In a bid to address the newly evolved hyper-fast metagame, United in Stormwind will receive it’s first nerfs to 8 cards in Patch 21.0.3
With its questlines & powerful cards, it's undeniable that United in Stormwind is one of the most influential Hearthstone expansions to date. While this influence has no doubt shaken up the metagame, some of these powerful cards have quickly become oppressive.
Many players have voiced their frustrations about this new direction the meta seems to be headed in. Namely, how incredibly fast-paced and non-interactive it has become in nature. While there are complaints like this with every new expansion, their concerns are more than valid. At it's top levels. the United in Stormwind meta is dominated by aggro, burst and quest decks. The combination of these 3 cut-throat archetypes make the 10 mana mark a rare sight.
All of this might change soon though: Patch 21.0.3, live since today, brings us no less than 8 nerfs to key cards in current meta! Aimed at reducing the speed, efficiency & burst capabilities of the most dominant aggro & quests decks in the United in Stormwind meta the nerfs check the boxes for all top classes:
Incanter's Flow now costs 3 mana (up from 2 mana)
Mage’s ability to cheat mana is now less efficient, losing valuable tempo in the early game.
Il'gynoth is now a 6 mana 4/8 (up from 4 mana 2/6)
Essentially kills any United in Stormwind Demon Hunter deck that relies on the card for its OTK (quest or not).
Darkglare is now a 3 mana 3/4 (up from 2 mana 2/3)
Now no longer free when drawn from Free Admission. The game-breaking synergy with Stealer of Souls will have to wait for an additional turn at the least.
Battleground Battlemaster now costs 6 mana (up from 5)
Aimed at hindering Paladin’s bursty lethals the nerf also affects Quest Rogue & Warlock, making us all feel a little safer during the mid-game.
Kolkar Pack Runner is now a 3 mana 3/4 (up from 2 mana 2/3)
Face Hunter was already struggling with the lack of good 2 drops. With the bump up to 3 mana, the archetype will have to reinvent its early game. This nerf is a huge blow to one of the deck's key comeback mechanisms.
Granite Forgeborn is now a 4 mana 4/4 (up from 4 mana 4/5)
For such a powerful effect it makes perfect sense having a less powerful body. Still a fantastic card in any Elemental Shaman.
Conviction now costs 2 mana for all ranks (up from 1 mana)
Along with the Battleground Battlemaster nerf, this decrease in efficiency will have Paladins going back to the drawing board. This change may even make them forsake stealth minions and big buffs for the own quest line.
Flesh Giant now costs 9 mana (up from 8 mana)
Certainly a move in the right direction but hardly a harsh penalty. We will still see Warlocks dumping this on the board as early as turn 4.
How will the nerfs impact the United in Stormwind meta?
So, will these changes be enough to slow down the fast-paced nature of the United in Stormwind meta?
The nerfs have mostly been targeted at mana costs, which halts the crippling burst potential of the currently dominant decks. As for whether these decks have been halted enough, it all depends on what you consider "enough".
There's no doubt that questlines and aggro archetypes are still formidable, and are here to stay for the long run. On the bright side though, Patch 21.0.3 may herald the return of more control archetypes as well.
As per usual, each nerfed card will be eligible for a full dust refund for two weeks after the patch goes live. You can read the official patch notes here