The upcoming balance changes have now been officially announced, the patch notes are out, and the lifespan of some of the more powerful Standard decks at this moment in time for the Stormwind metagame might've just been drastically reduced. If any of them just happen to be among your favorites - or if you simply just own all the necessary cards and can play them without wanting to burn down the world, this might very well be your final chance to use them in all their current glory. The clock is ticking.
To a lesser extent, some of these changes might be also getting in the way of your currently ongoing Arena or Duels runs - best have a proper look at all the drafted cards, and if that's the case, try to wrap things up before the patch hits the live servers (you might even be able to 'cheat' a little bit through the mobile version usually getting updated several hours later).
None of the expected nerfs are particularly surprising, and pretty much all of them have been predicted by the community in one way or another. Some of them are actually looking fairly mild, all things considered.
If you don't quite know what all the fuss is about and haven't stayed on top of the recent United in Stormwind meta, here are a handful of the relevant decks relying on the cards in question; some of which may no longer be able to function nearly as well by this time tomorrow:
Lifesteal Demon Hunter
The deck is centered around Il'gynoth, both timely drawing and ideally discounting the card (or otherwise just lowering the mana costs of relevant combo pieces such as Mo'arg Artificer, Felscream Blast, or Talented Arcanist). Most of the time the stats don't matter, only the mana cost does. But if you would like to try slamming good ol' Il'gy down on curve, close your eyes and pray it doesn't get removed, it's not like there is anything stopping you.
This definitely reduces the OTK potential by a considerable margin (it's only going to be possible now with some of the right discounts being hit, and even that will require more mana crystals). Even if the deck refuses to outright die, it might now struggle to consistently pull off its gameplan while staying alive. Is it time for Glide to finally take its rightful place and be everyone's savior (or damnation) post Demonslayer Kurtrus?
The meta is probably not slowing down by *that much*, so enjoy dealing 24, 36, 48 and more damage to your opponents in one swing while you still can do it more easily. And if you've always loathed what the deck stands for, perhaps start silently celebrating and check your collection at a later date for a certain card to disenchant.
Demon Seed Warlocks
Well, not necessarily all of them - there are so many variants. Some only play Darkglare *or* Flesh Giant, others try to utilize both. They are not going to be happy, but might find various ways to survive and thrive again.
The D6 version (dubbed so because of playing only 6 demons; with the focus of setting up unavoidable damage chains within a single turn) might've relied on the little guy providing the extra mana crystals the most. The deck could still discount Darkglare with a lucky Free Admission, just not to 0 mana/health cost (unless Runed Mithril Rod adds its timely tick). And it might still try to find other ways to abuse Stealer of Souls, as that card has emerged unscathed for now. We probably shouldn't completely write that strategy off just yet: it's going to be slower yet potentially still very scary in the hands of a master player.
Oh, and the patch notes will try to improve on certain animation interactions with regards to Stealer of Souls, although it might not even be a tenth of what is needed there.
The more aggressive Zoolock style lists weren't perhaps as highly regarded as some of their counterparts, but still more than capable of providing solid results. Things could become at least slightly more difficult going forward, so not quite sure about their potential future.
Flesh Giant only got nudged a little bit, as the most common expectation was to see its original mana cost set to 10. Being able to drop them super early could not be as simple anymore, but it only delays their inevitable march and doesn't put a hold on it. Within a slower meta this change might prove to be more than acceptable for a certain type of deck.
We might see even more forms of The Demon Seed Warlocks emerging as a result of these balance changes. It certainly wouldn't surprise me, as the Questline still looks like the most powerful of them all by far. As we've seen, it doesn't even have to be main win condition, just more of a potent bonus/backup.
The long awaited prophecy has finally come true - it's going to be much harder now to distinguish between the best Mage players in the world, as they were being widely regarded for their consistent skills of drawing and playing Incanter's Flow on turn 2 (or sooner with the coin). The card has been too powerful and problematic for so long, especially when used early, so this feels like a necessary step to take even if it hurts the class short-term. It's never good having to balance around such things.
We did not see any nerf revert for Refreshing Spring Water at the same time; as a result the spell heavy deck is bound to become slower. How much it's going to matter will heavily depend on the rest of the competition in the field and how much pressure they are able to generate early on. If the class cannot find a reliable way to fight on, it may be forced to wait for more balance changes and/or a better Mini-Set than the last one.
Could the unthinkable happen and Mage starts remembering how it was like to actually play a fair amount of minions? If you own Sorcerer's Gambit and enjoy throwing all these cheap spells at the board and opponent's face, you have several hours for that last hurrah to matter.
In this case, a more expensive Kolkar Pack Runner actually matters a lot, even if it becomes slightly harder to remove. It affects all other spells, especially cheap 1-mana cards that you might sometimes wish to hold onto for a larger board swing or creating an army of hyenas. Still pretty useful with The Coin, but could not be as much of an option without. Hunter tends to want to establish board control during these initial turns and then leverage it for some chip damage to the face.
Don't be surprised if we actually see Kolkar being cut and even more aggressive variants coming up as a result (the other alternative is going for a more prolonged gameplan). But it's hard to imagine any other options that could be nearly as efficient when paired with the rest of this package. Elemental Shaman and Divine Shield Paladin are bound to become even harder to face, for one. Remains to be seen how much Hunters will continue to make us worried about our life totals.
Be it Divine Shield, Secret, Stealth builds or any amalgamations of them all, Stormwind Paladins liked to rely on Conviction (Rank 2) and Battleground Battlemaster to carry them to victory and provide explosive lethal outs. The entire setup is going to be noticeably delayed now. But that doesn't mean impossible to pull off, so once again it remains to be seen how much pressure or defensive capabilities other decks might offer meanwhile.
If you weren't a huge fan of Battleground Battlemaster, I wouldn't celebrate just yet. The potential to act as a powerful (semi-)finisher is still there, depending just how slower everything else becomes. Of course the card wasn't only being played in one class, even if it was most widely adopted there - we have a good example above in a Flesh Giant. Warlock loving the Windfury bonus just as much. And the SI:7 Rogue was also seen playing around with this possibility at one point.
Maybe it's time for something new, but more likely than not people will initially try to stick to their favorite toys that proved to work so well.
Yes, Granite Forgeborn is losing 1 Health, but that's more of a small 'cosmetic' change compared to the rest of the field. There are many instances where it might not even matter or be largely noticeable. All your Elemental Shaman decks should only become more potent after the patch.
This is more of a honorable mention, no need to worry about anything if this is your thing. The deck couldn't ask for a less impactful nerf. Just be prepared to run into even more elementals during your ladder journeys.
You can be certain other classes will also attempt to move in and see if they can reclaim some of the territory from the weakened competition. We are going to keep an eye on this upcoming - and at least slightly refreshed - metagame, find out which decks are left standing once the dust settles.
If you truly enjoyed some of the above strategies, make your peace with whatever might not emerge on the other side. If you truly despised this early state of United in Stormwind, perhaps your time to shine will come soon. And if you were somewhere in between, just following along with moderate interest while playing what's good enough, maybe something else comes up that aligns with your tastes (and card collection).
Do you believe some of the decks above are likely to find ways to remain in good standing, or do you already see new contenders ready to step in and take the crown? Maybe it all opens up some room for janky fun builds to experiment with?