Hearthstone finally announces nerfs for Garrote Rogue, Quest Mage, and Aggro Druid. Changes will happen days before the next $250k tournament.

Just minutes ago, Hearthstone announced in a blog post that nerfs are coming for Garrote Rogue, Quest Mage, and Aggro Druid. The changes will be effective next week, days before the last Masters Tour event of the year, with a $250.000 prize pool. The community celebrates, pro players on the other hand, not so much.

Hearthstone Nerfs

With a Masters Tour on the horizon and no official patch notes, we discovered that four cards would see balance changes in the next few days. Garrote Rogue, Hearthstone’s most potent deck, will take a big hit with the nerf of Garrote. Hearthstone also toned down Quest Mage and Aggro Druid power levels.

Hearthstone Nerfs - image by Hearthpwn
Hearthstone Nerfs – image by Hearthpwn

Garrote Rogue in trouble?

As of next week, Garrote will only shuffle 2 Bleeds into your deck, down from 3. This nerf reduces the reach by a substantial amount of what is Hearthstone’s most powerful deck at the moment.

Garrote Rogue changes

Old: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. Shuffle 3 Bleeds into your deck that deal 2 more when drawn.

New: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. Shuffle 2 Bleeds into your deck that deal 2 more when drawn.

Blizzard blog post on upcoming Patch

Garrote Rogue deck gameplan consists in drawing your whole deck and shuffling 6 Garrote Bleeds. That, combined with the original damage of the card and some spell damage, closes games as fast as turn 7. Now, with 25% less damage, it will be hard to close games without any additional damage from the board or Wicked Stabs.

Garrote Rogue explanation by Jia

Quest Mage’s Archanist Dawngrasp damage nerf

The Hearthstone nerf hammer also hit Quest Mage, specifically Archanist Dawngrasp. The Mage quest reward will now give only +2 Spell Damage instead of +3. Again, Hearthstone, with this nerf tries to slow down the deck’s ability to close games one turn after completing the quest.

Archanist Dawngrasp change:

Old: Battlecry: For the rest of the game, you have Spell Damage +3.

 New: For the rest of the game, you have Spell Damage +2.

Blizzard blog post on upcoming Patch

One less point of Spell Damage will probably require Mage players to spend an extra turn when burning opponents. Cram Session will also draw one less card after quest completion.

Aggro Druid deck players take note

Last but not least, Hearthstone is also nerfing the Aggro Druid deck. Razormane Battleguard will now have only 2 health points. The card will still enable combos with Oracle of Elune and taunt minions.

Razormane Battleguard change:

Old: 2 Attack, 3 Health

New: 2 Attack, 2 Health

Blizzard blog post on upcoming Patch

However, with the reduced health, it will be easier for many decks to remove it from the board. On top of that, in board-centric matches, being able to kill the minion as soon as it is played might be the difference between winning and losing.

On top of the three mentioned nerfs, a card will be buffed next week. Renew, a nightmare for aggro players in the last expansion will be set back to 1 mana cost. This powerful Priest spell saw its cost increase due to its incredible popularity and flexibility. Now, with Priest in the actual dumpster of decks, the card goes back to its original form. I pray we don’t get a Control Priest meta again.

The Deadmines mini-set

On November 2, Hearthstone released the Deadmines Mini-set to refresh the meta and give room for new archetypes. Despite the initial exploration for new decks, a week after the arrival of the new cards, the dominant decks were still the same. Garrote Rogue and Aggro Druid were farming players on the ladder to an unfun extent. On top of that, the game experience when playing against Quest Mage was also a detriment to players.

Hearthstone usually releases patches with nerfs 1-2 weeks after expansions or mini-sets to correct the power level of the new cards. This time, old decks needed to be nerfed for new ones to balance things out. All this happens days before Masters Tour Undercity, the last big open tournament of the year with $250.000 on the line.

While the Hearthstone community embraced these so-asked changes, competitive players complain about timing and communication. The publishing team apologize for the way they released the information, but it was their interest to give players the heads-up as soon as possible.

There hasn’t been confirmation about when the changes will be effective. However, Hearthstone usually deploys patches on Tuesdays or Thursdays, so you should expect nerfs in the next 7-9 days. If you want to keep yourself updated with more Hearthstone news and updates, stay tuned to Esports.gg. See you next time, in the tavern.


Manuel "Rane" Delgado

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @RaneTDF

Manuel “Rane” Delgado is an experienced Hearthstone caster, content creator, and tournament organizer from Argentina. He started his career on Esports casting his own tournaments, now he currently casts the Hearthstone Esports circuit for the LATAM region, among other content creation and tournament organization.