10 Nerf Candidates for Legends of Runeterra Patch 4.1
Hey there, Raphterra here. The long awaited Patch 4.1 notes will be released soon! Riot has announced that they’ll be having the official balance patch live stream in roughly ~30 hours from the publishing of this article. During these times, it’s always fun to predict and speculate on the possible upcoming balance changes. In this article, I’ll be listing my picks for 10 Nerf Candidates in Legends of Runeterra Patch 4.1.
Without any delays, let’s start right away!
Leading this list Katarina, one of the worst champions in Legends of Runeterra just a year ago. After her buff in Patch 3.6, she slowly found her place in several high-tier decks. She’s arguably the best champion in Noxus and she’s responsible for current dominance of Red Gwen Katarina. Aside from Red Gwen, these Katarina decks also have decent winrates in ladder: Katarina Leona, Katarina Twisted Fate, Katarina Annie, and Katarina Yasuo.
In the next patch, it’s likely that Level 2 Katarina‘s created Blade’s Edge will no longer cost 0. This will slightly weaken her ability to control the board while still retaining her utility as a Rally champion. If this change still won’t be enough to tone down Katarina‘s power level, we’ll probably see her as one of the champions included in LOR’s first card rotation.
Gwen is Katarina‘s main partner-in-crime in the most-played deck of the meta. Despite the nerf to Fallen Reckoner / Ruined Reckoner in the previous balance update, Red Gwen was able to adapt its deck build into a more Katarina-focused, combo-oriented playstyle. Gwen also has decent winrates in the following decks: Gwen Sejuani, Gwen Irelia, Gwen Elise, and Gwen Zed / Hecarim.
In a previous article, I speculated that Gwen might see a health reduction from 4 to 3. If this change would be too harsh, it’s possible that the devs instead reduce Level 1 Gwen‘s Snip Snip! drain damage from 2 to 1. She currently does too much for a 4-mana card; this change would slightly weaken her ability to exert pressure on the enemy Nexus.
3. Opulent Foyer / Ghastly Band
We know that Riot wants to shake up the meta heavily with their balance patches. Red Gwen has been meta-dominant for a long time, so I’m expecting the developers to nerf more cards outside of its champions. Opulent Foyer is the stand-out power card in Red Gwen. The deck’s strength drastically changes if it’s able to draw this landmark early.
I don’t expect a direct nerf to Opulent Foyer itself. I personally think that nerfing the base stats of Ghastly Band to 1/1 would be the right call. This nerf would significantly reduce Opulent Foyer‘s ability to punish developments on defensive turns.
4. Forsaken Baccai
Now that I’ve covered my nerf candidates for Red Gwen, I’m moving to the meta’s second most popular deck: Aatrox Kayn. Similar to Red Gwen, Aatrox decks were able to adapt their deck builds despite the heavy nerfs to Aatrox and The Darkin Aegis. Aatrox Kayn is still a dominant force in the meta; most tournament lineups revolve around either targeting or banning Aatrox midrange.
If I were to choose a non-champion card to nerf in Aatrox Kayn, I’d be looking at Forsaken Baccai. Reducing Forsaken Baccai‘s stats to either 1/1 or 1/2 would be a very impactful nerf not only for Aatrox Kayn, but also for other popular Cultist decks like Akshan Varus and Pantheon Varus.
Aatrox, Kayn, and Varus are very consistent mid-game win conditions because of the auto-draw effect of their champion origins. Cultists generally have good stats, and Forsaken Baccai‘s Predict makes these decks even more consistent in drawing the cards they need for their curve.
I personally think that my predicted nerf for Forsaken Baccai would already be enough to tone down Aatrox Kayn, but the developers might also be looking to give more nerfs to Aatrox himself. Two possible nerfs to Aatrox would be removing his heal on summon (heals on strike are still retained), or increasing the draw requirement of The World Ender Origin from 3+ to 4+.
Aatrox Vayne could go back to high-tier status if no cards are nerfed in Aatrox‘s card package. Some of the Darkin equipments feel very strong in specific scenarios, but for the most part I think that they are in a good spot in terms of power level.
I included Jinx in my previous article on nerf candidates for World Ender, and I still maintain my position on the meta’s burn menace. Level 2 Jinx in her current form simply deals too much damage for a very small cost. Lulu Jinx and Ekko Jinx are both high-tier decks in the current meta, both in ranked ladder and in tournaments. My prediction for Jinx remains the same: I could see Super Mega Death Rocket!‘s cost going up to 2, or its damage being reduced to 3.
Quietus is one of the controversial spells in the current meta. It’s a very cheap and efficient removal spell that usually trades higher compared to its mana cost. It can remove cheap units like Norra, Seraphine, and Zoe, but it can also get rid of more expensive champions like Braum and Veigar. Quietus is being ran in most meta Shadow Isles decks like Trundle Tryndamere, Veigar Norra, Gwen Katarina, and Aphelios Leona.
I personally wouldn’t mind if Quietus stays as it is, but I could understand the player frustration that it causes. If Riot decides to nerf Quietus, its cost will likely increase from 1 to 2.
The next three nerf candidates are from decks that don’t belong to the highest tier, but could be the next meta contenders once all the top dogs are toned down. Whether or not they’ll be nerfed will depend on how much Riot wants to shake up the meta in Patch 4.1.
Level 2 Swain is a very scary card to go up against if you don’t have a way to stop his Overwhelm attack. His level up can be very easy to achieve in Bilgewater due to self-damage cards like Watchful Idol, Crusty Codger, and Fortune Croaker. Current meta decks that run Swain include Swain Twisted Fate, Swain Norra, and Swain Katarina Annie.
If Riot decides to nerf Swain, they might go for a slight increase to his level up requirement from 12 to 14 non-combat damage.
9. Feel The Rush
Trundle Tryndamere Feel The Rush Control has been part of the meta for a very long time now. The recent addition of Wild Mysticism further increased the deck’s consistency in ramping up mana gems. I included Feel The Rush in my article on card rotation candidates for Freljord. I’d be very surprised if it isn’t included in Legends of Runeterra‘s first card rotation. That being said, we’re still a few months away from card rotation. The developers might decide to temporarily nerf Feel The Rush in the mean time.
An obvious easy nerf to Feel The Rush would be increasing its mana cost to 13. I could also see Riot reducing the stats of Feel The Rush‘s summoned champions from 10/10 to 9/9.
Sejuani will be my last nerf candidate in this article. It was difficult for me to pick out a nerf candidate for Plunder since most of their cards feel balanced. Regardless, Gangplank Sejuani Plunder is the third most-played deck in the patch, behind only Red Gwen and Aatrox Kayn. I chose Sejuani because she seemed to be the only card in Plunder that could be nerfed but still remain playable.
Two possible nerfs that I could see for Sejuani would be a health reduction from 6 to 5, or a level-up requirement increase from 5 rounds to 6 rounds. Sejuani is definitely my least-confident pick in this article. If you had to nerf Plunder, how would you go about it?
That’s it for the article! We will be seeing the official patch preview stream very soon, and I’m excited to find out which of my predictions would come true. Do you agree with my list of nerf candidates? Did I miss out on other cards that need to be nerfed in Patch 4.1?
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on YouTube, Discord, or Twitter!