Posted January 15, 2014 by NT in Hearthstone

Drastic Card Changes Coming with Upcoming Hearthstone Patch (1/15)


Blizzard recently announced what they hope to be the last set of balance changes in the closed beta for Hearthstone. The changes we will be seeing seem to mainly target top tier neutral cards and class specific cards that have little counter play and seem to be the brunt of many complaints on the official forums.

Those of you who haven’t seen the changes can read about them below:

We will be making changes to the following cards: Unleash the Hounds, Sylvanas Windrunner, Blood Imp, Defender of Argus, Pyroblast, Dark Iron Dwarf, Abusive Sergeant, Warsong Commander, Charge and Novice Engineer. 

Unleash the Hounds’ mana cost is now 2 (down from 4)

  • Unleash the Hounds was intended to give Hunters their own form of AoE and to have synergy with other beast cards, but its old cost was too prohibitive.

Pyroblast’s mana cost is now 10 ( up from 8 )

  • The 8-cost Pyroblast made for an un-interactive experience where the Mage only needed to do 10 damage during the course of a game and then double Pyroblast you for the win. We want Mages to be more interactive with the opponent to achieve victory, rather than delay the game until they can Pyroblast.

Blood Imp is now a 0/1 and now reads: Stealth. At the end of your turn, give another random friendly minion +1 Health. 

  • The Warlock has three very strong 1-cost minions and that made the Warlock rush deck slightly stronger than we were comfortable with.

Warsong Commander has been reworked and now reads: Whenever you play a minion with 3 or less Attack, give it Charge. 

Charge (the spell, not the keyword) has been reworked and now costs 3 mana. The card’s new power reads: “Give a friendly minion +2 Attack and Charge”.

  • Both of these cards were key components in “One Turn Kill” or “OTK” decks that kill your opponent in one turn without requiring any cards on the board. We want the game to be about playing minions and fighting for board control rather than just waiting until you can play your big combo and win in one turn with no interaction from your opponent.

Abusive Sergeant now reads: Battlecry: Give a minion +2 Attack until end of turn.

  • Abusive Sergeant was changed to make its power the same as the Dark Iron Dwarf and to give it additional versatility.

Dark Iron Dwarf’s buff now only lasts until the end of the turn.

  • This change was made to reduce the Dark Iron Dwarf’s overall power slightly. We also wanted to make the Battlecry effect the same as Abusive Sergeant‘s as to not force you to permanently buff one of your opponent’s creatures.

Defender of Argus is now a 2/3 ( down from 3/3 )

  • Defender of Argus was a card that found itself automatically included in many decks due to its power and stats. We want players to have an option of what cards they put in their decks, so cards that feel like they must be in all decks (especially Neutral ones) are not ideal.

Novice Engineer is now a 1/1 ( down from 1/2 ) 

  • The Novice Engineer was played in most non-rush decks (and even some rush decks) due to its cost and power. Similar in reasoning to our Defender of Argus change, we want players to have an option of what cards they put in their decks.

Sylvanas Windrunner’s mana cost is now 6 ( up from 5 ) 

  • Sylvanas had power and stats that made it a bit too powerful compared to other 5-cost cards, which made it automatically included in many decks. We want players to have an option of what cards they put in their decks, so cards that feel like they must be in all decks (especially Neutral ones) are not ideal.
In some cases the changes seem drastic but in others not so much. You can find my thoughts on the card changes below:
  • Unleash the Hounds: This change is a positive one for Hunters as the mana cost was previously way too high to use the card effectively. Although not as strong as it once used to be, bringing the mana cost down to 2 is definitely a step in the right direction.
  • Pyroblast: Increasing the mana cost to 10 definitely ruins the concept behind Mage rush decks. The direct damage Mage rush deck will no longer be viable and will require some heavy tweaking to potentially show face in the future meta.
  • Blood Imp: With the popularity behind Warlock aggro decks and the effectiveness of the low mana cost class-specific Warlock cards, it isn’t a surprise to see this change being implemented. The card isn’t half bad but definitely not as strong as it was before. This was one of the few changes that actually seems to balance the game quite well.
  • Warsong Commander: The changes made to this card mark the death of the Warrior OTK (One-Turn-Kill) decks. This card seems overly nerfed and it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll be seeing much use from this card in future decks as a result of the changes.
  • Charge: The card has definitely been nerfed but it still seems somewhat viable. I’m sure it will surface in future Warrior decks but will definitely not be as popular as it was before.
  • Abusive Sergeant: Although not a Warlock class-specific card, this card was often found in Warlock decks and helped contribute towards the number of effective, low mana cost cards that made aggro decks very viable. The only thing that changed here was the wording on the card though.
  • Dark Iron Dwarf: It isn’t a surprise to see this card being nerfed as it was very valuable to have in a variety of decks. The ability to permanently give a minion +2 Attack on a 4/4 card that only costs 4 mana was way too good. The change makes the card in-line with the Abusive Sergeant and makes the card more balanced.
  • Defender of Argus: The card was a must-have in both aggro and control decks and the fact that you not only buffed the minions around you but put out a decently strong minion was too much to pass up. The changes here make the card weaker and people will definitely think twice about including it in their decks going forward.
  • Novice Engineer: This card had the option of being found in any type of deck but was never a necessity. The change to making it a 1/1 leaves it vulnerable to many Hero Powers and cards, as a result we won’t be seeing the card included in decks as often as it was before but we can’t rule out its usefulness just yet.
  • Sylvanas Windrunner: In it’s previous state the card was must-have in decks of all types and changing the mana cost to 6 doesn’t really change  much for it. It definitely isn’t as strong before but it wasn’t the mana cost alone that makes the card so useful. This card will likely remain a staple for quite some time. 
Those of you who are interested in discussing the patch changes with fellow Hearthstone players should hit the source link below and join in on the official thread!
Source: Battle.net (Forums)