We've got some fantastic news for all Hearthstone players - Theotar, the Mad Duke is getting nerfed! That is, once more, seeing as the card was initially hit with an increased mana cost (from 4 up to 5) a few weeks ago. This second change won't happen for quite a while, though.
Originally discovered on the official card gallery and posted about on our forums by LazyKid, Blizzard has confirmed that they made a mistake posting these early and that most of the other card changes in the gallery are not happening - with the exception of Theotar and Ice Revenant. As such, in the near future:
- Theotar, the Mad Duke will cost 6 mana (Up from 5).
- Theotar, the Mad Duke will have 4/4 stats (Up from 3/3).
- Ice Revenant will only gain +1/+1 on each Frost spell cast (Down from +2/+2).
Blizzard has provided commentary on why Theotar took so long to get to this point, which you can read down below. March of the Lich King releases on December 6, so these nerfs should hit the week before, just in time for a Friday Fireside Gathering card opening.
Quote From Kurt Ocher
Alongside our major announcements this Tuesday we updated our website’s Card Library to include new cards from the Death Knight Class and March of the Lich King expansion. Additionally, Death Knight deck building has been enabled there to allow for early theory crafting!
We’re aware of an unexpected issue with the implementation of this feature that has caused some cards to show up with different stats than their in-game counterparts. The inaccuracies do not reflect planned changes to these cards, with the exception of Theotar, the Mad Duke, and Ice Revenant; those 2 changes will arrive with our 25.0 update.
Dev Comment: Two cards not in the March of the Lich King set will be receiving nerfs in the 25.0 patch: Theotar, the Mad Duke and Ice Revenant.
The release of a new class is an incredibly exciting moment for Hearthstone players everywhere, and a moment that we want to be as enjoyable and accessible as possible. Knowing the importance of this new class release, our plan with Theotar was to test out a smaller nerf to the card (from 4 mana to 5 mana) before potentially moving to a larger nerf (6 mana 4/4) if necessary. Theotar’s play rate did not drop as far as we would have liked it to with the smaller nerf and is still much higher than we would like it to be leading into the March of the Lich King. Our aim with this second nerf is to lower the card’s play rate to ensure that the release of Death Knight is as fun as possible for players with a wide variety of interests and experience levels.
The nerf to Ice Revenant might appear out of place, but it feels like a necessary one in a world where Death Knight has access to multiple cheap Frost spells (Horn of Winter in particular). In testing we were frequently seeing Ice Revenant’s game-ending size on turn 4, and the card was simply overshadowing many of the new and exciting things going on in the set.
In addition to stat differences, there are some minion type tag adjustments visible. Minion type tags are indeed changing on many old cards, which we’ll be communicating the specifics on in the near future.
I suppose the “fair” Theotar would be each player gets a COPY of the selected cards rather than the original. You would still get the hand information for playing it and have control over how bad a card you give them from your hand, but it wouldn’t break any combos (except niche overdraw) and would work fine at 4 mana. But maybe that wouldn’t be exciting enough for a legendary..
You know.....I never thought I would regret dusting all my extra Ice Revenants. I guess everything can be broken these days.
No fucking shit. It turns out the card that stops your opponent's win condition and sometimes gives you a win condition or just wins the game outright because they devs printed several other win conditions that can only be attacked from hand is both necessary and ubiquitous.
And that just gives the game away.
They're pointing out that a substantial amount of the playerbase does not like playing with or against Theotar. They're acknowledging the card's unfun nature and have decided -- multiple times and with precedent from past cards -- that the answer is to make the unfunness less-immediately common as opposed to removed.
Here's what they're (deliberately) missing. A bad card can make a game bad even if it isn't played. A bad card warps the meta forcing decks to be built (and sometimes played) in unfun ways even if the card doesn't show up in a given game. It means entire classes are just played less because of their vulnerability to said bad card and/or the meta it creates.
The concern here isn't what's fun. The concern here is what the players will tolerate.
Just like with animation speeds pre-Battlegrounds and cards only changed when they've done maximum damage to the play state, Theotar will get a text change only if it seems to hit a novel asset (a new game mode or the newest, in-house designed deck for a class respectively). Otherwise, nothing changes unless the card somehow, after rotation, warps Wild (which I doubt it ever could).
And their main concern is that their newest, shiny thing isn't supplanted by what was just five minutes ago their newest, shiny thing.
I guess the upside here is that Theotar won't synergize a Death Knight control deck and end up seeing more play than they anticipate. Small blessings, right?
Ice Revenant makes sense remember in a casual game it showed up in a freeze mage deck and woah was surprised how big it got quickly in that so it being changed before frost DK... yeah I get it.
Nerf to Ice Revenant is necessary because from what Ive seen of the frost cards in DK a lot of them generate spells and discount other spells, so we can have a problem with this innocent card getting a 6/6 buff on turn 4.
Well, at least I'll be happy knowing I still have all those cards in my collection ready for a payoff.
As for theotar, this is not the end nor will it be, since its fairly obvious now that team5's concern isn't really theotar as a win con, as much as it is theotar seeing too much play. Seriously, this card isn't even 4 months old and it already has two nerfs. Just make it discard cards than swapping it, that'll make the card truly all about disruption and not winning games on its own, which even at 4 mana wouldn't be any more impressive than most other disruption cards available.
At least DK is more resistant to theotar (owing to the lack of corpses for other classes) and being the new class will likely be dominating play rates the first month, meaning theotar's play rate will similarly diminish. But I wouldn't be surprised if this card gets another nerf at some point within the next year.
That has been one thing that has crossed my mind the other is that you choose the opponents card to take but the opponent then chooses yours so sure you take the opponents piece but they can take yours giving him a double edge as well. Still doubt either will happen as not sure if pride or stubbornness but unless something is literally breaking a format they don't tend to alter/ban the card and rather just increase the cost.
I was thinking of crafting Theotar again after the last change so it is good time to craft again since I will get my dust back in a few weeks. This will help in case I want it in a deck.
Ice Revenant's nerf seems obvious now, with the Death Knight on our doorstep, but I would never have guessed that back when it first appeared.
I mean the card wasn’t bad, there just wasn’t much support for it as there just isn’t alot of generic frost spells. Still surprising though. I’ll miss playing this in bad pure frost decks in casual though.