Hearthstone makes a surprising variety of nerfs and unbuffs to Saviors of Uldum
After Hearthstone had its first ever round of buffs to cards from The Boomsday Project, a new round of nerfs is coming in.
Many cards are getting unbuffed back to their old states, many more are getting additional nerfs, and we are getting a very rare nerf to a card that only sees play in Wild. Frankly, it’s a pretty strange, but also somewhat expected, series of balance changes that is sure to have a major effect on the meta.
Let’s start with the unbuffs.
Luna’s Pocket Galaxy was a card that was considered unplayable when it was first printed. Sure, it reduced the cost of minions in your deck to one, but it cost seven mana and basically required you to skip a turn first. During the Rise of the Mech event, Luna’s Pocket Galaxy went down from seven mana to five, going from unplayable to a staple Mage piece. Even then, it didn’t see oversaturation until Saviors of Uldum, where it's played both in Highlander Mage and several other Mage variants.
Even then, it wasn’t exactly overpowered, but Blizzard noted that it wasn’t fun to play against. If you just so happened to play Luna’s Pocket Galaxy on curve, and then cheat out a powerful one mana legendary, like Kalecgos, it felt like the opponent couldn’t really do anything against you. They just sat there and watched the value roll out.
Unbuffing it back to seven mana will once again see it unplayable in all but perhaps Big Spell Mage, and that’s a shame. When faced with the choice between an unfun play experience and a dead legendary, choosing the dead legendary is probably the correct choice. Be sure to dust this one for full value and pick up some new shiny legendaries from Saviors of Uldum.
Extra Arms shares the same story as Luna’s Pocket Galaxy. It went from unplayable to a powerful tool. Even at two mana it really didn’t do much for many Priest decks at time of buffing. However, Saviors of Uldum has given Priest a lot of tools to build pseudo Zoo decks. It’s still the fifth most powerful class in Hearthstone without a single Tier 1 deck to its name, but Blizzard is still worried that Extra Arms will push Priest in a direction that doesn’t fit their color pie, notably aggro. Frankly, I’m not sure that this nerf was needed, but once again you’ll probably want to dust this for full value post nerf.
Conjurer’s Calling has been an unbelievably powerful spell for Mage ever since its original printing. It’s ability to create immense value along with Giants and other massive cards was creating situations in which opponents had to always keep a Mage’s board empty or else the game was over. Considering more than half of the classes in Hearthstone don’t have effective high health board wipes, this was a problem.
Blizzard’s rationale is that raising Conjurer’s Calling to four mana will make it difficult to use two copies of the spell in the same turn, and while this is true, I don't actually think that it will harm the card to the extent of not being played. It’s still a very key piece in Highlander Mage, which is one of the highest win-rate decks in the meta right now.
This is probably going to be the biggest nerf of the bunch. Control Warrior, the primary deck that Dr. Boom Mad Genius is run in has a winrate over 60 percent. That’s insane, and not incredibly healthy for the meta. While I personally dislike the fact that Dr. Boom’s “7” theming has been ruined, I understand where Blizzard is coming from.
First of all, making Dr. Boom nine mana means that, most likely, you are going to do nothing but play him on the turn he comes out. You can’t, say, play him and use the upgraded hero power he gives you, or even use your hero power first in order to get a nine armor turn instead of a seven armor turn.
So increasing his mana cost means that you will likely have to skip a turn to play him. Does this make him unplayable? Heck no. In fact, most of the time Control Warrior skips a turn to play him already, just a few turns earlier. Control Warrior is used to playing form behind, with powerful rush minions, board wipes, and other removal options.
In short, don’t dust this one either. Dr. Boom is sure to see quite a lot of play despite this nerf.
Blizzard rarely touches the Wild format. Frankly, there are just too many cards to keep the power level steady. Barnes, however, was a special kind of card (and really the only type of wild card that Blizzard nerfs) the type that gets more powerful as the card pool increases. Simply put, when the minions Barnes can summon get better, Barnes gets better. Increasing his mana cost by one will, at the very least, delay very powerful plays that create hard to handle board states.
That’s our take on the latest round of nerfs. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.