Hearthstone is nerfing Druid … and some of its oldest powerhouse cards

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Knights of the Frozen Throne is the new expansion coming to Hearthstone in August.

Hearthstone announced today that it is changing some of Druid’s cards as a response to the class dominating the digital card game since the release of the Knights of the Frozen Throne Expansion last month. But the nerfs don’t stop at Druid, and all of the changes are going live later this month.

Innervate, the Druid spell that’s been around since Hearthstone’s launch, will now only give 1 mana crystal instead of 2 for a turn. Spreading Plague, a Druid spell that Frozen Throne introduced that gives you 1/5 minions with taunts until you have as many creatures on your board as your opponent does, is going up from 5 mana to 6 mana.

These changes could make Druid a less dominant, but Blizzard is smashing the nerf hammer down on some other cards. Hex, the classic Shaman spell that turns any minion into 0/1 Frog with taunt, is going to cost 4 mana instead of 3. Murloc Warleader, the neutral minion that’s also been around since the beginning of Hearthstone, will now only give other Murlocs +2 attack and will no longer give them +1 health. Murloc Paladin has been another dominant decktype in Journey to Un’Goro and Frozen Throne, so Blizzard is addressing its power level as well as Druid’s. Also, the Warrior weapon Fiery War Axe (another Classic card) is going to cost 3 mana instead of 2.

The Hex change brings that card closer in line with its Mage cousin Polymorph, which turns a minion into a 1/1 sheep at 4 mana. Hex might still see play, since the ability to remove a enemy minion is a powerful one.

But Muloc Warleader’s changes could be more severe. That card has been the cornerstone of dozens of Murloc decks that rely on the synergy between that tribe. Fiery War Axe could also see much less play, as a single mana increase for a weapon could be a big deal. Before, the card was good at dealing with early game minions that rarely had more than 3 health. Now that you’ll have to play it later, it may not be strong enough to deal with those turn 4 minions.

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