Hi there, Raphterra here again! It’s been three weeks since the release of World Ender, and I’ve been having a lot of fun playing! The meta feels very open and I think that there still many potential hidden gems waiting to be discovered. That being said, several decks have already established themselves as the top dogs of the World Ender meta. With Riot’s tendency to shake up the meta with their balance patches, it’s likely that these decks will get hit hard in the next update. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to speculate and predict these upcoming nerfs! In this article, I present my picks for 10 Nerf Candidates in Legends of Runeterra Patch 3.22.
Without further ado, let’s start!
Aatrox Demacia has cemented itself as the patch’s strongest deck with an impressive winrate of 58.7% in the past week. This deck will probably be the primary target of the nerf hammer in the upcoming balance update. Being the main star of the deck and the expansion, Aatrox is likely to receive a nerf in Patch 3.22.
Aatrox has a lot of things going for him, and there are several ways to nerf the Darkin general. Personally, I think increasing his cost to 7 should be enough to heavily impact Aatrox while still maintaining his viability. Aside from Aatrox, I’m expecting more cards in the Aatrox Demacia deck to be touched.
Vayne is Aatrox‘s partner in crime in World Ender‘s strongest decklist. She’s another strong champion that will probably get nerfed in Patch 3.22. Tumble‘s cost was already increased from 3 to 4 in Patch 3.19, but this wasn’t enough to stop the Vayne train from rolling. Outside of Vayne‘s pairing with Aatrox, she’s also present in another high-tier deck in Rumble Vayne (55% winrate).
The nerf to her would probably be a health reduction from 4 to 3. This would greatly reduce her trading potential and make her more vulnerable to removal spells. I don’t expect a heavier nerf to Vayne, since she’s probably the only card that’s keeping Demacia relevant as a region.
3. The Darkin Harp
The Darkin Harp is one of the strongest Darkin weapons in the game, alongside The Darkin Aegis. If the developers plan to nerf Aatrox Demacia‘s non-champion cards, the harp is one of the probable nerf targets. Quick Attack is one of the most powerful keywords when paired with Challenger and Scout units from Demacia. Many matchups are won on the spot if you draw The Darkin Harp + Fleetfeather Tracker / Valor in the early game.
We may see The Darkin Harp go down to +1/+0 to reduce its ability to trade into larger units. If left unchecked, The Darkin Harp could become a card that limits future designs for units with Challenger or Scout.
4. Ranger-Knight Defector
Another probable nerf candidate in Aatrox Demacia is one of their main Scout units: Ranger-Knight Defector. Ranger-Knight Defector + The Darkin Harp / The Darkin Spear is one of the most powerful Turn 4 plays in the game. You will often lose the game if you don’t have an answer to this combo on Turn 4. Having Tough makes Ranger-Knight Defector very resilient and it often requires at least two cards to remove. Ranger-Knight Defector at its current state will just get stronger as more Equipment cards are released.
I’m expecting Ranger-Knight Defector to receive a slight reduction to its power, from 4 to 3.
5. Back Alley Bar
Back Alley Bar is a key card in one of the most controversial archetypes in Legends of Runeterra, Seraphine Ezreal. Despite the heavy nerfs to Seraphine and Fanclub President in Patch 3.19, Seraphine Barkeep still survives to this day with an above average winrate of 52%. Don’t be fooled by this number! Seraphine Ezreal is one of the scariest decks in the hand of a competent pilot. This deck is very flexible and has lots of room for skill expression and creativity. It’s difficult to play around cards against Seraphine decks because of Back Alley Bar‘s cost reduction and random card generation.
Back Alley Bar surprisingly dodged the nerf hammer in the last balance patch, but it will likely see an increase to its cost from 6 to 7 in Patch 3.22.
6. Seraphine / Ezreal
Seraphine Barkeep is one of the most “hated” decks in terms of community perception, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the developers decide to throw more nerfs to the deck’s champions. If they decide to do so, Seraphine could see a reduction to her health from 4 to 3. Level 2 Ezreal may also be changed to only deal 1 to the enemy Nexus, regardless of spell targeting.
I’ve seen a huge number of community members say that they stopped playing the game because of Seraphine. The developers probably also see this feedback, so I think they will have an incentive to further nerf the deck.. At least until rotation comes!
Red Gwen Katarina is also one of the strongest decks in World Ender alongside Aatrox Vayne and Ezreal Seraphine. This was already one of the premium high tier decks prior to World Ender, and the deck got even stronger with the release of Crimson Pigeon and Redeemed Prodigy. This deck has elements of aggro, midrange, control, combo, and is currently enjoying an impressive winrate of 56%.
Gwen is the face of the deck which makes her the easiest target for Patch 3.22’s nerf hammer. She’s not necessarily overpowered, but her Hallowed package has been meta-defining for too long. I’m predicting that she will get a health reduction from 4 to 3 in the next balance update.
8. Fallen Reckoner / Risen Reckoner
Fallen Reckoner is a key combo piece and is the most likely non-champion nerf target in Gwen Katarina. In my opinion, Fallen Reckoner + The Harrowing is one of the most frustrating combos to lose to. In most cases, there is almost nothing that you can do to counter it. Personally, I have been calling for Fallen Reckoner’s nerf for a long time. This was probably unwarranted back then, but I knew that it was just a matter of time before the card becomes polarizing.
Jinx is another champion that has been quietly dominating the World Ender meta. Players tend to forget that Jinx is extremely powerful because everyone is too focused on Aatrox, Vayne, and Seraphine. Jinx Draven Discard currently has a winrate of 55%, Jinx Lulu Swarm has a winrate of almost 57%, and Mono Jinx Freljord has an impressive winrate of 59% (low sample size).
Jinx immediately became an unnoticed powerhouse after her huge buff in Patch 3.19. If she doesn’t go under the developers’ radar, we will likely see a nerf to her Super Mega Death Rocket! in Patch 3.22. This might come in the form of either a cost increase from 1 to 2, or a damage decrease from 4 to 3.
10. Crimson Pigeon
Crimson Pigeon is another low-key powerful card that’s showing strong numbers in World Ender. As I mentioned in my set review for World Ender, Crimson Pigeon has potential to be the strongest early drop in the game. Right now, it’s being ran in several high-winrate decklists: Gwen Katarina – 59% winrate, Draven Jinx – 55% winrate, and Miss Fortune Twisted Fate – 59% winrate.
However, I think it’s unlikely that Crimson Pigeon will get hit in Patch 3.22. It may dodge the nerf hammer since it’s a non-flashy follower card that was only released very recently. Don’t be surprised if Crimson Pigeon decks end up becoming the top dogs of Patch 3.22!
That’s it for the list! Next year is shaping up to be very exciting, with January starting with a big balance patch for World Ender. Did I miss out on other cards that should be nerfed in Patch 3.22?