Yogg-Saron and More Hearthstone Cards are Being Nerfed

Blizzard announced another upcoming round of nerfs for several controversial Hearthstone cards.  The one archetype that will be taking the biggest hit is the Aggro Shaman build, easily the most controversial deck in the current meta, with Rockbiter Weapon and Tuskarr Totemic each taking a hit.  Rockbiter will have its mana cost raised from 1 to 2, while Tuskarr will only summon a totem from the Shaman’s hero power rather than any totem minion in the game.  Another common tool of aggression, Abusive Sergeant, will also be nerfed with his attack power reduced from 2 to 1.

Warrior will also be taking a couple of big hits.  Execute, the class’ top removal option, will have its cost raised from 1 to 2.  Charge, the linchpin of all of Warrior’s combo decks, is being seriously reworked.  It will no longer give a minion +2 attack and the minion it is used on will not be able to attack the enemy hero for that turn, but it will also have its cost reduced from 3 to 1 to compensate.

Finally, we have two of the most intimidating late-game cards falling under the nerf-hammer.  The powerful Hunter spell Call of the Wild will have its cost raised from 8 to 9.  The one card that has people’s attention the most is the legendary Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End.  Yogg has been infamous with competitive players as it can warp the course of any game by casting a variety of spells and potential kill either hero out of nowhere.  While the text on Yogg hasn’t made any apparent changes, the card has been nerfed as it will stop casting spells should it die in the middle of its own effect.  If you have any of these cards in your collection, hold off on disenchanting them until after the nerf hits as you’ll then get full dust refunds for them.  Blizzard hasn’t given an exact date for the nerfs, but they will come before the Last Call events in the Hearthstone Championship Tour.

What are your thoughts on the recent batch of nerfs for Hearthstone?  Which card are you going to miss playing with like you used to?  Which ones should Blizzard have in their crosshairs next?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Blackrock Mountain Cards Preview #4

Cards

With Blackrock Mountain releasing its first wing this week, Blizzard has revealed all of the cards that will be added into Hearthstone with the new adventure.  I’ll go over seven of the new cards that have been revealed in this article with the remaining seven covered in one last article.  We’ll look at the three remaining legendaries and some of the first cards that will be released with the expansion.  Some look like guaranteed mainstays in the new meta game, while others make for better comic relief than competitive cards.  Either way, fun times abound.

Emperor_Thaurissan

First up is Emperor Thaurissan, the first legendary that we’ll get and easily the best.  His stat line may be a little undervalued for the cost, but his ability to reduce the mana costs of the cards in your hand makes up for it.  Since it triggers at the end of your turn, you’re guaranteed to get some value out of him.  There’s also the fact that there aren’t too many great turn 6 plays in the game already.  I have no doubts that Thaurissan will enjoy the same kind of popularity as Naxxramas‘ Loatheb as there simply isn’t a deck that he’s bad in.

Majordomo_Executus

This guy is hilarious, but also extremely impractical.  When Majordomo Executus dies, your hero will be replaced with Ragnaros the Firelord and your hero power will now deal 8 damage to a random enemy.  It sounds awesome, but then you realize that Ragnaros only has 8 health and this transformation leaves you extremely vulnerable.  It could act as a heal if you’re desperately low on health, but it will only get you so much and you can’t heal higher than 8 afterwards.  This could have some potential in Warrior with the aid of armor for added surviability, but will most certainly be relegated to joke card in all other scenarios.

Chromaggus

Chromaggus straddles the line between being good and being goofy.  On the one hand, his stat line isn’t great and his effect has a good deal of randomness to it.  On the other hand, the simple virtue of having more cards in your hand than your opponent is a major advantage.  In control-focused decks, he could be viable as a late-game asset that keeps your resources plentiful.  However, he may not be practical enough for many decks.

Gang_Up

The new Rogue spell, Gang Up, certainly isn’t a card that many competitive decks can fit in.  Getting three minions of your choice from what’s currently on the board sounds nice, but you still need to draw into them afterward and this can cost you a great deal of tempo.  However, it will be great in a certain type of joke deck called Mill Rogue.  Mill is the tactic of intentionally filling your opponents hand inorder to burn their most important cards and to kill your opponent with fatigue damage once their deck runs out.  One weakness of the deck is that you tend to burn yourself out as quickly as your opponent, so a card that increases the size of your deck would certainly be useful.  It’s not a great card, but I’m definitely glad to have it.

Resurrect

Randomness is a factor in the Priest’s Resurrect spell, but it may still be viable at a competitive level.  Odds are fairly good that you’ll get at least a 2 mana minion and that will be decent value.  If you get anything bigger, then this card is incredible.  The biggest problem is that the odds will depend on the minions that your opponent is using and high aggression with smaller minions is very popular at the moment.  It’s a good card, but now might not be the best time for it.  Oh, and speaking of aggro…

UPDATE: I JUST noticed that the card specifies friendly minions, so my problem with getting a bad minion from your opponent is not actually an issue.  This card is 100% awesome.

Quick_Shot

Raise your hand if you hate face-damage Hunters!  Quick Shot is strong just as a 3 damage spell for 2 mana, but the added effect of card draw when your hand is empty makes this insane as a late-game topdeck.  Your best hope is to try and bait your opponent into spending it in the early game where it will still get good value but won’t lock down a win.  Otherwise, the nightmare of your opponent drawing into lethal has just gotten worse.  Hunter is currently incredibly strong and this card is only going to make them more powerful than ever before.

Druid_of_the_Flame

Finally, we have Druid of the Flame, a 3 mana 2/5 for Druid.  You have option of making it a 5/2, but you’re never going to.  It’s okay, but pretty bland for a class exclusive minion.  It is worth noting that transformation is immune to silence, so whichever buff you pick will stick.  Also, both forms count as beasts, so this may encourage players to use Druid of the Fang more.  It’s not going to set the world on fire, but it can be viable in most decks.

There are only seven more cards to cover and they’ll be here soon.  Until then, let us know which cards you’re most excited to play with.

Blackrock Mountain Cards Preview #2

Cards

More cards have been revealed for the upcoming Hearthstone adventure, Blackrock Mountain, and they have their own share of shake-ups for the game.  All three new cards are class-exclusive for Warlock, Hunter, and Mage respectively.  If these particular cards fail to excite you, keep in mind that each class will receive two exclusive cards.

Warlock is fearsome at flooding the board and Imp Gang Boss is all about that.  However, it’s debatable whether this will be better or worse than the existing Imp Master card.  Boss has a better stat line and demon synergy, but it has to run itself against an enemy to spawn an imp and a tough taunt is all it takes to whittle him down.  Honestly, the Imp-losion spell will probably prove better than either minion, but Boss is still an interesting option.

CoreRager

Hunter-exclusive minion Core Rager is similar to the Druid’s Druid of the Fang card, but it’s either more or less situational depending on the deck it’s placed in.  As a 4/4 beast for 4 mana, its stat line is fair enough, but playing it simply as a 4 drop should only be done as a last resort.  The idea is that this will be strongest when you’re topdecking in the late game, but calling out a 7/7 without a hand is only going to be useful if you already have a strong hold on the board or if its enough to land a lethal hit on the enemy hero.  Otherwise, it’s not going to get much work done and your opponent can afford to ignore it.  Core Rager is definitely the least exciting of this crop.

Flamewaker

Flamewaker is easily the most competitive card in this set and it already has plenty of people outraged at it.  Mech Mage is currently one of the strongest decks in the game and, while Flamewaker isn’t a mech, it does have a great deal of synergy with the Spare Parts series of token spells.  Mage is also heavily based around good spells in general, so this is likely to become a mainstay in most Mage decks.  I don’t think it’s nearly as overpowered as a lot of people are assuming given the randomness of its effect, the fact that you have to spend a spell to trigger it, and the fact that its stat line is only okay, but it is certainly a force to be reckoned with.  Definitely keep an eye out for this one.

There are still 19 cards left to be seen with Blackrock Mountain, 4 of which will be legendary, and we likely won’t have to wait too long for them to be revealed.  It may not be that long before we even start to play with them as the adventure is set to begin sometime next month.