Standard and Wild Balance Changes: Hearthstone 22.2 Patch Rundown
After the Hearthstone World Championship 2021 patch, there have been quite some annoying decks that might have made you take a break from the game…after all, a lot of streamers have been calling the game Roguestone for the past few weeks for a reason.
However, fear not, as the patch notes are finally here, and the reign of Rogue in standard is probably going to be less oppressive thanks to the changes.
Hearthstone Standard Changes
There are six key changes coming to standard coming with the new patch.
- Incanter’s Flow now costs 4 (up from 3) – Let’s be honest, this was bound to happen since mana cheating is something nobody is a fan of, unless it is related to the Druid class. It was quite annoying to play against a mage who stalls until their 6th or 7th turn, then plays Mozaki, Master Duelist, and just plays a bunch of cards and kills you in a single turn. While that still might happen, stalling early on will be more difficult due to the Incanter’s Flow being delayed to turn 4, or turn 3 if the mage has a coin.
- Create a Distraction now requires 3 pirates to be played (up from 2) – This is a rather interesting nerf, and it has been a long time coming, similar to the Incanter’s Flow nerfs. It was not rare for the warrior to gain a big tempo swing by finishing the first quest on turn 3, getting a free weapon, and then to get another huge swing by dealing 2×2 damage to random enemy characters on turn 4. This will definitely slow the Warrior down so you do not have to concede as soon as they get a big push by the 4th turn.
- Shadowcrafter Scabbs now costs 8 (up from 7) – Put your pitchforks down, this is not the only nerf Rogue is getting this patch! Honestly, delaying Scabbs for a turn is not that big of a deal, but when it is combined with the other nerfs, it is a decent hit to the oppressive Rogue meta that we had to deal with in the past month.
- Cloak of Shadows now costs 4 (up from 3) – Now, this is the nerf everyone should cheer for. While the Shadowcrafter Scabbs is definitely a great nerf for Rogue overall, without the nerf on Cloak of Shadows, it would not matter at all. It will be more difficult for Rogue to stall out the game while drawing through their deck with trades thanks to this small +1 mana cost.
- Wildpaw Gnoll now costs 6 (up from 6), now has 3 attack (down from 4) – Another nerf to Rogue, which is understandable, as this is a different archetype from the one that uses Cloak of Shadows in their deck. Since it costs 6 mana now, it will be a bit more difficult to just toss out two of these early game, and since they are coming out a turn later (or maybe not if they wait for their hand to fill while being masked), it will be more difficult to deal with 4 health drops.
- Rokara, the Valorous now has 10 armor (up from 5) – It is quite interesting to see a buff this patch, especially to a legendary card, but since it was the most underperforming hero card of the latest expansion it makes sense. While we believe that this card will not be run in every Warrior deck, it will find its place in ones where you can stall out the game long enough to smack some big minions into the enemy face.
The changes to wild are minor but necessary. There is however, so much more that needs fixing here then just these two key changes.
- Rapid Fire now deals 2 damage (up from 1), now costs 2 (up from 1) – We honestly did not see this change coming to the hunter card, as there are more problematic decks out there in the wild meta. Since this is not really a buff nor a nerf, it can swing both ways depending on how the meta is, but it is easy to say that the longer the game lasts and the more mana hunter has, the easier he will be able to deal out that extra 2 damage.
- Sorcerer’s Apprentice now costs 4 (up from 2) – This change is absolutely crazy, and it makes perfect sense, as there were so many mage decks that could draw out their deck and just obliterate you with spells that cost 0 mana. When this is combined with Inacenter’s Flow, Mage is slowly going to take a step down as the champion of the wild meta. We are a bit surprised that they still didn’t just ban the card tho.
Hearthstone meta predictions
With Rogue getting huge hits, we believe that the meta will change dramatically. Since minion interactions are going to be more of an option now due to all three nerfs the Rogue received, we believe that Paladin, Druid, Shaman, and Hunter are going to be surging in popularity. While nothing is ever sure, we will probably cover the meta changes in our Hearthstone top decks update.
Be wary that at least a week of play time is needed for a new meta to be settled and players to figure out the optimal strategies to “combat” the changes. Don’t go buying or scraping cards just yet.
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