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Hearthstone update nerfs the Mage’s freeze mechanic, Blizzard explains why

Thursday, 19th December 2013 09:54 GMT By Dave Cook

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment has issued a new update to its card battler, this time nerfing the Mage’s stock of freeze spells. Basically, the studio realised that they were becoming a royal pain.

In a Hearthstone blog update, Blizzard explained, “We understand that the Freeze mechanic can be frustrating to play against, and we wanted to make changes that would allow the Mage’s opponent some additional time to be aggressive with their minions and well as slow the overall pacing of the control-based Mage play style.”

As such, the Blizzard spell now costs six mana, up from five. Cone of Cold’s mana cost has gone from three to four, and 4 Frost Nova’s now costs three mana, up from two.

Here’s the rest of Blizzard’s patch notes:

General

  • Certain Expert cards have been changed and the amount of dust that you get from disenchanting these cards have been temporarily increased such that it is equal to the amount of dust that it would have originally cost to craft those cards. Affected cards are:
  • Blizzard
  • Cone of Cold

Mage

We understand that the Freeze mechanic can be frustrating to play against, and we wanted to make changes that would allow the Mage’s opponent some additional time to be aggressive with their minions and well as slow the overall pacing of the control-based Mage play style.

  • Blizzard’s mana cost is now 6 (up from 5).
  • Cone of Cold’s mana cost is now 4 (up from 3).
  • Frost Nova’s mana cost is now 3 (up from 2).
  • Bug Fixes
  • Resolved an issue where certain account states could prevent new Arena runs from being started. Previously impacted accounts should now be able to properly start new Arena runs.

Were you finding the Mage’s cold spells annoying? Let us know below.

Via Eurogamer. Looking for Hearthstone strategies? We’ve got you covered.

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5 Comments

  1. Erthazus

    They need to nerf her not only with freeze abilities, but with fire also.

    When you have a stack of monsters she just uses her fire blast for 7 mana that makes 5 damage across the entire freakin stack of monsters and that’s it. Game over. Everyone is dead.

    you have Zero cards and she won no matter what you do.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. TheWulf

    This is why I don’t like Blizzard and companies that take after them — this attitude they have that their only recourse is to nerf.

    I believe that if you think in terms of not only effectiveness, but counter-effectiveness, and you employ this cleverly with a modicum of creativity, then you can avoid most of these drastic and rather ham-fisted nerfs. I’ve nothing against small nerfs for the purose of fine-tuning, but the way Blizzard nerfs invariably destroys characters and playing styles, same for the MMOs that ape them.

    I always put a great deal more value on any developer that realises that ham-fisted nerfs will always make things worse at the end of the day, since you’re always going to have something that’s powerful. Trying to negate that is a fool’s game, and fools they are. Instead, you just have to introduce something that works as a counter-balance, an element that renders an overpowered move much less potent, or not potent at all.

    An example is fairy-types in Pokemon. Instead of nerfing dragon-types, Nintendo introduced a natural predator to make the back-and-forth more interesting and strategic.

    There’s nothing wrong with having powerful moves, just make sure something exists to counter them; once you do that, you don’t need major nerfs.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. deathm00n

    @2 Yeah, because counter-balance have worked so well in other TCGs right? You always get stupid things like this: http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=106537&type=card

    #3 10 months ago
  4. Ireland Michael

    @2 It isn’t, Nerfing isn’t the only thing they do, and hasn’t been for a long time.

    But when one when single mechanic is overpowered, you have to either buff everyone else, or reduce the potency of the OP ability. You start rejigging every other character upwards to fix one problem and you end up creating 10 more. That is a stupid way to design. In this case, it needed to be nerfed.

    I can totally see the playerbase of this game turning out just like the WoW forum posters – whining and bitching about every single tiny change in the game because it mildly inconveniences them. I can feel the headache setting in already.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. lookingglass

    It’s the Mage late game that bothers me. It’s nearly unstoppable though, so it’s fun to win forever I guess.

    Fill the board with taunt fodder, freeze and card draw.

    Coin and lay down Alexstraza ASAP.

    Win next turn. Two turns if they can handle Alexstraza.

    And after Alexstraza it’s all spells, so completely unblockable.

    They need to add minions that have something like Taunt, but only for spells. Or just keep nerfing the piss out of mages.

    #5 10 months ago

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