Since the release of the second Hearthstone adventure, Blackrock Mountain, one of the most popular decks in Blizzard’s Hearthstone has been “Patron Warrior”. Now after much outcry from the community they have managed to kill the deck by changing a single card in next week’s patch.
The deck as it stands right now is based around a couple of key cards. Firstly the eponymous patrons themselves: Grim Patron. This card was introduced in the second Hearthstone adventure, Blackrock Mountain, and reads “Whenever this minion survives damage, summon another Grim Patron.” Due to the warrior class having many cards that damage their own minions it fits well in the class, allowing warriors to fill their board easily with these grey faced dwarves. However this isn’t the card that will be nerfed next week, thus, breaking the deck.
The nerf hammer is instead coming down upon the Warrior class card “Warsong Commander” which at the moment reads “Whenever you summon a minion with 3 or less Attack, give it Charge.” “Charge” being an effect allowing a minion to attack the turn it is summoned which is great for the patrons because it turns just of them into a wave of dwarves and wiping out low attack enemies. After the balance patch gets applied next week Warsong Commander will instead have this text: “Your Charge minions have +1 Attack.” This seems to some to be a bit of an over correction because now the playability of the cards has been severely reduced to the point where Warsong Commander won’t see much play within constructed decks and reduces the potential of Grim Patron significantly.
The reasoning for the change to this specific deck is due to the fact that it can perform what is referred to a “One Turn Kill” or OTK, simply meaning that one player can win with only a few cards on a single turn. With the interaction between the two mentioned cards and a few others (Frothing Berserker I’m looking at you) this deck is incredibly strong at the moment. The removal of this will certainly cause a power vacuum and other decks will rise in its absence but it is to be seen if this a positive net change.
Showcasing their hands-off approach to balancing their games Blizzard had this to say in their forum post about the change: “Going forward, we will continue to stand by our stance that we will only make adjustments to cards when we feel it is completely necessary and allow the injection of new cards into the game help our players define what the meta evolves into. In the case of Warsong Commander, we felt this change was necessary to help expand both future design space and to stand by our overarching game philosophy that battles between minions and fighting for board control is what makes Hearthstone fun and compelling.”