Everyone! Get out of here!
Today Blizzard announced that in a forthcoming HearthStone balance patch, the text of Warsong Commander will be changed. Right now the text of the card reads;
Whenever you summon a minion with 3 or less attack, give it Charge.
But in a post on Blizzards forum today, Community Manager Zeriyah explained;
The following balance change will be made in an upcoming patch:
Warsong Commander now reads: Your Charge minions have +1 Attack.
…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.
Grim Patron Warrior has arguably been HearthStone’s most reviled deck since the release of Blackrock Mountain. The deck is notorious for its complicated combo which allows the player to clear an opponent’s board, summon many minions with that can attack immediately, and kill their opponent in one turn. Warsong Commander is key to activate combo as can give Charge to both Grim Patron and Frothing Berserker.
Opponents of the deck compared Patron Warrior to Leeroy Jenkins, a strategy Blizzard nerfed with a famous rationale;
Leeroy Jenkins created a strategy that revolved around trying to defeat your opponent in one turn without requiring any cards on the board. Fighting for board control and battles between minions make an overall game of Hearthstone more fun and compelling, but taking 20+ damage in one turn is not particularly fun or interactive.
Patron Warrior players argue that the high degree of skill necessary to play Patron Warrior effectively means it is not nearly as cancerous as the community made it out to be.
Reaction from the HearthStone community has been varied, with some players praising Blizzard for finally addressing a major problem with the games balance, while other players argue Blizzard overcorrected, killing the deck outright when smaller changes could have helped balance while keeping a viable deck alive. Regardless of who is right in the long term, it seems the days of hearing “Pile on!” on ladder are numbered.
I hated playing Patron Warriors as much as anyone, but the change to Warsong Commander feels very drastic. Rather than trying to scale back the power of Patron Warrior, the change in text will outright kill the deck. If Patron Warrior survives the nerf (doubtful) its unlikely Warsong Commander will have a place in the deck. Opponents will now have a turn to address a board of Grim Patrons or a massively buffed Frothing Berserker, counter to how the deck currently operates. I can’t say I am too sorry to see the end of the Patron era however. Of all the annoying to play against decks (Handlock, Secret Pally, Freeze Mage, any Hunter) Patron was by far the most irritating.
What are your thoughts on the nerf? Did Blizzard overcorrect with the move? Are you afraid of the role Secret Paladin will now play on Ladder?