With the recent & upcoming balance changes there has been quite a shakeup to the metagame as a whole and today I am here to give my thoughts on what impact the changes have to the meta, as well as what decks I feel you should play to have a comfortable ladder experience once they hit on June 3rd.
For those unaware of the changes coming into effect soon here is the link to the official blog detailing them: https://playhearthstone.com/en-us/blog/22990355/behold-the-rise-of-the-mech
So we’re off to a good start when this card has already forced the design team to rebalance a priest minion to prevent a potential turn 5 infinite damage combo with this card but even without that specific combo this card feels extremely strong in any decks using mechs as well as being a very strong option from Dr. Boom Mad Genius or Omega Assembly in control warrior lists.
If Zilliax has taught competitive hearthstone players anything it’s that when you have a magnetic minion that can stand its ground even without any synergy then it’s very powerful indeed. (Zilliax currently being seen in 59.3% of decks according to hsreplay statistics) Expect to see this card in almost every single deck that has mech based synergy at the very least such as Mech Hunter and some builds of Token Druid.
Gloop Sprayer (From 8 Mana to 7 Mana)
This change should have very little immediate impact given that Druid is currently only using token based strategies at any kind of competitive rank and this card does nothing to support that archetype. As the year goes on though and more ramp options are opened up for Druid I could see this card seeing some fringe play if there are minions worth copying but only time will tell.
Mulchmuncher (From 10 Mana to 9 Mana)
This change like Gloop Sprayer will be unlikely to shake up too much of what Druid is doing right now. While Mulchmuncher synergises more with Token Druid thanks to Soul of the Forest & The Forests Aid potentially summoning massive amounts of Treants, I don’t think 1 mana will be enough to justify playing a minion that is just clogging up your hand for the vast majority of the game. Especially when your strategy as Token Druid is so heavily revolved around killing people with a large board and Savage Roar.
Necromechaic (From 5 Mana to 4 Mana)
This is a hard card to evaluate given how few viable deathrattle archetypes for Hunter there are in the current meta. I could see Necromechanic possibly making it in some versions of Mech Hunter revolved around Goblin Bombs as a potential finisher but that feels like a slightly less consistent build than the one currently seeing play right now.
Like Gloop Sprayer I would avoid crafting this card for a week or two once the changes hit to see if competitive players can make something work with this card. I’m personally pretty skeptical though given how much more aggressive Hunter is now that they no longer have Deathstalker Rexxar as a late-game crutch against control decks.
Flark’s Boom-Zooka (From 8 Mana to 7 Mana)
This card never saw competitive application at all even when viable deathrattle minions were available to synergise with this card and I doubt the design team will print any that are so good that it justifies putting this card into any deck even if it costs one less mana to use.
Unexpected Results (From 4 Mana to 3 Mana)
This is one of the more exciting changes for me to speculate over given that this card saw quite a lot of experimentation back when it was first released. With a metagame with a much lower power level such as this one combined with Mage’s ability to get spell damage through cards like Cosmic Anomaly, as well as Khagar being able to duplicate any minions summoned through this card I could see a variant of Tempo Mage return to the meta given how well builds of Mage with Mana Cyclone have been performing as of late.
Like other aforementioned cards I would wait before crafting this card in case it turns out that it’s too slow even at 3 mana. (Though I personally find that fairly difficult to believe at the time of writing)
Luna’s Pocket Galaxy (From 7 Mana to 5 Mana)
Unlike Unexpected Results I don’t think this change will have very much impact outside of possibly creating a very weird combo build of Mage. Outside of playing against Warrior I find it extremely hard to justify spending 5 mana to put no immediate impact on the board in the current environment. I would recommend avoiding crafting this card unless you’re feeling especially creative.
Crystology (2 Mana to 1 Mana)
This is probably the card with the largest immediate impact of all of the changes they have released. At 2 mana this card saw a large amount of play in any Paladin builds revolved around the Holy Wrath combo and at 1 it will be far easier to use. It being 1 mana may also incentivise people to experiment with builds of Mech Paladin given that there are quite a few viable mechs that have 1 attack that this card fishes out in the early-game.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they may eventually have to tone this card back down to 2 mana given how powerful cheap draw spells that tutor cards have been over Hearthstone’s history. (Raiding Party being nerfed being the most recent example of this kind of effect)
Glowstone Technician (6 Mana to 5 Mana)
Like the previous change to Crystology this does incentivise experimentation with Mech Paladin given how Magnetic buffs would work in combination with this card. Personally speaking i’m fairly unconvinced if this Mech Paladin archetype will truly stand the test of time. (Or if it’ll even be slow enough to consider this card viable)
I don’t see any other variants of Paladin consider using this card at 5 mana given how combo-oriented the class seems to be right now, so I would recommend once again holding onto your dust until competitive scrutiny is tested.
Extra Arms (3 Mana to 2 Mana *More Arms! Now also costs 2 mana*)
Similarly to Unexpected Results, this card at 2 mana has a lot of potential in creating some new Priest archetypes outside of the Chef Nomi version we’ve seen over the last two months. It’s already a better version of Blessing of Kings that Paladin has given that you can spread the buffs across multiple minions, use the buffs across multiple turns or generally have more flexible turns as a whole.
I can’t see this card not seeing at least some experimentation while it’s still available given how many options it now opens up by being 2 mana cheaper than its previous iteration. I would keep an eye out for any Extra Arms priest build that manages to take the ladder by storm on day 1 of the changes.
Cloning Device (2 Mana to 1 Mana)
Unlike Extra Arms however I believe this change will make absolutely zero impact whatsoever unless some new synergy for the card shows up in proceeding sets. This card still provides no immediate board impact or actual value outside of some very bizarre control mirror matches.
Pogo Hopper (2 Mana to 1 Mana)
The highlight of every community streamer’s stream on day 1 of the changes will likely be trying to get a Pogo Rogue deck to be viable. I believe that Pogo Rogue even when Pogo Hoppers are 1 mana won’t be viable given that the main weakness of Rogue has always been survivability, especially with late-game strategies in Rogue.
That being said I could see Specialist lineups using a Pogo Hopper engine to tech vs opposing control lineups like Warrior so unless you’re playing the Specialist Open Cup format I would avoid crafting Pogo Hoppers.
Violet Haze (3 Mana to 2 Mana)
Similarly to Cloning Device for Priest this card suffers from a lack of immediate board impact combined with random cards you likely wouldn’t have put into your deck already if given the choice. This card costing one less mana changes nothing about those deep flaws about the card so I would absolutely avoid crafting this card unless some crazy Deathrattle Rogue becomes viable which I find hard to believe.
The Storm Bringer (7 Mana to 6 Mana)
This card hasn’t seen very much experimentation outside of recently where it has cropped up a bit in Murloc Shaman for Specialist tournaments where it has proven fairly useful in the late-game matchups such as Warrior. This card costing 6 mana will likely make it more viable for those kinds of lineups but otherwise I would recommend avoiding crafting this card for the time being.
Thunderhead (+1 Health)
Thunderhead has seen a fairly large amount of experimentation in Shaman ever since it was released to fairly mild success and it having one more health will make it far more bulky and able to generate extra 1/1’s to keep the board under control. I would highly recommend crafting Thunderhead if you haven’t already as he absolutely will see more play once the changes hit.
Spirit Bomb (2 Mana to 1 Mana)
Just like Crystology this card costing 1 less mana will push Control Warlock as an archetype to be a lot more appealing. Unfortunately I believe that Warlock currently doesn’t have the survivability nor the late-game presence to justify playing any build other than Zoolock in the current meta. I can see this card spiking in play once more tools for Warlock are introduced throughout the year but for the time being I don’t think this change will impact very much of the Warlock lists currently seeing play.
Dr. Morrigan (8 Mana to 6 Mana)
This card saw absolutely zero play or experimentation at 8 Mana and I think a 2 mana discount won’t change that. You can’t control what minion comes off of Morrigan which means she requires you to alter the way you build your deck for a very low amount of upside. A good comparison to this is a former legendary called Madam Goya who for the same mana cost allowed you to swap a minion on your board for one from your deck, and Goya saw absolutely no play so I hardly see why Morrigan would be any better.
Security Rover (+1 Health)
So both this card and the upcoming change will likely not see an increase in play in the traditional sense but since they are both mechs it means that this is an indirect buff to Dr. Boom Mad Genius who was already a pretty incredible card (So much so that the community is crying out for the card to be nerfed) but as far as Security Rover itself goes it likely won’t see any play outside of being discovered through the hero power or Omega Assembly.
Beryllium Nullifier (+1 Attack)
Just like Security Rover this change in itself will likely not make the card see more play but is a indirect buff to Dr. Boom Mad Genius. Just like Security Rover I don’t believe this card will see any increase in play outside of being discovered through another card.
As far as what decks to use once the changes come into effect to climb the ladder I would recommend using either Control Warrior or Cyclone Mage on the first day unless some radical new archetype has shown up. I’ve provided some links below to the decklists I would use for these archetypes at the time of writing.Back to all articles