So let's everyone strap in. We've got a bit to cover and quite a bit to talk about in this one as we effectively have a few things we have some thoughts and feelings about. The first being this idea that the top decks haven't changed because of the poor effects of the new champions. The second, being how I feel about upcoming Patch 1.10. And the last being about Hush. Which we might just lump in with one of the other topics. SO, grab your reading glasses. Take some notes. And let's get into it.
Streamers and top LoR players Swim & GrappLr are the leaders of this idea that the game's top decks hasn't changed with the Call Of The Mountain expansion because the Champions we got are too balanced. That they play "too fair". That they're not "OP enough." And to that I say: GTFOH! What are you smoking if you believe that that’s even a thing? That even if it was a thing, that that would be a valid thing to complain about. Cards being made just right that there isn’t a need to nerf them after 2 weeks? Are you kidding me?
The fact is, this new expansion isn’t the flaw, the flaw lies with the way the cards were created before. Sejuani, so clearly busted. Gangplank, Miss Fortune, Quinn, Nautilus & Deep, Ezreal, Anivia. These cards have fundamental flaws that can make matches so tilted that it’s not even fun. Who hasn’t seen an EZ/Karma deck and just wanted to quit off the bat. Or Anivia/ Shadow Isles? That’s a problem. We shouldn’t see a combo and immediately feel defeated because that affects what you play. Because you either run those decks or the counter to those decks and that keeps the ladder SUPER stale. Look at what we have going on right now by the way, which already disproves what certain people are complaining about. Sol & Trundle decks are so good right now that people have resorted back to an Aggro/Burn play style because it’s the only way TOP PLAYERS could think of to defeat those decks. SO, is that a problem with Targon cards or a problem with people’s approach to solutions? Because I’m choosing the latter every time.
The biggest issue I have with all of this is that these are top players/streamers carry influence and they have little to no idea what they’re talking about. Do some of the new Champions lack a bit of versatility? Yes. Like I can’t run Leona without running Daybreak or she has damn near no value. I sure as hell can’t run Nocturn without nightfall. And that sucks. But to call Nocturn a weak card only shows that you’re a weak player. And that’s how I feel about that.
And so with Patch 1.10 Riot has addressed at least one of my concerns with Champions of old as well as made a few truly unexpected changes. And as you would expect, some for the better of the game and others for the worst.
So to start we have Ezreal’s level requirements going up from 8 to 10. And that is just sweet news. It makes it feel more as if they’ve earned their clean up. And I know this doesn’t feel like much but trust when I say it is. We’re gonna see a change in how EZ is played, if people even continue to play him at all. There will be those out there that will say that he’s become “unplayable” and I hope Riot ignores those “I want an easy win con” people and keeps the card at a 10 requirement. Personally I actually would have loved to see 12. However, if you read my “The Problem With Ezreal” article. I felt as if 10 was a great compromise.
Next up we have Lee Sin who saw an incredible buff and nerf at the same damn time. And this goes to show that some time Riot can hit and miss the mark at the same damn time with this game. I’ll explain (of course). Lee Sin was originally a 6 cost 3-6 stat line. Well they’ve changed that to make him a 4 cost 3-4 and that’s so dope because it opens up a lot of possibilities. When he levels, he becomes a 4-5, also dope. But then instead of fixing the problem with his Champion Spell, which is the cost being too damn high or the speed not being burst. They changed it entirely. And they changed it to Sonic fucking Wave?! I mean excuse my french why what the fuck!?
Now the Dev team says it’ll offer more synergy to followers while helping him meet his requirements. But I’m not sold. I look forward to playing around with him to see if this is in fact the case. However, I didn’t dislike his champion spell, but at 7 cost AND slow speed. It made that card unusable. What should have been done was making the spell burst speed. Even fast. Because that way it gets more versatility and more use. As it stands right now, even on its own, in the best decks built around it (Swole Squirrel), that card can be pretty useless. I love Dragon’s Rage and hope devs do something about it. Honestly, I don’t know why it was interactable when Lee Sin did it. I can understand it now that his cost is down. But before it should have just been a sure thing. It is worth noting that they increased his level requirements from 7 to 8 spells having to been cast, but I guess that’s what his Champion Spell is for. All I know is Lee Sin/Taric is back on the table and stronger than it could have been.
Additionally Snapvine saw a power raise, Crackshot saw a health increase, Taskmaster saw an around the board 1 drop to cost and stats, and Yordle Grifter’s whole effect is tied to allegiance. Which I can actually agree with, especially as a Yordle using, him generating a guaranteed Warning Shot was over the top. Now, you’re either more in on Bilgewater or you run the risk of Yordle not delivering and that’s a dangerous game to play at 4 cost. Trust me I have a deck dependent on Wayfinder & Fizz.
Then we come to Flash Of Brilliance, getting buffed, and getting its’ cost back to 3. And you know what, when I started this article I was all mad at that. But thinking about what I wanted to say about it or how to convey that anger I realized this is a good thing. It puts Tri-Beam on the table, it makes Hiemer more playable again, and it could really be of benefit in a Lee Sin deck. So good on the team for making this change.
Lastly, they started their patch notes with a preview of what we can expect in 1.11. And let me tell you I am not happy. They say they plan on having escalating cost for hush. This is a mistake. Hust should have an increased cost to 4 and leave it at that. You still want the card to be viable, and by escalating it’s cost you remove a lot of it’s value. Essentially making it a one off card. Which is also fine. But don’t tell me I have the ability to “reuse” something but then make reusing it less possible. Because if we’re escalating this cost then YOU MUST do the same for the likes of Vault Breaker and Noxian Guillotine. Consistency is key Riot.
It’s okay if they agree that the card is broken. I don’t think it is, but hey. People didn’t think EZ was when I did. I mean of course I turned out to be right along, but again, hey. It is what it is. All I’m saying is if you change this card in that way. You have to change other cards that act in kind. OR you simply raise the cost 1. OR just make it a one shot spell. There is nothing wrong with that.
The other upcoming change is they’re going to adjust, and I quote, “the difficulty of Aurelion Sol’s level up requirement”? WHAT!? Do some people think it’s too easy? Do some people think it’s too hard? Am I missing something? Look I’m not a hardcore Sol player. I think he’s fun, but his decks aren’t ultimately my speed. However, I play against him a ton and I can tell you right now, his level up requirements aren’t a problem. What’s a problem is Living Legend being a BURST SPEED SPELL! Let’s fix that first. Sol is fine, he cost 10, I worked hard to get him on the board, my opponent didn’t have an answer for the high powered army I had, and now at the end of this turn, I level up. Sucks for who’s against that deck but hey, play better.
Adversely if they plan on making it easier, that’s also a dumb move. The card DOES make all celestial cards cost 0. So let’s just leave Sol alone. He’s a fun card to play, and a great card to play against. I have yet to actually be beaten by one in the sense that Sol came out and saved the day. Maybe once, but still. I’ve not raged out over a Sol deck yet.
Look, I’ve already stated that I think LoR is in a good place with this new expansion. I do wish they would have given it to us all at once. This stagnant shit is the reason why I left Destiny. Don’t try to stretch out my expansion...or don’t call it an expansion. That’s just how I feel about that. However, by and large I think that this expansion was better than what Rising Tides were. And we got Fizz and Twisted Fate from that.
I think the things people are complaining about comes less from a point that the expansion isn’t good enough and more from a perspective that they aren’t good enough to create something with it. Mogwai himself took to twitter today to say:
“This recent take that the metagame hasn't changed at all due to Targon's low power level is just not true.
Pretty much all of the top tier decks are a result of some aggressive adaptation towards the Aurelion Sol Ramp decks dominating the early meta.”
So there are a lot more changes to come. And I hope they don’t just go over the top buffing all the Targon cards because people can’t figure out how to make them work. Because that would not only be a mistake for the game, but it would set a bad precedent in the community for new players and players still to come. And that’s just how I feel. However, I’m just one dude with a platform, sharing his thoughts. What about you, how do you feel about the current state of the game and expansion. Sound off in the comments or shout us out on twitter: @RuneterraUnhinged.