Today, Blizzard announced they will be making some balance changes in Hearthstone to a select group of cards — Naga Sea Witch, Spiteful Summoner, Dark Pact, Possessed Lackey, Call to Arms, and The Caverns Below — sometime after the HCT Playoffs.
Naga Sea Witch will now cost 8 mana instead of 5. The change is made due to its ability to easily synergize with cost reduction effects on giants reducing their mana to 0 pretty early in the game. Increasing the mana cost to 8 will keep its current functionality but will be seen later in the game when the opponent may have the tools to combat it.
Spiteful Summoner also receives an increase in mana from 6 to 7. When this card is combined with decks using 10 mana cost cards, you’re able to put in some powerful and useful minions for a fairly small price. Although players who do attempt to implement Spiteful Summoner effectively do so at the cost of making a somewhat unreliable deck, the mana cost increase is more representative of the possibilities that can occur when using it.
Dark Pact will now restore 4 health to your hero rather than 8 when it destroys a friendly minion. This card allowed Warlock users to be more liberal with their health when used in combos that would typically drain it. The mana cost is still at 1 so that these combos can still happen but Warlock users will now have to be more conscious of how they implement Dark Pact.
Possessed Lackey will now have a mana cost of 6 rather than 5. Similarly to some of the cards above, combos with this card are little too difficult to overcome in the early to mid stages of a match. Increasing the mana cost should allow the opposition a chance to counter it.
Call to Arms will now have a mana cost of 5 instead of 4. In the current meta, Even Paladin is one of the most powerful decks; for clarity, Even Paladin decks only use cards that have a mana cost of an even number. This card is especially useful because it has the potential to summon three 2 mana minions. By making it cost 5 mana, not only are you restricting it from Even Paladin decks but now it only has access to 1 mana cards if used in an Odd Paladin deck.
Lastly, The Caverns Below quest reward, Crystal Core, will now change your minions to 4/4 instead of 5/5. The change is being made due to Quest Rogue decks effectiveness towards most non-aggressive decks. Decreasing the attack and health will make it more manageable for slower decks.
In other Hearthstone related news, the game’s director Ben Brode announced he will be leaving Blizzard Entertainment after being with the company for over 15 years. You can check out our interview with Brode as we discuss the game’s latest expansion, The Witchwood.