Eternal Balance Update July 16
As in now what seems to be the tradition, we have a balance patch following the ECQ this past weekend. Both major decks of the tournament, Xenan and Rakano, got nerfed in this update. Unlike in the past however DWD chose to nerf key cards instead of role players.
No longer gives lifesteal.
I expected Ruffian to get hit but this particular change was not on my radar. The lifesteal from Ruffian made racing impossible for your opponent, but I'm still a little worried about the potential for Ruffian to kill people out of nowhere. I was hoping Ruffian would get a cost increase but because of the next nerf it doesn't need one.
Now costs 5J.
Press-Gang has been one of the most powerful cards in Eternal for a while and the combination with Ruffian proved to be too powerful and Press-Gang got a well-deserved nerf. Press-Gang also restricted the design space for 1 drops so this should freefree things up, though I don't expect Press-Gang to see play after this nerf because the rate is too subpar.
Now costs 3FJ and is a 3/3.
This change puzzles me. Bulletshaper has done powerful stuff in the past but is one of the weaker cards in Rakano Influence. After the Privilege of Rank nerf this was essentially a 2/3 Rakano Stranger. therefore, given that it now costs 3, people will likely play Rakano Stranger in the slot they previously played Bulletshaper. I don't expect this effect to be in high enough demand for Bulletshaper to see play anymore.
Ubsat the Savior:
Now a 6/4 and only silence single faction units.
This is an interesting change that I had not expected. The stat change really doesn't matter much unless your opponent topdecks a Jekk after you play Ubsat because any Jekks in hand would be silenced. I'm not sure this change will be enough or if Ubsat will continue to see play. I do appreciate the sequencing decisions that this nerf introduces which will make games involving Ubsat more enjoyable.
Now costs 3SS.
Before the ECQ many players recognized Curtain Call as extraordinarily powerful card. This may not look like much but it is a huge nerf. Reactive spells become worse in a non-linear way as cost increases and keeping up 3 power for Curtain Call is significantly harder than keeping up 2 power. This also prevents Even decks from using Call. it will still see some play but likely as a market option because you can't afford to run 4 copies main anymore.
Now a 4/4.
Broker is a powerful card but I don't believe it deserved a nerf.
The ubiquity of Broker was cited as a reason for this change, with DWD wanting to create more diversity in how players access the market. However many players were playing Broker in decks where they would be better served with any other market options (including no market). You need to either draw a significant amount of cards or slow down the game to a glacial pace for Broker to be worth playing - you can't just jam it in anywhere. I don't expect Broker to see less play because of this nerf unless Jekk comes back in large numbers. The only thing that will reduce Broker's popularity is the playerbase developing an understanding of what decks actually should be playing Broker.
Now a 0/1.
This nerf makes absolutely no sense. After numerous discussions with Stonescar master NotoriousGHP, I had concluded this card was unplayable. It takes too long to get going and paying 2 to cycle power is very slow for aggressive decks. Plunder is a powerful ability but Deputy gives up too much tempo. After the nerf Deputy is even more unplayable than before.
(Editor's note: does anyone else feel the heat from this hot take?)
Now costs 5TTT with Corrupt 5.
Grazer was a key card in Even Time decks and FTS sacrifice decks with no other card giving so much value for 4 power. Although Xenan is the deck that got Grazer nerfed, this Sloth had it coming for a while. When the Corrupted nerfs happened I was shocked to see Grazer emerge unchanged. This nerf is the final nail in the coffin for Vox I'm afraid: You need a sufficient number of Corrupted units for Vox to work and there aren't enough playable ones anymore. This also appears to be the death of Evenhanded Golem for the foreseeable future. since the decks needed a way to recoup tempo and Grazer, Vox, and Sand Warrior gave them exactly what they needed. With Grazer gone, Vox is no longer an option and Sand Warrior likely won't be enough on its own.
Now a 3/2.
This is a decent blocker and I could see some niche scenario in Expedition where you play this without too many sentinels. However with the removal we have available I doubt that will happen before rotation. A 3/2 for 1 that can't attack until likely turn 4 under good circumstances is not a card I want to play.
Now ultimate costs 5.
This buff undoes a nerf that happened before I started playing Eternal. This is a big change for aggro decks, as 5 is significantly easier to pay than 6. You now get to cut Kazuo for Pyroknight and become better against Blightmoth. This should also create good gameplay by making decisions involving removal more interesting.
Now costs 2F.
This is a very good rate for buffing a unit type which easily floods the board. Although in the past, Grenadin has been exclusively a grindy deck, this might give a reason to have more of a Tokens type strategy. It's important to note that Rustlings are now Grenadin which means there are many new ideas to explore for Grenadin decks. However, given the rapid increase in power level of Throne I'm not betting on Grenadin to make a comeback.
Now costs 3FF
Streets Aflame saw play in Expedition but the upside here seems worse than on Streets. Rather than Scouting and being fast Defenses is slow, enables relic synergies, and makes already big units even bigger. I don't expect Sentinel decks to become a thing anytime soon.
Now costs 1P.
Since the release of Helio Primal decks can afford to play more card disadvantage spells like Transpose and Royal Decree. It's possible that Formbend is now efficient enough that Primal decks play it in the market as an answer to relics. However you need to make sure to back this up with removal or else you'll die to the unit you gave your opponent, similar to Turn to Seed.
Kimi, Expedition Guide:
Now a 1/5.
Kimi has seen some play in the past in Expedition. Left unchecked she can run away with the game, Being a 1/5 means few units can single-handily kill Kimi in the early game. She also now survives Jekk. I don't believe there's an existing deck she slots into but I wouldn't be shocked if she started seeing more play.
Now costs 6TT and is a 5/5.
I've seen this card in game maybe 3 times and never once in play. Behemoth's unique effect of gaining life when you draw it is why it would see play, not because of the stats. No deck that didn't want Behemoth before is going to suddenly want to play it now. If you want raw stats there are many better options.
Gerrit, Throne Guardian:
Ability now gives +3 attack.
Like the afformentioned Behemoth this is a slight change in stats for a card with a unique effect. If a deck didn't want to use Gerrit to stop silencing before it doesn't now. The only time Gerrit has been close to seeing play was when Ubsat was ubiquitous, but even then Gerrit was too poor a rate against the average non-Xenan opponent.
Overall these nerfs seem relatively restrained compared to previous balance changes, most offenders have been given a second chance rather than getting the Elysian Pathfinder treatment.