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Hearthstone

Is the Doctor Boom Nerf Enough?

Nerfs are finally announced, and they seem about what people have predicted. Warrior and Mage are the main targets, though the devs hit Priests too. But while Mage saw mana increases to two cards in Luna’s Pocket Galaxy and Conjurer’s calling, Warrior received just one. Is a 2 mana Doctor Boom nerf enough to hold back Control Warrior? Or will rush Mechs continue to oppress the meta?

Unaffected Early Game

Eternium Rover and Town Crier still carry Warrior’s early turns

One big issue with only nerfing Boom is that Warrior’s early game is intact. Eternium Rover, Town Crier, Frightened Flunky and Restless Mummy, went unscathed, leaving Warrior with the best early game of any control deck. Even aggro decks can struggle to keep up with its plethora of efficient minions.

With only Doctor Boom hit, Control Warrior will still ruin aggro decks. It’s still going to be incredibly difficult to keep up with Warriors when they hit their curve. If anything, the deck will be more likely to hit its earliest drops, as Boom is no longer such a powerful keep in the opening hand. Moreover, the ability for Warrior decks to run an incredibly high density of removal tools due to centralising their late-game package into only a few cards is unchanged.

2 Mana is a Lot

Despite all this and the card’s core functionality remaining unchanged, it is important to emphasise just how huge of a difference two mana is. We all know from experience the difference between a 5 mana and a 7 mana Luna’s Pocket Galaxy. The difference between 7 and 9 is even greater; especially when you’re having to sacrifice a whole turn on a card that does little but gain armor immediately. In particular, the inability to use your upgraded Hero Power alongside the card is not inconsiderable.

With that said, the card will still likely be playable. The lack of viable alternatives, the ability to play Shield Slam alongside it, and the power of Warrior’s supporting mechs means the card will continue to see play. But the cost increase exacerbates Warrior’s weaknesses in turns 6-9, before Omega Devastator and Omega Assembly come online. This gives more midrange decks a chance to pounce.

Taunts to the rescue?

Armagedillo may be the mid-game anchor Warrior needs to survive to Boom on 9

Despite the impact this will have on Warrior’s late-mid game, the Taunt package may keep them strong. Armagedillo, Tomb Warden, and discovered Frightened Flunky Taunts may still be enough to tide Warriors over to a 9 mana Boom.

In the end, Warrior may end up largely unaffected, depending how the meta swings. Mage’s nerfs are far more impactful, and may lead to Warrior being the reliable control option for the foreseeable future.

 

Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.

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