Arena Changes

Arena Changes

The Arena is one of Hearthstone’s many game modes, and one that most believe gets overlooked. In the chaos of balancing Constructed and Standard cards, Arena has seen few to no changes in style, drafting or balance, until now.

Blizzard recently announced they plan to make balance changes in The Arena, mostly involving class balance. As many of you know, Arena varies from Constructed heavily; Constructed you build a deck and play those 30 cards every time, but in Arena, you choose from 3 classes, and pick one of three cards in a discover sort of way. The recent problem with Arena has been choosing your class. Currently there are two classes that are far above the others in terms of win percentage and consistency: Mage and Rogue. Paladin is sitting in its own tier just below the two, and the other six classes are constantly shifting around the bottom slots. Blizzard wants every class to be a viable option in Arena, not an auto pick method of Mage, Rogue or Paladin.

Blizzard’s short term solution to arena balance was an idea that has been used before, specifically with “Purify.” Purify had such a community uproar about being a terrible card, that Blizzard removed it from the Arena card pool, you cannot draft “Purify.” This system of removing cards from the arena draft does two thing. By removing over performing cards, the obvious is done and the cards that are strong can no longer be played. The second way to change balance by removing cards takes a little more thinking. By removing cards that UNDER perform, it narrows the list of cards for a class, which means better cards have a higher chance of showing up in the draft. Here are the affected cards:

Mage

  • Forgotten Torch
  • Snowchugger
  • Faceless Summoner

Rogue

  • Goblin Auto Barber
  • Undercity Valiant

Paladin

  • No changes

Shaman

  • Vitality Totem
  • Dust Devil
  • Totemic Might
  • Ancestral Healing
  • Dunemaul Shaman
  • Windspeaker

Warlock

  • Anima Golem
  • Sacrificial Pact
  • Curse of Rafaam
  • Sense Demons
  • Void Crusher
  • Reliquary Seeker
  • Succubus

Druid

  • Savagery
  • Poison Seeds
  • Soul of the Forest
  • Mark of Nature
  • Tree of Life
  • Astral Communion

Warrior

  • Warsong Commander
  • Bolster
  • Charge
  • Bouncing Blade
  • Axe Flinger
  • Rampage
  • Ogre Warmaul

Hunter

  • Starving Buzzard
  • Call Pet
  • Timber Wolf
  • Cobra Shot
  • Lock and Load
  • Dart Trap
  • Snipe

Priest

  • Mind Blast
  • Shadowbomber
  • Lightwell
  • Power Word: Glory
  • Confuse
  • Convert
  • Inner Fire

As you can see most of the changes for the bottom tier classes are cards that you would normally never draft. Some of these however, notably “Soul of the Forest,” “Windspeaker,” and “Axe Flinger” are being called to question, however still typically cards that you would not be happy to see pop up in your draft. Overall, the changes are a step in the right direction to balance arena. I doubt these changes will seriously change class tiers because Blizzard avoided removing some overpowered cards many hate to see played such as, “Flamestrike” or other strong, iconic class cards. This system of arena balance, Blizzard has stated, is ultimately short-term, and they hope to more thoroughly balance Arena and drafting in the near future, but as for now, these changes will hopefully push some struggling classes into light they have never known.

Brayden Sunseri

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Realsun1

I'm an avid video game player who will try just about anything, though Fighting games and Strategy/Card games are my favorite. I follow many eSports scenes and love my opportunity to be involved in my favorite thing: Gaming.

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