(Editor's note: The in-game client version of this patch was "188.8.131.5216", unchanged from the previous releases. We added the "c" to distinguish between these updates.)
6/6/19 Live Balance Changes
When Homecoming was released, Hooru had been last place among two-faction combinations for the majority of the past year. One of our targets for this year was to give Hooru enough tools to finally get a chance to be a major player in the meta. While we accomplished this goal, some of its strongest end-game cards have less wide of a range of counter-play than we’d like. To this end, our primary focus for this set of changes was increasing breadth of satisfying counter-play against Hooru, rather than just taking away power.
- Korovyat Palace - Now "When you play a unit with 4 strength or more, it gets Aegis." (Was "Your units with 4 strength or more have Endurance.")
- Withstand - Now gives Endurance (was Aegis)
- Svetya's Sanctum - Now 6JJ (was 5JJ)
- Martyr's Chains - Now 9JJJJ (was 8JJJJ)
Korovyat Palace/Withstand - While we’re comfortable with Korovyat Palace’s general overall power level and having a big place in the metagame, after carefully monitoring analytics and player experience, we have determined that Korovyat Palace needed a tweak. While we expect it to continue to be strong, we believe swapping Endurance and Aegis between Withstand and the passive ability of the Palace will meaningfully open up the range of counter-play available. Withstand granting both Aegis and Endurance immediately to the same unit, as well as the large stat buff, made for a very narrow range of possible answers, with very little time to try to pull them off. It also meant little risk for the player using the Palace, as the investment was so protected.
Additionally, giving your entire team Endurance made the site too difficult to actually attack in the majority of game states. Our hope is that this new passive will remain strong, but will space the advantage out over time, making it less overwhelming the turn it's played. While Korovyat Palace should now be more realistic to attack, it will now be more important to attack it, in order to limit the effect generating by its new passive.
Svetya's Sanctum/Martyr's Chains - While we appreciate the new strategies opened up by these powerful relics, they were the primary driving forces behind a recent dramatic increase in the prevalence of nearly unitless strategies. While these strategies are an acceptable part of the overall range of Eternal, they have climbed to such a popularity level and are repetitive enough in their play that we needed to take action. While increasing the cost of each of these relics by one is a big change, we do not believe these nerfs will completely knock the cards off the map. Instead, they will hopefully be more role-players and less format-defining pillars.
While the biggest feature of this patch's nerfs is the reworking of Hooru, we also wanted to make a couple other changes that we believe were contributing to the suppression of aggressive and relic-based strategies.
- Vicious Highwayman - Now 5FFSS 5/3 (was 4FFSS 4/2)
- Amaran Stinger - Now 2/3 (was 2/4)
- Bore - Now each copy increases the cost by 1 (was 0)
Vicious Highwayman - While fast aggro has started making a comeback, we believe few cards incidentally suppress one-drops like a turn four Vicious Highwayman. This change isn't a pure nerf, as the stats are larger, changing which cards it lines up against. Our hope is that this change will increase diversity among both four-drops and five-drops, while giving aggressive strategies a little more time before the Highwayman comes down.
Amaran Stinger - While Amaran Stinger has a lot of good gameplay that goes along with it, its impact on turn three was greatly restricting the range of two-drops that were reasonable to run. Our hope is that this change will lead to a little more diversity among three-drops in Time decks.
Bore - Bore has been a popular form of attachment removal since its debut and a powerful market option since the debut of the merchants. While we want players to have satisfying interaction against opposing cards of all varieties, Bore has proven too efficient against both individual attachments and decks focused around relics and curses. With this change, we are hoping to create more competition among cards in Fire markets while giving more room for attachment-centered strategies to emerge.
Note: As Korovyat Palace and Bore are only available from the Homecoming and Dead Reckoning campaigns and fall outside of our normal system for refunding crafted cards, we are giving a one-time grant of a 1,250 gold to users who purchased the campaign. Users with both will receive 2,500 gold. Users who upgraded the Homecoming campaign will receive an additional 1,250 gold. (Look for the upgraded Dead Reckoning campaign coming next week!) Players will of course keep all their copies of Korovyat Palace and Bore.
In addition to the seven nerfs above, we are making twelve buffs, targeting a few primary areas. To begin with, we wanted to increase support for shift-related strategies.
- Adolescent Deathjaw - Now shifts for 3 (was shift 4)
- Crooked Alleyguide - Now 3/3 (was 3/2)
- Expedition Leader - Now costs 2T (was 3T)
- Tantrum - Now costs 2F (was 3F)
These changes may have ranked implications, but they also add a few points to Fire, Time, and Shadow in draft. In order to help preserve and even improve faction balance in draft, we are also making the following changes to two of Primal's commons.
The next area we wanted to target for a few buffs was with ranked build-arounds. The following four cards were already attractive enough to spawn new fringe archetypes, and we’d like to see more of them. As such, we have decided to add a little bit of rate to each of these key cards.
- Larai, the Appraiser - Now twists for 2 (was pay 3 to twist)
- Perilous Research/Alarming Findings - Alarming Findings now costs 7TT (was 8TT)
- Tasbu, the Forbidden - Now also counts itself (was "When one of your other units dies")
- Xumucan, the Surveyor - Now 7/7 (was 6/6)
Finally, our last couple changes are aimed at increasing the ease of use of a couple new forms of interaction for markets.
The range of possible ways to interact with markets is already so small, we felt making some of them a little easier to use would be a step in the right direction for opening up the range of possible counter-play options for players.
(Editor's note: The following change was unlisted in-game or in any patch notes. We know it took place at some point before June 11th, so we are adding it as an unlisted change to this patch.)