The community shouts "OP" and Blizzard acts. The Demon Hunter from the Ashes of Outland expansion was nerfed in less than 24 hours - and more balancing changes are planned.
Hearthstone's major update on the Ashes of Outland expansion is live - it marks the beginning of the Year of the Phoenix and adds 135 cards. Not only that but also the new class, the Demon Hunter, has made its way into the game. This is the first new class in Hearthstone's six-year history and it will be free to all players who complete the prologue campaign. Upon completion, the class, the hero Illidan Stormrage and 30 cards will be unlocked:
- 10 "Demon Hunter" base cards
- "Demon Hunter" set of 20 cards
You basically get a premade list of a "Demon Hunter" deck and you are ready to start.
Demon Hunter Nerfs
As expected, the Demon Hunter was played by the community as soon as it became available. Just as expected complaints came shortly after, that Demon Hunter is totally broken. It was a typical reaction that is not only known from Hearthstone, but also MOBAs, shooters or any other online multiplayer game. Every time a new hero, card or weapon is released, it's expected to be broken, but that means it can be fixed.
Some of the criticism though was rather convincing, so much that Blizzard's Senior Game Designer August Ayala announced nerfs are coming in less than 24 hours:
We're planning on making some balance changes that should go out today. Cards we're looking at are Skull of Gul'dan, Imprisoned Antaen, Eye Beam, and Aldrachi Warblades. We'll send out the final info from our official channels when it's ready. pic.twitter.com/2tU5j6lJyY— August Dean Ayala (@IksarHS) April 8, 2020
The four maps that have fallen into Blizzard's Nerf radar have been crucial to the Demon Hunter's strength so far. The changes are as follows:
- Skull of Gul'dan: Mana cost increased from 5 to 6
- Imprisoned Antaen: Mana costs increased from 5 to 6
- Eye Beam: Outcast mana cost increased from 0 to 1
- Aldrachi Warblades durability reduced from 3 to 2
The Skull of Gul'dan has been used by aggressive strategies as well as by combo decks, for example, to easily recharge power. Imprisoned Antaen is a powerful Minion that uses 10 random split-damage to deal enough damage to overcome large Minions, for example. Eye Beam could deal three damage to a minion up to nerf for zero mana, in addition to Lifesteal. And even though Aldrachi Warblades is the most harmless card on the list, this weapon supports Demon Hunter quite a bit.
In addition to the changes to these four maps, the Hearthstone team plans to make adjustments to the Demon Hunter in the arena and continue working over balancing the Demon Hunter class over the next few weeks.
The expectation should be that there will be a lot of balance iteration over the next few weeks. We'll be making changes a little more frequently until we feel that DH is in a fun, unique, and balanced state.— August Dean Ayala (@IksarHS) April 8, 2020
The drop rates for the following cards will be reduced until Blizzard changes the Demon Hunter class more significantly through micro-adjustments:
- Chaos Nova
- Coilfang Warlord
- Command the Illidari
- Furious Felfin
- Glaivebound Adept
- Illidari Felblade
- Immolation Aura
- Priestess of Fury
- Skull of Gul’dan
- Twin Slice