Blizzard has been teasing a few major changes to Hearthstone (Free) over the last couple weeks, and the update just went live unleashing those tweaks to the world. First off, as we posted back on the 25th, ranked play is once again being shook up. Instead of being a tiered system with additional ranks taking more and more stars to unlock, now each level is five stars. It’s an interesting change, as players who frequently reached levels that required more than five stars to progress might feel like it’s easier? Maybe?
The philosophy behind all this was explained in this Designer Insights video:
Beginning with the start of the March 2018 Ranked Play season, we’re making improvements to Hearthstone’s Ranked Play ladder experience. Check out the video below to see what to expect, as well as the philosophy and intentions behind the update. pic.twitter.com/mIsbxHtyQ7
— Hearthstone (@PlayHearthstone) January 25, 2018
A few days later, balance changes were announced that seemed intent on jamming a knife through the heart of the current aggro-intensive meta. Corridor Creeper had its attack reduced from five to two, Patches the Pirate lost change, Raza the Chained reduces the cost of your hero spell to one instead of zero, and Bonemare had its mana cost increased to eight.
I’m super curious to see what high-level play is going to look like with these nerfs, as the four cards that got hit with the nerf bat were major staples in a lot of decks at the latest Hearthstone Championship. I guess everyone is just going to play Cubelock now?