Hearthstone Standard and Wild Patch 25.4.3: The end of Frost Death Knight?
Hearthstone Patch 25.4.3 is here! It nerfs several big cards in both Standard and Wild.
On March 2, the 25.4.3 Patch for Hearthstone dropped, updating a dozen cards, nerfing some, and buffing others. Both the Wild and Standard mode saw some big changes, to, in Blizzard's words, address "outliers after the last big card infusion."
If you are looking for information regarding the recent updates to Battlegrounds, we have already covered that in another post. For now, we will cover the three cards nerfed in standard, before moving over to Wild. Read on to see how this will shift the meta moving forward!
Hearthstone 25.4.3 Patch changes for Wild and Standard
This is the biggest change to Standard in Hearthstone Patch 25.4.3 among all three of the changes focused on that format. At three mana, Construct Quarter on turn three was able to secure a huge board lead for every Death Knight build. Often used in tandem with Foul Egg, it would create a major outlier in power. As the Dev team themselves admit:
"Frost Death Knight is the best deck in Standard after the mini-set and Construct Quarter is the stand-out card in that deck and in other Death Knight decks. This change is both an acknowledgment of the strongest deck in the format and the strongest card in that deck."
Now at four mana, this should be able to slow down the early Death Knight aggression to the point where other classes can compete. Given the precedent of other locations' nerf history, we anticipate this card seeing a significant amount of play moving forward.
Goldshire Gnoll in Hearthstone Patch 25.4.3
The other major outlier in Standard was Goldshire Gnoll. This was due to its synergy with cards such as Blazing Transmutation giving Shaman players access to ten cost minions on Turn Two. At Eleven Mana, this should slow that prospect down considerably. Additionally, Mine Warlock often used Goldshire Gnoll as an anti-aggro tool and will need to adapt to its updated cost moving forward.
Grey Sage Parrot cost nerfed in Hearthstone Patch 25.4.3
While this change may seem to be minor, nerfing the spell cost on Grey Sage Parrot from (5) to (6) has Two big changes. Firstly: it no longer synergizes with spells reduced by Balinda Stonehearth, reducing the power swings out of Big Spell Mage. The second and most important change is for Wild players is explained below:
The Wild Mage Quest: Open The Waygate allowed players to add the Time Warp Quest Reward to their hand. Next: utilizing cards such as Grey Sage Parrot and Potion of Illusion, it was possible for Mage players to receive an infinite number of extra turns.
By increasing the requirement of the spell to cost six mana, this change is designed to prevent the loop and allow for other styles of Control Mage to exist in Wild.
As any standard player who has been on the receiving end of Necrolord Draka's sometimes fifteen atk daggers will tell you: Rogues can play a ton of cards in one turn. In Wild this is extreme enough to where some players were able to pull off One Turn Kills (OTK's) as early as turn three using Spectral Pillager. Altering Pillager's effect to only count every other card beforehand should serve to neuter this combo potential significantly.
Cataclysm has been a card that Wild players have had on their radar for a very long time. From its synergy with Mecha'thun to perform OTK's, to its most recent use in Discard Aggro Warlock, the range of use on this one card has been very high.
There are half a dozen cards in Wild that benefit from a turn four Cataclysm!
By increasing the mana cost, and reducing the amount of cards being discarded to two, this nerf aims to curb the tempo this engine has given to Warlock players. Similarly to when they previously nerfed Tome Tampering for also creating identical tempo swings. This nerf should allow for other Aggro decks to have a better chance of success in wild.
Looking into the future, it will be interesting to see how the standard meta exists with less of an early dominance of Gnolls and Construct Quarter. As well as in wild, with the reduced capacity for classes such as Rogue or Warlock to blow people out as early as turn three. Over the coming weeks, we will be covering these meta-shifts caused by Hearthstone Patch 25.4.3 in detail so be sure to keep an eye out!
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