Swim and Gummi share mixed feelings on Legends of Runeterra Patch 0.9.2

Kalista remains unplayable and the meta is at risk of becoming stale.

Kalista Legends of Runeterra
Image via Riot Games Legends of Runeterra

Hot takes were flowing on the Runeterrable Radio podcast last night, ranging from the Kalista buff to a possible stale Legends of Runeterra open beta meta.

Hosts Saucymailman and Blevins were joined on the Runeterrable Radio podcast last night by one of the most-watched streamers in LoR, Swimstrim, and co-creator of the Draven/Teemo burn deck, Gummi_God. Both of them are Master-tier level players who are thrilled about Runeterra’s mechanics and want it to succeed in the long term. But several of the changes made in the recent update have left Swim and Gummi concerned about the future of LoR

“Just because a card is strong doesn’t mean it needs to get nerfed,” Swimstrim and Gummi said. 

Excerpt from the Runeterrable Radio podcast

Since the launch of the open beta, criticism of the game and patch buff and nerfs has been nearly nonexistent. But all that changed with the most recent LoR 0.9.2 patch, the game’s largest update since the open beta release. A total of 23 minor changes were made that were supposed to shift the meta, similar to the 0.9.0 patch. Major adjustments were made to champions Kalista and Hecarim, along with their spells, while also containing buffs to the Mageseeker package and nerfs to Troop of Elnuks

Related: Here’s every nerf and buff from Legends of Runeterra’s 0.9.2 update

Prior to the patch going live earlier this week, top-level players like Swim and Gummi shared mixed feelings regarding the recent changes. And after hours of gameplay and testing, they’ve concluded that not all of the nerfs and buffs have lived up to the hype surrounding them. 

The Shadow Isles region was hit the hardest by changes made to Hecarim and Kalista, along with nerfs to Mark of the Isles and Black Spear. 

Mark of the Isles received a solid nerf, making it a fair card. But nerfing Black Spear was a bad adjustment, according to everyone on the Runeterrable podcast. The general consensus on Black Spear was that it was a strong spell but not overpowered and it should’ve been left alone.

The hot take on Kalista was that she may have been better prior to her recent rework in the LoR 0.9.2 patch. 

“The kind of deck that is going to see four allies die is not the kind of deck that is going to be able to capitalize on her rebirth effect,” Swim said. “The one health added to Kalista doesn’t help her. She needs focus; either in Aggro, Midrange, or Control.”

Kalista’s rebirth effect was supposed to make her a more viable champion within the LoR meta, along with her buff of one health. 

“The [resummoned] unit isn’t a threat because the unit spawns after her and is Ephemeral, meaning Kalista dies anyway,” Gummi said.   

Upon discussing the various adjustments throughout the LoR 0.9.2 patch, the conversation shifted toward the game’s meta and why the update wasn’t an overall success. Gummi was particularly passionate about this topic, feeling that the LoR team has the liberty to make aggressive changes due to the game still being in open beta. 

“I’ve been playing the same meta for the past month, and going over this patch with Swim the other day, I feel like I’m going to be playing the same meta for the next month,” Gummi said. He also added that there should be more buffs and less nerfs. 

Swim feels that the LoR team fell somewhat short on this last patch. He thinks the issue stems from a lack of distinguished archetypes, which may lead to a stale meta over the next few weeks. 

“Because of the spell reserve system, it creates this little hump, and I think this is a great thing,” Swimstrim said. “I think that having more uniform games is actually good. But decks need to distinguish themselves by archetype and play pattern instead, and the game isn’t doing that enough right now.” 

The experts on the podcast generally agreed upon their thoughts on the other minor nerfs and buffs, saying they’re fun but won’t have a major impact within existing top-tier decks or change the meta at this time. This includes spell changes made to Iceborn Legacy, Poro Snax, and Pack Mentality.

Saucymailman spent a majority of his stream the other night attempting to make Poros a viable archetype in the LoR meta but concluded that “if you’re trying to win, you’re probably not playing the Poros archetype.”

The group of players also agreed that the nerf to The Rekindler was fair and likely not going to affect the meta too much, while the Mageseeker package might see some play but not like the LoR team thought it might. It was also noted that the changes made to Brood Awakening, despite the spell still being on the weak side, was a positive sign that the LoR team can admit when a nerf goes wrong.

The full broadcast of Runeterrable episode 16 can be found on YouTube, Twitch, and Spotify.