In the months following release of the League of Explorers in late 2015, it was becoming apparent that while the latest set was one of the most popular ever (it still consistently ranks top 2 in surveys now), the card pool in play mode was growing large enough that it was increasingly harder for new cards and decks to make an impact. As with all other card games that came before it, the broad and logical options were rotation/split formats, or powercreep.
The Standard Rotation was announced in early February 2016, along with this message:
… we’re planning to take the new Hearthstone year as a golden opportunity to re-evaluate a number of cards in the Basic and Classic card sets, including class cards, and make some long-considered adjustments.
While the reception to rotation was mixed in the general player population (in particular among those newer to card games), most seemed excited about upcoming changes to current staples.
Which of the currently ubiquitous cards were going to take the hit? Big Game Hunter was a popular guess, as were some of the Druid core, in particular the combo. Parts of the aggro package? Some other combo cards?
At the stroke of 10am PDT on a fateful Wednesday, as former CM Whirthun put it,
And. Here. We. Go!
Three years ago today, nerfs to 12 Classic & Basic cards was announced in preparation for the imminent Standard rotation, in a blog post titled – Keeping Hearthstone Fresh.
As befitting the largest set of card changes ever since (I think) alpha, the discussion thread on the sub generated more than 11,000 upvotes and 6,500 comments. While Mike explained the rationale behind the card choices and nerfs in the blog in more detail, here are the changes in brief:
Force of Nature – Cost: 5 (was 6), Treants are permanent and no longer have charge.
Keeper of the Grove – 2/2 (was 2/4)
Ironbeak Owl – Cost: 3 (was 2)
Big Game Hunter – Cost: 5 (was 3)Загрузка...
Hunter's Mark – Cost: 1 (was 0)
Blade Flurry – Cost: 4 (was 2), no longer does damage to enemy hero
Knife Juggler – 2/2 (was 3/2)
Leper Gnome – 1/1 (was 2/1)
Arcane Golem – 4/4 (was 4/2), no longer has charge
Molten Giant – Cost: 25 (was 20)
Master of Disguise – Now grants stealth until your next turn (was until minion attacked or dealt damage)
The discussion about the chosen nerfs raged on for days in all Hearthstone forums, twitch and social media, in all 14 languages.
Three years on, how are the nerfed cards doing?
Which ones are still seeing play? Which ones did you have to re-craft? 😉
Which ones never saw any amount of play again?
How do we feel about the nerfs now, after 3 full years and 10 sets?
As we know, a couple of them were changed again after this. Will any of the remaining 10 conceivably be changed further?
Fun fact: The nerfs were pushed live in Patch 5.0 on a Sunday afternoon (Pacific), 2 days before Old Gods launched, so for a good 40 hours we were in a bizarre pocket meta.
- Pre-nerf thread: Anyone else more excited for Blizzard to announce the nerfs than for more card reveals?
- Pre-nerf thread: Which non-nerfs would disappoint you the most?
- Everyone in r/hearthstone right now
- Bold prediction thread after the nerfs and all cards from Old Gods were announced
<— Previous thread: 24 March – Crescendo says goodbye
Note: Been on hiatus a bit, mostly due to spoiler season and real life. The main one I missed was Hearthstone’s launch on phones (14 April) and some Pwny/Sintolol stuff, haha guess they’ll have to wait a year.
I’m also undecided about doing posts on set launches (anniversary of Un’Goro launch etc), at the moment leaning towards no. Might do ones for the older sets though. There's of course no way I'm not doing Naxx.
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