And so it came to pass, Sire Denathrius has just been murdered! This time for real. Only an expansion later - whether it actually proves to be enough to remove him from the equation (i.e. being literally everywhere), remains to be seen. None of the Castle Nathria suspects were actually capable of performing the dirty deed, it took the arrival of ominous Death Knights and the powerful Lich King to make it happen. Merciless justice delivered. By a ricochet, the newest Hunter card Shockspitter has also received a swift nerf.
Quote From BlizzardPatch 25.0.3 is a data-only patch going live today with updates to two Standard cards.
A data-only patch means that a small download will be necessary, both for desktop and mobile clients. However, this does not require any mobile storefront approvals - you will notice an immediate update taking place right upon entering the game. You may not be able to resume playing until this process is completed.
Sire Denathrius might have had it coming for a longer while, as players were raising red flags even during the previous pre-launch events: from the early preview at Death Knight Showmatch to various Theorycraft Streams. That's also how we knew something might eventually happen, as some time ago Hearthstone Final Design Team noted how they were keeping an eye on the card's power level (and even on Prince Renathal, actually - like "father", like "son"). And they also did promise to react as needed, "at least 5 days before" the opening of the upcoming Hearthstone World Championship. Well, there you have it.
The change to Shockspitter isn't terribly surprising either, as it has been an early standout card for Hunters everywhere - as you might've noticed from our March of the Lich King Launch Decks compilation. What's perhaps more interesting here is that Druids and Rogues (plus Discard Warlocks in Wild) did get away with no immediate nerfs for the time being.
Quote From Blizzard
Dev Comment: We set up this balance window to address any changes we wanted to make immediately after the expansion launched. Shockspitter is exactly that type of card, ending games sooner, more easily, and more consistently than we intended. Sire Denathrius is a card we have had our eyes on for some time, but we wanted to see how he performed in the new expansion first. With a couple days of data, we can see that it is still a very popular and polarizing card, warping early meta development in a way we want to address before the World Championship (December 16-18).
This balance update was reserved for only the most standout cards immediately after expansion unlock. We’ll continue to keep our eye on how the metagame develops and make any further adjustments needed in our next balance window, reserved for a few weeks from now.
- Old: Lifesteal. Battlecry: Deal 5 damage amongst enemies. Endlessly Infuse (1): Deal 1 more.
- New: Lifesteal. Battlecry: Deal 5 damage amongst enemies. Endlessly Infuse (2): Deal 1 more.
- Old: [Costs 2]
- New: [Costs 3]
The above craftable cards will be eligible for a full dust refund for two weeks following Patch 25.0.3. As a reminder, regular Sire Denathrius was a free card and can’t be crafted or disenchanted.
Sire Denathrius Achievement Fixed, Back to Being Free
New and returning players who skipped the entire Murder at Castle Nathria Rewards Track were actually unable to easily claim their free copy of Sire Denathrius anymore following the launch of March of the Lich King on December 6 - an issue that became known as soon as Patch 25.0 happened at the end of November (with the uncraftable expansion cards being moved as prizes onto their corresponding achievements, in lieu of the former XP bonus). So now they get to enjoy this somewhat depowered version along with everyone else.
Quote From Blizzard
Other Hearthstone Updates
- Players who did not receive the uncraftable Legendary Sire Denathrius last expansion cycle will now be granted it upon opening their first Murder at Castle Nathria pack (along with Prince Renathal, which is already obtained in that way). It will be removed from the “Long Live the King” Achievement in a future patch to complete this swap over. As this is a grant of an uncraftable Legendary, there is no gameplay impact for any players who unlock him two different ways during that time period.
Shadow Bans & Unbans
You won't currently find this listed in the published patch notes, but it would also appear that certain two cards - Grim Patron and Gruntled Patron, respectively - have been stealthily banned from the game, which is only meant to act as a temporary measure. The reason? A very particular and awful interaction with the new Death Knight card Corpse Explosion, resulting in "semi-infinite" gameplay animation loops (there was an ultimate cap in place). This has been initially reported by several players as they later shared the egregious deck, and most recently captured on video by RegisKillbin.
Quote From CelestalonWe're also aware of the interaction between Grim/Gruntled Patron and Corpse Explosion. Even if it's not overpowered, it's a poor experience, so are considering possible changes. In the mean time, we've temporarily banned Grim Patron and Gruntled Patron from play in Ranked.
Update: Casual mode too.
Well, it was also certainly a great setup for "endlessly" infusing one Sire Denathrius. Still available in Duels, by the look of things.
Update: Okay, so that did not last long. Team 5 have apparently changed their minds and went with something else later on, deciding there will be "no Corpses for you" instead:
Quote From BlizzardHeads up! Grim Patron and Gruntled Patron will be unbanned in a new hotfix that will roll out today. Both minions will no longer leave Corpses. This will address the unintended interaction with Corpse Explosion. More updates to come!
Quote From Celestalon(This is not the final solve for this interaction, still temporary, just better to leave it this way instead of totally banned for the moment. Hoping to get a more final fix out next week that preserves both cards' functionality, without going infinite.)
We will keep you posted as this little saga continues to unfold.
Just get outta here, everyone.
The Sire is dead, long live the Sire? As in, hail the one and only Lich King!
Every round of my Hearthstone life was starting to end like this;
Opponent has 5 hp, I have 2 minions on board like 3-4 health and have like 16 hp; "Yeah, I will finish this round next turn"; Opponent plays Sire Denathrius, I lose.
I mean, aggro decks had it, control decks had it, combo decks had it, midrange decks had it, token decks had it. I really don't know why they wait for that long to nerf that toxic card.
Update (yet again) - Added the following:
Regis beat Iksar badly with this combo yesterday; link of the clip from youtube:
Quite possible the ex game director realized how broke things were and "made a call".
Sire still seems good but he is not going to finish as many games as before.
That’s a pretty fair Denathrius nerf, if it doesn’t work out they can always make it Infuse (3)
Not exactly a surprise, especially for hunter. Shockspitter can and will end games really quickly making each game more like racing than actual tempo. Im afraid with this nerf, face hunter will simply cease to be, because in constructed nowadays its bizarrely being outdone in terms of face damage by quite a number of decks.
Speaking of which, is Sinstone Graveyard not going to be looked at? Or are we normalizing getting destroyed by stealth 9/9s or 10/10s by turn 4-5?
But as for Sire Denathrius, it will at least resolve one major problem in the game, and that's having to see the sire everywhere and in every late game. This effectively murders him, unfortunately, to all decks but druid because in case anyone else has not noticed it, druid spams token so well its literally juicing sire denathrius better than actual decks playing minions in it. Seriously though, I wouldn't be too surprised to still see him in druid decks, prompting yet another exclamation: that this patch doesnt do shit to address the core fundamental issue which is ramp druid's gameplay is toxic as fuck
Because the deck only ever loses to itself. Ramp druid doesn't lose because it got pressured, it losses whenever it can't ramp exactly on curve. Jerry Rig Carpenter on 2, Wild Growth on 3, Nourish on 4 into scales and then from there its just flavor of the day. So with Sire Denathrius nerfed, we may now witness the stupidity that is brann + Astalor Bloodsworn. Or better yet. Brann+ Anubrakhan + Astalor. All done in one turn for 60+ damage.
Oh yes, let's give the class more mana cheat akin to celestial alignment, more health gain. Not OP enough perhaps, then let's also give it 4/6 taunts that come out for free. Who the fuck is designing these druid cards, seriously.
I do not mind that every class splits into multiple different archetypes but I do think it is an issue when the different archetypes a class plays has no weakness because it uses cards from the other archetypes within that class. I hope the rune system or something similar is added to every class in the future.
Pretty much this entire expansion I've been fully loaded on hand disruption and its crazy how resilient Druid is. Renathal variants can shrug off things like Brann + Patchwerk since most of the time, they'll still be left with at least 1 combo to win the game.
That being said, I feel like there might still be some counterplay possible. Plaguespreader causes the game to devolve into a hot mess very quickly when it gets resummoned a couple times. It is still a bit clunky given that its a 4 drop, but against decks that have cards stick in their hand for a bit, they either are either forced into Plaguespreaders or they have to topdeck the combo fairly quickly. It still struggles against Celestial Alignment since that deck does such a great job of just drawing an ungodly amount of cards, but I feel like there's something there worth messing around with.
To be fair, druid can be beaten. Ive gone pure pally for a massive divine shield minion fairly consistently, one that resisted the usual turn 5 scales and from there they're just dead. The biggest problem here is that by dedicating yourself to beating druid you're inevitably going to be destroyed by another deck, which in this case is blood DK, nearly auto wins against aggro.
Plaguespreader is an actual card in deathrattle priest. I tried it and its effective and all, but you just get destroyed by other decks like hunter or dhunter. Its actually inconsistent against druid itself because often enough the card only ever snipes one card off my opponent's hand before I die. It really doesn't take alot to be taken down by brann + denathrius turns out.
Druid as it is currently should simply never be allowed to be tier 1. Blood DK is another hot mess, more for what it does to the meta than the deck itself, but that's a tale for another day.
Maybe they should just stop making cards so OP in the first place. I think it's very telling that when you insert an entire expansion into standard and it makes next to no impact that maybe cards are too powerful nowadays.
As for these nerfs, Shock Spitter isn't OP but I think 3 mana is fair. Denathrius just shouldn't infuse endlessly and that would solve the problem. Cap it off at 10 and be done with it.
Capping would be an elegant solution for Shockspitter as well, but Team 5 has a passionate hatred for caps, we must infer, because they are rejected at every turn.
Who murdered Sire Denathrius?
It wasn't Sesselie at the Hedge Maze with her flower powers and spiritual deities to call to.
It wasn't Ara'lon at the Castle Kennels with his spirit beasts and command of the wild.
It wasn't Kel'Thuzad at the Nightcloak Sanctum with his skeletons and his bone-chilling ice magic.
It wasn't Draka at the Sinstone Graveyard with her sharp wits and even sharper bone daggers.
It wasn't Rafaam at the Vile Library with his army of Imps and the giant collection of books to throw at him.
It wasn't even Sylvanas anywhere around the castle grounds with her command of the scourge army and mind control powers.
It was The Lich King at the Sunwell with his gang of bar patrons and blood powers.
Of course it wasn't Avalon
Shockspitter nerf was necessary and solves the problem elegantly without making the card completely unuseable.
Denathrius nerf does nothing except shut up all the redditors who can't handle losing to a meta deck with their tier 17 homebrew. It also does nothing to address what Druid does. They're just gonna do the same thing with Astalor and probably faster as well.
Either way, this should change things up somewhat...and by that I mean give us some breathing room until the meta devolves into Ramp Druid vs Boar Druid.
I like that Denathrius nerf, it's more elegant than I expected.
It still a solid card, but it will definitely require more investment to reach the OP zone.
Apparently Gruntled Patron is currently banned for both standard and wild (didn't check for other modes), most likely because he could cause a infinite (or atleast cap reaching) loop with Corpse Explosion. Surely this is just a temporary solution until the next balance changes.
Thanks for the note, added the official dev statement while at it.
Why though? Isn't the same loop possible with Defile as well?
So I guess we could have had Denathrius-lock during the Frozen Throne event but nobody bothered to check because I don't think anyone remembered Gruntled Patron even existed.
The problem is that Corpse Explosion doesn't have the 14 hard-limit cap like Defile does: either they forgot to bother, or Corpse Explosion was always meant to be limitless-if-necessary. Even Spammy Arcanist has a cap on it.
Nicely spotted! Just went in to confirm that myself.