming worms
Ritual of Flames
The Infernal Remnants Bundle is available in the Store, prorated for any items you already own. Bundle includes:
- Magma Chamber Board
- Ritual of Flames Card Back
- Infernal Gloomtooth Guardian
- Infernal Silverwing Guardian
The Fiery Kin Bundle is available in the Store, prorated for any items you already own. Bundle includes:
- Infernal Shen
- Infernal Kennen
- Infernal Galio
- Infernal Pantheon
- Infernal Swain
- Champion cards for all of the above champions
The Unbreakable Shields Deck Bundle is available in the Store, prorated for any items you already own. Additional Details:
Protect your allies from enemy attacks with Barriers and sturdy petricite. None can stop the Formidable army!
Bundle includes a deck featuring Shen & Galio, as well as the Infernal Shen & Infernal Galio champion skins.
- Updated the loading screen for encounters in The Path of Champions.
- Revised an inaccurate description of Yuumi’s Level 2 ability - no functionality has changed. Previously, the description implied that she would gain +2|+2 on level-up; her level 2 stats, as well as the bonus, rather than the intended +1|+1 from the level up increasing her base stats.
- Fixed a few crashes related to reconnecting, tutorials, and spell swapping.
- Pantheon can now complete the Call of Destiny and Cuddle Buddies challenges.
- Updated text descriptions for some cards to remove typos, fix translations, and better align cards with game mechanics.
- Fixed several UI, UX, and general visual bugs to improve game clarity and player experience.
- Dates have been corrected in the Tournament tab for A Curious Journey’s Seasonal Tournament - the correct dates are May 14 (Open Rounds) and May 21 (Playoffs).