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Many Balance Changes Coming to Arena

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Over the past couple of expansions, Arena players have been getting more and more concerned about the balance of Arena classes. Today Blizzard have announced that they are finally going to address those concerns.

Ben Brode hinted earlier in the week that changes were coming soon, and they are here already! Arena has been looked at by the development team, and many cards have been removed from the pool of possible Arena choices with the intention of balancing the format. In the case of the stronger classes, strong cards have been removed, while for the weaker classes, some of the worst cards have been removed to raise the average strength of the available cards on offer. The full list is shown below:

Blizzard LogoCards Removed From Arena

Mage

Forgotten Torch, Snowchugger, Faceless Summoner

Rogue

Goblin Auto Barber, Undercity Valiant

Paladin

- No changes

Shaman

Vitality Totem, Dust Devil ,Totemic Might, Ancestral Healing, Dunemaul Shaman, Windspeaker

Warlock

Anima Golem, Sacrificial Pact, Curse of Rafaam, Sense Demons, Void Crusher, Reliquary Seeker, Succubus

Druid

Savagery, Poison Seeds, Soul of the Forest, Mark of Nature, Tree of Life, Astral Communion

Warrior

Warsong Commander, Bolster, Charge, Bouncing Blade, Axe Flinger, Rampage, Ogre Warmaul

Hunter

Starving Buzzard, Call Pet, Timber Wolf, Cobra Shot, Lock and Load, Dart Trap, Snipe

Priest

Mind Blast, Shadowbomber, Lightwell, Power Word: Glory, Confuse, Convert, Inner Fire 

(source)

Not only are these changes being implemented, but it seems that there is more on the way with the blog post explaining that effectively changing the rarities of some cards could also be an option if these changes are not enough.

Arena urgently needed addressing and it is great to see Blizzard being proactive in their approach to fixing it. I'm looking forward to seeing what other improvements they make in the future.

The balance changes are not live yet. They will go live "in an upcoming patch",

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I'm usually kinda critical on Blizzard's development decisions, but this one caught me pleasantly surprised. 

First of all, it's really good that they consider Arena important and actually care about balance, because what they've been doing before was a complete butchering of said balance.

Secondly, just banning cards is a good way to address issues. Changing existing cards is too impactful, and just printing new ones will "inflate" Arena, bringing even more problems. By implementing this ban list they kill two birds with one stone : remove the problematic cards like Snowchugger or Faceless Summoner, while also removing "bricks" like Mind Blast or Savagery. Now there isn't much of "Savagery Tier" left.

Cards like Purify, Lock and Load or Bolster definitely have Constructed potential, but in the power vacuum of Arena they are seldom functional. Removing them from the pool will improve the consistency, which I believe to be even more important for Epic slot that was, frankly speaking, not saturated with good cards.

There are questions still, like "why ban Mark of Nature" or "Why Ogre Warmaul" or "when will they ban Mage and Paladin completely?".

Yet that's one small step for Arena, one giant leap for #ArenaWarriorsMatter indeed.

 

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It's actually surprising for me that they brought so many changes to warlock, as it is a fairly balanced class in my opinion. It used to be in the middle of the food chain, often rising to top 3 in daily meta.

Just like Paracel said, there are some questionable bans, but I guess they have a secret stats HQ with James Bond and stuff and they have a reason for those bans.

I am glad that they removed Faceless Summoner. I drafted three of them in my last mage arena run. The rest of the deck was fairly bad, but I still hit 12 wins with it. The card is just broken.

Quote

We’d also like to avoid removing iconic cards

Magma Rager stays forever. FeelsGoodMan

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21 minutes ago, positiv2 said:

Magma Rager stays forever. FeelsGoodMan

Inb4 arena 1-shot deck with Magma Rager.

Glad to see Snowchugger go.. It could win a game vs. weapon classes by turn 2. Just slam it down and protect it, if they have no removal, then tough crap, get rekt.

I think the Rogue changes are strange, at least to me. 

Can we still use discover cards to find these cards or are they removed completely?

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2 hours ago, Blainie said:

Can we still use discover cards to find these cards or are they removed completely?

I think "changes to Arena draft" means you still can get them via Discover or the likes. 

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