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Hearthstone's new balance update nerfs several powerful decks

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Hold onto your decks, it’s a Hearthstone balance update! This one is due out today, earlier than usual, with Blizzard changing five cards with the intention of improving both Standard and Wild modes. 

Pay attention, Druids, because the first two changes affect you. Both Wild Growth and Nourish have had their mana costs increased by one, bumping them to three and six, respectively. They’re too powerful, says, Blizzard, and it’s a bit boring when they feature in everyone’s deck and get used constantly. With the change, you might want to add them to your late-game control druid deck, but unless you’ve built your deck around grabbing more mana, they’ll feature less prominently. 

Level Up is also getting a price hike, this time for five to six. Blizzard wants to remove it from the Odd Paladin deck. It’s a powerful deck that first cropped up with the Witchwood expansion, covering the board in minions. With Level Up out, Blizzard says it will still be a competitive control deck, but its damage output will be easier for opponents to deal with. 

Shamans using the Shudderwock deck might be a bit disappointed to discover that they won’t be able to spawn an army of Shudderwocks anymore. The Saronite Chain Gang’s battlecry now specifies that it summons another Saronite Chain Gang instead of summoning a copy of “this minion”. When you use Shudderwock to copy the card’s battlecry, then, you won’t get another Shudderwock. 

Rogue’s Leeching Poison’s been defanged, too. While its cost has been reduced from two mana to one, it no longer gives your weapon permanent Lifesteal, instead you get it for one turn. Blizzard says it went against the studio’s philosophy of not giving the class a persistent self-heal, and it made the Kingsbane Rogue deck too powerful. 

And that’s your lot! Some pretty big changes for a few decks. Have they ruined your plans? The update will be available soon, and you can read the patch notes here. If you're just getting into Rastakhan's Rumble, here are the 10 most exciting cards from the latest expansion.

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.