With Whispers of the Old Gods expansion just around the corner, Blizzard has decided to implement a swath of balance changes to some of its original cards. With a new competitive format being introduced: Standard; cards that have been released in the last two calendar seasons will be removed from professional play. That means when Whispers of the Old Gods arrives, the older expansions like Goblins vs Gnomes and The Curse of Naxxramas will be annexed. This will ultimately help create a constantly changing meta, while also preventing the game to become stale due to the over-powering strength of a few minority cards. The only cards that will be exempt from this constantly changing format are the Basic and Classic card sets. Blizzard feels that these sets help make up the skeletal architecture that is Hearthstone itself, so instead of banishing them all with the advent of new expansions, they have decided to just alter several cards that could become problematic in future releases.
Ancient of Lore:
The Druid class got hit the hardest with nerf bat as 25% of all the nerfed cards were Druid Basics. And it all starts with the Ancient of Lore, by reducing the amount of cards this minion can draw Team-5 has essentially eliminated this card from play. The Azure Drake is a much better value and we might actually start seeing Nourish played more often. Ultimately though, I’d say dust this sucker as 400-dust is worth more than owning this card.
Force of Nature
Nerfing Savage Roar was not enough, as Team-5 ultimately decided that the Force of Nature/Savage Roar combo was just too strong going forward. Five mana to summon three 2/2 Treants that don’t die, isn’t the worst proposition either, and I could see this card being used differently. Don’t dust this card just yet, Whispers of the Old Gods might allow it to serve a different purpose.
Keeper of the Grove
I would consider this a “minor” nerf. Reducing Keeper of the Grove’s health by two isn’t going to make this card unplayable. The reason this card is so popular is because of its dual effect of doing either damage or silencing a minion. Overall, this card should see just as much play and if you’re the proud owner of one, make sure to keep it because silence cards are starting to become more of a rarity these days.
Not really that harsh of a nerf; it definitely makes the Spellbreaker more intriguing, but as a common card, I would still hold on to it.
Big Game Hunter
Blizzard has stated that “some removal cards” are “simply too powerful” and that by weakening some overly played removal cards will “help make cards with high attack or cool effects more interesting” to play. This statement is essentially the epitome of the BGH, and in my opinion, this was the most needed nerf in the game. By adding two- mana to this card, they’ve essentially helped the present and posterity of all cards. Bygone are the days of heartbreaking tempo swings, as we can now look forward to a day where awesome cards will reign supreme!
This is additional proof of Blizzard’s effort in strengthening Hunter-control decks. Over the past few expansions cards like Gahz’rilla, Dreadscale and Acidmaw have slowly ameliorated the stigma surrounding the Hunter class as being an “aggro-only” type of class. While it’s not quite there yet, I could see in the near future this class having the capabilities to go toe-to-toe with other stout control archetypes.
One of the main reasons the Rogue class is so unpopular is because its best deck archetypes don’t play minions. Most Rogue decks thrive off of huge combo-plays at the end of matches after an entire game of not playing anything. This isn’t fun for the opponent, and when I’m playing these decks, it isn’t fun for me. Bumping up the mana cost of one of the Rogues strongest cards has seriously affected some of its best combos and hopefully this will encourage more minion play from the class.
This is one of the most sneaky and significant nerfs so far. By simply reducing the Knife Juggler’s attack by one, Blizzard has made playing this card exponentially more risky. One of the best aspects of this card is that it can trade with cards it has no business trading with. The 2-attack brings this card back to earth, making trades more difficult and reducing its overall effectiveness. Team-5 definitely got this one right, as they haven’t destroyed this card while also making it less effective at the same time.
No one likes playing against Face Hunter. Team-5 understands our feeling of angst when we know there is just nothing we can do to slow down the unremitting onslaught of damage that the Face Hunter can unleash. The Leper Gnome is dead, R.I.P little guy.
Bye-bye Face Hunter. The Leper Gnome nerf pales in comparison to the atrocity that was committed to the Arcane Golem. Giving the opponent a mana crystal for what it provides is just too much; yes, it got an additional 2-health, but for the cost, I’d rather play anything else. Dust it. Dust it. DUST IT!
Hallelujah! As an avid and active Handlock racist, I fully support any measures to weaken that lurid deck. I’m sure they will be given other tools to succeed, and I’m sure no one is going to shed a tear over this one. For 400-dust, I’ll probably dust it.
Master of Disguise
Like the Hunter’s Mark nerf, this seems like it is a preemptive nerf for future expansions. Personally, I haven’t seen much of this card, but who’s to say that it won’t break the game two expansions from now?