The new Hearthstone meta following the release of the Forged in the Barrens expansion was fun... for a couple of days. Then the Standard ladder was suddenly flooded with Mage players packing the Deck of Lunacy spell from Madness at the Darkmoon Faire. Why did this happen? I'll explain in a bit, but it's become such a problem that Blizzard has stepped in to whack it with the nerf bat in the upcoming 20.0.2 patch, along with a few other problematic cards.
The following changes will be implemented with the 20.0.2, which will be released this Tuesday, April 13:
- Deck of Lunacy (Mage): Now costs 4 mana (Up from 2 mana)
- Sword of the Fallen (Paladin): Now has 2 Durability (Down from 3 Durability)
- Jandice Barov (Mage/Rogue): Now costs 6 mana (Up from 5 mana)
- Pen Flinger (Neutral): Can now only hit minions.
- Far Watch Post (Neutral): Now has 3 Health. (Down from 4 Health)
- Mor'shan Watch Post (Neutral): Now has 4 Health. (Down from 5 Health)
Here's what Blizzard had to say about Deck of Lunacy:
Deck of Lunacy moves up to 4 mana, removing its ability to provide a game-warping effect on turn 1 or 2. When we create cards like Deck of Lunacy, we're aiming for an experience that lets you do wacky, over-the-top things at the cost of power. There's a large audience for that (Spell Mage's play-rate shows!), but Deck of Lunacy very clearly crosses the power threshold we set for these types of cards.
Why is Deck of Lunacy so powerful now and not when it first released? That has everything to do with the recent Standard rotation. Once the 2019 expansions went off to Wild, the spell pool diminished heavily, meaning Deck of Lunacy's transformation effect became much less random. It would frequently create heavily powered cards like Nagrand Slam or Libram of Hope, overwhelming opponents in just a few turns.
Other big changes include a minor nerf to the Secret Paladin, as well as some health reductions to the new Watch Post cards. The most welcome change comes to Pen Flinger, which was frequently abused by the Rogue and its cheap spells, as well as by the Paladin and its discounted Librams. Repeatedly hearing "Hey, Loser!" during a single turn does get annoying sometimes.
Hearthstone Battlegrounds will also get some significant changes with the next patch. First off, Queen Wagtoggle and Captain Hooktusk are returning to the hero pool with some revamped Hero Powers. Queen Wagtoggle will now grant a friendly minion of each type +1/+1, while Hooktusk's Hero Power will now be free, but she'll only get two Discover options.
Several minions are receiving big adjustments. They include:
- Steward of Time (Tier 2): Now has 3 Health, gives all minions in Bob's Tavern +2/+1 (changed from 4 Health, gives all minions in Bob's Tavern +1/+1)
- Pack Leader (Tier 2): Now has 3 Attack (Up from 2 Attack)
- Monstrous Macaw (Tier 3): Now has 5 Attack (Up from 4 Attack)
- Herald of Flame (Tier 4): Now has 6 Attack (Up from 5 Attack)
- Wildfire Elemental (Tier 4): Now has 4 Health (Up from 3 Health)
- Lieutenant Garr (Tier 6): Now has 8 Attack (Up from 5 Attack)
- Lil' Rag (Tier 6): Now has 6/6 stats (Up from 4/4 stats)
Lastly, Hearthstone Duels is seeing a few minor adjustments to its treasures. Ace in the Hole will go up to 3 mana, Rally the Troops' effect will only discount Battlecry minions by 3, and the Rogue's Connections Hero Power will no longer be passive, but will now cost 1 mana.
There are some bug fixes set to go out, as well. All of the changes going out in Tuesday's 20.0.2 patch can be found on the Hearthstone website.