Hello all, Yangzera here! Today, I came to discuss the Patch Notes of this week!
After reflecting about all the changes for practically a full day, I think I can offer a well-thought-out opinion on most of them and suggest a few decks to try out on the first day. So, without further ado, let's go!
The Eternal Update
Most of my points today will be focused mainly on the Eternal format, and when I mean the Standard format, I will warn you all beforehand.
I'll group the Samira changes in one section, because they are the most important changes to the Standard format.
Initially, I thought Samira Fizz hadn't really been affected because the change to Flair only affects other Samira decks - you're almost always pulling things with her in this deck because she is the only unit in that deck with the combat keyword Quick Attack, but these changes are a bit more nuanced than what I thought initially.
Mainly because, when you use your Powder Pandemonium, if your opponent is doing their job correctly and applying some pressure to you, there is a chance you kill them in the back run, because you're no longer free to take out their blockers with the ephemeral monkeys.
This card is still better than Decimate, but the deck definitely was hit moderately. Unfortunately, the change to Flair affects Pantheon versions a lot, it might be enough to make them inviable, and it lightly affects Jinx and Seraphine decks.
Limiting Tristana and Bandle Gunners
The nerf to Tristana's level up progression will save from 2 to 3 damage on the games she levels up while on board, but the true change is the nerf to Bandle Gunners. Losing Spellshield on this card makes Karma decks a clear counter for Tristana strategies, as you no longer need to remove Spellshield to remove this card - be it stunning it, returning it to their hand, or simply killing the unit.
The change to Crimson Aristocrat is far from making Vladimir viable or completely reworking the champion, as it was the possibility mentioned in the first rotation article, but now it is a decent Noxus card which can be detached from Vladimir decks.
The Return of the King
It's Draven time!! He finally got his third health point back, and that is great!
I predict he won't be as good in Noxus Control strategies, but he will definitely bring back Sion and Jinx into the meta, significantly. This change was asked for a long time, and I'm excited to see it, so I'll share at least one Draven deck today.
Other Big Reversals
All reversals were incredible, though The Grand Plaza scares me a bit. Poppy Zed can come back at full strength this season, and the change to Twin Disciplines, though good, won't change much, in my opinion.
Maybe some more aggressive Ionia decks can come up from this change, but more reactive decks were already using Disciplines just to give more health to an important unit, and that won't change much.
Interesting Buffs to Rarely Used Cards
Losing Poro Cannon really hurts Lulu decks heavily, and this buff to Pix! can bring a new and interesting approach to her decks. With Pix! being a great option both defensively and offensively, her decks can repeal aggression for one more turn before they deal lethal damage or use Pix twice when attacking, and there is a chance that the old Ahri Lulu decks can come back into the scene based on that and the change to Twin Disciplines.
Loaded Dice becomes an interesting card, particularly in a world in which we can play Black Market Merchant, and also play with an infinity of pings with Flair, Stylish Shot, and, of course, Warning Shot. The fact that you don't lose 4 mana on your turn that this effect is active is quite significant, and can make this card appear in Noxus Bilgewater decks.
Though I think Captain Arrika still won't see play, that is a very welcome change, because you only use this card for its effect, and lowering its mana cost because of the effect is always good. This is a good buff in the right direction and I entirely agree with it.
Sanctum Conservator is now a playable card, because it will do something even when its condition isn't met. I think the text could say "kill a unit" and make it possible to kill a champion as well, as you're practically paying 8 unit mana to have this effect, but I understand Shurima's theme is to deal well with followers, and struggle with dealing that well with champions.
Less Impactful Buffs
These changes, in my opinion, are much less impactful than they seem. Some are reversals, some are direct buffs, but I don't believe any of these cards can shine in Eternal meta.
The change to Iceborn Legacy, though it looks huge, is just lowering one mana cost which was already taken from this card in the Poro decks when Poro Cannon was nerfed to 1 mana. It might be good for the Spider Control deck, but the spell speed of this spell being focus makes me skeptical, as we have a series of pings coming back into the game as well.
The buff to Withering Wail is also good, but the game has grown in a way that there aren't that many 1 health units in aggressive decks. You'll also be playing in a meta in which The Grand Plaza and Ranger's Resolve exist, so it is very optimistic to expect Withering Wail to see play in this Eternal meta - at least in my opinion.
A Small, but Elegant Buff to Targon in Standard
These buffs are probably directed at Standard instead of Eternal. The Serpent was reverted, and in Eternal, that's where you have access to small cads, so having a Celestial card isn't that hard there.
In Standard, however, is quite hard, and you would feel bad for using single copies of Starshaping, as most of the spell options would be unusable on their own. That forced you into playing a Celestial Trifecta to meet the conditions of the bigger Evoke cards, and, in that sense, it didn't make sense to have Starshaping in your deck. This change eases the pressure on the deckbuilder, and allows for Targon decks to use only Starshaping as their main Evoke reward, and not feel bad about using only that card.
The change to Blessing of Targon helps mainly Targonian Tellstones, as it really seemed to be a 2-card Tellstones (just like Noxus is), and it tries to give some flexibility for the use of this card. The buff to big Evoke spells is also an enhancement for Tellstones, as a single use of Behold the Infinite is enough to activate them.
Fun Eternal Decks to Try Out
Here comes the fun part! I built some decks to help you get ahead of the Eternal meta!
Remember that these lists aren't refined and can suffer alterations (they might not be good, depending on the decks that become meta), but they might be good places to start.
I hope you have enjoyed my Patch review and also liked the decks I brought! I'll try to write more content here for Cards Realm as the format moves on, and bring deck guides as the meta shapes around the most relevant cards.
If you've come this far, I give you my greatest thanks! We'll see each other again very soon.
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