Watabout That Balance Patch 1.74

It’s that time again folks, CPG has rolled out some significant card changes that going to greatly shake up everyone’s decks. Before we grab our pitchforks let’s remember that variety is the spice of life and I think that a lot of these are welcome changes. Let’s discuss!

Change 1: Kara

How I Feel: I feel like I speak for the whole community when I say “thank you”.

Why: Playing against Kara was the definition of ResidentSleeper. You knew how she was going to beat you (Tigers) and the only question was can you beat her down before she draws them (and she will draw them). With the change to her BBS the out of hand burst is no longer the same threat and instead the door has been open for Kara to become a lot more versatile. Prismatic Illusionist has synergy, Jax Truesight has synergy and gets put out of Blistering Scorn range, Walls have synergy, etc. There’s a lot! Sure the cream will rise to the top but for now the variety that Kara can bring seems promising.

Change 2:  Saberspine Seal

How I Feel: Not 100% necessary but not unwelcome.

Why: 1 mana for 3 damage is a steal and Songhai as a class is meant to deal the direct and burst damage. The issue arises that you can use a couple of these and cards like Killing Edge and deal massive damage really early in the game because of how cheap it was. NoWayItsJ showed us that you could OTK someone in 1.73 and Saberspine Seal was a staple of that combo. Now that it’s 2 mana that’s going to be much, much harder if not impossible. At the end of the day CPG does not like OTK (nor should they, it’s the definition of not-fun) and any time it’s going to be possible it should at least be really hard.

Extra Thoughts: Songhai as a faction is really hard to balance. They want to hit you from a distance with spells or ranged minions and buffs add to their bursting potential. Songhai has always been top tier and hampering their ability to do this too much would mean the actual death of the faction. You have to be able to kill the opponent but you shouldn’t be able to do it without paying attention to the board and you shouldn’t be able to do it before other factions can come online.

Change 3: Siphon Energy

How I Feel: Fine (fight me)

Why: Vetruvian is a faction that has also had it’s ups and downs in popularity (mainly ups). Its buffs like First and Second Wish are amazing and so was Siphon Energy. But take a harder look at the nerf, you have to be near the target now. What CPG is telling us is that “you can no longer ignore the board”. I see a lot of people’s first take on this calling for it to be removed from all decks and I disagree. When a balance patch hits you have to change your deck and we already have a minion that lets you move your General. It’s a 0-cost dispel and now you have to either play your General more aggressively or you have to play cards like Silhouette Tracer. Is it different than how we play Vetruvian now? Obviously, but don’t let that deter you from trying new things.

Change 4: Ephemeral Shroud

How I Feel: Indifferent

Why: As CPG stated themselves, Shroud is one of the most played cards period. You’re not playing it for the stats, you’re playing it for the effect. It being put down to 1/1 means it literally dies to anything but again, you’re playing it for the effect, not the minion. This may deter people from running it and that’s kind of the point. I think about it like Jaxi, for those of you who don’t know Jaxi used to be a 2/2 that gave the ranged 1/1. It’s now a 1/1 but is still played in some decks because the effect is still good. However, it’s played less and that’s because a 1/1 body is really bad. CPG is hoping that lightning strikes twice and that the same thing happens with Shroud, still played but not in all decks.

Change 5: Zen’Rui, The Blightspawned

How I Feel: Unsure but content

Why: When I think of Zen’Rui is the recent metas I think of it’s use in hard countering Lantern Fox. If you’re player 2 you can potentially drop this right after they play a Fox, it’s amazing. The nerf to 6 mana makes this happen at minimum a turn later. There are plenty of 2 attack minions that are nice to snag and depending on the board state maybe it’s game winning, even if it’s a bland minion. The health change also makes this a bit better because it dies to less. Time to throw out some buzzwords! Overall I’m okay with this change because Zen’Rui is limiting to the design space of the game. Any future minion you create that’s 2 attack or below is subject to the question “what if they Zen’Rui this”? It sucks, it’s a neutral that’s impossible to play around due to its tech nature. My only sadness about this change comes from a hard counter to Lantern Fox being harder to pay.

Change 6: Inquisitor Kron

How I Feel: AMAZING, but I want more

Why: Unless you’ve literally started playing (welcome!) you know that Kron was a staple in every deck that wasn’t Spellhai and that they probably ran 3 copies. It was insane and not fun. Again, variety is the spice of life and CPG wants less people playing Kron (as do we all). The nerf to 4 health is a welcome change because now a lot more kills it in one move (Holy Immo, Vaath pumped up, more minions in general). This means it’ll only get its effect off once instead of probably twice and you don’t have the “dispel or die” mentality when you face it. However, I want more. I want the Forcefield minion removed from the possible pool of summons. The way I see it you’re getting a Sapphire Seer (a 3 mana minion!) for free. Almost all of the minions that Kron gives are good but Forcefield is on another level because you have to waste more resources to kill it. A 4/4 Kron that can give a 2/2 minion with either Rush, Frenzy, Flying, or Ranged is still a fantastic card and to me it’s a lot better.