The long-awaited patch 4.2 is finally here, introducing a couple of new cards to the game along with buffs and nerfs for different cards to shake up the meta.
The nerfs mainly targeted aggressive archetypes like Leona Kayle, Teemo Tristana SI, and Miss Fortune Twisted Fate. Reveler’s Feast, Atrocity, Wandering Shepherd, and Rahvun Daylight’s Spear were hit with nerfs to weaken the archetypes they shined in.
Ten new cards have joined the game. Each region in Runeterra received its own unique card that will either help create a new archetype or solidify existing ones.
Let’s look at five decks that performed well on the first day of Patch 4.2.
Jhin Viktor Timelines
This is an archetype that I enjoyed playing on the ranked ladder, and remarkably, it held up well. The Concurrent Timelines deck takes advantage of units with powerful abilities and transforms them into buffier versions while still getting value out of their abilities. It’s important you find Concurrent Timelines as early as possible, this means your mulligan should mainly focus on finding that spell.
Units like Piltovan Castaway, Aloof Travelers, Banana Blaster, Funclub President, and Lawkeeper work perfectly with Concurrent Timelines as each card has a powerful ability, but the drawback is the low stats of those units.
Viktor can become a win condition the longer he’s allowed to stay on the board and keep generating more keywords. However, he plays a secondary role in assisting you with leveling up Jhin with his Hex Core Upgrade. A Jhin will slowly chip away at the opponent’s Nexus, providing you with a slow-burn plan.
Reptide Rex can be great late game for its ability to deal tons of damage to the opponent’s board and transform Rex into a threat like Wrought Colossus. The Cannon Barrage can also trigger Jhin’s ability. allowing for additional Nexus ping damage.
Lucian received a card adjustment in the previous patch, which changed his stats to 2|1 and dropped his mana cost by 1. The change didn’t do much to push the champion back into the meta.
Lucian Evelynn uses Husks to create a more powerful board. Those Husks can be buffed with Durand Sculpture and Domination, which in turn creates buffed-up units that are difficult to deal with.
Additionally, the keywords you gain from the Husks are an important part of your game plan, as they can turn your units into threats, capable of ending the game. Elusive or Overwhelm keywords can be just what you need to start slamming down the opponent’s Nexus, especially with an Evelynn on the board, gaining that same keyword as well.
Steem‘s buff allows you to play him for cheaper, giving you more room to protect him or drop him on the board on earlier turns. His new ability allows you to grant Vulnerability to the strongest ally every time you play a 1-cost unit; in this case, your Husks will activate Steem’s ability and pave the way for more strategic attacks.
Finally, Lucian benefits from seeing the Husks get killed, advancing his level-up condition, and once leveled, he’ll start activating Rally and putting more pressure on the board with his Double Attack keyword.
Garen Jarvan IV
Garen Jarvan IV is not quite a new deck; it was around in the previous patch, but with the addition of Blocking Badgerbear, the archetype has gained a lot more popularity, and its win rate increased on the first day of the expansion.
The Elites deck wants to swarm the board with Demacian units and work on buffing them up. Battlesmith, Vanguard Bannerman, Garen, and For Demacia! will help you set up stronger attacks that force your opponent into unfavorable trades.
The Elites have a new bear that has joined their forces, Blocking Badgerbear. The card is simply an upgrade of the good old Loyal Bear. Blocking Badgerbear has more Power, can block Elusive units, and it’s an Elite.
Garen cannot be allowed to stay alive. A leveled Garen can be a nightmare for your opponent, as he’ll start activating Rally on your defensive turn, leaving no room for your opponent to take a breath.
What’s scarier than a Garen? A Jarvan IV joining the battlefield at burst speed! He can kill off a unit and keep himself safe with his Barrier. Since you’re continuously buffing up your units and forcing your opponent into bad blocks, Jarvan IV isn’t too difficult to level up, and with the Cataclysm he’ll create every turn, your opponent will end up in a sticky situation as long as Jarvan IV is on the board.
Twisted Fate Barrel Action
Twitch streamer Szychu found success with this Twisted Fate Mischievous Marai archetype on the ranked ladder. I have tested this deck in the past and found out that it can have an explosive turn that can end the game with little to no counterplay from the opponent.
With Mischievous Marai now added to the game, the archetype has a new tool to help create those Powder Kegs and start setting up for the game finisher.
The deck wants to buy time with cheap units like Shellshocker, Coral Creatures, and Marai Warden until you hit the late game. Here is where Mischievous Marai becomes a problem for your opponent. The continuous Powder Kegs she’ll create will start burning their Nexus faster or creating a scarier Make it Rain or Twisted Fate’s Red Card.
The list runs Devine Judgement, one of the most important cards in your deck as it makes sure you and your opponent cannot kill the Powder Kegs for a whole turn. One turn is all you’ll need to end the game if you’re able to summon a lot of Powder Kegs and start damaging your opponent’s Nexus with cheap spells like Warning Shot, Parrrley, Line ‘Em Up, and Make it Rain.
The Howling Abyss
This was the last deck Popular Twitch streamer Alanzq tested out for the day, a Howling Abyss archetype with the new Winter’s Touch card. Alan managed to win the five games he played on this deck, which makes you wonder if we might start seeing more of this archetype.
The archetype runs nine ramp cards: Winter’s Touch, Catalyst of Aeons, and Wild Mysticism. Those ramp cards play an important role in accelerating your game plan, helping you set up The Howling Abyss sooner and start creating level 2 champions.
Although the champions you’ll be getting are random, being at level 2 means they’ll be powerful enough to have an immediate impact on the board. In a couple of turns, they should start swinging the board in your favor.
Not to forget, She Who Wonders, which can be a game-ender for specific archetypes that run a lot of units with 4 or less power.
The first day has been all over the place as players experiment with the new cards. One thing is for sure, the new cards bring a fun play style to the game, and it’s the player’s job to figure out the most fitting decks for those cards.