Hello everyone and welcome to another Touchstone Tavern, our weekly roundup of the most interesting Hearthstone (Free) news and videos. As was to be expected, this week was dominated by the announcement of the upcoming nerfs to some very important cards. We aren’t used to Blizzard taking action that quickly, so when the developers announced that they were going to nerf five cards, almost everyone in the community was caught off guard. Every player has been waiting to see Druid nerfed, but the nerfs went beyond that, and not everyone is happy about it. I’m glad to see the developers being more reactive to issues with the game, and I’d rather they go for it and get it a bit wrong than wait for months to ensure they get it 100% right. Let us begin.
Naga Sea Witch Change Breaks Wild
Balancing Wild is a very tricky proposition given how many cards are in it, and as this article talks about, a “small" change in Naga Sea Witch has broken the mode. Specifically, the way the card now interacts with Giants has changed, and now you can easily flood the board with huge giants by turn 5 or 6. As you can imagine, players don’t like it, but Blizzard doesn’t seem to be moving to change this interaction. Read more about the change here.
Blizzard to Drop Arena Synergy Picks System
Recently, Blizzard changed Arena picks so that the first two cards you could pick promoted some kind of synergy. Apparently, this system hasn’t been welcomed by players, so Blizzard is moving to remove it soon. That removal will make all Arena picks follow similar principles. Players were happy to see Blizzard try something new, but they also seem happy to see it go away. What do you think about this change?
Big Nerfs Coming to the Game Soon
In an unexpected move, more for its speed than content, Blizzard decided to nerf five very important cards that some see as responsible for many problematic decks currently in the game. Specifically, the nerfs to Innervate, Fiery Axe, Hex, Spreading Plague, and Murloc Warleader should hit some strong decks while also giving the opportunity to newer cards to make an impact on the meta. Read the whole story here, and let’s hope these changes help the meta.
Developers Don’t Think You’re Stupid
Ben Brode entered the conversation over the Fiery War Axe changes and responded to a line about how changing the mana cost of a card is less disruptive because players can always see the mana cost of the cards in hand. Players took that to mean that Blizzard doesn’t think players are smart enough to not get confused by simple card changes. Brode waded in and explained how it’s actually the opposite: players have memorized hundreds of cards and know the mechanics and costs by heart. Therefore, they might not notice word changes on the cards. Read the rest of the story here.
Breaking Down the Upcoming Nerfs
This writer looks at the upcoming changes to some of the game’s most influential cards and tries to infer how the changes will alter the classes’ power levels. The article looks at how Innervate will still be useful but not in every deck, how Fiery War Axe is losing a lot of its potency, and more. An interesting article that gives you an idea of how the meta might change based on these recent nerfs.
Upcoming Balance Patch to Slow Down Dominant Decks
The recently announced nerfs of five cards will lead to the game’s dominant decks slowing down according to this story. They should also help newer cards see more play. The story talks about each of the affected cards and explains the effects of the nerfs to ramp druid decks, murloc decks, and more. Check out the whole story here.
How the Nerfs Will Change the Meta
This story looks at the specific decks that will be influenced by the upcoming nerfs. Specifically, it talks about the effect of the nerfs on Jade Druid, non-Miracle versions of Druid, Aggro Druid, Pirate Warrior, Control Warrior, Murloc Paladin, and more. A good read if you want to get an idea of how different decks might perform after the nerfs hit.
Mike Donais on Upcoming Nerfs
According to Senior Designer Mike Donais, once things calm down, people will be pretty happy with the upcoming nerfs because that’s what they’ve been asking for. These changes were influenced by talking to some pro players along with what the team believed was better for the game. He also talks about how the team underestimated the power of Spreading Plague, so a nerf was needed. It’s a look into the thought process behind the nerfs and definitely worth a read.
Pros Aren’t Exactly Thrilled With the Nerfs
This story pulls together some pros’ reactions to the nerfs, and most of them aren’t positive. The nerf that got the most reaction was Fiery War Axe, with some pros saying that it would damage Warrior forever and relegate it to being a weak class. There are some pros that aren’t unhappy though, so it’s hard to have a consensus. Reddit, though, has a pretty strong opinion on the matter, and it isn’t a positive one.
Reynad Talks Nerfs
Frozen Throne WTF Moments
Kripp on Jade Druid Post Nerfs
Review of the Druid Nerfs
Today in Hearthstone #711
Blizzard Dealing With Druid
The Hadronox Meta
Best of Sindragosa
Best of Pro Players