Updated: May 6, 2020
Riot’s newest card game Legends of Runeterra officially launches on the 30th of April, and with that comes the latest and final update during the open beta period. With patch 0.9.4 comes balance updates and expeditions changes alongside UI improvements and bugfixes. These balance changes will consolidate the competitive metagame in the next and last 2 weeks of the ranked beta season prior to launch.
Patch 0.9.4 sees minor buffs to under-performing and/or under-used champions, those being Draven, Katarina, Yasuo and Kalista. Draven now finds an easier level up condition in situations where he can now level up with two axes in one strike when prior to the change it would previously have counted as one.
Draven has already established himself as one of the core champions in competitive Noxus decks within the meta. Notable decks including Spider Aggro, Discard/Burn Aggro, and Ezreal Combo. The change only serves to bolster Draven’s strength which far surpasses other Noxus champions, as evident by his use-rate and large appearance in competitive Noxus decks.
Draven’s strength lies in his flexibility as a value machine (Axe Generator) and a solid 3 drop unit with Quick Attack in the early game. Spinning axes serve as fodder for Discard effects or a trigger for card effects which activate upon Discard (eg. Vision, Jury-Rig), with an added 1 attack bonus for positive trades or a Draven level up. Spinning axes are necessary for synergy within Discard aggro decks, and also serve as 0 cost Burst firepower to the enemy nexus for a levelled up Ezreal. In addition, a solid stat line for a 3 drop and an essentially unblockable Quick Attack effect in the early game coupled with his Spinning Axe value is a must-have for aggro decks, especially utilized in newer iterations of Spider Aggro.
Katarina now creates a 1 damage fleeting Blade’s Edge spell upon play. A somewhat under-used champion, this is a very minor buff which appears to not have much real impact. You’re going to be sinking 1 mana for a Blade’s Edge which most of the time will be useless in many cases. Her core effect remains the same and her new 1 damage cherry-on-top will be appreciated by Katarina players.
Small stat changes to two unarguably low use and under-performing champions within the meta. Yasuo receives a +1 health buff and Kalista receives a less difficult level up condition by reducing it from 4 to 3 allies.
These changes may see the increased usage and win-rate of their popular decks, those being Yasuo midrange/control and Shadow Isles midrange decks respectively.
Riot has also aimed to diminish the power level of stand out cards in Demacia and Shadow Isles, those being Vanguard Bannerman and Frenzied Skitterer. These two cards have had a large presence in the meta the past few weeks. Bannerman sees a nerf to his allegiance effect excluding him from its full board +1/+1 stat buff, where he previously also received it. Skitterer sees a -1 health change to weaken its solid 3/3 body on top of an already powerful effect.
The rest of the balance update includes several buffs to under-performing and low usage cards, notable changes include stat buffs to Freljord early and mid-game options Starlit Seer, Avarosan Trapper and Wyrding Stones; and a +2 health buff to PnZ ‘Shady Character’ for less easier removal in response to its impersonate effect. These can be viewed in the full patch notes. User Interface With Patch 0.9.4 comes UI and visual changes to Region Rewards. You can check them out in-game now.
Check out the full patch notes here: https://playruneterra.com/en-us/news/patch-0-9-4-notes/