Latest Hearthstone nerfs target problem Mage and Warrior cards including Dr. Boom

(Image credit: Blizzard)

The dust around Hearthstone's Saviors of Uldum expansion is starting to settle, and many players feel that the all-around enjoyable expansion has been hampered by a few overpowered cards. Blizzard agrees, so it's nerfing several problem cards in an update coming on Monday, August 26, including Conjurer's Calling, Luna's Pocket Galaxy, and - you guessed it - Dr. Boom, Mad Genius. Here's the full list of nerfs complete with explanations straight from Blizzard's blog post

Conjurer's Calling: Now costs four mana (up from three). "While Conjurer's Calling is a powerful tool that's found in a number of Mage decks, when used in decks focused around cards like Mountain Giant and Sea Giant, it was creating extremely powerful board states at a point in the game where opponents didn't have effective answers," Blizzard says. "Increasing the mana cost of this card will make using both copies of the Twinspell card in a single turn significantly more difficult, postponing these potentially overwhelming turns until later in the game when the Mage’s opponent has more available resources to react to the board." 

Luna's Pocket Galaxy: Now costs seven mana again (up from five). "Buffing cards during the Rise of the Mech event was a big change in philosophy for us," Blizzard explains. "While we are happy with the overall outcome of the changes, Luna's Pocket Galaxy has proven to be an exception. An early Luna's Pocket Galaxy can often leave opponents feeling helpless as late-game minions are drawn in subsequent turns. This has occurred more often than we had intended, therefore we're reverting its mana cost back to its original value of seven, as it was before the Rise of the Mech event." 

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Dr. Boom, Mad Genius: Now costs nine mana (up from seven). "We’d still like Dr. Boom, Mad Genius to be a great option for control Warrior decks looking to close out games, but right now the card gets played a bit too early," Blizzard says. "Increasing the mana cost to seven should make it more difficult to find a good turn to play Dr. Boom, giving opponents time to make powerful plays as well." 

Extra Arms: Now costs three mana again (up from two). "During the Rise of the Mech event, Priest was one of the weaker classes in the game," Blizzard says. "Buffing Extra Arms gave Priest a powerful spell for the early game to enable some of their board-focused strategies. With the release of Saviors of Uldum, Priest has access to many more powerful early game minions and has seen a large jump in popularity and winrate. Between all of Priests’ buff spells and heal effects, it can be hard to fight for the board against them early in the game. Reverting the mana cost of Extra Arms to three should give other decks room to challenge Priests early on, while leaving their powerful minions and combos untouched." 

Barnes: Now costs five mana (up from four). "Barnes has been a hot topic in Wild format discussions for quite some time now," Blizzard explains, "especially regarding how oppressive this card can feel when facing certain Priest decks. While we’re okay with Wild having a higher power level in general, Barnes stood out as too consistently powerful early in the game. Increasing his mana cost by one will let opponents have an easier time reacting, but still maintains Barnes identity as a way to summon specific minions early in the game." 

(Image credit: Blizzard)

It's interesting to see Blizzard outright revert two of the buffs it delivered in the Rise of the Mech. I'm not sure how that bodes for the odds of future buffs. That said, Luna's Pocket Galaxy was certifiably busted at five mana, though, so I suppose it's not surprising. Extra Arms was less of a problem statistically, but it could lead to total blowouts as early as turn two, so its change isn't much of a shock either. Then there's Barnes, which is arguably the most broken card in Hearthstone's history. It's about time his reign of terror came to an end. 

With Warrior growing increasingly dominant in tournaments and on ladder, the changes to Dr. Boom, Mad Genius are needed too, but I have to wonder if two extra mana will be enough to unseat Boom as the late-game king. Once he's in play, you'll still never get to stick a board with Rush and Discovered mechs flying at your face. Likewise, Conjurer's Calling will probably still be strong, but the hit to Twinspell combos is pretty substantial, especially in combination with the Luna nerf, so hopefully it levels out. In any case, it's good to see Blizzard making changes so soon after Saviors of Uldum's release. 

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Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.