Legends of Runeterra’s 1.4 patch contains a bevy of balance updates, with most of the changes being buffs to underutilized cards such as Braum, Anivia, and She Who Wanders. That doesn’t mean patch 1.4 won’t contain any nerfs, however.
Let’s get the big one out the way first. Unyielding Spirit, the eight mana Demacian Burst spell that granted immortality to a unit will now be a Fast spell. Everything else will remain unchanged. Riot explained that they liked the idea of making an immortal unit, but decided that the card was “ultimately resulting in some toxic gameplay patterns.”
Many speculated that if Riot decided to slow the speed of the card, they would also have to reduce its mana cost to help compensate for the increased interactivity. But Riot thought otherwise and opted for a more severe approach instead. “We ultimately feel the card is too prone to causing frustrating results and needs additional options to be countered,” Riot added. With this change, it’s hard to imagine a world where this card remains competitive because now players will have to spend almost their entire turn on something that can be counterable.
They Who Endure, a staple of spider decks, will have its mana cost increased from six to seven. Riot said that the card “provides a massive payoff for decks that can kill many of their own units, but is a little too efficient and flexible.” They added that this change will “preserve that payoff while allowing more time for opposing plans to develop.”
Escaped Abomination, a 4|4 unit created by Cursed Keeper, will have only three health as of patch 1.4. Riot explained how difficult it can be to stabilize against an aggressive Shadow Isles deck if you fall behind early. “We want Escaped Abomination to be a bit more answerable in the early game,” Riot wrote. As we’ve seen with cards like Chump Whump in the past, decreasing a unit’s health from four to three makes a huge difference, because it puts it in range of three attack units and a lot more removal spells.
Deep decks will take a small hit this patch. The 2|1 Dreg Dredgers unit will have its attack halved, making it a 1|1. Riot felt Deep decks possessed early game tools that were “stronger than we want for a deck that can sink you in the late game.”
Finally, the much-maligned “yoink” mechanic is being slightly reworked. Instead of cards being stolen from the top of an opponent’s deck, they’ll be stolen from the bottom. The effect will now be represented by the keyword “Nab,” and Riot says that “are open to making further adjustments as necessary.” As a side note, Black Market Merchant will now only have one health instead of two.
Legends of Runeterra’s 1.4 patch also contains Expedition archetype changes, bug fixes, and new store items. It goes live on June 24 at 10 AM PT. Full patch notes can be found here.