The Legends of Runeterra open beta is almost here. In anticipation of the beta arriving in the hands of thousands of players, developer Riot Games released early patch notes for the game. The notes feature economy changes, card changes, as well as a watchlist for features Riot employees suspect could get out of hand. The beta for Riot’s new collectible card game starts Jan. 23 for pre-registered players, and Jan. 24 for everyone else.
Here’s a breakdown of the open beta patch notes’ most interesting updates.
The last reset
One of the worst parts about testing a game like Legends of Runeterra is knowing you will lose all of your progress at some point. In the open beta, the developers reset every player’s account to zero — no leveled up regions, and your cards are back to default decks. But the studio has confirmed this is the last account progression reset for the card game. Whatever time or money you put into the open beta will transfer to the finished product later this year.
The ranked season
With open beta, Riot adds Legends of Runterra’s first ranked season. Players can build a deck and see where they rank among the game’s best and worst players. The ranked season acts similarly to League of Legends — you play games, gain League Points when you win, and lose League Points when you lose. As you climb the ranks, you will move from Iron, to Bronze, to Silver, to Gold, and so on. The Beta Season lasts until Legends of Runeterra’s official release sometime in 2020.
Play with friends
With the open beta, the Legends of Runeterra client now supports a friends list. You can make friends while playing, add them to your friends list, and chat with them through the client. If you want to test a new deck or just show a buddy how much you’ve improved, you can also invite friends to a one on one duel. If you also play League of Legends, the friends list is cross-client — meaning you can tell which of your friends are dueling with cards, and which are on the Rift.
New customization options
You can now customize your own player space in Legends of Runeterra. With the open beta, Riot brings a new, region-inspired board for each of Legends of Runeterra’s six regions. And in addition to the adorable poro that served as all players’ avatar in the preview patches, players can now select the T-Hex, Gromp Jr., and Scaled Snapper Guardians. Riot says more Guardians and boards are on the way, and you can change your style in the Collections tab in-game.
Riot has also changed many of the game’s cards with this new update. For a complete list of patch notes — including card balance and bug fixes from the preview patches — scroll down.
Legends of Runeterra open beta patch notes
Since last year’s preview patches, we’ve reset all account progression (for the last time!) and made a variety of wide-ranging changes to LoR’s overall economy, impacting everything from the relative cost of coins to how much experience you’ll receive from wins. These changes deserve an [article of their own](HYPERLINK)—check it out for all the background and details. If you’re new to LoR or just want the tl;dr, here’s the short(er) version:
- All account progression and content from the preview patches has been reset. There will be no further account resets—anything you earn once the open beta starts is yours to keep!
- We’ve updated coin price points and purchasing power, mostly to align with price point standards on the Play Store and the App Store. During the preview patches, we used League of Legends’ RP price points as placeholders, but with LoR’s launch on mobile coming later this year, we needed to establish our own pricing structure. In designing that structure, we also reviewed regional pricing comparisons (particularly between countries on the same shard), which means the degree of these changes varies quite a bit depending on your local currency—some will see relatively similar prices (e.g., US dollar, Euro), while others will see relatively higher prices (e.g., Turkish lira, Brazilian real) or relatively lower (e.g., Japanese yen).
- An important note: If you purchased coins during the preview patches, we’ve reset any content you purchased with Coins and returned that value back to your coin balance. Your exact number of Coins has changed, but we’ve made sure you’ll have at least as much purchasing power as you did before (i.e. prices have changed too).
- We’ve adjusted Shard values and rewards to preserve the 10:1 ratio between Shard and Coin costs for content, as well as make some minor tweaks to relative shard values (e.g., Rare & Epic 4th copies are worth a bit more, Common 4th copies a bit less).
- We’ve adjusted content prices in Shards & Coins to align with the above changes, though again there’s some minor variation (e.g., Common Wildcards are relatively cheaper, Epic Wildcards relatively more expensive).
- Vault, Expedition, Prologue, and general chest rewards have all been updated. Much of this is tied to the above changes, but we’re also aiming to make Expeditions more accessible for everyone by adding an Expedition Token to level 10 Vaults and making Shards a greater proportion of the rewards you get from your Expeditions.
- We’ve updated XP rewards to help you make progress without the grind—you’ll now earn bonus XP for your first few wins of the day and get more XP from losses, while XP gains will now tail off as you reach many hours of LoR in a given day.
From the start, our goal was to create a card game with enough strategic depth and interaction to support skilled competition. Now it’s time to see where you stand among the best players in Runeterra: the open beta is bringing Ranked mode to LoR.
Your rise through the ranks starts with the Beta Season, which will last until launch. At the end of the season, you’ll earn a Beta Season-exclusive icon based on your highest tier reached to commemorate your first climb in Ranked LoR.
- Ranked mode enabled.
- Beta Season (LoR’s first ranked season) begins with the open beta.
FRIENDS LIST, CHAT & CHALLENGE
Being in a totally open beta means you need to see who’s online and available to crush available to play. Check out the new social panel which features your friends list, friend chat, and the ability to challenge a friend to a match.
As a note, you can friend and chat with anyone on all three current LoR shards (Americas, Asia, and Europe), though challenges are within-shard only. LoR’s friends list & chat are built on a different service than challenge, and are shared between our games (i.e., with LoL), while challenge & matchmaking is game-specific. While we’ve made specific improvements to support cross-shard friends & chat, LoR does still have distinct shards (though fewer, bigger ones than LoL), which means separate challenge & matchmaking pools.
- Friends list added.
- Includes cross-game presence—see whether your friends are playing LoL or LoR.
- Friend chat added.
- Friend challenge added.
- The social panel is still a bit work-in-progress, so expect some wonkiness at first. Here are some of the more notable known issues we’re planning to fix with our next release in two weeks:
- Players may see delays when adding or removing names from the block list.
- Players won’t receive unread notifications for messages received while offline.
- New message notifications aren’t correctly dismissed at first for active conversations, but will be after a short delay.
- The client may occasionally become unresponsive when receiving or accepting a challenge invite while performing other in-client actions (opening rewards, entering Expeditions, etc.). Relog to fix.
BOARDS & GUARDIANS
We’ve added a new Collections tab where you can completely personalize your gameplay experience. To start, you can check out the first new boards (one for each current region) and guardians (three more to join the original Poro). There’s a ton more to come in the future, and you’ll be able to collect, select, and swap it all right here.
- Collections tab added—unlock and manage your boards & guardians here.
- Loadout functionality for boards and guardians added to all modes.
- 6 new region-inspired boards
- Hall of Valor
- Reckoners Arena
- Iceborn Peak
- Clifftop Monastery
- Hextech Lab
- Cursed Ruins
- 3 new guardians
- Gromp Jr.
- Scaled Snapper
Anivia (Level 1)
Cost: 6 → 7
Power: 4 → 2
Health: 3 → 4
Old text: Can’t Block. Attack: Deal 1 to all enemies. [Last Breath]: Revive me transformed into [Eggnivia].
New text: Attack: Deal 1 to all enemies. [Last Breath]: Revive me transformed into [Eggnivia]. Level Up: You’re Enlightened.
Based on internal playtesting and the first two preview patches, we found Anivia was in a pretty bad spot, especially when players went all in on building their deck to exploit her strengths. Often, she could be leveled up with almost no chance for the opponent to interact. With these changes, we’re preserving her copy / sacrifice synergy while giving opponents a more consistent opportunity to react. Also, by reworking her to fit into an Enlightened deck, we think she’ll have a clearer role as a control / ramp finisher. Finally, we heard feedback that Anivia’s design felt a bit off thematically, particularly in her inability to block, so we’ve removed that trait and adjusted her stats to support both an ice-wall feel and a roadblock playstyle that better synergizes with her abilities.
Anivia (Level 2)
Cost: 6 → 7
Power: 5 → 3
Health: 4 → 5
Old text: Can’t Block. Attack: Deal 2 to all enemies.
[Last Breath]: Revive me transformed into [Eggnivia]
New text: Attack: Deal 2 to all enemies. [Last Breath]: Revive me transformed into [Eggnivia].
Health: 1 → 2
Old text: Can’t Block. Level Up: Start of Round: Transform me back into Anivia and Level Up.
New text: Level Up: Start of Round: If you’re Enlightened, transform me back into Anivia and Level Up.
Ezreal (Level 2)
Old text: Nexus Strike: Create a zero cost [Fleeting] [Mystic Shot]. When you cast a spell, deal 2 to the enemy Nexus.
New text: Nexus Strike: Create a [Fleeting] [Mystic Shot]. When you cast a spell, deal 2 to the enemy Nexus.
Ezreal’s level up was slightly too consistent at immediately ending games, so we wanted to add a bit more suspense to the “is this it” moment that comes when he hits Level 2 without impacting his power level overall. Leaving the mana cost on his fleeting Mystic Shot won’t impact him early while keeping his late-game spell slinging a true display of skill.
Vladimir (Level 1)
Old text: Level Up: You’ve had 6+ other allies survive damage.
New text: Level Up: You’ve had 6+ allies survive damage.
Vlad’s level-up progress was weirdly inconsistent across copies of himself. This small buff corrects that issue.
Tryndamere (Level 2)
Old text: [Overwhelm] [Fearsome] [Tough]
New text: [Overwhelm] [Fearsome]
Tryndamere was just a tad too difficult to deal with at Level 2 and constrained the window of interaction to deal with him, especially when “cheated out” with Thresh or ramp spells. Removing Tough should give midrange decks a better shot at interacting with him, and make the Barbarian King a bit less tyrannical in Expeditions.
FOLLOWERS & SPELLS
Rarity: Common → Rare
This change is aimed at Expeditions, where Demacia and the Elites archetypes in particular have been overperforming. This patch’s content reset also makes now an ideal time for using a rarity adjustment as a balance lever rather than stat / effect tweaks. To preserve rarity balance in Demacia, we’re also moving Silverwing Vanguard from Rare to Common.
Old text: [Challenger]
New text: When you summon another ally, grant me [Challenger]
Tracker is a slightly-too-frequently-used unit, setting a risky bar for Demacia one-drops. Given the utility of cheap Challenger units, we’re making you work a little to turn on the bird’s power.
Health: 6 → 5
Hearthguard was quietly one of the best things you could do in your ramp deck—a big blocker, credible attacker, and long-term value generator. We’re preserving its more intangible power while reducing its health to give opposing units a better chance at going toe-to-toe with a unit that’s already generating so much off-board value.
Catalyst of Aeons
Cost: 4 → 5
Catalyst just offered too much ramp and sustain at 4 mana, allowing it to consistently fit the curve ramp decks want on turn 3. Bumping it to 5 provides time for opposing decks to interact with the ramp deck, and more room for us to add tools to ramp decks in the future. It also better differentiates Catalyst from Wyrding Stones, ideally making the inclusion of both in a deck more of a choice and less of an auto-include.
Health: 4 → 3
When we reduced the power of some key cards in ramp decks during the last preview patch, we gave Wyrding Stones a compensatory bump to its health (in addition to increasing its cost). 4 health is a significant breakpoint for surviving at least one combat though, especially since ramp decks should naturally fall behind early, so we’re reverting the health component.
Health: 7 → 5
Old text: Your [Burst} spells cost 1 less. [Enlightened]: They cost 2 less instead.
New text: [Burst] spells cost 1 less.
Cloud Drinker is a dangerous combo piece, but it was doing too much by also acting as a huge blocker to defend the combo strategy, so we’re reducing its health. We’re also removing the “super” effect at Enlightened, which was risky long-term (potentially enabling infinite / game-ending combos) without offering much to existing Enlightened strategies.
Health: 1 → 2
Our previous nerf to Flame Chompers (dropping its health to 1 from 3) was intended to make sure it would really only get to tie up one enemy unit without assistance. However, ol’ Chompers has ended up a tad too unimpactful at 1 health (particularly in Expeditions), so we’re splitting the difference.
Back Alley Barkeep
Power: 2 → 3
This context covers both Back Alley Barkeep and the rest of the Piltover & Zaun cards below: P&Z has been struggling in Expeditions, and we’ve got some buffs to some specific, underperforming cards that should increase P&Z’s consistency in Expeditions without undue impact outside the mode.
Power: 0 → 1
Power: 2 → 3
Power: 4 → 5
Power: 3 → 2
Health: 3 → 4
Power: 5 → 6
Health: 5 → 6
Health: 2 → 3
Used Cask Salesman
Power: 2 → 3
Power: 5 → 4
Health: 5 → 4
Just a straightforward power reduction—getting a champion back doesn’t need to come with quite so strong a body for the cost. We’ve also adjusted the text for clarity.
Health: 2 → 3
Old text: [Allegiance]: Summon a [Mistwraith].
New text: Fearsome. [Allegiance]: Summon a [Mistwraith].
Mistwraiths are pretty fun, but the deck is a little weak. We hope buffing Wraithcaller will make the dedicated Mistwraith deck a bit more satisfying and powerful to play.
This is where we talk about stuff we think might need tweaks based on our play data and internal testing, but are still evaluating if or how to update.
Deny (and a dash of Elusive)
Deny is a key card that helps keep LoR an interactive game, but its sheer efficiency can also create the opposite effect—making it hard to interact favorably against decks that play it. This is obviously the whole point of Deny, but it can be particularly problematic in conjunction with strategies that demand prompt interaction in order to survive (such as Elusive-heavy builds).
We’re currently exploring potential changes to Deny that would maintain its role, but in a more balanced way. One option is increasing Deny’s mana cost, but there are obviously significant implications to bringing it out of the “can be cast with only spell mana” range.
Regarding those previously mentioned Elusive strategies: we’ve seen them be quite strong (though not definitively out-of-line), but it’s difficult to identify exactly which cards are potentially problematic. Just removing Elusive from units doesn’t necessarily help, since the keyword actually increases in power if it appears less frequently across competitive decks (less incentive to bring the right removal, and fewer Elusive blockers). We’re continuing to keep watch, and we’ll take exploratory action if we 1) determine it’s necessary, and 2) find a good candidate through internal testing.
Visuals, minor tweaks & clarity
- Updated visuals
- Heimerdinger level-up effects updated.
- Super Mega Death Rocket now resolves more quickly.
- “Play” → “Summon” (can now be profitably cloned, resurrected, etc.)
- Legion General
- Greenglade Elder
- Now resolves when target doesn’t die (e.g., Tryndamere). Still “fizzles” if target is removed.
- Glimpse Beyond
- Ethereal Remitter
- Can now be played with a full board of units
- Navori Conspirator
- Ravenous Butcher
- Ancient Crocolith
- Now requires an open unit slot
- Ready your attack -> [Rally] (keyword)
- Katarina (Level 2)
- Lucian (Level 2)
- Relentless Pursuit
- Lucian’s Relentless Pursuit
- Tianna Crownguard
- Garen (Level 2)
- Also now takes a break on rounds where you already have an attack token.
- Text updated for clarity
- Shark Chariot
- The Rekindler (also received stat changes—check above)
- Rarity shift
- Silverwing Vanguard changed from Rare to Common.
ATTACK & INITIATIVE ICONS
Something we consistently heard during the preview patches was that our UI widgets for round initiative and the attack token were a bit too confusing (swords everywhere!), so we’ve combined them into a single new widget located in place of the old attack token.
- Initiative icons (swapping sword & shield) removed from the board and replaced with a new indicator under the attack token.
- Attack token (near mana dial & the button) has received updated visuals and now also indicates round initiative.
As we mentioned last patch when adding the ability to see a deck’s champions with the in-game deck inspect panel, one of our long-term goals is increasing excitement and strategic interaction around the champions each player chooses to bring to a match. This patch, we’ve got two new features aimed at further highlighting champion choices as well as level-up progress during matches.
- Pre-match champion ceremony
- Players will now see their deck’s champions in their banner while queued, and their opponent’s champions once they match.
- Just before mulligan, players will now see the champions & regions for each player’s deck.
- In-game deck inspect now additionally lets you click on a champion’s portrait to see their card text and associated cards.
- Deck pop-ups for level-up progress
- Champions who can make level-up progress from your deck (e.g., Ezreal, Hecarim) will now pop up to show both players when progress is being made toward their level-up.
- To avoid revealing info, these pop-ups occur regardless of the number of copies remaining in your deck.
- RAM usage improvements
- Keyboard shortcuts added
- Spacebar: the button
- A: attack all / retreat all
- Esc: open settings menu
- Local time zones
- New quests / rerolls, Vault unlocks, and Expeditions availability now update at more suitable local times (rather than a single, global time) based on the shard you’re playing on.
- Various tweaks to archetypes
- Trade pick logic improved
- Tutorial improvements
- Various cards updated.
- Optional tutorials reordered for better flow (thanks day9!).
- Purchasing cards with wildcards or shards does not visually update your wildcard or shard total (actual total remains correct). This issue will be fixed with our next small release in less than two weeks. Until then, changing pages within the client (i.e., backing out to your decks, then going back into deckbuilder) should correct your totals.
- Fixed an issue where the Vault occasionally couldn’t be claimed.
- Vaults can now be claimed immediately if you’re playing when the timer expires, rather than requiring a re-log.
- Fixed an issue where Expedition trials occasionally couldn’t be completed after seven wins.
- Fixed a rare issue where players could lose their decklist after a match.
- Tutorial cards with flavor text now correctly show it.
- Tutorial Heimerdinger’s level up quest now correctly increments when spiders are killed.
- Fixed some post-game delays on optional tutorials.
- Optional tutorials should now correctly grant XP.
- Shady Character’s VFX should now play properly when played.
- Balesight’s Obliterate VFX should now correctly display on cards in hand.