Today, an official post by Zeriyah, Community Manager for Hearthstone, posted news of an upcoming balance change for Warsong Commander. After the change, which is currently scheduled to be applied next week, Warsong’s text will read: “Your Charge minions have +1 Attack.”. This basically destroys the Patron deck in its current form and has EVERYONE in the community at arms whether for or against the change. We sat down with a handful of the crew to get their thoughts on the news.
It’s true that the grim Patron Warrior was unbalanced. However, fine tuning the deck to have less card draw perhaps or putting Frothing Berserker at three health would have been a much more sensible approach. It’s also true that nerfing the Patron Warrior will make aggro decks, (Face Hunter) much more prevalent in the meta. It also gives Secret Pally a huge buff. These are all relevant complaints. However, above all else, it is my opinion that the biggest reason we as players should be upset about this nerf is the simple fact that the amount of skill it took to play this deck was unparalleled to any in the game. Grim Patron Warrior was ahead of its time. A deck with a skill cap as high as Patron Warrior did deserve at least one or two equivalent counterparts to balance out the meta. However, making the deck completely and utterly useless is a lazy approach and a fumbled attempt at balancing the metagame and worse of all takes the game one giant step in the wrong direction. #freewarsongcommander
Aephlex, vS Friend
Twitter: @Aephlex | Twitch: @Aephlex
This is a negative development. If Blizzard had expressed a general policy of nerfing strong decks before big tournaments; if they had altered the way Patron plays rather than deleting the deck entirely; if they had given players more than one week’s notice (or three weeks before Blizzcon); I would accept changes to Patron. As it is, the current change is poorly timed, inelegant, and shows a lack of understanding of Patron’s role in the current metagame and whether it is overpowered or just very good. It caters to fans who are bored of Patron rather than top players who are used to playing with and around the deck. That’s not a healthy way to build a competitive scene.
Shoop, vS Player
Twitter: @Shoop_HS | Twitch: @Shoop22
Warsong Commander always at least had the potential to be a problem since the very beginning of the game. We know that it was already nerfed once. It used to just have an aura that allowed all other minions to charge, with no restriction on starting attack. It didn’t give the Charge buff so your opponent couldn’t take the other minions and charge with them. But it also didn’t have to be summoned first in order for other minions to charge. You may remember the old Warsong Commander, Molten Giant, Brewmasters OTK combo. The card became more awkward after that nerf, but was still potentially be a problem. The only other comparable card is Tundra Rhino, but it’s aura only lets other beasts charge, and is itself more difficult to play because of its higher mana cost. Overall, I believe that the ability to give all other minions charge without a huge restriction had to be removed, especially when the card itself only costs three mana. As for the new ability, it may create additional face Warrior decks to partially replace Patron decks, but I don’t think it’ll be too useful. You can compare it to Raid Leader, which gives all other minions +1 Attack. I think it needs to be a 3/3 to justify its limited effect, especially as a class card. After this change, patron warrior can still be somewhat viable. Late game threats like Dr. Boom and Grommash Hellscream can come back in place of Warsong Commanders. Early versions of the deck had them anyway, before everyone went all-in on charge combos. Other than that, a variety of aggro decks will just collectively fill the void left by patron warrior.
Fenom, vS Organization Admin
Twitter: @Fenom23 | Twitch: @Fenom23
One of the biggest consequences of the Warsong nerf is warping that Patron had on the meta will be undone, leading to aggressive decks taking over in line ups. In this case the Conquest format will be a poor format to compete in tournaments. Regardless what some people may think, Patron Warrior was not that broken. Patron Warrior is a combo deck, and the most important part of the combo deck is draw, if you nerfing draw is the best way to balance Patron, since it had a ton of draw. Completely removing a deck from the game is a negative way of balancing decks, regardless of complaints from community which I find unfounded and coming from a place of ignorance and misunderstanding for the deck. Some players have individually played thousands of games with this deck, and even then can still make mistakes, the skill cap of this deck is extremely high. Warsong being completely unviable for the foreseeable future is a horrendous design choice, and while will remove OTK style of Warrior decks from the design space, arena Warrior and other archetypes from Control Warrior suffer greatly from this change.
Timmah, vS Friend
Twitter: @LegendofTimmah | Twitch: @LegendofTimmah
Despite how much I hate playing against the “fun and interactive” nature of Grim Patron Warrior, even I recognize that the nerf was too drastic. I’ve never been a fan of making a card unplayable and I do believe there were nerfs that could have made the deck reasonable instead of killing it altogether. What I like the least is while Starving Buzzard is no longer seen in constructed, at least it’s overall the same card. Warsong Commander might as well be an entirely different card that they added to the game. It’s not so much a nerf as it is taking a card out of the game and replacing it but using the same art. That being said, I am glad that the deck received a nerf as it was necessary. Going ahead, aggro will likely dominate the ladder and I’ve already seen a return of face hunter. While this does bode well for my “Coradin,” the idea of another full aggressive meta is unnerving and I think there will be less variation in the immediate future. Secrets Paladin, Aggro Druid, and Face Hunter will likely be prevalent.
CGSongbird, vS Player
Twitter: @vS_cgsongbird | Twitch: @SageCora
That covers the general feelings among vS & Co. players. You can also check out a short video by @LookItzJoe, Webmaster & Advisor of vS, that covers most, if not all of the various discussion points/views on the matter on YouTube here. Below, check out some meta predictions by Timmah on how this nerf will change the meta.
Winners: Aggressive decks / Face Hunter, Zoo, Aggro Paladin, Secret Paladin
The main factor keeping aggressive decks down was Patron, you can expect to see a lot more of aggro running around on ladder.
Less patrons means less usefulness of the Handlock playstyle, not a dead deck, but will most likely lose favor in ladder play due to the expected return of all-in aggro.
Winners: Druid, Paladin, Hunter
Patron was a strong favorite against Paladin and Hunter decks. With Patron gone, the tournament meta will likely see even more Hunter and Paladin.
The main reason you brought handlock/demonlock was to counter Patron, can expect to see the popularity of this deck severely decline in coming tournaments unless meta shifts.
Darkhorse/Previously Unseen – Most likely to see more Shaman and Rogue resurface as a third option in the conquest format. The post-patron meta might boast more surprise-kill decks and older archetypes resurface.
Let us know what you think of our individual thoughts on this via Twitter or during our various streams. Also, Tweet @ViciousHS directly as we are eagerly awaiting to hear your thoughts as well. Until next time, EVERYONE, Enjoy your night!