Epics’ Reworks in Patch 1.4: What Changed and What’s Working?

Last week I published an article discussing my hopes and expectations for the proposed changes to Epic cards in Patch 1.4. The first week of 1.4 has come and gone and players have been brewing new decks, testing them on both the ladder and in Legends of Runeterra’s most recent game mode “Gauntlet“. We have seen an interesting change in the meta, with new decks rising to take the place of those hurt by nerfs in 1.4. But where do the new changes to epics fall in the grand scheme of things? Let’s take a look at the changed cards and whether or not these balance adjustments are impacting the early 1.4 meta.

Genevieve Elmheart

While I agree with Riot’s stance on this card, I must admit that Genevieve wasn’t on my radar for this patch. She was already played in some of the Scout decks (when they weren’t running Cithria) pre-patch and I thought she was in a strong position. She certainly wasn’t the most popular 6-drop in the game, but she had a home.

The new 5|5 statline makes her all the more powerful. This buff has launched her into the position to be the premium 6-drop amongst the popular Scouts decks. New Genevieve is now a more synergistic finisher as compared to Cithria the Bold.

Even Bannerman decks are taking Genevieve out for a spin, as showcased by Freshlobster’s Lucian/Miss Fortune Bannerman deck that reached Top 1 in Master’s rank last week. It is similar to your state-of-the-art Demacia Bannerman deck but makes use of the buffs to Petty Officer and Genevieve to bolster the deck’s power level.

Deck code: CEBQCAQGCYBAEAAJBIEACAABBELB2JJGE4VQGAIBAAKQCAQGBAAQEAAHAEAQEAAI

If you are looking for a more typical Scouts-based strategy, look no further than the most recent Decks of Runeterra SEA tournament. High325LoR piloted their version of Quinn/Miss Fortune Scouts to victory, taking the 1st Place prize!

Deck code: CEBQGAIABEOSWAYCAADASCQEAIDAKCAWHIBACAQGHYBACAAVDIBACAQAA4BQCABFE4ZA

Aurora Porealis

Another card that didn’t quite catch my eye before 1.4, Aurora Porealis received a buff as well. Riot decided that, at 7-mana, the card was too expensive given that it has no immediate impact on the board. As such, they dropped the cost to 6-mana.

This change, along with the reworks of Poro Herder and Braum, has brought about a resurgence for the Poro archetype. While it isn’t currently a high-tier deck, Poros have seen some play in the last week and show promise. The buffs to the Poro archetype are a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Individually, none of these cards (especially Aurora Porealis) are particularly playable, let alone good. But put them together and you find a highly synergistic deck that can stand up to the monsters. 

For a look at what some of the top players are brewing up, here is a Poro deck created by BruisedByGod. It focuses on the Poro theme while capitalizing on the expensive cards available to the archetype to power Lux’s engine.

Deck code: CECAKAIBA4EASKRSAUAQADY2EEUCUAQCAEBQOAICAAAQAAIBAEADE

Jae Medarda

Jae was one of the most requested changes by the community. Riot reworked him, dropping his cost and statline to better support the build-around nature of the unit. They also removed the Elusive keyword.

Players have been attempting to make the Epic follower work in the right deck for a long time now. Even with his rework, he requires meticulous deck building to be successful. But a few players have done just that.

MegaMogwai found a home for Jae in a decklist he piloted to some success on the ladder. The deck aims to use Jae as a value engine by leveraging Draven’s Spinning Axes, Imperial Demolitionist, Transfusion, Whirling Death, etc. with his “When I’m targeted” ability. After having cast numerous spells and drawn numerous cards, the deck looks to close out with an Elusive 10|5 Vi thanks to Sumpworks Map.

The deck is a blast and, while not trivial to pilot, is incredibly rewarding when you can make it work. Give the deck a try if you are looking for something new and let me know how you are doing with it!

Deck code: CECAGAIEDI3TUBABAMFRIHRPAEBAGBABAICAQAYCAEBQIIYDAECACIZLAEBAGAYBAEAQGMY

The Harrowing

As powerful as The Harrowing can be, it was simply too expensive and too disruptable for the meta. Until now that is. With buffs to both The Harrowing and Basilisk Rider a new breed of aggro decks has come forth.

These decks sport a Noxus backbone of aggressive units such as Crimson Disciple, Imperial Demolitionist, Precious Pet and Iron Ballista. Of course, they make use of Basilisk Rider as well and have to make deckbuilding concessions to enable the Allegiance proc. They do however branch into Shadow Isles for Atrocity and The Harrowing.

The aggressive nature of these decks allows them to provide immense early pressure, alike to the PnZ Burn decks from early in the Rising Tides expansion. In the late game, they aim to revive their units by using The Harrowing to swing in for one more massive attack or use Darius and Atrocity to finish opponents off. 

ZeroInfinity used this deck to reach Masters rank only two days after the rank reset. Since then, many others have piloted it to much success, both in Gauntlets and on ladder.

Deck code: CEBAGAQDAMCAKBYBAMEA6FA6EUTCQAQBAECQGAYBAMBA2LYCAEAQKGIBAEBRQ

Conclusion

A few of the Epics that received changes, most notably Ren Shadowblade, have yet to find a home. It seems that they either need further changes or simply more time. I’m happy that most of the changes were impactful and allowed new cards to see play. Some are even seeing serious success in tournaments, on ladder, and in LoR’s new Gauntlets. Hopefully, more decks featuring these newly adjusted Epics continue to pop up throughout the Season of Fortune.

One of the qualities that keeps me enthralled with Legends of Runeterra is the frequency with which the balance team enables shifts in the meta with buffs/nerfs to cards and reworks. Without releasing any new cards, they were able to alter the meta multiple times during the open beta. While 1.4 has arguably been the least impactful balance patch we have seen thus far, it has still shaken up the meta a bit. This, plus the desire to hear (and implement) feedback from the community, along with the addition of new cards every two months has me extremely excited for the future of Legends of Runeterra.

Are you happy with the changes that Riot made to epics? Did they miss the mark on any of them? Are you enjoying the new decks that have cropped up as a result of Patch 1.4? I’d love to read your thoughts! Keep up the conversation and discussions with me on Twitter.

RanikGalfridian

Ranik is a strategy fanatic and lover of card games. Before switching primarily to Legends of Runeterra he played Magic: The Gathering for eight years where he enjoyed dominating opponents with slow control decks. Now he focuses on creating Legends of Runeterra content for all players and enjoys discussing strategy and deckbuilding on Twitter @RanikGalfridian.

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