It’s now been a full month since the release of the Rise of Shadows expansion. With Tempo Rogue making up around 30 percent of the decks on the ladder, some cards need to be changed. Some cards have a very high popularity in the meta only because they are reactionary to Rogue. Others, however, see too much universal play and end up being good regardless of the matchup. Here are some Legendaries that need nerfs to help the health of the metagame.
Not only as a Legendary, but out of any card in the game, Zilliax is far and away the most played. That should immediately raise a red flag in terms of game balance. Zilliax is an inclusion in over 50 percent of all decks. This is because Zilliax is really everything a player could want in a card. It has Rush, Mech synergy, Taunt, Divine Shield and Lifesteal.
First of all, neutral healing is a very rare sight in the standard meta game these days. Given that, Zilliax gives healing and provides additional defense with Taunt on top of that. Given all of the Mechs present in the meta game, Zilliax becomes even better because of its Magnetic capabilities. This could heal a player all the way back to full health from the brink of death.
As far as nerfing Zilliax, the only thing might be to remove the Magnetic from its capabilities. Many classes run Zilliax as their only mech, and only source of healing. Even the most aggressive deck in the meta, Tempo Rogue, opts to use Zilliax as some healing and defense for mirror matches. The best solution would probably be to provide more or better neutral healing cards like those of the past. One notable card was Antique Healbot.
Leeroy Jenkins has been the center of attention when it comes to nerfs for quite some time. Much like the funny comment everyone likes to bring up from the Hearthstone team’s past statement on balancing, “Leeroy Jenkins created a strategy… that is neither fun nor interactive”. This still rings true to this day.
The best course of action with Leeroy would be to simply move him to the Hall of Fame. There is no effective nerf to Leeroy that would keep him in a playable state while being healthy in the meta.
The entire Charge mechanic limits design space when it comes to making new cards. This became immediately evident with Rogue’s acquisition of Waggle Pick. With Shadowstep, this creates a situation where Rogues can play Leeroy up to five times in a single game.
The power level of Rogue certainly needs to be lowered with its massive damage potential and popularity. Edwin VanCleef and Myra’s Unstable Element are two Rogue class Legendaries that seem to find themselves in every good version of Tempo Rogue.
Edwin VanCleef is a card that benefits greatly from the existence of Preparation and The Coin. When going second, it’s not unlikely that Rogues can create a 12/12 VanCleef on turn two. With Silence being on average bad, and classes with Polymorph effects being shoved out of the meta, decks rarely have the answer to VanCleef.
Cleef doesn’t need to be Hall of Famed, but he could be nerfed in a healthy way. Tuning his combo effect down to +1/+1 for each card played might be a little harsh, but making it +2/+1 would allow him to be much more easily answered while also providing a huge threat. His mana cost could also be bumped up to four.
The biggest problem with VanCleef isn’t typically about not having the answer, but rather the answer can only come on a later turn. A turn two VanCleef isn’t really fair when most cards that can deal with it cost four or more mana.
There is a much more straightforward problem with Myra’s Unstable Element. Rogue’s benefit has been playing cheap spells to cycle cards in the past. However, Myra’s encourages Rogues to play it as the only card draw in the deck aside from Raiding Party. Rogue’s shouldn’t be able to have a 10 card hand after immediately running out of resources. The tempo value of spending only two mana to draw out the rest of your deck is insane.
Dr. Boom, Mad Genius
Dr. Boom provides ridiculous value. As far as the three remaining hero cards go, Dr. Boom provides to much more value with his hero power for two mana. On top of that, all Mechs have Rush, and the Warrior class has a ton of way to acquire Mechs, as well as from Dr. Boom himself.
There really isn’t even a bad tempo sacrifice to get Dr. Boom online, at seven mana he grants seven armor. When this card is just as good in terms of win rate to hold in the mulligan phase as one mana cards, that’s simply ridiculous power level.
Dr. Boom was a good addition to the meta when Hero Cards dominated in every class. Now that the Death Knights are gone however, Dr. Boom should have gone with them. Hero cards should be more in line with those like Zul’Jin, a very powerful Battlecry effect, but no insane value from the Hero Power.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.