A targeted set of nerfs are already live, with Valeera in the crosshairs. Raiding Part is up to 4 mana, EVIL Miscreant got a health chipped off and classic workhorse Preparation now only discounts spells for 2. The only other target was Archivist Elysiana. But with Warriors now free to cut the inefficient mirror-focused ‘bounce’ effects, these changes are, in effect, a buff. Is this an oversight on Blizzard’s part towards the prior second-best deck? Or is Warrior not worth worrying over?
A Nerf to Rogue is a Nerf to Warrior
First off, it’s important to remember Warrior’s position in the meta. While Control Warrior certainly is strong, its principle purpose is as a Rogue counter. Since Rogue is favoured against almost every other Class, only Warrior could stem the tide. Its massive amount of armour and removal made it unique in its ability to survive the aggression and burn.
With Rogue less dominant, there’s simply less reason to choose Warrior. This may have a larger impact than you might anticipate. Control is hardly the most riveting playstyle for all, and if Warrior is no longer necessary as a Rogue counter, more players than expected may simply swap to newer, shinier decks without fear of losing to Waggle Pick.
Hunter and Mage
Beyond this, two classes are poised to take the fight to Dr. Boom. Hunter and Mage are both incredibly potent anti-Warrior classes that look ready to fill the Rogue void. Each have the ability to crush Control’s dreams. Mage’s endless waves of massive means can overwhelm even the most tenacious Mech master, whereas Hunter’s snowballing magnetic minions means even Warrior runs out of removal and lifegain before they can stabilise.
Warrior isn’t doomed, though. If these classes become too dominant, it doe shave some options. It can become more bombs and minions, or go full control and include more removal and Silence effects. However, it will inevitably become more and more challenging for Warriors to succeed and Hunters and Mages rise.
Rise of Everyone Else
The ‘Rise of the Mech’ event also may end up reducing Warrior’s ability to control the meta. Every class is having two Boomsday Project cards buffed, sometimes significantly. What’s more, a new Legendary Mech with Echo, Deathrattle and Magnetic looks to increase the power of mech decks.
This should lower the power of Warriors for several reasons. For starters, their buffs were two small stat buffs to little-played cards. Beyond that, the significant buffs to non-Warrior cards look to increase the power level of synergistic combo, and especially mech decks. All of these reinforce strategies Warrior is extremely ill-equipped to deal with. So feel free to dust that Archvist Elysiana – at least for now.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via hearthstone.gamepedia.com
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