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Mike Donais on The Post-Nerf Meta & The Design Team

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The Principal Game Designer talked to PC Gamer about the post-nerf Knights of the Frozen Throne meta, how the final design team works and other topics.

Mike Donais first discussed the role of the final design team, which is tasked with the balance of cards. The team consists of four people, which may seem like a small number but it is adequate since they all are experts in their field, they can discuss with each other easily and don't have to catch up on information all the time. The team just constantly tries out decks: they experiment with weird combos, they add new cards to older decks and tweak cards accordingly.

Moreover, all nine classes are being played and are viable in the new meta. As far as the card nerfs are concerned, they missed how good Spreading Plague was against aggro, because they tested it internally against all kinds of decks so it didn't seem as powerful. They also considered the powerhouse combo of Raza the Chained and Shadowreaper Anduin for nerfs.

There was also some card talk. The star of the new meta, Prince Keleseth, was already good before the nerfs. According to Donais, it is a 'crazy card' but it's not as powerful against aggro decks. Additionally, Mike thinks that one of the new Death Knight cards has stolen Tirion Fordring's place as the best value card. Barnes has been a pain for the balance team, since he can create high variance but thankfully he will rotate out soon. The Innervate nerf has made Ultimate Infestation less powerful. Drakonid Operative was made overpowered on purpose to promote the Dragon Priest archetype.

Lastly, Mike Donais stood in favour of the card rotation happening yearly, since it's a pretty big deal for most players who have to adjust their decks, while in return the team can introduce a new exciting set.

You can read the entire PC Gamer interview here.

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