Here Are The Cards Blizzard Will Ban In Hearthstone's Arena Mode

Image: Blizzard

Hearthstone, Blizzard's digital collectable card game, is going through an interesting period right now. After introducing a restricted "Standard" format akin to Magic: The Gathering and other CCGs to handle its burgeoning card base in competitive ranked play, the developer is now casting its eye on the game's other core mode, Arena. Again taking a page from other games, Blizzard plans to ban certain cards in this format in an effort to restore balance.

Associate game designer Dean Ayala revealed the ban list yesterday on Battle.net. According to Ayala, Blizzard is aware that the Mage and Rogue classes are by far the most popular (and strongest) in Arena and in order to give the others a boost, it's taking a multi-pronged approach in its banning philosophy:

We'd like to avoid removing strong spells and weapons from the Arena, because they add to a lot of the unpredictability and excitement surrounding the possibilities outside the current board state. We'd also like to avoid removing iconic cards, since they are generally versatile and familiar tools to veteran and new Arena players alike. Additionally, we can remove lower-performing cards in order to make room for a class' more commonly utilized cards to show up more often in your Arena draft.

With these points in mind, Blizzard will remove the below cards from Arena "in an upcoming patch":

Mage

  • Forgotten Torch
  • Snowchugger
  • Faceless Summoner

Rogue

  • Goblin Auto Barber
  • Undercity Valiant

Paladin

  • No changes

Shaman

  • Vitality Totem
  • Dust Devil
  • Totemic Might
  • Ancestral Healing
  • Dunemaul Shaman
  • Windspeaker

Warlock

  • Anima Golem
  • Sacrificial Pact
  • Curse of Rafaam
  • Sense Demons
  • Void Crusher
  • Reliquary Seeker
  • Succubus

Druid

  • Savagery
  • Poison Seeds
  • Soul of the Forest
  • Mark of Nature
  • Tree of Life
  • Astral Communion

Warrior

  • Warsong Commander
  • Bolster
  • Charge
  • Bouncing Blade
  • Axe Flinger
  • Rampage
  • Ogre Warmaul

Hunter

  • Starving Buzzard
  • Call Pet
  • Timber Wolf
  • Cobra Shot
  • Lock and Load
  • Dart Trap
  • Snipe

Priest

  • Mind Blast
  • Shadowbomber
  • Lightwell
  • Power Word: Glory
  • Confuse
  • Convert
  • Inner Fire

Banning cards might seem like a ham-fisted way of dealing with Arena balance and that is true to an extent, but it's also the fastest and easiest way to address the situation. That said, Ayala goes on to explain that the developer has a number of less overt options for tackling the problem:

...such as the ability to adjust the rate that individual cards show up in your draft depending on a designer input value ... Drafting by card rarity is another discussion that we’ve been hearing a lot. If it’s a matter of balance, we’re fairly confident the ability to adjust the “weights” of cards available can solve that.

It sounds like Blizzard is on the right track and starting to take advantage of the game's digital nature, where tweaking these sorts of things is much, much easier than a regular paper card CCG.

Hearthside Chat: Upcoming Arena Changes with Dean Ayala [Battle.net]


Comments

Be the first to comment on this story!

Trending Stories Right Now