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'Hearthstone' unleashes a slight nerf to the Hunter deck

Hearthstone - Unleash the Hounds
Hearthstone - Unleash the Hounds
Photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment, used with permission

Blizzard made a slight “nerf” Wednesday to the Hunter deck in its ultra-popular competitive card game, “Hearthstone” for the PC and iPad. Those that love to “Unleash the Hounds” will find it slightly more expensive to do so.

The “Unleash the Hounds” card in the Hunter deck saw its mana cost go up from two to three with the new update to the game. The card has become famous (or infamous) for its ability summon a 1/1 dog with Charge for each minion on an opponent’s board. Combined with other cards in the Hunter deck that either boost the attack rating of the hound or allow the player to draw additional cards for each Hound summoned, it’s quickly become a popular and dominant tactic in the current metagame.

Since we’ve seen many cards and deck types in the current state of the game rise and fall as players adapt, we did not want to change Unleash the Hounds immediately,” community manager Zeriyah wrote on Battle.net. “However, Hunter decks have become increasingly more dominant and are doing better than we are comfortable across many levels of play.”

“We do like the idea of decks that have a really big turn and pull off a sweet combo, but when playing against Hunter decks, you may feel punished too much for playing minions,” he explained. “Playing minions is one of the key, fun pieces of the overall Hearthstone puzzle, and feeling like your options are limited by the opponent creates a play experience that may not be particularly enjoyable.”

While Zeriyah said that the increase in one mana cost should make “Unleash the Hounds” more fun to play against while still allowing for big plays, fans of “Hearthstone” were not so sure. Some of the comments posted in response to the announcement still felt the card is too overpowered due to the combos and the still relatively low cost. Whether further nerfing will be warranted remains to be seen.