Blizzard has announced a number of sweeping changes that will be coming to Hearthstone‘s Witchwood expansion once the HCT Playoffs are complete. The changes are pretty much all nerfs, with many cards now costing quite a deal more mana, in order to make Witchwood gameplay a bit more even. Two of the biggest changes target warlocks and paladins, as both Possessed Lackey and Call to Arms now cost an additional mana in order to play. Additionally, Dark Pact now heals for less, making this patch see two nerfs to control Warlocks.
The affected cards are Naga Sea Witch, Spiteful Summoner, Dark Pact, Possessed Lackey, Call to Arms, and Crystal Core.
The pointed nerfs were designed to prevent certain explotative decks from being as overpowered as they are, and as always, the player reactions are pretty varied. Many players are pleased with the nerfs, while those adversely affected are on the annoyed side.
While there are no buffs this time around, Blizzard is not offering any kind of compensation for the nerfs, so if you were hoping for some dust value, you’ll have to settle with less cubelocking. Hopefully.
The full set of changes includes:
Naga Sea Witch – Will cost 8 mana. (Up from 5)
By increasing the cost of Naga Sea Witch to 8 mana, the Naga Sea Witch giants deck concept remains intact, but the combo is delayed until later in a match when more decks are likely to have the tools to handle the arrival of so many giants. This change is intended to make the Naga Sea Witch giants deck easier to deal with for other classes, as a board covered in giants early on can be incredibly difficult to deal with.
Spiteful Summoner – Will cost 7 mana. (Up from 6)
After set rotation arrived in Hearthstone, Spiteful Summoner became more powerful and consistent when used in decks containing 10 mana cost spells. Therefore, Blizzard has increased the card’s mana cost to 7 so the initial mana cost puts it in line with its powerful combo cards like Ultimate Infestation.
Dark Pact – Will restore 4 Health. (Down from 8)
At a cost of 1 mana, it’s easily used alongside cards like Carnivorous Cube, Possessed Lackey, and Spiritsinger Umbra for big combo turns, but Dark Pact also gives Warlocks enough healing so that aggressively spamming Lifetap and playing cards like Kobold Librarian and Hellfire is much less of a dodgy proposition. Blizzard has left the card’s cost in tact so it can still be used as part of a combo, but won’t heal as much, making Warlocks more careful about how much damage they take over the course of a match.
Possessed Lackey – Will cost 6 mana. (Up from 5)
Because Possessed Lackey can be used in combination to create some tricky early-to-mid game situations, the card’s mana cost has been increased to delay those combos to later in the game. Therefore it should be easier for opposing decks to handle, resulting in a more balanced match.
Call to Arms – Will cost 5 mana. (Up from 4)
Murloc and Even Paladin decks have been a bit too powerful since the release of The Witchwood, and that’s all down to Call to Arms. By increasing the card’s cost to five, Blizzard has removed it from Even Paladin decks, and also reduces its power when used in Murloc Paladin decks.
And Blizzard doesn’t expect that Call to Arms costing 5 mana will completely alter the way Odd Paladin decks function, because Odd Paladin’s cant access 2 mana minions, meaning they can only summon three 1 mana minions, making it much less useful.
As a result of this change, the “Greymane’s Alliance” deck recipe is being changed. That deck will now have two copies of Saronite Chain Gang in place of Call to Arms.
The Caverns Below – The quest reward, Crystal Core, will read: For the rest of the game, your minions are 4/4. (Down from 5/5)
While the Quest Rogue deck was designed to be powerful against slow, control-heavy and fatigue decks, it ended up being far too powerful against all non-aggressive strategies. Therefore, Blizzard is nerfing the resulting minions from Crystal Core to being 4/4 instead of 5/5. So Quest Rogue should still be a reasonable option against slow, extreme late-game decks while being less polarizing against moderate control decks.
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