Could Rogue already be ducking out of the competitive meta ladder after these upcoming balance changes to some of its crucial class cards? Evil Miscreant, Raiding Party and perhaps the biggest hit to Rogue cards in quite some, a nerf to staple spell Preparation all see changes in this balance update due May 22nd.
After evaluating game data and working through internal and external feedback on the most popular decks currently in the meta, we’re looking to address the power level and overall pervasiveness of Rogue decks, alongside a specific interaction with Archivist Elysiana. Look for these changes in an update slated for May 22.
We chose to focus primarily on Rogue in this update due to seeing the meta stabilize around the class’s most popular decks. Currently, if you want to build a deck that is strong against Rogue, you have just one reasonable option: Warrior. If you compare Rogue to Warrior, however, you’ll find that the latter class has a wide variety of good and bad matchups, which makes it unlikely that it’ll overtake Rogue in popularity in the current meta.
While we recognize that there are other powerful and popular decks (like Token Druid, Conjurer Mage, and Mech Hunter), we decided to not address them in this update because they all have varied matchups. If any of these decks were to emerge as the new prominent strategy, there are plenty of decks available to combat them, which would allow the meta to continue shifting.
As always, we’ll be evaluating the results of these changes over the coming weeks and look forward to your feedback. Read on for details on these changes, our thought process around them, and our goals for each of the cards we adjusted.
Upcoming Card Changes:
- EVIL Miscreant – Now has 4 Health. (Down from 5)
- EVIL Miscreant is meant to be a value-generating card that creates future swing turns, but having 5 Health on this minion means Rogue players sacrifice very little to set up those turns. We expect that EVIL Miscreant will continue to be a great option for Rogue decks, just at a power level that is more in line with other available cards.
- Raiding Party – Now costs 4 mana. (Up from 3)
- Rogue already excels at drawing cards, so having another powerful option that offers consistent results has resulted in Rogue games that play out a little too similarly than we think is fun. We’re making this change to better represent the power level of drawing from a very specific subset of cards.
- Preparation – Now reads: The next spell you cast this turn costs (2) less.
- All changes we make to the Basic and Classic sets are aimed at ensuring Hearthstone’s long-term health. Preparation is currently seen as such a powerful card that it appears in nearly all Rogue deck archetypes. That said, the change we’ve landed on is a small one. While we do want the card’s power to decrease, we also think it’s important for Preparation to remain a reasonable option, since it fits the Rogue class fantasy so well.
- Preparation is regularly used to reduce the cost of cards like Sap or Eviscerate, and those interactions will remain unchanged. Reducing the cost of your next spell by 2 as opposed to 3 opens our design options up a little more to create higher cost Rogue spells without having to balance so closely around the assumption that they’ll be cast alongside Preparation.
- Archivist Elysiana – Now costs 9 mana. (Up from 8)
- Our goal here was to preserve the feeling and power level of Archivist Elysiana when it comes to general use, while making much more difficult to play her multiple times in the same game. Shaman will still be able to replay Elysiana through Shudderwock, but this is not as common or problematic as what we’ve seen in control Warrior decks. Now, playing Elysiana alongside cards like Baleful Banker or Youthful Brewmaster should be a less consistent strategy.
As with previous card changes, once these changes are live, players will be able to disenchant the updated cards for their full Arcane Dust value for two weeks.
What do you think of the following changes? Will Warrior and Mage run rampant now that Rogue could see a big slid or will there be commensurate changes to the other classes as well? Sound off in the comments.