It's Winter Wonderland for Hearthstone players who have gotten tired of the game's meta. In a blog post that's caught everyone off-guard, Blizzard has announced that it'll nerf a total of five cards in a patch scheduled for February 5th.
Although Hearthstone's meta has barely settled after the previous nerfs, which hit at the end of December, the developers are noticing a couple of cards that are so good, players almost have to include them when they're building a Hearthstone deck they want to do well with. The post reads: "The following changes are intended to shift these cards from general-purpose “auto-includes” into options that are more likely to be chosen for decks that are focused on strategies that capitalize on what these cards have to offer."
The nerf to Cold Blood seems mostly targeted at a very persistent archetype: Odd Rogue. Aggressive of nature, the deck has relied on Cold Blood both for early pressure - by using the spell to buff an Argent Squire, for example -as well as late game burst in combination with Leeroy Jenkins.
This nerf seems more preemptive rather than a direct response to the meta. Shaman's are at the very bottom of the popularity list if we may believe viciousSyndicate's latest Data Reaper Report. However, Flametongue Totem has historically been a near auto-include in most Shaman decks, including Even Shaman.
The harshest of the five nerfs, Equality's cost will be increased by a whopping 2 Mana. Although that may strike as an odd punishment, it's important to remember how long the card has been around, will be around, and just how powerful it is. Equality has been used alongside Consecration and Wild Pyromancer ever since Hearthstone's inception, so no wonder this powerful boardclear is being hit.
This is the second time Hunter's Mark is being hit by a nerf since Hearthstone's launch. Just under three years ago its Mana cost already went up from 0 to 1 - a change people thought long overdue due to it being able to inflict 'infinite damage' on paper. However, with the vast amount of tools Hunters have at their disposal now, and the class being the most popular one by a long shot, it's no shock Hunters will have to pay a bit more for this spell.
Lesser Emerald Spellstone
Additionally, one non-evergreen card is being hit by the nerfhammer too. Emerald Spellstone, a Hunter card that's proven its potency in multiple archetypes over the past few months. In the post, the Hearthstone developers add: "The only non-Basic or Classic card in this round of changes. We want to position Emerald Spellstone as an efficient mid- and late-game threat, so we’re moving its cost up by one to reduce its utility as an early-game, aggressive tempo option. This change—along with the Hunter’s Mark change—is aimed at addressing Hunter’s prevalence, while still leaving it as a viable option."
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