But before that, the timing of the patches and updates is going to go under a slight change. Riot is taking the week of August 10th off, and as such the following changes will take place. First, patch 1.7 will last three weeks instead of the normal two. Patch 1.8 will go live August 26 instead of August 19, and it will also last three weeks.
Patch 1.8 will be smaller than what we are used to seeing, and won’t be a full-on balance update. It will contain some minor card changes, and maybe a few extra bonuses, but that’s it. Lastly, the following patch will be 1.10, taking the Windows approach and skipping over 1.9, and will be the usual full balance update. The patches will also go back to lasting two weeks once 1.10 drops and subsequent patches will resume the normal two-week intervals.
Heading back to the Lab
The next Lab is going to be an interesting one. Titled “Quick Draw,” the lab has players drawing five cards every turn, and all cards will have the “Fleeting” keyword. To make up for this, cards will all feature a heavily lowered mana cost. To compensate, you will only have three mana per turn to spend.
Not only do you have to use ’em or lose ’em, but you also have to be very careful what cards you commit to playing. Every other turn players will draw a special Prolong card that will remove Fleeting from one card in your hand. You’ll have to think ahead and plan for when to draw your Prolongs to make a big play. It should make for an exciting — and fast — way to play.
A big change is coming to Singleton Gauntlets. You will have the ability to add cards from three different regions to your deck as opposed to the normal two. This will help further differentiate Gauntlet from Standard, and allow for a lot more interesting deck builds and lines of play. Going right along with this, you’ll be able to filter your decks between Standard and Singleton in the deck builder menu.
Also, players will be able to finally pick which card will be assigned to their deckbox art, instead of being random like before. While this is a minor change, it is something I am very happy to see. It should also make it much easier for you to separate your decks from the same regions if you have multiples.
New swag to blow your coins on
A new board is getting added with the Nightshade Shrine. Focusing on the darker side of the spirit world, it is an epic-tier board with interactive elements and unique gameplay reactions like all the other epic boards. It will run for 1,290 coins in the store. You can also buy a Dragonling bundle in the store for 975 coins. It will contain the standard Dragonling, as well as the Nightshade Dragonling.
Three new card backs are also available: Spirit of the Bloom, Spirit of Nature, and Crossed Spirits (pictured below). The latter of which is looking to be my personal favorite. There is also a new emote available as an epic quest reward for the Spirit Blossom Festival.
There have been a couple of minor expedition updates to boost some of the lesser-played archetypes including Fishbones, Shadows and Dust, Spell Slingers, and Total Recall.
Lastly, Expeditions will now refresh on Thursday instead of Tuesday. This week will have a short, two-day refresh to make up for it. Also, an in-game widget has been added to Labs that explain the rules of the current Lab. Which may seem minor, but if you’re forgetful like I am, this is very helpful indeed.
Settle in for the new patch
Again, patch 1.7 goes live tomorrow and will hang around for a little longer than usual as we prepare for 1.8.