Hearthstone making balance changes to Leeroy Jenkins, Starving Buzzard

Leeroy's reign of terror is over! (Well... ok, not really 'over,' so much as 'slightly tempered.')

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You've seen the battle cry. It's the universal sign that you've lost your game of Hearthstone.

"LEEEEEEEEROY JEEEEEEEENKINS!!!"

And as we learned through the recent Curse of Naxxramas expansion, Leeroy had only become more powerful. Well, his reign of terror is about to end... or get tempered, at the very least.

The Battle.net forums have revealed details on the upcoming 9/22 patch, which will see two favorite cards get some significant changes. Leeroy will now cost 5 mana, as opposed to 4 mana, which will rattle some Rogue cages that love to use the Miracle Rogue strategy. Meanwhile, Hunters will see a major change to Starving Buzzard, as he will now cost 5 mana, a whopping change from its original 2, though its stats will be boosted to 3/2, as opposed to its original 2/1. The reasoning here is to shift the minion to a late draw strategy, as it can often be combined with Unleash the Hounds to draw several cards in a single move. Of course, now that combination will run for 8 mana, following UTH's own changes earlier this year.

Hearthstone is available now on PC and iPad as a free-to-play game. Thanks to poster Junktown for the tip.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
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    September 11, 2014 6:40 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Hearthstone making balance changes to Leeroy Jenkins, Starving Buzzard.

    Leeroy's reign of terror is over! (Well... ok, not really 'over,' so much as 'slightly tempered.')

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      September 11, 2014 6:45 PM

      That's a terrible change to buzzard especially if it stays as a 2/1

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        September 11, 2014 6:47 PM

        Buzzard is going to be 3/2

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          September 11, 2014 6:48 PM

          And really, its main function is going to be to combine it with UTH for late card draws. This change makes sense to me.

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            September 12, 2014 10:49 AM

            Card draw that late into the game isn't very good

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      September 11, 2014 6:49 PM

      Leeroy will not cost 5 mana, as opposed to 4 mana...

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        September 11, 2014 6:49 PM

        Oops, that's what happens when I get all giddy and start typing.

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      September 11, 2014 7:30 PM

      both seem like great changes

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      September 11, 2014 7:34 PM

      seriously, about time.

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      September 11, 2014 11:30 PM

      Buzzard change is awful, will be better off playing Cult Master now. The fact that the Unleash / Buzzard Combo used to cost 4 mana not so long ago and now costs 8 is kinda harsh

      Leeroy will still be played but at least its massively harmed the crazy Leeroy combos.

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        September 11, 2014 11:35 PM

        Yeah, I won't be able to swing for 20 in a single turn with him anymore. No more Leeroy + PO + Faceless = win.

        Well, I suppose you could do that with the coin, but counting on that is just stupid.

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          September 11, 2014 11:36 PM

          You played that combo? You monster!

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          September 12, 2014 9:03 AM

          I believe rogues still have a 20 damage play, but it'll cost another card.

          Their 24 damage play is dead, however. Guess this means rogues are effectively removed from the game, too.

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            September 12, 2014 10:59 AM

            I've been playing an effective rogue mid range deck that doesn't rely on Leeroy. If anything, it'll get stronger if the meta shifts in the right direction.

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          September 12, 2014 9:49 AM

          Frost mages do 32 with just a spell.

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        September 11, 2014 11:52 PM

        No you won't. Draw on spawn is better than draw on death more often than not because you're hoping for a hunter's mark. You can't plan out the rest of the turn with draw on death.

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          September 12, 2014 7:42 AM

          Seems like everything is just getting pushed to 5 mana drop though which is pretty crowded anyway for Hunters.

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            September 12, 2014 8:49 AM

            Leotheb or Sludge?

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              September 12, 2014 10:15 AM

              Leeroy, Starving Buzzard, Kodo, Rhino, Tiger, Sludge, Leotheb ... all good choices for hunters.

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                September 12, 2014 10:22 AM

                You won't throw all of those in a deck, though. Every class has a couple spots with a lot of good choices and it's pruned down to the ones that make sense for the specific deck.

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                  September 12, 2014 10:32 AM

                  Of course but having two more cards pushed into the crowded 5 slot is a pain. Especially for the Buzzard it would of been better if they kept it as was but made it so could only draw one a turn or 50/50 draw a card or even draw on death, anything but 5 mana :).

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          September 12, 2014 9:09 AM

          I think we'll see decks only run 1 buzzard and see timberwolves make a return to hunter decks.

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            September 12, 2014 9:24 AM

            Yeah, buzzard seems more akin to a slightly more usable manatide now. Mostly you'll play it, cycle a card, and force a trade/removal out of your opponent. Some instances will allow you to be able to get more out of it than that, but it's won't be the ridiculous draw engine it is now.

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      September 12, 2014 2:24 AM

      awesome

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      September 12, 2014 9:29 AM

      Weak. I like starving buzzard as it is, it's a decent late-game card draw. For being 2/1, it's so easy to kill, you basically have to use it the turn you play it

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      September 12, 2014 10:53 AM

      I support the nerf for the buzzard, but that might be too big of a nerf. 3 for a 2/1 would have been good. If this change goes through, buzzard is dead.

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      September 12, 2014 11:17 AM

      It's probably just coincedence, but five games in a row without facing a Hunter today. won them all.

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