L0rinda

hearthstone Upcoming Balance and Ladder Changes Announced

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Blizzard have ended speculation as to the fate of Small-Time Buccaneer by announcing nerfs that will be active with Update 7.1. The ladder system will also see a small change.

The changes were outlined by Blizzard in a Reddit post, and they should shift the metagame significantly.

The big, although expected, news is that Small-Time Buccaneer will be nerfed to become a 1/1 rather than a 1/2. This puts it into turn 2 ping range and should stop the card getting out of control. It remains to be seen if it will still be playable considering it will still fetch patches, and still trade one Mana for two Mana in a lot of early game situations.

Spirit Claws also sees a change, and although expected by many, was a minor surprise to me as Blizzard generally dislike messing with cards from adventures. The cost of the card has been raised from 1 Mana to 2 Mana. This might seem like a minor change, but the implications are huge. It will be very awkward in the early game with Bloodmage Thalnos and Wrath of Air Totem, and it will almost certainly see far less play after the update. 

The ladder changes feel like Blizzard dipping their toe in the water, rather than a full on change. There will now be a series of Ranked Play floors, which are ranks that you can't de-rank below within a season. Those ranks are 5,10, and 15. This should help a little with ladder anxiety for many people.

No date has been confirmed for the patch yet, but it seems likely that it will not be before the APAC Playoffs which end on February 25.

Overall I feel that the changes are good. There will be chance for more sweeping changes when the new expansion hits later in the year, but these should tide us over in the meantime. Reno Jackson decks will be the obvious beneficiaries of the changes, but this means that Jade decks will be stronger. It will be fun to see where the meta settles down.

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I love the idea of more ranked floors. Just the RNG nature makes it hard to climb with any consistency. Even if you have a complete deck for the current meta. This should stabilize it a little where you won't run into those decks in the 12-ish bracket just because they went on a rough patch and got stomped down.

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31 minutes ago, Laragon said:

I love the idea of more ranked floors. Just the RNG nature makes it hard to climb with any consistency. Even if you have a complete deck for the current meta. This should stabilize it a little where you won't run into those decks in the 12-ish bracket just because they went on a rough patch and got stomped down.

Thats right, but a problem which comes with it is that people stack up on these ranks.
Means people who reached rank 5,10,15 with luck might end up feeding other players, so ranking up to legend will be easier overall I guess.

2 hours ago, L0rinda said:

Overall I feel that the changes are good. There will be chance for more sweeping changes when the new expansion hits later in the year

Short question, is there any release date or something annouced yet? (My little brother started playing, I'm asking myself if investing into BM, TGT, or LOE is a good idea or not)

Thx

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1 hour ago, Laragon said:

...they went on a rough patch.

By getting Patches in the opening hand? Or are they unlucky enough not to kill the opponent by round 5 and run into coin + Reno?

Seriously, though, aggro decks are so strong exactly because they don't suffer much from either bad draws or not playing on curve.

Edited by Esmer

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3 hours ago, L0rinda said:

There will now be a series of Ranked Play floors, which are ranks that you can't de-rank below within a season. Those ranks are 5,10, and 15. This should help a little with ladder anxiety for many people.

This is a good change, but I actually dislike it.
Every season, I get to rank 5 for the golden epic. I rarely have the time, and never have the will, to continue pushing legend rank, so I just switch to a trash deck, such as C'thun hunter, that I like playing. I always fall back to ranks 10-15, where I am able to manage around 45% win rate and enjoy the game. If I am forced to play the deck at rank 5, I simply cannot enjoy the game because I'd be facing meta decks and tryhards all the time. 
I would simply love it if I could turn it on or off as I please. Turn it on when getting to rank 5, turn it off after I get there. 

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46 minutes ago, AWSMpb said:

Short question, is there any release date or something annouced yet? (My little brother started playing, I'm asking myself if investing into BM, TGT, or LOE is a good idea or not)

Thx

No release date, and I would infer from the fact they're bothering to nerf, that there's at least another 6 weeks. They did say they were going to try to run expansions around the Championship events, but it's not clear if it's just before (to test deckbuilding), or just after (to end the season). The Championship is March 23-26, and my guess is we get an expansion a couple of weeks after.

I'm never happy to advise on spending other people's money as different people have different disposable incomes, this one is pretty close to "don't bother" but 8-9 weeks is a long time for little brothers, so maybe get enough to build one deck while he learns the trade.

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I'm really looking forward to this! not only the much needed nerfs, but also the floors. First of all this will give a breathing room for every 5 ranks where you can try out stupid/new decks without getting punished, and it might also give people a better reason to play other decks than just aggro to rank up. Hoping for a midrange/control meta :D

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Seems like it's very very little change to be honest? Shaman will lean more on Jade than before, but still be just as powerful. Small time Buc dies to mages and rogues more easily but they're the ones who had the least trouble dealing with him already.

Would have liked to see a small buff to a taunt creature or two to help speedbump things more.

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1 hour ago, positiv2 said:

This is a good change, but I actually dislike it.
Every season, I get to rank 5 for the golden epic. I rarely have the time, and never have the will, to continue pushing legend rank, so I just switch to a trash deck, such as C'thun hunter, that I like playing. I always fall back to ranks 10-15, where I am able to manage around 45% win rate and enjoy the game. If I am forced to play the deck at rank 5, I simply cannot enjoy the game because I'd be facing meta decks and tryhards all the time. 
I would simply love it if I could turn it on or off as I please. Turn it on when getting to rank 5, turn it off after I get there. 

It is unlikely that you will be the only one with this mentality held at rank 5. Your point stands but it may not be quite as bad as you think.

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3 hours ago, positiv2 said:

If I am forced to play the deck at rank 5, I simply cannot enjoy the game because I'd be facing meta decks and tryhards all the time. 
I would simply love it if I could turn it on or off as I please. Turn it on when getting to rank 5, turn it off after I get there. 

This is exactly what the casual system is already meant for... you can toggle between playing people trying and people [supposedly] messing around.

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23 minutes ago, Laragon said:

This is exactly what the casual system is already meant for... you can toggle between playing people trying and people [supposedly] messing around.

Casual has MMR, and since I played a lot of games with top tier decks on casual and won a lot, I guess the MMR is going to be high. I have no idea how many games would it take to get it back to low numbers, but from the 20 games I played last week, all against meta decks, I assume it is going to take a very long time. Falling in ranked felt a lot faster.

Also, when I play casual, I can't say that a deck has X% winrate on rank Y. I did this with Magma Rager priest which I played on rank 15 with 48% winrate on that rank. I like the prestige, even if it's not that good. When I say I won majority of games against the best 30% players of Europe (got 51%WR on rank 16), it definitely sounds better than having 58% winrate against people with MMR around mine. Now, if casual had visible MMR, then it would be whole another story. Until then, I want both prestige and fun :P

Thanks for the suggestion though!

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On 15/02/2017 at 7:41 PM, positiv2 said:

Until then, I want both prestige and fun :P

Pick your poison for the month; push for rank 5 in that one, have fun in the other.

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I have a question about the Rank / Reward.

During the month I get to rank 5.

Then I loose a few games and at the end of the month (season) I am on rank 7.

Which reward do I get?

Up till now I always thought I'd get the reward of the rank I had on the last day of the month.

After reading your postings it seems like you get the reward of rank 5.

Which would be great!

Since I don't have that much time I stopped playing ranked as soon as I got to rank 5 because I was afraid to loose this rank again.

And the reward of rank 5 is too fantastic to loose. Unfortunatly I only realized the reward last July. I could have tons of dust more if I would have realized the awesome golden epic reward earlier...

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@WedgeAntillesYou get the ranked chest for the best rank you reached. Your rank at the end of the season dictates what your starting rank for the following season will be.

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