Major changes to Hearthstone cards are not unheard of, but are fairly rare. Blizzard is of the mind that players should decide the direction of the metagame, and only makes changes when decks unbalance the game too far and no meaningful counters emerge. For instance, when Leeroy Jenkins, a card that could win someone the game in one turn with no minions on the board, had its mana cost upped to make this no longer viable. With this in mind, Blizzard has announced a nerf to the Warsong Commander card, effectively toppling the up-to-now deadly Patron Warrior deck.
Patron Warriors rely on a card called the Grim Patron, which summons more of itself whenever it takes damage, but is not destroyed. The Warsong Commander, when played in conjunction with this card, gave every newly-summoned minion with 3 or less attack Charge, allowing them to attack in the turn they were played. With these two cards in effect, players could potentially summon an infinite army of Grim Patrons to overwhelm the opponent. And as much as hearing “Everyone, get in here!” over and over again 20 times a turn may have been satisfying to the Patron Warrior, those playing against it were growing frustrated.
Warsong Commander now gives minions who already have Charge +1 attack, which is a pretty powerful nerf considering other cards with similar mana cost can give everything +1 attack. With this, it’s likely we won’t see Patron Warrior hanging around much anymore.
Here’s Blizzard’s post on the issue:
"The following balance change will be made in an upcoming patch:Warsong Commander now reads: Your Charge minions have +1 Attack. Over the course of the short but impactful history of Hearthstone, we’ve taken a strong stance that we’d like to make changes to cards only when they are completely necessary. The direction of gameplay and the metagame should be defined by our players, and as the meta is evolving, many different types of decks can emerge. Cards that were once impactful in the meta can be less so once new strategies emerge, and that change is brought on by the constant need and drive for innovation by our players.Innovation is just one way a game can evolve, and the best way to shake up the meta and innovate in Hearthstone is by introducing new cards into the game. Introducing new cards to Hearthstone is our preferred method of changing the current state of the game. It’s exciting to discover a deck that may have an advantage over a popular deck out there, and new cards lead to the discovery of new combinations, and new conversations. Hearthstone thrives off of stories about enjoying a fast-paced, fun game with friends that’s full of delightful surprises.Going forward, we will continue to stand by our stance that we will only make adjustments to cards when we feel it is completely necessary and allow the injection of new cards into the game help our players define what the meta evolves into. In the case of Warsong Commander, we felt this change was necessary to help expand both future design space and to stand by our overarching game philosophy that battles between minions and fighting for board control is what makes Hearthstone fun and compelling.Edit: The timeframe for this patch is currently slated for some time next week."
Fortunately, warriors still have plenty of viable options in the meta that don’t revolve around Grim Patron. I guess now we can all look forward to a surge of Secret Paladins instead.
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