Blizzard has given us some details on an upcoming patch, which will be last major update before the game goes into open beta.
Blizzard went into great detail on the patch in a forum post, but unfortunately we have no release date, it’s just expected sometime this week. So I think the first order of business is to post the patch notes and then lay down the law, and perhaps some uneducated opinions on the changes and nerfs.
Here’s the full patch notes:
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.
So, overall thoughts:
Thank God they changed the cost of Pyroblast. Seriously, that card was such a pain in the arse. As Blizzard described, it was far too easy for the Mage to delay, delay, delay (especially with the insane amount of control they have access to) until “oh look, Pyroblast!” and all of a sudden you are down with no way to stop what is happening. This gets even worse when a Spell Power creature is on the board, which further buffs it.
In my latest Miss Play video, I got hit by a Pyroblast that had been buffed up to 11 damage! Needless to say, much rage was had that day. Unleash the Hounds definitely seems like a good move as well, the Hunter does not have many options for buffing or AoE, so this is something I defintely approve of.
Overall I’m actually pretty pleased with the changes,especially the Blood Imp and Warsong Commander, which has lost me the game more than once, when it’s been played alongside something like a buffed Frostwolf Warlord. The only change I kind of disagree with is the Novice Engineer change. A 1/1 for 1 mana with card draw is pretty bad. Was it overpowered before? I don’t know if I agree that it was. It was a pretty good early game play and couldn’t just be pinged off by a mage’s hero power.
Now, it can be killed on turn two without having any creatures out if you’re playing against a Druid, Rogue or Mage. That makes it now pretty worthless, in my opinion, unless you play it later game behind a Taunt or big scary creature.
Defender of Argus nerf, again, I am unsure of. But I can see their logic more here, as not only does it give Taunt to two adjacent creatures but also buffs them. So that, plus a 3/3 on the board, all for 4 mana… yeah, I suppose that is a little OP. Overall, this finally addresses a lot of big problems with certain classes, and apart from the issues I have addressed, seems a pretty fair update all in all.