Riot Games is granting five-day access for Legends of Runeterra’s beta tomorrow—and the patch notes suggest that players will need all that time and more to enjoy it.
LoR developers revealed all the changes and new content coming to the digital card game in the preview patch. The update introduces Expeditions, a drafting mode that allows players to build a deck from scratch and compete in a tournament-style event. And over 40 cards were adjusted to balance out the meta and give way to fresh strategies for taking out your opponent.
Although this patch is expansive, Riot promised that the vast number of changes won’t be the norm in future updates. But because the game is in active development, there are a lot of features, cards, and bugs to polish. And LoR devs are “intentionally” experimenting with many things before launch so that they can find a “sweet spot.”
Here are today’s patch notes for LoR’s second round of beta testing.
“The new game mode is here. In the Expeditions mode, you draft a deck as you go, overcoming as many opponents as you can with an evolving set of cards,” Riot said.
Players will receive a free Expeditions Token and 8,000 shards to start their drafting immediately.
Lux and Final Spark
“Lux is an iconic character who was falling short of our champion bar in a few ways: tough to build around, didn’t have a great deck to call home, and her dream—blasting your hapless foes with multiple Final Sparks—was too difficult to realize,” Riot said.
Lux will drop later in the game with more defensive stats, is easier to level up, and Final Spark now casts for free. And players will get a free Final Spark immediately upon leveling up.
“Garen was a bit too narrow in usage at his old price point, and often had better options in his ‘best fit’ deck, Elites, so we’ve dropped his cost and stats by one each to make him a more flexible inclusion in a wider variety of decks,” Riot said.
“We want champions to be cards you can build a deck around, not just automatically included for a given archetype,” Riot said. “Draven was pretty much universally optimal in any Noxus aggro deck, so we’re reducing his raw stat power to make sure you have to put in more dedicated effort to unlock his power.”
“Shen decks are often overloaded with tools to keep him and his followers alive, but he had so much health that it was tough to take him out even when opponents get past the wall of tricks,” Riot said. “We want opposing players to have a more realistic shot at taking Shen down once they manage to land a blow.”
Thresh and The Box
“We’ve removed Thresh’s old healing effect and bumped his health to compensate,” Riot said. “It had some cool play patterns, but also some extremely complex implications that often just frustrated both players.”
The Box was replaced with a new effect that synergizes with Thresh’s quest and adds to the removal potential.
“Kalista now features some evasion to help her still deal damage on her own, plus an ally buff that’ll present opponents with a familiar quandary—take free damage, or kill the ally and contribute to Kalista’s quest,” Riot said.
“This is mostly a thematic-driven change, but also gives players running spider synergies more flexibility in turning them on,” Riot said.
Followers and Spells
She Who Wanders & Balesight
Heart of the Fluft
Flash of Brilliance
Rising Spell Force
Grasp of the Undying
“Fiora has an amazingly powerful effect, but requires quite a bit of work to jump through all the hoops,” Riot said. “There are three aspects of Fiora we’re watching: her overall win rate, her ability to punish strategies that play smaller units, and the frustration of attacking into her. Thus far, we think there are lots of benefits to having such a unique and fun build-around champion in Legends of Runeterra, and she hasn’t yet reached a level where we think a nerf or redesign is needed.”
“Copying, reviving, and giving Ephemeral to Anivia are all intended gameplay, but can sometimes be exceptionally frustrating to play against,” Riot said. “We don’t think numbers tweaks will fix these interactivity problems, so no changes for now. Instead, we’re watchlisting the Cryophoenix with the intent to modify how she functions and find a better balance in the future.”
“Deny has a powerful, unique effect, and we think that its prevalence during the first preview patch was due to the outsized impact of big mana / late game / She Who Wanders decks and Deny’s role in defending against them,” Riot said. “Now that we’ve adjusted many of the tools that contributed toward the power of those strategies, we expect the reactive power of Deny to decrease in a similar way. We’re still keeping watch on it, and if we see significant fractions of the meta playing Ionia specifically to gain access to this tool, we’ll consider rebalance or redesign.”
In-game deck inspect
“Clicking on either player’s deck in-game now also shows any champions included in the deck (in addition to the deck’s regions),” Riot said. “In a future patch, we plan to improve this feature further by announcing champions at game start, so players don’t need to inspect decks every match.”
- You can now right-click to inspect cards in your decklist, including unowned cards from an imported decklist (real talk, this is the best change of the patch).
- The decklist now stays open when browsing the unowned cards view. This one’s not perfect yet, and there are some tradeoffs (more difficult to track your wildcard counts), but Riot thinks it’s worth it—let Riot know what you think.
Piltover/Zaun and Ionia starter deck
- -2 Rush, +2 Scaled Snapper.
- -2 Greenglade Lookout, +2 Keeper of Masks.
- -2 Intrepid Mariner, +1 Chempunk Shredder, +1 Get Excited (brings Get Excited count to two)
Shadow Isles and Noxus starter deck
- -1 Shiraza the Blade, +1 Captain Farron/
- Fixed an issue where players would occasionally get into a bugged state and receive a new quest on every login.
- Fixed an issue preventing the Vault from progressing past Level nine for some players.
- Fixed issue where Vault progression would sometimes not display correctly on the end-of-game screen.
- While it was flavorful, Ruination will no longer occasionally crash the game.
- Surrendering a tutorial with an open prompt will no longer crash the game.
- Overwhelm damage will no longer occasionally crash the game.
- Quickly casting a bunch of Burst spells will no longer crash the game.
- Opponent’s revealed cards will no longer flicker.
- Playing Warden’s Prey while Spider Queen Elise is in play will no longer mute all VO.
- Eggnivia transform effects will now play properly.
- The board will no longer occasionally turn blue when Ashe levels up.
- You’ll no longer sometimes be matched against the mysterious “_” (opponent’s names sometimes displayed that way during matches).
- Nexus explosions will no longer occasionally throw the game camera off-kilter.
- Hovered cards in deckbuilder should no longer occasionally get stuck on the screen.
- Fixed an issue causing service notifications to sometimes not be visible.
- Various stability improvements.
The preview patch begins tomorrow at 10am CT and ends at the same time on Nov. 19.