We've got a balance patch coming in hot! Blizzard has detailed all the changes ahead of the patch release today and we've summarized all the details down below.
These cards should be eligible for full dust refunds for 2 weeks after the patch hits.
- Wildpaw Gnoll no longer receives the reduction for dual-class cards.
- Sinstone Graveyard no longer summons a Ghost with Stealth, now it's just a Ghost.
- Final Showdown now requires you to draw 6 cards in one turn (Up from 4).
- Sinful Brand now costs 2 Mana (Up from 1).
- Shockspitter now costs 4 Mana (Up from 3).
- The stats have also increased to a 3/3 (Up from 2/2).
- Glacial Advance now reduces the next spell cast by 1 (Down from 2).
- Astalor Bloodsworn
- Phase 1 is now Manathirst 5 (Up from 4).
- Phase 2 is now Manathird 8 (Up from 7).
- Phase 3 now only deals 7 or 14 Damage (Down from 8 or 16).
- Battlefield Necromancer now summons a 1/3 (Up from 1/2).
- Boneguard Commandernow summons a 1/3 (Up from 1/2).
- Unholy Frenzy now costs 2 (Down from 3).
- Wither now costs 1 (Down from 2).
- Bonecaller now has 5 Health (Up from 4).
- Haunting Nightmare now has 4 Attack (Up from 3) and summons a 4/3 (Up from 3/3).
- High Cultist Basaleph now costs 4 (Down from 5).
- Dar'Khan Drathir now costs 7 (Down from 8).
- Infantry Reanimator now costs 5 (Down from 6).
- Vengeful Walloper now costs 6 (Down from 7).
- Energy Shaper now costs 3 (Down from 4) but now has 4 Health (Down from 5).
- Vast Wisdom now costs 2 (Down from 3).
- Timewarden now costs 3 (Down from 4) but now has 4 Health (Down from 5).
- Asvedon, the Grandshield now has 4 Health (Up from 3).
- Disruptive Spellbreaker now has 6 Health (Up from 5).
- Last Stand now costs 1 (Down from 4) but "Double its stats" now requires Manathirst 7.
- Nellie, the Great Thresher's Nellie's Pirate Ship Token now reduces the cost by 2 (Up from 1).
- Remornia, Living Blade now has 5 Attack (Up from 4).
Blizzard's Balance Insight
Quote From Blizzard
Dev Comment: Dual-class cards that are Rogue and another class will not reduce the cost of Gnoll.
Dev Comment: We recognize that Rogue has been a little too good (for a little too long) at higher ranks. The change to the Gnoll/Maestra interaction is a major change to the class intended to substantially shakeup how it looks and plays, while the Sinstone Graveyard change gives opponents more of a chance to respond to the big Rogue pop-off turns.
Dev Comment: Demon Hunter is the other best performing class at high levels of play, so these changes are intended to adjust its power. Sinful Brand was chosen as a card to target because it punishes opponents for simply playing the game, a play pattern that we don't like being too powerful or prevalent.
Dev Comment: Hunter is the top class at most parts of the ladder. When we changed Shockspitter to 3 mana in Patch 25.0.3, we expected that it would remain powerful after that change and debated whether we should just change it to 4 at that time. We decided that we didn't want to hit Hunter too hard all at once. Now that we've seen how the card performs at 3 mana, we think it can use another nudge—especially with the other top performers being adjusted down around it.
Dev Comment: Frost Death Knight is performing well right now, so we wanted to slightly shave some of its power to make sure it stays in line with the rest of the meta after the other changes this patch. This adjustment takes away a little bit of the deck's explosive burst-from-hand capabilities.
Dev Comment: Players seem to really enjoy the power and flexibility of Astalor. At the same time, that power and flexibility has made Astalor a near auto-include in almost every deck in the meta. These changes are designed to bring Astalor's power more in line with what we want from a Neutral, general-purpose utility card like this. We still hope and expect that Astalor remains a powerful option for many decks so that players can continue to enjoy this card.
Dev Comment: Blood and Unholy Death Knight are both still underperforming in Standard. Death Knight is difficult to balance because individual cards within the class tend to be very strong, but we found a couple spots where we felt we could add a little bit of power to individual cards to make them more appealing.
Dev Comment: Most Undead aggro decks have been underperforming compared to what we were expecting. Our changes here are to encourage exploration of those archetypes. We discussed potential changes to Undead Neutral cards, but opted to target the class cards this patch instead.
Dev Comment: Warrior seems to be the class that needs the most help in the current meta, so we're giving them the most buffs here. With Last Stand, we wanted it to feel more impactful and flexible, and we have a great new mechanic in Manathirst that gives us that kind of flexibility. This isn't the type of change that we normally do, but this was a good opportunity for us to make this card a little fresher and more interesting. We're also making a few changes to some older, exciting cards, to provide the class that boost it needs.
Additional Bug Fixes & Improvements
Quote From Blizzard
- [Hearthstone] Fixed a bug resulting in unintended changes to Magister's Apprentice.
- [Hearthstone] Text fixes to Magister Dawngrasp and Wildheart Guff.
- [Duels] Fixed a bug where Hematology could be used while you have 0 Corpses, resulting in the mana being spent and no effect happening.
OMG, we have a new mechanic? 😲
Nah, I'm just being silly for a typo 🙃
Asvedon, also has Taunt now too
Well, well, seems like the changes are so drastically different from what I initially thought. My comments;
- Wildpaw Gnoll effectively got completely destroyed. I can't see why'd anyone would ever play this card, even for memes, its just so inconsistent if not entirely worthless now. Equally useless by association is maestra, which sadly we dont get any dust for. But at least you can play maestra for memes.
- Sinstone Graveyard might still see play. Sometimes its hard to remember that even a 4/4 ghost for free is still a minion that needs answers for.
- Dhunter's scammy wins are slowed down. Not sure if quest would still see play, but Im guessing not because drawing 5 cards is pretty mean, even for dhunter.
- The astalor nerf is hard, especially for the 5 armor. Probably still played in most decks, except now aggro probably doesn't go there anymore.
- Not sure what team5 have in mind with the buffs to priest cards. The buff to Haunting Nightmare is so minute you might not even realised its buffed. The only change here that's noteworthy is High Cultist Basaleph, which makes it infinitely easier to play, especially in undead decks. I was rather expecting Haunting Nightmare to summon itself from its deathrattle.
- Changes to mage is scary. Vast Wisdom is now a card that can be respected on its own because 2 mana to discover two spells is just good.
- Nothing interesting here for druid and DK. Basically the token has 1 extra health and druid's Wither is not quite as shit. But by not addressing the core issue (not enough good undead minions in druid, and unholy DK in standard is too slow) Im not sure what team5 hopes would be accomplished here. Boneguard Commander is already a good card prior to buffs but blood DK might not actually need it.
- I know there's a persistent meme in reddit on how impactful 1 mana is whenever buffs/nerfs are made, but by god some kind of divine intervention is needed to make outcast dhunter in any capacity good. Vengeful Walloper from 7 mana to 6? Its almost an early april fools joke. How about give us a better reason to play the deck at all.
- Warlock changes aren't noteworthy to me, but I concede there might be something in Dar'Khan Drathir. Its very nearly a card you'd just play because its a solid card no matter how you look at it.
- And finally warrior, receiver of plenty buffs but some dodgy ones. The changes to Asvedon, the Grandshield is laughable to say the least because its a situational card, so what is that extra 1 health gonna do? Disruptive Spellbreaker is more respectable, but its still a tech card at the end, not to mention a very slow one.
Nellie change is fine, but I can't see warrior playing this card to be honest. Just so slow, and there's no reason to believe warrior can even last till turn 7 never mind concoct an OTK scenario with Mr. Smite.
Remornia, Living Blade change is equally weak, because its still a 7 mana card, and the reasons for not playing it is still there. You'd much rather just play rokara and swing for 10 over two turns. Had remornia been a 6 mana card (with less stats) it might have seen play simply because its a solid turn 6 play and still allows you to play rokara on curve. Oh well.
But the biggest change has got to be Last Stand. Forget the manathirst it'll never be triggered, but the ability to basically tutor any taunt minion for 1 mana is a game changer. Will this be enough for warrior to be anything better than tier 3? Probably not. But with the nerfs we might yet see a good enough warrior deck somehow.
Probably enrage warrior. Ugh. Bring on the miniset please.
I think the change to Shockspitter is more meaningful than it seems at first blush. It doesn't just delay when the Hunter goes for the kill, it also complicates their midgame. A common tactic is to weave Shockspitter in as a board-control tool and use Devouring Swarm to recover it and retain their finisher. Making Shockspitter more expensive makes all such maneuvers harder to pull off and increases the odds the Hunter will lose board control in the midgame (or salvage it at the cost of their finisher).
I know the card was super good and all, but I'm a Frost Death Knight player and it's sad to see Glacial Advance get hit. Seems much harder to use now.
That is quite literally the point of a nerf xD
Last Stand might actually be worth using now, holy shit. I was expecting them to shave off 1-Mana and be done with it; this seems way better. I still await the Thori'belore buff, though...
Wildpaw Gnoll might represent the biggest I Told You So in Hearthstone history. The devs made us suffer through that shit for more than a year and, in the end, just did what the community had asked for -- what was consistent with their own card text -- in the first place. The anticlimax would be infuriating if the nerf wasn't such a freakn' relief.
Note that they spent 0 seconds on making cool stuff for Maestra to interact with: there was only the egregious Gnoll, no follow-ups.
I was hoping for more functional changes like Last Stand received -- maybe the recursion/copy effects of Warrior and Priest in the buff list become Discovers or offer some choice instead of just getting stat buffs because in this meta, the stats mean little. I was also hoping for more corpses for Unholy and not just stat buffs. Still better than nothing, though.
Astalor Bloodsworn's nerf was way less mean than what seemed expected. It's still totally playable. Brann can still kill you with it.
Hunter is slower but still murderous. Final Showdown got it in the neck with the most inelegant gut-punch possible. Stormwind Quests remind me of the science fiction/fantasy trope where a group creates monsters, the group then hunts said monsters, and the writer wants you to treat the group like the good guys. Those Quests were a pile of problems.
I'm not sure how to use the DH quest now as the card draw you need would clog your hand by the time you have the mana to solve the first step, and most of the cards you draw will be, themselves, card draw.
High Cultist Basaleph may not save aggro, but it's good enough for control to try out even if it doesn't.