NotoriousGHP's Reviews Hearthstone 17.6 Balance Patch
Over the last few months, Blizzard has begun releasing more frequent balance patches to help keep the game fresh, and many players have felt this has been an improvement to the overall game. The current meta game has been one that’s received mixed reactions from casuals and pros, with many feeling there is too much RNG and way too many swing turns. With an expansion expected in August, Blizzard gave us another balance patch focused on reducing swing turns and of course, hitting Demon Hunter again. If you’d like to read the patch notes, they can be found here. Dragonqueen Alexstraza: If your deck has no duplicates
, add 2 random Dragons to your hand. They cost 0. -> If your deck has no duplicates, add 2 random Dragons to your hand. They cost 1.
Dragonqueen Alexstraza has been a
menace ever since it was released, topping out any highlander deck and even finding its way into non-highlander decks that can draw a lot of cards such as quest Warlock. This card swings games anytime it’s played, and making 0 cost dragons lead to countless situations where your opponent could do nothing about it. This card still remains a powerful option after these changes, but will give players more time to play around the card and knocks down the efficiency of the highlander decks slightly. Corsair Cache: Draw a weapon. Give it +1/+1 -> Draw a weapon. Give it +0/+1
Corsair Cache has made a big impact in both Standard and Wild allowing Warrior to more consistently find it’s powerful weapons, while also helping get more mileage out of them. This change will mean Warrior’s weapons won’t line up as nicely against many minions, but still granting an extra durability to the weapon is the big gain from this card. I expect decks that already wanted Corsair Cache to continue playing it, but they may need to look into additional removal if weapons no longer line up so well against the current meta game. Metamorphosis: Swap your hero power to “Deal 5 damage”. After 2 uses, swap it back. -> Swap your hero power to “Deal 4 damage”. After 2 uses, swap it back.
Demon Hunter receives yet another batch of nerfs, this time targeting it’s top end. Metamorphosis has given Demon Hunter a ton of reach in the later stages of the game, pushing 10 damage with only 1 card. Although expensive, Metamorphosis can easily be found with Demon Hunter’s card draw and a change was likely needed in order to allow for more counter play besides just healing. This card is still going to be played in any aggressive Demon Hunter deck, but as new cards are released Metamorphosis may not find its way into midrange Demon Hunter decks. Kayn Sunfury: Was 3/5 now a 3/4
Kayn has been a key factor in any Demon Hunter deck, and for good reason. A well stated body that also can eliminate taunt is exactly what this class is looking for, and a nerf makes sense to help make Demon Hunter easier to play around. Between this and Metamorphosis, this class becomes more vulnerable, but don’t be fooled, both of these cards will continue to see steady play. Kayn still can line up nicely against a lot of units, and still provides the same attack and utility to help close out games. Warglaives of Azzinoth: Was 5 cost, now cost 6.
As the make-or-break card in many matchups, Warglavies receives a change to make it less dominant in board-centric games. Although still a powerful option, costing an additional mana makes this card substantially worse at setting up for plays such as Skull of Gul'dan and Glaivebound adept while also coming down later against decks like Rogue or Spell Druid. This is a big change for Demon Hunter, and although the card is likely still viable, it will open up a major weakness in this class. Dragoncaster: Was 6 cost, now cost 7
Dragoncaster has been primarily cheating out Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron and Power of Creation as early as turn 5, creating powerful swing turns out of nowhere. This change should slow that down without killing the card, but may push people away from relying on Dragoncaster + Puzzle Box to stabilize as their game plan. One note is that this is a slight buff to Conjurer’s Calling, a card that hasn’t made the cut in every mage deck as of late. Dragoncaster costing 7 makes the play of Dragoncaster combo'd with Conjurer’s Calling, targeting your Dragoncaster a much more viable play, as the pool of 7 cost minions is substantially stronger than the 6 cost pool. Fungal Fortunes: Was 2 cost, now cost 3
One of the most powerful draw spells in the game, a nerf to this card should surprise no one. Fungal Fortunes requires a deck building cost of playing very few minions, but Druid can easily meet this requirement without it being much of a downside, and for this kind of effect, Druid will take it any day of the week. This card is still very good and I don’t expect it to stop seeing play in decks that already wanted it, but this should give players reason to play non spell heavy builds of Druid again such as Quest Druid or Token Druid. Galakrond (Rogue): Cards drawn from Galakrond cost 0 -> Cards drawn from Galakrond cost 1
Just like Dragonqueen Alexstraza, Rogue’s Galakrond has been swinging games with it’s free cards ever since the card was released and showed no signs of slowing down. Making these cards still have a cost is going to hurt Rogue quite a lot, but should help create more counterplay towards this card while still giving Rogue a build around card. I don’t expect this to push people away from Galakrond Rogue completely, but this archetype may want to change how the deck is built since Galakrond no longer leads to a massive Questing Adventurer or Edwin Vancleef turns without having to pay any mana. This is the nerf that’s the hardest to evaluate, but better Rogue players than myself are going to need to spend some time to figure out how to approach this class now. This patch goes live Tuesday, July 14th and will likely be the last balance patch before the second expansion of 2020. Most of the top decks in the format got hit directly or indirectly, so will they continue to perform well or will new decks rise to the top? Should Highlander Hunter have received a nerf besides Dragonqueen Alexstraza? should Warrior have seen something besides Corsair Cache? should Paladin get its identity back? Let me know in the comments or on the official Backlash Twitter.