Yogg-Saron nerf headlines upcoming Hearthstone balance changes
Hearthstone balance changes were released earlier today in the lead up to the World Championships at BlizzCon. This patch is expected to go live before the Last Call events which take place on October 8th, 9th, and 15th for the three regions. To summarize:
- Rockbiter Weapon’s mana cost changed from (1) to (2).
- Tuskarr Totemic now summons basic totems (like Searing Totem and not Totem Golem).
- Call of the Wild’s mana cost changed from (8) to (9).
- Execute’s mana cost changed from (1) to (2).
- Charge’s mana cost changed from (3) to (1) and now reads “Give a friendly minion Charge. It can’t attack heroes this turn.”
- Abusive Sergeant’s attack power changed from 2 to 1 (similar to Leper Gnome’s previous change).
- Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End will now stop casting spells if, during Yogg-Saron’s battlecry, it is destroyed, silenced, transformed, or returned to its owner’s hand.
What does this all mean now and how does it affect your cards and decks?
Rockbiter Weapon gave Shaman a powerful turn 1 removal play with the +3 attack. However, it also combined well with Doomhammer’s Windfury effect. It was used as a common finisher capable of bursting for 10 damage between Doomhammer and Rockbiter. Aggro Shaman and Midrange Shaman decks will be affected. I imagine that most Shaman players will still include Rockbiter Weapon anyway, but now they need to choose between that or Flametongue Totem as a potential turn 2 play.
Tuskarr Totemic is often the cause of raging table flips due to the random ability to summon powerful totem cards like Totem Golem or Mana Tide Totem on turn 3 which was almost impossible for opponents to deal with. Personally, I don’t know what everyone’s mad about as it always seemed to pull out random basic totems for me. Anyway, dealing with the threat of a Totem Golem was simply too tough to come back from. This might be a significant enough nerf that Tuskarr Totemic won’t be included in future Shaman lists. I expect players will be switching back to Spirit Wolves for their 3 drop primarily.
I saw this coming and I imagine most players did as well. Call of the Wild often finished games at turn 8 (because it’s 5 damage from Huffer plus whatever minions you had in play that would then get buffed by Leokk). The mana nerf slows it down for one turn and means you can’t simultaneously follow it up with the Hunter’s hero power during that same turn. It does open up late game options. Two copies of Call of the Wild might be too much to include. However, this does lead to an interesting list where one might play Medivh on turn 8 only to follow it up with Call of the Wild on turn 9.
Execute is just too efficient. 1 mana to kill any damaged minion, and Warriors have an array of minions or spells that can poke opposing minions. It does represent an indirect buff to Shaman though making it a touch more difficult to eliminate assorted 4 mana 7/7 cards (like Flamewreathed Faceless).
With regards to Charge, I’m not sure of the significant impact of this. But I was told there is some potential here between this and our old favorite Grim Patron card to get those Patrons rolling again. You can’t hit opposing players directly, but you can trade minions on the same turn if need be.
Abusive Sergeant gets the old Leper Gnome treatment. Aggro decks played it naked even if it didn’t have anything to buff because it was still a 2/1. Now it’ll be held on more to buff existing minions because it may not be worth it to play on the board alone.
Lastly, there’s Yogg-Saron. Ol’ Yogg here would cast cards even if it was removed, transformed, or returned to hand. It had the power to decide games especially at the highest of levels and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. It won’t be able to do that anymore due to the probability of the sheer number of cards that could neutralize Yogg. The moment that happens, the chain casting of spells will stop. I personally used Yogg to great effect in recent LAN tournaments in Tempo Mage. I’m still going to use Yogg in Tempo Mage. But deep down, I’m shedding a tear because I won’t be able to steal as many games as I used to. Token Druid players will need to rely more on the actual tokens and minions themselves to earn a win. Still, this a fair change that keeps the “soul” of Yogg intact with the potential preservation of crazy plays but not so much that it severely affects the results at the highest play.
What do you think of these nerfs and changes? Are they going to affect your decks and classes?
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