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Yangzera's Thoughts on Patch 4.8

Yangzera gives his opinion on every change in the 4.8 patch notes and talks about how they will impact the Eternal meta!

Hey all, Yangzera back with the most hype news of the month! It’s balance patch week and today we got a big one. Let’s get right into the changes cause there’s a lot of ‘em, shall we?

The Nerfs

Champions’ Strength

Champions

As someone who really despises the play pattern of every CS deck, I’m very happy to see this nerf. The decks take a substantial hit in power and the card demands a much more interesting play pattern where your units have to attack first and then rally, instead of just throwing in whatever trash units you can gather and press the “I win” button hoping it works.

Sump Monument

Sump Monument

God bless Riot for this preemptive change. Puffcaps weren’t the strongest thing in the world, but with Eternal taking the power level of the game up a notch alongside a lot of buffs in this patch it is safe to assume a lot of combo oriented decks would use and abuse Sump MonumentSump Monument’s effect to guarantee one extra turn against pretty much every situation.

Condense

Condense

I really wish this change was a speed change from burst to focus, but a mana change is still pretty good as it gets harder to do extended combos with condense. Overall a very good change that works alongside other nerfs.

Swain

Swain

This change is a byproduct of how well SwainSwain works with Watchful IdolWatchful Idol. I do think it’s a nice change but it means Swain is probably locked up in Bilgewater for the foreseeable future. Other Swain decks really got hur by this change while Illaoi Swain didn’t feel it a lot.

Purifying Flames

Purifying Flames

Elusives would be really strong after all these nerfs and taking them down a notch is probably a good idea. This nerf alongside the Sump MonumentSump Monument change will not only help delaying their clock but also diminish their toughness – I like it.

Pirouette

Pirouette

This is the most elegant change this card could have had. A lot of times PirouettePirouette is used as a plunder activator to start combos without the need of committing cards you can’t fail to activate like Stylish ShotStylish Shot. I really like this change but would still appreciate something on SamiraSamira directly even though I think she’s a very interesting and fun card to play.

Fish Fight

Fish Fight

It really deserves the nerf, being the best interaction Demacia or Jax have. It’s still a strong card at 3 mana, but at least now both Aatrox and Jax decks need to give up a little bit more tempo to represent it. As a side note, this change makes the Aatrox mirror extremely token turn and draw dependent, which takes away a lot of nuance to it. Sad, but needed.

Lord Broadmane

Lord Broadmane

Broadmane is now vulnerable to much more things then before when at 5 health, and the jump from 4 to 5 really is huge. Being “sentry flockable” is a big thing in Eternal and dying to most interaction or double 2-damage spells is very relevant – good change.

Vaults of Helia

Vaults of Helia

We have to see if this revert to Vaults puts it back in the unplayable tier (it probably does) or if NasusNasus is still playable. I predict Vaults is dead and buried 6-feet under, but time will tell ifthis is true or not.

Squeaker

Squeaker

Another revert, but not as big of a chance as the next one. Squeaker really was the MVP of both JinxJinx KennenKennen and JaxJax TeemoTeemo. Most mecha-yordles are premium statted units, so having access to those on a nicely statted two drop was a little bit much. Squeaker will still be a relevant card, just not as easy to take a lot of value off as it’s pretty easy to favorably block him.

Return-O Wrench

Return-o Wrench

They really did it. They killed this card. Words fail me as to how surprised I am that this amazing card was completely murdered. Poor card.

Fleet Admiral Shelly

Fleet Admiral Shelly

I like this change, especially going into the Eternal season and given how they chose to approach NamiNami, putting her in the center point of spell slinging archetypes. As a war kwiminal with over 🙂 300 confirmed kwills :), Shelly’s nerf is deserved and it really leaves players to find if there is still a way to abuse them.

Buffs (And oh boy there’s a lot of them)

Jax

Jax

Being able to gain Jax’s level 2 buff trigger on the same attack he levels up is very nice, but this will still delay his level up in most cases. Still, in the cases he does level up at the same pace, this is certainly a buff and a very welcomed quality of life change.

Akshan

Akshan

This revert is massive for Eternal where we still have access to The AbsolverThe Absolver, but serves as a small push for Akshan in Standard, where he really feels lackluster compared to the format where shurima has in-region health buffs and easy access to Overwhelm.

Poro King

The Poro King Frosted Snax

Poro King’s change is great and adds a lot of value to him. Currently, it’s too easy to miss value because you need to take at least two actions to generate one special Snax. This buff alongside the Eternal card pool giving poro decks access to Poro CannonPoro Cannon is a massive change that can really help Poros make it as a viable archetype.

Riven

Riven

This small buff doesn’t change almost anything about Riven mechanically, but fixes her interactions with equipment buffs, which is a nice QoL change.

Nami

Nami

This is a nerf and a buff at the same time. While it’s infinitely more difficult to level Nami up, the massive payoff to doing so is finally back! There will be experimentation with nami and there is no doubt in that, but we will have to see if Eternal is too fast paced for the tidecaller to find the moonstone and save her people. I’m really happy with this change.

Lee Sin

Lee Sin

It was about time Lee SinLee Sin got his old level up quest back. Especially now that Momentous ChoiceMomentous Choice is a single cast spell, I believe Lee Sin can go back to what he was and not be a problem.

Vladimir

Vladimir

Vladimir’s rework looks amazing. An extra piece of removal for his decks, even if it’s as much as 2 damage sounds very nice. You can also instantly flip him given the right circumstances and turn him into a big removal piece. Very excited to test him out on Freljord and even SI builds with HecarimHecarim.

Blimp-Pack Poacher

Blimp-Pack Poacher

A small buff to an underused Ambush card. It’s not a good card by any means after this, but it’s a less terrible pull off of manifest cards, which is decent.

Bristlehog

Bristlehog

I didn’t understand why this guy wasn’t a 3/3 when he was first released and I’m glad riot went ahead and fixed the problem! Still, I don’t think that makes the card much better, but it’s at least playable now.

Sun Guardian

Sun Guardian

As riot said, the recent nerfs to daybreak and Samira really hurt the deck, so bringing Sun GuardianSun Guardian back sounds like not a bad choice.

Dragonguard Lookout

Dragonguard Lookout

As much as I like this change, it feels like dragons is an archetype that wants to go slightly later then a 6 drop rally can do. I might be proven wrong, but I’d say the ConfrontConfront and Strafing StrikeStrafing Strike changes are much better for that goal.

Confront

Confront

This change is amazing. Dragons as an archetype lacks a little bit of value outside of combat and the new ConfrontConfront unifies both. Alongside Strafing StrikeStrafing Strike and Dragon's Clutch can put dragons on the menu of midrange strategies. We’ll have to see, but for the first time I’m hopeful for the archetype.

Strafing Strike

Strafing Strike

Read ConfrontConfront.

Dawning Shadow

Dawning Shadow

Just when I was questioning myself where was the HeimerdingerHeimerdinger JayceJayce nerf, they come up with a random buff to Ferros FinancierFerros Financier, and therefore, to Heimer Jayce.

Rocket Barrage

Rocket Barrage

I’m not hopeful for Rocket BarrageRocket Barrage, but it is a much better card now. My only concern for it on Eternal is that there’s not a lot of 1 health units, most have 2 or more health. This card certainly messes up Jinx Kennen but the nerfs to Return-o WrenchReturn-o Wrench and SqueakerSqueaker definitely do a better job at that.

Eradication

Eradication

There aren’t many mana breakpoints that change with EradicationEradication’s buff other then you being able to play a 2-drop like Ceaseless SentryCeaseless Sentry on round 4 before casting it.

Realm’s Caretaker and Portal Scholar

Portal Scholar

These changes are so minor but I am very interested in how much will change that these cards can be discounted by Gleaming LanternGleaming Lantern. I think curving Lanter on 3 into Caretaker on 4 is massive and there should be something there.

Withering Mist

Withering Mist

This one change sounds really big because the card really is some sort of AvalancheAvalanche now depending on the circumstances, and you can curve it with a 2 drop like Ceaseless SentryCeaseless Sentry

The Fangs

The Fangs

In my opinion the game has evolved to the point that a 4-drop with 2 health won’t really make a difference in the meta but I don’t completely disregard The FangsThe Fangs buff. It really is a long time coming and I’m excited to finally play invoke again.

Thorny Toad

Thorny Toad

As a fearsome blocker now, Toad looks like a playable card, but I don’t think the Deep deck has room for more cards, especially in Eternal where it has to fit in AtrocityAtrocity. Non Sea Monster units generally Toss 3 cards so even though Thorny ToadThorny Toad is a much better and playable card, I sadly don’t think it will make the cut on deep decks.

Yone

Yone, Windchaser

This revert on Yone is very welcomed, and we have to see if he’ll fit into a SeraphineSeraphine EzrealEzreal type of deck in Ionia. The possibility is there, but testing is necessary.

Windfarer Hatchling

Windfarer Hatchling

I like this buff, but I think Windfarer Hatchling comes a bit late for what Ionia elusives would like to do.

Scattered Pod

Scattered Pod

What I really dislike here is it losing the 6th point of health. Aside from that, playing a card early is always nice, and now Ionia gets a well-statted 5 drop. Curving Pit ProfessionalPit Professional into Smooth MixologistSmooth Mixologist doesn’t have to be followed by SettSett anymore.

Mountain Scryer

Mountain Scryer

This guy has a real body now which is amazing. It’s still hard to see a mono targon deck outside of Atrocity things, but that is still a start. I predict Mountain Scryer will see a lot of experimentation.

Ancient Crocololith

Ancient Crocolith

I don’t think this buff does anything outside of making the Concurrent TimelinesConcurrent Timelines Combat CookCombat Cook highroll even more annoying to deal with.

Swiftwing Lancer

Swiftwing Lancer

This is a pretty good change for the card itself but it will only be relevant in RemembranceRemembrance decks, in my opinion, but those (mostly JayceJayce LuxLux) just got gifted Epic ScraptraptionEpic Scraptraption, so I don’t see this card or Remembrance being used in main decks.

Greathorn Companion

Greathorn Companion

Read Swiftwing LancerSwiftwing Lancer’s thoughts.

Laurent Chevalier

Laurent Chevalier

This change is relevant for Demacia/Ionia decks, but the problem is competing for curve slot with both ShenShen and FioraFiora. Also, Demacia/Ionia isn’t the best region combination historically.

Academy Prodigy

Academy Prodigy

Yay, revert LucianLucian! Unplayable!

Lost Riches

Lost Riches

There’s a chance this card gets tested out, but I don’t think Deep is winning through Treasures anymore, but it’s still a super funny card to play on meme decks.

Fuzzy Caretaker

Fuzzy Caretaker

This card is pretty good now, there’s a chance you can try playing LuluLulu ShenShen in a more aggressive way with it.

Loping Telescope

Loping Telescope

The FangsThe Fangs is still an infinitely better card as long as telescope is 3 mana.

Yordle Newbie

Yordle Newbie

I don’t think you play this card anymore especially after a pretty good Yordle in Portal ScholarPortal Scholar just became a Fae. It’s still a better card to pull from one drop generators like Marai WardenMarai Warden or Island NavigatorIsland Navigator, though.

Arbitter of the Peak

Arbiter of the Peak

This guy do be big, and if TaricTaric PoppyPoppy sees the light of day again, there’s a chance he comes in the package.

Giddy Sparkleologist

Giddy Sparkleologist

My favorite card! Hopefully the 3/3 statline is enough to make her playable, especially given how good it feels to land her buff on Zoe. The new Startipped PeakStartipped Peak activaets her on curve too, and that’s pretty good to have.

Wish

Wish

Tahm Raka is a specific meta answer deck that doesn’t really need SorakaSoraka’s champ spell to function, but a buff is always a buff.

Startipped Peak

Startipped Peak

I always loved this card and now being able to play it on 3 and get the value early feels extremely good. It also activates Giddy SparkleologistGiddy Sparkleologist on curve if you need to use it on a 2 drop champion or something like ZoeZoe. I love it.

Rimefang Wolf

Rimefang Wolf

Random AsheAshe buff no one cares about that won’t really change the deck or how strong it is, but maybe Zombie Ashe could benefit from this change if it gets to be meta.

Avarosan Outriders

Avarosan Outriders

The random Rickorex buff! I like Avarosan Outriders and there’s a fun little deck you can do with it but I think it will mostly not be played much.

Wyrding Stones

Wyrding Stones

Stones got reverted to a 0/4, maybe if it gets reverted to 2 mana too it becomes a good card again.

Molten Breath

Molten Breath

Another buff to Dragons that could work, but I would personally much rather if this card said “Your strongest Fury ally” instead of something you pick from your board so unit removal wouldn’t stop this card if you had at least 2 dragons on board.

Stalking Broodmother

Stalking Broodmother

This change sadly won’t make this card playable.

Abyssal Guard

Abyssal Guard

This guy’s effect would be much better if he was an elusive, and I don’t think fearsome will make the cut for him because the buffs last for a round only.

Insightful Investigator

Insightful Investigator

Piltover and Zaun has better draw tools then Insightful Investigator nowadays. FormulaFormula does a magnific job at filling Piltover’s necessity for draw spells.

Radiant Guardian

Radiant Guardian

Radiant Guardian’s 5th point of attack makes a bit of difference as it’s extra healing and damage being threatened. I like the change as that makes the activated Radiant Guardian much scarier because her clock is 1 round faster.

Ritual of Renewal

Ritual of Renewal

Perhaps my favorite change of the patch, even though it might not be as big as I’m predicting it to be. Ritual to burst speed really makes it so Ionian TellstonesIonian Tellstones is an enticing card again but I’m worried about the loss of HomecomingHomecoming being too big for the card. I still don’t see a reason to run hard copies of Ritual of RenewalRitual of Renewal on the main deck, but I can be proven wrong by enough successful testing.