And by that I don't mean they are boring, in fact in a vacuum they are rather fun. No, I feel the issue they create in the game and why they are so frustrating is that they ruin the play-around element of HS. I think playing-around is perhaps the most fundamental skill in Heartstone that sets apart middling from good players.
So how do these two cards do that? Well in case of Hysteria it breaks the most fundamental play-around which is to balance between having few big minions and lots of small ones, having just a few powerful minions leaves you very vulnerable to hard removal, having lots of small ones helps against that but leaves you weak to AoE. Obviously the key is a judicious mix of both. Hysteria ruins that by having your big minion gobble up your small ones. And if you play around THAT you get wrecked by regular AoE. It is a double whammy, catch-22, screwed either way and it is why this card is so damn frustrating. And also why it is so good and why it is still run in all warlock and priest decks despite a 1mana nerf. This card on its own would be frustrating but possible to counter, in addition to AoE it becomes too much, and both priest and warlock have good AoE. Against All Odds does not help things at all, but from my current experience it is not nearly as bad and doesn't seem to be run as much, but another potentially problematic card.
Combustion is more mage specific but not entirely so. Basically there have always been cards that hit more than one minion but not all, lets call them partial-AoE. The way you play around them is you put your minions in a certain way, usually weak minions on the sides, strong minions in the middle, so the strong ones soak up the AoE. There are exceptions, like Combustion's partner in crime, Cone of Cold. With that you want it the other way, strong on the outside weak on the inside, so that your strong minions don't end up being the frozen ones and unable to attack. You can see where this is going, playing around CoC is exactly what you don't want to do against Combustion and again the player is caught in an impossible position. Not surprisingly both cards are run by all mage decks or close to it. Discovery only makes things worse in all these cases.
What is to be done? More generally Blizzard needs to pay more attention to cards they print, how they interact with each other and they need to consider the aspect of counterplay a lot more. Nothing is worse than when a card feels impossible to defeat, hitting your head against a brick wall, no possible solutions, etc. So Blizz need to make sure such cards are never printed or if they are... Well, the simplest way is more nerfs ofc. I would not mind if I never saw Hysteria again, it is such a pain. Combustion is not that toxic, it can stay if CoC is nerfed, those two are only super-frustrating together.
1st off, what rank are you playing at making the claim that CoC is played by “most all” mage decks? It’s definitely not. It was run in no iteration of spell mage or spell power mage. You can go to tempostorm.com, and look back on meta snapshots, or look at decks on HSreplay. No mage deck runs it.
As for hysteria and combustion, they’re great for the game. Having to actually think about positioning/commitment is much healthier than playing minions with reckless abandon. Otherwise you could make the argument of “should twisting nether even exist because there’s no play around to it.” Twisting nether, however, is not op by any stretch.
I get exited anytime I see an “adjacent” based card because it adds a layer to the game.
Aggro has minions that are getting more stats for lower cost. Shaman has 1 mana 1/3 that grows stronger and stronger and a 3 mana 2/5 windfury. DH has sticky minions that need multiple removals. Hunter has a 5/4 for 2 cost that will whack your face.
Then we have warlock with aoe that deals 2 damage for 3 mana, priest one that can only be used at rank 2 after 5 mana. And warrior with brawl for 5. Even token druids buff their minions to 3 health or more. What good aoe skills are you talking about?
Why do priests and warlocks still run hysteria after nerf? Because they don't have better options.
Combustion is fine. Hysteria could probably be 5 mana (it still feels a little undercosted to me for how devastating it can be), or have a cap on the number of attacks it can commit to. I find it's both better than Mass Hysteria, but also much less interesting.
Cone of Cold is potentially powerful, and I think might find a home in the new Quest Mage deck (which I think looks good) but is generally just a fair card.
But I've personally got a laundry list of cards I want to see majorly changed, just for the game's overall health.
You seem to think it should be possible to play around every possible card in the opponent's deck.
That is unrealistic and, if it were true, would not be healthy for the game. Think of it from the Mage's perspective. If you don't have any cards or combos that can make the game difficult for your opponent, how are you supposed to win?
As developers of games everywhere are fond of saying, what is fun for one player is probably going to feel bad for the opponent. That's literally what PvP games are all about -- creating friction for your opponent so they can't do they stuff they want to do. Because ultimately what they want to do is beat you.
Cone of Cold is barely in any Mage deck, which means the best play vs Mages is to position in a way to play around Combustion. Part of the skill of playing around cards is knowing the meta and what cards your opponent is likely to be running
I'm at a loss to understand how you can find either of these spells problematic, unless you mean problematic for your preferred decks. Hysteria can, indeed, be a very powerful remove under certain conditions. But speaking as someone who uses it pretty extensively in a Wild Control Warlock deck, it's not always a great play. Against, for example a big threat and two little ones, it doesn't help you all that much. So you end up doing some minor damage to the big and kill the two smalls? So what? The primary threat has not gone away. And if you have a board of your own, it's often very hard to justify playing it. In addition, against a single big threat it's entirely unplayable. If you're playing against either warlock or priest and not considering the possibility of it being used against you, you only have yourself to blame. It's like people who used to whine about Defile. If you blunder into a situation where it'll clear your board, that's on you.
And if you're losing multiple minions to Combustion, it's your own damn fault. It's also a very easy card to play around.
Without reliable, reasonably low cost clears, the game would be an aggro shitshow.
If you ever played Hysteria with priest in diamond/legend, you will notice how easy it is to actually play around it.
Hint: Play only one minion at time on the board, next turn if you have Chillwind Yeti on board and 5 mana left, do NOT play another minion until he die, yes PASS the turn with 5 mana or use spells/weapons/etc but do NOT play the other Chillwind Yeti or minion.
The priest (lock?) will be forced to sacrifice his own minion to kill it eventually or waste it for hand size.
Don't forget to add 10 mana cards in your deck, easy win bro.