Balance Changes: Yogg-Saron

“Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End” is easily the most controversial card that Blizzard has ever printed. It creates absolute pandemonium and swings games from unwinnable to your opponent concedes. No other card in the game provides the RNG tempo swing Yogg does, and many Hearthstone user say it is one of their favorite cards. Well if that’s true, what is the problem with Yogg? Well because of Yogg’s ridiculous effect, many think it should be a fun card, not the best card in the game. And before the change, it is the latter.


Decks that play Yogg are plentiful, and it can be added to most decks to provide a massive comeback potential and closer. Even with its inclusion in many lists, Yogg has helped sculpt several decks of its own, with a large variety of spells, and an even larger variety of RNG. Because of this randomness, in many Yogg decks, it doesn’t actually matters what happens the first 9 turns. If you die in that time, it’s over, if you don’t, you take a shot with Yogg, you decks closer and the game is usually decided right then. This is too much power for one card. It is simply too strong. It affects almost every game it is played in, and affects it so heavily, you can determine if you will win or lose right then.


The idea of Yogg is good. A card that rewards spells with more spells. The problem is its immense strength. So Blizzard had the great dilemma of Yogg on their hands: do they keep its fun and randomness, or do they value balance more? Blizzard came up with a solution that seems to do both.


“Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End” will now stop casting spells if it is: destroyed, silenced, transformed, or returned to its owner’s hand.


This change will absolutely see that Yogg is no longer an auto include in every high level deck, while still maintaining the fun and flavor of the card. Because a good Yogg is around 10 spells, Yogg often kills itself during its crazy battlecry. This change will often lower the amount of value Yogg will get from its battlecry, and on average be much less of a tempo swing for whoever plays Yogg first.


Because the core mechanic of the card is the same, some players may still try to make Yogg work, but I doubt it will see great play at a high, tournament level. Decks like Token Druid, Malygos Druid, or Renolock may still run Yogg, but it will not see nearly as much play in decks that just ran Yogg because of its crazy power.


Will “Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End” still see play?

Yes? Yogg won’t see the absurd amount of play is saw before, that is for sure, however at least in the short time after the change takes place I expect it to still be floating around some lists, and wouldn’t be surprised if it stuck to one or two.

Overall, the change kept what makes Yogg such a unique card, and that is what’s important. It needed a change, it absolutely was too strong, but this change was Blizzard doing things right. Maintaining the core concept of the card, but lowering its power level so it isn’t an auto include in top tier decks. Yogg was a great example for future balance changes, and from now on, if I lose to a Yogg deck on ladder, I’ll know I lost much more fairly than before.

Brayden Sunseri

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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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