For the first time in the more than seven years that Blizzard Entertainment's Hearthstone has existed, the game's development team has banned a card from seeing competitive play.
On Friday afternoon, the title's official Twitter account issued a statement saying that Stealer of Souls, a 4 mana 2/6 Warlock card, was too unhealthy for the Wild game mode in its' current state and would be banned in a patch coming next Tuesday.
The card, released recently as part of the Wailing Caverns mini-set, can still see play in the Standard, Arena, Duels, and Tavern Brawl as the development team decides what to do next with the demon.
Players in the Wild format can create a deck using any card in the game's history and with the amount of draw and tools to keep Warlocks alive, players grew tired of playing against it on the ranked ladder.
The most common and powerful combo that utilized Stealer of Souls was one in which players filled their hand with cards through Warlock's numerous draw mechanics, played the demon alongside Violet Illusionist (which prevents players from taking damage on their turn), played Plot Twist (which shuffles the player's hand into their deck and draws them a new one) then their entire hand is cards that cost health instead of mana and can be played for free.
In the past, when the game's development team deemed a card too powerful or game-breaking, they would either nerf the card's stats, change its' ability all together or send the card from the Standard game mode straight to Wild where it, typically, would be less problematic. Never has a card been banned from Wild altogether.
Lead Designer Alec Dawson said the card would be adjusted in the future and a decision will be made if it will re-enter Wild down the road.
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.