Hello and welcome to another Touchstone roundup of all news Hearthstone (Free). This has been another fun post-nerf week where most players are still trying to figure out where the game stands in terms of the meta but also what these nerfs mean for the game’s future. Players are trying to figure out what Blizzard’s plans going forward are going to be and what we should expect to see both in terms of future cards and future interventions. All that remains to be seen, but for now, let’s enjoy the slight meta volatility that came out of the recent card nerfs. And remember that BlizzCon and the World Championship is drawing closer, so fun times ahead.
Latest Nerfs Should be Start of New Balance Approach
The writer of this story hopes the latest nerfs are the beginning of a more “interventionist" approach by the developers, who have sat on the sidelines a bit too much during the game’s evolution. He talks about how the players are increasingly not happy with the hands-off approach and want to see action more often that will help keep the game fun. The story then goes on to describe what’s great about the new nerfs, including the fact that they are balance changes and not card deletions, they aren’t just the obvious nerfs, and that the number of nerfs point to a hopefully more active approach. At the same time, though, there are cards that need to be looked at in relation to Wild, for instance a card like N’Zoth. Overall, though, these are good signs for the game’s future.
Yogg-Saron Was Too Beautiful for this World
This quite entertaining story talks about how what started off as a joke card ended up being too powerful for its own good. Blizzard made this card as an entertaining Hail Mary that would offer Trolden with plenty of moments for his videos; however, pros quickly realize that the card’s pros outweighed its cons (randomness and unpredictability) and started using it more and more to the point where it became ubiquitous. So, Blizzard had to go in and spoil the fun for everyone.
Brode Talks Quests, Classic Set, and OTKs
Ben Brode went on stream to play some Hearthstone and talk about the game, and WerdsWerth kindly summarized the answers on reddit. He talked about the upsides of keeping the classic set in standard forever; for instance, when you take a break and come back, you are still able to create a standard deck without needing to get new cards. They want to keep classes distinct – which may affect future design – and OTKs are fine as long as they are infrequent, and not the kind that can do 30 damage out of nowhere and win the game. There are some other, funny little exchanges too, but the OTK response makes me wonder how many other cards will be nerfed for that reason in the future.
Thijs on the State of Hearthstone
In this story, Thijs, one of the best European players, talks about the state of the game just before BlizzCon. He offers some interesting info on how much work pro players put into preparing when he talks about going to a small bootcamp in Vienna with Lifecoach for three days in order to improve his game. At the same time, not knowing who the Asian and Chinese BlizzCon players will be makes it trickier to prepare properly. When it comes to the meta, it’s getting harder and harder to prepare because the meta hasn’t really changed for almost a year, so it’s hard to innovate at this point. Mid-range and slow decks can’t really be played because of how strong some aggro decks are. You can check the whole interview here.
Can’t Wait for Some Cards to Leave Standard
The writer of this story talks about all the cards that he wants to see gone from standard as soon as possible, and there are some interesting choices here. He wants Reno Jackson out, Totem Golem and Tunnel Trogg, Dark Peddler, Flamewaker, Justicar Trueheart, Emperor Thaurissan, and Grim Patron. You can easily figure out why he chose the cards he did (they are irritating in some decks), and you can read his reasoning here.
Six Hero Wish List
With Blizzard adding more and more cosmetic heroes, now is a good time to be asking for specific ones, and this is what the story does and does so in detail. The Paladin hero it talks about is Vindicator Marrad, the Warrior King Genn Greymane, Rogue hero Garona Halforcen, the Druid Hamuul Runetotem, the Warlock Cho’Gall, and Maiev Shadowsong could be a Rogue one. The article goes into the lore in detail, so it’s definitely a fun read. Check it out here.
Designing Karazhan’s Chess Event
One Night in Karazhan‘s Chess encounter has been in the news this week because of the Chess Tavern Brawl. So, it’s a good time to look back at how the original encounter was designed. This Hearthside Chat looks at the design of the Chess encounter from all aspects, from what the goal was to the way they turned it into an encounter. There’s talk about how they figured out the pacing (since chess is much slower) and then the encounter’s evolution process. You can even read about how the minions came about and how they worked (or didn’t) initially. A very good, thorough analysis that you should check out.
What is Blizzard’s Plan for Hearthstone?
In this story a professional Hearthstone caster and content creator talks to the HearthHead Crew about where he thinks the game is heading; it is going to be an e-sport, a fun, casual game? A very interesting analysis that you can watch below.
Which Cards Should Get Nerfed Next?
After Blizzard jumped in and took care of some problematic cards, the question now is which ones should share that fate next. According to this story, Doomhammer, Alexstrasza, Innervate, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Fiery War Axe, and Spirit Claws should be the next to get nerfed. These aren’t controversial choices and are ones I’ve heard discussed quite often. You can check the reasoning behind the choices here.
Best of Swashburglar
Trolden’s Funny and Lucky Moments #187
Epic Plays #132
WTF Moments #32
Amaz’s N’Zoth Priest #14
Kibler Controlling the Elements
Kripparian on the Next Standard Cycle
Best of Combos
As always, we have some good resources on the site for you in case you are new to the game or simply want to sharpen up your game. There’s never such a thing as too much help in Hearthstone, so check out our guides.