Blizzard wants to shake up competitive Hearthstone by nerfing some of the most oppressive decks after the Hearthstone Championship Tour playoffs have commenced. Despite only 6 cards getting changed, they will affect some of the strongest and most played decks out there now and will surely cause a stir in both ranked- and tournament play.
The Warlock decks are getting hit the hardest with these nerfs. Dark Pact has been changed to restore only 4 health instead of the 8 health that it healed before that gave the Warlock a really easy way to stall out and control games. Another Warlock card that is getting the hammer is Possessed Lackey. The mana cost has been upped so that Warlock players have a to wait an extra turn before they get the opportunity to bring out their big minions.
Paladin decks are also getting nerfed with a mana increase for the card Call To Arms. This change will impact aggressive rush Paladin decks that look to flood the board with small minions to finish games fast through relentless aggression. These decks used Call To Arms as a reliable way to gain a large minion advantage and set up early victories for themselves. The increase in mana cost means that the card has to be played later in the game, which gives opponents a better opportunity to counter the early game onslaught.
The final deck that got a nerf is the Quest Rogue. The quest Rogue deck had been popular for a while already, but gained some extra power during the Witchwood expansion. The deck is focused on punishing slow control decks by creating endless waves of 5/5 minions. The card that got nerfed was the quest reward Crystal Core. Instead of making all minions 5/5 for the rest of the game, it makes them 4/4 instead.
Two neutral cards have also received nerfs in this patch, to make them a little less oppressive to play against, the first of which is the Naga Sea Witch. The mana cost of the card has gone up from 5 to 8, which is a pretty dramatic increase. The card changes all your minion’s mana cost to 5, and was thus used to summon a whole wave of big minions early in the game. The new mana cost definitely brings the card in line with cards that have a similarly powerful effect. The second neutral card that got nerfed is Spiteful Summoner, which also got a mana increase, though not as dramatic. The card reveals a spell in your deck and summons a minion with same mana cost. The card was easily abused in standard play where decks contained less high mana cost cards, so you could more reliably count on summoning the minions you were looking for.
The nerfs are definitely aimed at creating a new meta for the upcoming Hearthstone World Championship Tour, for which qualifiers have already started. For more information on the nerfs check out Blizzard’s official patch notes.