One of the benefits that Hearthstone has over a physical card game is the ability to make changes to cards after they have been released.
Balance changes are a hot topic in the Hearthstone community and late last night Blizzard announced changes to a number of cards that have had Tavern goers up in arms.
The first of these changes is to Bonemare. Released in the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion in 2017, Bonemare has been an auto-include in most decks thanks to its 5/5 stats and the Battlecry which gave another minion +4/+4 and Taunt all for the low cost of seven mana.
At the release of the next patch Bonemare will cost eight mana, which Blizzard says will give opponents more time to react to the card. “Increasing its mana cost by 1 will give opponents more time to utilize powerful late-game cards to counteract Bonemare’s effect on the board,” explained Blizzard.
Then, of all the cards released in Kobolds & Catacombs, there was one that was far more powerful than anybody thought – Corridor Creeper. While paying seven mana for a 5/5 minion is terrible, Corridor Creeper has the text “Costs (1) less whenever a minion dies while this is in your hand.”
That card text has allowed players to play a zero mana 5/5 more often than you’d think. Blizzard thinks this is too powerful and Corridor Creeper will now have 2 attack rather than 5.
“By lowering its attack, we reduce the overall swing potential and power level of the card, but still allow players who draw it early to benefit from having a low-cost minion to play when the game state is ideal,” said Blizzard.
Looking forward to Wild
As we approach a new calendar year in Hearthstone a number of cards will only be available in the Wild format moving forward. This is a problem because, while problematic cards leave the Standard format, they are still very much available in Wild.
As such Blizzard is proactively balancing two of perhaps the most problematic cards in the last year.
Patches the Pirate – a one mana 1/1 Pirate with Charge – is getting his sea legs scuppered and will no longer have Charge. The card will still be drawn whenever you play a Pirate (so you can still expect some Ship’s Cannon shenanigans) but Patches is no longer “in charge” of the early game.
Finally and perhaps the biggest change is Raza the Chained. This five mana 5/5 Legendary Priest minion with the Battlecry “If your deck has no duplicates, your Hero Power costs (0) this game” has become a staple in the so-called RazaPriest deck.
The card will now set your Hero Power to one mana which is a big deal.
Before Shadowreaper Anduin was printed this card represented a free heal for Priest, but it is now a combo piece that allows the class to wear down opponents with a free hero power that deals two damage each time it is used.
These card changes will form part of Update 10.2 which will go live next month and all the cards above can be disenchanted for their full dust value when those changes go live.