In an upcoming Hearthstone patch dubbed 9.1, Blizzard will be changing several cards due to balance concerns.
Now reads: Gain 1 Mana Crystal this turn only (down from 2).
Our Thoughts: This is a great and much-needed change considering the prevalence of Druid decks on the ladder right now. Innervate only giving one mana crystal means that it will still be played in decks that want to go off with Gadgetzan Auctioneer and Arcane Giants, but make it less effective at ramping out big impact cards like Ultimate Infestation.
This change would make it so that not every Druid deck wants to run Innervate, which is a good change to ensure the diversity of Druid decks going forward.
Fiery War Axe
Now costs 3 mana (up from 2).
Our Thoughts: This change is going to hamstring Pirate Warrior as their ideal two-drop was Fiery War Axe. This goes a long way in slowing down that deck as it delays them one turn in getting their weapon buffs online. Control Warrior likely is not going to hurt that much from this change, as the weapon is still an efficient removal option.
Three-mana 3/2 weapons such as Eaglehorn Bow and Rallying Blade are also being played in other decks even if there is no synergy with the card text.
Now costs 4 mana (up from 3).
Our Thoughts: This is an interesting change. Some of the Shaman decks being played right now don’t even run Hex. This brings it more in line with the other transform/removal spell in Mage’s Polymorph. Perhaps this is Blizzard’s attempt to shift Shaman away from hard removal and transition the class to have more damage-based removal.
Now reads: Your other Murlocs have +2 Attack (Down from +2 Attack, +1 Health).
Our Thoughts: This is a much-needed change, considering the strength of Murloc Paladin at the moment. Removing the 1 health buff would allow some counterplay to the strategy of flooding the board with murlocs as without the extra health, the murlocs would still be vulnerable to damage-based board clears, which a large majority of board clear effects are.
This also fixes the special interaction with the Wild Pyromancer-Equality combo in which if you had Murloc Warleader in play your other murlocs would be buffed up to 2 health after Equality resolves, putting them out of range of Wild Pyromancer’s 1 damage effect, essentially resulting in a one-sided board clear. This change also creates flexibility for Blizzard to explore future design space with murlocs, having to worry less about the strength of the warleader when doing so.
Now costs 6 mana (up from 5).
Our Thoughts: This is another much-needed change to curb the plague(heh). of Druid decks on the ladder right now. The traditional way players have dealt with Druid decks was to go wide, with multiple small minions as Druid usually only played one big minion each turn. This card punished that playstyle and made playing against Druid feel very counterintuitive.
That being said, Spreading Plague is still going to be played in many Druid decks as it is a powerful way for them to defend themselves in order to reach that late-game point. This change slows them down a little and provides an opportunity for the more aggressive decks to close out the game before Druid walls itself in.
As always, any card that is changed can be disenchanted for full dust value, so hold on to these cards until the patch rolls around. For more information as well as a little about Blizzard’s design philosophy behind these changes and future ones, do check out their official blog post here. Or you can talk about them on SPOUT 360’s Discord channel.