Buccaneer Nerf Coming(?), Gadgetzan’s Effect, and More ‘Hearthstone’ Weekly News in ‘Touchstone’ #81

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Hello Hearthstone (Free) players and welcome to another news and videos weekly roundup here at TouchArcade. I hope you’ve been enjoying your play and, hopefully, haven’t been encountering too many Pirates along the way. This week we have some more talk on Gadgetzan and its effects, some interesting meta discussions, and, of course, some fun videos. I don’t remember any other expansion creating so much talk post-release as Gadgetzan has, not so much in terms of intensity but in terms of how many different topics it seems to have generated. From talk about Pirates to discussions on Control decks to much more, this has been quite an interesting time for the game, hasn’t it? Let’s jump right in, then.

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How Gadgetzan Changed Everything

It’s hard to deny Gadgetzan’s impact on the game, and this story is all about that. The new cards have created new decks but have also created a reliance on certain archetypes, something most players aren’t too happy about. In this interview, Peter Whalen, senior game designer, talks about how they’re pleased to see Pirates doing well and seeing those cards in different decks, but they are keeping an eye on Patches and Small Time Buccaneer. The conversation then went into how 1-mana minions have been getting stronger and stronger, and while that matches the teams’ philosophy, they are probably going to pull back a bit by making fewer powerful 1 drops, especially the kinds that snowball.


Arena came up next, with Whalen listing the various ideas the team has about improving the mode – like emphasizing power level over rarity. The discussion continued with questions about Tavern Brawl, Tri-Class cards, the various Gadgetzan mechanics, and more, so definitely a discussion worth checking out.


Shaman Might be Getting Nerfed

I have a hunch that title gave you hope, but don’t start celebrating yet. According to this story, game director Max McCall said that a desirable meta game is one that doesn’t have dominant strategies, and while playing Shaman isn’t a dominant strategy, it’s still a boring one because of how often you encounter the deck. They know that Shaman decks have weaknesses and are hoping the players discover them, but if things stay as they are, they might have step in. I don’t think many players would complain if that ended up happening sooner rather than later.


Blizzard Says Jade Idol Isn’t Anti-Control

As this story points out, we’ve had less control and fatigue decks since Gadgetzan, and many believe that Jade Idols had something to do with that. Control Warrior, for instance, isn’t played much at the moment because Jade Druid has a better late game. Those who liked playing old-style control decks aren’t happy that Blizzard designed a card that counters the whole archetype, but game designer Max McCall has chimed in to say that they made Jade Idol as a way for players to know that late game is all but theirs as long as they can work hard to survive until that point. He also said that attrition-focused decks shouldn’t be the only control decks out there, and Jade Idol ads more texture to that archetype. What do you think about Jade Idol?


Ben Brode Talks Patches and Pirates

It’s no secret that Patches and Pirates in general have been at the center of talks on the health of the meta recently. In this interview, Ben Brode talked about how they are keeping an eye on Pirates but haven’t decided yet which way they’ll go with it. He talks about the team’s nerfing philosophy and how it might relate to Pirates, but, of course, doesn’t disclose any plans for nerfing it at the moment. He then talks about Small-Time Buccaneer being the problem rather than Patches, and says that if any nerf will be coming, it will be for that card.

His preference is changes having minimum effects to the text already on the card, so changing those big numbers (mana cost for instance) is a much better idea. The interview goes into possible changes to classic and basic cards as well as into cards like Spirit Claws, so it’s definitely worth your time. What kind of change would you want to see to Small-Time Buccaneer?


China Servers’ Power Failure Cost Four Days’ Worth of Progress

China suffered from a Hearthstone issue unlike the ones we usually see when a power failure damaged data to such a degree that the team had to roll back the game’s data four days in the past. What that meant is any gold, any cards earned or bought, and any stars gained were gone, so not a small thing at all. In response to the outcry and as an apology to those affected, Blizzard China will give players affected 1000 gold, and five Classic, Old Gods, and Gadgetzan packs. Plenty of rewards, but I’m sure the sting remains.



RSVP for the Winter Championship in the Bahamas

If you feel like enjoying the sun in March, you should RSVP for the Hearthstone Winter Championship event in the Bahamas. The event will take place at the Melia Nassau Beach – All Inclusive Resort and will definitely be more luxurious than any previous Hearthstone event. If you’re up for summer vacation in March while watching some (hopefully) great Hearthstone matches, check our story for more details.



The Meta After the First Major Tournament of 2017

The first major tournament of 2017 was the WESG Grand Finals in Ghangzou, China, which Staz dominated, and it gave us the opportunity to see which decks are being picked and which ignored. Unsurprisingly, every player brought a Pirate Warrior along, but we also got a faster version of Dragon Warrior, a reworked Miracle Rogue, the long-lasting Reno Mage, and plenty of Shamans, which ended up getting banned most of the time. On the flip side, we didn’t see Hunters and Paladins or Reno Priest, which was the only surprise of the prior three. Not a surprising meta overall.



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Kripp on Class Rebalancing

Trump’s Many Potions

Trolden’s Funny and Lucky Moments 

Best of Devolve

Best RNG Moments #11

The Return of Murlocs

Kolento’s Reno Surprise

Best of Missed Lethals

Horrible Kazakus Potion



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.  

Hearthstone Beginners’ Guide

Hearthstone Deck-building Guide


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