Hearthstone says “Bye bye OP cards. Hello Ranked Play Floors!”

New ranked play floor and nerfs to OP cards

Blizzard’s Valentine Gift

Today, Blizzard showed us that maybe, just maybe they truly love us for Valentine’s Day.

Major changes have were announced to ranked play and two OP cards:

Hearthstone Release Notes from February 14th 2017
Hearthstone Release Notes from February 14th 2017

Changes in Ladder Play

Rank Play Floors will be an interesting addition to the competitive scene. Players will be more opportunity to experiment with creative decks further up the ladder. This change comes after months of complaints about how frustrating it is to climb up the Hearthstone ladder.  

Beginning in updated 7.1, players who hit rank floors of 15, 10 and 5 will no longer be able to de-rank with losses for the rest of the month. Hopefully, this should make the climb just a little less tedious every month.

“We hope this promotes additional deck experimentation between ranks, and that any losses that may occur feel less punishing,” Blizzard said in its statement about the change.

Two very needed nerfs

The Small-Time Buccaneer and Spirit Claws nerfs should help keep the Shaman class in check.

Small Time Bucaneer and Spirit Claws Nerf
A 5 year old child’s rendering of the Small time Bucaneer and Spirit Claws Nerf

Since it’s introduction in the One Night in Karazhan adventure, the Spirit Claws card has dominated the meta as part of every Shaman’s deck. Players have complained that the mere one attack card (which increases to three attacks when a minion with spell damage is on the Shaman’s board) is too OP. To counter this, Blizzard has upped the mana cost of the card from 1 to 2 mana.

Since December’s Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion, pirates have been whipping out the Small-Time Buccaneer in ranked play for only 1 mana. Its health is going to be reduced from 2 to 1. Nothing else will be changed, but Blizzard anticipates the health reduction will make the card easier to clear off the board.

They even admitted that:
“The combination of Small-Time Buccaneer and Patches the Pirate has been showing up too often in the meta.”

The update is scheduled for “near the end of February”. Lucky for us its a short month and we’re already half way there!

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