A few days ago, Hearthstone Developer Alec Dawson talked about a future balance patch that not only will address some of the problems that are currently afflicting the meta but will also look at improving classes that are performing quite below everyone's expectations and hopes.
While we wait for Team 5 to do their job and find the best way to improve the game, let's try to predict some of the moves we may see in a couple of days. In this article, we'll showcase a list of buffs we (or the Hearthstone community) hope will happen very soon!
Suggested change: Attack increased from 2 to 3.
Deathrattle Hunter has been remarkably pushed during the Year of the Phoenix: just to name a few, we got Zixor, Apex Predator, Mok'Nathal Lion, Carrion Studies, Teacher's Pet and Jewel of N'Zoth. One of the cards that was supposed to help this archetype succeed was Augmented Porcupine: early presence, susceptible to handbuffs or board buffs, a good Deathrattle and the ability to be played on turn 2 after a turn 1 Carrion Studies to start the game with a bang.
Porcupine had it all, but unfortunately, 4 Health is quite a lot for something you'd want to die soon-ish; moreover, just two damage isn't enough to make a dent in the meta, especially in a world with cards like Kobold Sandtrooper (just rotated to Wild, but you get the point).
While lowering the Health total wouldn't necessarily be beneficial (you still want to have some board presence and maybe buff Porcupine or use Mok'Nathal Lion on it for more damage), we think that increasing its attack by 1 will make it a more remarkable threat for your opponent, who will be forced to choose between getting SMOrced down or popping the Deathrattle and receive the recoil damage.
Suggested change (alternative):
- Health increased from 3 to 4;
- The effect triggers at the end of the turn;
- possibly they'll stay as they are right now.
Now, this is a tricky one. Since the launch of Forged in the Barrens, I've seen so many people complaining about the fact that the Caravans, on the new expansion's mechanics, have been so underwhelming; therefore, buff requests have popped up here and there. However, considering that any change would apply to each Caravan for consistency, how would you improve these cards?
Since these cards should represent, from the flavor point of view, units that take on a journey in order to deliver goods, it's meaningful for them to not have an immediate effect and to be non-aggressive stat-wise. We can say that the Caravans have the same problem of Nat Pagle: even if the upside can be relevant (drawing a card, going wide, generating resources,...) the fact that you have to rely on your opponent in order to gain said upside and that they're quite easy to get rid of makes them almost never worthy.
Again, here's the question: How would you buff them?
If you make the effect trigger at the end of the turn (like Mana Tide Totem does), then you'd meet situations like turn 1 The Coin into Soldier's Caravan into 3/5 worth of stats on turn 1, divided in 3 bodies and one of whose is pretty much guaranteed to survive for Hand of A'dal to even increase the gap. The same reasoning can be made for Apothecary's Caravan, even more, if you consider that 1-drops tend to be quite good.
If you increased their Health to 4, they'll definitely become a lot better and will see play, but we'll very likely regret it; Having 4 Health and a snowballing effect, chances are that you won't be able to remove them and deal with their "goods" as fast as you'd like.
My final thoughts are that these cards are not very strong and it's a shame, but it is something we can definitely tolerate. In this particular situation, the line between unplayable and broken seems to be way too thin for me to advocate for some changes.
Forged in the Barrens is yet to begin for Thrall. The new expansion brought some interesting tools we're sure will become relevant in the future, but right now the class lacks too much in order to be competitive. First of all, Barrens Shaman is almost completely focused around tribes: Murlocs and Elementals receive a major push. While being tied to specific minion tags is not always a bad thing, the subject changes when the class has other glaring gaps.
First of all, Shaman lacks card draw, much like Paladin a year ago. Thrall cannot possibly think of being good if he's not able to keep his handsize somewhat relevant throughout all the game. As we talk, Shaman's only draw options are Cagematch Custodian (5-star card even if Shaman is currently trash), Mana Tide Totem (in 2021? Why?) and Vashj Prime - as you see, the options are quite limited. The same reasoning goes for healing (you cannot think about playing a Control deck without having some recovery tools) and an actual win condition. Therefore, here are some suggestions to improve Thrall's life in the Barrens and, possibly, throughout all the year of the Gryphon.
Tidal Surge - This card cannot possibly cost 4 mana in a world with Penance and Drain Soul. It's okay, Shaman has Spell Damage synergy and you really don't want to give the class Greater Healing Potion-like recovery tools, but the current version of this spell is so underwhelming that we're upset about seeing it in the set that is supposed to be the backbone of the class for the months to come. Warlock and Priest should be better than Shaman at healing, and we're okay with that, but we're also sure that we can have 3 mana Tidal Surge and being able to live with it.
Vashj Prime - Literally the only Prime minion with garbage stats and no immediate impact on the board (the same argument can be done for Solarian Prime, but at the very least you'll clear the opponent's board, set up some secret or burst down your opponent, which can be even better than mere board presence).
Al'Akir the Windlord - Just give us Therazane the Stonemother!
Deck of Chaos
Suggested change (alternative):
- Cost reduced from 6 to 5 mana.
- Cost change is not limited to minions currently in the deck.
I know that someday in the future I'll come to regret this suggestion of mine. Deck of Chaos is way too similar to other spells such as Deck of Lunacy, Luna's Pocket Galaxy and Celestial Alignment. At first, they all appear to b not that great, but then someone is able to find a certain way to exploit them and then everyone regrets it.
Since its release more than 5 months ago, Deck of Chaos has seen very little play, mainly because of two factors:
- Even though there are a handful of very good targets for this effect, you still have to spend 6 mana without having anything in return, which is something you cannot really do right now;
- Even if the meta gets slow enough to the point where you can afford to pay 6 mana with no immediate profit, Warlock is yet to receive an effect that is able to tutor a spell from the deck, so you don't even have a guarantee (other than fast cycling, but then you'd take minions out of your deck, which has anti-synergy) to hit the card you build your entire deck around soon enough for it to be relevant.
Given these premises, we suggest a couple of ways to improve this terrible, yet potentially fearsome, spell:
Decrease its cost - the simplest solution and usually the most effective. While we're afraid of suggesting a 2-mana discount, we think that decreasing the cost just by 1 and then see what happens might be a good way to act;
Don't limit its effect to minions in the deck - while affecting minions already on the friendly side of the field might be far too good (Imagine your side of the board full of Clowns and then you cast Deck of Chaos: you go from 28 Attack to 63 out of thin air), affecting minion in hand could significantly improve the spell's performance overall, since you won't get punished by drawing one of your expensive minions, especially when you tapped specifically looking for DoC.
Suggested change (alternative):
- Gains Rush;
- Ashes of Al'ar triggers at the end of each turn.
To be honest, this is just a fixation of mine that has very little to no chance to come to a realization. Since Ashes of Outland came out, I was personally triggered to see such a bad Legendary. It's okay, not every card is meant to be hyper-competitive and some should just fit in fun/memey scenarios, or have niche uses (for example, Star Student Stelina is intriguing out ofIllidari Studies; Shan'do Wildclaw can be useful in a Beast-heavy deck). However, Al'ar is on a whole other level! 5 mana for something that doesn't have an immediate impact on the board and has just 3 Health. Even if your opponent doesn't straight up ignore it and kill you, the fact that ashes are harmless to trade into and take a whole opponent's turn to awaken is just too much to ask. Kael'thas Sunstrider must be mad to know that his bird sucks so much.
Therefore, what change could we give Al'ar in order to make it playable or, at least, less terrible?
Give it Rush - Paying 5 mana for a 7/3 stat line is already terrible, even more, if it doesn't have an immediate impact on the board. If Al'ar will get Rush, then it will act like a Flame Lance with a chance of triggering again if ignored by the opponent.
Make Ashes of Al'ar trigger at the end of each turn - This way, you'll be able to kill it into an enemy minion, get it back at the end of the turn and then increase the chances of Al'ar surviving the opponent's doing.
I am perfectly conscious that these hypothetical changes won't make the card a must craft, but I just want to be able to play the bird in a meme deck and have fun with it, maybe even generate hilarious moments and win a couple of games.
What do you think of these suggestions? What cards would you like to see buffed? Let us know in the comments below!