As Legends of Runeterra barrels toward its official 1.0 release, Riot has released patch notes for the game’s 0.9.2 update, which features changes to over 20 cards. To no one’s surprise, many of the nerfs in this patch will indeed target Shadow Isles, which has been the game’s best region for much of the open beta phase.
Leading the charge is Hecarim, who will see his health drop by one in both his base form and his leveled up form. “We reduced his health by 1 at both levels to make him easier to bring down,” Riot explains. Additionally, the Spectral Riders he summoned when attacking will have their attack value dropped from three to two. Riot says that “Hecarim attacks also tended to spread too much damage, which rarely allowed good blocking options, so we’ve adjusted the riders to 2|2 to allow better counterplay.” That’s not all, however.
The Shadow Isles Champion will also see his level up requirement reduced, as Riot aims to “shift Hecarim’s power deeper into his Ephemeral synergy while leaving him a viable, but weaker, option for Shadow Isles decks in general.” Previously, Hecarim had to attack with eight or more Ephemeral allies in order to level up. That number has been reduced to seven with the release of the 0.9.2 patch. Part of what made Hecarim so prevalent was that he was able to dominate without ever leveling up, so this change should put him more in line with the game’s other Champions.
The Rekindler, a supplementary unit that made Hecarim even peskier, will also be receiving a nerf in the upcoming patch. Riot is simply upping the card’s mana cost by one, from six to seven. The card, which revives the strongest dead allied champion, was frequently played right after Hecarim died, which made for a devastating and demoralizing combo. “Rekindler at its current rate too strongly breaks the healthy play pattern of removing Champions, so we’re upping its cost,” Riot says.
Patch 0.9.2 will also target two of Shadow Isles’ most-used low-cost spells, while also putting another one on the official watchlist. Black Spear will have its mana cost increased from two to three, and Mark Of The Isles will now only grant an ally an extra two attack and health instead of three. Riot explains that Shadow Isles is “too versatile with cheap spells at one to two mana, which allows SI to get ahead (and play from ahead) too easily.”
Finally, Glimpse Beyond, one of the game’s most efficient card draw tools, has been added to Riot’s watchlist. At two mana, the card draws two cards at the expense of killing a friendly unit. However, the card is frequently used to target a friendly unit that was already targeted by an opponent’s removal spell. So in a way, it not only draws cards, but denies your opponent’s spell in the process. Riot explains that the card wasn’t changed because of its “low mana cost and design, and any change at all might end up severely nerfing it.” Riot goes on to say that they’ll reconsider not making a change if they “see indications that Glimpse is overly problematic even after the other Shadow Isles settle.”
Full patch notes, including other nerfs, buffs, complete redesigns, bug fixes, and more can be found here.
Max is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, Washington. Armed with a BS in Game Design, he is mainly focused on covering Call of Duty, Legends of Runeterra, and streamer culture for Level Push.