More Card Nerfs Hit Hearthstone - Shaman, Warrior, and Yogg-Saron

Steven Bogos

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Jan 17, 2013
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More Card Nerfs Hit Hearthstone - Shaman, Warrior, and Yogg-Saron

The dreaded Aggro Shaman is getting some substantial nerfs.

There was a time where Blizzard was fairly "hands-off" when it came to nerfing standard format launched earlier in the year [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/tag/view/hearthstone?os=%20hearthstone], and more cards were nerfed in a single patch than the entire history of the game.

Now Blizzard is at it again, announcing nerfs for seven cards in a single patch, with Warrior, Hunter, and Yogg-Saron decks taking the brunt of things. Check out the nerfs in the gallery below, and the summary of what was nerfed and why below that:

[gallery=6536]

Yogg-Saron: Yogg now stops casting spells if it is killed, transformed, or returned to your hand. This is a fairly huge nerf, as Yogg is already the wildest wild card out there, and a huge risk to play. Playing a ten mana minion after deliberately playing as many spells as possible during the game to buff it, only to have it immediately assassinate itself is not great. This nerf hits token Druid and tempo Mage the hardest, and my prediction is that Yogg won't really see much play anymore.
Rockbiter Weapon: The first Shaman nerf kills the "16 damage Doomhammer" combo, in which players could equip the Doomhammer and cast two Rockbiter Weapons on it for insane burst potential. Increasing the mana cost by one kills the combo while still keeping the spell as a viable removal.
Abusive Sergeant: A staple in aggro and zoo decks, the problem with this card is that while the effect is very powerful, its not uncommon for players to simply play the card "naked" if they have no better plays, in order to start racking up face damage with its 2 attack. Reducing it to 1 attack makes it more of a utility card.
Tuskarr Totemic: This is the really big one: Tuskarr Totemic now only summons one of the basic four Shaman totems that his hero power can summon. Having a Tuskarr drop a Totem Golem, or a Flametounge Totem was such an incredible tempo swing for a mere 3 mana.
Charge: Blizzard really, really doesn't like "One-hit KO" decks - decks that build up a specific combo of cards in your hand in order to deal over 30 damage in a single turn. The latest such OHKO deck revolved around Raging Worgen and Charge. This change kills the deck, and to be honest, kills Charge as a card as well.
Call of The Wild: This card essentially read: "If you have board control, win the game. If you don't, get board control." It was an incredibly powerful swing card for just 8 mana. Increasing it to 9 mana is a decent nerf, keeping it viable but reducing its value.
Execute: Execute is such an efficient removal for just 1 mana. If you have any minions on the board, it's essentially a 1 mana Assassinate, and with all the cheap chip damage Warrior has at its disposal, such as Whirlwind and Inner Rage, means that Warrior can essentially remove any minion for extremely cheap. I think this is a fair nerf

As always, when the nerfs go live in the next patch, all of these cards will be disenchantable for their full dust values. That means if you have a Yogg-Saron, you can disenchant it for 1600 dust!

Source: Blizzard [http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/20303031/upcoming-balance-changes-update-613-9-28-2016]

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MoltenSilver

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Exactly what 18 damage Doomhammer combo is being referred to?
Doomhammer(2+2=4) + Rockbiter(3+3=6) + Rockbiter(3+3=6) = 16 damage. And it can still be done at 9 mana (5+2+2), or split over multiple turns.
I assume this meant the Al'Akir+Rockbiter+Rockbiter Combo

As for comments on the nerfs themselves:
1. While I do understand the wailing and gnashing online of some from 'oh it was fun for me, couldn't you just ban it from tournaments if this is about competition?", no because a lot of people including myself are sick of playing against it in game too. If it's seeing it do wacky comboes that amuses, why not just fiddle with the Yogg-Saron simulator someone built off somewhere it isn't ruining someone's day.

2. I'm going to group Rockbiter and Execute together because my thoughts are pretty much the same on them, that while they're definitely overpowered (Especially Rockbiter and it's burst damage shenanigans, at least Execute can't affect face) the real problem with them is that they were meant to be control deck cards that got 'stolen' by tempo decks. Thus while I'm not against the nerfs and understand the point of them it is frustrating to see Control decks inadvertently punished for the sins of Tempo decks.

3. Abusive Sergeant: A bit baffling overdue given this was just a much better leper gnome in 95% of situations, but better late than never. Still not a fan of how much this can swing the early board, but at least now it doesn't also trade/do more face damage too (And there are much, much worse offenders in that category, cough Power Overwhelming cough)

4. The fact that not a single Shaman Deck will probably remove Tuskar even after the nerf because of Thing From Below, Spirit Claws, probably now Primal Fusion, and Thunderbluff synergy is a testament to how bonkers this card was in the first place, but the fact that getting a Totem Golem (of which it had a 1/7 Chance of occurring with 3 other good outcomes and no downside!) turn 3 was just an instant win should've been noticed way way sooner by Blizzard. There is no coutnerplay to 'my opponent rolled 6/6 worth of stats'

5. Blizzard keeps saying they don't like OTK decks but sure do seem slow to get rid of them. Nonetheless it is good to see another bite the dust, but I'm not quite sure this card is totally dead; while it's a bit of a problem being a combo piece it could be incredible when combined with Sylvanus or a number of other Deathrattles, or with a cleaving creature (Then again Faceless Statue+Purify hasn't worked out either for the same reason that it's too hard to piece them together reliably, so maybe not)

6. Pleasantly surprised to see this on the list, though it's a bit indicative of a larger problem: With Call of the Wild hunter was overpowered, and without it nobody played it because most of its core cards are terrible. For the card itself, not being able to quickly follow Highmane with this is a big deal in terms of the opponent having reaction time. Hopefully the nerfing of it is an indication maybe Blizzard won't go as wild with overpowered-compensation cards to weak classes in the future (I can hope, anyways, I sure as hell don't want to find myself facing Priests running 2 Shadow Madness 2 Cabal Shadow Priest 2 Mind Control 2 Entomb and whatever other interaction-destroying cards they may be given as frequently as Shaman is played now)

Not nerfed: So Handlock needing to be in range where even a small hand of spells can explode them, carefully needing to manage their self-damage and healing in order to be able to play their Molten Giants (and allowing counter-play in how the opponent attacks) for 0 is bad, but Arcane Giants being easily reduced down to play for 0 with basically no strategy or deckbuilding constraints or risks(ooh, you have to play spellllls, how terrible...) is ok!? Calling that inconsistent design is an understatement. Honestly I think mana-reduction cards as a whole need some kind of limit on them; Maybe Thaurrisan shouldn't be allowed to reduce things below 1, maybe giants should have a bottom cap, maybe even Innervate and Preperation need a looking at because it seems like it's pretty frequently mana-manipulation cards are behind some of the scummiest non-interactive elements of the game.

Thoughts overall: While welcome on an individual level ironically this may have made the shaman problem even worse. As much as I hate the card, getting their board of high-health minions nuked by Yogg was one of the only real hopes of coming back against a Shaman. Hopefully I'm wrong and they'll lose the early board more often with Rockbiter's cost making early removal more awkward due to overload, but that's not much consolation to slower decks
 

Godzillarich(aka tf2godz)

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Yogg-Saron: I understand why it was nerfed but I love this card and I hope it will still be at least semi-decent.

Abusive Sergeant: Not much to say other than fuck Aggro decks So this makes me happy.

Tuskarr Totemic: FUCK THIS SUMMON 3/4 TOTEM GOLEM! I'm so glad this card Will never plague us again.

Charge: I can see this card still being useful in some circumstances, Turn seven Silvanus with charge kill 1 Minion get the other one.

Call of The Wild: Still best Hunter legendary, Will still see play.

Execute: Once again it's still really good and will still see play

Rockbiter Weapon: I'm not really sure how well this card will fare, this may actually be unplayable now but another fuck you to aggro shaman is a plus

Overall one of the more less destructive nerfs they've ever done.
 

EyeReaper

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Not gonna lie, bit salty over the unneccessary Yogg nerf, and I don't even own the card. Was saving up the dust for it, but now that it's been warsong commander'd into the ground, what's the point?

Especially since there's a much easier way to nerf yogg. Just gut the pool of cards it can cast from . Remove the "Target enemy minion cards" or shit like soul of the forest. Boom. less skewed odds. Still playable.

Or I guess they can change it to a 10 mana 7/5 with the effect of "This minion kills itself, and overloads a random number of crystals." cuz that's viable in the "giving free wins away" deck at least.
 

Steven Bogos

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EyeReaper said:
Not gonna lie, bit salty over the unneccessary Yogg nerf, and I don't even own the card. Was saving up the dust for it, but now that it's been warsong commander'd into the ground, what's the point?

Especially since there's a much easier way to nerf yogg. Just gut the pool of cards it can cast from . Remove the "Target enemy minion cards" or shit like soul of the forest. Boom. less skewed odds. Still playable.

Or I guess they can change it to a 10 mana 7/5 with the effect of "This minion kills itself, and overloads a random number of crystals." cuz that's viable in the "giving free wins away" deck at least.
I agree. I love Yogg, and its already a huge risk playing it. Plus, I really, really liked the idea behind filling your deck with as many spells as possible in order to get a HUGE yogg! Now, a 5 spell yogg is pretty much the same as a 30 spell yogg, as it usually manages to destroy itself within the first five cards.
 

LostCrusader

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I haven't really had that many interactions with Yogg and don't have or want to play it myself, but I'm having trouble seeing what the big problem is. Seems like it sees play with the hope that it will be a board clear and I'm not sure how far down its odds really went.

Tuskar got the nerf everyone wanted and I still like it since only shaman I've ever liked playing is totem shaman. Doubt that deck with even change now except for swapping rockbiters for the 1/1 buff per totem spell.

Charge and Rockbiter got nerfed to oblivion and I won't miss them.

Execute and Abusive Sargent will still be played by every warrior or agro deck. Execute is still amazing at 2 mana and abusive wasn't used for it's body.

Call of the Wild is still going to be the bane of my existence in Hearthstone. That card is still way too strong for board presence to not be used by almost every hunter.
 

laggyteabag

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EyeReaper said:
Not gonna lie, bit salty over the unneccessary Yogg nerf
The whole point of the nerf was to try and reduce the amount of competitive players using the card as a "Well, I've lost anyway, so lets see what happens" card. Of course, I don't know why they don't just ban the card in the competitive scene, instead of nerfing it like this, but whatever.
 

OldNewNewOld

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I'm in the camp that is okay with Yoggs nerf. Although I believe an alternative would have been to ban him from tournament and ranked play so that you can only see him in casual and construct Tavern Brawls. I can't disagree that it was fun seeing the Brann+Yogg combos drop 20 nukes on the field and in that process probably fuck both player up. But that has no place in ranked.

For the other nerfs, they were needed. Although I don't believe that Rockbitter was a problem, it was the interaction with Doomhammer and later WIIIINDS! that was broken. This was a bigger nerf to non-aggro shaman. Also another reason why I dislike this is because Shaman was dumpster tier before Old Gods. TGT added some cards, so did LOE. But the basic Shaman set is awful. So nerfing a basic card only means that Blizzard will need to compensate with new cards even more to not leave it in the dumpster tier once the rotation hits.

Tuskarr Totemic might have been fine as a 3/3 after the nerf.

Execute, fuck that shit. If it was 11 mana I would still hate. 1 mana was idiotic. Who thought that was good to begin with? And who thought that later adding a shitload of cheap cards to enable it AND get a good effect besides the killing was okay? Summon a 2/2? Get a 3/3 body in play? Activate some other effects on the way? 1 mana kill whatever.
 

PointlessKnowledge

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Well, I get to disenchant my Gold Yogg. How am I gonna play hunter now!?!?! (Yes, I played Yogg Hunter)

The rest of the nerfs I understand and have no real problem with.
 

Battenberg

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Most of these nerfs are long overdue, hopefully they give the meta the shakeup Kharazan failed to deliver on. I don't really see the need for the Yogg change, just removing it from competitive makes much more sense since it was harmless fun elsewhere (if losing to it in constructed "ruined your day" as one person suggested you're clearly taking HS way too seriously).

Also I think changing (the card) Charge is part of a pattern of daft decisions around (the mechanic) charge. They clearly regret putting the charge mechanic in the game but their solution of slowly changing one charge card at a time over the course of months doesn't really fix the overall issue. Seems like it'd make more sense to alter the whole mechanic the same way as they have with the Charge card or just do away with the mechanic altogether. Otherwise we just end up back here in 6 months with then netting Bluegill Warrior/ Old Murk-Eye because of Anyfin Can Happen decks (which IMO are already more problematic than worgen OTK warrior.
 

RedDeadFred

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I was worried they'd only ban Yogg from tournaments instead of straight up nerfing him. One of the most frustrating thing in the game for me is to play a good game, have my opponent make a bunch of mistakes, and then see them win anyway because their Yogg cleared my board, game them a board, and filled up their hand.

Having said that, Yogg didn't really even compare to the salt I had over Tuskarr Totemic. No more losing the game on turn 3.
 

squid5580

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Turn 5 Doomhammer. Turn 6 16 points of damage. It isn't like aggro shaman is waiting til turn 7 to use Doomhammer. Meanwhile midrange and control shaman got a worse fiery war axe. And Al has become a joke tier card. Doomhammer and/or windfury is the problem not a 3 point 1 turn damage burst that is worse than any other 3 point damage burst since it can't bypass taunt and gains no benefit from spellpower