I've been banging the drum for a while that the current Hearthstone dev team is more willing to make bold moves than ever before. But I have to say I didn't expect them to revert the nerfs made to 35 cards which had previously been deemed egregiously overpowered. That's exactly what's happening later this month, but before anyone freaks out about Galakrond Shaman once again being the absolute giganuts, there are a couple of important caveats to consider.
The Great Unnerfing, as it shall hereafter be known, is happening because a number of these cards are being moved to Wild when rotation happens as part of a major switch in the way the game is structured. That switch will see the creation of a brand new Core set of 235 cards, while the remainder of the Classic and Basic cards will form the re-named Legacy set and only be playable in Wild (unless they get restored to the Core set as part of a future annual rotation).
So, the thinking is, given that Wild is very much Hearthstone after dark, where all manner of OP strategies and combos are acceptable, it makes sense to restore a lot of these problematic cards back to their former glory, enabling veteran players to enjoy their favourite busted decks as they once were. But here's where it gets weird. The Great Unnerfing patch is arriving a full week before rotation, which will happen alongside the release of the new Forged in the Barrens expansion, on March 30.
The result of that is that many of the 35 cards being changed will be playable in Standard, in their original form, for a week.
That's bound to create a deckbuilding goldrush to see who can abuse those cards the most effectively. Think of it like a meta microclimate that's going to be pretty spicy but will soon blow over. "For a short period of time there will be a very interesting Standard meta," noted senior game designer Alec Dawson last week when announcing the news. It should be a lot of fun, although your mileage may vary based on how you feel like Knife Juggler RNG and dying to Leper Deathrattles.
Here's the full list, with links to pictorial versions that were created by @imik_plays for the Hearthstone subreddit. The cards which will be playable in Standard for a week are listed in bold. And no, before you ask, Leeroy isn't getting unnerfed. They haven't gone that mad (and you'll soon be able to play him in his original form in the Classic mode anyway).
- Undertaker (gets +1/+1)
- Arcane Golem (4/2 with Charge)
- Leper Gnome (2/1)
- Knife Juggler (3/2)
- Bonemare (7 mana)
- Saronite Chain Gang (summons copy)
- Archivist Elysiana (8 Mana)
- Dragonqueen Alexstraza (0 Mana dragons, can't generate a copy of herself)
- Bad Luck Albatross (3 Mana)
- Frenzied Felwing (3/3)
- Spirit Claws (1 Mana)
- Corrupt Elementalist (5 Mana)
- Invocation of Frost (1 Mana)
- Dragon's Pack (+3/+3)
- Flametongue Totem (2 mana, 0/2)
- Fiendish Rites (3 Mana)
- Scion of Ruin (3 Mana)
- Bloodsworn Mercenary (3/3)
- Charge (3 Mana, +2 attack and Charge)
- Call to Arms (4 Mana)
- Power Word: Shield (1 Mana, draws a card)
- Blade Flurry (2 Mana, no face damage)
- Caverns Below (requires 4 minions, 5/5 stats)
- Necrium Apothecary (4 mana)
- Galakrond, the Nightmare (cards drawn cost 0)
- Edwin VanCleef (3 Mana)
- Keeper of the Grove (2/4)
- Ancient of Lore (Draw 2 cards)
- Starving Buzzard (2 Mana, 2/1)
- Flare (1 Mana)
- Dinotamer Brann (7 Mana)
- Hunter's Mark (1 Mana)
- Mana Wyrm (1 Mana, 1/2)
- Conjurer's Calling (3 Mana)
- Dragoncaster (6 Mana)