The Winners and Losers of Patch 4.5

Which meta decks will rise, and which archetypes will fall in Patch 4.5? As always, Sorry is here to provide an in-depth analysis.

The Patch 4.5 notes were revealed today, bringing a wave of buffs and reverts to Eternal cards poised to shape the upcoming competitive mode. Notably, Draven and Poppy have received significant buffs, propelling them to a stronger position within the Eternal meta.

Moreover, the latest patch aims to address the dominance of certain decks in the Standard format by toning down their power, thereby creating space for other decks to flourish. In this article, we will delve into an analysis of the winners and losers of Patch 4.5. You can find the detailed Patch Notes here.

Fizz Samira created by Sorry • last updated 4 months ago

Despite the nerfs it received in Patch 4.4, Fizz Samira has continued to dominate the Standard ranked ladder. While the archetype experienced nerfs to Wiggle Burblefish, All Out!, and Inferna, players swiftly adapted by tweaking the deck into a more aggressive version, which rapidly gained popularity.

Patch 4.5 introduces further nerfs to both Samira and Powder Pandominum, aiming to limit the deck’s control over the attacking phase. Samira’s challenger Flair can now only be utilized on herself, removing the ability to challenge with other units. While this has a moderate impact on Fizz Samira, other decks like Varus Samira and Pantheon Samira, which rely more heavily on the challenger Flair, are more affected.

As for Powder Pandominum, the deck’s burn and aggressive power with the Powder Monkeys remains intact, but the ability to challenge units with the Powder Monkeys has been removed. This poses a greater challenge when setting up powerful attacks when other units are on the board, as opponents will retain full control over their blocks.

While the nerf to Fizz Samira is substantial, it is unlikely to completely remove the archetype from the ranked ladder. Powder Pandominium, on the other hand, remains a formidable burn tool with aggressive attacking capabilities, especially when increasing the Power of the Monkeys with Jagged Tuskmaster.

Tristana variants have been dealt nerfs to Tristana and Bandle Gunners. Slowing down Tristana’s level-up will limit the early aggression she imposes on the board.

While the nerfs affect all variants (Noxus, Bilgewater, and Demacia), the Bilgewater version suffers the most. The Bandle Gunners + Prize Fight combo serves as a crucial win condition in this iteration. The removal of Spell Shield significantly weakens the deck’s ability to set up the combo with The King’s Court without interruption.

Although the Tristana Bilgewater had been the most popular version on the ranked ladder, that slowly changed as players started figuring out how to counter it. As a result, the Demacia version took over and emerged as the most-played and highest-win-rate Tristana variant in ranked play.

The Demacia version might still hold its ground in the meta, as the primary win condition revolves around generating wide board presence and buffing all units with Champions’ Strength. However, it is challenging to envision the Bilgewater variant surviving the Bandle Gunners nerf, as the combo has become significantly easier to counter with the lack of protection the Spell Shield offered.

It seems like Demacia will be a popular region in the Eternal format with the buffs to multiple Demacia cards and the addition of Altar to Unity.

One particular archetype that is primed for a potential resurgence in competitive play is Poppy Zed. With the recent buffs to Poppy and Twin Disciplines, this deck exudes an aggressive playstyle. Zed and Elusives apply early pressure, while Poppy empowers the entire board, creating more threatening attacks. The inclusion of Relentless Pursuit further accelerates the pace of the game, setting the stage for more aggressive gameplay.

Other Poppy decks, such as Poppy Taric and Poppy Kayle, might also have a shot in the upcoming meta.

Poppy Zed is not the only deck expected to make waves in the Eternal mode. Miss Fortune Quinn Scouts, for instance, has regained the Grand Plaza, a landmark that had previously become a staple inclusion in numerous Demacia decks. Its +1|+1 buff and the Challenger keyword proved overpowering in the past, necessitating a nerf. Yet, Patch 4.5 restores the landmark to its former glory, reverting the nerf and reinstating the +1 health buff to summoned units. As a result, other Demacia decks, such as Garen or Lucian decks, may also leverage the benefits of the Grand Plaza.

The good old Discard Aggro might be a popular choice in the Eternal game mode. The archetype received a buff to Draven, an important champion to set up an aggressive early game and create Spinning Axes.

With the buff to Draven, a pivotal champion for establishing aggressive early-game dominance and creating Spinning Axes, the deck gains substantial strength. Draven’s 1 health buff renders him more resilient during the early stages of the game, allowing for the generation of additional Axes. This ultimately proves advantageous in facilitating Jinx‘s level-up as the game progresses. Although Discard Aggro existed in the Standard format even without Draven, his absence deprived the deck of its signature discard-aggressive essence and the overpowering Overwhelm potential offered by Crowd Favorite.

Moreover, the introduction of the new card Blowback adds synergy to the Discard Aggro deck, providing a burning and discarding tool capable of sealing victories during the late game.

Notable mentions: Concurrent Timeliness, Crimson Aristocrat, Withering Wail, Celestial Spells.

The reduced mana cost of Timeliness to 1 enables easier development of units by turn 2, allowing players to effectively keep pace with their opponent’s board development. For example, playing Ferros Financiar on turn 2 after casting Timeliness becomes a viable strategic move again.

Crimson Aristocrat can now provide the Overwhelm keyword to other units. This opens up possibilities for new archetypes that rely on high-stat units with Overwhelm to establish decisive win conditions.

The Withering Wail buff is massive against an aggressive meta. With the Draven buff, we might see decks like Draven Jinx or Draven Sion show up on the Eternal ladder.

Additionally, Celestial Spells such as Supernova, Cosmic Rays, and Cosmic Inspiration no longer require the player to behold a celestial card to be playable. This makes it easier to cast those spells, and in light of the Withering Wail buff, decks like Thresh Aurelion Sol may find their place in the Eternal meta.

Closing Words

Patch 4.5 holds a lot of unexpected buffs that should shake up the meta drastically. Among them, the Grand Plaza buff stands out as a game-changer, reestablishing its position as one of the most formidable landmarks from the past.


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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