Hearthstone

Hearthstone Balance Patch Hits Key Cards

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▲ Hearthstone's balance team released new changes slated to go live later today.

 

Christmas came early for fans of Blizzard Entertainment's Hearthstone as the team released a blog post in the middle of the night that outlined numerous upcoming balance changes that are slated to go live later today.

 

A few of the five cards that Blizzard deemed problematic have been topics of discussion within the Hearthstone community for years while others have only popped up his past calendar year.

 

Blizzard's developer note regarding the specific changes states: "This balance update is focused on improving the long-term health of both Standard and Wild. We've opted to make these changes earlier in the expansion cycle than we normally consider; we'd like to hear your feedback on the timing of this update, in addition to what you think of all the individual card changes."

 

 

Druid was hit hard by the nerfs, fundamentally changing the way they are able to manipulate or ramp their mana in the early game and acquire resources late. 

 

According to Blizzard: "Wild Growth and Nourish have been present in every mid-range, combo, and control Druid deck since their introduction in the Basic and Classic set. When cards from the Basic and Classic set are too powerful, they can have negative long-term effects on the game. Continuously playing against these cards can start to feel repetitive, and they can feel so mandatory that they stifle creative deckbuilding decisions. By increasing the mana cost of both cards by one, we expect them to be considerations in late-game control Druid decks, but more difficult to fit in strategies that don’t directly take advantage of ramping mana."

 

 

A top-tier card in a top-tier deck in the Paladin class has been hit pretty hard. Although it may appear that a one-mana change to a powerful card isn't a big deal, this card was popular in an Odd Paladin deck that could only use cards of certain numerical values. By changing it to even, it can no longer be played in the same deck that has been tier-1 all year.

 

According to Blizzard: "Odd Paladin has consistently been one of the most powerful and most played decks since its introduction in The Witchwood. By removing Level Up from Odd Paladin, we still expect it to be a competitive board control deck, just with more consistent damage output that should be easier to play around."

 

 

The final class card that was nerfed as a result of a recent uptick in playability, Leeching Poison, was a key tool to enable Kingsbane Rogue to stay alive late while effectively clearing the board and applying pressure to the opponent. A one-mana cost reduction and limiting the ability to a singular turn may still allow the card to see play due to its overall power and usefulness in the deck. But no argument can be made that the card is as powerful as before.

 

According to Blizzard: "We love the fantasy of building a powerful weapon over the course of a game with Kingsbane, but granting it a permanent Lifesteal effect with Leeching Poison resulted in an endgame with few weaknesses, as well as conflicting with our philosophy that Rogues should not have persistent self-healing effects. Making the Lifesteal effect only active for one turn should address some of the power level issues with Kingsbane Rogue’s late game."

 

 

The only neutral card to see nerfs, Saronite Chain Gang, finally answers the question associated with his voice line upon summoning, "How long can this go on?" 

 

Turns out, the balance team wanted to deal with Shudderwock Shaman's ability to continually summon Shudderwock eight months after the combo became oppressive. Prior, once Saronite Chain Gang was played, Shudderwock's ability would allow him to replicate himself when played. Now, only another Chain Gang can be summoned.

 

According to Blizzard: "We love the fantasy of building a powerful weapon over the course of a game with Kingsbane, but granting it a permanent Lifesteal effect with Leeching Poison resulted in an endgame with few weaknesses, as well as conflicting with our philosophy that Rogues should not have persistent self-healing effects. Making the Lifesteal effect only active for one turn should address some of the power level issues with Kingsbane Rogue’s late game."


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