Every card change happening in Legends of Runeterra Patch 1.2

Sweeping nerfs hit Demacia, aggro, and combo. But there are buffs to look forward to as well.

Legends of Runeterra Vladimir
Image via Riot Games

The first card change patch for Legends of Runeterra’s first expansion, Rising Tides, is coming to the game in tomorrow’s Patch 1.2.

In total, there are 18 changes—10 nerfs and eight buffs. The brunt of the nerfs look toward hitting aggressive and midrange strategies since Demacia, Noxus, and Piltover and Zaun are the regions hit with the most nerfs. But combo cards that help slower lists, like Karma and Deep Meditation, are also being nerfed to make them less rampant with the potency of aggro going down in this patch.

The buffs that are gracing cards in this patch are ones that aim to give small buffer spaces to underplayed cards like Vladimir and Shen, lower win rate cards like Slotbot and Laurent Chevalier, or just bug fixes like Chum the Waters.

In addition to these changes, Riot is also putting out a watchlist for four cards, Unyielding Spirit, Pilfered Goods, Karma, and Ezreal, and two mechanics, Card Stealing and Nexus Damage. The cards themselves were cited to be potentially frustrating to play against and polarizing in certain matchups. But one of the cards on the watch list, Karma, is being nerfed in this patch, with Ezreal already seeing a drop in win rate since Rising Tides’ release.

For the card stealing mechanic, Riot said it can feel painful to play against if you’re running lists that buff your decks, like Freljord’s top deck buffs. The team says it’s willing to make adjustments in the future to make it easier to play against the mechanic. Direct damage and aggressive strategies are mechanics that will always be intently watched by the team. While there are some changes coming to these cards in this patch, like Legion Rearguard and Boomcrew Rookie, this won’t stop the team from making any future changes if the aggressive patterns remain problematic.

Here are all of the buffs and nerfs, and the context behind them, that are coming to the card collection in Patch 1.2.


Vladimir (level two)

  • Attack: For each other attacking ally, deal one to it and one to the enemy Nexus. → For each other attacking ally, deal one to it and drain one from the enemy Nexus.

“While this patch is focused on numbers changes, Vladimir has been falling short of the play rate, gameplay satisfaction, and champion resonance levels we strive for in our champs, so we’re making a more complex change by making Vlad’s level 2 effect a drain. In addition to making Vlad feel even more like a life-draining battle mage, this change should provide Vlad decks with additional utility and a more exciting and impactful payoff for his level-up requirement.”

Karma (level one)

  • Cost: five → six

“We want Karma to be both more difficult to protect and more taxing on your immediately available mana, so we’re bumping her cost to put more constraints on what else players can do on the turn they play Karma.” 

Karma (level two)

  • Cost: five → six

Shen (level one)

  • Power: two → three

“Shen has been among the least-played champions for some time, especially as he tends to require including Demacia in your deck to really shine. For now, we’re boosting his power to make him more of a threat on his own and easier to plan profitable attacks around.”

Shen (level two)

  • Power: three → four

Vi (level one)

  • Health: five → four

“While Vi doesn’t offer a particularly game-warping effect like some Champions, she’s overperforming in multiple decks due to the raw strength of her baseline stats. We want to adjust her to be less of a generalist, best-in-slot champion for Piltover & Zaun, while retaining most of her power in decks that synergize with her kit.”

Vi (level two)

  • Health: six → five

Hecarim (level one)

  • Power: four → five

“Hecarim’s statline sometimes made it a bit too difficult to find profitable attacks, so we’re bumping his power to help him attack into more board states and improve his gameplay satisfaction and overall effectiveness.”

Hecarim (level two)

  • Power:  five → six

Followers & spells

Greathorn Companion

  • Power: four → five

“We want to move some of Grizzled Ranger’s former power (see below) up the curve, giving dedicated Scout decks more viable options. Of course, this is also a slight buff to Remembrance when it pulls you a Greathorn.”

Grizzled Ranger

  • Power: four → three
  • (also see Loyal Badgerbear)

“Grizzled Ranger is among the most value-heavy followers in the game. Not only is it resilient, but Scout allows the Ranger to push a ton of damage, force opponents to make suboptimal trades, and ultimately allow Demacia players a mid-game advantage that’s been feeling a bit too “free.” We’re reducing Ranger’s power (and Loyal Badgerbear’s) to allow players more flexibility and counterplay in deciding when and how to block him.”

Laurent Chevalier

  • Health: one → two

“Laurent Chevalier was a bit too fragile for its cost to realistically chase the dream of multiple triggers. It deserves a boost on its own, and we’ve got a good opportunity given that Demacia is seeing a few nerfs in this patch.”

Loyal Badgerbear

  • Power: four → three

“This change overlaps with the one to Grizzled Ranger, though Badgerbear has proven problematic on its own, particularly in Expeditions where it was pushing Demacia’s general strength in raw stats a bit too far.”

Stand Alone

  • Cost: three → four

“Stand Alone can lead to undesirable gameplay patterns, particularly when one player goes all-in on one unit as early as round three, leading to deterministic games that undermine decision-making and turn too sharply on whether the opponent has the answer (or is even playing the right region). We’re pushing Stand Alone’s early game potential back with a cost increase that cuts off the ability to attack on round three with a three cost unit + Stand Alone combo.”

Legion Rearguard

  • Health: two → one

Rising Tides has introduced much more direct Nexus damage into LoR (more commentary in the watchlist), and we’re seeing a bit too much consistency in the most powerful variants of burn / aggro decks, particularly in their favored matchups. We’re making targeted adjustments to Legion Rearguard and Boomcrew Rookie (below) to rein in some of these decks’ early snowball power.

When looking at the data for burn / aggro decks utilizing Legion Rearguard, we saw that a round one Rearguard often gave decks a significant boost in win rate compared to other cards when played on curve. In the right decks (or against them), Rearguard provides too much punishment potential for a simple one drop, and we don’t want players to feel so consistently and immediately behind (or that they’ve already lost) for lack of a suitable round one answer. This adjustment also evens out counterplay to Rearguard among the various regions.”

Kindly Tavernkeeper

  • Power: two → three

“Healing is part of Freljord’s regional identity, but hasn’t been as available to non-ramp decks as we’d like. A general usability boost for Tavernkeeper should make it appealing as a flex slot for a wider range of Freljord Decks.”

Deep Meditation

  • Cost: four → five

“Deep Meditation provided too much overall value at its old cost, offering high redundancy, card advantage, and consistent spellcasting. While this card should be a high-performer in dedicated spell decks, it was doing a bit too much all around, even at its regularly-costed “floor.” Given that Ionia has a large variety of efficient and powerful tools, we want the high access to them offered by Deep Meditation to be more difficult for general Ionia decks to tap into.”

Boomcrew Rookie

  • Health: four → three

“Boomcrew Rookie is a standout card in burn-based aggro decks, with its high health and attack trigger allowing for consistent Nexus damage over time. Decreasing its health makes the Rookie more answerable through both removal and combat, giving opponents a better shot at preventing multiple triggers from hitting their Nexus.”

Brood Awakening

  • Cost: five → six

“We’re reverting a change we made to Brood Awakening during beta, where we wanted to buff spider decks in the wake of nerfs to Mark of the Isles, Crowd Favorite and Frenzied Skitterer. In the end, this change overly pushed the raw efficiency of Brood Awakening, to the extent that it’s become overly potent as a defensive tool in control decks or “kill your own units” combo decks.”

Longtooth – (Chum the Waters / Fizz’s Chum the Waters)

  • Health: one → two

“We’re adjusting Longtooth to allow Chum the Waters to be a bit less punishable and more reliable, especially in Expeditions where associated decks have been struggling. Chum the Waters can now also be played without an enemy unit in play—while this is actually a bugfix, it should allow for added versatility.”

Monkey Idol

  • Health: four → five

“Giving Monkey Idol the potential to create another Monkey should make the effect more meaningful and create more interesting and satisfying decisions around when to play it.”


  • Power: zero → one
  • Health: three → four

“We’re giving Slotbot a simple stat boost to help get the reels spinning a bit more quickly.”

You can have fun with these new cards when LoR Patch 1.2 releases tomorrow, May 26, at 11am CT.