Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Druid combos will be a little less powerful in Hearthstone pretty soon, as Blizzard prepares to nerf a number of classic cards alongside the newest expansion. Newly nerfed classic cards include some core favourites like Ironbeak Owl, Leper Gnome and Knife Juggler. Powerful Druid cards like Keeper of the Grove and Force of Nature will also be weaker after the patch. (Full list of changes below.)

The next Hearthstone expansion, Whispers of the Old Gods, will go live on April 26. It will make some big changes to the way multiplayer games are played.

Here are all the nerfs, displayed in helpful image form via I've also included Blizzard's explanation for each one.

Ancient of Lore

Drawing cards is powerful in Hearthstone, and Ancient of Lore easily found its way into nearly every popular Druid deck. We'd like Druid players to feel that other cards can compete with Ancient of Lore, so we've reduced the number of cards drawn from 2 to 1.

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Force of Nature

The new version of Force of Nature lowers its mana cost by 1, but removes Charge and makes the summoned Treants permanent — like the other Treants that Druids summon. This change also removes the powerful one-turn combo of Force of Nature and Savage Roar. Now, opponents will have a chance to deal with the threat that the Treants represent, and it won't feel mandatory to always include the combo.

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Keeper of the Grove

Keeper of the Grove is a strong and versatile minion that combines Silence with solid stats, which made the decision to include it in every Druid deck virtually automatic. Whether or not to introduce a source of Silence to a deck should require some decision making, so Keeper of the Grove shouldn't be a default choice for all Druid decks. Its stats have been changed from 2/4 to 2/2.

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Speaking of Keeper of the Grove, Silence and minion removal are potent effects in Hearthstone. Currently, some removal options are too widely played, are attached to minions with efficient stats, or are simply too powerful. While removal is an important part of Hearthstone, it also makes playing big, exciting minions less rewarding. We are adjusting some of these cards so that the decision to add them to your deck comes with a cost, especially if you don't end up finding an ideal target for them. These changes should help make cards with high attack or cool effects more interesting too.

Ironbeak Owl

Ironbeak Owl is a staple source for an inexpensive Silence in many decks. In line with our overall goal to make Silence effects more costly, Ironbeak Owl is moving from 2 to 3 mana.

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Big Game Hunter

Big Game Hunter represents an inexpensive source of removal that is packaged with a minion. It's efficient enough that some Heroes with powerful Class-based removal cards choose to run the neutral Big Game Hunter. We're increasing the cost of the card from 3 mana to 5 mana.

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Hunter's Mark

Hunter's Mark is an important option for Hunters, but it's too efficient at 0 mana. We are increasing its cost to 1.

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Blade Flurry

Blade Flurry is a problem because it enables both board clear and heavy burst damage, and it's also an obstacle to adding better cards for Rogues. To address these issues, the cost of Blade Flurry is moving from 2 to 4 mana, and it will now only affect minions, so that Rogues have to choose between removing threats or damaging the enemy Hero.

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Knife Juggler

Knife Juggler should be a good choice in decks that play many cheap minions, but with 3 Attack, it is played almost universally. We're reducing Knife Juggler's Attack from 3 to 2, so this card will move into a more specialised role in the decks that include it, instead of always being among the best choices for a 2 mana-cost minion.

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Leper Gnome

Leper Gnome is powerful for its cost, finds its way into almost every aggressive deck, and requires no further deck building decisions to be effective. We'd like other 1 mana minions to be more compelling, so we're reducing its Attack from 2 to 1.

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Arcane Golem

Charge is an ability we've learned to use sparingly. Arcane Golem has been a staple in many aggressive and 'one turn kill' combo decks, and its drawback is rarely relevant. We're addressing both issues by removing Charge and increasing Arcane Golem's Health, while leaving its drawback. Arcane Golem will now be a 3 mana 4/4 with Battlecry: Give your opponent a Mana Crystal.

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Molten Giant

Molten Giant is an interesting card, but it's too easy for players to reduce its mana cost to 0. We're increasing Molten Giant's mana cost to 25 to increase the risks players must take to get a free Giant. The changes to Force of Nature and Arcane Golem will make dropping to low health somewhat less risky as well, which helped spur this change.

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards

Master of Disguise

The ability of Master of Disguise to grant permanent Stealth has been a design obstacle for a long time, so we are changing Master of Disguise to only grant Stealth until the next turn. This change opens up exciting options for future cards.

Blizzard Is Nerfing A Bunch Of Hearthstone Cards


    As a person who plays priest I couldnt care less about these. The druid tears will no doubt be delicious though

    The blade flurry nerf is insane.... The class is under-played as is.

      In the reasoning for the nerf, they state that it was limiting design space for Rogue weapons, so I guess we're going to see some pretty nutso weapon for Rogue in WotOG.

      But I do agree, they could have easily kept it the same mana cost and only have it affect minions, or keep it the way it is now and raise the mana cost.

        Aye, I wouldn't mind one or the other but 4 mana cost and a loss in ability makes the card really unattractive, it's almost more equitable to run doomsayer than blade flurry.

      It makes some sense. The reason it got nerfed is because rogue can't have good weapons due to blade flurry existing and making them to strong or OP.

      The Maly Rogue is the one effected by this change.

      The real issue I have with these changes is that it still doesnt really stop the facehunter or secret paladin desks which are still wide spread

      Will be interesting to see how Wild\Standard does to those decks

        Losing Avenge in Standard is a pretty big downgrade for Secret Paladin.

        Face Hunter will get shaken up a bit as well, but I don't think any of its cards really limit the design space at the moment. These nerfs are more about stopping ridiculous interactions that limit design space than nerfing particular deck archetypes.

        I haven't run into many face hunters since TGT came out. I can't speak for the uppermost ranks but I've played from roughly 20 to 6 each month since. Face hunter relies on gaining early and overwhelming board control, but TGT added a bunch of cards that improve survivability or force the hunter to attack minions instead of face because of value growth. A similar thing happened with patron warriors, you still see them occasionally but there are more tools to deal with them now.

        Secret paladin can certainly be frustrating, but careful play on the turn after can pop something like 3-4 of their secrets on a single attack, after which everything's vulnerable again. If you're already on the back foot when Mysterious Challenger comes out you're going to have a bad time, but in my experience paladins usually play it to steal momentum, which means your board should be in a decent state to fight back.

        facehunter is getting a few nerfs in leper gnome, knife juggler, arcane golem, iron beak owl.
        Also, mad scientist and haunted creeper won't be playable in standard.
        These will all add up to a huge nerf.

      I loved this game, I reckon I'll jump back in to try Wrath of the Old Gods. I haven't played since the changes though :S

        ...... it's whispers of the old gods high =P If you do jump back in don't bother picking up any TGT packs; that expansion was a nill effect on the game.

    Such a slapdown. 2 cards and 7 mana for a 3 damage flamestrike. Ouch.

      This, use hero power, use deadly poison then use flurry = a 7 mana class card for board clear. That's ridiculous costing.

        The general argument for it is that they can now create more compelling weapons for Rogue, and that it was hampering development. Fair enough I guess. Cant wait for the release!

          Given all the cards have been released there doesn't appear to be anything at face value that makes up for this nerf to board clear =\ It's one of the most important tools rogues have because you almost always have to give up board control in the early game and use blade flurry as a come back.

            Maybe we will see a return of the dreaded turn 1 coin, Defias Ringleader.

    Also known as "Hearthstone just removed the only threats to control priest and freeze mage".
    RIP in Peace boys.

      We'll have to see when the expansion comes out, but I would expect both control priest and freeze mage to get steamrolled by a half-decent C'thun Druid. Deathrattle Hunter might be a thing as well.

    I think it's interesting that owl is a 2/1 for 3 mana now, when spellbrealer is a 4/3 for 4 mana. I can see people incorporating spellbreaker in more decks now instead.

      The stats on the owl are mostly irrelevant in terms of value. People don't run it to be useful in combat (it's a bad trade against pretty much any 1 cost creature), but a turn 2 silence is incredibly powerful. At 3 cost it compares with other 'use and forget' cards like Wolfrider.

        Also, (should have put this in previous comment), owl got played because it was that a 2 mana neutral silence is powerful, not a turn 2 silence. I agree the body/stats on it was irrelevant.

        Last edited 21/04/16 4:10 pm

        Apparently my other post didn't go through? For the 1 extra mana, people will get an okay body and the same effect (itll trade with some 4 and 5 drops, but can be traded with by some 2 drops, not amazing, but it's 4 extra stats and the same effect for 1 more mana).
        People don't usually use owl turn 1. It's typically there to remove taunt, or a minion with a strong effect.

          In my experience (I don't run owl myself) owl comes out most frequently when a potentially strong combo creature appears. That can happen quite early for pretty much any mage deck (Mana Wyrm can be pumped crazy fast), some druids (especially after a turn 1 Wild Growth), mech decks, some shaman decks, that kind of thing. A turn 2 silence is quite powerful in tempo and aggro/rush decks to destroy the opponent's ability to retake momentum and get strong early board advantage.

            I've reached legend a few times, and I've always seen owl incorporated in most decks. At the very least, one owl is run anyway. I think owl won't be as important in Standard with some of the naxx/GvG cards disappearing, but a turn 2 owl for its silence is an awful play.

            Most turn 1/2 cards aren't worth silencing, with perhaps the exception of knife juggler and mana wyrm. It's usually best to hold on to owl for mid/late game.

            Last edited 22/04/16 7:24 am

              We're obviously seeing different strategies in play. It's considerably more effective in early play than you believe and I stand by that.

              Last edited 22/04/16 8:22 am

              Gotta agree with comban, owl is an incredibly powerful effect at cheap cost depending on the kind of enemy you face. If you're up against aggro decks you aren't going to have too many silence targets and that 1 extra mana cost could actually lose enough tempo to cost the game. However against slower decks (think Tirion, twilight drake, grom) it continues to hold value and still represents a tempo swing at 3 mana. The change just means you have to be more careful in how and where you include it.

                There are marginally higher cost silences that are better used in the later game, not to mention the free silences that a third of the classes get.

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