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‘Hearthstone’ Balance Changes: Soulfire, Gadgetzan Auctioneer and Flare

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As a long time Magic player, I’ve never been wild about digital card games and the ability to retune existing cards over just releasing new cards that shift the metagame. (Sure, you could argue the ban list is how Wizards “retunes" things, but, whatever.) Blizzard doesn’t seem shy about tweaking cards that are creating play imbalances, and per a post on the Blizzard forums, Soulfire, Gadgetzan Auctioneer and Flare are getting hit by the nerf bat at some point in the potentially immediate future. Soulfire and Flare are zero mana cards, which can be hard to play around. Similarly, Gadgetzan Auctioneer powers the miracle rogue deck which is still oddly prevalent. Here’s the full explanation of the changes:

  • Soulfire now costs 1 (up from 0)
    • Soulfire, along with fast and powerful minions, allowed Warlock rush decks to get ahead on the board and stay ahead. We’ve upped Soulfire’s mana cost by 1 to slow down the Warlock rush deck just a bit and allow more players time to react and interact against the Warlock.
  • Gadgetzan Auctioneer now costs 6 (up from 5)
    • Gadgetzan Auctioneer’s ability allows for a player to potentially draw many cards for little cost. Card draw and card advantage are important to the game—overall, games are less interesting when a player draws their entire deck. This change brings Gadgetzan Auctioneer’s cost more in line with its power level.
  • Flare now costs 2 (up from 1)
    • Flare allowed the Hunter an advantage versus decks that revolve around Secrets, while also allowing the Hunter to draw a card for little cost. We want to encourage a variety of decks in Hearthstone. With this change, Flare will continue to be useful against decks playing Secrets, but will be weaker against other decks

In other Hearthstone news, a ton of Goblins vs Gnomes cards have been added to the Hearthstone Facebook page. Definitely keep on top of that if you’re stoked for the new expansion. As far as when Goblins vs Gnomes is hitting, well, “this month" still.

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