The new card changes have been live for a few days now in Hearthstone. Although the changes did not make dramatic changes to the meta, it was a nice shake up that was needed due to the meta getting increasingly stale. Here is my evaluation of the card changes.
Cold Blood: 1 mana to 2 mana
This is a change I can get behind. Cold Blood has been key in the Rogue arsenal for a long time and although it doesn’t completely remove it from the game, it does eliminate it from the current standard Odd Rogue lists. This is a fair balance for Odd Rogue and although it crushes the burst potential, we could still see Odd Rogue change its image to a more mid-range focused list, substituting some of these one drops for Cobalt Scalebanes or other cards that have strong board presence. I expect the popularity of Odd Rogue to drop a good bit since it will not be as strong or as fast of a deck to climb with, but fans of the archetype should find it very much still playable. In Wild, with other Rogue options being much more viable, expect Kingsbane to be a more common occurrence when you queue into a Rogue on the Wild ladder.
Equality: 2 mana to 4 mana
I’m not 100% sure this nerf was needed, but I can understand that people are simply tired of Equality being an auto include in most Paladin lists since the beginning of Hearthstone. Being able to clear any board with 4 mana because of Wild Pyromancer may have been too powerful, but it does cost 2 cards opposed to 1. With the steep increase to 4 mana Equality becomes a lot less attractive to decks not focusing on controlling the board and winning the late game. Even Paladin may still run Equality, but it might drop down to a 1 of, since the combo with Wild Pyromancer or Consecration will take up much more of their turn with less tempo options available to them after clearing the board.
Flametongue Totem: 2 mana to 3 mana
I’m glad to see this nerf, but I’m worried at what it will do to the current state of Shaman that relies on the even mechanic in both Wild and Standard currently. Flametongue Totem at 2 mana was too powerful, particularly in the early game to gain board advantage. Flametongue is a much more reasonable card at 3 mana, however it also removes it from all Even Shaman lists. Unfortunately with this nerf I don’t see Shaman seeing much play in Standard until the rotation. If they can find an archetype that doesn’t depend on the even mechanic to be competitive, Flametongue Totem is still viable at 3 mana.
Hunter’s Mark: 1 mana to 2 mana
Hunter’s mark is getting nerfed again. It’s amazing to think this card once costed ZERO mana. In a meta with Candleshot and Springpaw, Hunter’s Mark was a little too efficient at dealing with large threats. Moving Hunter’s Mark to 2 mana is a big change, and I can easily see this card being cut completely from Hunter lists. It’s still reasonable as a one of but gone are the days where Hunter’s Mark is an auto include in Hunter lineups.
Lesser Emerald Spellstone: 5 mana to 6 mana
This nerf was the one I was the most excited to see. Although it’s rotating soon, the Spellstone was way to explosive and created some intense boards far too early in the game. A secret on turn 2 and 3 followed by coin Spellstone on turn 4 for 24 stats across four bodies was game crushing the vast majority of time. Spellstone is still very playable and I don’t see secret or spell Hunter going away. However now it is not an absolute death sentence when played on curve upgraded.
That’s my review of the current nerfs and their impact on the meta! Continue to follow us on Teamrankstar.com for more updates and news in all your favorite CCGs.