On December 14th, Riot unexpectedly nerfed five cards – Poppy, Yordle Explorer, Kinkou Wayfinder, God-Willow Seedling, and Gangplank, – greatly affecting the Legends of Runeterra metagame. For those that missed our post unveiling the changes, you can find it right here.
These balance changes were very welcome and many members of the community had a lot to say in response to this news.
The very first reaction to these balance changes I saw came from UK Runeterra creator, somethingaboutsquirrels. You can find his video discussing these balance changes here. His excitement over the change is infectious, asking Riot “can this be the way they do balance?” It’s hard to argue when making 5 targeted changes and deploying them immediately gets immediate results.
Mogwai‘s reaction video was simply labeled ‘Meta Saved‘. Among the nerfs, he was right to point out the significance of the Gangplank nerf. Gangplank has been the core finisher with Sejuani in Plunder, and the mainstay in Pirate Aggro, and Ping City. His being at the top has been the truth for quite a long time, and now “the players have to focus on playing him better, and preserving him as a win condition”.
Swim thought he was being pranked at first, until seeing it on Twitter and chanting “It’s happening!” and that “It’s a Christmas miracle!” on his reaction video. He believes that balance changes like this should be made out of cadence more often and that these changes are “a Christmas present to the entire Legends of Runeterra community”.
He rightly made the connection that “Teamfight Tactics makes weekly balance changes, why can’t Legends of Runeterra.” His hottest take is that Yordle Explorer is “probably going to be unplayable”. The Yordle swarm decks will be viable, but far less powerful.
Not everyone can be satisfied, it seems. Bruised by God, who was one of the first players this season to reach Masters with Ezreal Kennen, said on Twitter: “I can understand the change to Kinkou Wayfinder but nerfing God Willow Seedling as well seems very heavy handed less than a week after a new expansion.”
Scarzig on Twitter had a somewhat tongue-in-cheek prophecy. He wrote: “Place ya bets, yall. What’s the next thing everyone will hate? Its gotta be Pantheon Taric or Minion OTK right? lmao”. Read the tweet and its threads right here. The metagame is going to shift in a reasonable way, and we players are quick to pick a bogeyman deck that everyone hates.
For anyone that has any information about the Minion OTK deck, please list them in the comments below! We know it’s out there!
Developers & Playerbase
DeadboltDoris, Senior Game designer, and Design Lead for Card Releases on Legends of Runeterra, showed immediate support when the balance changes were made live. He rightly commended the team for “an incredible job getting this set of changes together after seeing how things were playing out over the course of last week.”
The Game Designer and a LoR Live Design Team Member RubinZoo was on hand to make sure that the balance changes were seen by as many as possible by sharing the balance changes with a “Surprise patch day!” tweet.
As the hotfix went live, the players got incredibly excited and active on social media and in LoR communities.
Reddit User Incrediibilis made this helpful infographic showing which cards will not be buffed on the attack now that Poppy is a 2/3. Seeing some of the core cards played alongside Poppy that won’t receive the stat boost treatment shows how impactful this nerf is compared to the 3/3 nerf.
Reddit User friendofsmellytapir wrote a very long breakdown of the meta changes which sums up the impact of these nerfs. Their opinion on God-Willow Seedling was that “the real problem with it is that it allowed you to artificially inflate the number of champions in your deck using recalls and their champ spells”.
The overall take on these balance changes have been resoundingly positive. They’ve been live in the client for several hours and the effects on the meta have already been felt.
Keep your eyes to RuneterraCCG for new decks tuned to this revamped version of the 2.21 meta!