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December 19th Tuning - Wild Growth, Nourish Nerfs and More

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There's an unexpected balance update coming today with Druid decks getting focused, with 1 mana cost increases for mainstays Wild Growth and Nourish, encouraging more diverse deckbuilding and making the cards feel less mandatory. Paladins also get a bit of a nerf with a similar 1 cost increase on Level Up!, while Leeching Poison gets the opposite treatment, having its cost reduced by one. Finally,  Saronite Chain Gang gets a tweak to make Shudderwock more difficult to play multiple times in a match.

Check out the full details and developer commentary on the changes below and, as usual, you'll be able to disenchant the non-basic cards that got changed for their full Arcane Dust value for two weeks.

Blizzard LogoDecember 19th Update (source)

In an update scheduled to arrive December 19 PST, the following cards will be changed.

Developer’s Note: This balance update is focused on improving the long-term health of both Standard and Wild. We've opted to make these changes earlier in the expansion cycle than we normally consider; we'd like to hear your feedback on the timing of this update, in addition to what you think of all the individual card changes.

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Wild Growth – Will cost 3 mana. (Up from 2)

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Nourish – Will cost 6 mana. (Up from 5)

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Wild Growth and Nourish have been present in every mid-range, combo, and control Druid deck since their introduction in the Basic and Classic set. When cards from the Basic and Classic set are too powerful, they can have negative long-term effects on the game. Continuously playing against these cards can start to feel repetitive, and they can feel so mandatory that they stifle creative deckbuilding decisions. By increasing the mana cost of both cards by one, we expect them to be considerations in late-game control Druid decks, but more difficult to fit in strategies that don’t directly take advantage of ramping mana.

Level Up! – Will cost 6 mana. (Up from 5)

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Odd Paladin has consistently been one of the most powerful and most played decks since its introduction in The Witchwood. By removing Level Up from Odd Paladin, we still expect it to be a competitive board control deck, just with more consistent damage output that should be easier to play around.

Saronite Chain Gang – Now reads: Taunt. Battlecry: Summon another Saronite Chain Gang.

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Shudderwock brings an interesting combo to the table, but playing Shudderwock multiple times in a single game can be frustrating. Changing Saronite Chain Gang makes playing multiple Shudderwocks in a game much more difficult. Shudderwock should now exist as a powerful one-turn effect rather than constantly copying itself with Saronite Chain Gang’s Battlecry.

Leeching Poison – Will cost 1 mana. (Down from 2). Now reads: Give your weapon Lifesteal this turn.

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We love the fantasy of building a powerful weapon over the course of a game with Kingsbane, but granting it a permanent Lifesteal effect with Leeching Poison resulted in an endgame with few weaknesses, as well as conflicting with our philosophy that Rogues should not have persistent self-healing effects. Making the Lifesteal effect only active for one turn should address some of the power level issues with Kingsbane Rogue’s late game.

Once these card changes are live, players will be able to disenchant the changed non-Basic cards for their full Arcane Dust value for two weeks.

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nourish-wild growth nerf will hit all druid decks, but they will survive and be strong. with level up costing 6 mana probably even paladin becomes the better deck. i dont think odd pala can be a top rank deck whitout it. shudderwork will be A good card to include in any shaman deck with a reasonable amount of positive battlecries but i cant think of one and with the chain gang nerf shudderwork shaman will be dead too. with the leeching poison nerf, kingsbane rogue becomes a off meta very weak deck.

i think they were surprised that old decks were more powerful than the new decks, so they basically destroyed them so new decks could be born.

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2 hours ago, blackstar128 said:

with the leeching poison nerf, kingsbane rogue becomes a off meta very weak deck. 

Dont think the deck will fall to far off from where it was, sure the Late-game potential is lower and all, but the deck is still solid and the weapon can, if you get the buffs early, win against control early in the game. I do feel that you´re right. but dont expect the deck to go away. People will find a way to make it work ?

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Better late than never I guess. Kingsbane Rogue and Shudderwock Shaman, while maybe not as good in the past as nowadays, have always been very unfun to play against. I am really glad they got nerfed.

I think Blizzard went a step in the right direction regarding druid. Maybe they should think twice about giving druid more stupid combo enablers every expansion including cheap flexible cards, absurdly effecient card draw while at the same time the ability to gain huge amounts of armor.

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hmm, many deck will be die soon.
mostly druid deck will suffer, odd paladin will die in standard/wild, shudderwock will die in standard, kingsbane will die in standard/wild.
Is blizzard expect new meta soon?
but i lost many key cards to make fun for this game.

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Wow.   I'm not against any of these changes.    That's a first.

Only thing I'm worried about is we're going to see everyone and their mother swap to hunter.    

 

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But isn't this a huge nerf to the Saronite Chain Gang itself? I mean, I believe this means that a buffed up SCG summons a normal 2/3 SCG from his battlecry. Not having it summon a buffed copy makes this card also worse for some other decks out there (for example, decks running Prince Keleseth). Going after the explanation for the change, this (big) nerf seems unintended.

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Awesome:

2 x Noursish = 200 dust (kept 2 copies because of my Jade-Druid deck)

5 x saro = 500 dust (kept 0 copies)

1 x saro gold = 800 dust

15 x Leeching = 600 dust (kept 0 copies)

2 x Leeching gold = 800 dust (kept 0 copies)

1 x level up = 400 dust (kept 0 copies)

-------

3500 dust gained.

And if need be I just recraft those cards.

Extremly lucky with the 3 golden copies I had :)

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3 hours ago, Hoods said:

Dont think the deck will fall to far off from where it was, sure the Late-game potential is lower and all, but the deck is still solid and the weapon can, if you get the buffs early, win against control early in the game. I do feel that you´re right. but dont expect the deck to go away. People will find a way to make it work ?

Wouldn’t the kingsbane card still keep lifesteal if you destroy it that then and returns to your deck ? Cause it was an enhancement from that turn 

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RIP odd paladin, there are no other alternatives to Level Up..... Also Zoo Lock has been nerfed by Saronite Chain gang which doesn't seem like it was even intended. These are my 2 strongest decks, now I have to construct new ones. Might as well wait until NEXT xpac since the meta will change. Also conveniently no Legendaries get refunded so even though entire decks become scrap you only get meager refunds. FANTASTIC for anyone who doesn't play these decks though.

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Man seriously F these changes! 60% of all encounters are hunters these days. With these nerf it'll bring that to roughly 70% - 80%. The life leech nerf is unnecessary imo, kings bane rogue was not that big of a treat in standard either.

and although I have a lot of druid decks running these druid nerf are welcome imo. Forces a little more diversity in druid decks to come

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10 hours ago, Regdorito said:

RIP odd paladin, there are no other alternatives to Level Up..... Also Zoo Lock has been nerfed by Saronite Chain gang which doesn't seem like it was even intended. These are my 2 strongest decks, now I have to construct new ones. Might as well wait until NEXT xpac since the meta will change. Also conveniently no Legendaries get refunded so even though entire decks become scrap you only get meager refunds. FANTASTIC for anyone who doesn't play these decks though.

if aggro decks have been negatively affected by these changes, well I'm trying really hard to dig deep into my sympathy pockets but today they just seem to be empty.

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it seems Saronite Chain Gang has been inadvertently broken by the new wording, rendering it useless not only in Shudderwock decks but also Zoo Lock and the rare but interesting Hand Paladin where stat buffs won't get replicated in the second copy of the minion.

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My 2 cents:

  • With nourish and wild growth nerf Blizzard have told us one thing: ramp druid time is over, druid should not be a combo class, but an aggro/token one. WG is unplayable at 3 mana, IMHO: doing nothing on turn 2 was acceptable because often your opponent did nothing turn 1; but doing nothing turn 3 (often not having anything better then hero power - attack face on turn 2) will make the druid lose to everything. Jade blossom at least summoned a jade golem. Nourish will be played, but not for ramp IMHO, the druid's curve isn't build for doing nothing on turn 6. Surely there will be something using that for drawing, but now it's very slow. Oh, and it's a huge nerf to odd druid too, whenever the deck exist now or will exist in future.
    About ramping nerfs, you can make an argument about class identity, as druid used to be the ramp class, but now after innervate and this nerf, it isn't anymore. And I would have had the chance to see how OG Star Aligner Druid performed under this nerf, instead of killed forever with Aviana....
  • Level Up can be played in a dude paladin that isn't odd. I'm unsure about this card on even paladin, and I don't know if some kind of dude not-odd paladin will exist. Odd paladin in standard may be over as t1 deck, in wild it will continue to exist with quartermaster and other buffs. However, I don't have that much problem with this nerf, as there will surely be some way other to play odd-paladin, I'm sure about it.
  • For Saronithe, this is the first time I think a nerf is right. Shudderwock isn't a problematic card, the problem was the infinite time-spending combo that needs so much time to win a match. I think that they should have touched only the interaction with Shudderwock, but this way is also good. This is a kind of way to HoF Shudderwock combo OTK without sending anything to wild, I like it. As a Wild player, I say that Shudderwock combo OTK isn't a problem at all, so there is no problem seeing it there.
  • For leeching poison, again this is Blizzard telling us something. This case is that rogue shouldn't be a control class, and that Kingsbane should be used in an aggro/tempo/face deck and not in a slow control/mill one. The only problem I have with this nerf is that rogue has no way to build a slow deck with no healing, so now I don't know how to build my pogo-hopper deck.
    Oh, and the fact that now Kingsbane can be useless, as tempo odd-rogue will be better then a kingsbane aggro, but you'll get only 80 dust back. Giving some dust for every kingsbane owner wouldn't have been a bad move, IMHO. Not full refound, only a small amount would have been enough.

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3 hours ago, Synesthesy said:

My 2 cents:

  • With nourish and wild growth nerf Blizzard have told us one thing: ramp druid time is over, druid should not be a combo class, but an aggro/token one. WG is unplayable at 3 mana, IMHO: doing nothing on turn 2 was acceptable because often your opponent did nothing turn 1; but doing nothing turn 3 (often not having anything better then hero power - attack face on turn 2) will make the druid lose to everything. Jade blossom at least summoned a jade golem. Nourish will be played, but not for ramp IMHO, the druid's curve isn't build for doing nothing on turn 6. Surely there will be something using that for drawing, but now it's very slow. Oh, and it's a huge nerf to odd druid too, whenever the deck exist now or will exist in future.
    About ramping nerfs, you can make an argument about class identity, as druid used to be the ramp class, but now after innervate and this nerf, it isn't anymore. And I would have had the chance to see how OG Star Aligner Druid performed under this nerf, instead of killed forever with Aviana....
  • Level Up can be played in a dude paladin that isn't odd. I'm unsure about this card on even paladin, and I don't know if some kind of dude not-odd paladin will exist. Odd paladin in standard may be over as t1 deck, in wild it will continue to exist with quartermaster and other buffs. However, I don't have that much problem with this nerf, as there will surely be some way other to play odd-paladin, I'm sure about it.
  • For Saronithe, this is the first time I think a nerf is right. Shudderwock isn't a problematic card, the problem was the infinite time-spending combo that needs so much time to win a match. I think that they should have touched only the interaction with Shudderwock, but this way is also good. This is a kind of way to HoF Shudderwock combo OTK without sending anything to wild, I like it. As a Wild player, I say that Shudderwock combo OTK isn't a problem at all, so there is no problem seeing it there.
  • For leeching poison, again this is Blizzard telling us something. This case is that rogue shouldn't be a control class, and that Kingsbane should be used in an aggro/tempo/face deck and not in a slow control/mill one. The only problem I have with this nerf is that rogue has no way to build a slow deck with no healing, so now I don't know how to build my pogo-hopper deck.
    Oh, and the fact that now Kingsbane can be useless, as tempo odd-rogue will be better then a kingsbane aggro, but you'll get only 80 dust back. Giving some dust for every kingsbane owner wouldn't have been a bad move, IMHO. Not full refound, only a small amount would have been enough.

So In general they are pushing 2 classes to aggro again. For a player who loves to play control this is a big pain imo

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