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Upcoming Balance Changes Announced

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5RG9TJO.jpg

Blizzard have announced five upcoming balance changes to existing cards in the game in an upcoming patch.

Following on from Ben Brode's tweet which was discussed here, the full list of nerfs has been released, and it contains some surprises. The official announcement can be found here. It includes detailed discussion, and is well worth a read if you are interested in the thought processes behind the balance changes. If you want to simply know what has been changed, keep reading.

Firstly, the Druid changes:

InnervateChange.png

Innervate becomes identical to Counterfeit Coin. Innervate has been a problem for a long time, and should be a lot less powerful now. For me, it is a shame that there is not a more exciting fix, but it is important that the card is fixed, and this will work fine.

plaguenerf.png

As soon as the Knights of the Frozen Throne meta started to form, it became apparent that Spreading Plague was a problem card. Druid has traditionally struggled to deal with wide boards of minions, and fixing that problem should put Druid back where it used to be. The change doesn't seem like a big one, but remember that Innervate has also been changed.

As well as these changes, there have been changes to other cards too:

warleadernerf.png

This nerf is a surprise, but also seems to be a good one. It allows Murloc decks to still be strong, while also giving ways for players to deal with what is currently an almost unbeatable opening if Warleader is played after two other Murlocs on the first three turns.

FireyAxenerf.png

Fiery War Axe has been regarded as one of the best cards in the game for a long time. This change is a shame for purists, but it has been coming, and the only surprise about it is the timing.

hex.png

Hex is an extremely powerful card, but the timing of the nerf is fascinating to me. It seems to be a clear indicator that we will be looking at buffs a lot more going forward. Outside of the Druid meta, there have been many fascinating matchups with minion interactions, and I am not surprised that Blizzard want to encourage minion interaction beyond "My 3/2 kills your 2/3". Again, the timing is a bit of a surprise, but with cards like Bonemare in the game, I think it makes sense.

What is interesting is that Priest has been left untouched. With Priest already dominating formats where Druid can be banned, it will be interesting to see if the new Druid can still keep Priest in check, while being difficult to build to beat Aggro decks. My gut feeling is that this might work quite well. What do you think?

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Woah! This is WAY more extensive than any of us thought. Why is now the time to nerf Win axe and hex? It feels weird.

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So, the axe is now just a less interesting Eaglehorn Bow, Rallying Blade, or Shadowblade...  It was a very powerful card, but with Warrior's focus on weapons it made sense for the class to have a cheaper 3/2.  I can get behind the other changes, but this one seems less in keeping with the spirit of the classes...

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Interesting changes.

I'm a bit disappointed about how they changed Innervate , no creativity. Sometimes I tried decks without Innervate in the past and ofc it is worse than with it but I was often doing very fine. I will not be surprised if we will see more top decks completely skipping Innervate now.

The change for Spreading Plague came as most thought and is totally ok. No surprise here.

Murloc Warleader is a well thought change imo. Ofc all the murloc lovers will be sad but it's a good change for the game health.

I really like the nerf of Fiery War Axe. It has always been (too) strong. This makes other weapons more viable, I guess. I'm eager to see what this brings for the current decks.

I'm totally ok with the nerf for Hex. It's very similar to Polymorph which costs 4 mana, with the downside of giving a taunt but the upside of having 0 attack. Fair game, Imo.

Edited by Caldyrvan

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2 minutes ago, Caldyrvan said:

Interesting changes.

I'm a bit disappointed about how they changed Innervate , no creativity. Sometimes I tried decks without Innervate in the past and ofc it is worse than with it but I was often doing very fine. I will not be surprised if we will see more top decks completely skipping Innervate now.

The change for Spreading Plague came as most thought and is totally ok. No surprise here.

Murloc Warleader is a well thought change imo. Ofc all the murloc lovers will be sad but it's a good change for the game health.

I really like the nerf of Fiery War Axe. It has always been (too) strong. This makes other weapons more viable, I guess. I'm eager to see what this brings for the current decks.

I'm totally ok with the nerf for Hex. It's very similar to Polymorph which costs 4 mana, with the downside of giving a taunt but the upside of having 0 attack. Fair game, Imo.

What's annoying about the Druid nerf is that they're nerfing a card that is part of the basic set. When all these currently Standard cards that made Innervate so great will be gone, Druid players will be left with a subpart card...

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Ultimate infestation left untouched is a joke, nerfed a useless card like Plague and not one of the most cancerous cards ever made

UI value

8 mana for card draw (Arcane Intellect 3 + Nourish 5 consistent with Sprint being 7 for 4 cards)

5 mana 5/5

1 mana 5 armor Iron Hide

3 mana 5 damage (Kill Command)

17 mana value card at the cost of 10 (used at turn 5 without any problem) not present in nerfs

Plague nerf is a joke that card is useless since has 0 effect when you are already winning or when there is a single minion on board you pay 5 for a 1/5 with taunt, and if you are losing is just  a catch up not a huge swing like UI that can be used in any situation losing nothing at all since damage can go face also.

Innervate nerf is acceptable removing it was butter but we're still happy that the major offender got it somehow, will be still played but with half the value won't be as annoying as it was

Axe nerf is finally here took years but they did it incredible, at least better late than ever

Hex nerf? well now is on par with Poly but wasn't a issue honestly unlike the aforementioned broken card

Warleader nerf is ok but feels kinda weird only paladin plays it and there aren't so many around to call for a nerf

In the end I'm happy with the nerfs at least for once they fixed something that really needed it fast enough and they remembered to fix something they shoulda have done a lot before (the axe)

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As I said somewhere else. I didn't think Innervate needs a nerf. But now we get it like this and have deal with it. Maybe not playing it at all because now other cards may provide greater value for a deck, we will see. At least we will see first round Vicious Fledgling less often, I like that :)

Overall I like the upcoming changes.

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I had an entire essay written up on what to do with druid, I am a little disappoint that the nerfs were announced a so soon XD.  Long and short of it, my suggestion was to move innervate to the HoF and make nourish only generate empty mana crystals (I wanted to leave spreading plague untouched because changing it will probably make it unplayable and I really like the card, it has created new and interesting archetypes as well as giving druids a creative way to deal with wide boards that isn't AoE, innervate has been a problem child for a long time and was unequivocally the strongest card in the game, seriously 2 copies in any non highlander deck made that deck better, no matter the class no other card would be in literally every deck if it was neutral, and as for the nourish nerfs, because of infestation, it is almost always correct to ramp with nourish and druids being able to wrath or wild growth with it was a pretty big deal).  But ultimately this will reduce the druids power level a little, innervate won't be played in decks that don't feature auctioneer, and it is unclear to me if those decks will even be viable with the nerf to innervate.  Spreading plague will open the doors for druids to be pressured down, however, the two biggest checks to druid also got nerfed, hard, pirate warrior and murloc paladin, which could. . . be bad.  I think druid will still be an overwhelming force in the meta solely because of this.

 

As for the rest of the nerfs, the war leader one was necessary, the starts murlocs could get were nearly unbeatable and snowbally in the extreme, if they were to remove innervate, then it makes sense to weaken murlocs (in the sense that aggro druid was the other big offender of this extreme snowball starts due to innervate).  On top of that, the interaction with health was un-intuitive and often gave murlocs a level of resilience that meant the snowball was hard to break.  I doubt that murlocs will see a lot of play after this nerf, it was a lot heavier then it looks on paper, might still see play simply because jade will still be very strong.  The hex nerf was also probably necessary, in a long term game sense sort of way.  Shaman has always had some of the best AoE removal in the game, they don't need the best single target removal as well.  Kind of sucks for them right now, but I think it is a good direction.  The winaxe nerf I do not like.  Warriors now have the worst 3 mana 3/2 weapon in the game and that feels wrong.  Not only that, it will probably break the control warrior archetype, so many games are carried off of the value this thing generates and its ability to break a snowball.  The changes to aggressive decks will be noticeable and welcome, but tempo warrior will no longer be a thing, and control will need some serious early game help next x pac to make up for this.  

Edited by VaraTreledees

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Not too happy about these nerfs. Innervate is nothing but a coin now. Counterfeit Coin is a card that is played only sometimes. I don't think it would be played if rogue didn't have combo mechanic. So, goodbye Innervate. It was fun while it lasted.

Fiery War Axe hits control warrior significantly. It is a strong stabilisation tool. The sooner you play those, the better. One turn can be a huge difference, sadly. 

1 hour ago, Laragon said:

Woah! This is WAY more extensive than any of us thought. Why is now the time to nerf Win axe and hex? It feels weird.

Pirate warrior is still a very powerful deck, staying at tier 1 for multiple expansions, so maybe when they realised that not even KFT cards can stop the deck, it was the time for a nerf.

57 minutes ago, Caldyrvan said:

I'm totally ok with the nerf for Hex. It's very similar to Polymorph which costs 4 mana, with the downside of giving a taunt but the upside of having 0 attack. Fair game, Imo.

The problem is that shaman doesn't have many tempo tools already, and now they are losing another. Mage has multiple, the most powerful being Firelands Portal. The only strong tempo tool they have now is Fire Elemental, but the card is a bit too slow sometimes.

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I agree the nerfs will change current decks a lot.

But c'mon Pirate Warrior has been a cancer for a long time, time for changes :)

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10 minutes ago, Caldyrvan said:

I agree the nerfs will change current decks a lot.

But c'mon Pirate Warrior has been a cancer for a long time, time for changes :)

The problem is, that the change will effect control and tempo warrior far more then it will effect pirate warrior.

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So.....

Druid has been nerfed, and it can't ramp too much. A big nerf on most druid archetypes.

Warleader nerf hit murloc paladin. And Druid and paladin (with murloc midrange and murloc aggro) were the most powerfull classes, with priest.

Fiery war axe at 3 mana means no more Northshire Cleric insta killed before getting value. Hex at 4 makes more difficult to hit buffed minion, like minion with double health made attack.

So, do you think PriestStone is near in your opinion?

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1 minute ago, Synesthesy said:

So.....

Druid has been nerfed, and it can't ramp too much. A big nerf on most druid archetypes.

Warleader nerf hit murloc paladin. And Druid and paladin (with murloc midrange and murloc aggro) were the most powerfull classes, with priest.

Fiery war axe at 3 mana means no more Northshire Cleric insta killed before getting value. Hex at 4 makes more difficult to hit buffed minion, like minion with double health made attack.

So, do you think PriestStone is near in your opinion?

Doubtful.  Kazamakus priest is far too difficult to play for it to truely take over, on top of that, even if it will be the "strongest" deck, jade druid will still be very very strong and a tier 1 deck.  The match up vs murloc paladin wasn't amazing for priest either, like it is slightly favored or even, and the nerf to health won't effect that match up at all, nor will it change the druid match up much, so murloc paladin will probably also see quite a lot of play.

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5 minutes ago, Caldyrvan said:

But c'mon Pirate Warrior has been a cancer for a long time, time for changes :)

Spoiler

 

Thanks for bringing this up. Now, ask yourself again, all of you, is Pirate Warrior really the cancer?

The player community throws around this particular term a lot and without any real thought. What's being left out more and more is the actual metaphor. There is quite a heavy similarity between things we call "cancer" and literal cancer, the sickness, the one that's practically untreatable and extraordiarily lethal. 

There were times where a use of this particular term was not a matter of exaggeration of circlejerk. Secret Paladin was cancer before we solved it. Midrange Shaman was cancer before it rotated out. Jade Druid was cancer before we nerfed it. There was no solution to the problem. You either joined them or was having a negative winrate against them.

Were Freeze Mage and Quest Rogue "cancer" in this sense of word? A good question, but, perhaps, for another time.

What I'm leading up to is that Pirate Warrior isn't, and never was, cancerous by any means. Straightforward, blunt, stupid - I can hardly disagree. But not cancer. Or even bad for that matter - on quite the opposite, I stand on the ground that Aggro decks make the game as healthy as possible. And here's how it's any relevant to recent news.

Essentially, it's about threat-to-answer equity. If you have a strong answer, you can print a strong and diverse threat with an intention to provide an interesting game experience without affecting the balance of power. Occasionally, such threats just pile up in a direction that's hard to combat in a conventional way - Hearthstone makes it next to impossible to kill every creature - so the "answer" may lie not in a specific, card-on-card, situaition, but in the strategic axis altogether. If you can't win a fight, just avoid it - words as old as a day, but very true nonetheless.

A specific example would be our post-ban KFT Standard, right now. If we entierly take out Druid out of the equation, what would be left are big durdly decks like Big Priest and Exodia Mage, and the aggro camp with Paladin, Shaman and Warrior in it. What's powering a lot of dynamic in this format are DK cards. They are new, interesting, flagship, flashy and exciting cards, also colloquially known as "durdly bullshit". An ability to entierly take over the game by virtue of generaing resources out of thin air bends some rules quite heavily, and is due to disrupt the balance of power. What saves the day is players' ability not to play the same deck and just see who gets to the coveted Legendary first, but to ignore this subgame entierly and go face instead. Finish the game before any of these cards are relevant.

I'm getting a little bit off the topic, but my point is this : Aggro makes the world a better place. I've been a Fun Police Officer for many, many years, and I enjoyed it just as much and the next guy playing his clunky durdlepiece. But the result was that the variety of decks coexist without breaking the game, thanks to an ability to respond correctly to whatever comes into play, either strategically or practically, on a card-by-card basis. It all may sound weird and complicated, because it's theoretical. I'll get to illustration shortly.

What's done today by Blizzard is another big step forward towards disrupting the stability and the threat-answer equity that existed thus far. I'm talking, of course, about the Fiery War Axe nerf.

It's arguably Hearthstone's most iconic card. It's been around forever. And it was in every single Warrior deck ever, Control, Aggro and Combo alike. But how is that a bad thing?

There is a ton of 1- and 2-mana minions in the game. Fiery War Axe kills about 95% of them, in some capacity. What it means is not the fact that Fiery War Axe is busted. It's that you can actually make different 1-and 2-drops now, knowing that they will be solved by War Axe. You can make as much Tunnel Troggs as you want, because there is an Axe to solve it. Now, Trogg is as good as they come, pushed far beyond good, and it kinda makes it a 50-50 metagame between Trogg and Axe, but it's still better than a 100% Trogg metagame. The versatility of Fiery War Axe creates diversity instead of reducing it, surprisingly enough.

Hex nerf falls in very much the same category, and it can be dated to Execute nerf to 2 mana, way back. It's been quite a campaign on killing good answers, really, and with that, you lose more than you win in the long run.

Fiery War Axe is a solid, generic, a-little-bit-over-the-top class card that makes up a core identity of a class, the same way that Fireball, Kill Command, Shadow Word : Pain and Death and WIld Growth do. It's supposed to be good.

What irritates me even more is that it's the Wild Mode that has to pay the price for Standard's sins. I've been a resident of this rich, diverse and deep format for quite a while now. Outside of the Druid menace, it's been working quite well as a whole. You can't just close your eyes and screw all the players at the same time, because we're not playing exactly the same game. And these Tunnel Troggs? All these cards you've ever made within last 3 years, keeping Fiery War Axe at 2 mana in mind when designing them? They're still out there. About to be sent loose in their tracks. 

 

That's why TL;DR Fiery War Axe change is worse than bad and should be reversed ASAP. If there's any element in this equation that needs to be fixed, it's not this one.

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I called the Innervate nerf!

The changes to the non-Druid cards came as a bit of surprise. In my opinion, the problem is that they didn't just nerf Druid, they nerfed decks that directly counter it, namely Pirate Warrior and Murloc Paladin; two decks that lost powerful tools.

I still believe Druid is going to be one of the best (if not the best) classes. They practically left Jade Druid unscathed.

The Hex change was a big surprise and their explanation for it was inadequate in my opinion. OK it's a hard removal card, but most current Shaman decks only run one or zero copies of it anyway.

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Halving the power of a card while not providing any upside to compensate is simply too much of a nerf, no matter what card you pick over the thousand (?) there are now.

 

Why not at least have Innervate provide one mana crystal this turn and one mana crystal the next turn (So you spread out 2 mana over 2 turns, like a reverse overload)? At least it still *might* be used then.

 

This is just a much, much too easy balance change "Oh a card is too strong, lets just remove it". A philosophy Blizzard has in many of their games...

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Well, with just Paladin, Warlock, Rogue and Hunter left to gold up, these changes don't hurt anything I'm likely to play soon in standard apart from the Murloc Warleader one. So I guess I should be happy.

Spreading Plague nerf is good. I think I'd have preferred to see Innervate just go to Wild. Feels like Token Druid takes a bigger nerf here than bigger Druids. Happy to see the end of Turn 1 fledglings. Clearly hurts the bigger Druids to, but not sure by how much. Personally would've liked to see a buff reducing Geist to 5 mana.

I don't really see the (immediate) need for the other nerfs really. Pirate Warrior takes a huge hit, and other warrior archetypes are hurt too. All the other 3/2 weapons have little (sometimes big) upsides over war axe now. It's not like any warrior deck is out there devastating the meta, and pw keeps greedy decks in check without being unmanageable.

Same with hex, there aren't really any standard decks out there that are very strong that use it. And it really hurts Control Shaman where mana can often be tricky to juggle. Given that that and pw are my two go to decks for wild I guess I won't be playing much wild any time soon.

Warleader always seemed a bit OP to me. Certainly hurts Finja quite a lot but that only seems to see play right now in Paladin which can probably survive the nerf, except maybe the super-aggro variants.

Edited by Bozonik

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2 hours ago, Zadina said:

I still believe Druid is going to be one of the best (if not the best) classes. They practically left Jade Druid unscathed.

Yep. Minor nerf to mass-spamming during a single turn with Auctioneer, but hardly going to break the deck, is it? 

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I think Fiery War Axe needed a nerf but now it's too weak. A bit creativity would have been nice like a bonus for the increased mana cost, maybe something like "Battlecry Gain 2 Armor or Deal 1 Damage" or whatever.

Edited by Caldyrvan

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1 minute ago, Caldyrvan said:

I think Fiery War Axe needed a nerf but now it's too weak. A bit creativity would have been nice like a bonus for the increased mana cost, maybe something like "Battlecry Gain 2 Armor or Deal 1 Damage" or whatever.

It does feel somewhat lazy, just like the Innervate nerf. A redesign would have been nice.

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Heh. I had 4 regular murloc warleaders + 1 golden and kept them expecting that they may get nerfed. Then Hall of Fame happened and I assumed that since they are from classic they will be rotated if Blizzard will find them problematic and dusted them.

Murloc decks got an unpleasant hit. Warlock and shaman murloc decks look quite unlikely any time soon...

At least I hope this nerf will motivate them to print more interesting murlocs. Stuff like 1\1 lifesteal is offensive even for pack fillers.

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5 hours ago, Keizoku said:

Amusingly enough and contrarily to what people seem to think, the Fiery War Axe nerf doesn't impact Pirate Warrior that hard. They'll just mulligan harder for N'Zoth's First Mate and Upgrade!. Control Warrior, on the other hand...

It reduces how often you get off to a good start. In a deck that relies on a good opening that's pretty bad. It reduces the tempo of the deck in a deck that relies on tempo which is also pretty bad. And generally you want to be developing the board on Turn 3 not playing a weapon.

Given that pretty much all the main aggro decks in standard take a serious nerf, seems to be that Jade Druid and Kazakus priest are indirectly getting buffed, and they're both pretty strong already. Maybe opens the door for a face hunter or zoo deck to pop up I guess. Or maybe the pirates just move over to Rogue, I played that a bit at the start of the season, seemed pretty strong.

4 hours ago, Strongpoint said:

Stuff like 1\1 lifesteal is offensive even for pack fillers.

0/1 lifesteal with charge would've been more interesting. As it is I can only think they either thought it might fit into a quest Rogue, or they wanted to nerf quest Shaman for some reason...

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Oh, that's a pity for you Strongpoint :(

I like the nerf of the Warleader, because I still don't have a single copy of it *g*

(Talking about that, it seems time to nerf some other Epics from the Standardcards that I am missing like Ice Block or Cabal Shadow Priest

If I can't draw them, nerf them! :D)

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      “Hand-reading is an important part of pro-level play, and you can get an edge if you are doing it better than your opponent,” Theo says. His advice? “Keep track of how many cards your opponent keeps in the mulligan.” If they’re still holding one of those cards into the midgame, it’s probably a critical tech card or a high-value element of their strategy. Of course, “It depends on what your opponent is playing,” Theo adds.
      To learn hand-reading, he suggests thinking about what the absolute best play could have been every turn. If your opponent didn’t make the optimal play—for example, playing a Flamestrike on turn seven to clear your board of four-Health minions—that tells you that they probably didn’t have the tools to do so.
      Countering your opponent’s hand-reading is the next level of difficulty. “Bluffing that you do or don’t have a certain card can be done in several ways,” Theo says. He suggests making plays that suggest a specific follow-up for your next turn is in-hand, whether you’re holding it or not. “The same thing can be done the other way around—making worse plays to pretend you don’t have a certain card in hand.” He’s quick to point out, however, that this can be risky—your opponent might play around the card you’re hiding anyway. “It’s important to know when you can afford to bluff,” he says. “Making ‘worse’ plays to set something up can always backfire.”
      A special thanks to Theo for his continued provision of expert advice! Hand-reading is an enormously difficult skill to learn, and it’s one that even the best players continue to work at every day.
      Part Four: When the Plan Falls Apart [Return to Top]
      Blizzard (Source)

      You had a grand plan. It was perfect. A flawless combination all but set up, waiting for that last crucial card—and then you realize that your opponent will win, unless you expend one of your key cards to stay in the game. Fear not! All is not necessarily lost, and Esteban “AKAWonder” Serrano of SK Gaming—a fixture of the European pro Hearthstone scene—will help you understand how to navigate what’s left when your deck’s win condition is scattered to the wind.
      Regardless of your deck style, AKAWonder says you must look for a new strategy if your original one has been derailed. “When you lose your win condition, you need to find an alternative plan to win the game," he says. "Most likely, your chances to win are lower than they were.” But so long as they aren't zero, you have a chance. He suggests looking for every point of win percentage you can, by any means possible.
      “In order to find an alternative plan, I think about different situations—denying my opponent their win condition, going to fatigue, or just creating pressure using minions,” AKAWonder says. He adds that certain cards can offer new outs all their own, like The Lich King.
      It’s not always easy, but practice helps. He says, “You need to find a new way to win—and the more you play a deck, the more alternative game plans you will discover for different matchups.” If you’re newer to Hearthstone, he says this is actually a valuable lesson to learn: “Your win condition is important, but not if you lose with it in your hand. Go for an alternative plan if the situation forces you to!”
      Sounds like AKAWonder recommends a whole string of keywords: you need to Discover new ways to play and Adapt to the situation! Every game is different, so playing with that in mind just makes sense.
      Part Five: Playing to Your Outs [Return to Top]
      Blizzard (Source)

      There’s a surprisingly wide gulf between winning and not losing yet. A very kind Jace “DrJikininki” Garthright, best known for his 2017 Americas Winter Playoffs victory, lends us his guidance today to distinguish between the two, helping you to “play to your outs”—making sure you’re still working towards a game-winning play.
      “It’s important to ask yourself every turn—how can I win this game?” DrJikininki says. “Some games, you may have a very slim chance to win, but recognizing when you are in that situation and adapting is a very important skill.” He cautions against what may seem instinctual, which is to make the "safe" play each turn. “All players have a tendency to make plays that would be considered safer,” he says. “Plays as simple as trading into minions on the board to live for an extra turn.”
      But the concept of playing to live isn’t how you should play. “Use critical thinking about the potential reach in your opponent’s deck,” DrJikininki says. “Taking slim percentage chances is what you have to do sometimes!” His advice makes sense—evaluating how a given line of play sets you up to win later is incredibly important.
      Getting there takes time, so DrJikininki echoes what others have said: practice. “Next time you play a game and are in a losing position, ask yourself—what hands can you beat? What play with your hand leads to you winning the most often? This will help you out more than just playing a large number of games.” He notes that understanding the variables—your deck’s reach, your opponent’s deck’s reach, whether or not either deck can afford to play a value game, and more—all factor into those questions.
      That’s it! We hope you’ve enjoyed this series of educational snippets from pro players across the competitive Hearthstone landscape, and that Midgame Week inspires you to take your game to the next level.
      Which of this week’s skills do you think is most important? What advice would you offer other players looking to learn more about how to level up their play? Offer up your thoughts in the comments and stay tuned for even more pro player insight right here on playhearthstone.com/esports.
    • By Stan
      Blizzard posted changes to game mechanics that will be implemented with with the Boomsday Project 12.0 patch.
      Highlights
      Ghostly Charger will no longer have the Beast tag. Ixlid, Fungal Lord is losing the Elemental tag. Shifter Zerus, Molten Blade, and Shifting Scroll will no longer keep any enchantments when they transform. Voodoo Doll's curse will be broken if you transform the minion that's already been cursed by Voodoo Doll. The transformed (formerly cursed) minion will not be killed when Voodoo Doll dies. Shadowboxer will be updated to deal 1 damage to a random enemy, whenever a minion is healed. Players will be able to disenchant the card for its full Arcane Dust value for two weeks after 12.0 goes live. Blizzard (Source)
      Dr. Boom’s bringing more than just mayhem to the Netherstorm. The 12.0 update will also come with several rule changes to Hearthstone’s gameplay. Read on to learn about another minion Type update, the copy a card rule change and the transform rule change.
      More Minion Type Changes
      There was a ton of feedback following the last minion Type update we posted, and after reviewing all of it, we realized that there were a couple more minions that needed changing. Here are our decisions following the full review of your feedback.
      Ghostly Charger

      We made a decision that, at least by default, spectral/undead/ghost/spirit versions of animals are not considered Beasts in Hearthstone. There are quite a lot of these sort of cards, most of which are already not Beasts, and changing them would have extensive balance implications.
      Ghostly Charger is one of those cards. Clearly a ghost in both its name and art, its Beast tag has also not been relevant in any significantly used interaction. As a result, we’re planning to remove the Beast tag in a future update.
      In the much rarer case of spectral/undead/ghost/spirit versions of Dragons, Murlocs, Pirates, and Elementals, they will still remain their Type. There aren’t a whole lot of these cards, but there are a few, and they’re already consistently their type. Examples of these are Ghost Light Angler, Cursed Castaway, Bone Drake.
      Ixlid, Fungal Lord

      World of Warcraft uses a looser definition of Elemental than what we decided to standardize on for Hearthstone. In Hearthstone, an elemental is something that has been brought to life by being inhabited by an elemental spirit, but is otherwise not alive. These are easy to recognize: a Fire Elemental looks like a living creature made out of fire; A Water Elemental looks like a living creature made out of water.
      One of the biggest outliers to this definition are plant creatures. There are a ton of minions in Hearthstone that are some sort of plant. We’ve decided that these do not count as Elementals in Hearthstone. Examples of these include The Voraxx, Fen Creeper, Biteweed, Vilespine Slayer, Rotten Applebaum.
      Ixlid, Fungal Lord, is by this definition, a plant creature. Although we’re committed to consistency, there are also other criteria that we consider when changing card Types. One of them is how often a card’s current Type matters when it comes to interacting with other cards. Ixlid’s Elemental tag is not significantly used in current decks, so we’ve decided to remove it in a future update.
      We also looked at the following minions but decided against making any changes. We’ve included our thought process as to how we came to our decisions with these cards.
      Kindly Grandmother
      Kindly Grandmother/Big Bad Wolf looks like a Worgen (which are not considered Beasts) but is actually some other sort of wolf-like creature that is a Beast. The Beast tag is also extremely relevant to its gameplay, and defines most of the card’s intended usage. With this in mind, we will not be changing Kindly Grandmother’s/Big Bad Wolf’s Type. In the future, we’ll be more careful to make the art clear when it comes to Worgen or similar races.
      Arcane Giant  & Arcane Golem
      On top of Elementals and plant creatures, there’s another category of things that have been brought to life via magical animation. These are creatures like War Golem, Arcane Giant, and Avian Watcher—which are not Elementals.
      Arcane Giant, Arcane Golem, and The Curator are all examples of another sort of creature collectively referred to as Arcane Golems. These mechanical constructs utilize arcane energy as a power source, with The Curator being a Mech Type as part of his character in the One Night in Karazhan Adventure. This is actually subtly different from something like War Golem, which is carved from stone and then magically animated. While the “golem” definition refers to something that has been magically animated and is therefore neither a Mech nor Elemental, both Arcane Giant and Arcane Golem’s card art don’t clearly show them to be one or the other. Since the correct type for these creatures is so unclear, we will be leaving them unchanged for now, but would love to hear what you think.
      Bogshaper
      Bogshaper seems to be the same type of creature as Ixlid or Fen Creeper, and that would logically lead to removal of its Elemental tag. However, as mentioned above, we look at more than just the fantasy of a card when determining if it needs a Type change. While Bogshaper’s fantasy criteria checkbox is filled, it’s currently heavily utilized in the meta, and features in many decks, including that of the 2018 Summer Champion, Bunnyhoppor.
      We are holding off on changing Bogshaper's Type for now, but would love to hear what the community thinks we should do in this case. We’re also considering making this sort of change when a card rotates to Wild.
      Copy A Card Rule Change

      Card copies currently only retain enchantments when both the original card and its copy are in play—think Molten Reflection. In Update 12.0, this rule will be updated to match the one regarding enchantments being retained when a card transitions zones.
      Zones in Hearthstone are defined as areas where cards are hosted: your deck, your hand, in play, and in the graveyard. In Hearthstone, there is a general forward-moving flow through zones. Whenever a card moves forward in that flow (Deck -> Hand, Hand -> Play, Deck -> Play), it retains enchantments. If a card moves backwards in zones (Play -> Hand, Hand -> Deck, Play -> Deck, Play/Hand/Deck -> Graveyard and Graveyard -> Play/Hand/Deck), it loses enchantments.
      With this update, card copies will retain enchantments in the following scenarios.
      Cards that are resurrected currently do not and will continue not to retain any enchantments, unless specifically stated otherwise. If you copy a card from a deck to a deck, the copy retains enchantments. (eg. Archbishop Benedictus) If you copy a card from a hand to a hand, the copy retains enchantments. (eg. Mind Vision) If you copy a card from play to play, the copy retains enchantments. (eg. Molten Reflection) If you copy a card from a deck to a hand, the copy retains enchantments. (eg. Thoughtsteal) If you copy a card from a deck to play, the copy retains enchantments. (eg. Mindgames) If you copy a card from hand to play, the copy retains enchantments. (eg. Kobold Illusionist) Transform Rule Change
      When transformed, a Hearthstone card typically loses all of its enchantment. Most cards in game already obey this rule. However, there are four cards that we are changing to keep in line with the rule, as part of this consistency pass.

      Shifter Zerus, Molten Blade, and Shifting Scroll all transform in your hand at the start of every turn. Following the 12.0 update, they will no longer keep any enchantments when they transform. This includes things like hand buffs and Emperor Thaurissan mana-cost discounts.

      The impact on Voodoo Doll is a little different with the update. If you transform the minion that’s already been cursed by Voodoo Doll, the curse will be broken, and the transformed (and formerly cursed) minion will not be killed when Voodoo Doll dies. Silencing the cursed minion will also break the curse, in addition to silencing the Voodoo Doll.
      Shadowboxer Update

      Since the creation of the Lifesteal keyword, Shadowboxer has been a high risk card, in that it can trigger off of itself and deal up to 30 damage in one turn if you ever give it Lifesteal. Because of this, we have changed it to: Whenever a minion is healed, deal 1 damage to a random enemy.
      Once Shadowboxer's card change is live with Update 12.0, players will be able to disenchant it for its full Arcane Dust value for two weeks.
      These are all the changes that you’ll see come into effect with Update 12.0, in line with our commitment to consistency within the game. Let us know what you think in the comments below, or via Facebook and Twitter!
    • By Aleco
      Will these three new Treant cards see play in the meta? Or will they come up short like the hand-size cards from The Witchwood?
       
      Three new Treant-themed cards were revealed today by PCGamer:
       

       
      First up we have Dendrologist. The floor on this card is solid, as a 2 Mana 2/3 is passable in a pinch. The ceiling on Dendrologist is higher than you might think, as his Battlecry is quite strong. Druid might have more high-quality spells than any other class in the game (Wild Growth, Nourish, Ultimate Infestation, Branching Paths, Naturalize, and Savage Roar to name a few), which leads me to believe that Dendrologist will be a powerhouse if Druid gets sufficient Treant support in this expansion.
       

       
      3 Mana for 4/4 worth of stats is already a great deal on its own, and the added Treant synergy puts this card over the top. The fact that this card creates two bodies makes it even better in aggro decks that look to go wide and finish with cards like Fungalmancer. This is a very reasonable card to curve into on turn 3, and it hints that the Treant deck will likely be quite aggressive.
       

       
      Finally we get Mulchmuncher, a big fat Mech with Rush and a dangerously tempting Mana reduction effect. We know from experience with Corridor Creeper and Giant cards how strong it can be to play big Minions for low amounts of Mana, but it won't be that easy to reduce Mulchmuncher's cost. If the Mana Treants from Living Mana count as Treants for this card, then I can easily see Mulchmuncher as finisher in an aggressive Treant decks.
      Will these new Treant cards turn Force of Nature and Witchwood Apple into playable cards? Or do you think the Treant cards will fall flat like the hand-size cards from The Witchwood? Let us know in the comment section, and be sure to check out our Boomsday Hub for more spoilers from the upcoming expansion.
    • By Aleco
      The latest Hearthside Chat with Peter Whalen revealed Supercollider, Flobbidinous Floop, and Whizbang the Wonderful from The Boomsday Project.
       
      In the latest Hearthside Chat, Senior Game Designer Peter Whalen explained some of the themes (science) and inspirations (more science) for The Boomsday Project. In doing so, he spoiled three new incredibly exciting cards. If you're interested in watching the video (which is just 4:59 seconds long), you can do so right here:
       
       
      Card Reveals
       

       
      This card gets an "A" for flavor, as I don't think its possible to come up with a better design for a card called "Supercollider" in a science-themed set.
      This Warrior weapon has the potential to be a 2 or 3 for 1, as it can set up trades quite easily if you attack your opponent's largest minion with it. However, attacking your opponent's largest minion means you will also be dealing plenty of face damage to yourself, making high amounts of armor gain a requirement for putting this card in your deck. For that reason, Supercollider plays excellently with Baku the Mooneater, and I expect it to see play in Odd Warrior decks.
       

       
      Next up is another card with an excellent name, Flobbidinous Floop. This guy provides a Faceless Manipulator-style effect for Druid decks for just 4 Mana, which will almost certainly make him a combo piece in a variety of Druid decks. Between Innervate, Twig of the World Tree, and Biology Project, there will almost certainly a few new OTKs with Flobbidinous Floop. He can also be used in Big Druid decks one turn after playing a huge minion, such as Ysera, Hadronox, or The Lich King, to become a 3/4 copy of a card with a powerful effect. Expect to see plenty of Flobbidinious Floop in the new meta!
       

       
      Next we get Whizbang the Wonderful, which is one of the most unique and exciting cards in the history of Hearthstone. What does he do? Let me show you:
       

       
      Whizbang the Wonderful replaces your entire deck. He replaces your hero, and he names your new deck "Whizbang is Wonderful". When you enter a game with this deck, you will be randomly handed 1 of 18 recent deck recipes by Blizzard at the start of the game.
      Will Whizbang be competitively viable? Almost certainly not, but I think that question is almost entirely missing the point. By adding Whizbang to the game, Blizzard has offered new players a way to access 18 different for just 1600 dust! Though its unlikely these 18 premade decks will be 100% meta optimal, they will almost certainly be viable enough for newer players to climb the earlier ranks while playing a wide variety of decks and learning new cards. This is the closest thing that Blizzard will probably ever do to selling pre-constructed decks (something that many other cards games do), which in my eyes is a major step forward. Will tryhards be disappointed when they open Whizbang? Probably. But not every Legendary minion needs to be a home run for the hardcore audience. Whizbang is the new player's best friend, and will surely add much more joy to the game of Hearthstone than he takes away.
      What do you think about today's spoilers? Will Supercollider see play? Can you find any new OTKs with Flobbidinous Floop? And are you as excited about Whizbang the Wonderful as I am? Let us know in the comments what you think about these new cards, and be sure to check out our Boomsday Hub for more spoilers from the upcoming expansion.
    • By Aleco
      A callback to Annoy-o-Tron, this new Mech card could be a serious player in the meta.
       
      Episode 2 of "Enter Boom Labs" has revealed another new Magnetic card from The Boomsday Project, called Annoy-o-Module:
       

       
      A callback to Annoy-o-Tron, this guy gains Magnetic and 1/2 worth of stats for just 2 Mana! The stats and keywords this card instantly adds to another Mech seem quite strong when you compare it to Blessing of Kings, which adds 2 more Attack to a minion but does not add Divine Shield and Taunt. This card isn't awful when played on it's own, and it plays well in a deck with Corpsetaker. Annoy-o-Module checks enough for boxes for me, and I full expect it to see play in the upcoming meta.
      Episode 2 of "Enter Boom Labs" is short but sweet, and you can watch the full video right here:
       
       
      Do you think Annoy-o-Module impact the game as much as Annoy-o-Tron did? Let us know in the comment section, and be sure to check out our Boomsday Hub for more spoilers from the upcoming expansion.