The Winners and Losers of Patch 3.16

Legends of Runeterra Patch 3.16 is right around the corner and Sorry is here to share the winners and losers of the new patch

Hey, Sorry here! Patch 3.16 is right around the corner, and it holds a lot of buffs and nerfs that will shake up the meta!

The new patch tackles a lot of the dominating archetypes and attempts to tone them down while also buffing underplayed cards and giving some archetypes a bit of a boost to push them back into the meta.

However, Nami managed to dodge any nerf and depending on how the meta shapes up, Ionia decks like Nami Lee Sin Twisted Fate and Akshan Lee Sin might continue their dominant performance on the competitive ladder.

The buff to Kennen‘s Mark of the Storm gave the champion a boost on the competitive ladder. Kennen Ezreal made a comeback and it dominated the ladder, forcing players to try and counter the archetype.

Although on stats, Kennen Ezreal doesn’t have an insane win rate—last time I checked, it was hovering around 51%-53% win rate—however, when piloted by highly skilled players capable of taking full advantage of the archetype, Kennen Ezreal proved to be a problematic archetype with only a few decks capable of taking it head-on.

The Mark of the Storm gave you a good shot of beating unfavored matchups. Due to the deck’s capability to pick off units with Mark of the Storm, decks like Scouts and Taric Poppy DE were now struggling to beat the deck that they once dominated.

A nerf was definitely justified, and it should weaken its ability to kill units. However, we might not see the end of Kennen Ezreal. The archetype may still exist, but most likely at a low tier 2.

Mark of the Storm wasn’t the only nerf Kennen Ezreal was hit with, Sai’nen Thousand-Tailed was hit with a -2 health nerf. It loses the ability a chunky unit capable of acting as a blocker. I don’t fully understand the reason for the harsh nerf seeing that Sai’nen Thousand-Tailed currently exists only in Ezreal Kennen, and Ahri Bard has been kicked out of the meta after the Bard nerf.

Miss Fortune Twisted Fate created by Sorry • last updated 12 months ago

Miss Fortune Twisted Fate, also known as Pirate Aggro, was hit with two nerfs. The first is Decimate, which now costs 6 mana, making it a bit more difficult for the aggressive deck to cast their spell. Whereas the second is Riptide Sermon, which now deals 3 unit damage and 1 Nexus damage.

The nerf to Riptide Sermon slows its burn ability and at the same time makes it less effective as a removal tool. Champions like Gwen were struggling to exist in the meta due to Riptide Sermon’s removal capability. The nerf will stop decks like Plunder and Pirate Aggro from killing key 4 health units without having to commit additional resources.

Additionally, with the buff to Swain and Leviathan, it makes sense to nerf a key card that Swain decks can take advantage of.

  • Notable Mentions: Viego, Rite of Arcane, Hate Spike. Targon’s Peak, Concurrent Timelines.

Hate Spike received a revert after it became popular in all Shadow Isles decks. Hate Spike was way too cheap for its damage capability and the ability to kill off one of your units does have its advantages in many scenarios. Decks like Nasus Kindred and Viego Evelynn will have to keep an eye on their mana before casting Hate Spike.

Furthermore, Viego Shurima received multiple nerfs despite the fact that the archetype was already struggling to exist in low tier 2. Viego, Rite of Arcane, and Hate Spike were all nerfed, and will probably force the deck out of the meta. As for the more successful version, Viego Evelynn. The nerfs were originally targeting this version but alas, Viego paid for Evelynn’s sins. The archetype is definitely weaker, but I expect that it’ll still maintain a good win rate.

Concurrent Timelines became too strong with the addition of Improvise units to the game. The increase in mana cost means it’ll slow down their early game and will have to try and keep up with their opponent’s board presence.

Finally, Targon’s Peak was a surprising nerf. Aurelion Sol Peak wasn’t really dominating the scene, but I’m assuming the nerf was agreed on after the many buffs Targon received in this patch that could potentially make Peak too strong.

I was hoping either Swain or Leviathan were on the buff radar for Riot, but I never expected that both units would receive a buff in the same patch!

Swain has gained +1 Power and the Overwhelm keyword on level up! The Overwhelm keyword is an insane buff as it allows you to trigger his level 2 effect without having to directly hit the Nexus.

The good old Swain Twisted Fate will almost certainly make a comeback, and its playstyle can feel more aggressive now, especially with the Leviathan buff.

Although Leviathan lost 1 health and a Nexus ping, its mana cost going down to 7 means you’ll be able to slam the ship a turn earlier than usual and it can set up for a Riptide Rex on the following turn!

Even though I showcased Twisted Fate Swain, other versions like Freljord, Ionia, and Bandle City are also winners here! The buff allows the champion to exist as a win condition in different archetypes that take advantage of the Overwhelm keyword more effectively than Bilgewater does.

Tahm Kench Soraka created by Sorry • last updated 12 months ago

Tahm Kench‘s buff lets the champion create an Acquired Taste on summon now! It gives Soraka TK a bump, an archetype has been out of the meta for quite a while now with the many landmark removals running around.

The buff allows Tahm Kench to start swallowing units a turn earlier, making it easier to level him up and keep the board under control.

Tahm Kench’s buff doesn’t necessarily mean Soraka TK will become a top-tier archetype, but it allows Tahm Kench to have a better shot at existing in other decks outside of Soraka TK.

In the past, the champion has found success when paired with Aphelios. The archetype was used as a tournament line-up to counter specific meta decks. We might be seeing more decks of Tahm Kench become more popular. For example, Nami Tahm Kench can gain popularity in preparation for the upcoming seasonal tournament to counter Nami decks and at the same time keep Lee Sin and Twisted Fate open for different decks.

Targon, more specifically the Daybreak package, received a couple of redesigns to give the archetype a solid chance in the meta.

Leona Aurelion Sol Demacia used to be a tier 2 back in the days but eventually fell out of the meta. The buff to Sun Burst is definitely an amazing step to bring back Daybreak. However, Leona’s mana cost increase means it slows down your Leona + Rahvun, Daylight’s Spear setup.

To compensate for Leona’s mana increase and loss of Overwhelm, she was given the Challenger keyword and the ability to generate Barrier. Both keywords synergize with one another, turning Leona into a powerhouse of a mid-game unit removal.

However, Leona’s new design gives her more flexibility as a support champion and can be paired with different champions such as Taric or Shen that take advantage of her challenger keyword. So we might see players move away from the old Aurelion Sol + Leona version and experiment with new archetypes.

  • Notable Mentions: Fiora, Master Yi, Nocturne, Ripper’s Bay

Master Yi‘s buff now allows you to permanently reduce the cost of a spell. The buff to Master Yi is huge, but you’ll still need to draw him early on in the game to gain value out of him. The buff also makes it difficult for your opponent to play around spells as their cost in the later stages of the game will significantly go down.

Fiora has been out of the meta since her health nerf. Patch 3.16, turns Fiora from a 3|2 to a 4|4 but now costs 4 mana. A chunkier Fiora means she’s capable of trading with units much more easier. Moreover, the Equipment cards can come in handy to give Fiora an extra layer of protection.

The buff to Fiora doesn’t necessarily mean Fiora Shen is back. It’s a bit slower to set up since both champions cost 4 mana now, but there is room for exploration with other champions that could still use a buffy challenger champion on the board.

Nocturne now synergizing with Fearsome units means we might start seeing him in Fearsome aggro decks. Many Spider cards also received buffs to push the archetype back as one of the best aggressive decks out there.

Finally, Ripper’s Bay‘s buff allows for more innovative Lurk decks to surface, as it allows you to grant the Lurk keyword to the top ally in the deck. However, the deck will require you to draw Ripper’s Bay early on in the game or you’ll struggle to set up your game plan.

Closing Words

In an attempt to bring back long-forgotten archetypes, Patch 3.16 brings a lot of buffs. I’m excited to see how the meta will shift and if Nami Lee Sin continues its domination on the ladder.

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Alaa "TricksterSorry" Yassine is a competitive Legends of Runeterra player. His passion for card games ignited in his youth with favorites like Yugioh and Pokemon. Currently, he dedicates himself to achieving professional excellence in Runeterra, while also creating informative video and written content for the Runeterra community.

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