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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.
December 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.
Wild Growth – Will cost 3 mana. (Up from 2)
Nourish – Will cost 6 mana. (Up from 5)
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)
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.
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.
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.
People found out that the yearly event has already began today on Asian servers and it is expected to go live in Europe and the Americas on Tuesday the 18th of December.
Make sure to have one slot empty in your quest log as you will get a special Winter Veil quest to "Play 100 cards in Play Mode". The reward is 4 The Boomsday Project card packs.
There is also a new Winter Veil Wonderland Bundle for 20€/20$ that contains 6 packs from each of the following expansions: The Boomsday Project, The Witchwood, Kobolds & Catacombs, Knights of the Frozen Throne and Journey to Un'Goro.