The Winners and Losers of Patch 4.4

Which meta decks will rise, and which archetypes will fall in Patch 4.4? As always, Sorry is here to provide an in-depth analysis.

We just had a Legends of Runeterra balance stream where RubinZoo, Vriss, and Julez discussed the new patch that will go live on Wednesday.

The upcoming patch aims to target a few dominating decks in the meta while simultaneously buffing some underused cards, hoping to promote their inclusion in various decks.

In this article, we will analyze the winners and losers of Patch 4.4. You can check Patch Notes here.

Fizz Samira has been a popular choice on the ranked ladder and tournament scene, dominating the meta. Despite players’ active attempts to counter the archetype, it proved difficult to halt.

The archetype has received several nerfs to key cards in its list, including All Out!, Wiggly Burblefish, and Inferna. All Out! now only gives +2|+1 stats, which weakened the card’s defensive purposes. This makes it easier for the opponent to kill important units, especially while they’re attacking. As for Wiggly Burblefish, the extra +2 mana cost makes it more challenging to play the elusive units. It’ll slow down that explosive power Fizz Samira can have, and at the same time, it’ll be more punishing if your early hand isn’t the best. Inferna losing 1 health makes her easier to kill before Fizz Samira manages to gain too much value.

The nerfs to All Out! and Wiggly Burblefish should significantly weaken the deck, allowing room for other decks to shine in the meta. We will have to wait and see if players can still keep Fizz Samira at the top of the meta or if it will fall to Tier 2 once the patch drops.

The nerf to All Out! does not affect Leona Samira much, but the developers have included a couple of serious nerfs to ensure that Leona Samira does not immediately take over the meta with Fizz Samira out of the picture.

The Daybreak package has been matching Samira Fizz’s dominance, beating many popular decks with its aggressive attacks. Leona and Sun Guardian were hit with nerfs. The Sun Guardian can be extremely powerful on turn 3, and it only keeps getting more stats as the game goes on. The 1 less health prohibits the player from mindlessly attacking with the unit and instead might prefer waiting until it has more stats.

Leona can be a nightmare for most decks with her Stun and Barrier abilities, and failing to deal with her on the spot will end up in difficult future turns. Now she’ll take longer to level up, which means players can’t take advantage of her Barrier early on in the game.

Samira decks getting nerfed means we might see more play of decks like Ornn Jax, Taliyah Malphite, and Deep.

Ashe LeBlanc has gained popularity with the introduction of the Standard format and has been holding up well in the meta. The Frostbite midrange deck was hit with two nerfs to Ashe and The Reckoning. The Reckoning is one of the deck’s strongest plays, capable of blowing the opponent’s board if an answer isn’t ready. Making it a 7-cost spell will make it more challenging to cast. This can allow players to develop safely on the board without the fear of Reckoning at 6 mana.

Ashe was leveling up too quickly, particularly with the list running more than one copy of Brittle Steel. The nerf slows down the level up and the deck’s ability to prohibit units from blocking. Players will have more time before Ashe can start setting up powerful attacks.

LeBlanc received a buff to her Mirror Mage, allowing you to copy any ally now. The buff doesn’t affect Ashe LeBlanc too much but can now be used on Trifarian Accessor or Revna, the Lore Keeper.

Ashe LeBlanc should remain a solid deck in the meta, especially with Fizz Samira and Leona Samira getting hit with powerful nerfs.

  • Notable mentions: Karma, Caustic Riff, Opulent Foyer, and Ambitious Cultist.

The community has voiced their dislike of Karma Sett’s gameplay, particularly Karma and Coin combo. The nerf does not address the combo but rather focuses on making Karma more vulnerable and easier to kill. RubinZoo shared that Karma’s turn 10 gameplay is supposed to be powerful and they don’t have current plans to nerf Karma Sett. However, they’ll keep an eye on Place Your Bet and Karma.

Caustic Riff has been seeing a lot of play; it’s even worth playing without the Flow active, so it makes sense that an increase in mana cost was needed. Jack Seraphine in particular has been taking advantage of Caustic Riff and Mischievous Marai to board wipe.

Opulent Foyer got hit with a big nerf that will affect Gwen Quinn. The loss of the ability to summon Ghastly Band when activating Scout or Rally means Gwen Quinn will lose a lot of the value they squeezed out of Opulent Foyer.

Ambitious Cultist nerf forces players to use the created card instead of saving it as a surprise play. This change doesn’t affect Varus Samira much, but it can at times mean you won’t be able to level up Samira or activate Rally.

Teemo Tristana has been seeing some play on the ranked ladder. The aggressive-oriented deck uses multi-region units as part of its game plan to buff up Tristana. As Tristana gains more stats and buffs Multi-region units, she’ll become a threat that cannot be ignored.

The new patch buffs Bandle Gunners. As you summon more multi-region units, you’ll get to play Bandle Gunners for a low mana cost in the late game. Bandle Gunners has 3 Impact, which contributes to destroying the Nexus.

The Samira Leona nerf means players will be on the lookout for a new aggressive deck to fill that playstyle, and Teemo Tristana might be the new aggressive deck that takes over.

The Mono Shurima deck lost a lot of its popularity and power with the Rotation of Xerath. Players have tried to keep the archetype alive with a new version that runs Azir, Nasus, and Renekton. The new patch gives small buffs to Nasus, Azir, and Glory’s Call to give the archetype a light push into the meta.

The buffs might not be enough to bring the Mono Shurima back to its glory. It’ll be more dependent on how the meta shifts and if it favors this slow gameplay.

  • Notable mentions: Moondreamer, Targonian Tellstones, Soul Harvest.

Targon received a couple of buffs in this patch. Targonian Tellstones can now create Hush, Behold the Infinite, or Blessing of Targon. Hush and Behold the Infinite offer greater utility than Wish and Paddle Star. We might see Invoke decks or Karma Sett Targon add Targonian Tellstones to their list. Hush, specifically, can shut down units like Varus before they manage to close out the match.

Soul Harvest is an indirect buff to Heimerdinger Jayce. This archetype has a lot of potential in the upcoming meta and might make its Tier 1 comeback.

Closing Words

Patch 4.4 targets dominant decks like Samira Fizz and Leona Samira, and we can anticipate significant shifts in the top-tier decks. However, Varus Samira deck only received minor nerf, and without appropriate counter-matchups, it could continue to gain traction in the meta.


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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