Rest In Peace Seraphine? | Assessing All The Nerfs In Patch 3.19!

Has Seraphine finally been gutted? In this article, Raphterra shares his personal assessment of all the nerfs in Patch 3.19.

Introduction

Hey there, Raphterra here again! The long-awaited patch notes for Legends of Runeterra Patch 3.19 just came out earlier today. Most of the top meta champions in Patch 3.17/3.18 were hit with the nerf hammer. To ensure a fresh new meta, Riot also targeted some of the top archetypes from Patch 3.16. As usual, I will be sharing my personal assessment of all the nerfs in the patch!

In this article, I will classify each nerf in the following categories:

  • Low Impact: Will not affect the card / deck’s power level and play patterns.
  • Medium Impact: Will matter in certain situations, but not high enough impact to lower the card / deck’s overall power level.
  • High Impact: Affects many scenarios and lowers the power level of the card / deck.
  • Meta Defining: Significantly lowers the power level of the card / deck. May cause high-tier decks to fall out of the meta completely.

Seraphine: You’ve played 6+ New Spells → 9+ New Spells

Fanclub President: 4c → 5c

These are meta-defining changes.

Seraphine‘s level-up requirement was increased by 50%, and she now has a significantly higher deck-building cost. You will need to diversify on your lineup of spell cards to level-up Seraphine in a timely manner. Seraphine combo decks will be slowed down significantly by this nerf.

Fanclub President is probably one of the most frustrating cards to play against, and I’m very happy to see the increase to her cost. Playing a 2/2 unit for 5-mana is a huge tempo loss. She might still see play in Seraphine decks as a 1-of or 2-of, just because her effect is very strong with level 2 Seraphine.

I think these changes are enough to bring down Seraphine Ezreal from Tier 0 to Tier 1 at most. It will now be a lot easier to punish Seraphine decks with aggression and board presence. Fanclub President and Back Alley Bar are huge tempo loss cards; Seraphine decks are now very susceptible to being punished for playing them.

I won’t be surprised if Seraphine ends up being delegated to Tier 2 or even lower in Patch 3.19. I definitely won’t complain if this happens! Similar to Targon’s Peak, RNG-based decks should never be super competitive in Legends of Runeterra.


Vayne: Tumble now costs 4. Level 2 Vayne reduces the cost of Tumble to 0.

This a medium-impact change.

This is a much needed change for Vayne. She was too powerful upon release, and I think this is a nice change to slightly weaken her. Combo-centric Vayne decks like Vayne Gwen and Vayne Rumble will be significantly affected by this change. Those decks usually want to cast Tumble every turn, and the mana-increase will add-up in terms of their overall tempo. However, I think Vayne is still a very powerful champion. Midrange strategies like Vayne Jax and Vayne Quinn will still be able to utilize her, and Tumble‘s synergy with Scout units is still game-changing.


Swain: 4|6 →  3|6

This is a medium-impact change.

Level 2 Swain‘s Overwhelm can be too powerful, especially in decks that focus on levelling him up as quickly as possible. This nerf will make it slightly easier to stop Swain‘s Overwhelm damage from getting through. The Noxus general will still be good! I’m expecting Swain Miss Fortune to be one of the best decks in Patch 3.19.


Lee Sin: Cast 8 spells →  Cast 10 spells

Ionian Tellstones: Health Potion, HomecomingGruesome Theater, Ritual of Renewal

Shimon Wind: Burst → Focus

Ionian Hookmaster: 1|1 → 0|1

These are meta-defining changes.

Lee Sin has dodged the nerf-hammer even during patches where he was one of the top champions. The recent addition of Equipments and new Ionia spells (Momentous Choice, Ionian Tellstones) have finally exposed the blind monk’s true strength. Lee Sin will now come at a slightly higher deck-building cost, but the additional nerfs to Ionia will further hinder Lee Sin‘s viability.

The change to Ionian Tellstones might be one of the biggest nerfs in the history of Legends of Runeterra. This was a key card in several Ionia combo and control strategies, and it was a great spell to progress Lee Sin‘s level-up requirement. Losing Homecoming removes those decks’ ability to deal with high-statted threats, and losing Health Potion will significantly affect games against fast, aggressive decks.

Shimon Wind‘s nerf is another small blow to Ionia‘s control capabilities. With this change, you can no longer summon Vastayan Disciples as burst-speed blockers in response to open attacks. Vastayan Disciple is still a powerful card, but all the nerfs to Ionia might completely stop decks running Vastayan Disciple from seeing any competitive play.

Ionian Hookmaster is another staple card for Ionia/Noxus decks. It was arguably the strongest weaponmaster in the game, and it was slightly too efficient for its improvise effect. Lowering its power will affect its trading potential against other early units. This will also force Ionia/Noxus decks to sacrifice some of their early board presence if they still want to run this cheap weaponmaster.


Saga Seeker: 1|2 → 1|1

This is a high-impact change.

Pantheon Fated is one of my favorite archetypes, but I would also admit that it needed a nerf for quite some time now. The addition of equipments made Fated decks extremely efficient when it comes to progressing Pantheon / Camphor, the Doubt‘s level-up requirements. Saga Seeker + Pale Cascade / The Darkin Lodestone is one of the most common openers for Pantheon Fated. Lowering Saga Seeker‘s health will allow opposing decks to have a chance to stop the Fated snowball in the early game. This nerf will significantly impact Pantheon Fated‘s early board presence, but I think the archetype will still maintain its presence in high tiers.


Warlord’s Palace and Warlord’s Hoard: Countdown 8 →  Countdown 9

These are medium-impact changes.

With the addition of Equipments, Akshan‘s Warlord’s Palace and Warlord’s Hoard became too easy to count down. This is a good change to slightly bring back Akshan to his power level in the pre-equipment era. Akshan is still a great card and he will probably still be a key piece in several competitive decks.


Golden Aegis: 4c → 5c

Relentless Pursuit: Grant an ally +1|+1. Rally. → Just Rally.

These are meta-defining changes.

Demacia Rally has finally been hit by a hard nerf! Golden Aegis was very powerful not only because of its rally effect, but also because of its utility as a development punisher. Being at 5 mana makes Golden Aegis a lot harder to setup in a region that usually uses all of its unit mana to curve out units.

Relentless Pursuit will now be the preferred alternative for Rallies, but it’s still an expensive spell given that it won’t have any direct impact on the board state.

These changes may prevent several Demacia decks like Miss Fortune Scouts and Poppy Taric from reaching high-tier status ever again. Vayne will now be the new face of Rally-centric Demacia decks.


Curse of the Tomb: 2c → 3c

This is a medium-impact change.

Curse of the Tomb has high-potential to become a card that’s very frustrating to play against. In the right deck, with the right Overwhelm units, Curse of the Tomb functions as a cheaper equivalent of Battle Fury. I personally love this pre-emptive nerf to a card that has high potential for polarized play patterns. Quadroupling Overwhelm damage is still possible, but now you have to pay a higher cost for it.


Overall Thoughts On The Patch 3.19 Nerfs

The nerfs in Patch 3.19 seem on point to me! All the top decks from the current and previous metas were touched, which will hopefully lead us all onto a fresh, new meta game. I believe that Riot has been doing an excellent job with their big balance patches, and hopefully they’ll soon perfect the art of champion releases as well. I will be publishing my thoughts on the buffs for Patch 3.19 next, stay tuned!

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on YouTube, Discord, or Twitter!

Raphterra
Raphterra
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