Drek’thar has become a problem after Hearthstone’s rotation. Players argue that Blizzard won’t nerf it after selling a $25 Diamond version.
Drek’thar has been around Hearthstone’s meta for almost six months, but it has become a problem since the last Voyage to the Sunken City expansion. Drek’thar’s power level spiked after the rotation and now the community is asking for a nerf. However, things are not that simple this time. Last April, Hearthstone released a Diamond version for Drek’thar for $25, and that could make nerfing the card much more complicated.
Drek’thar and Hearthstone’s metagame
According to HS Replay’s stats, Drek’thar is in almost 1 out of 4 decks, being the most popular Hearthstone legendary of the current meta. That by itself wouldn’t be an issue, what turned into a problem is how powerful it is in the current meta.
Drek’thar is present in the two most popular decks of Hearthstone’s metagame, Naga Demon Hunter and Quest Hunter. The most powerful iteration is when drawn on curve on Demon Hunter. Last Masters Tour stats show that the deck was the most banned and the strongest, by a mile.
It seems that Hearthstone’s metagame switched tyrant after patch 23.0.3 Druids are not the oppressor anymore, it’s the Demon Hunter under Drek’thar’s leadership.
Will Hearthstone devs nerf Drek’thar?
This is a difficult question to answer. Drek’thar is a unique case in Hearthstone. On one hand, it was a card given for free to the players, so someone could assume that nerfing should be simple and wouldn’t even be eligible for a dust refund. However, at the same time, Drek’thar is the first Hearthstone card that could be bought or upgraded to the Diamond for $25.
Many people think that this is part of the reason why the card wasn’t nerfed yet. This presents a problem that doesn’t have a clear answer. Giving a money refund would probably be the best path in that case, but some could argue that players bought a cosmetic and that the cosmetic is not suffering any changes. But if you bought Diamond Drek’thar and Hearthstone nerfs it most likely you aren’t going to buy anything else.
When the community asked Iksar, his response implied that the consequences of a possible nerf were not actually a problem for the balance team but for the commercial area. Is this an indicator that the money doesn’t influence the decision?
Furthermore, Gallon, part of Hearthstone’s design team, mentioned last week when announcing the nerfs that they were monitoring Demon Hunter, which probably means Drek’thar. “Notable omissions from this list – Demon Hunter changes. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the post-patch metagame to see how aggressive DH lists fare once slower decks are given a better chance.”
A creative solution
This topic has been hot in the community and some content creators gave some ideas on how to solve the problem. When everybody is asking Hearthstone designers to nerf Drek’thar, Feno went the opposite way.
This might sound funny, but it isn’t that crazy. It is debatable if lowering Drek’thar’s mana wouldn’t mean a nerf too, but it was a creative solution.
We will have to wait and see if Hearthstone devs decide to nerf Drek’thar or if they take an indirect approach nerfing some Demon Hunter cards to adjust the deck power level and popularity.