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Legends of Runeterra goes live in just a few days, and Riot Games has the first patch notes of the Beta Season out for players. These cover everything from economy updates to ranked changes and card balancing. There is also a healthy dose of bug fixing. The notes also stress that this is the last time players will see an account wipe. Once the game goes live, progression rewards and purchases are yours to keep forever.
One of the biggest changes coming to Legends of Runeterra is the updated economy. In the closed beta, Riot Games used the same currency as League of Legends, RP. Now, it will match the pricing used on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, as the game is coming to mobile later this year. Because of this, prices will change depending on where players live. Riot emphasizes that if players purchased coins during preview patches, they will return those coins to the player’s account. The amount spent will match the current currency standards, and while the number might change, players will have “at least as much purchasing power as you did before.”
Changes are coming to the Vault, Expeditions, chest rewards, and rewards from the Prologue too. Most of these are happening to match value changes coming to content prices with a few perks. Players will be able to receive Expedition Tokens in level 10 Vaults now, along with earning more shards in rewards from Expeditions. Additionally, Riot has updated the amount of XP players earn from winning their first several games, though they’ve upped the amount earned from losses as well. The XP will decrease the more hours players put into the game in a day, however.
Ranked play and the Social Panel
Another big change coming to Legends of Runeterra is the release of Ranked Mode. Starting with the Beta Season, players will have until the full launch of the game to climb ranks and earn rewards. The season will end once the game fully launches, with players earning Beta Season-exclusive icons.
Players will also gain access to the social panel, which will include a friend list, chat features, and a matchmaking system to challenge your friends. While players can have friends in any of the Legends of Runeterra shards (Americas, Asia, and Europe), challenging friends can only happen if they are in the same shard as you. The social panel also links to League of Legends, so players will see when their friends are online but in different games.
Guardians of Runeterra
A new Collections panel will let players customize their game with various cosmetics. Players can change how their board looks, with each board modeled after a different region in the Runeterra universe. Riot will have six boards available at launch, with more added as the game grows. Players will also find their guardians on this page, with three new ones so little Poro won’t be lonely.
Champion nerfs and buffs
Now for the good stuff: the cards themselves. A couple of champions saw reworks, with a good deal more followers and spells getting some minor adjustments.
Just a heads up: the card images shown below are the pre-patch versions, as the patch has not yet gone live and Legends of Runeterra won’t be available to the public for another few days.
According to the patch notes, Anivia was a rough champion to play against. With few chances for opponents to interact with the icy bird, players could get ahead in value pretty quickly. Riot wanted to maintain her abilities while making her a little more balanced. As such, they have increased her mana cost to 7, changed her level 1 power and health to a 2/4, and added a “Level Up: You’re Enlightened” ability so that she can slot into Enlightened decks. There, she can act as a finisher in a control style deck. Anivia also has the ability to block now, which makes sense seeing as she can make giant walls of ice in League.
Ezreal was also nerfed a little, but only at his level 2. Here, Riot felt that giving players free card advantage was a little too consistently powerful. Instead of being free, Mystic Shot will now cost 2 mana, just like the original card does.
Nerfs and buffs, but for spells!
Battlesmith got an admittedly weird buff/nerf, but the reasoning stems entirely from the Expeditions format. Battlesmith will be changed from a common to a rare. Riot found that it was too consistent in the draft format; by increasing its rarity, the odds of drafting Battlesmith decreases significantly. During playtesting, the card felt very powerful, particularly in the Demacia and Elite archetypes.
The card Silverwing Vanguard will be shifted down from rare to common to maintain a balanced number of rares in the Demacia archetype.
Cloud Drinker also received a fairly big nerf, dropping from a 3/7 to a 3/5 and losing its Enlightened ability. This beefy whale provided a little too much defense for only costing six mana, and by making Burst spells cost 2 less while Enlightened, it could enable infinite combos. Without that ability, you still have a powerful card, but it won’t cause game-breaking combos anymore.
Catalyst of Aeons was just a little too consistent for ramp decks, which became a balancing problem for Riot. With a little extra ramp, it could come down on turn three and propel players ahead in mana and Nexus health. Moving its casting cost up to 5 gives an opponent time to breath and makes other mana ramp cards more viable for more diverse decks.
The odds and ends of Runeterra
Riot Games also spends some time discussing what is coming to Legends of Runeterra. The Deny spell is powerful, as stopping any spell or skill is a great way to balance the more powerful spells in the game. However, Deny might be a little too strong against Elusive builds. Riot is looking at potentially changing its casting cost, but so far no changes are coming.
Other minor changes to mechanics and phrasing in the game are included in the notes, like changing “Ready to attack” to the new keyword “Rally”. For all the smaller changes coming to Legends of Runeterra, make sure to check out the full patch notes.
Legends of Runeterra will release on Jan. 24, with players who pre-registered receiving access a day earlier. Make sure to follow Daily Esports for more Legends of Runeterra news, decks, and strategies once the game releases.
Ryan Hay is a writer and content creator currently living in New York. Video games, anime, and Magic: The Gathering have all been strong passions in his life and being able to share those passions with others is his motivation for writing. You can find him on Twitter where he complains about losing on MTG Arena a lot.