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LoR: Patch 4.11 Nerfs and Buffs Analysis - November 2023

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In this article, we'll analyze each change in Patch 4.11. We'll find out together what will be good and what will be bad on this next competitive period in the Eternal format.

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переведено Joey Sticks

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рассмотрено Tabata Marques

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Introduction

Variety Patch 4.11 is here, and, as usual, I'm here to analyze and comment on each change. I'll give you my opinion on nerfs and buffs, besides predicting what the meta will look like after these new changes.

Please keep in mind that this article is entirely based on my 3-year experience casting and competing in LoR tournaments.

I won't be discussing the new cards - if you're curious about what are the new cards, just click herelink outside website.

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Nerfs

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Janna - From 6 cost reduced cards needed to level up to 8.

Janna was quite strong and consistent. The nerf to this champion is very welcome, considering we're heading towards the Eternal competitive season, in which she'll probably be very strong too.

In Eternal, this champion can level up much more easily because we have access to many cards that have synergy with her. It is likely this change won't kill Janna completely, and she might still see competitive play, but players will certainly think twice before adding her to their lists.

Divine Whirlwind - Now deals only 1 damage to the enemy Nexus, instead of 2.

This nerf was extraordinary because it doesn't kill the card, as this spell's main role is to remove enemy units directly. The Nexus Burn effect is just an extra that you get when you play this spell, and reducing this direct damage makes a lot of sense, as it is a spell that can already be played for a reduced cost by the lists that abuse it.

Champions' Strength - Before, it cost 8, now it costs 9.

Riot has serious issues with this card. Champions' Strength has already been nerfed and buffed a few times, and it is a spell that remains extremely strong. This nerf will probably kill this card, as 9 mana is very expensive for any Demacia Midrange list.

It is very difficult to think of a solution to the problems this card causes to the game, so this solution of making it unplayable for the time being seems to make sense.

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Startipped Peak - Once again costs 2 mana.

Startipped Peak is the greatest source of value in Eternal Celestials lists, particularly in the early game. For 1 cost, when it was played on turn 1, it already guaranteed a lot of free value to the Celestials player, considering Celestial cards on their own are already quite strong.

This nerf brings back this landmark's original cost, proving to all that this card has always been playable, as it is quite clear that 2 mana is still ok for Startipped Peak.

Cosmic Call - Now no longer Evokes if it's played for 8 mana.

This nerf makes a lot of sense, even though there are plenty of better ways to nerf this card. Now you no longer create a Celestial if you play Cosmic Call for 8 mana, which means, you'll pay 8 mana to do nothing.

Due to the strength of Celestial lists, we know that this probably won't really affect these decks. Competitive lineups with three Cosmic Call decks will likely not be viable anymore, but we'll probably still have a Cosmic Call deck in the meta.

A cool idea to nerf this archetype was changing Living Legends in a way that makes it refill only the mana cost you used to play this card itself. Which means, if you spent 5 mana to play Living Legends, it would give back 5 mana.

Buffs

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Swain - From 16+ damage to level up to 14+.

This revert buff to Swain took a while to get here, but it still managed to get here in time. As we're moving to the Eternal competitive season, in this format, Noxus can be more geared towards Control, and Swain is one of the best champions for this strategy.

After the many nerfs to Samira, now the spotlight of best Noxus champion can go to this tyrannical Emperor.

Dame the Despoiler - Now has Overwhelm.

This buff is welcome, but it goes in that category of changes that are a little irrelevant. This card is, unfortunately, part of Samira's archetype, and as this champion isn't strong, this Dame will hardly find a deck to call home.

Dedicant of the Challenge - Was 2/1, is now a 2/2 base-level.

This buff is also a bit irrelevant, as the great gist of this card is in its effect. Out of all the cards in Nilah's and Janna's archetypes, this was the worst one by far, and this change might make no difference at all because this unit's effect simply doesn't match the lists that bring these two champions.

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Protective Broodfather - 7/7 before, now an 8/8.

This card is now a Titanic unit. Riot is really moving around and giving the Titanic status to as many units as they can lately. With that in mind, this change is actually irrelevant.

Tryndamere - 8/4 before, now an 8/6.

This buff is actually a nerf because Tryndamere's strategy is based around killing this champion to level him up. If you increase his stats, it gets harder to kill him, so, this change is actively making Tryndamere's lists worse.

Unfortunately, Tryndamere is very outdated, and the game no longer has room for his play style. The only way to make him strong again is with a bunch of new cards that will support this champion somehow.

Warmother's Call - It cost 12 before, now it costs 11.

This buff is very relevant because this card is in Standard and can be a great value combo alternative to Freljord, as this region is now full of Titanic units.

In Eternal, this card is completely erased by the existence of Feel the Rush, which is one of Freljord's greatest finishing spells. But, in Standard, now for 11 cost, it became extremely easier to play this spell, and it can, yes, be a strong resource for meta decks.

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Commander Ledros - A 9/6 before, it is now a 10/6.

Unfortunately, this change doesn't do anything to the game. Ledros will still be weak and won't see competitive play. Runeterra has become too modern, to the point that Ledros no longer makes sense in any meta strategy.

Necrotic Arachnoid - Now has Fearsome.

This card can be an attacker now, instead of a backrow unit.

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I would like to stress that it is starting to be the norm to give Fearsome to Shadow Isles units, and that means we're gradually reviving this region's aggressive identity.

Spirit Leech - A 4/1 before, it is now a 4/2.

As incredible as it sounds, this unit having 2 health makes a tremendous difference. Many times, the archetypes that bring this card usually use their own units as resources to slay enemies or draw cards. With 2 health, this unit now goes out of the range of 1-damage Pings, making these Shadow Isles lists a lot more dynamic.

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The Etherfiend - Before it was a 7-cost 6/4, and it is now a 6-cost 5/3.

I can say, with confidence, that The Etherfiend, even with this change, won't see play. Its problem is in the effect that goes to the stack, which states you must kill one of your units to destroy an enemy. There are many ways you can answer this effect, and in Shadow Isles itself there are various other cards that deal with your opponent's board much more efficiently.

Corrupted Form - Before it cost 3, now it costs 2.

This equipment comes from the spell Seal in Steel, which is one of the worst cards in the entire game. This buff is welcome to this spell, but, even with the equipment costing 2, Seal in Steel is still easily one of the top 5 worst Legends of Runeterra cards of all time.

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The Bandle Tree - Before it cost 4, now it costs 3.

This landmark has caused many issues in the past, and now, for 3 mana, it will probably return to the competitive spotlight. We should make clear that the meta now includes the Explorers, which are cards that give any region a cheap landmark removal option. This is clearly a very strong answer to the Tree, but will it be enough? Only time will tell.

I believe the meta can center around this card, forcing players to bring more landmark removal in general.

Katarina - She was a 2/2, and is now a 3/2.

This champion is reclaiming her throne as the Queen of Noxus, as Samira was buried six feet under with the latest nerfs. This buff is welcome and can make Katarina a very strong, aggressive option for Eternal's next competitive meta.

Preservationist - Before it cost 5, now it costs 4.

This card goes in the section of cool, but very random buffs. Indeed, it is a card that has never seen competitive play, and, now with this buff, it can be considered for Lissandra Taliyah lists or even Buried Sun Disc lists.

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Desert's Wrath - Before it cost 4, now it costs 3.

This buff can give a little push to Azir Irelia archetypes in Eternal, which is great, considering these lists are one of the best options to play against Ryze.

Apart from that, it is a very strong card in Boss Azir's deck in The Path of Champions, and this buff might make him even more impossible to deal with.

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Spirit Portal - Before it cost 4, now it costs 3.

This spell is very bad, and this buff changes very little. Unfortunately, the problem with this card is how easy it is for Bandle City to give stats to its units more efficiently, even more so at burst speed. This card, to be good, would probably have to cost 1 or 2 mana.

They Who Endure - Before it cost 7, now it costs 6.

This is one of my favorite cards of all time, but this buff unfortunately changes almost nothing. This unit no longer works in the game's current meta, and it is a lot because Shadow Isles has been facing an identity crisis. As Nasus exists in the game doing almost the same thing as this card, but better, there is no reason to play with this unit, even though it costs 6 mana.

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Tornado Warrior - Before it cost 2 and was a 2/2, now it costs 1 and is a 1/1.

As this unit wants to be recycled over and over and get stats and keywords, I firmly believe this change is actually a nerf to this card. Considering this unit now has 1 health, it will probably die very easily to any Ping coming from your opponent's side. And even though it is a follower that costs 1 mana, this is still not enough to make the Recall archetype make sense.

Frenzied Skitterer - Before it was a 3/2, it is now a 3/3.

This change is very relevant, considering this card didn't need a buff, and was already a very strong, playable unit. Actually, the Fearsome archetype is one of the most competitive mechanics in Eternal, and this unit is that deck's greatest star. This buff reinforces its stardom in these archetypes and can brilliantly skyrocket this aggressive game style for the next competitive meta in the next Runeterra Open.

Adjustments

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Concurrent Timelines - Now grants to the units in your hand the effect of "when you play me on board, transform me into one of 3 random followers with my same cost".

I hereby decree, officially, Timelines' death. This archetype was my favorite archetype of all time in Runeterra, and we can no longer play with this card, because it is extremely weak.

I believe that, considering how this spell is now, it is fair it costs 1 mana, or even 0. I say that because now there is no reason to bring this card in your Timelines lists.

Overgrown Snapvine - Before it was a 7-cost, 5/3 unit - "Its effect activated when an ally is summoned", and now it is a 6-cost, 5/3 unit - "Its effect activates when an ally is played from your hand".

This change brings this card some quality of life, and prevents Snapvine's effect, of transforming allied units into itself, from being prejudicial to Norra lists with portals.

Final Words

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If you read this far, now you know what are all the changes in Patch 4.11!

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