Back when Fractured in Alterac Valley released, Hearthstone Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig stated that Team 5 would implement changes if Alterac Valley's new cards weren't able to make enough of an impact in the meta due to the oppression of the so called "solitaire" decks from the previous expansions (United in Stormwind above all).

While the situation looked exactly like the one initially described by Celestalon, a few days ago we received the bittersweet news that no balance changes were going to come this week. While it was very likely that this decision was made in order not to mess up players competing in Hearthstone Worlds (which will take place on December 18th and 19th), part of the community was left a bit disappointed, as there are some rather annoying decks swarming ladder right now. Let's be clear: we've seen way worse metas, but this expansion launch could've been better.

However, here we are with yet another plot twist! Celestalon himself has updated his previous statements and announced that we will receive some balance changes. It is possible that said changes will take place next week, before Team 5 goes on their yearly holiday vacation, but we are yet to receive any other information about any upcoming changes.

Quote From Celestalon

Yep, here we are. Balance changes will come, as promised. Many of those decks will be getting hit.

For the sake of completion, the tweet you see above was written under a spreadsheet showing the archetypes distribution among all the players participating in the World Championship.

As you can see, there will be an overabundance of OTK decks, with Garrote Rogue, Celestial Alignment Druid, Il'gynoth OTK Demon Hunter and the relatively new Humongous Owl Warlock appearing in almost every line up. These are the only non-combo decks you'll see at Worlds:

  • Libram Paladin (2).
  • Face Hunter (3).
  • Pirate Warrior (2).

Card Buffs Too?

Luckily, nerfs are not our only future as we're also going to be seeing some card buffs coming to Hearthstone in a future patch, so some strategies that didn't pan out quite the way Blizzard wanted should be getting a nice boost. No further details were provided, though Celestalon did talk about why they don't do buffs often.

Quote From Celestalon

instead of erring to over-tuning then nerf, under-tune then buff. Instead of taking decks away, it adds decks through a meta. Just a thought. Still love the game. #Hearthstone

It's definitely something we consider. And you will see some buffs soon. In general though, buffs are much more difficult to get the desired result, than nerfs. Let me explain…

With nerfs, we have a good idea of how powerful something is now, and know that it'll go down. That knowledge lets us be much more accurate with the nerf. And if we undershoot, well at least it's better than before. If we overshoot, that deck just stops seeing play entirely.

With buffs, it's trying to increase the power level of something we have very little data on how powerful it is. It's below the margin of seeing play, but by how much? Hard to say.

If we undershoot, it was a waste, nothing happens. If we overshoot, we created a new problem deck.

Buffs absolutely can work out great, and we have a few coming that we hope do work out great. But I hope that at least explains why we tend to do nerfs more often than buffs.

What cards do you think will be nerfed? What cards would you want to see buffed? Let us know your opinions in the comments below!