Hearthstone players are in for a shake up in the meta as Blizzard decides to both change Vanish and Mind Blast, and send them to the Hall of Fame, while also introducing ten new cards to the classic collection. In an uncharacteristically lengthy blog post, Blizzard spoke to the ongoing goal of establishing a class identity and ensuring that cards reflect that.
In order to do this, they describe three guidelines: “adhere to a class’s ‘fantasy’, define the things the class should excel at, and establish where the class should struggle." With that in mind, they examine each class for their strengths, limitations, and weaknesses. Each class is listed in the blog post for a closer look, but the two that stand out today are Rogue and Priest.
The intended weakness for Rogue is supposed to be board clears, as their class identity is to hide in the shadows and await the perfect time to strike. Priests meanwhile focus on healing, cloning, resurrecting, and large buffs, but face damage spells are not meant to be a part of their toolkit.
This is the reasoning used for sending both Vanish and Mind Blast into the Hall of Fame, as they go against what Blizzard considers the right tools for the class. The cards that go to the Hall of Fame will be tweaked to better reflect this core identity, but the details have not yet been released as to how that will work.
Some players may feel particularly irked by the decision, because both cards already have low win rates. Vanish, for instance, appears in 5.4% of all standard Rogue decks, with an average deck win-rate of 44.2% over 500,000 games played. Its played win-rate is even lower, at 38.6%. Mind Blast appears hardly anywhere, in only 0.8% of standard Priest decks, with a 47.5% average win rate per deck over 56,000 games.
The players who enjoy these cards likely use them for the variety they bring to a certain play-style. Not only that, but both Rogue and Priest are in the bottom three classes right now. If ever we needed an example of “Kicking them when they’re down”, this is it.
The new classic cards meanwhile are a mixed bag. Both Priest and Rogue are getting a new class card each to offset the loss of the two other cards. Priests will receive a 1 Mana spell named “Radiance” that restores 5 Health to the hero, and Rogues a 4 Mana 3/3 minion named “Plaguebringer” that reads “Battlecry: Give a friendly minion Poisonous”.
Warlocks, Druids, and Paladins receive a new class specific spell, and the remaining five are neutral minions named “Barrens Stablehand”, “SI:7 Infiltrator”, “Arcane Devourer”, and two legendaries with the addition of “Brightwing” and “High Inquisitor Whitemane”.
Based on speculation, it seems only Whitemane will have any real impact on games as a toned down version of Kel’Thuzad from the Naxxramas expansion.
These changes will go live in the next big update, with no date currently announced, so keep your eyes peeled!