A new balance update is coming to Hearthstone following the release of the Descent of Dragons last week. Shaman quickly became the most consistent and successful class after the dragons flew in, making for a fairly unstable and repetitive meta. Out of the gate, Galakrond and Thrall became quick best friends, utilizing great value and board clear to snuff out the competition.
This balance update, announced just a few days after the expansion was released, amounts to a quick reaction from Blizzard. Though this patch won’t destroy the power of Shaman, it should curb its influence in the early to mid-game. Sludge Slurper losing one attack might not seem like the biggest deal, but when the same nerf was applied to Leper Gnome back in 2016, the card dropped drastically in popularity. That one bit of attack, combined with the Lackeys it generates, made it one of the best cost-efficient cards in the game.
Making Corrupt Elementalist cost just one more mana might not be enough to keep it from dominating the field. Getting a 5/5 body and two 2/1 minions with Rush for six mana is still a steal of a deal when compared to what other classes are working with. Mogu Fleshshaper costing two more will either kill its viability or barely affect how it’s played. Galakrond Shaman used to be able to get him out for under three mana after Invoking a few times, but now he will actually cost the appropriate amount.
The most expected nerf comes to Faceless Corruptor, a card so broken on release that nearly every deck built has a copy inside of it. Similar to Corridor Creeper after the release of Kobolds and Catacombs, FC generated an extreme amount of value for fairly little cost. Four attack is still a worthy investment, especially with all the Lackeys being generated around the board.
Hearthstone Balance Update
Corrupt Elementalist- Now costs 6 Mana (up from 5).
Sludge Slurper- Now has 1 Attack (down from 2).
Faceless Corruptor- Now has 4 Attack (down from 5).
Mogu Fleshshaper- Now costs 9 Mana (up from 7).
The Boogeymonster- Moved from Tavern Tier 5 to Tavern Tier 4.
Mechano-egg- Moved from Tavern Tier 5 to Tavern Tier 4.
The Beast- Moved from Tavern Tier 4 to Tavern Tier 3.
Coldlight Seer- Moved from Tavern Tier 2 to Tavern Tier 3.
Primalfin Lookout (changed last week)- Moved from Tavern Tier 4 to Tavern Tier 5.
Nightmare Amalgam- Has been removed from the pool of available minions.
Brann Bronzebeard- Has been removed from the pool of available heroes.
Bartendotron- Has been added to the pool of available heroes.
These Battleground changes are needed and will curb the Murloc tide. Primalfin allowed you to get poison, arguably the best buff in Battlegrounds, to anyone for your Murlocs for a cheap cost. Removing Brann and Nightmare Amalgam were crucial to the longevity of the game mode since they could work with almost any team composition. We will have to wait to see how the meta develops, but it’s good to see Blizzard acting with smart balance tweaks rather than reacting.