The Hearthstone development team recently announced a set of nerfs that go live next week. Many are wondering if the nerfs will be enough to power down the classes receiving them. The short answer is no. Though, ultimately, this is a huge leap forward for the Hearthstone balance team. We’ll go over all of Hearthstone’s incoming August 26 nerfs, and where things went right or wrong.
Mage is getting hit with two card nerfs right where it should hurt the most. First off is Conjurer’s Calling going up to four mana from three. This is a good nerf, as that card was able to activate huge boards way too early in the game with Mountain and Sea Giants. At four mana, the card should still be a good inclusion for Mages.
Luna’s Pocket Galaxy is being reverted back to seven mana. Luna’s Pocket Galaxy was part of the first real set of cards to be buffed in Hearthstone. It created an unhealthy and overpowered game plan for Mages, but it’s good to know that the Hearthstone team are willing to experiment now.
Luna’s should go back to being a relatively unplayable card, which is positive for the Meta. Over 50 percent of the decks brought to Masters Tour Seoul were Mage, and that’s definitely not fun for players or spectators.
They are not afraid to bump cards around in their mana cost to find a good fit for them. Once upon a time, they wouldn’t touch the cards at all. Maybe they would just nerf cards nearly a year after their release. Now we can expect to see cards changed before the next set comes out, and that includes buffs.
Dr. Boom and Extra Arms
Dr. Boom, Mad Genius is being nerfed to nine mana. The nerf for this card was being called for by pro players for about half a year. The nerf has come a little late, and is less than what most expected. All they did was nerf the card by two mana – the mana cost being what no one was complaining about.
The complaints were for the strength of the Hero Powers and the fact that it gives all Mechs rush. Neither of these effects were targeted in the nerf. Against non-aggressive decks, Dr. Boom should retain the same level of power. Hopefully, Warrior doesn’t creep up back to the number one class with the big nerfs to Mages incoming. With things slowing down, it could open up the door to Quest Druids and Shamans.
Extra Arms is another card that is being reverted from the same buff patch as Luna’s Pocket Galaxy. This nerf was more in question than the others. Priest is no doubt very strong right now, and something needed to be nerfed. In Masters Tour Seoul, it was the best deck to stand up against all of the Mages. Even then, Mage beat Priest in the Top 8 because of how strong the options are for them.
Playing against Northshire Cleric on turn one into Extra Arms on turn two didn’t feel good to play against. On the other hand, Divine Spirit plus Inner Fire will always be a problem.
Barnes in Wild
Barnes is being nerfed from four mana to five. This really impacts the singular archetype of Big Priest. What this does is delay the Priest getting their resurrection chain going by one turn. This allows one additional turn for Transform effects to be found. It also allows one additional turn for aggro decks to push face damage or discover their silences.
While this nerf is probably good, it’s also late. The popularity of Big Priest is dying down because of the volume of aggressive decks and decks running transform effects. This doesn’t necessarily completely answer the problem of Big Priest either, considering Barnes is unlikely to be played on turn four in the majority of games.
Either way, Wild is definitely less payed attention to by the balance team than Standard. They say they want to keep the power level higher in Wild, but we’ve gotten two card adjustments all year long, which isn’t much to be sure.
The problem right now in Wild is actually with Secret Mage. The new additions to Secret Mage from Saviors of Uldum have made the Wild version of the deck Tier 0, far and away the number one deck. Every deck that isn’t Secret Mage has started running some way to destroy Secrets to have a chance against it.
The Hearthstone August 26 nerfs go live after the first week of Grandmasters Season 2. So, of course, most players are bringing Mage and Priest in their lineups before the nerfs hit.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.