More Warlock Nerfs were announced by Alec Dawson, Hearthstone Lead Designer, on Twitter. On top of that, he mentioned that Battlegrounds overhaul would be coming in the next few weeks.

The community has been asking for more Warlock Nerfs, and Blizzard took note of that. Apparently, the changes to Darkglare in patch 21.0.3 were not enough to put Quest Warlock’s power level in check. The low interactivity of the archetype added to its combo finishing aspect makes the deck fun to play but awful to play against. 

Alec Dawson, Hearthstone Lead Designer, posted on Twitter that 2 Warlock cards will see their mana cost increased on August 31 as an intent to solve the problem. When asked about the Battlegrounds changes for later September, Alec confessed that those would be balance changes after an important Battlegrounds overhaul.

Does Warlock need to be Nerfed again?

Questlines introduced interesting deck archetypes, but in a way, they shifted Hearthstone towards a combo-heavy meta. The design team addressed the “solitaire” issue shortly after the United in Stormwind launch, with the 21.0.3 patch. This balance change included the Nerf of a key card for Warlocks, Darkglare, that went up from 2 to 3 mana.

Many pro-players and Hearthstone figures commented that this Warlock nerf wasn’t enough to slow down the archetype. Time seems to have proven them right. If we look at Hearthstone Grandmasters League after the nerfs, 48 out 48 players brought Warlocks in their line-ups. Moreover, Warlock was both the most banned class -8x than other classes- and the most powerful class with an outstanding 60% winrate.

Is this Warlock nerf a consequence of its power level? Partially it is. However, the key aspect of why it is nerfed is because of the player experience it creates. When you add a high winrate to that, the deck tends to become more popular than the player base tolerates. This situation where there is no real expectation of a decrease in popularity creates the need for a Warlock nerf. 

Alec Dawson’s Twitter post did calm down the crowd that had very strong feelings about the class after this expansion. As a cherry on top, Hearthstone Lead Designer also mentioned that the team is considering buffs for late September and that Illucia, one of the most controversial cards ever printed, does have a bigger target on her back than before.

Battlegrounds Overhaul

Almost two months ago, Blizzard announced a major Battlegrounds Overhaul. The update includes a major rework of all minion Types, with 30 minions changing. In Blizzard’s words, it will be “specifically designed to play off the core fantasy of that Type and re-emphasize how the Types play, giving the entire mode a massive refresh”.

Time has passed, yet little else has been said on the topic. At least, until Alec Dawson openly answered a question regarding the update schedule he posted.

Battlegrounds Overhaul: New Pirates spoiled - Image by Blizzard
Battlegrounds Overhaul: New Pirates spoiled - Image by Blizzard

If we consider the timeline given in the original tweet, with the BG balance being in late September, Battlegrounds Overhaul should come in the next three weeks. Some even speculate that this change could mean the end of the eternal Beta phase. 

The Mercenaries reveal stream announcement mentions that it might include a surprise or two! It would be logical to think that on August 31, Blizzard will finally share Battlegrounds overhaul details and its launch date. Don’t be surprised if Blizzard ends up announcing it would be going live that same day! So make sure to tune in to the Mercenaries Reveal Stream, not only to earn two packs but to get all the fresh new info coming to Hearthstone.

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