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Huge Hearthstone changes coming to some of the most-played cards in the game

Rockbiter Weapon, Execute and more commonly used cards are being tweaked

Hearthstone Tuskarr Totemic art

After weeks of increasing community concerns about Hearthstone growing stale and unbalanced, Blizzard has announced major changes incoming to a group of the game’s most popular and overpowered cards.

In a blog post on the official Hearthstone website, the developer explained that the recent addition of new cards with the One Night in Karazhan adventure pack led to the game’s meta shifting and Blizzard reevaluating the part of older cards in the full set. Since Classic and Basic cards are part of the game’s Standard mode forever, the developer needs to pay special attention in keeping them balanced.

Here’s a list of the changes coming:

  • Rockbiter Weapon - This shaman staple spell gives any minion or the shaman hero itself three extra attack for the turn on which its played. That’s not changing, but its mana cost is: Rockbiter Weapon will soon cost two mana rather than one.
  • Tuskarr Totemic - This shaman-only minion can summon any random totem when it’s played. That includes totems such as the powerful Totem Golem, which provides incredible value when it shows up alongside the Tuskarr. No more, however. Moving forward, it will only summon basic totems — the same ones that can be summoned with the shaman’s hero power. This is one of the few cards being changed that’s not from the Basic or Classic sets; Tuskarr Totemic was introduced in last year’s The Grand Tournament expansion.
  • Call of the Wild - This Whispers of the Old Gods card has helped hunters to dominate for most of 2016 by summoning three powerful minions with one spell. The core is staying the same, but it will increase in mana cost from eight to nine. Blizzard says this change is intended to make the card still playable but no longer an automatic inclusion in every hunter deck.
  • Execute - This powerful spell has been a mainstay for warrior control decks since Hearthstone launched. It destroys any injured minion, and it will continue to do so but at a slightly higher cost: two mana, up from one.
  • Charge - This warrior spell has traditionally given a minion an extra two attack and charge (which means it can attack the same turn that it’s played) for three mana. In its wildly different new form it will only cost one mana, will give a minion charge without the bonus to attack and will not allow the charging minion to attack the opposing hero that turn. In other words, no more using Charge to close out a game with a sudden burst of damage.
  • Abusive Sergeant - Blizzard says it’s unhappy with how much aggressive and rush decks are running the game right now, and nerfing this card is part of fixing that. Abusive Sergeant is a one-cost minion that gives another minion in play two extra attack for that turn. That’s all good, but the Sergeant’s stats are being reduced so it only has one attack damage of its own rather than two.
  • Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End - This Whispers of the Old God legendary has been the center of controversy lately for seeing play in tournaments and swinging matches with pure randomness that cannot be sufficiently countered. The card is a 10-cost minion that plays one random spell at a random target for every spell cast previously in the game. Once these changes have gone through, Yogg-Saron will quit casting spells if one of the spells it casts kills itself, silences itself, shuffles itself back into decks and so on. That happens pretty regularly, so it should lower the likelihood of this one minion completely swinging a game.

Blizzard hasn’t provided a date for when these card updates will go live, but it says it will be before the Last Call events for the Hearthstone Championship Tour. That means they’ll also be in place in time for the Hearthstone 2016 World Championship at BlizzCon.

The last time Blizzard implemented sweeping card changes to Hearthstone was with the introduction of Standard mode early this year. You can check out more Hearthstone plays from before the changes are implemented on our full video playlist on YouTube.

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