10 Classic and Basic cards that are bad for the game or: What cards Blizzard should nerf

Thu 18th Feb 2016 - 10:19pm : Hearthstone : Gaming

Hello, I would like to talk about a subject that will heavily influence hearthstone in the coming months. Most of you have probably heard about the next big update coming to Hearthstone, Formats. If you haven’t, you can read Blizzards official article about it here.

So basically we can all agree that the metagame is going to change drastically, as cards like Sludge Belcher, Dr. Boom, Mad Scientist and Antique Healbot are parting ways with the Standard format.

So what will the meta look like? No one can know. We don’t know what the upcoming adventure will bring with it. But Blizzard also announced that they would make some basic and classic cards weaker. So what we can speculate about is what cards will be nerfed.

Also, remember that these are just my opinions and if you feel like I'm a complete idiot who doesn't understand game design whatsoever, please! Do discuss! You're allowed to have your opinion.

So let’s get to it!

#10 and #9 Molten Giant and Mountain Giant

Handlock would be overwhelmingly good. Also, it would always be present in the metagame as most of the tools Handlock uses are already found in Classic and Basic. I don’t think that any deck always being viable is good for the game, so I feel like The giants should get at least slightly tweaked.


#8 Animal Companion

This Might not be on the list of everyone, but when’s the last time you saw a hunter deck without 2 of these? Quite likely never. It’s a card that limits the amount of cards Hunter can consider to play, because it is just that strong.



#7 Big Game Hunter

The fun-destroyer is this far down the list you ask? I don’t have a really big problem with the card. While it is definitely an amazing card as it has huge swing potential and a passable body for a 3-drop, it has also kept a lot of otherwise problematic cards in check. Without BGH Fel Reaver would have been a far more fierce force in the metagame.



#6 Ice Block

A lot of people hate playing against freeze, for a good reason. It’s an uninteractive deck and it often feels like there wasn’t much you could have done to win when you lose. Without Ice Block Freeze Mage would die off, and I think it’s healthy for the game to have it die off at some point. Ice Block is also a card that limit’s card design space in the future.


#5 Leper Gnome

This little gnome is that problematic? While not flashy, it will almost always push some decent damage for a 1-drop. Using the same argument as with Animal Companion, there is probably no face-centric deck in the history of the game that didn’t put this little guy in.


#4 Savage Roar

The druid combo has been present since the very early days of the game. Actually, most of the druid cards used have always been from the Basic and Classic sets as those cards are just incredibly strong. Playing against druid can be really annoying because it feels like you’re dead if you just let 1 of their minions live. But I don’t think the nerf made to combo has to be very drastic. Even a relatively small change will be enough to make it feel far fairer.

Also, I feel like the card changed should be Savage Roar as it can present too much damage for a 3 mana spell, as Force of Nature is even slightly underpowered in itself.



#3 Innervate

Innervate is another very strong druid card that has probably been in literally every even slightly serious Druid deck ever. The tempo advantage Druid gains by playing this can outright win games by itself. I don’t think a 0-mana card should be able to do that.



#2 Divine Favor

This card makes my blood boil, because it’s just such bad, such terrible design. It punishes a player developing card advantage, which is CRUCIAL to some decks. A Handlock taps to have a 9-card hand at around turn 8. Let’s say he’s tapped around 4 times, so he’s already taken 8 damage. Then a paladin just empties his hand and draws 9 cards with the 3 mana spell. It’s far too swingy, far too punishing and far too anti-control.



#1 Knife Juggler

So number one. This is the dumbest form of RNG. Why is this effect on a 2 mana 3/2? Why can it decide games by itself based on the purest form of RNG? Why does it almost always leave 1 player grumbling? Why can I not play any deck with tokens without this stupid card in it? Why does it push most other 2-drops to not being played because you’d just rather play this? It's even a neutral card! It just can’t stay the way it is.



I’ll also make some quick notes on cards other people feel should be nerfed but I don’t.

Ancient of Lore/Keeper of the Grove

These are great, but once innervate gets nerfed they’ll seem a lot less amazing.

Ironbeak Owl

I feel like a viable neutral silence card is almost a necessity. Cards like Tirion and Sylvanas would be so much better and they’re already good as they are.


The only deck in which this could be seen as problematic is Freeze Mage and if Ice Block is nerfed there’s no need for Alex to be too. It’s completely fine for some of the other decks it’s sometimes played in like Combolocks and Control Warrior.

Thanks for reading! Please discuss and talk about what cards you think should be changed and how you would change them.




Alvar Dürr

Your Comments

  • Thu 18th Feb 2016 - 11:08pm

    Hey man, nice article!

    I see you've put a lot of thought into this! I agree pretty much with every single card you'd like to change, but not necessarily with the way in which you change them. Alot of your suggested nerfs seem too harsh to me.

    For example, mountain giant just got its mana cost increased by 3? That's incredibly high. In the case you have a full hand, which is the optimal scenario, you can still only play it for 6 mana? That would make it pretty much worse than War Golem. Molten Giant only playable for free at 8 HP? 

    4 mana animal companion? Would hardly be playable I think.

    4 mana 2/2 Big Game Hunter? This is a close call for me, but I'd like tot ry it as a 3/2 or 2/3 tbh. Making the body redundant basically means you're making it a pure removal for 4 mana, which is very specific in its usage. This one is debatable but I think the 2/2 stats are too weak. I agree with the 4 mana though. 

    Ice block with that effect would simply never see play. 

    Same goes for the Leper Gnome you created. 

    Knife Juggler for 1/2 same. 


    I like the suggestions you made for Innervate, Divine Favor and Savage Roar though, these would seem balanced to me. For some of the other cards I'd like to see them be nerfed in a way that they're still playable and viable, just not mandatory anymore. 

    Suggestion, keep Leper Gnome with the current statline but the new effect you suggested. Seems a lot more reasonable. 

    I think having Knife Juggler as a 2/2 with this effect seems fair. It would still be a strong card, but having it be a 1/2 makes the card completely unplayable, and giving it 2/1 in stats would make it killable with a ping which is also pretty bad for a non-charge minion that costs more than 1 mana. 

    As for Ice Block, that's a tough one to balance without reworking the card entirely. It would help it it couldn't be pulled from Mad Scientist, but that's a weird thing to implement as a rule. A mana increase would be impossible since all secrets have the same mana cost. Perhaps it could be changed to being only triggered by a minion attack? That would become easy to play around for some decks, but I think it's still better than it blocking 2 attacks only, because that's basically never useful to have. 


    Other than the cards you mentioned, I really think Tirion needs a big fat nerf. It's way stronger than any other class legendary with an immediate impact on the board. I'm not sure on how best to nerf that card though. The best option there might actually to buff it to 7 health to make BGH a reliable answer to it. It will still spawn the weapon, but at least make the minion killable by some commonly run removal, because most commonly run removals don't work on Tirion which I think is an issue. Who runs Crush or Polymorph or Hex these days? Silence is nice of course, but too unreliable as an answer to that card. Maybe making it a 7-6 or even a 7-7 would make the card more interesting. 


    So yeah, those are my 2 cents :)

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