Earlier this summer, we looked at the impact of Yogg-Saron on the Hearthstone competitive scene. “Yogg oscillates wildly between being viewed as a fun card that ultimately isn’t very viable to the skill-destroying antichrist that signals the death of Hearthstone as a competitive pursuit,” we wrote. “Yogg can draw you ten cards, clear the opponent’s board entirely, and then Pyroblast you three times in the face. Yogg is our saviour. Yogg is the Devil. Yogg is Hearthstone encapsulated in a single card.”
Going by the breakdown of balance changes in the upcoming 6.1.3 update, Blizzard has come to much the same conclusion. “We felt like seeing Yogg in tournaments was not where we originally hoped it would end up,” Blizzard said. “Yogg should be for players who want to have a lot of fun, but maybe not the card you see frequently in high-level tournaments.”
Because of that, the card is being nerfed, although not to the point where it won't be fun to toss it around at opportune times. Currently, Yogg-Saron, Hope's End will cast a random spell from any class for each spell a player had already cast during that game, and the effect will continue even if it's killed in the midst of it. In late-game situations, it becomes basically an unstoppable Gong Show of random horror and hilarity: Fun to watch, but infuriating for players (especially at the pro level) whose superior strategies are brought low by random chance.
Following the update, Yogg will stop casting spells if it is destroyed, silenced, transformed, or returned to the player's hand during its battlecry. “We didn't want to nerf it so much that it couldn't still be a fun card for players who currently love Yogg,” Blizzard said. “We tried a bunch of things and we think this is a significant enough nerf that it could reduce the amount it gets seen (especially in tournaments), while still maintaining the dream for people who love the card.”
The update will also make changes to several Basic and Classic cards, “along with certain cards that may have felt too oppressive to our players in the current state of the meta game.” A pair of the “most widely-played and frustrating” Shaman cards are being nerfed—Rockbiter Weapon and Tuskarr Totemic—along with Execute, Charge, Abusive Sergeant, and another card players have recently been shouting for the downfall of, Call of the Wild.
“With Keeping Hearthstone Fresh in mind, we have to be acutely aware of the overall power levels of our cards contained within the evergreen Basic and Classic sets,” Blizzard explained. “Since these cards do not rotate along with certain expansion or adventure sets each year for our Standard mode players, managing and monitoring their strength is of great importance to the overall health of the game.”
The 6.1.3 update is slated to go live sometime ahead of the Last Call events for the Hearthstone Championship Tour, which get underway on October 8.