Hi everyone, den at the writing desk to shed some light on what could happen with the Patch 3.10.0 changes (live on PC right now)!
With changes to both cards and a game mechanic (copied spells now count as being played), we can expect the metagame to undergo quite the shakeup. Already, we can visualize the immediate repercussions that Ezreal now needing 8 spells to level might have on a deck like Ezreal Caitlyn‘s capacity to close the game.
Outside of the obvious consequences, it is what isn’t written in the patch that particularly is interesting to figure out. In our customary review of the patch, we’ll go over decks which are expected to lose some power level with the changes, as well as the ones gaining something from it.
Winners of Patch 3.10
Demacia has been the go-to region to pair alongside Bard for the large majority of the current patch. With 3 different champions being represented in this association (Poppy, Jarvan IV and Galio), it only feels natural to see the power level of those decks being slightly adjusted.
I honestly don’t know if the change Petricite Broadwing will actually change a thing. Considering how many units are being played in those decks, I feel like the condition to grant Challenger should be doable at any given time. What these changes, though, is the possibility to open our turn with an attack, as the Petricite Broadwing will not be a challenger unit anymore in this case.
The second change to Demacia is the Brightsteel Protector losing both a point in the attack and health category. While the card has always been played for support, it also has been a staple 3 of in most Demacia based decks for a very long time.
With these two changes to Demacia decks, we can expect Bard to turn to the shadows a bit more and see an increase in Zed Bard‘s play rate.
Ashe LeBlanc Reputation
The Ashe LeBlanc Reputation archetype still has a very uphill battle in order to become a staple in any metagame. Once again, it is a deck receiving a bit of love from the developers team, this time in the sustain department.
Drawing cards always will be a necessity for most decks, but it should also come at the littlest cost possible, as it usually means losing some tempo in the process. With the Trifarian Assessor being cheaper, the card is now more flexible, allowing the deck to draw earlier in the game, or be able to do something else alongside it during the turn.
With Shen receiving a buff as well, we might be seeing more Barrier oriented decks in the next few days, an addition that would surely help Ashe LeBlanc find some good match ups in the early stages of Patch 3.10.0.
Azirelia has a lot to be happy about in this patch. The first thing obviously being Irelia gaining the Attune keyword.
Outside this simple mana gain, the deck should also benefit from the direction the metagame could take in the weeks leading to the next expansion. If we look at the changes from a large perspective, we can see that the metagame should slow down.
Demacia lost a bit of early firepower, Gleaming Lantern is much easier to remove now, and most buffs are looking to help midrange or control archetypes. In this regard, Azirelia is more than happy to gain a turn or two to develop its strategy in the grand scheme of things, alongside getting an extra mana when playing its feature champion.
Notable Mentions: Heimerdinger, Jayce and Karma decks
While these decks aren’t gaining any cards to include in their decks with this patch, the new rule “Copied spells now count as being played” should have a very positive impact on those decks.
Also, these slower decks tend to hate playing against Demacia because of the rally mechanic, so seeing less of those can be another addition to the plus column.
Another deck I could add in this category is Illaoi as I feel it probably is the least impacted archetype with Demacia in its regions. Also, the changes to Pantheon potentially remove quite an annoying match up for Illaoi to deal with.
Deep is another deck that could be extremely happy about a slower metagame, or at least one with less board to handle in the first few turns.
Losers of Patch 3.10
The reduction in cost of Crumble and Yordle Contraption is almost forgettable in comparison to how impactful the change to Promising Future is. Now, it is probably much better to simply develop some board, knowing the opponent will not be able to spend 6 mana on a card that doesn’t impact the state of the board immediately, rather than destroy a landmark pre-emptively.
Thralls is a competitive deck when it able to race against at least most other Midrange archetypes. For now, it is looking like the deck is going back to being a control killer more than a metagame staple.
The Fated keyword dodged yet another wave of nerfs, but the Pantheon archetype might have suffered a tough loss to overcome still.
Zenith Blade, and the Overwhelm keyword as a whole, was a key part to Pantheon decks being able to pressure the opponent. The big units the Fated keyword allowed to build were extremely difficult to block effectively, and decks relying on chum blockers to buy some previous time usually lost before being able to reach their comfort zone.
Without this permanent Overwhelm keyword, the Wounded Whiteflamme or the Saga Seeker are much more difficult to invest into. They might just have relegated to simple targets in order to level up Pantheon, who is the only one with Overwhelm now.
This simple change could have huge repercussions on most matchups against swarm based strategies, like Scouts for example.
Against slower decks, it is the change to Pantheon himself that should have the bigger impact: “Scout has been removed as a generatable keyword“
Overall, it is very difficult to imagine Pantheon Yuumi staying atop any Tier List in the upcoming metagame.
Noxus as a Region
While I first wanted to talk about the Viego Deserter deck, one that is obviously getting weaker with this patch, I think it is the Noxian army as a whole that could suffer from Patch 3.10.0 going live.
For years now, Noxus has been the clear cut best region to counter Demacia, and board-centric strategies in general. The region also possess the best landmark removal in the game in Scorched Earth, allowing Noxus decks to be able to tech efficiently against the very popular Thralls.
Overall, Although Noxus isn’t directly touched in this patch outside of Legion Deserter being hit (deservedly) to lower its potential in the Viego deck. I feel like the biggest thing Noxus has to fear is a change in the metagame, the current situation being absolutely perfect for the region to shine.
I could have mentioned Ezreal Caitlyn in the loser’s category, the deck suffering both from the Noxus and the Ezreal perspective. I would like to discuss Ezreal as a card here specifically.
Ezreal now leveling once you targeted opposing units with 8 spells instead of 6 is a major nerf, especially as the champion usually sees play in defensive decks. What the champion was doing for these decks was either forcing the opponent to take care of him in the midgame, effectively buying you some time or resources. Alternatively, it could become a win condition once leveled, transforming the game into a race when the opponent has to target your nexus but you were allowed to deal with their board.
With Ezreal now leveling much later in the game, the champion lost some power both as a distraction, the opponent will be less afraid of the card snowballing the game out of control. Finally as a finisher, Ezreal comes down later, and you effectively have 2 spells less to use to trigger its ability.
As for the Fae synergy, the Gleaming Lantern losing a health point is a big enough hit to make the whole package much more likely to be countered.
This patch feels like a very subtle one, where there are very few impactful changes, but the sum of them could end up making a big difference.
Overall, I feel like Pantheon, Thralls and Ezreal probably will be the more impacted in patch 3.10.0, as they should see much less play for the foreseeable future. When it comes to the buffed archetypes, it is much harder to guess as none of these decks have been relevant in a very long time. The closest one to being competitive currently would be Azirelia, a deck currently at 46.8% win rate overall.
In tomorrow’s article, I will explore which archetypes I feel are worth trying or already emerged, as the patch is already live on PC. This will also be the occasion to talk more about the buffs to Hecarim, Kalista or Shen, which I didn’t include in this piece due to their complete inexistence in competitive play for over a year now.
I will you all a wonderful time exploring those changes, I will see you again tomorrow for the deck building article about the decks worth exploring. Until then, if you want to join the RuneterraCCG community, feel free to come on our Discord. As for myself, you can find me on Twitter.
Good Game Everyone,