Hearthstone nerfs are coming, will they end Beast Hunter’s dominance? cover image

Hearthstone nerfs are coming, will they end Beast Hunter’s dominance?

Beast Hunter is by far the best and most popular deck in the meta. With Hearthstone’s latest mini-set not delivering justice, players ask for nerfs.

Hearthstone players are complaining about Beast Hunter overperforming, and they demand nerfs. The post Maw and Disorder miniset meta doesn't seem to have changed much. Despite the deck not having any broken win condition or end-gaming combo, its general powerlevel will force Hearthstone devs to nerf it. We are entering the two-week window after patches in which balance changes occur. What nerfs can we predict or expect?

10/13 Update: Hearthstone released the 24.4.3 patch notes today. Read all about them in this article.


Before the Maw and Disorder Mini-set, Beast Hunter was already one of the most powerful archetypes. The nerfs to Wildseeds, which came with the 24.0.3 Hearthstone patch, toned the deck down preemptively. However, the powerlevel of the deck kept on the rise, despite other classes receiving buffs.

Today, Vicious Syndicate released their report and revealed how powerful and popular the deck actually is. Stats could be slightly inflated due to the deck being already refined and facing weaker experimental decks from the mini-set. Still, numbers don't lie, even in top legend, the deck is outperforming the meta.

Vicious Syndicate Meta Score stats showing Beast Hunter's powerlevel and popularity - Image via <a href="https://www.vicioussyndicate.com/vs-data-reaper-report-243/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Vicious Syndicate</a>
Vicious Syndicate Meta Score stats showing Beast Hunter's powerlevel and popularity - Image via Vicious Syndicate

One of the reasons the deck has become so popular, and why Hearthstone players are begging for nerfs, is that there is little to no counter to it. Bless Priest seems to be the only reliable answer, and still, with the new Sylvanas, Hunter tries to resist. Spooky Mage is the other "favorable" deck, but still, given its place and powerlevel in the current meta isn't enough to keep Beast Hunter in check.

Why Hearthstone needs to nerf Beast Hunter

The preceding arguments, powerlevel and popularity should be enough for Hearthstone devs to nerf the deck. But why doesn't the meta self-regulate? The main answer, in this case, is Renathal.

With Hunter's strong early game based on Wildseeds and amazing tutored draw engine, the deck doesn't suffer any inconsistencies. The 10 extra life points let hunters survive against faster decks until they stabilize either via Pet Collector, Sunken Sabers or Mountain Bears.

Hearthstone Devs mentioned in the previous nerf rounds that they went for "confident changes". It seems they expected the Maw and Disorder miniset to shake things up and put pieces in places. However, the exact opposite happened. The miniset had little impact in the meta, and far from solving the Hunter issue, it fed it.

With a meta about to stabilize with Hunter as Hearthstone's top dog by a huge margin, nerfs seem to be the only answer.

What nerfs could solve this?

So, looking into possible solutions, the first two cards that need some tweaking are Harpoon Gun and Pet Collector. These cards were buffed during the Sunken City mid-expansion Hearthstone patch, nerfing them to revert the situation seems logical.

Having Harpoon Gun discounting only by 2 the dredged beast and reducing Pet Collector's stats by 1 would lower the deck's power spike. However, Hearthstone data shows that these nerfs might not be enough to stop the deck.

Card popularity among Hunter class by <a href="https://hsreplay.net/cards/#rankRange=DIAMOND_FOUR_THROUGH_DIAMOND_ONE&amp;sortBy=includedPopularity&amp;playerClass=HUNTER" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">HsReplay</a>
Card popularity among Hunter class by HsReplay

Wildseeds' early-game support is paramount for this deck to resist aggressive strategies. Despite Hearthstone devs having already nerfed one of them, it seems the other two dormant beasts still carry the archetype on their backs.

Furthermore, I wouldn't discard the possibility of nerfing Mountain Bear, as well. The stabilization power the card has, even when played from hand, is extraordinary. In the latest Coin Concede Hearthstone podcast episode, they suggested at least nerfing the Cubs to 3 health to give board-based decks a chance.

Other possible Hearthstone Nerfs

This category is harder to predict. Mostly because these kinds of nerfs Hearthstone devs apply are preventive ones. However, there is one card that has been in the spotlight since its release, Theotar.

Hearthstone devs have already mentioned the possibility of nerfing the card in patch 24.2.2. Aleco, part of Hearthstone's final design team, even hinted it nerf a month ago in an interview with Bendige.

“Due to both his play rate and the frustration that we’ve been hearing about him, we’ll be considering changes to Theotar in the next patch, but probably nothing too crazy.”

Despite this, the card was untouched. As a consequence, combo decks live in the margins of the metagame or risk their matches to just end in Theotar's hands. This incredibly powerful mechanic, combined with a cheap cost, allows players to even play it alongside Brann for a crippling effect.

<a href="https://hsreplay.net/cards/#rankRange=DIAMOND_FOUR_THROUGH_DIAMOND_ONE&amp;sortBy=includedPopularity" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">HsReplay popularity stats</a> for all cards in standard - Image vi HSReplay
HsReplay popularity stats for all cards in standard - Image vi HSReplay

I'm not sure if Hearthstone devs will be able to nerf the card without reworking it. Even at 6 or 7 mana, Theotar would be a better Mutanus most of the time.

We are entering the two-week window in which Hearthstone's balance team lock's in nerfs. Given the previous misses with Van Cleef, this time, they might wait until after the Masters Tour to make any decisions.

It's a matter of days until we get a verdict and learn what nerfs will be coming to Hearthstone and if they will fix or not Hunterstone. That's all for now, but as always, stay tuned to Esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates. See you next time in the tavern.