The Winners and Losers of Legends of Runeterra's Patch 3.13 by Region!

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The Winners and Losers of Legends of Runeterra's Patch 3.13 by Region!

08/18/22 Comment regular icon0 comments

In this article, I'll gauge the changes according to the regions that were most affected and, through that vision, deduct the decks that might return as strong options after the update!

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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Patch 3.13, with its 39 changes to followers, spells and champions, is due to be an update that will shake the game completely. Notably, we had on the mark nerfs to extremely dominant decks, buffs in forgotten cards and in cards that needed that little push to find their place in the metagame. In such a big Patch, it is necessary sometimes to try and look at the changes from a different perspective, as not all changes are relevant both to the meta and to the decks that might be affected by them. In this article, I'll gauge the changes according to the regions that were most affected and, through that vision, deduct the decks that might return as strong options after the update, on this Wednesday, the 17th of August.

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Let's go!

The Patch's purpose

Our favorite LoR dev,

Riot Rubinzoo

, graced us with reflections about which criteria the dev team considers when making a new Patch on Twitter, on this last Sunday. Unfortunately, he deleted the tweets for an unknown reason. In the series of the now deleted tweets, he highlighted that one of the main objectives with patches is that the meta is

"ruptured"

. If we look at the meta that we were having, we can see that Midranges with a lot of speed were dominating the ranked ladder and the competitive tourneys. To shake this up, devs had to choose between an even faster meta, dominated by Aggro decks, and a slower meta, dominated by Control decks. Looking at the patch notes, we can see that

Control decks were chosen to have their place in the sun on this Patch 3.13.

In this update, it is notable that

Riot Games

tried to slow down the game's rhythm. We were having an extremely fast meta, with matches ending between rounds 5 and 7. As such, some archetypes were nerfed, especially Midranges, that were outliers in their power level, such as Kai'Sa and Illaoi, besides support cards that were seeing play beyond their archetypes, such as Tentacle Smash. Cards that are tools to Control decks were also buffed, making this archetype extremely valued in this Patch. To close the deal, some Combo decks, which would be natural predators to Controls, got preemptive nerfs. When we look at the changes through the lenses of their regions, it becomes quite clear which Control decks we might see with the changes, and we would be able to even bet which region will be the most played in the ranked ladder and competitive tourneys:
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As we can see above, the regions that got more buffs were Bandlecity and Targon, which are regions that have many value engines, and in Targon's case, lots of healing. But not all of these changes were impactful, and, therefore, I will specify a bit about what happened to each region, and which were their irrelevant and relevant changes.

Demacia

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This buff can end up bringing this card into Scout lists, but besides that, I don't see much relevance. It's worth noting that the Scout archetype might be a natural answer to Control decks.

Noxus

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Noxus had an important buff to its

Reputation

archetype through the card Bloody Business, which might be enough to bring Ashe LeBlanc or Sivir LeBlanc into the metagame as a Tier 2 deck. I say Tier 2 because with so many Control archetypes being buffed, I don't see this deck winning against slower and more value-based tools. So, it is a buff of medium relevance.
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As for Ravenbloom Conservatory, it had its countdown increased, which means this card is slower. However, it can still see a lot of play in the form of more slower decks such as Gwen Annie or Elise Annie Control, even though archetypes such as slow burn Twisted Fate Annie have been a bit harmed. It is a relevant nerf to slow down the meta.

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Freljord

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Among its two buffs, Freljord went for a tie. One buff was quite relevant, both to Ashe LeBlanc listed above and to the

Zombie

Anivia archetype. Harsh Winds costing less mana can open up space for those decks to take advantage bit by bit, without spending so many resources to do so. But a health buff on Scarmaiden Reaver looks to be more of a round up to her stats so that she isn't power crept by new units than an actual buff that might bring her into the meta.
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Now, Freljord's two buffs, however, the story is different. Blighted Ravine lost its Nexus damage, which will make it difficult for Taliyah Lissandra to have cheese wins with this card, and Frozen Thrall's countdown being increased will slow down this deck's whole strategy. More importantly, however, is that this is one of the Combo archetypes that was nerfed before the patch even developed, which goes to show that Riot doesn't want one or two combo decks to dominate the meta just because of the slower pacing.

Shurima

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The highlight of this region in this Patch are the nerfs to the three Kai'Sa Demacia cards that has been terrorizing Runeterra for the last month. Second Skin, Supercharge and Ancient Hourglass had alterations that were extremely relevant to tone down this deck's strengths. Supercharge will no longer win matches early game because of its cost increase, Second Skin and Ancient Hourglass are easier to interact with, and thus can be answered.
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The region's buff, on Zilean's champion spell, will benefit his own Control deck that was starting to come around with the addition of the card Rite of Passage in the last expansion. This deck also bases itself around a slower strategy, adding up to the overall meta rhythm to slow down.

Piltover&Zaun

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Both nerfs to this region will be very impactful. Boom Baboon having its power reduced will affect greatly this unit's capacity to trade in combat, which was already quite nice considering the Flame Chompers! it created in hand. Station Archivist, another card that also creates value in hand, now has the negative side of shuffling the cards it shows back into the deck. This will lower the deck's predictability, as when you play it now, it won't be possible to tell what are the top 5 cards in your deck.

Runeterra

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In Runeterra, the highlight is the change to Bard's Origin. Sticking to their objective of slowing the game down, this trap Chime change will make this archetype lose a lot of its strengths early game, and will decrease the bad feelings of seeing your opponent randomly get so many trap Chimes so early on.

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Jhin was nerfed indirectly with the alteration of one of his most powerful followers, The Stagehand. It will be easier to deal with this unit while it attacks, as less resources will be spent in a unit which is already Ephemeral.
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Finally, Evelynn had her first buff on the spell Hate Spike, which is now quite interesting to include in Shadow Isles decks, costing only 1 mana.

Ionia

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Between its two buffs, personally, I consider this region to have gotten the short stick of this Patch. Though any buff is welcome, Karma's capacity to survive hasn't been her deck's greatest issues, and instead, the fact that you need to go to turn 10 to level her up. Maybe the slower rhythm that this Patch is bringing is enough for her to come back into the spotlight. Kennen's created spell buff also doesn't solve the issues that he faces to have a viable deck. This

Yordle

's problem is that his combo is hard to do after the nerfs that affected his support cards early this year, and increasing his spell's damage dealt is of little relevance to his win condition.
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Both Ionia's nerfs are what seals the deals for this region to be worse off after Patch 3.13. The Stagehand, as we mentioned, though it isn't that used in Ionia decks, got quite a heavy hit. As for Defiant Dance, it was another preemptively hit card so that Azir Irelia, another Combo deck, doesn't dominate the slower meta, as it is another natural predator archetype to Controls.

Targon

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Maybe the biggest winner of Patch 3.13, Targon rose above by getting 5 buffs in this update. Starshaping and The Traveler got even stronger to stabilize games, and Duskpetal Dust now decreases the cost of all

Nightfall

cards, making this archetype and its cards, such as Pale Cascade, even better. Battle Bonds changed spell speed in a drastic way, and is now viable in other Midrange strategies in Targon, becoming a burst speed spell.
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My personal highlight from this update, Starbone will now work both to create a card draw in your deck, and thus more value, and buff all your celestials globally in +1/+1, having as its only condition that you have another celestial in hand or on board. This is a burst, low cost spell, with a condition easy to hit with this change, and it grants global buffs and creates value in your deck. The highlight here is the condition of this card being easier to meet, making it extremely valuable.
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As for this region's nerf, it is an alteration to the card The Winding Light. which had been dominating the meta in the Aphelios Viktor Vi deck. Now it will be actually necessary to have a wide board to guarantee victory with this deck, as this unit no longer presents a threat by itself. It is a nerf that will hit this deck's dominance a bit, but still leaves it viable. Because of that, Targon crosses the finishing line as this Patch's big winner.

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Bilgewater

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Both nerfs to this region were extremely important to cut by the root the strength of the Bard Illaoi archetype. Tentacle Smash, which was being used in practically every Bilgewater deck, no longer presents itself as a valid removal for all decks, and Illaoi now is able to be removed by Ravenous Flock, Monster Harpoon, Piercing Darkness, etc.

Bandlecity

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In Bandlecity, we had many buffs, but half of them are irrelevant. Buffs to the units Thunder Fist, Masa, Crashing Thunder, Benemone and Rissu, the Silent Storm are status roundups to the units of the

Recall

package in Ionia. It won't be just power or health changes that will make these units relevant, and not even the Triple Impact that the unit Stormcloud got might be enough to bring it into the meta.
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On the other side, the nerf reverts to Twisted Catalyzer and Bandle City Mayor are enough to bring back

Darkness

and

Multiregion

as viable archetypes. Gnar now will discount by 2 mana any Pokey Stick in hand too, which is quite strong.
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A little less relevant, Squeaker won its second buff in less than three months, to be stronger inside the

Mecha-Yordles

archetype and Cosmic Binding will now place 6 trap Chimes in your deck, to compensate a bit for Bard's nerf.
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This region's only nerf was in a key card in Combo decks, Papercraft Dragon, continuing the same train of thought of preemptively nerfing Combo decks in this update, which will be quite relevant to guarantee that Control strategies have their spot in Patch 3.13.

Shadow Isles

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Neverglade Collector didn't have as much of a relevant change, and one extra health point will probably not be enough to have him back into the meta. As for Hate Spike, however, it joined the club of Shadow Isles slay spells that have great rewards, being able to be used as an answer to an enemy removal and on top of it, summon a Husk with a random keyword which can be quite valuable. Maybe more relevant are the changes that

DIDN'T

come to this region: Jayce Heimerdinger, a deck that was already quite strong in the last Patch, wasn't altered and it's probably a good bet after this Wednesday. Shadow Isles had only two changes, but it will probably be one of the most used regions in this Patch due to the amount of Control tools that it has, as it is a support region for decks such as: >Targon/Shadow Isles (Aphelios Gwen, Aurelion Sol Thresh) >Bandlecity/Shadow Isles (Veigar Senna)

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>Piltover&Zaun/Shadow Isles (Jayce Heimerdinger) >Noxus/Shadow Isles (Annie Elise, Gwen Annie) >Freljord/Shadow Isles (Tryndamere Trundle) >Bilgewater/Shadow Isles (Nami Twisted Fate) >Bard/Shadow Isles (Maokai Bard) >Shurima/Shadow Isles (Viego) With Shurima as the worst option of all currently, followed by Bilgewater, due to the heavy nerfs these regions had in this update. Furthermore, this region already had cards that were being used as answers to the Bard Illaoi meta, such as Vengeance and The Ruination. The fact that there wasn't any heavy nerfs to Shadow Isles contributes greatly for it to have a lot of highlights in the next Patch.

Bug Fixes

Finally, I think it is relevant to add that the card Kinkou Student was fixed in this update and therefore will no longer get barriers in hand, or with hand buffs. This Midrange archetype (Bard Shen) also ended up getting a couple of hits and will probably not be as strong.

Final Thoughts

After this deep analysis, I'm confident in saying that the meta is walking towards a slower rhythm, with plenty of Control options forming themselves around Targon and Shadow Isles. For those of you who want something competitive, there are plenty of options among the decks quoted above in the Shadow Isles section, and to anyone that wants to counter the meta, the idea will be to find a Combo deck to deal with all these Control archetypes. My thanks go to my teammate Jean, who helped me get into words what we both felt about the changes. I hope to come back soon with more articles for you guys! And what about you, do you like playing Control? Or do you prefer a faster meta? Tell me all about it in the comment section!
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Joey Sticks

Legends of Runeterra player since the launch of Bilgewater in May 2020. Since then, I have become a streamer and competitive player, besides doing several projects to bring English education through Runeterra.

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