For a long time, Hearthstone's Arena didn't get quite the same love as the ranked Standard mode, but that started to change when Blizzard announced a number of small but significant changes to card distribution in the limited, draft-based format earlier this year. That trend seems to be continuing, as Blizzard has addressed one of the mode's most problematic cards in today's game update.
Scourge of the Arena
Vicious Fledgling will appear in Arena 50 percent less.
Since Journey to Un'Goro launched earlier this year, Vicious Fledgling has been the scourge of the Arena. The 3-mana 3/3 Beast isn't much to start with, but its ability to Adapt after attacking a hero means it can quickly spiral out of control and win games outright if your opponent doesn't have a means of removal.
The critical part of Fledgling's dominance is the inclusion of Windfury in the pool of available Adapt mechanics to choose from. If Windfury shows up in your first Adapt choice (a slightly less than one in three chance), Fledgling can then attack again and Adapt once more. Even if Windfury doesn't show up in the first Adapt, there's plenty of defensive choices such as Divine Shield, +3 Health, Stealth until next turn, or untargetable by spells or hero powers—all of which give Fledgling a good shot to stick around another turn and find that critical Windfury ability. Once it has Windfury, that's two adapts per turn to build up offensive and defensive abilities that can and often will secure an Arena win on their own.
At 3 mana, Vicious Fledgling can hit the board on turn two with the Coin, or turn one with an Innervate. That early in the game, your opponent has an extremely small window to take the Fledgling out before it grows to a massive, game-dominating pile of viciousness. In Arena, where hard removal is even less common than constructed, that's an even taller order.
Numerous threads on Reddit, Hearthpwn, and the official Blizzard forums have called out the card's oppressive nature in Arena. Luckily, Blizzard seems to be listening. In today's patch notes, Blizzard mentions that Vicious Fledgling will be joining Flamestrike and Abyssal Enforcer—two previously oppressive cards in Arena—in appearing 50 percent less often in Arena drafts.
It's a nice change that maintains the card's power but makes it significantly less oppressive in the overall scheme of Arena. Running into a single Fledgling every couple matches isn't so bad. Having to take down one or more every match was a problem. Either way, it's nice to see that Blizzard is dedicated to continue improving the Arena experience.