Should the Druid Combo be Nerfed?
Over the past few weeks, Blizzard's August Dean Ayala, known as Iksar to the Hearthstone community, has been discussing the impact of and . A game designer on the title, he's well versed on the balance of these two cards, commonly known as the Druid Combo, and how they actually perform across the wide range of ranks and game modes. There have always been advocates for nerfing one of the two, but for so long it's been baked in as part of the class' identity and eliminating it could drastically change its performance as a whole.
Prior to Blackrock Mountain there were few who took issue with the finisher. For nine mana, with those two particular cards in hand, you could do 14 points of damage on Turn 9. However, came along and made it so that not only can this be accomplished sooner, but it can also deal a much greater amount of damage. With just one activate of his effect, + + was now easily feasible. That's now 22 points of damage for only nine mana and that's assuming you had zero board presence.
It has now been more than nine months since landed in our card collections bringing about the age of combo decks and some have taken issue with this specific one.
And Xixo wasn't the only high profile player to complain about it. Player, host, and analyst ThatsAdmirable had something to add:
They all have fair points, it simply isn't fun having to either play around combo and set yourself behind, effectively giving them more time to draw the exact combo, or just push for lethal and hope they don't have it.
Regardless of which camp you find yourself in there are really only two ways a nerf could go: a change to or . But which one would be more appropriate? We're personally in favor of touching as it would have less impact on the Druid class as a whole. is extremely useful in a variety of decks including Egg and Aggro Druid whereas Force predominantly sees action thanks to its complimentary spell card.
What seems ideal for you? Increased cost? Decreased attack? Decreased buff? Something completely different? Here are a few options that we came up with: Decrease the attack of the Treants, or increase the cost of such that the combo can only be played with ten mana or an activate of . The latter is probably a bit much, but depending on what releases in the future, there very well may be a time where Blizzard opts to change it favor of freeing up some healthy design space.
And there's always the option to leave it as is, some think having what basically equates to dead cards in your hand is punishment enough.
The discussions have continued to be rampant throughout the community and Iksar, upon seeing posts like ours, simply comments saying he's trying to avoid steering the conversation such as to avoid any kind of developer bias in the opinions of others. We'll continue highlighting these talks about this topic in our weekly Blue Tweets articles, but in the meantime, keep on expressing your opinions and ideas for solutions, know the Blizzard team is listening.
We asked you what you thought about the potential nerfs and here are the results.
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