Sometimes, you can balance cards without direct nerfs. By adding new cards of certain mana cost, tribe and type, Blizzard can alter the overall power level of conditional creation mechanics. With card generation and ‘created by’ running rampant, should Blizzard intervene, even if they won’t nerf? Is it time to dilute card pools?
More 12 Drops
Currently, there are only two 12 cost minions in standard: Mountain Giant and Grave Horror. This wouldn’t normally be an issue, but the power of Conjurer’s Calling causes problems. When Mage can Conjurer’s Calling a Mountain Giant, they can extremely reliably generate huge boards of 7/8 taunts.
This pushes the power level of Conjurer’s Calling to a potentially frustrating extent. When Mage high-rolls, most classes can do very little, especially with the added defensive capabilities the Taunts provides to block counter-lethal.
With even one more poorly-statted or even non-Taunt 12 cost minion with a cost reduction mechanic, Mage will no longer be so Mountain-Giant focused with their Conjurer’s Callings. Although Blizzard must take care not to print a Charge or Rush 12 drop.
Another creation pool that could be due for dilution is Mechs. Warrior’s Omega Assembly and Dr Boom Mad Genius gives massive value. Part of the reason for this is the smorgasbord of high-value Mech options, especially for Warrior Mechs. The discovery bonus means that the Boom Reaver, Omega Devastator, Security Rover, Beryllium Nullifier and Dyn-o-matic are frequent picks. If not, then there are still plenty of high-value neutral Mechs.
By adding some low-value cheap Mechs, especially for Warrior, Blizzard can subtly lower the average late-game power of Warrior’s Mech discovery tools, making their waves of Rush Mechs more manageable. With fewer power spikes, Warrior will become not that much less powerful, but significantly less frustrating.
Lackeys are powerful generated 1 drops introduced in Rise of Shadows. Rogue in particular makes great use of these lackeys, fitting them into an aggressive playstyle. With effects like ‘Give a minion Rush and +1 Attack”, “Deal 2 damage (to the enemy face)” or “Discover Eviscerate”, Lackeys tend to be incredibly strong when on offence, and pretty meh when you’re not on the board.
If the lackeys included defensive options like “Restore 3 health”, “Give a minion +1 health and Taunt”, “Deal 1 damage to all other minions”, or “Freeze a minion”, then lackeys could support a greater variety of strategies. They’d be more well-rounded and marginally less powerful in a purely aggressive game plan. This would also be thematically appropriate with a more heroically themed expansion.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via hearthstone.gamepedia.com
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