Frankly I wish doomhammer was nerfed instead. Rockbiter, as a conditional 1 mana deal-three-damage was actually kind of balanced. Now it's literally a worse darkbomb/frostbolt/quickshot except in the rare (and now probably obsolete) cases you have a windfury character.
But on the rockbiter nerf. This was way too much. The card cost 1 mana and life as an answer. Now it is only useful as a combo piece. Cause combo is now not turn 7 hammer rock rock. Now its turn 5 swing swing turn 6 rock rock swing swing.
This is the worst nerf ever. The card isn't even close to problematic (if they want to nerf Doom+Rock combo, nerf Doom instead). Now the card is unplayable (why would you play it while you have a 1 mana War Axe). They could have just changed it to target minion only instead of doing this. Considering Aggro Shaman's about to lose lots of good stuff (Tuskar + Abusive gone, Trogg + Golem goes away in next expansion), Doom + Rock combo shouldn't be broken anymore (the combo has been around since forever and it was all fine before Trogg stepped in ), prepare to see Shaman as tier 3 class in next year.
This card was problematic mainly in one specific deck type (Aggro) and they choose to nerf it in a way that affects the non-problematic deck type (Midrange) but leaves the problematic deck type (Aggro) unaffected..
They should've nerfed other aggro shaman cards, this is just the wrong move.
Doomhammer&rockbiter weapon are in basic/classic set, and it wasn't what made aggro shaman so good. It was Troggs and totem golems that made aggro decks so powerful and OP, not just rockbiter weapon itself.
Great job blizzard for your insights about the class.
I call bs on all those "Doomhammer was the real issue".
Just look at Doomhammer's ranking in arena. It is the worst Shaman weapon in that environment, rated belowStormforged Axe & Charged Hammer. In comparaison, Rocbiter has been an auto-include in Shaman since the beginning of times : _ it allows great tempo swing in the early game (since it is 1 mana cheaper than the other class similar removals) _ AND acts like a 1 mana Fireball to the face when combined with any card with windfury (Doomhammer just happen to be the most practical one, as it requires no setup).
Rockbiter Weapon would have survived without Doomhammer, but the opposite is simply not true : if Rockbiter phases out, Doomhammer will go down as well.
For Rogue, Preparation is a super bad card in Arena but it's top tier in constructed. Your argument using Arena as reference isn't valid at all.
Doomhammer is stable in Aggro Shaman deck (even of Rockbitter didn't exist) because it's a high value card that provides burst damage, which is useful vs. all archetype.
Rockbitter is a strong card, I wouldn't deny that, but it's not broken by any mean. The combo has been around since the beginning of HS, yet it was never strong enough to make Shaman tier 1, not until Trogg + Golem came out. The problem with Aggro Shaman currently is its whole package, from Claw, Trogg, Rockbitter, Golem, Flamewreath, Doomhammer, etc. Every card is strong on it's own and they're broken when combined together. Considering in next year, Trogg & Totem Golem goes away from Standard, Shaman loses its strong early game, without Rockbitter as good early removal is pretty bad (you feel waeful using Lightning Bolt on turn 1 to remove Mana Wyrm cuz of the overload, for example).
I think a more reasonable nerf would be Doomhammer costing 6 or 7 without overload, i.e. aggro can't burst you down as early as it's now. It keeps the Al'Akir + Rock combo available (that's the whole reason people play him anyway) and Doomhammer as an alternative finisher in Aggro deck (or mayble just don't nerf it as all because as I said, Aggro Shaman may not be viable anymore in next year when Trogg + Golem goes away)