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Hearthstone: Twelve Nerfs to Basic and Classic Cards Unveiled

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Blizzard have announced the balance changes that will apply when Standard comes into effect on April 26/7. All of the cards changed are in the Basic or the Classic sets. There are twelve changes in all.


As expected, Druid takes a big hit, although surprisingly Innervate has remained untouched.
 

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Ancient of Lore is currently so powerful that it's the first card in any nearly any new Druid list. This change might leave it still playable, as a card instead of, or alongside, Azure Drake. However, it will require a lot more thought before being included.
 

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Charge has been problematic for Hearthstone for as long as the game has existed. On top of that, people in general are sick of losing to the Force of NatureSavage Roar combo. It is therefore no surprise that part of the combo has been removed. This card appears to not be very good anymore, but Druid does have ways to buff wide boards, and so it is possible it will see play in what is expected to be a slower meta.
 

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Keeper of the Grove was simply too powerful. Ben Brode has also recently stated on stream that Blizzard want Silence to be more a part of expansion sets than the Core set, and so this card taking a hit is no surprise. It does seem to have taken a BIG hit though, and maybe it will no longer see play.
 

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Ironbeak Owl gets the same treatment as Keeper of the Grove. It seems that Spellbreaker might end up being the Silence card of choice.
 

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It has been no secret that Big Game Hunter has been looked at with regards a balance change for a long time. It is therefore no surprise that it has been changed to five mana. I believe most people will be fine with this change, and early pro feedback seems to agree. The card should still be strong enough to prevent huge minion decks from getting out of control.
 

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Hunter's Mark has been nerfed to bring it into line with the other changes. 0 mana cards often cause problems. Soulfire survived a similar change over a year ago, and this card should still be playable. It will be interesting to see if Lock and Load is going to see some card synergy, as this would have been very powerful if it does.
 

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Blade Flurry receives a surprise hit, and it is a big one. Both the mana cost, and the ability have been significantly changed, and at first glance it seems to have destroyed the card. However, it does seem like the new meta will be a lot slower than before, and there is every chance this card can still see play. Rogue has already picked up some nice new tools for standard, and it is possible this put it over the edge. Blade Flurry was also responsible for some pretty large combo kills, and would possibly have been the source of future player complaints now that Druid combo has been removed.
 

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Knife Juggler had been specifically mentioned in the past as a card that would be nerfed in Standard. Although it is now a less aggressive card, it seems that it has got off reasonably lightly and will still be a card we see a lot of going forward. It is surprising that no change has been made to the ability.
 

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Leper Gnome was another card that was rumoured to be on the hit list. Whether it is still playable will require testing, but it is no longer going to trade into a minion AND do 2 damage anywhere near as often.
 

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As stated previously, both Charge and huge combo kills are a problem. Arcane Golem takes the brunt of Blizzard's wrath and is now probably worse than Dancing Swords.
 

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Molten Giant is a bit of a surprise, but Blizzard's article explains that with Force of Nature and Arcane Golem being changed, Molten Giant was less risky than previously. It is difficult to predict whether the card will be forced out of play entirely, but it does seem that some archetypes may have to make significant changes.
 

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We have been told that Master of Disguise has been identified as a problem card for the design team for some time. This change helps free up that design space.

Overall, it is pleasing that most of the cards remain playable. Previous balance adjustments to the game have often been unsatisfactory in their heavy handedness, and for the most part that seems to have been avoided this time around. It is a little surprising that Innervate and Preparation have survived, but both Druid and Rogue have taken hits in other areas.

Remember that after the changes come into effect, you will be able to dust the cards concerned for full value. Don't dust them before that time!

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Leper gnome, golem, flurry and molten didn't need a nerf at all. Agreed about the rest though.

 

Leper Gnome 100% needed nerfing. If you take Chow out of the game, there is no way to beat that on turn 1 anymore in terms of neutrals which means there's basically no drawback to having it in your deck if you care about damage at all. I would have looked at Abusive Sergeant as well for much the same reasons.

Molten Giant was expected for me, but I was also expecting the other Giants to be looked at. In a world with a 5 Mana BGH, any time you can potentially play an 8/8 for 4 Mana or less, that's a potentially huge problem.

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Leper gnome, golem, flurry and molten didn't need a nerf at all. Agreed about the rest though.

 

Leper Gnome 100% needed nerfing. If you take Chow out of the game, there is no way to beat that on turn 1 anymore in terms of neutrals which means there's basically no drawback to having it in your deck if you care about damage at all. I would have looked at Abusive Sergeant as well for much the same reasons.

Molten Giant was expected for me, but I was also expecting the other Giants to be looked at. In a world with a 5 Mana BGH, any time you can potentially play an 8/8 for 4 Mana or less, that's a potentially huge problem.

 

1)I agree, but I think just introducing new anti aggro cards would be a better solution. And it's not like gnome was even the biggest problem that aggro decks possess. I mean, just look at class cards like mana wyrm and trogg. Plus I think it's just stupid that they didn't touch any shaman cards. Just imagine people trying to use those 10 mana old gods cards in their decks only to get doomhammer'ed in the face by face shaman.

2)yeah, I guess you are right, I didn't think of that. But I think this is a huge hit on one of the most interesting decks in the game(handlock) and that sucks.

 

By the way, I think if they were intent on killing druid for one expansion, they should have nerfed innervate too. Any card that allows you to win games on turn one from time to time shouldn't be allowed to exist.

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I was hoping that bgh would a gotten a better nerf other then 2+ mana I mean look and whispers of the old gods,chtun u play him as a 20/20 and get the battlecry but then boom bgh there goes your 20/20 it then becomes a buffed up arcane missiles

Oh well

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I was hoping that bgh would a gotten a better nerf other then 2+ mana I mean look and whispers of the old gods,chtun u play him as a 20/20 and get the battlecry but then boom bgh there goes your 20/20 it then becomes a buffed up arcane missiles

Oh well

Honestly, 10 mana 20 damage to random enemies is strong on its own. I think it could be even played if it was a card. So, the battlecry is good enough to make the nerf somewhat reasonable.

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