Legends of Runeterra

LoR update 0.9.3 patch notes – Economy overhaul, The Harrowing rework

by Brad Norton
Riot Games

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Legends of Runeterra is set to be updated in a major way with patch 0.9.3 as Riot Games looks to overhaul the economy and change just how many rewards players can earn in a week.

Riots collectible card game is changing drastically with a major update set to go live on March 31 at 10AM Pacific Time. 

From an overhaul of the in-game economy to lifting the cap on experience gains, and even a notable quality of life fix for highly ranked players, there’s plenty for LoR fans to digest.

Riot Games
The 0.9.3 update is set to shake up Legends of Runeterra in a number of ways.

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Economy Overhaul

Riot is lifting the cap and allowing dedicated players to go all out as there will no longer be limits on daily XP gains and weekly Vault rewards.

“Adding more agency to progression,” players will now be able to “earn improved and unlimited” rewards from weekly Vaults as XP gains are now limitless. 

Climbing to a level 13 Vault in a given week will still provide the same benefits. However, XP gains will now continue to grow as each level after will provide an additional capsule for 4500 XP.

Expedition Tokens will now be earned at level 2 instead of 10. Levels 5-9 provide a random Champion card. And levels 10-13 give out Champion Wildcards, allowing players more freedom to create the exact Champions they need for a certain deck.

On top of these changes to the Vault system, XP gains are now limitless. This means players can grind to their heart's content, and still be making progress too.

Riot Games
A complete overview of Vault rewards following the 0.9.3 update.

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How are Expeditions changing?

The cost of Expeditions has also been tweaked in the 0.9.3 update as a result of the overhauled economy. Gearing both the cost and the rewards of an Expedition down by 33%, Riot aims to make the feature more easily accessible. 

Down from 3000 Shards to just 2000, and dropping from 300 Coins to 200, the price of admission is much lower than before and potential rewards have been adjusted to reflect the lower barrier for entry.

Any number of wins throughout your Expedition run will still give an Epic Capsule with at least two Rare and two Common cards. Each consecutive win ramps up your earnings until a perfect run provides 2000 Shards and two Rare Wildcards.

Riot Games
Expeditions will now be 33% cheaper.

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The Harrowing was accidentally reworked

A balance update for The Harrowing accidentally made its way onto the live version of the game in the previous update. However, the card text did not change to reflect the change. Rather than scaling back the 10 Mana Shadow Isles card to its previous form, Riot is leaving the change in effect and simply adjusting its flavor text.

In its previous form, the Epic Spell would “revive the six strongest units that died this game and give them Ephemeral.” This could result in players bringing back six powerful Champions from their opponent's deck, which proved “extremely frustrating.”

The newly updated effect will now only bring back six allied units instead. This means players can no longer utilize enemy Champions on their side of the board.

Riot Games
Ephemeral decks will still be considerable threats after this change to The Harrowing.

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Highly ranked players in the Master Tier should also be benefiting from the 0.9.3 update as the upper echelon of competitive LoR will now be matched up with one another far more frequently.

From additional bugfixes to improved card text clarity, the update packs a wide array of other notable changes under the hood. Check below for a full rundown:


Legends of Runeterra - Patch 0.9.3 Notes

Economy Updates

Following summary taken from our dedicated preview article—we encourage you to give it a read if you’d like more detail on the thinking behind these changes.

As design director Andrew “Umbrage” Yip talked about in his State of the Beta article, we’re seeing lots of positive results overall from the progression system. However, some of the methods we chose to achieve certain goals—like ensuring the meta continues to evolve and supporting the different ways players invest their time & money—aren’t doing the job as well as we’d like. So we’re adding more agency to your progression: a Champion Wildcard each week from a Vault that can now level up infinitely, no daily XP cap, and unlimited direct purchase of any card, among other things. (Again, read more right here!)

Our goal is to give you the ability to get what you want, how you want, in a game where players can compete regardless of how much they spend. We think this set of changes will maximize your ability to experiment with different cards, ensure a faster and more reliable “time-to-deck”, and will keep things accessible for every LoR player.

The Vault

You can now earn improved and unlimited Vault rewards.

  • Level 2+ now rewards an Expedition Token (previously level 10+).
  • Level 5+ now rewards a random Champion card.
  • Level 10+ now rewards a Champion Wildcard (replaces level 5 random Champion card).
  • After Level 13, you can now earn additional, unlimited capsules for 4500 XP each. Each capsule contains at least 3 Rares and 2 Commons (all with a random change to upgrade as normal, including the capsule itself).

Win XP

You can now earn unlimited XP via PVP & AI wins.

  • PVP wins in Normal / Ranked and Expeditions net you 200 and 100 base XP (respectively), every time. First wins of the day bonuses still apply.
  • AI wins now always provide at least 50 XP:
    • AI wins 1-10: 100 XP
    • AI wins 11+: 50 XP

Wildcards & Direct Card Purchase

You can now purchase unlimited wildcards.

  • No more weekly wildcard stock in the store.
  • You can now directly purchase cards in the Collection tab using Coins (cost is identical to that of the equivalent wildcard).

Expeditions

You can now more easily and consistently play Expeditions (we’ve reduced both cost and rewards by ~33%).

  • Expedition cost adjusted to 2000 Shards or 200 Coins (was 3000 or 300)
  • Expedition rewards updated:
    • 0 wins: Epic Capsule
      • Epic Capsules contain an Epic, 2x Rares and 2x Commons, all with a random chance to upgrade (including the capsule itself).
    • 1 win: Epic Capsule, 100 Shards
    • 2 wins: Epic Capsule, 200 Shards
    • 3 wins: Epic Capsule, 200 Shards, Common Wildcard
    • 4 wins: Epic Capsule, 300 Shards, 2x Common Wildcards
    • 5 wins: Epic Capsule, 500 Shards, Rare wildcard, Common Wildcard
    • 6 wins: Epic Capsule, 1000 Shards, Rare Wildcard, Common Wildcard
    • 7 wins: Epic Capsule, 2000 Shards, 2x Rare Wildcards
  • Additional details:
    • Expeditions started prior to 0.9.3 (with the previous higher costs) will provide previous reward values.
    • As 0.9.3 goes live, we’ll grant players 1000 Shards per Expedition Token already in their inventory (to compensate for the now reduced rewards value of those tokens).
      • Please note that there will be no “ceremony” to call this out, but the Shards will be added directly to your Shard total.

Prologue Rewards Tweak

Finally, we’re making some minor changes to the Prologue Road rewards. New players will be introduced to more cards in early levels, and then receive spendable currency after they’ve got a bit more experience.

  • Level 2 reward adjusted (Rare WC + 200 Shards → Epic WC + 200 Shards) and moved to level 9.
  • Levels 3-9 rewards bumped up one level each (so they’re now levels 2-8).

Card Update / Fix: The Harrowing

This is a fun one to explain! We had a change to The Harrowing slated for 0.9.4 (next patch), but it accidentally slipped out with 0.9.2 (last patch). Additionally (and as some of you noticed), while the functional change went live, the updated card text to reflect it did not. We very much prefer to bundle balance changes as a whole, but given that we’d shortly be changing the card back anyway, we’ve decided to just leave the new functionality in place for 0.9.3 and update the card text to match.

Now for the context behind the change: Generally, we don’t want players stealing or utilizing opposing champions. LoR’s champion-centric design and deckbuilding can make it extremely frustrating to have your own champions used against you, and we especially didn’t love that The Harrowing’s old design let players circumvent the usual investment required to get the payoff of a leveled-up Champion. This change brings The Harrowing in line with our general philosophy while focusing it on the Shadow Isles’ core theme of profiting off your own units’ deaths.

  • The Harrowing card text updated to reflect that it now only revives allies (rather than any units).
    • Old rules text: Revive the 6 Strongest units that died this game and grant them Ephemeral.
    • New rules text: Revive the 6 Strongest allies that died this game and grant them Ephemeral.

Card Text Clarity

As we also mentioned in the State of the Beta article, we view in-game clarity as something of a never-ending task where we can always improve. One consistent point of feedback we’ve heard during the beta has been the various examples of confusing or misleading card text. The opportunity was clear enough that we’ve taken a pass on all of our card text, which left us with a batch of changes to some of the worst offenders to more explicitly explain card functionality.

  • Rules text on the following cards updated for clarity:

Ancient Yeti | Arena Bookie | Ashe | Blade of Ledros | Commander Ledros | Corina Veraza | Crimson Curator | Dawnspeakers | Draven's Biggest Fan | Draven's Whirling Death | Eggnivia | Elise | Eminent Benefactor | Flash of Brilliance | Garen's Judgment | Garen (level 2) | Health Potion | Heimerdinger's Progress Day | Iceborn Legacy | Insight of Ages | Iron Harbinger | Jinx (level 2) | Jubilant Poro | Judgment | Karma | Karma's Insight of Ages | Katarina | Kindly Tavernkeeper | Laurent Chevalier | Legion Marauder | Lonely Poro | Lucian (level 2) | Lux | Minotaur Reckoner | Mistwraith | Noxian Guillotine | Poro Snax | Progress Day | Purify | Rimefang Wolf | Rimetusk Shaman | Ritual of Renewal | Scaled Snapper | Single Combat | Statikk Shock | The Undying | Troop of Elnuks | Trueshot Barrage | Warmother's Call | Whirling Death | Wyrding Stones | Yasuo (level 2)

Master Tier

When we launched Open Beta, our rating system was locking down high-level MMR way too tightly, way too quickly, resulting in extremely static Master Tier rankings. We made a quick initial change to give the system more freedom to adjust MMR based on game results, but It turns out we went a little too far, and we’ve heard frustration about how punishing losses in particular could be. We’re tightening things up again (though not to start-of-beta values) to reduce some of the variance.

  • Master Tier players should see smaller swings in rank (both up and down) after each game.

Expeditions Archetypes

Shadows and Dust has been having a tough time lately, so we're adding a card that's exciting alongside Death Mark and can also buy you more time for your Ephemeral units to slip through the opponent's defenses.

  • Added: Darkwater Scourge.

Disruption is in a decent spot, but Zephyr Sage had found its way into five different archetypes and this is the one where it felt least at home.

  • Removed: Zephyr Sage.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed a crash when playing a Burst spell that ends the game (e.g., by drawing from an empty deck).
  • Fixed an issue where players could take a never-ending turn if they kept generating and casting Burst spells.