Legends of Runeterra 1.2 patch is bringing major nerfs and buffs
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The first major patch notes for Legends of Runeterra’s Rising Tides expansion have been released, and Riot Games chose to focus on giving everyone an even playing field. The 1.2 patch does everything from buffing champions and giving aggro a much needed nerf to adding some neat new cosmetics to the game.

In the blog post discussing some of the upcoming changes coming to the game, live design lead Steve “RubinZoo” Rubin spoke at length about the future of the game. As Legends of Runeterra grows, Riot Games will release card updates once a month. These updates will be based on player feedback, individual card win rates, deck win rates, and champion play rates. Riot Games said that it doesn’t expect every card to be played equally, but they should be playable.

“Our overall goal for live balance remains to maintain a fair and diverse metagame, where every champion’s gameplay dream can be realized,” said Rubin.

Legends of Runeterra card updates

Multiple champions saw changes with the 1.2 patch, with Vladimir, Hecarim, and Shen getting buffed and Vi and Karma getting nerfed. Major followers like Demacia’s Grizzled Ranger and Loyal Badgerbear saw decreases in power after dominating the mid-game since Rising Tide’s release. And the spider spell Brood Awakening is now eating up more mana, with Riot Games deciding it was too easy to cast.

Here is the full list of cards getting updated in this patch:


  • Hecarim
    • Level one power increased from 4 to 5.
    • Level two power increased from 5 to 6.
  • Karma Level 1 & 2
    • Cost increased from 5 mana to 6 mana.
  • Shen
    • Level one power increased from 2 to 3.
    • Level two power increased from 3 to 4.
  • Vi
    • Level one health decreased from 5 to 4.
    • Level two health decreased from 6 to 5.
  • Vladimir
    • Old ability: Attack: For each other attacking ally, deal 1 to it and 1 to the enemy Nexus.
    • New ability: Attack: For each other attacking ally, deal 1 to it and drain 1 from the enemy Nexus.


  • Boomcrew Rookie
    • Health decreased from 4 to 3.
  • Greathorn Companion
    • Power increased from 4 to 5.
  • Grizzled Ranger
    • Power decreased from 4 to 3.
  • Kindly Innkeeper
    • Power increased from 2 to 3.
  • Laurent Chevalier
    • Health increased from 1 to 2.
  • Legion Rearguard
    • Health decreased from 2 to 1.
  • Longtooth
    • Health increased from 1 to 2.
  • Loyal Badgerbear
    • Power decreased from 4 to 3.
  • Monkey Idol
    • Health increased from 4 to 5.
  • Slotbot
    • Power increased from 0 to 1.
    • Health increased from 3 to 4.


  • Brood Awakening
    • Cost increased from 5 to 6.
  • Deep Meditation
    • Cost increased from 4 to 5.
  • Stand Alone
    • Cost increased from 3 to 4.

New cards on the watchlist

While these cards are not currently being changed, Riot Games is watching to see how the meta evolves and could change them next patch. Some of the cards, like Unyielding Spirit, can create impossible situations to turn around for some decks. Ensuring that all decks are on as equal of footing as possible is important for the long-term health of the game, and having overwhelming powerful cards hinders that. Pilfered Goods is listed as well as other cards with card-stealing abilities. These include the cards Black Market Merchant and Yordle Grifter.

The watchlist looks like this:

  • Unyielding Spirit
  • Pilfered Goods and other card stealing abilities
  • Karma
  • Ezreal
  • Nexus damage affects

A ton of cards received text clarity as well; for a full list, check out the blog post. Of note, Pilfered Goods only drew non-champion cards from the top of your opponent’s deck but never explicitly stated it on the card. Every time players cast Pilfered Goods up until now, they were unwittingly edging their opponent closer to a new champion.

New Legends of Runeterra cosmetics

With this patch comes a ton of new cosmetics, including some free ones. Players can pick up the Rainbow Poro Guardian and a Rainbow Poro emote for free at the in-game store. Look at this little guy! He’s so cute it hurts.

Legends of Runeterra Rainbow Poro Legends of Runeterra Rainbow Poro Emote

A new Arcade board is available, and the pixelated field looks pretty slick. There is also a new Arcade card back to match.

Wrapping up the cosmetics are four new emotes, with Elise’s definitely becoming my new favorite.

LoR New Emotes


The Expedition draft format received some major changes as well, with the bonus chances to see cards from the Rising Tides expansion removed. All primary archetypes now have equal chances to appear in the initial champion pick. Riot Games also is working on updating what trade options players have based on data they have collected. Several archetypes have been adjusted, with a focus on Demacia-based strategies.

Bug fixes and more

Wrapping up the Legends of Runeterra 1.2 patch are several bug fixes and changes to keep gameplay as smooth as possible. Some are specific to certain regions or languages, while other fixes are more universal:

  • Fixed an issue where players could receive less XP than intended when simultaneously receiving it from multiple sources.
  • Players who are caught mid-game during a service interruption will no longer receive a loss. If both players get disconnected, the game won’t count.
  • In French, Eye of the Dragon’s text now matches its function.
  • Vi no longer counts Overwhelm damage duplicatively, and properly sheds her base buff after leveling up under all conditions.
  • Fixed an issue where players could sometimes enter a different queue than the one selected.
  • Fixed a bug where music from your previously used board would play at the start of a new match.
  • The “This Spells Trouble +” quest now correctly rewards 1500 XP.
  • The Bilgewater home screen background now appears in the regular rotation with all other regions.
  • Fixed an issue on the VS screen where your opponent’s icon would incorrectly mirror your icon.
  • Various level ups (Swain, Elise, Vlad) should now function correctly when using Turkish or Russian language settings.
  • Fixed an issue preventing Shellshocker and Strong-arm from showing up during Expeditions picks.
  • Flyout description added to Ye Been Warned.
  • Vi’s Vault Breaker now properly links to Vault Breaker.
  • Removed rarity gem from various non-collectible Rising Tides cards.
  • Chum the Waters can now be played without an enemy unit in play.
  • The Box no longer deals extra damage to units that have been played multiple times, and now interacts properly with control-changing effects like Possession.

The Legends of Runeterra 1.2 patch will be live Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. EDT, with PC players having immediate access to the new balances. Mobile players might see a delay in release depending on location.

Let us know how you feel about the changes in the comments below. Seeing Grizzled Ranger and Loyal Badgerbear getting nerfed definitely hurts my decks, but seeing Hecarim get a buff is nice!

Ryan Hay is a writer and content creator currently living in New York. Video games, anime, and Magic: The Gathering have all been strong passions in his life and being able to share those passions with others is his motivation for writing. You can find him on Twitter where he complains about losing on MTG Arena a lot.