Yogg-Saron is easily my favourite card out of the Whispers of the Old Gods set. Even if I’m winning my Hearthstone game by a mile, I like to throw the old chap down just to watch the chaos that follows.
Unfortunately, the madness Yogg-Saron provides is just a little bit too much for Blizzard’s liking. Granted, the old god has the ability to completely f%$# you over, but it can do the complete opposite too. If you’re in the most dire of situations, it can very well pull you out of it, and swing the game in your favour.
Which in a high stakes competitive game you can imagine, is completely unfair. Blizzard are addressing Yogg-Saron in the following way to bring it back into somewhat balanced territory:
This is the most controversial card we’ve ever made. Some people LOVE Yogg, and others hate it. We felt like seeing Yogg in tournaments was not where we originally hoped it would end up. Yogg should be for players who want to have a lot of fun, but maybe not the card you see frequently in high-level tournaments. Yogg is relatively weak in power level for nearly every class at every level, but is slightly above average in 2 decks – Tempo Mage and Token Druid. We didn’t want to nerf it so much that it couldn’t still be a fun card for players who currently love Yogg.
Yogg-Saron will now stop casting spells if, during Yogg-Saron’s battlecry, it is destroyed, silenced, transformed, or returned to its owner’s hand. We tried a bunch of things and we think this is a significant enough nerf that it could reduce the amount it gets seen (especially in tournaments), while still maintaining the dream for people who love the card.
I get it, I totally do, but that doesn’t mean I am any less sad. Yogg-Saron ends up being cleared off the board more often than not (at least in my experience). With this change, I now have to hope that it can get off a load of spells before that inevitably happens.
Anyhow, the old god isn’t the only one getting smacked with the nerf hammer I’m afraid. Blizzard are turning their attention to the following cards too:
Rockbiter is the culprit of a few mass burst-damage combos in addition to being a reliable early game removal tool. Due to its strength in a variety of circumstances, it’s been one of the most widely played Shaman cards in Hearthstone’s history. Making changes to Basic cards that show up in every deck will help instigate more variety and help the Standard format succeed in the future. We’re preserving some of the synergistic potential of Rockbiter Weapon but decreasing its value as a removal tool by changing the cost of the card from 1 to 2 Mana.
We considered other Shaman cards like Tunnel Trogg and Totem Golem, but these are both leaving Standard relatively soon, so we thought it would be better to change Rockbiter and improve the Standard format in a more permanent way.
We like that Tuskarr is contributing to totem focused decks, but currently the power level is centered around the possibility of summoning cards like Totem Golem or Mana Tide Totem. This isn’t the most fun type of randomness for a card that is low mana and sees this much play. We want this card to be an option for decks that take advantage of extra totems through cards like Thing From Below or Primal Fusion, but a weaker option for players looking for standalone high power level options on turn three. That said, we are adjusting the battlecry for Tuskarr Totemic to only summon basic totems.
Although Call of the Wild is intended to be a powerful late game option, it is over performing at 8 mana. By moving it to 9 mana we intend to tone down its power enough that it won’t be an automatic inclusion in every Hunter deck and overshadow other strategies.
The Warrior class has access to a large amount of removal spells, and while we want to continue providing Warrior players with powerful removal options, Execute stands out as one that has proven to be too efficient in too many situations. We’re increasing the cost of Execute from 1 to 2 Mana in order to keep the card as an option closer in power level to other existing and future removal tools.
While we enjoy seeing players explore combo styles of play and will continue to support it in the future, we’ve seen in the past that the ability to give Charge to minions that don’t normally have it has been particularly problematic and also heavily restricts future cards. We’ve redesigned the card Charge in a way that provides opportunities for minion combat, but does not enable strategies that intend to win without allowing opponents to interact.
Aggressive decks are stronger than we would like right now, and Abusive Sergeant is in virtually all of them. We like that Abusive Sergeant is available to players using minion heavy strategies, but neutral cards in the base set should be narrow enough that they aren’t showing up in such a wide variety of circumstances. We’re changing Abusive Sergeant to be a 1/1 so the battlecry becomes the clear focus, rather than the card being a reasonable turn one option for all aggressive deck types.
The class most affected by these changes seems to be Shaman. Personally, I’m very happy with the adjustment to Tuskarr Totemic. The number I’ve times I’ve seen him played to summon a Totem Golem is too damn high!
Overall, I’m pleased with these changes (bar those made to Yogg-Saron of course). What about you? Are any of your decks going to be affected when this patch lands sometime in the near future? Or are you pleased too?
Last Updated: September 29, 2016