Upcoming Hearthstone Balance Changes - Wild Growth, Nourish, Level Up!, Saronite Chain Gang, Leeching Poison CHANGES ARE NOW LIVE
Five card changes are coming to Hearthstone on December 19th, which is... today!
- [Discuss this Change] Wild Growth now costs 3, up from 2.
- [Discuss this Change] Nourish now costs 6, up from 5.
- [Discuss this Change] Level Up! now costs 6, up from 5.
- [Discuss this Change] Saronite Chain Gang now summons another Saronite Chain Gang, instead of a copy of the minion.
- [Discuss this Change] Leeching Poison now costs 1, down from 2, and only gives Lifesteal for 1 turn.
Check out Blizzard's post below for more information on each of the changes.
Quote from Blizzard
In an update scheduled to arrive December 19 PST, the following cards will be changed.
Developer’s Note: This balance update is focused on improving the long-term health of both Standard and Wild. We've opted to make these changes earlier in the expansion cycle than we normally consider; we'd like to hear your feedback on the timing of this update, in addition to what you think of all the individual card changes.
Wild Growth – Will cost 3 mana. (Up from 2)
Nourish – Will cost 6 mana. (Up from 5)
Wild Growth and Nourish have been present in every mid-range, combo, and control Druid deck since their introduction in the Basic and Classic set. When cards from the Basic and Classic set are too powerful, they can have negative long-term effects on the game. Continuously playing against these cards can start to feel repetitive, and they can feel so mandatory that they stifle creative deckbuilding decisions. By increasing the mana cost of both cards by one, we expect them to be considerations in late-game control Druid decks, but more difficult to fit in strategies that don’t directly take advantage of ramping mana.
Level Up! – Will cost 6 mana. (Up from 5)
Odd Paladin has consistently been one of the most powerful and most played decks since its introduction in The Witchwood. By removing Level Up from Odd Paladin, we still expect it to be a competitive board control deck, just with more consistent damage output that should be easier to play around.
Saronite Chain Gang – Now reads: Taunt. Battlecry: Summon another Saronite Chain Gang.
Shudderwock brings an interesting combo to the table, but playing Shudderwock multiple times in a single game can be frustrating. Changing Saronite Chain Gang makes playing multiple Shudderwocks in a game much more difficult. Shudderwock should now exist as a powerful one-turn effect rather than constantly copying itself with Saronite Chain Gang’s Battlecry.
Leeching Poison – Will cost 1 mana. (Down from 2). Now reads: Give your weapon Lifesteal this turn.
We love the fantasy of building a powerful weapon over the course of a game with Kingsbane, but granting it a permanent Lifesteal effect with Leeching Poison resulted in an endgame with few weaknesses, as well as conflicting with our philosophy that Rogues should not have persistent self-healing effects. Making the Lifesteal effect only active for one turn should address some of the power level issues with Kingsbane Rogue’s late game.
Resident deck architect Kiwiinbacon had some thoughts on the nerfs.
Here is my take on why this change is good... and bad.
Wild Growth, finally, costs 3. This card has always been the center of discussion since beta. This one card is essential in ALL top tier druid decks, and there are, and have been QUITE a few of them. The 1 mana increase on this is quite staggering, but it will still be used for ramping.
The same goes for Nourish, which the choice now aligns with the cost of drawing and gaining mana crystals. 2 mana for a card, or 3 mana for a crystal. Nourish will still always be used, and is still quite strong because it gives you a choice, and that in its own rite is still an OP card.
Level Up.... This one is tricky, because this card defined the odd pally deck. This card is ESSENTIAL, and now that archetype is dead. I personally would of preferred a nerf on the stats given than to literally cut the head off of odd pally. RIP
Saronite Chain Gang. RIP Shudderwock and Keleseth, and any low-tier hand buff pally/warlock decks. This card is a stable and essential for those types of decks. It is weird that Blizzard is trying to push these niche deck archetypes, but literally pushes against them. You confuse me blizzard... At least the card is still playable in aggro, right? wait.... crap....
Leeching Poison. I'm okay with this change. With the addition of cards that fetches your weapon more efficiently, and use of that weapon more efficiently, having the leech effect is just too godly.
Mostly these changes, imho, sucks. I'm more surprised that Dragons Fury wasn't nerfed. That card alone is just waaaay to op. Odd Mage can stall efficiently each turn, not allowing the opponent to play actively or reactively, because it would be pointless. Every deck archetype struggles against Odd Mage, only combo decks could deal with it efficiently. Odd pally, rip, had a hard time against Odd Mage... hmmmmm
My sentiment is similar to yours. Overall I understand the nerfs, but some seem a bit extreme.
Blizzard claims they didn't kill Odd Pally, simply made it not as OP, this may be true for wild where cards like Quartermaster exist, but in standard the archetype is dead. I would have preferred a nerf to how the card works rather than cost.
As for Saronite, I'm glad about the fix that prevents Shudderwock duplication. It was the only combo deck that could fuck up its combo and still continue steamrolling you by replaying the combo again 10 more times next turn while you're immobilized. However, I wish the spawned secondary Saronite still retained the buffs of the original, for the same reason you mention.
As for Kingsbane, I agree that permanent lifesteal was too OP (I actually made a post about it back in the spring: https://www.hearthpwn.com/forums/class-discussion/rogue/217830-an-interesting-card-mechanic-to-make-kingsbane), but this nerf kills the deck imo, because the deck already requires too many cards to support the weapon, leaving very little space for minions to defend you in the meantime (it's not like Maly Druid, where you only need 3-4 cards for the combo). My proposed solution a few months ago was to make lifesteal temporary (what Blizz already did here) but add more ways to enable it. As it stands, the archetype is dead without additional survivability for rogue, because hitting minions with your face doesn't scale unless you're druid or warrior.
Dust 'em all. Ka-ching!
Nerfs after 2 weeks of the new expansion after players crafted some decks... Bli$$ard.
It is pretty typical to see changes in the first few weeks of a new game or expansion being launched...that has been the pattern in WoW for over a decade. If people crafted without waiting for 1. the meta to settle and 2. blizzard to enact any balancing changes then that is entirely on them.
These are Nazi nerfs. We cried months for some of these cards and Blizzard has not nerfed them. For other cards we have voted here in Hearthpwn and a lot more of the majority wanted these cards NOT nerfed. So now Blizzard nerfed them because the new expansion suck? Create something new and follow your customers, instead to be Nazi ,Blizzard!
Now, I can receive the downvotes from Blizz Kids Funs.
(Nazi Nerfs because it is Blizzard that is telling us what we have to play, like a dictator. Instead of producing something new is nerfing all the old decks in order to force us to play his garbage new expansion.)
Well one's a basic card, the other is a common from a set thats only in wild... I mean look at the change to warrior's axe, 3 mana for a 3/2 and theres a 3 mana 3/2 that is a 3/3 if you have a taunt minion out. (but that also is a rare card in a wild only expansion)
Wow I love the surprise factor! Def will shake up the game...
I was like: "Saronite chain gang" is a pretty big nerf to handbuff decks and then I realised: OMG shudderwock shaman.
I was really bummed when I read the new card text... Shudderwock was one of my favorite decks.
My golden Saronite Chain Gangs, Level Up! and Nourish are ready
I'm a hater or not, but i am a rouge kingbane player and that decks sucks, i don't get why rouge gets zero chance...
It was bad and weak when it came out, people started using it because other cards/decks are worse...
Hearthstone/blizzard , i'm glad i never pay or supported a single game,
Its called Rogue*
haha, let me guess, people got offended because i'm mr.hearthstone sucks.
-4 to 5 likes for the name,
calling it a weak deck because you suck another 1-3 dislikes.
yeah, it just means all of you here are really rank 50s. nothing much
Rouge or Rogue , same shit, you understand what i said that is all that matters,
If you're so into correcting me, you might as well teach me hw to spll in dah nxt 20 hrs cauze i'a tak lke tis on prpuse,
dah gamee sks , acpt it, tey layz ass hel
Also: if they allowed for two different time frames and dust refund policies, this nerf would have been less unpleasant. Short notice nerfs like this should come with automatic full dust refunds without dusting the nerfed cards. Nerfs with prior notice (let's say 7 days or more) would remain the standard dust refund policy of dusting the nerfed cards to get the full refund.
This way Blizzard can make decisions like this without having to wait so no one gets their feelings hurt. I mean, someone always will because the gaming community as a whole is unfortunately highly self-entitled, but this would be better overall.
I liked Shudderwock Shaman, because it allowed me to run enough AoE and heal to defeat braindead aggro decks most of the times. Now we cant even play it in wild anymore. The mode keeps on becoming more pointless. Nourish and wild growth would have been prime candidates for the hall of fame as well. In my opinion Blizzard just demonstrates their inabillty to affect the meta by new impactful cards.
Brain dead aggro vs brain dead infinite combo. Both got nerfed because both suck to play against and leave you feeling like your plays and decisions don't matter, just your opponent's.
if you want to play actual control, shaman has a bunch of great cards that have yet to be explored in the meta game, odd dragon warrior will start showing its full strength now that "just play cards until Shudderwock" is no longer infinite, and warlock has a lot of control potential with outrageous value (especially with Soulwardens and targeted discard now available, no need for the quest).
blizzard is for sure struggling with putting out impactful cards, but part of that is creating unforeseen design constraints with their own designs. Infinite value is not good for the game (i.e. - Deathstalker Rexxar, Dead Man's Hand, Shudderwock pre-nerf, Jade Idol, Da Undatakah in taunt druid, etc.) Cards like that stop cool mechanics and effects from being enjoyable to play against. They need to stop focusing on "Wouldn't it be fun if..." and start thinking of "How could this be broken?" because that's how players think. Making something to infinite shouldn't be as easy as it is in the game. That's not extended value, that's unlimited resources that warp the meta and constrain design options for future cards.
Well, let's be fair here, brain dead aggro is still very much in effect, Odd Rogue has been braindeading it all over Wild since Witchwood and Even Shaman hasn't been too far behind (some are more midrangy, some just aim to burn you do death from 20 if they feel like it). You're right about Blizzard fucking itself in the ass with recent designs though. Unless something is done post-rotation, Baku and Genn are going to gradually kill Wild players' will to live. Those two have been nothing but trouble since they came out (Odd Pally, Even Pally, Odd Rogue, Even Shaman...simple pattern, all the aggro-focused ones).
Yup. And add to this the fact that they created the Leeching Poison and Level Up! problems themselves since Kingsbane and Baku both came out after those cards. For all the times we hear of cards being nerfed for "limiting design space," they apparently don't think about limits as often as you'd expect.