Blizzard Entertainment announced today that Hearthstone’s newest patch, 17.0.2 is live.
The patch covers all of the changes previously noted, from 10 cards changing, a nerf to Millhouse, and some bug fixes and quality of life updates for Zephrys the Great and The Lurker Below.
In Standard, Kael’thas Sunstrider was mostly showing up in Token Spell Druid and OTK Demon Hunter, decks that were popular in the Week One of Grandmasters Season One. In Wild, Kael’thas was prevalent in variations of Miracle Druid since he enabled a ton of potent high-costing Druid Spells in Wild like Ultimate Infestation.
While the nerf may reduce his effectiveness and popularity, Kael’thas can still be expected to show up in Standard if the meta slows down. His usage in Wild may suffer a ton more in Wild since the format is faster there, and he may show up in even fewer classes than before outside of Druid.
Badluck Albatross’s pervasiveness in the meta is likely to trend downward now since the bird is being reserved more into a role as a tech card now, as opposed to just a generally good card that can be a monkey-wrench in opposing plans.
Frenzied Felwing is a newer card that garnered a lot of usage in hyper-aggressive decks when it first debuted in Galakrond’s Awakening. While Demon Hunter increased the card’s popularity due to the aggressive nature of the class, this nerf to Frenzied Felwing opens it up to a lot more removal now, making the aggressive strategies as a whole a bit less effective now.
Altruis the Outcast and Battlefiend are two Demon Hunter cards that have drawn the ire of many players. Altruis could often clear boards and rack up a ton of face damage when Demon Hunter’s could get miraculous turns where they could play a ton of cheap cards in a row. The nerf to his cost should keep his identity in staying aggressive since his effect still goes face. However, the number of times these miracle turns happen should go down a fair amount since stringing him together with more cards could be difficult with his new expensive cost, barring Skull of Gul’dan turns.
Battlefiend as a one drop that could scale is something that Hearthstone has always struggled around finding the proper balance. From Undertaker, to Mana Wyrm, or even Tunnel Trogg, this card oftentimes provided the threat to opponents “clear me quickly or lose.” These nerfs should affect the usage and strength of this card immensely since losing half of its attack as an early drop reduces its impact by a ton.
While Glaivebound Adept was not a card that folks in the community complained about, the slight nerf to his attack shouldn’t be too bad. Since his main appeal as a card was a solid aggressive body with four damage attached.
Sacrificial Pact and Bloodbloom are the two Warlock Cards that are on the chopping block. While Sacrificial Pact is likely to fade into obscurity after these changes (even more since it should no longer regularly show up in Zephrys), it has the potential to remain in Galakrond Warlock, if the deck can remain popular after the Demon Hunter nerfs. Bloodbloom, while a Wild only card, could oftentimes bring about oppressive high-rolling strategies, like Darkest Hour or Mecha’thun Warlock. This nerf will most likely make the card fade away in the Wild format, however, the Warlock class as a whole should remain popular.
Open the Waygate was one of the most dominant cards in Wild since it enabled Quest Mage, both Tempo and Reno variants. While the nerf doesn’t affect the Reno variant gaining multiple turns with Vargoth, it does slow down the pace at which the quest can be completed. This is more likely to affect the Tempo Mage variant since that version wanted to complete the quest as soon as possible and end the game with Flamewakers and Sorcerer’s Apprentices already hitting the board.
The Reno Mage variant will have tools that aim to deal with faster strategies more than the tempo variant has to deal with aggro, and the slight slowdown in quest completion might not be enough for slower decks to capitalize on. Overall, if the Wild Meta doesn’t change too much, Open the Waygate may still be a popular option for Time Warp players for years to come.
Millhouse Manastorm’s nerf in Battlegrounds is one that is popular among high rated players in the mode. Millhouse could high roll a lobby fairly easily since he could buy more units with the aid of Tokens and could run over enemies with stronger armies. This nerf hits Millhouse’s speed at which he can scale, allowing those who survive his early onslaught to maybe outpace him.