Hearthstone Expands Next Week, Balance Update Coming
With the release of Hearthstone's first expansion, Goblins vs. Gnomes, drawing near, Blizzard has taken a special look at some of the cards it will be releasing and has decided to do a little damage control.
In a post on the Hearthstone blog, Blizzard posted some more specifics for the upcoming Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion. Not only will this expansion bring about 120 new cards, it will also give you a cool new wrapper for them. You can either purchase the cards as packs, craft them with dust, or earn them in the Arena. The expansion is set to arrive Dec. 8 in the Americas, which includes Southeast Asia and Oceania, and Dec 9. in Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and China.
Additionally, over on the Hearthstone Forums, Aratil, Community Manager said that after keeping a close eye on match ups following Curse of Naxxramus, there were a few cards--three, specifically--that could use some balancing. Two of the cards were hero specific with changes being made to try and dull that heroes power, and one was neutral.
To get into the cards and changes, let's start with Soulfire. Soulfire had its mana cost changed from 0 up to 1 in order to keep Warlock's power in check. Aratil stated that Warlocks were too easily rushing their deck which was leaving other heroes playing against them no chance to gain the mana the enemies needed to destroy them. Blizzard is hoping this change will slow the Warlock down slightly, but not too substantially.
Gadgetzan Auctioneer is the second card to be reworked with the same changes that happened to the previous card happening here--its mana cost was increased by 1. Now this neutral card costs 6 mana instead of 5. The reason behind this change was the nature of the card itself--every time you use a spell, you draw a card. That coupled with the card's attack and health of 4 each let it last on the field longer than Blizzard thought appropriate. The change in mana cost has Blizzard feeling a little better about the card's power level.
Finally, the last card to get its mana cost adjusted is Flare. Flare is a Hunter only card and went from costing one mana to two. While the card seems to originally be meant to be a double-edged sword were ALL minions lost stealth, Blizzard decided that it's second ability to destroy all enemy Secrets was a little too over powered with it only costing 1 mana. It hopes to keep the card effective against decks that rely upon Secrets while taking back some of its power against other decks.
Blizzard also stated that it would continue to keep up with the balance updates to Hearthstone as it sees fit, with Aratil saying, "in order to increase the variety of cards seen at all levels of play, with the goal of making Hearthstone a more fun and interactive game for everyone."
We can imagine even more balance changes might be in store after the expansion releases next week. In the meantime, it's time to start crafting new strategies to use a few of the new, highly powerful cards before they get nerfed.