The Happy Hearthstone re-opens its doors after a brief hiatus (vacations are fun!), and finds that everything has changed! We take a look at the big patch that hit the beta servers last week, bringing sweeping changes to specific cards and the game in general.
- Watch our livestreams of the Hearthstone beta!
- Read the latest patch notes
- Read Blizzard’s thoughts on some key changes
- Sign up for the beta if you aren’t already in it!
- Derrick is on the show this week
- Topic: The big patch!
- Reasons to be happy this week: vacations, esports, and marathons
- Account resets
- This is the last wipe (in theory)
- More invites are coming soon!
The Most Important Nerfs
(Not necessarily the cards hit hardest, but the changes we think are most impactful on the game as a whole.)
- Dalaran Mage
Dalaran Mage now has 1 less Attack.
These little guys are core to any spell power deck, and dropping it’s attack to 1 makes it a lot easier for the opponent to trade profitably with it — which basically means they should be able to kill it without losing one of their cards. It’s not a huge nerf, but almost every class can run a Spell Damage deck, so this affects a lot of players.
- Sunfury Protector
Sunfury Protector now only gives adjacent minions Taunt.
Very needed. This is one of the only minions that felt, to me, like it was necessary in every deck. Everyone wants Taunt, and even if you don’t the card was ahead of the vanilla test without the perk! Seems to compete with Defender of Argus a bit now, though.
Fade has been replaced with a new card:
Shadow Word: Death – (3) Destroy a minion with an Attack of 5 or more.
Fade was removed entirely, and replaced by a strong removal card (Shadow Word: Death). So it’s not a nerf to the Priest class overall, but the card got as nerfed as can be — removed. I think this is important because it’s a good example of a trend in this patch: removing the biggest Taunt threats. They clearly want to step back a bit from the Taunt spam.
Headcrack costs 3 Mana (up from 2).
Omg thank you. I had my head cracked so many times playing against Rogues that I have absolutely no brains left. There were times when my opponent had both of their headcracks in hand. So they could smash me for 4 damage (for 4 mana) and develop their board with big things.
- Twilight Drake
Twilight Drake is now a 4/1 with ‘Battlecry: Gain +1 Health for each card in your hand.’
Was a 1/1 that got +1/+1 for each card in your hand. Was often coming down on turn 4 or 5 as a 7/7 or 8/8. Or warlocks could go nuts.
- Pint-Sized Summoner
Pint-sized Summoner – The cost reduction has been reduced from 2 to 1.
2 mana for a 2/2. Vanilla test pass! First minion each turn is 1 cheaper. Used to be 2 cheaper. The savings was way too huge. This is going to put this card in its place, was a bit OP before if you ask me Can you combo this with summoning portal if you’re a warlock? Man – the savings is crazy.
The Most Important Buffs
(Not necessarily the cards buffed strongest, but the changes we think are most impactful on the game as a whole.)
Lightwarden now gains +2 Attack per heal.
This card was already pretty decent. It’s above the curve on the vanilla test, gives a great counter-card to Priest decks to all classes (notice it says “when any character is healed”). All it takes is one heal card or hero power and suddenly you got a 3/2 for one mana. Pretty darn impressive. This just became a staple for heal-centric Priest decks, and will really help them carry into popularity.
- Northshire Cleric
Northshire Cleric – Now costs 1 (down from 2).
Speak of heal-centric Priest decks, I think this is the next big buff that makes the heal deck worthwhile. The heal deck now has two awesome turn-1 drops that can be followed up with a 2-mana heal hero power next turn. This card should always draw at least one (worth it) if you play it on turn one, and will often draw more (awesome).
- Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Sorcerer’s Apprentice has 1 more Attack. (2/3 for 2 mana now)
If there were any Mages NOT running a spell-heavydeck before this patch, this should guarantee they all will be now. This card was already hugely efficient for 2 mana, not it’s above the curve on the vanilla test AND has one of the best passive effects in the game. This is an absolute staple to every Mage deck.
- Greater Heal
Greater Heal has been replaced with a new card:
Holy Fire – (6) Deal 5 damage. Restore 5 Health to your hero.
It used to be: heal 2 for each card in your opponent’s hand. Was clunky, not viable on turn 2 (don’t need healing). Holy Fire, in contrast, has huge efficiency. 6 mana to kill an X/5 is probably already playable. And the 5 heal is almost always relevant by turn 6.
- Pit Lord
Pit Lord – Now a 5/6 with ‘Battlecry: Deal 5 damage to your hero’.
Harder to kill. Dishes out less damage, yes, but the new Battlecry is now only deal 5 dmg to your hero (instead of 7). I experimented with this card a lot. And I’m didn’t always get his 7 attack damage onto their hero. And if I couldn’t, it’s not worth dealing 7 to myself. Too many early Taunt creatures could make the old version of this card too clunky. A nice improvement.
- Battle Rage
Battle Rage costs 3 (up from 2), and also counts damaged heroes.
Yes, it costs 1 more, but now is likely to draw 2 more cards than it used to. For 1 mana extra? Sign me up.
The Most Confusing Changes
(Over-nerfed, over-buffed, or completely random—these are the changes we didn’t see coming.)
- Rogue hero power nerf
Hero Power – No longer has the ability to buff a currently equipped weapon.
It’s now one of the most useless abilties. It has the same function as the Mage ability, but has to obey Taunt rules, deals damage to your hero, and can’t be used every turn. In exchange, it’s half-costed. Not a good trade-off.
- Frostwolf Warlord nerf/buff
Frostwolf Warlord now has a Battlecry effect instead of an ongoing effect.
I’m not entirely sure if this is a buff or a nerf. It’s probably a wash. I’m just not sure why it was changed. I liked having two ways to deal with it as an opponent (more counterplay) and I liked having a way to keep buffing it as a player.
- Captain Greenskin nerf
Captain Greenskin is now a 5/4 with ‘Battlecry: Give your weapon +1/+1.’
There are so many easier ways to get card draw, was this one really too powerful? It’s still a Rogue-only card, but now it’s much weaker. If Blizzard wanted to nerf card draw (which they probably should, this was not the card to target).
- Gelbin Mekkatorque’s Repair bot
Gelbin Mekkatorque’s Repair Bot – Is now a 0/3 and has a new power: At the end of your turn, restore 6 Health to a damaged character.
This is an odd change. Repair bot was an 0/5 and heals 3 to all friendly characters at end-of-turn. Now it’s an 0/3 but heals 6 to a single damaged character. Such a rare event, dunno if this is better or worse. It just feels different, I guess?
- Questing Adventurer
Questing Adventurer is now Rare.
This seems like a very confusing change until you consider it’s ramifications in The Arena, where it’s rarity determines how often it pops up for players to pick.
The Missing Changes
(Things we expected to see in the patch notes, but didn’t find.)
- Bigger nerf to Defias Ringleader
Getting 2 heavy-hitting minions out on turn two is really strong. No other class has a comparable trick. The closest is the Murloc Tidehunter, but that gets you a 2/1 and a 1/1 (instead of a 2/2 and a 2/1). The new version is welcome– 2 health is within reach of a lot more removal spells, but it’s still going to be a go-to turn 1 move with the crystal that makes the opponent sigh. I would’ve much prefered to see them put it at a 3 mana cost. That at least gives your opponent a 3-mana turn to try and deal with it.
- Change to Norzdomu
I’m not sure I want this card to change, but I’m surprised that it didn’t. This is the one that changes the timer for every turn to 15 seconds. I love the flavor of it—it’s perfect. And it’s very unique. But a fair number of players complained that it stressed them out, so I would’ve guessed Blizzard would’ve changed or just removed the entire time aspect of it.
- Buff to Harrison Jones
It’s easy to pick on the Legendaries, but they’re Legendary, so we expect them to be incredible! If your opponent doesn’t have a weapon equipped (and a lot of decks run without any weapons), it’s a 4/5 for 5 mana. I wouldn’t run that as a Common card– and I expect better from my Legendaries.
- Nerf to Pyroblast
8 mana to do 10 damage. That’s crazy efficiency. It can still boosted by spell power minions. After turn 10, you can still use your mage ability for 1 more damage too. This basically means by turn 10, if you have 11 health (more if they have spell power buffs), you’re dead. That’s more than a 3rd of your health!
- Change to Silence mechanics
I don’t like how silence can undo Battlecry effects. I wish silence could only remove ongoing effects. I feel like “silencing” something means it stops something from speaking from now on…not “ret-con silence!!”
- Nerf to Harvest Golem
Avoids AoE nicely, and super efficient vanilla test. for 3 mana you get a 2 / 3 and then a 2 / 1. That’s 4 attack and 4 HP for 3 mana, and has the AoE avoidance. To me, one of the better 3 drops.
Quality of Life Changes
(Changes, upgrades, and feature additions that just make life in Hearthstone a little more fun.)
- Druid AI uses Choose One cards correctly now (so no more farming it to unlock decks)
- New gold card animations
- New crafting UI
- Max hero level is 60
- Gold gained from Play mode wins bumped up to ~3 gold per win
- Buffs to arena rewards: more cards/less dust, more gold at 5/6, pack/legend at 9
- “Spell Power” renamed to “Spell Damage”
- Animation effect on deathtouch creatures
- Click on chat bubbles to respond
- Quests to win with classes give you 2 options
- MOST IMPORTANTLY, the farming area of the Pandaria board will now allow you to spawn three radishes.
- No questions this week!
- iTunes Review: drizztman55
Card of the Week
Song by Nicole Christopoulos
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