It's BlizzConline weekend and excitement is strong in the air with so many fresh announcements! We're going to be talking about one of the big ones, Shaman getting their hero power changed, but to bring you up to speed on other news, we've got a small recap for you!
- The next Hearthstone expansion got revealed - Forged in the Barrens.
- Preorders are purchasable - the Mega Bundle will feature the first ever Tauren Hero Portait, Hamuul Runetotem.
- A handful of cards have already been revealed: check them out here!
- We've seen some of the new cards that will be part of the upcoming Core set: Ysera the Dreamer, Malygos the Spellweaver and Deathwing the Destroyer - click here if you want to know more about them!
- We already know some returning cards from the past: Annoy-o-Tron and Tomb Pillager are back in Standard.
- Hearthstone Mercenaries is the new game mode - it won't come out before the release of Forged in the Barrens, but it will be playable before the second expansion of the Year of the Gryphon hits.
With that out of the way, let's dive into what is going on with Shaman when the core set arrives.
One of the most interesting announcements regards the Shaman overhaul - we don't know all the relevant information yet, but we got informed that its Basic and Classic set will undergo a process similar to the one happened to Priest around a year ago. To be precise, at least three existing cards will get buffed:
- Lightning Storm - damage dealt to enemy minions will be increased from 2-3 to 3 - no more highrolls and lowrolls!
- Feral Spirit - Overload reduced from (2) to (1) mana.
- Earth Elemental - Overload reduced from (3) to (2) mana.
Overall, a set of buffs we deem necessary due to the powercreep the game has gone through and the very likely initial overestimation over the implications of the Overload mechanic - in a world with Void Drinker and Carousel Gryphon, no one is going to pay 8 mana for a 7/8 (unless Zephrys the Great has other plans for you).
Roll the Bones Totems
Moreover, Shaman's Hero power, Totemic Call, will receive a slight change. It will still summon a random basic Totem out of four, but Wrath of Air Totem will leave to make room for Strength Totem, a more board-centric minion that has a chance of scaling if left unchecked - something that any of the original Totems weren't able to do.
Although we didn't see this change coming, we definitely agree with it. With the introduction of Strength Totem, the devs are likely aiming to give Thrall a less highrolly Hero Power, by being able to generate a favorable outcome more often than not. This new Totem encourages a proactive game play, very similar to the Mech Paladin of a few expansions ago with Micro Mummy, which is what Shaman already wants to do with cards like Totemic Reflection and Splitting Axe.
Many have suggested that they should've removed Idiot Totem instead, but you have to consider that having a 25% chance to get Spell Damage might mess in the future design of some spells. They want Shaman to have Spell Damage synergy and they have showed it multiple times in the past and present (Rune Dagger, Ras Frostwhisper, Imprisoned Phoenix, Primordial Studies and the new Novice Zapper), but they probably don't want to leave that synergy's vision to chance.
RIP Odd Shaman
On a side note, this change will probably mean the death Wild Odd Shaman, which heavily relied on consistently getting Spell Damage synergy by rolling multiple Wrath of Air Totems and bursting down the opponents - you'll be greatly missed.
If you wanna take it for a last spin, here's a list we're sure you'll enjoy. As some of you may notice, this build is less centered about Totem synergy (only 1 Totemic Reflection), but it runs lots of burst and the recent "enhancement" package with Inara Stormcrash, Whack-A-Gnoll Hammer and Stormstrike. Definitely a to-go deck if you want to have fun and make your opponent mulligan the wrong cards.
What do you think about the change to Shaman's Hero Power? What about the buffs to some of Shaman's core cards? Let us know in the comments below!