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3 Biggest Changes in Rise of the Underworlds Expansion

Photo courtesy of Riot Games

Legends of Runeterra's Rise of the Underworlds expansion not only introduced new cards, it also brought forth over 40 balance changes in the game's biggest balance patch to date.

The new patch, Patch 2.11.0, comes following over a month of a stale metagame dominated by a few overly powerful decks. After a player backlash, Riot has delivered on their promise of more balance changes - Patch 2.11.0 hits multiple top-tier decks and buffs a huge number of underplayed cards. Here are the three changes we think will have the biggest impact.

3 Biggest Changes in Rise of the Underworlds Expansion

1. The Watcher Nerf

Legends of Runeterra The Watcher
Photo courtesy of Riot Games

First off, we have the Watcher. This is perhaps one of the most deserved nerfs on the list, because the Watcher is the key win condition of Lissandra/Trundle Combo, a highly oppressive control deck that removes other control strategies. The Watcher now requires you to summon 5+ allies that cost 8+ to become free, meaning you cannot instantly make it free by summoning a copy of it with Spectral Matron. It also leaves three non-champion cards in the enemy deck instead of obliterating it entirely, giving the enemy more chances to turn the game around.

2. Azir/Irelia nerfs

Legends of Runeterra Irelia
Photo courtesy of Riot Games

Azir/Irelia, the top deck that has been dominating Runeterra's metagame, received four nerfs in Patch 2.11.0. Irelia now requires 14+ allies to attack instead of 12+ for her level up; Azir requires you to summon 13 instead of 10 units for his level up. Both nerfs to their level up conditions, especially Azir's, can slow down the deck and hinder its ability to end games quickly. On top of that, Dunekeeper became a 1|2 from a 2|1, reducing its raw attack power, and Dancing Droplet, the deck's main draw engine, lost its Attune keyword, making it no longer "free." All these nerfs together will surely take the deck down a notch.

3. Ionia buffs

Legends of Runeterra Karma
Photo courtesy of Riot Games

Ionia is the winner of this expansion, as it received a total of six buffs. Among them, Karma, Twin Disciplines, and Will of Ionia all received a 1 mana cost decrease. Karma's buff is a reversion of a prior nerf, and will likely allow her to become more flexible in a control game plan. Twin Disciplines now only costs 2, making it one of the best combat tricks in Ionia and a staple in Lee Sin decks. Finally, Will of Ionia is back to 4 cost from its previous nerf, giving Ionia another great control tool. With so many buffs to key spells and units, Ionia may find its identity once again as a spell-slinging control region.

These are what we think are the three biggest changes in the Rise of the Underworlds expansion. Of course, with so many balance changes, there's no telling the direction the metagame will go, and that's the most exciting part! For everything you need to know about the new expansion, check out our breakdown here.