Ask Hearthlytics 1 - Standard FormatSun 21st Feb 2016 - 5:21am
I am starting this article series “Ask Hearthlytics” so everyone can get deeper insight on the thoughts and perception of our players here at Hearthlytics. We have a lot of brilliant minds on the team and I’m sure everyone could learn a thing or two from them. For the introduction of this article series I will be asking the questions myself, but in the future I would like to receive questions from our fans so you all can find out what you want to know. This week we asked our team members questions regarding the Standard format as it is the biggest change to ever happen to the game. Email your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your questions related to Hearthstone or the esports scene.
- Are you happy with the new Standard format? Why/Why not?
Muzzy: The new standard format introduced by Blizzard is going to shift ranked play drastically. I personally am very happy with the new format as it will change how ranked play currently feels to all players. A lot of current decks that are very strong such as secret paladin just plays a curve and hopes to draw better than the opponent. In standard we will get new cards and have to transition to how hearthstone was played years ago where skill could allow for a certain edge in game.
Chandyland: Yes. It’ll allow room for new cards that previously would have to compete with staples like Piloted Shredder and Dr. Boom to have a chance at being played, and force meta change because we’ll finally see change in several decks that have stayed very much the same over the past 2 years. I’m looking forward to a meta refresh.
Fr0zen: Yes, I think standard is great for the game as it allows for new design space and an easier way for blizzard to change the meta without changing cards.
Nias: It is difficult to be unhappy about the removal of Dr. Boom, Piloted Shredder, Shielded Mini-Bot, Muster, and all the other sticky minions that I believe are the cause of this unfortunate meta of who can curve out better. Nevertheless, I am unhappy about Standard. Making half of my collection competitively obsolete and limiting potential card synergies hurts, but I am mostly concerned that this is an excuse to not properly balance the game. Standard format gives Blizzard the justification to ignore unhealthy cards till they phase out rather than balance them properly.
Apxvoid: I’m excited for standard format, because the meta has been getting stale and I’m looking forward to something new and refreshing. It also means that more content will be released soon.
- Which cards that were once strong might see play again in the new format?
Muzzy: With Piloted Shredder and Sludge Belcher leaving the scene, cards like Senjin Shieldmasta, Violet Teacher, and Chillwind Yeti will be making a comeback in classes like Druid. We might even start seeing Cenarius in decks as well.
Chandyland: With Shredder, Belcher, and Loatheb all leaving in the next rotation, I’m thinking Yeti will find a place in some decks again, and Azure Drake will likely make it’s way back into more decks.
Fr0zen: Gorehowl, Highmane, Truesilver, Midrange Shaman
Nias: I think some of the reactive archetypes like Control Shaman and Rogue might come back into favor as long as Blizzard doesn’t add new sticky minions like I mentioned earlier.
Apxvoid: I think some of the old legendaries such as Ragnaros, Sylvannas and maybe even the Black Knight will see more play since Loatheb and Dr. Boom are gone.
- What balance changes do you think need to be made to existing cards?
Muzzy: The obvious changes would be to change the amount of damage Dr. Boom’s boom bots do; change Mysterious Challenger entirely; and make Druid’s Force of Nature + Savage Roar combo cost more. For example, Force of Nature at 7 mana and Roar at 4 mana.
Chandyland: I’d like to see balance to Mysterious Challenger. 6 mana is too low for a card of its stats and effect, that too consistently full swings, if not straight up wins a game. I think it needs to be easier to handle - either make it pull fewer secrets, or make the body weaker so it’s easier to kill, like maybe 7/4. Force of Nature + Savage Roar are the two everyone always complains about. I honestly think a slight nerf would be enough, 4 mana Savage Roar perhaps so that the combo is still playable but it’s not so easy to double combo anymore.
Fr0zen: For classic, just nerfing Savage Roar to 4 mana is fine, for Goblins vs Gnomes, Shredder to 3/3 and any nerf to Dr. Boom. Maybe a change to Reno as well, though I’m not exactly sure how to fix it.
Nias: Classic was a pretty balanced set as a whole. Ancient of Lore might need some attention.
Apxvoid: This has been suggested many times, but I think that Savage Roar should cost 4 mana. Other than that, I don’t think any other changes need to be made.
- Zombie Chow, Sludge Belcher, and Antique Healbot are leaving the format. Do you think Blizzard needs to add some new anti-aggro tools in the next expansion or will aggro be too weak already?
Muzzy: New aggro tools definitely need to be implemented or certain decks will become too strong. Face Hunter will see a rise in prominence. Freeze Mage will also become very strong if new healing tools are not added.
Chandyland: Yes I think there definitely need to be some new anti-aggro tools introduced, since many of the neutral anti-aggro staples are leaving after the new expansion. Healbot for one is so game changing because there aren’t any other significant neutral healing cards besides Reno.
Fr0zen: I think aggro is already pretty weak. Zoo is going to be hit hard without Implosion and all the Naxx cards.
Nias: I think it's only fair that control decks lose their strong minions too. We will probably need a new neutral heal though if any deck that isn’t Warrior or Priest wants to play the long game.
Apxvoid: Without those cards in the format, I think aggro will be very strong again. Shaman only loses Crackle so shaman might still see a lot of play. I think Blizzard needs to add more anti-aggro tools in the upcoming expansion.
- Which cards will you not miss seeing?
Muzzy: Dr. Boom, Mysterious Challenger, Coghammer, Implosion, Fel Reaver, Kezan, Muster for Battle, Lightbomb
Chandyland: Honestly won’t miss Shredder because of how much RNG + swingyness they had. Doom-shredders/Cho-shredders can go away lol.
Fr0zen: Implosion, Dr. Boom, Shredder
Nias: Secret Paladin and everything in it.
Apxvoid: I won’t miss seeing Implosion, Death’s Bite, Muster, and Lightbomb.
- Lastly, make a prediction about what you think will be good or over powered in the Standard format.
Muzzy: Freeze Mage, Rogue (minion based), Hunter (both archetypes)
Chandyland: I think without the popular anti-aggro tools, aggressive decks will be strong in the meta. Druid remains strong as always, but of course we’ll have to see what new cards are introduced and which cards get balanced in the classic set.
Fr0zen: I think a lot of dragon decks are going to be strong or come back with standard since the decks that get hit hard by cards rotating out are strong counters to dragon decks, i.e. Zoo, Secret Paladin.
Nias: I think it is entirely up to Blizzard and the new cards they add. Hopefully they create deck concepts built around card synergies and strong tempo instead of curving out with overpowered minions.
Apxvoid: I think Shaman is going to be really strong again and I also think Reno decks might become stronger since there is a lack of heals now.