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.

New Patch Brings Hearthstone to Japan, Nerfs Warsong Commander

Patch 3.2.0.10604 has just gone live for Hearthstone.  As usual, the patch has fixed various unlisted bugs in the game.  The biggest change is the addition of Japanese localization, opening the doors for countless new players to join in on the action.  It has also added the Highmaul card back into the game files and it will be given to any and all players who reach rank 20 or higher this month.  However, the change that has everyone talking is a highly-demanded balance change for Warsong Commander, changing her effect to buffing your charge minions rather than granting charge to minions with 3 or less attack.

Many players having been begging for a nerf of some kind ever since the Blackrock Mountain expansion released earlier this year.  The new Grim Patron card that it introduced proved to be extremely powerful in Warrior decks when paired with Warsong Commander, Frothing Berserker, and Whirlwind.  The resulting Patron Warrior deck quickly became one of the strongest combo decks in the game with only Handlock proving a formidable match-up against it.  Much like Miracle Rogue before it, the weakness of the deck comes more from your opponent not knowing the best plays and making a mistake rather than you outthinking them yourself.  Patron Warrior has been unavoidable on ladder and every tournament player has had the deck at the ready.  Removing Warsong Commander’s ability to grant charge makes sense as the effect has always been exploitable.  In the original version of the card, she simply gave all of your minions charge and getting out two Molten Giants with that effect was devastating.  Cutting out the stream of charge minions entirely not only disables Patron Warrior, but also future-proofs the card for future expansions and ensures that a similar deck won’t become dominate in the future.

Sadly, the nerf to Warsong Commander can be seen as excessive due to its stat line being kept the same.  Only buffing minions with charge is an incredibly situational effect that is unlikely to yield great results, even in a deck built around the effect.  In order to be worth playing, she would need a fair stat line to make up for her underwhelming effect, and a 2/3 for 3 mana is pretty bad.  Compared to cards like Dire Wolf Alpha and Raid Leader, cards that rarely see play themselves, Warsong Commander undoubtedly comes up short.  One last issue with the nerf is that Warsong is a basic card that all players receive for free, so those who went out of their way to build a Patron Warrior deck won’t be able to refund this one key card for arcane dust in the way most other nerfs are treated.  Fortunately, because Patron Warrior is a cheap deck to build and the rarer cards it can run will still be just as viable, it’s unlikely that this change will set anyone back.

What are your thoughts on the latest changes to Hearthstone?  Are you glad to see Patron Warrior go, or are you already reminiscing on the days where everyone would get in here?  Are you more interesting in the Japanese localization of the game, or are you really excited to get your hands on the Highmaul card back?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Blackrock Mountain Cards Preview #5

Blackrock

This is the grand finale of cards that will be added in Hearthstone‘s Blackrock Mountain adventure.  This will cover all of the remaining class cards, including both Paladin cards.  Also, be sure to check on all of the previous articles on Blackrock to get completely caught up on all of the cards: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5.

DragonConsort

If you’re looking for a class to run dragons with, Dragon Consort just helped you make a decision.  This Paladin minion is good just as a 5/5 dragon for 5 mana, but the battlecry makes this card pretty crazy.  Note that the card doesn’t specify the turn it’s played, so that 2 mana discount will stick around until you spend it on a dragon with it.  If anything in this expansion is going to make dragon decks a thing, it’s this card.

SolemnVigil

Paladin has been needing some more card draw options and Solemn Vigil does a pretty good job.  On its own, it’s just a worse Arcane Intellect, but no class is better at expendable minions than Paladin and getting the cost of this card down won’t be hard.  Run this alongside Muster for Battle, Haunted Creeper, and other good token cards and you’ve got a pretty strong deck.

Demonwrath

Whether Demonwrath is a better or worse version of Hellfire is going to depend on the deck you run it in.  If you’re running a demon deck, it’s great as a cheap area-of-effect spell that can give you a big lead.  It also works with non-demon deathrattle minions like Nerubian Egg and Loothoarder.  It may not be a good pick for arena, but there are definitely plays to be made with it in constructed.

FireguardDestroyer

FINALLY!  A 4 mana 3/6 minion for someone other than Mage!  That stat line alone makes this one of the best cards in the expansion.  Water Elemental was the only card to have such a strong body to it from the start and it’s about time another class got to use a minion this tough.  Actually, this is a 4 mana 4/6 in the worst case scenario and a 7/6 at best.  There is that overload to consider, but that’s a small price to pay for such a powerful body.  With Lava Shock entering the game, that overload is even less concerning.  Fireguard Destroyer is definitely worth running.

Revenge

BLIZZARD, PLEASE, LEAVE WARRIOR ALONE!  I fell in love with Control Warrior recently, but Goblins vs Gnomes made the class significantly weaker.  In constructed, aggro decks became far to fast for Warriors to keep up with.  In arena, every new Warrior card save for Shieldmaiden was bad for the mode’s board control meta.  Between Axe Flinger and this worse version of Whirlwind, Warrior is only going to become even weaker with Blackrock.  Revenge is far too situational and Warrior already has enough AoE options that there’s no point to trying to fit it into your deck.  At this point, Warrior would be better off not getting new cards at all.

TwilightWhelp

LOOK AT THIS ADORABLE LITTLE GUY!  I don’t care if he’s arguably a worse version of Zombie Chow, he’s just so cute!  In all seriousness, this card probably isn’t going to see much play as Zombie Chow already gives Priest a 1 mana 2/3 that doesn’t demand a lot of dragons and can synergize with Auchenai Soulpriest in the late game.   While he may not have the downside of healing your opponent when you don’t have Auchenai, it’s still a worst topdeck than the zombie and just about any other card in the game.  On the plus side, I promise not to abuse caps lock for the rest of this article.

VolcanicLumberer

On the one hand, Volcanic Lumberer is a worse Ironbark Protector on its own.  However, cards like Force of Nature and archetypes like Token Druid can make it very easy to cheaply summon.  Even with that, it’s still a fairly situational card and may not be practical even in decks built around it.  It has potential, but we’ll need to see how it plays out in practice to see how viable it really is.

That does it for the Blackrock previews.  Keep an eye out for boss guides to hit once the adventure releases this week.