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September 6, 2017

Hearthstone Balance Changes Incoming!

With many people concerned about Druid’s dominance on ladder and the lack of class diversity because of it, Blizzard has announced quite a few card changes incoming soon. They have not specified yet when these changes are to go live but we should be getting them in a couple weeks. Most of the nerfed cards are from the Basic set so there’s not much to look forward to when it comes to getting dust out of these changes. Let’s take a look at what’s changed!

Innervate: Innervate now reads ‘Gain 1 Mana Crystal this turn only’. Innervate has been one of the strongest Basic cards to exist in the game and the card has seen play in pretty much every Druid archetype to exist in the game. With the nerf Innervate is definitely weakened and it is on par with something like Counterfeit Coin. While it does affect Druid heavily when it comes to high tempo decks and aggressive decks, slower Ramp based decks should not be affected too heavily as there are multiple ramp tools available currently in Standard to keep the archetype alive.

Fiery War Axe: Fiery War Axe has always been the top weapon of the meta in every meta with the exception for Spirit Claws which was even more rampant for a while up until the point it got nerfed out of the meta. Weapons have a lot of synergy with pirates and having a high tempo weapon that you can put out on turn 2 and that can be a 6-burst damage tool or a removal tool at the same time makes it extremely powerful.

With the mana cost increased to 3 mana, the weapon has the potential to see play in slower decks like Control Warrior as we have seen in other classes like Paladin and Hunter, who happen to use 3 mana 3/2 weapons even if they do not have synergy in the deck.

Murloc Warleader: Murloc Warleader is extremely powerful in Murloc decks and it is quite a bit stronger than something like Southsea Captain which is a very similar card. With the health buff being very problematic and being able to make your board survive through clears like Wild Pyromancer and Equality or Finja being able to survive despite taking lethal damage on its body if it pulls out a Warleader makes it very frustrating for players. With only a +2 attack buff, it should now be much easier to clear out Murloc boards with spells and removals.

Spreading Plague: Spreading Plague was designed as a card to combat aggressive decks but the devs feels that the card is just too efficient at 5 mana and have increased the cost to 6. The combo with Strongshell Scavenger is still possible for 10 mana instead of 9 and the card seems a lot fairly costed now for what it does.

Ice Block is also a card they have considered nerfing but they would rather have the card moved to the Hall of Fame. Since they do not want to move cards in the middle of the year, so we can expect the card to be moved to Wild only next year. Ultimate Infestation was also considered for nerfs but they didn’t go through with it assuming the nerf to Innervate would be decent enough to bring down the power level of the card. What do you think of the changes? Let us know in the comments below.

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I am Abhimannu from India, I've been playing Hearthstone since December 2014 and have hit Legend on numerous occasions in the past. I enjoy playing Rogue, Warrior and Warlock a lot and am always trying to reinvent out of meta decks to make them viable.

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  1. kalkatak says:

    There’s a lot of negativity going on in the comments on the official post, but I think these nerfs are ok. It’s especially nice that they didn’t just ‘reflex-nerf’ Druid into the ground, and they dealt with some other problems too. I like the nerf to Murloc Warleader the best; slightly reduces the ‘snowball’ potential of the decks, and makes the interactions a lot simpler. Nice to have the Murlocs all fragile again.

    I think leaving UI alone is ok for now, the card is powerful, but then that’s Druid – they play powerful cards before you, and it’s a huge problem to have it in your opening hand without ramp. I think the Innervate nerf will mean that the ‘nuts’ ramp start will happen less often (Hallelujah!) but we’ll have to see.

    Moving Ice Block is a huge change, so I’m glad it isn’t right away, but I think it will be a nice change. It’s a very annoying and non-interactive card, Eater of Secrets notwithstanding. It will be a huge hit to Mage, but I hope the class will finally be able to move in a new direction, instead of just playing the same Freeze Mage that’s existed for forever. (Also Exodia Mage will die; super happy about that!)

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess we have to wait and see. People are worried about a similar situation to what happenned with the Karazan nerfs – and jade druid becoming stronger.
      Personally I am also a bit disappointed about the fiery win axe nerf. Because although the card was definitely OP, warrior doesn’t really have any alternatives in the 2 drop slot (which is arguably the most important turn in the game). So the nerf looks like eliminating the class from competitive play. Such a high impact nerf should of come at the same time as alternative play options were released.

      • Ben says:

        Well, for pirate you can play a minion. And for control I’m teching in doomsayer.