Rotation in Legends of Runeterra (Part 2)

Hi everyone, it’s Dave again! I’m back with a brand new edition… of Rotation Discussions! (You can see the last one here.)


Quick Recap

We plan to add a second format to LoR. The two formats will be:

  • Standard – Many cards in the game can be played, including the most recent, but some are excluded (only be playable in Eternal).
  • Eternal – All cards in the game can be played (just like they are now).


Two formats, two goals

One of the core values of rotation is how it lets us separate cards into their own domains, instead of needing a “one size fits all” solution for every card. If you want to keep playing with the older cards, there’s a place to do that – and if you DON’T want to play against them, you can do that instead. No solution is perfect, but this one gives us a new way to try and address two audiences at once.

  • For Standard, we want to provide a place where new cards shine and guide the meta.
  • For Eternal, we want to provide a place where the greatest hits and the new contenders have epic confrontations.


Key takeaways from feedback

  • There’s substantial concern that your favorite champion won’t be in the Standard environment. Why even play if you can’t get that sweet deck going in Standard? Well, the truth is, when we only have a single metagame, only a few of our existing champs actually shine at any given time. For example, It’s very hard for two spell-based champions in the same region to be viable at the same time. In the future, there will be TWO ways for a particular champ to have impact – either in Eternal or in Standard. Although we can’t promise every card will always be top tier, we can say with more formats, we expect there will be more room for different things to be good.
  • There’s also concern that supporting two formats is going to overload our team / not result in a balanced and healthy experience for either. With the overall power in the Standard format reduced, we don’t have to keep making the strongest things ever with each new release. For Eternal, when it’s in the spotlight, we will have dedicated time to ensure the quality of the meta as well as to stomp any bugs that would affect competitive play. And when the format isn’t in the spotlight, we’ll still keep an eye on the biggest issues and fix them in a timely manner.
  • Generally, folks are interested in an Eternal metagame with more variety of decks. We plan to set it up so when the spotlight is on Eternal, we rebalance appropriately in broad strokes to keep variety up (especially with reversion of nerfs / additional buffs). We’ll also look to potentially UN-nerf cards when we rotate them out of Standard to give them more of an impact in Eternal.


Rollout plan – key dates and when we’ll check in on how it’s going

This is going to happen alongside the first expansion of 2023, and at that time, cards will move out of Standard. Which cards move is a complex puzzle that our Design team has worked hard to solve – it is a curated list of cards, and it’s not forever (cards can rotate back in on the next cycle.)

Speaking of the next cycle – we’ll also plan to rotate again each year with the first expansion of the new year.

So, you may be wondering, “Dave, when do we get this Eternal spotlight?” REALLY often! The current plan is to run the spotlight at the end of every expansion. Or, another way to think about it is that before a new expansion releases, we’ll put the spotlight on Eternal: that means an Eternal-focused balance patch, cleanup of the top technical issues with the format, and its own ranked season.

Finally, how are we going to measure the success (or areas for improvement) with Rotation? We’ll be watching some key metrics:

  • How much Eternal vs. Standard play there is in non-spotlight vs. spotlight times,
  • Purchase of Eternal-only cards and champ skins, and
  • Health of the Standard and Eternal metagame (play%, win%, other key meta variety factors)

…alongside some internal metrics for team health in maintaining the game. And then regularly for the first few months, we’ll communicate with you all about what we’re seeing and any changes we’re thinking about making.

Thanks for reading, and looking forward to getting stomped by Beta-era champs in the Eternal queues!