With Legends of Runeterra’s Expeditions patch now available to everybody that managed to snag account access, a lot of people are finding that their carefully cultivated decks from the first Preview Patch have become decidedly less powerful.
No surprise. With the Expeditions Patch, Riot’s taken the feedback and game results from the first preview week and made changes both radical and minor to the card pool. While some cards may have merely gotten their mana costs adjusted, others have been rewritten from the ground up – for good or ill.
Here are the biggest winners and losers of the Expeditions Patch.
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Sure, at six mana to cast, the new Lux comes out a bit later than she normally would. But that’s far less of a problem given that she also has more of an immediate impact in her new form. With Final Spark now at zero mana instead of six, not to mention a free copy in hand as soon as Lux levels, you’re able to get her autocannon game plan going off a little smoother than you would have before.
The biggest potential problem with the new Lux is her leveled ability’s change. Whereas the old one could generate a consistent supply of Final Sparks with every attack, the new one requires that you spend 6+ mana every single time to create another Spark to mow down the enemy with.
But that may be less of a problem than it appears. The original Final Spark cost six per cast, meaning you weren’t going to be casting anything else after it – and making it difficult to counter the opposing player’s own spells and abilities that turn. All those 6+ mana spells you packed into the deck to ensure that Lux could consistently flip become dead cards as a result, making for awkward decisions later in the game.
Now, there’s no need to choose whether to cast a utility spell or a burn spell. Do both! You can afford to – especially with the changes to Flash of Brilliance as well to better support Lux’s play style.
The original version of Mageseeker Investigator had much the same problem as the original version of Lux. Despite having a casting cost of two, her actual play style encouraged you to wait out until eight mana – two for the Investigator, and a whopping six more to actually be able to use the Detain she spawns.
The new version is a lot more flexible – and cruel. Whereas Captured units can still be returned to play with a kill spell or two, Investigator now permanently strips them of any useful keywords, buffs, or texts. She’ll go off at the slightest hint of magic as well, triggering her ability with something as innocuous-seeming as a Jury-Rig or Health Potion, making her more accessible mid-game. Do be aware, however, that her ability no longer works on champions.
In its original form, it was hard to justify The Box’s inclusion in any deck. Its attack-weakening effect was easy to ignore, and its four damage to units summoned after its casting was trivial to play around.
Its new form now does three damage to each enemy that was summoned this round – making it a hard counter to anybody whose strategy was to slap down as many fast and cheap units as possible and race the clock. Ow.
Speaking of Thresh’s bag of tricks, his favorite victim is decidedly more useful in its new incarnation. As a one-mana 1/1, its original Last Breath ability was a waste of text – draining one HP from the enemy nexus was hardly worth taking up deck space that more powerful cards could utilize.
Now, instead of damage, it replaces itself with another Last Breath follower from a non-Shadow Isles region that costs three or less. That makes Warden’s Prey legitimately valuable now, giving you a unit that the opposing player’s now suddenly reluctant to block as well as a potentially much more powerful replacement when it finally expires.
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Ironically, despite the cards related to him getting powered up, Thresh himself took a drastic blow in the patch notes. While leveling off both allies and enemies dying might seem a bit easier to work with, the loss of his healing ability makes it notably harder to keep him on the field.
Kalista received arguably the biggest nerf in the entire patch. Her original ability, to have her bonded ally take all damage on her behalf, was ludicrously strong as it allowed her to survive head-to-head encounters with gigantic beasts and even Quick Attack-capable threats. Now, all she does is give her ally +2/+0, while she can ignore units with two power or less.
That’s not a great tradeoff when her stat lines haven’t changed, and she still dies to Mystic Shots and other damage sources.
She Who Wanders
The hulking 10-mana beast was possibly the most iconic card of the original Preview Patch week. It was a pile of game-changing stats on a stick – not only did it have among the biggest basic stats for an individual creature, but it was nigh-unkillable with Regeneration and an into-play ability that immediately Obliterated everything at four strength or less – including cards in hand.
Not only was she the only reliable way to kill The Undying, but she made it near impossible to recover from her entry as well. Small wonder that the top decks of EU and South Korea made heavy use of She Who Wanders.
The new version is decidedly more tame. She no longer has Regeneration, meaning you actually can wear her down with enough blockers, and her boardwiping ability no longer affects champions. The card still wreaks havoc the moment it shows up, but survivability in its face is decidedly more plausible on this patch.
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Written ByJames Chen@Obscurica