Hearthstone is releasing its first round of nerfs after Voyage to the Sunken City expansion. They will affect Standard and Wild, aiming to reduce toxic strategies.

Today, Gallon announced the much-awaited Nerfs after Hearthstone’s latest expansion, Voyage to the Sunken City. These balance changes will affect both Standard and Wild, aiming to correct some of the current toxic strategies and oppressing decks. The changes will be live next Tuesday 26th, less than 72hs from the upcoming $250K Masters Tour.

Hearthstone Nerfs after Voyage to the Sunken City Expansion

Yesterday, when many players were expecting a Balance Patch, Nicholas “DeckTech” Weiss said that the Hearthstone team was working on nerfs. Today, Hearthstone Associate Game Designer Gallon confirmed what should players expect regarding nerfs.

Hearthstone Standard Nerfs

The death of Kazakusan and the end of Druidstone?

  • Kazakusan will now read: “Battlecry: If you’ve played 4 other Dragons this game, craft a custom deck of Treasures”
  • Miracle Growth will cost 8 Mana (up from 7)
Kazakusan before the nerf
Kazakusan before the nerf
Miracle Growth before the nerf
Miracle Growth before the nerf

Days after Voyage to the Sunken City’s launch, players figured out that Druid was still busted. Last Vicious Syndicate’s report data showed that in Top 1000 Legend, the Druid was the most represented archetype by a mile, with over 25% of popularity.

This was not something healthy for the metagame, since Druid had few counter decks, and besides aggro Demon Hunter, they weren’t even that good. With great ramp capabilities, defensive tools, and Kazakusan as a win condition for slow match-ups, Druid had it all. That is why this class was the main target of Hearthstone nerfs.

That is why Kazakuzan received a hit, it was too consistent of a card with no downside in its original form. Gallon explains the Hearthstone team's train of thought regarding this nerf

“Kazakusan has been playing a critical role in Druid for the past couple of months fulfilling a similar role to Deathstalker Rexxar as an entire win condition in one card”

Gallon about Kazakusan's nerf

With this nerf, on top of the Miracle Growth to 8 mana, maybe the Hearthstone meta can shift towards something more diverse in the upcoming weeks.

Other standard Nerfs

  • Raid the Docks (Secure the Supplies), Pirate Warrior Questline will require an extra pirate in its final stage
  • Switcheroo now swaps Health only instead of stats
Raid the Docks - Secure the Supplies before the nerf
Raid the Docks - Secure the Supplies before the nerf
Switcheroo before the nerf
Switcheroo before the nerf
  • Pufferfist is losing one health point, from 3/4 to 3/3
Pufferfist before the nerf
Pufferfist before the nerf

On top of the nerfs to Druid, the Hearthstone team also addressed some problems with other classes. Pirate Warrior was another overrepresented deck across ladder. Despite not being the best deck out there, it competed in popularity with Druid in Diamond 5 to Legends ranks, with a 20% representation.

The nerf to Switcheroo responds to a toxic mechanic in which Hearthstone players could do little to play around the awful Fin Twin and Deathwing combo. Pufferfist balance change is a subtle change to a card that had a great effect with little stat downside.

Turn 4 BTW - Switcheroo Combo Priest (Standard) - Image from <a href="https://youtu.be/O3o3rWe66do" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Chump's Video</a>
Turn 4 BTW - Switcheroo Combo Priest (Standard) - Image from Chump's Video

Despite Demon Hunter wasn’t hit with this round of nerfs, the Hearthstone balance team doesn’t discard the option. Gallon said: “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”

Wild Nerfs finally coming to Hearthstone

  • Kael’thas is getting a textbox revert to Every third spell you cast each turn costs (1).
  • Switcheroo is banned from Wild format
Keal'thas before the nerf
Keal'thas before the nerf

The wild community was loudly complaining about how toxic the metagame was. Before the Voyage to the Sunken City Expansion, Hearthstone decided to revert some old nerfs, including Kaelthas nerf. That didn’t end well.

Kaelthas was incredibly toxic in Wild since it could be tutored with Barnes, leading to non-games. Zeddy’s clip is just an example of how bad it was! On top of that, the Hearthstone Team had to directly ban Switcheroo from the format since a nerf wouldn’t be enough.

Switcheroo Combo Priest in Wild - Image from <a href="https://youtu.be/8ZtCYIyyTZE" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Zeddy's video</a>
Switcheroo Combo Priest in Wild - Image from Zeddy's video

Hearthstone Nerfs Timing

Many players were expecting these nerfs to be live yesterday, especially the Hearthstone competitive community. The next $250K Masters Tour events start on the 28th and players will have less than 3 days to playtest.

Having nerfs close to Hearthstone competitive events is becoming a pattern. On the one hand, it is healthier for the competitive scene to play under an expected healthier metagame. On the other hand, it makes it harder for competitive players to prepare for the tournament.

We will need to sit and wait how these nerfs will impact Hearthstone’s metagame. Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates. See you next time in Sunken City.