The Next Hearthstone Patch is Changing Up Some Classic Cards

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The Next Hearthstone Patch is Changing Up Some Classic Cards

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The Whispers of the Old Gods expansion patch will bring some significant nerfs to certain existing Hearthstone cards.

Whenever Blizzard releases a patch to any of their games, you can bet that there will be some balance changes included in it. Next week's Whispers of the Old Gods expansion is no exception, as it will feature a number of nerfs to oft-used cards in the Basic and Classic sets.

In a post on the Hearthstone Blog today, Blizzard has detailed a number of the changes you can expect to see to cards you're using now when the expansion launches next week. As always, they describe their guiding principle for such changes as,

"New card releases should have an impact on Standard and enrich Wild, to make sure that Hearthstone is always as dynamic, fresh, and fun as it can be."

Here's a list of the changes:

Druid Cards

  • Ancient of Lore: Reduced the number of cards drawn from 2 to 1
  • Force of Nature: Lowered mana cost to 5, removes Charge and makes summoned Treants permanent
  • Keeper of the Grove: Stats have been changed from 2 attack/4 health to 2/2

Silence & Removal

  • Ironbeak Owl: Increased mana cost from 2 to 3
  • Big Game Hunter: Increased mana cost from 3 to 5
  • Hunter's Mark: Increased mana cost from 0 to 1
  • Blade Flurry: Increased mana cost from 2 to 4, will now only affect minions

Powerful Neutral Minions

  • Knife Juggler: Reduced attack from 3 to 2
  • Leper Gnome: Reduced attack from 2 to 1
  • Arcane Golem: Removed Charge, will now cost 3 mana with 4 attack/4 health
  • Molten Giant: Increased mana cost to 25
  • Master of Disguise: Will now only grant Stealth until next turn

Permalink

I feel that the change to Keeper of the Grove is a little too harsh. A 2/2 4 is pretty dire, even if it does carry silence, or a arcane shot/holy smite on top of it. Otherwise, I don't really disagree with anything else.

Also, I am pretty glad that the Druid combo is dead, even if I am a little guilty of using it in my decks, myself.

B-But I literally just got Keeper of the Grove after winning a tavern.
I can see why most of them were nerfed, some harder than other. Especially druid. But isn't KotG a bit too harsh? Sure I hated it when the enemy used him, but 2/2 seems too much. But then again, Ironbeak Owl has been nerfed as well, and it has a silence.
Arcane Golem seems like a ridiculous overnerf. No charge, which means you give the enemy 1 mana extra, jsut enough to counter your summon before it can do anything. Also isn't 3/4 like a baseline for minions without effects? How is the one extra attack worth giving the enemy a permanent mana crystal?
I will let Blizzard decide. I'm still too new to have the feeling for balancing, but some of it just ridiculous if you ask me. Spellbreaker cost 1 extra mana over the owl, yet has +2/2 compared to it. So 1 mana for the +2/2. Dunno, doesn't seem right, especially when Priest's silence cost 0 in one case.

I'm rather shocked to not see savage roar on the list, as I felt that was the much more influential card (Even without FoN, you are still compelled to sweep the druid board every single turn). Maybe the idea is to force Druid to run their interesting-yet-terrible class removal cards?

Surprised Molten Giant is the only giant on the list (8/8 on 4 isn't op in a world without 3mana bgh??), especially with the bgh nerf. Also seems a tad severe given it's now completely unplayable without something like a Mal'Ganis effect becoming common or burst damage entirely disappearing, but maybe that's for the best.

Blade Flurry nerf: best decision on the whole list.

Arcane Golem: I'm always glad to see aggro cards whose detrimental effect means nothing at the end of the game go. That said, I am a bit confused at its statting as Ogre Brute is all-but strictly better (then again, Ogre Brute is going away so maybe this is trying to lower the power curve)

I think Knife Juggler is a tad under-nerfed given just how swingy a card it is and there's no way to, say, react to it played with Unleash The Hounds/Implosion/Muster/whatever next token-spawning card sees play.

Ironbeak Owl I'm torn on; on the one hand it's great a face deck can't silence a Tirion and win the game as easily, on the downside cheap silence also kept some of the scummier OP stuff in check (such as Tirion) and frequently created interesting decisions (silence this current threat or hold for a bigger one) so we'll see where that goes.

Keeper nerf does seem a tad brutal, but then again so is 2-damage from the hand or Silence as needed.

I'm a bit iffy on the list overall (This looks like a breeding ground for Handlock unless something in the expansion checks it) but overall I'm willing to see it as a positive change until some horrific unforeseen consequence occurs because of it. I am, however, a bit wary of the fact Aggro Shaman and Freeze Mage didn't see any nerfs in here

edit:
From the Blizzard page: "Molten Giant is an interesting card, but it?s too easy for players to reduce its mana cost to 0. We?re increasing Molten Giant?s mana cost to 25 to increase the risks players must take to get a free Giant. The changes to Force of Nature and Arcane Golem will make dropping to low health somewhat less risky as well, which helped spur this change." (bold emphasis mine)

wha-Wha-WHAT?? When I'm at under fifteen health (much less the amount it'd take for Molten Giant to be worthwhile) Force-Roar is just one of many things I'm thinking about, to make a short and in no-way comprehensive list: Fireball, Frostbolt, Leeroy, Malygos+anything, Steady Shot, Kill Command, Pyroblast, the infinite-fireball-chain of Antonidas, Druid of the Claw, Grom, Flamewaker, Auchenai+any Heal, Ragnaros, the entire massive Aggro Shaman spell list, any weapon, hell even Consecrate or Jaraxxus or Keeper (or, say, SAVAGE ROAR) can add the finishing touches. Since Alexstrasza wasn't on the nerf list Mage can still 2-turn guaranteed kill you. In other words, no I don't exactly feel at less risk at low health just because the Force part of Force-Roar is gone.

I believe the balance is sound for all but 2 of the cards, I would change them as follows.

Knife Juggler: 1/2 for 2 with the same ability, after all, he is using the same knives to attack with as those he throws. :P

Arcane Golem: It should be a 4/5 for 3 as for just one more mana you can get a yeti and instead of paying it yourself you're giving that extra mana to the enemy.

Master balancer signing out, Cheers! ;P

MoltenSilver:
Blade Flurry nerf: best decision on the whole list.

As much as people like to joke about this or that cancer class/deck, is making rogue unplayable in wild really the best decision on that list? That nerf renders Blade Flurry completely unplayable, which in turn means that rogue is now the only class with no aoe removal. Considering rogue is also one of the worst classes for early game plays and Wild format is still gonna be a clusterfuck of aggro, rogue is now just 'play standard or GTFO'. And even viability in standard is only a maybe at this point.

See, I didn't mind all these. I'm just happy Boom is dead in a fire in standard

So basically all the cards they nerfed except knife juggler are dead now

MoltenSilver:
I'm rather shocked to not see savage roar on the list, as I felt that was the much more influential card (Even without FoN, you are still compelled to sweep the druid board every single turn). Maybe the idea is to force Druid to run their interesting-yet-terrible class removal cards?

I think savage roar is completely fair without FoN. This issue was never roar giving huge burst damage if they controlled the board. The issue was that along with FoN it gave 14 free damage from thin-air, plus whatever had stuck to the board. Without FoN, druids can still do late-game burst, but they have to play a lot more honestly to get there.

They also can't even use FoN as 6 damage removal anymore.

Surprised Molten Giant is the only giant on the list (8/8 on 4 isn't op in a world without 3mana bgh??), especially with the bgh nerf. Also seems a tad severe given it's now completely unplayable without something like a Mal'Ganis effect becoming common or burst damage entirely disappearing, but maybe that's for the best.

Mountain Giant already has a huge drawback. Yeah, it's an 8/8 on turn-4, if you don't play *any* cards until then. There's a reason traditional handlock isn't very good in the current meta, and why most Renolocks don't run a mountain giant at all. The game has just gotten too fast, and too tempo-oriented. You just can't afford to tap and pass until turn 4.

Even back when things were slower, the ideal was always Twilight Drake on 4 and then tap-Giant on turn 5. Playing giant directly on 4 was usually not preferred, since you're basically just flipping a coin and hoping they don't have removal.

Blade Flurry nerf: best decision on the whole list.

I think it's generally fine with this one, yeah. With Tinker's Oil going away, Rogues weren't going to be able to get the same big flurries anymore anyway.

Arcane Golem: I'm always glad to see aggro cards whose detrimental effect means nothing at the end of the game go. That said, I am a bit confused at its statting as Ogre Brute is all-but strictly better (then again, Ogre Brute is going away so maybe this is trying to lower the power curve)

Ehh, the Arcane Golem doesn't really change anything. Only reason he got used is because not everyone owns Leeroy. Leeroy will just go back to being the preferred combo-charger for that particular brand of warlock deck. If that sort of combo, hybridlock sort of archetype remains good, I know I'll finally be crafting Mr. Jenkins.

I think Knife Juggler is a tad under-nerfed given just how swingy a card it is and there's no way to, say, react to it played with Unleash The Hounds/Implosion/Muster/whatever next token-spawning card sees play.

I think they nerfed him about as much as they could while still keeping him playable. He should have at least been a 2/2 for years now. His effect is still quite good, but he doesn't get to auto-contest 3-health minions with his stats alone.

Ironbeak Owl I'm torn on; on the one hand it's great a face deck can't silence a Tirion and win the game as easily, on the downside cheap silence also kept some of the scummier OP stuff in check (such as Tirion) and frequently created interesting decisions (silence this current threat or hold for a bigger one) so we'll see where that goes.

Personally, I kind of wish they would have gotten rid of Owl completely, or made it a hunter class card. Even at 3 mana, I think is effect is still too strong. At least he'll eat into their turn a little more now.

Keeper nerf does seem a tad brutal, but then again so is 2-damage from the hand or Silence as needed.

I'd have preferred it if they made him a 2/3 instead, but I don't think this nerf is the end of the world. There's only a few battlecry minions with silence, and silence remains one of the most powerful effects in the entire game.

I'm a bit iffy on the list overall (This looks like a breeding ground for Handlock unless something in the expansion checks it) but overall I'm willing to see it as a positive change until some horrific unforeseen consequence occurs because of it. I am, however, a bit wary of the fact Aggro Shaman and Freeze Mage didn't see any nerfs in here

Aggro shaman's biggest nerf will be another shaman archetype becoming popular (which Blizzard seems to be doing). Otherwise, it's a pretty okay deck. Annoying, I'll grant you, but it's honest (it's also one of the *only* shaman decks in recent memory that has actually been legitimately good. Let shamans have one good thing :P )

As for freeze-mage, have you see the Eater of Secrets? If that archetype ever becomes popular again (or another secret deck), then people just popping in an Eater of Secrets and they're done.

edit:
From the Blizzard page: "Molten Giant is an interesting card, but it?s too easy for players to reduce its mana cost to 0. We?re increasing Molten Giant?s mana cost to 25 to increase the risks players must take to get a free Giant. The changes to Force of Nature and Arcane Golem will make dropping to low health somewhat less risky as well, which helped spur this change." (bold emphasis mine)

wha-Wha-WHAT?? When I'm at under fifteen health (much less the amount it'd take for Molten Giant to be worthwhile) Force-Roar is just one of many things I'm thinking about, to make a short and in no-way comprehensive list: Fireball, Frostbolt, Leeroy, Malygos+anything, Steady Shot, Kill Command, Pyroblast, the infinite-fireball-chain of Antonidas, Druid of the Claw, Grom, Flamewaker, Auchenai+any Heal, Ragnaros, the entire massive Aggro Shaman spell list, any weapon, hell even Consecrate or Jaraxxus or Keeper (or, say, SAVAGE ROAR) can add the finishing touches. Since Alexstrasza wasn't on the nerf list Mage can still 2-turn guaranteed kill you. In other words, no I don't exactly feel at less risk at low health just because the Force part of Force-Roar is gone.

Yep, the molten giant nerf is pretty rough. But, people like to complain about the giants being "unfair" so I guess they had to nerf one of them. On the bright side, you only need to drop down to 9 HP to Molten + Reno. So... you don't need to go all the way down to 5.

But yeah, it's pretty rough. Personally, I don't think it should cost more than 22. Tack on a couple extra mana, make it slightly harder to pull out. This pushes it close to being unplayable. It really depends on how the meta goes, and how much burst remains in Standard format.

Gizen:

MoltenSilver:
Blade Flurry nerf: best decision on the whole list.

As much as people like to joke about this or that cancer class/deck, is making rogue unplayable in wild really the best decision on that list? That nerf renders Blade Flurry completely unplayable, which in turn means that rogue is now the only class with no aoe removal. Considering rogue is also one of the worst classes for early game plays and Wild format is still gonna be a clusterfuck of aggro, rogue is now just 'play standard or GTFO'. And even viability in standard is only a maybe at this point.

I admit, I may have misspoke in haste; thinking about it the 4 mana part is probably too heavy handed, and it was mostly a gut-reaction after being tinkers-hit-bladeflurry'd too many times. That said I'm definitely, unrepentantly glad it doesn't hit face anymore. That said, maaaaaybe Rogue will somewhere gets a 'boost your weapon damage by [huge amount] for 1 turn' that can combo easily with blade flurry or similar(which may be what Blizzard is planning if they hit blade flurry so hard).

rcs619:

MoltenSilver:

edit:
From the Blizzard page: "Molten Giant is an interesting card, but it?s too easy for players to reduce its mana cost to 0. We?re increasing Molten Giant?s mana cost to 25 to increase the risks players must take to get a free Giant. The changes to Force of Nature and Arcane Golem will make dropping to low health somewhat less risky as well, which helped spur this change." (bold emphasis mine)

wha-Wha-WHAT?? When I'm at under fifteen health (much less the amount it'd take for Molten Giant to be worthwhile) Force-Roar is just one of many things I'm thinking about, to make a short and in no-way comprehensive list: Fireball, Frostbolt, Leeroy, Malygos+anything, Steady Shot, Kill Command, Pyroblast, the infinite-fireball-chain of Antonidas, Druid of the Claw, Grom, Flamewaker, Auchenai+any Heal, Ragnaros, the entire massive Aggro Shaman spell list, any weapon, hell even Consecrate or Jaraxxus or Keeper (or, say, SAVAGE ROAR) can add the finishing touches. Since Alexstrasza wasn't on the nerf list Mage can still 2-turn guaranteed kill you. In other words, no I don't exactly feel at less risk at low health just because the Force part of Force-Roar is gone.

Yep, the molten giant nerf is pretty rough. But, people like to complain about the giants being "unfair" so I guess they had to nerf one of them. On the bright side, you only need to drop down to 9 HP to Molten + Reno. So... you don't need to go all the way down to 5.

But yeah, it's pretty rough. Personally, I don't think it should cost more than 22. Tack on a couple extra mana, make it slightly harder to pull out. This pushes it close to being unplayable. It really depends on how the meta goes, and how much burst remains in Standard format.

To be clear, I wasn't bemoaning the harshness of the Molten Giant nerf (on the contrary I quite like it), more than I was questioning what world the balance team is living in that they think someone can live a turn at single-digit health. Which I suppose is the problem; too few ways to get past it and Molten Giant+taunt becomes ridiculously good, too many ways to get past Molten Giant (Or hitting the board the turn you die) and it's just pointless at nearly any mana

I'm also a bit iffy on Eater-of-Secrets countering Freeze Mage; yes it is a nasty counter but it's such a niche card I can't see anyone being willing to risk it unless secret-based decks control over half the ladder. Aggro Shaman worries me mostly due to it not losing the majority of its most dangerous tools, though I will credit it at least looks like Blizzard has only given Shaman control-themed cards rather than making the aggro problem worse

MoltenSilver:

wha-Wha-WHAT?? When I'm at under fifteen health (much less the amount it'd take for Molten Giant to be worthwhile) Force-Roar is just one of many things I'm thinking about, to make a short and in no-way comprehensive list: Fireball, Frostbolt, Leeroy, Malygos+anything, Steady Shot, Kill Command, Pyroblast, the infinite-fireball-chain of Antonidas, Druid of the Claw, Grom, Flamewaker, Auchenai+any Heal, Ragnaros, the entire massive Aggro Shaman spell list, any weapon, hell even Consecrate or Jaraxxus or Keeper (or, say, SAVAGE ROAR) can add the finishing touches. Since Alexstrasza wasn't on the nerf list Mage can still 2-turn guaranteed kill you. In other words, no I don't exactly feel at less risk at low health just because the Force part of Force-Roar is gone.

One answer:

*Que music here*We're gonna be rich!

I don't like it.

Blizzard continues their trend of nerfing cards into uselessness rather than, well, anything else. No one is going to use Ancient of Lore anymore because now it's just a far worse Azure Drake, same with cards like Arcane Golem or Blade Flurry. They'll almost certainly never see play again.

And what about buffs? Warsong Commander is a pointless card that no one will ever use for any reason anymore since its nerf. Is the goal just to keep it around as a lesson for others? Something bad to pop up from abilities that summon random units?

How about seeking some of these cards useful instead of rendering them obsolete?

The Madman:
I don't like it.

Blizzard continues their trend of nerfing cards into uselessness rather than, well, anything else. No one is going to use Ancient of Lore anymore because now it's just a far worse Azure Drake, same with cards like Arcane Golem or Blade Flurry. They'll almost certainly never see play again.

And what about buffs? Warsong Commander is a pointless card that no one will ever use for any reason anymore since its nerf. Is the goal just to keep it around as a lesson for others? Something bad to pop up from abilities that summon random units?

How about seeking some of these cards useful instead of rendering them obsolete?

i mean of all the nerfs here, only arcane golems is truely useless, anchent of lore, keeper of the grove and bladeflurry are underpowered now, but still viable in certan situations and everything else, IMO is where it should be

kekkres:
i mean of all the nerfs here, only arcane golems is truely useless, anchent of lore, keeper of the grove and bladeflurry are underpowered now, but still viable in certan situations and everything else, IMO is where it should be

Keeper of the Grove might still be useful, but compared to the stats on a Spellbreaker for the same cost and the relative rarity of that 2 damage being worth 4 mana when druids also have stuff like wrath... yeah, it's not going to see much use if any. Meanwhile why would you ever use Ancient of Lore now? It's terrible card draw, terrible heals, and has terrible stats for its cost. It no longer has any redeeming value that makes it a worthwhile pick over other specialized cards.

Same with Bladeflurry. It will never be used since it's such a high cost board clear with such an obvious downside and requirements (Need to have a weapon with decent damage, and you'll lose that weapon after casting) that it's a wasted card. It can go sit in the corner next to the 'amazing' Bite/Savagery druid combo I guess.

Arcane Golem is now truly and utterly useless and will never be used again except as a joke or when drawn using other abilities.

Finally I don't mind the nerf to Force of Nature as I can see why the charge was problematic, same with Owl and BGH, but the rest I think are iffy at best. Nope, don't like it at all.

The hazards of digital decks.

The Madman:
No one is going to use Ancient of Lore anymore because now it's just a far worse Azure Drake,

I think it still has some niche roles. My impression is that Blizzard is trying to make people use it for healing primarily. Being able to draw two cards with it made healing an afterthought. Now the card-draw is less, so the healing becomes more valuable. I don't mind them trying to change it from an auto-include to a flexible utility card. I do think it should have probably had its cost dropped to 6 though.

same with cards like Arcane Golem or Blade Flurry. They'll almost certainly never see play again.

Arcane Golem was nerfed into uselessness, yeah. This is basically Blizzard saying that if you want to use a scary combo-charger, it better damned well be a legendary (Grom or Leeroy). No reason not to craft Leeroy now if that sort of Warlock deck remains relevant.

Blade Flurry is actually still quite good though. Its still an extremely powerful board-clear that doesn't also damage your own minions. Unless *everyone* starts running Harrison Jones and/or Ooze, I'd argue that it is at least comparable to shadowflame, maybe even slightly better since you can hold onto your weapon and don't have to sacrifice a minion.

With Tinker's Oil going away, it's not like you were going to get huge blade-flurries anymore anyway. Now it's just solid board-clear instead of massive face-damage and huge board-clear. It makes it less good, certainly, but it's far from useless. Especially if slower, more control-oriented rogues come about.

How about seeking some of these cards useful instead of rendering them obsolete?

Buff's create unforeseen consequences, so they almost never do them. Much easier to let Warsong stew until a later expansion when they can build an archetype around it. Or think of something new to do with it, since its old effect doesn't sit well with them anymore.

I hope they do though. I always really liked Warsong's art and voicework.

Oh wow, bye bye ironbeak owl.
3 mana for a 2/1 body is just lolno, even if it comes with silence.
Just 1 more mana and you have spellbreakers which remain unchanged and have actually useful stats.

Keepers got it even worse.
Nobody will bring a 4 mana 2/2 body, regardless of the silence or utility.
That card is just straight up dead.

And what's with the master of disguise nerf?
Was stealth ever that much of a problem? Really now?

loa:
And what's with the master of disguise nerf?
Was stealth ever that much of a problem? Really now?

Yeah, my first reaction when i read that was: "Somebody actually played that!?"

rcs619:
Blade Flurry is actually still quite good though. Its still an extremely powerful board-clear that doesn't also damage your own minions. Unless *everyone* starts running Harrison Jones and/or Ooze, I'd argue that it is at least comparable to shadowflame, maybe even slightly better since you can hold onto your weapon and don't have to sacrifice a minion.

With Tinker's Oil going away, it's not like you were going to get huge blade-flurries anymore anyway. Now it's just solid board-clear instead of massive face-damage and huge board-clear. It makes it less good, certainly, but it's far from useless. Especially if slower, more control-oriented rogues come about.

Actually, I think it is going to be pretty much useless with that nerf. Sure, Blade Flurry was a decent board clear, but that's not what it was used for. It was mainly used for the burst. And unlike, say, Freeze-Mage, that burst actually was rather risky and took a lot of setup. You had to weigh your options; should I use my Deadly Poison now to get rid of a minion, or should I save it for the final burst? If I buff my weapon now I might save the mana next turn, but they might also be able to remove it. You had to invest a lot in order to get your big burst with that card, and that was the reason that Oil-Rogue was a fun deck to play; it was viable, but it took a lot of thought.

And besides, let's compare the new Blade Flurry to everybody's happiest little wave of fire; Flamestrike. Flamestrike is a 7 mana 4 damage to every minion spell. What do you have to invest in order to get Blade Flurry up to roughly the same level?
First you need Blade Flurry itself. 4 mana, 0 damage, 1 card.
Then you need a weapon. Let's take the one from our hero power just because that one you can always have. 2 mana, 1 damage, no card.
Now we need to buff our weapon. Deadly Poison is a good, cost-effective buff, so let's add one of those. 1 mana, 2 damage, 1 card.

Now we've spent 7 mana, 2 cards, and a hero power, and yet we've only reached 3 damage to all enemy minions. If we want more than that, we need to invest even more mana and even more cards. So no, I wouldn't say it is "still an extremely powerful board-clear". In fact I would say it's pretty much useless. Up that mana OR remove the facedamage, Blizzard. Not both. Then it might actually be "balanced".

Let me translate that for you: "We think we can make even more people buy even more packs if we nerf the basic cards that they were using to maybe get something done...

lancar:

loa:
And what's with the master of disguise nerf?
Was stealth ever that much of a problem? Really now?

Yeah, my first reaction when i read that was: "Somebody actually played that!?"

The idea as far as I understand wasn't so much that it was a problem now, more so that they couldn't make certain kinds of generic cards with lingering abilities that'd gain too much from being able to stealth them at will

Gizen:
As much as people like to joke about this or that cancer class/deck, is making rogue unplayable in wild really the best decision on that list?

Yep, because now they're free to print rogue weapons with higher attack stats. It's kinda bad now because those cards don't yet exist (unless they're revealing some with WoG), but when rogues have, say, an Arcanite Reaper equivalent then it'll be comparable to Shadowflame, which is a good card.

All in all I think the changes were for the best, but Arcane Golem was a mistake. It should at LEAST be a 4/5, if not a 5/5, for such a significant drawback.

Keeper is juuuust ok - not quite a mistake. You could compare it to Spellbreaker and say the extra 3 stats are worth sacrificing the flexibility to deal 2 damage, but I disagree. People played Keeper over Spellbreaker because it was tough enough to stick around, whereas 3 health is just too weak (dies to a 2 drop). So I don't think Keeper being a 2/3 is significantly better than a 2/2 (though a 2/2 is miles better than a 2/1 since it doesn't die to hero power). At 2/3 the Keeper would still be significantly better than Spellbreaker, and I think even at 2/2 the flexibility to deal 2 damage instead of silencing makes it comparable, if not sliiiightly better. But class cards should be stronger, so maybe 2/3 was the better option.

The Bucket:

lancar:

loa:
And what's with the master of disguise nerf?
Was stealth ever that much of a problem? Really now?

Yeah, my first reaction when i read that was: "Somebody actually played that!?"

The idea as far as I understand wasn't so much that it was a problem now, more so that they couldn't make certain kinds of generic cards with lingering abilities that'd gain too much from being able to stealth them at will

Exactly. With the new cards coming out that make cheap duplicates of minions the perma-stealth becomes insane. They can also make low-cost neutral cards with strong ongoing effects, unlike the pitiful "Give a random minion +1 something".

NoeL:

Gizen:
As much as people like to joke about this or that cancer class/deck, is making rogue unplayable in wild really the best decision on that list?

Yep, because now they're free to print rogue weapons with higher attack stats. It's kinda bad now because those cards don't yet exist (unless they're revealing some with WoG), but when rogues have, say, an Arcanite Reaper equivalent then it'll be comparable to Shadowflame, which is a good card.

I strongly disagree. Shadowflame is much easier to use than Blade Flurry because it sacrifices a minion, which by default you're always going to be running, and because it also has other aoe options like Hellfire or Demonwrath that it can use in the meantime until it builds up enough of a board that it can afford to sacrifice something to Shadowflame. Alternatively it can just drop a free Molten Giant and Shadowflame that (admittedly more difficult to do now since that's also nerfed, but still possible).

In contrast, sacrificing a weapon is drastically less reliable than a minion. Even if there is a weapon worth running, it'll only be 2 cards in your deck, while a minion is frequently 20 or more. So you're drastically less likely to get the thing you need to sacrifice to Blade Flurry to begin with, and in the meantime you have no other aoe as a rogue so you don't even have any way to stall out the board until you do.

And that's assuming you even have a big weapon worth running to begin with, which I'm not convinced rogue would get. Oh sure, maybe they'll get a big weapon now that they wouldn't before, but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't actually want to run it. There are reasons why Arcanite Reaper doesn't get used outside of face Warrior, itself a deck that doesn't see play. Weapons typically cost 1 mana per attack, and so big weapons are typically poor value compared to just a big creature, and less efficient as single target removal when they cost so much. So to get a big Blade Flurry, you're running two different expensive cards that are terrible on their own, just so you can maybe combine them together to get an overpriced flamestrike.

And all THAT'S not even taking into account one of the biggest issue with rogues and weapons, that being that rogue is the only weapon using class that can't negate the cost of having to smash its face into things. Shaman and paladin both have heals, while warrior has ludicrous amounts of armour gain. Admittedly, hunters don't get any way to sustain either, but hunters also don't actually hit creatures with their weapons, they just go face, something rogue doesn't want to do because it lacks the tools to be aggro. The only rogue weapon that ever seriously saw play was Perdition's Blade, and that's because it had something major in common with Blade Flurry, the ability to use your weapon as removal without actually having to attack the creature to do it.

Finally, there's the issue of thematics. Big, hard hitting weapons is warrior's gimmick. Rogue, both in WoW and in Hearthstone, has always been about taking smaller, weaker weapons and making them big and threatening with poisons. So even if all my prior points were somehow negated by some sort of amazing Arcanite Reaper equivalent, it would likely feel out of place on the class and take away some of its unique flavour.

So, no, you can't really compare Blade Flurry to Shadowflame, and the likelihood of a weapon appearing at any point in the future that makes Blade Flurry not trash is slim to none. Better off hoping for a brand new aoe spell entirely than any hope of Blade Flurry being useable now.

I like most of the changes except:

Ancient of Lore is just bad now. I really don't see it being run anymore.

Knife Juggler's nerf seems pretty light. A lot of people suggested changing the effect to only work off of played minions. I would've liked that a lot.

Arcane Golem is awful. It could've been a 4/5.

The Blade Flurry change is controversial, but, as someone who's been longing for some new, good weapons, I think this is a good idea. Blizzard couldn't make good Rogue weapons as long as this card had the cheap burst and board clear potential that it did.

loa:
Oh wow, bye bye ironbeak owl.
3 mana for a 2/1 body is just lolno, even if it comes with silence.
Just 1 more mana and you have spellbreakers which remain unchanged and have actually useful stats.

I think that's kind of the point. They want silence to cost at least 4. Owl is still super strong though, since silence is the most powerful effect in the entire game. It's basically still 3-mana make a minion useless. No one ever played it for the body.

Keepers got it even worse.
Nobody will bring a 4 mana 2/2 body, regardless of the silence or utility.
That card is just straight up dead.

It's definitely no longer an auto-include (which is good! There should be very few auto-includes), but once again, silence is the most powerful effect in the game, and having an extra way to induce it is still powerful. It just can't get innervated out on 2 anymore, silence/kill a thing with the two damage *and* easily contest most small minions in the game.

And what's with the master of disguise nerf?
Was stealth ever that much of a problem? Really now?

Master of Disguise was a pre-nerf. No one ever used it, but being able to give permanent stealth is kind of broken. Only a matter of time until it became a part of some warsong-level shenanigans. So they nipped it in the bud early.

C117:

Actually, I think it is going to be pretty much useless with that nerf. Sure, Blade Flurry was a decent board clear, but that's not what it was used for. It was mainly used for the burst.

Pretty much only in the oil deck, which was not going to be playable in standard anyway.

And unlike, say, Freeze-Mage, that burst actually was rather risky and took a lot of setup. You had to weigh your options; should I use my Deadly Poison now to get rid of a minion, or should I save it for the final burst? If I buff my weapon now I might save the mana next turn, but they might also be able to remove it. You had to invest a lot in order to get your big burst with that card, and that was the reason that Oil-Rogue was a fun deck to play; it was viable, but it took a lot of thought.

And miracle-style rogues will still be around, and they've still got a lot of burst potential even without flurry hitting face. Especially since good ole Malygos remains unchanged :D

Basically, you wouldn't want me to be able to hit face with a molten giant then shadowflame it to not only clear your entire board, but hit you in the face again on the same turn. This brings flurry more in line with other big clears, and I still think it's arguably better than shadowflame in a lot of scenarios. It's much easier to hold onto the last charge of a weapon until you need it than it is to play out a big minion them immediately sacrifice it with a 4-mana spell.

And besides, let's compare the new Blade Flurry to everybody's happiest little wave of fire; Flamestrike. Flamestrike is a 7 mana 4 damage to every minion spell. What do you have to invest in order to get Blade Flurry up to roughly the same level?
First you need Blade Flurry itself. 4 mana, 0 damage, 1 card.
Then you need a weapon. Let's take the one from our hero power just because that one you can always have. 2 mana, 1 damage, no card.
Now we need to buff our weapon. Deadly Poison is a good, cost-effective buff, so let's add one of those. 1 mana, 2 damage, 1 card.

Now we've spent 7 mana, 2 cards, and a hero power, and yet we've only reached 3 damage to all enemy minions.

No, you've reached "Deal 6 damage to an enemy minion and 3 damage to every other enemy minion." It's basically a super-swipe for between 1 and 3 mana more, depending on if you've already got your knives up. You do need to set it up ahead of time, but it's rogue. They have to set everything up ahead of time.

Flamestrike is just, 7 mana, 4 damage. No more, no less. That one minion have more than 4 health? Tough luck, he survives and there's nothing you can do about it.

loa:
And what's with the master of disguise nerf?
Was stealth ever that much of a problem? Really now?

Talk on the internet is that Blizzard wants to add neutrals with strong effects while they are staying on the field. So a perma stealth is apparently too strong since you could just stealth the enemy and only few things can kill it. I remember getting Living Armor and Master of Disguise during 2 tavern brawls. Needless to say I won both since the enemy could deal almost no damage to me. Or imagine an effect like Mal'Ganis' with perma stealth. 7 health means 2 strong AOE spells are needed or some of the minions that can miss. But that again is luck based. And even then he's 9/7, meaning you need 2 of them or a buffed one.

But it's Blizzard. They will neft Master of Disguise and not add anything to compensate for it. For fucks sake, how hard would it be to add "Removes stealth a the start of your turn" to minions that have strong staying effects. Sure, might be impractically for now but until they fix Rogue to be above shit tier, there is no reason to nerf their cards this hard.

The ironbeak nerf seems like it will move aggro/zoo decks towards Spellbreaker. Black Knight may also see a return to the meta, given the emphasis on bigger taunt minions.

Leper Gnome and Knife Juggler nerfs will also slow aggro decks down.

The druid nerfs effectively killed the current combos that were auto-includes in every deck, probably prompting a return of ramp druid decks.

Those changes, along with the abundance of anti-aggro tools coming with the new expansion should shift the game towards turn 10 and beyond.

I've only played a hand full of games but I watch it a lot, so I may be speaking out of my ass but big shifts in value (like these) don't promote variety, they just kill cards. The Leper Gnome/Knife Juggler/Arcane Golem thing just seems like a shift towards a slower meta, which is kinda bollox when you think about it, WotOG is pushing for a slower game but that's not really a fair reason to tell aggro players to get stuffed. These cards will likely survive though, those Druid cards on the other hand, I get that Druid was kinda predictable but damn son.

It's like seeing my beautiful Warsong Commander be forced into retirement... SHE DESERVED BETTER THAN THAT BLIZZARD!

Also, why the funkin waggles are they nerfing Master of Disguise? That's like beating on the poor kid at school, leave her alone Blizzard, she aint doing anything! How's about you address the fact that Booty Bay Bodyguard and Magma Rager are still totally pointless.

PunkRex:
I've only played a hand full of games but I watch it a lot, so I may be speaking out of my ass but big shifts in value (like these) don't promote variety, they just kill cards. The Leper Gnome/Knife Juggler/Arcane Golem thing just seems like a shift towards a slower meta, which is kinda bollox when you think about it, WotOG is pushing for a slower game but that's not really a fair reason to tell aggro players to get stuffed. These cards will likely survive though, those Druid cards on the other hand, I get that Druid was kinda predictable but damn son.

It's like seeing my beautiful Warsong Commander be forced into retirement... SHE DESERVED BETTER THAN THAT BLIZZARD!

Also, why the funkin waggles are they nerfing Master of Disguise? That's like beating on the poor kid at school, leave her alone Blizzard, she aint doing anything! How's about you address the fact that Booty Bay Bodyguard and Magma Rager are still totally pointless.

Booty Bay Bodyguard and Magma Rager did get addressed in TGT, in the form of Evil Heckler (cheaper) and Ice Rager (better stats), respectively. Not that I ever see those get played either.

PunkRex:
I've only played a hand full of games but I watch it a lot, so I may be speaking out of my ass but big shifts in value (like these) don't promote variety, they just kill cards. The Leper Gnome/Knife Juggler/Arcane Golem thing just seems like a shift towards a slower meta, which is kinda bollox when you think about it, WotOG is pushing for a slower game but that's not really a fair reason to tell aggro players to get stuffed. These cards will likely survive though, those Druid cards on the other hand, I get that Druid was kinda predictable but damn son.

It's like seeing my beautiful Warsong Commander be forced into retirement... SHE DESERVED BETTER THAN THAT BLIZZARD!

Also, why the funkin waggles are they nerfing Master of Disguise? That's like beating on the poor kid at school, leave her alone Blizzard, she aint doing anything! How's about you address the fact that Booty Bay Bodyguard and Magma Rager are still totally pointless.

Aggro will persist in some form or another. The low cost aggressive playstyle suffers much less from playing cards off curve and punishes slower decks quite a bit more when they don't have immediate answers every turn. At most, the nerfs alone might give their opponents another turn to stabilize.

In the process, it should make other cards more interesting in the process. For druids, you currently almost never see Aviana or Cenarius used in ranged play, because who cares about big minions when the game ends by turn 9? The same with hunter, you'll likely see a shift towards more midrange decks without them getting stomped out by aggro.

As for Master of Disguise, I'm guess it's to prevent stuff like sitting Malygos in perma stealth.

PunkRex:
Also, why the funkin waggles are they nerfing Master of Disguise? That's like beating on the poor kid at school, leave her alone Blizzard, she aint doing anything! How's about you address the fact that Booty Bay Bodyguard and Magma Rager are still totally pointless.

Because so long as it exists they can't make a low-mana/weak-body neutral minion with a powerful recurring effect or Master Of Disguise would just protect it forever. Gadgetzan Auctioneer has already shown just how powerful even a single turn of stealth can do for a persistent effect, much less 'stealth until your opponent draws a strong enough aoe'. Blood Imp got harshly nerfed back in beta for the same reason. That said I do agree with you that Blizzard's 'no buffs' policy is incredibly grating and doesn't paint a positive picture of their balance team.

The Philistine:
The ironbeak nerf seems like it will move aggro/zoo decks towards Spellbreaker. Black Knight may also see a return to the meta, given the emphasis on bigger taunt minions.

Leper Gnome and Knife Juggler nerfs will also slow aggro decks down.

The druid nerfs effectively killed the current combos that were auto-includes in every deck, probably prompting a return of ramp druid decks.

Those changes, along with the abundance of anti-aggro tools coming with the new expansion should shift the game towards turn 10 and beyond.

As a dragon priest player I'm okay with that.

Anyway, shifting the silence to a 4-mana is actually really harsh for agro, turning it from a 1 mana nerf to effectively 2.

Also, hearthstone folks. I have a fun summoning stone mage deck I like to derp around with, any good replacement for unstable portal you recommend to keep it standard?

RedDeadFred:
The Blade Flurry change is controversial, but, as someone who's been longing for some new, good weapons, I think this is a good idea. Blizzard couldn't make good Rogue weapons as long as this card had the cheap burst and board clear potential that it did.

You say this, but considering the full set is now revealed and rogue got no new weapons at all, that reasoning is invalidated.

MCerberus:

Also, hearthstone folks. I have a fun summoning stone mage deck I like to derp around with, any good replacement for unstable portal you recommend to keep it standard?

Probably best to wait for the full reveal of cards for the set. At the moment, assuming you're already running frostbolt, there's not a good 2 mana alternative. Arcane Explosion just isn't that good in constructed. You might be able to get away with Forgotten Torch, depending on the deck setup.

*And looking catching up on the newly revealed cards, Shatter is probably your go-to card for the 2 mana slot if you're looking for control. Otherwise stick with a minion for the tempo.

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