Zadina

Balance Changes to Giggling Inventor, Mana Wyrm & Aviana

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Well, the balance changes were smaller than expected as only three cards were affected this time.

As expected, Giggling Inventor was affected as it now costs 7 mana, up from 5. The team actually considered it too powerful for 6 mana, which raises the question why it was 5 mana in the first place. Anyway, it still remains an odd card if this is still relevant.

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Now, a big and unexpected change was Mana Wyrm being raised to 2 mana. The iconic Classic minion has undergone the Tunnel Trogg treatment and after 4+ years of power, it is ready to retire.

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And a Wild change to alleviate the devastating Druid combo: Aviana will now cost 10 mana. This means she can't be played at the same turn as Kun the Forgotten King and Juicy Psychmelon won't be able to draw both Kun the Forgotten King and Aviana with it.

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The update will go live on October 18th with the weekly reset. What do you guys think about the changes?

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I know mana wyrm is strong, but I feel making it 2 mana rather than 1/2 hurts a ton. Mage already has a lot of good two cost cards like frostbolt, sorcerer's apprentice, and primordial glyph. And 1 mana carda are key for filling in any mana gaps.

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My 2 cents:

1) Giggling Inventor is dead, almost. Nothing except maybe Quest Rogue will run this (and then, it would be better use zola and the 0/2 divine shield taunt). No more protection against aggro for slower, lesser tier deck.

2) Mana Wyrm is dead. There is no way that something made for snowballing will survive at more then 1 mana. 3 health is not enough. This will be a big deal in standard, less in wild where the secret package will still give a good 1 drop.

3) Aviana isn't dead. However, I'm not sure I see the point of wild: why to nerf old engines, if wild is about playing powerfull old cards?
VS meta report says that neither Togwaggle Druid nor SAD are problems. Top decks are Odd Rogue and Even Shaman. So why nerf Aviana?
I think that the problem wasn't Aviana, a card that opened creative combo deck (yes, SAD is a very creative deck, even if now it's netdecked ad nauseam), the problem could be the melon that make you draw 4 combo pieces. I always thought that the problem inside strong combo are about the tutors, and not about the combo itself. And even if the combo was the problem, then the problem is Star Aligner being epic and dealing too much damage.
 

I don't like this kind of nerfs. They smell too much about money instead of balance. It reminds me a lot about Konami (and I really HATE yugioh banlists and links, for who knows what they are). First they have killed highlander priest and pirate engine, then they release melon and genn/baku. Why in wild I can play super aggro odd rogue, but I can't play super aggro pirate warrior? Why I can play SAD and I can't OTK reno priest? And the list would be a lot longer.... And I fear one thing: when they killed the first time quest rogue, after 2 expansion they made a bunch of legendaries that made QR working again. Now I can feel a group of legendaries of 10, 9, 8 and 7 mana for combo druid to rise again in next expansions.......

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1)I agree, GI will see less play for sure. Not is quest rogue though. Now that you can't play two with DK, that card is dead in that deck. They will look for other options.

2)Perhaps. But what I didn't like more is the timing. There are times where tempo mage was T1, and Wyrm was dominating the meta. Why not then, but now? Are there new cheap broken mage spells to be introduced? Questions, questions.

3) I don't agree with this. Yes, wild has to be more powerful, but this doesn't mean that it can be completely unbalanced. SAD doesn't have high winrate, but neither did Naga Giants decks. Neither does Quest Rogue. WR is something else. Aggro has higehr winrates inthose websites, because they are easy to play at any level. Once you go higher, quest rogue is a total bitch. So is SAD, as it is played better and better. So think of this as more of a skill cap. These decks have a very high one, and when you reach there, they just dumpster so many things, it is not even fun. Also, if we are talking about Patches nerf about pirate package, that also affected odd rogue. Deck could be way more powerful than it is right now. Or odd paladin. I also expected a Melon nerf, but anyways.

My bigger concern is standard druid. Years ago Team 5 said that, they don't want all decks of one class play the same cards, and they nerfed FoN, Keeper, AoL. Now all druid decks play at least 11 cards, no matter how aggresive, how controlly, how meme-y, how combo-y they are. There are at least 3 different druid decks right now which plays the same 20 cards core. Its like, 'Oh a druid, shit I don't know what they play, wait it doesn't even matter, there will be a T5 or T6 UI'.

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I like these changes in standard : 
- Giggling inventor was way too powerful as a turn 5. I think it's still playable in almost all decks except token druid for example. I like it because it should be a tempo card that save you if you play tempo decks. But as a T5, it was the sign of a win vs any aggro-decks (#quit T5). As a T7, decks will have to be more consistent and giggling inventor won't be anymore mandatory in your deck. This change will only hurt Quest rogue and Odd paladin.  
- Mana wrym is more controversial of course. But it's not killing mage class. Maybe it's time for big spell mage to come back? And even if you don't want to play big spell mage, I'm sure playing aggro is still viable. There are not a lot of early removal at T2 in meta decks and we will probably need to think a bit to make mana warm worth to play. Maybe Even mage XD

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Personally happy to see mana wyrm killed off. Taking a health point off might have been a fairer nerf, but anything that hurts a deck that just wants to throw burn spells at my face is good in my book.

Giggling Inventor was stupid. When aggro decks are all running an anti-aggro card you know something has gone wrong. I also don’t like that it forced a lot of decks to run mossy horror, resulting in a lot of games coming down to whether that gets drawn at the right moment.

Wild for me was ruined by Juicy Psychmelon and Star Aligner. I hate both cards. SAD is a hugely polarising deck that gets a ton of free wins against decks that can’t deal with it. And Juicy massively reduces the skill requirement in both playing the combo decks, and playing against them (ie. put dirty rats in deck, any deck, hope you draw them, wait for them to play JP, win). Hopefully this nerf will hurt enough to reduce the amount of SADs and hence the amount of rats, and we can get back to maly/togwaggle fun. Needing a coin/innervate/thaurissan tick to combo off shouldn’t hurt those decks too much imo. Personally I’d have nerfed JP and SA into oblivion, but it’s a start.

Edited by Bozonik

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4 hours ago, Synesthesy said:

Top decks are Odd Rogue and Even Shaman. So why nerf Aviana?

Top decks are nearly always aggro, because they have a low skill requirement so it’s hard for weaker players to play them badly and knock their win rates down.

I don’t remember either of them being too problematic to play against. They’re strong, and annoying to play against at times, but they aren’t as polarising as decks like SAD/Quest Rogue/mill rogue. Occasional Turn 5 concedes are tolerable. Turn 1 concedes less so...

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7 hours ago, Bozonik said:

Wild for me was ruined by Juicy Psychmelon and Star Aligner. I hate both cards. SAD is a hugely polarising deck that gets a ton of free wins against decks that can’t deal with it. And Juicy massively reduces the skill requirement in both playing the combo decks, and playing against them (ie. put dirty rats in deck, any deck, hope you draw them, wait for them to play JP, win). Hopefully this nerf will hurt enough to reduce the amount of SADs and hence the amount of rats, and we can get back to maly/togwaggle fun. Needing a coin/innervate/thaurissan tick to combo off shouldn’t hurt those decks too much imo. Personally I’d have nerfed JP and SA into oblivion, but it’s a start. 

6 hours ago, Bozonik said:

Top decks are nearly always aggro, because they have a low skill requirement so it’s hard for weaker players to play them badly and knock their win rates down.

I don’t remember either of them being too problematic to play against. They’re strong, and annoying to play against at times, but they aren’t as polarising as decks like SAD/Quest Rogue/mill rogue. Occasional Turn 5 concedes are tolerable. Turn 1 concedes less so...

SAD is a huge polarazing deck... but so are almost every t1 deck, at least in VS opinion.
SAD could kill almost every control deck if played right... and it lose against aggro player, if they play it right.
Odd warrior can kill every aggro deck with superior hero power, survive most OTK, and put control to a clock with the quest.
Odd rogue can punish control decks for not playing the first turns...

And the list is long. The game has grown and the matches are more polarising.

So what's the difference between losing to a SAD as control and losing to a Odd Warrior as aggro? I think that is only a matter of feelings. And time.
People plays aggro deck because they are fast. Not inside the game, but outside. In the same time needed by a mirror match between controls, aggro plays lots of deck, potentially winning lots more stars. So aggro player doesn't care about conceding turn 1 against Odd Warrior because they'll regain that star fast.
Instead, people play control because they have the control (pun intended) of what happen during the match: this give them the illusion that if they are good, they will win (where aggro deck are skilless in their opinion). And people always think they are good. So when they are thinking they'll win with their superior control deck, losing against an OTK out of nowhere makes them SALTY.

And often they are wrong about their skill. Often, control players lose against combo only because they fail to understand who's the beatdown.

I'm not the skillest player, but I feel that often players make stupid mistakes. For example, lots of people doesn't understand how to clear the board of a quest rogue with a control deck, how to create pressure to a deck that will lose if they aren't able to play 5 mana do nothing spell; yes QR has a better match up, but control players often help them having even a better one. The same was for Giant Naga decks: yes, you must play some board clear just for Giants. And it is really different to lose against a giant board turn 5, to SAD combo, to patron charging face, from losing turn 5 because a secret tempo mage have burnt your face so much, or a odd rogue have punch you in the face with bigger and bigger minions, or a odd paladin always having full board to buff even if you cleared it every turn?

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3 hours ago, Synesthesy said:

So what's the difference between losing to a SAD as control and losing to a Odd Warrior as aggro? I think that is only a matter of feelings. And time.

Control doesn’t have to lose to SAD. You can armour up out of range OTK range, or you can run combo interference. I don’t see how SAD is bad against aggro either. Combo Druid is typically good against aggro, and SAD has the same defensive tools plus a combo that clears their board and creates a board aggro can’t answer, even if they’ve not gathered enough pieces for OTK.

I did fine against SAD playing togwaggle druid without rats. Since then I’ve been playing a mix of decks whilst finishing up my last gold heroes - I played some otk paladin which did ok but just dependent on whether or not rats came in time. Also played some secret hunter, which is pretty much a lost cause to SAD unless you put rats in (which aren’t really wanted).

Obviously some decks are stronger against certain archetypes than others, that’s fine. Odd Warrior versus Aggro is a good example of that imo. I’m currently playing Murloc Paladin in Standard to reach the 500. I’m losing against Odd Warrior more than I win, sure, but I’m winning a fair number of games. 30% win rate in a few matchups, 70% in a few others - okay. 5% win rate in some matchups, 95% in others - not okay.

On the topic of skill - all decks have skill to them. But some are more punishing of bad play than others. And some are more rewarding of good play than others. You can load up an aggro deck, play on curve and go face whenever you can - you’ll be making bad plays sometimes, but you’ll still win a decent number of games. But you could play the deck much better than just following that rigid strategy. Typically though, slower decks require you to make more decisions, and so are more punishing if you are regularly making bad decisions and more rewarding if you are consistently making good decisions (assuming the deck is viable). But also the more polarised the matchup, the less important your decisions become, because right or wrong they’re less likely to impact the result of the game. And it seems to me Juicy Psychmelon reduces the number of decisions for you (since you find your combo faster), also reduces the number of decisions for the opponent playing around the combo (since they know when you have the combo in hand). And seems to me SAD is a very polarising deck, where some games are such easy wins it doesn’t really matter how well you play. You can still play it well, or play it not well. But the number of games where that matters is lower.

Personally, I prefer my Hearthstone to feel like poker, not roulette. If you pick up a new deck, you won’t be playing it perfectly at first. Losing games you should have won is frustrating, but also great; your decisions matter and you can improve your play and improve your results. Losing games where nothing you did would make a difference is frustrating, and also boring - your decisions don’t matter and you might as well give the controls over to your pet dog.

Edited by Bozonik

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Giggling Inventor, I think 7 mana possibly too harsh bearing in mind the numerous counters being available such as Shadow Word: Horror, Mossy Horror and it being excellent divine shield fodder for Blood Knight. At the current 5 mana slot it is by far the most effective anti-aggro card to stop super aggressive decks such as odd Paladin or zoo Lock, and 6 mana would still make it viable. Personally although very annoying I've never encountered GI being a 'I Win' card by itself (and if played in Quest Rogue for 3 5/5s, well I guess you've past the point where you could have won the game anyway) like other standard cards seemingly not being in this round of nerfs.

Mana Wyrm - tempo mage has been around for years and has been based on a very similar strategy, so quite why they've only decided now that the classic card Mana Wyrm is too strong for 1 mana is a mystery. Put it behind a Mirror Image and a string of other cheap spells it creates an extremely powerful tempo swing however so 2 mana is about right.

Aviana - combo druid is one of the most contentious decks in standard right now - most carry two copies of Juicy Psychmelon, only one of which needs to be played at 4 mana to give the player nearly every card required for a virtually unstoppable win condition as soon as you reach 10 mana. Dirty Rat could put a torpedo in the side of this if played after JP, but then the minion pulled would still have to be dealt with on the same turn. Increasing the mana cost to 10 isn't going to make a huge difference - you'd just choose to mulligan Aviana or Kun the Forgotten King so they're already in hand, then you'd still have everything needed after the first Juicy Psychmelon.

No nerf to Spreading Plague? One of the most powerful anti-aggro cards in the entire game, at 6 mana with a capability to put a wall of up to 7 1/5 taunts and arguably more powerful than Giggling Inventor (even more so being followed up by Power of the Wild) - I'm surprised this has been left untouched.

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1 hour ago, Bozonik said:

On the topic of skill - all decks have skill to them. But some are more punishing of bad play than others. And some are more rewarding of good play than others. You can load up an aggro deck, play on curve and go face whenever you can - you’ll be making bad plays sometimes, but you’ll still win a decent number of games. But you could play the deck much better than just following that rigid strategy. Typically though, slower decks require you to make more decisions, and so are more punishing if you are regularly making bad decisions and more rewarding if you are consistently making good decisions (assuming the deck is viable). But also the more polarised the matchup, the less important your decisions become, because right or wrong they’re less likely to impact the result of the game. And it seems to me Juicy Psychmelon reduces the number of decisions for you (since you find your combo faster), also reduces the number of decisions for the opponent playing around the combo (since they know when you have the combo in hand). And seems to me SAD is a very polarising deck, where some games are such easy wins it doesn’t really matter how well you play. You can still play it well, or play it not well. But the number of games where that matters is lower.

Personally, I prefer my Hearthstone to feel like poker, not roulette.

Definitely - I've seen so many aggro players (such as Zoo Lock) playing some turns that would constitute very little thought for strategy and generating appalling value for mana, seemingly compelled to finish their turns in less than 0.005 seconds of it starting yet still win because their opponent simply doesn't have early game stopping power.

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6 hours ago, Bozonik said:

On the topic of skill - all decks have skill to them. But some are more punishing of bad play than others.

I think that too, maybe because I'm a good wild player and I was never able to pilot pirate warrior decently.
But for some reason, almost every people I know playing HS (and magic, and yugioh) think that control is skillfull, aggro is for dump people, and combo is cheating and who play combo should die and burn in hell, except for some obscure combo that will never win a game even if piloted by Toast himself.

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1 hour ago, Synesthesy said:

I think that too, maybe because I'm a good wild player and I was never able to pilot pirate warrior decently.
But for some reason, almost every people I know playing HS (and magic, and yugioh) think that control is skillfull, aggro is for dump people, and combo is cheating and who play combo should die and burn in hell, except for some obscure combo that will never win a game even if piloted by Toast himself.

That is because they equate time with skill, and believe that a fast deck require no skill. Which is wrong. It requires just as much skill to eke out a maximum of damage in few turns than string out the game until you can OTK. And sub-optimal play will see you lose just as hard with control as with aggro, sometimes on a single turn. The only difference is how long the game lasts.

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Just now, Keizoku said:

That is because they equate time with skill, and believe that a fast deck require no skill. Which is wrong. It requires just as much skill to eke out a maximum of damage in few turns than string out the game until you can OTK. And sub-optimal play will see you lose just as hard with control as with aggro, sometimes on a single turn. The only difference is how long the game lasts.

What you said about time is correct, but it doesn't relate to strength of the deck. It mostly relates to how fast you can climb. A better way to put it would be being the proactive side, and reactive side. Being proactive is generally easier than being reactive. 

If you suck at the game, you will suck at all decks for sure, just less so at aggresive ones.

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10 hours ago, Gnasha said:

No nerf to Spreading Plague? One of the most powerful anti-aggro cards in the entire game, at 6 mana with a capability to put a wall of up to 7 1/5 taunts and arguably more powerful than Giggling Inventor (even more so being followed up by Power of the Wild) - I'm surprised this has been left untouched.

It is a very strong card for sure (was already nerfed from 5 mana to 6). But unlike aggro decks running giggling, aggro druid didn’t run it when aggro druid was a thing. And it’s more situational; on an empty board giggling is still great value at 5 mana whereas plague is terrible.

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5 hours ago, Synesthesy said:

I think that too, maybe because I'm a good wild player and I was never able to pilot pirate warrior decently.
But for some reason, almost every people I know playing HS (and magic, and yugioh) think that control is skillfull, aggro is for dump people, and combo is cheating and who play combo should die and burn in hell, except for some obscure combo that will never win a game even if piloted by Toast himself.

Pirate warrior is fun. I still load it up occasionally in wild, it’s weaker after the patches nerf for sure, but it’s still playable. It’s unusual for an aggro deck to like going second but stuff like turn 2 cannon coin n’zoth can be brutal.

Some decks require more skill than others for sure (and some different types of skill - I’ve never even bothered trying topsy turvy priest, rope is one of my biggest enemies!), but a good aggro player will get better results than a bad one so anyone saying there’s no skill to aggro decks is just wrong. But they are less punishing of bad play than some decks, and they’re generally cheaper, so I would recommend new players start with aggro.

Control and Combo generally require a bit more skill in that your plan to victory is often very different depending on the matchup and so bad play is more heavily punished. But they can produce no-skill free wins too, which is where my dislike of JP and SAD comes in (and stuff like giantslock before nerf).

I better prepare for hell - I probably like combo decks most, particularly stuff like togwaggle which can throw out some very unusual situations. But the lines are getting blurred a bit now anyway. Is today’s token druid aggro, or control, or combo? Feels a bit like all three at times. And with stuff like Rexxar and Hagatha you can run aggressive decks that can still provide some late-game chances.

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8 hours ago, Breadd said:

I just want to add Kripp's video that came out today. Sums it up pretty good:

Hehe yeah, that was quite amusing, worth a watch.

Honestly don’t think Aviana going to 10 is as big a deal as people are making out. Those decks draw so much having to run innervate isn’t the end of the world, I’ve seen lists that run it. Agree though with the last bit anyway.

Edited by Bozonik

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Kripp is good.

I think too that the problem was Juicy, and the decision to nerf Aviana instead (if you don't consider the melon, the difference between having or not an innervate and/or a Thaurissan tick is big, but not that big) may say that in the next expansion we will have some kind of combo druid in standard using the melon, that they'll print some kind of Aviana/Kun 2.0 that is not as good as old Aviana/Kun, but that still will use the melon as a tutor. Then they'll nerf the melon, after the dust for the newer legendaries will have been used.

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