Despite all of the negative heat at the moment, ADWCTA thinks Blizzard's made the correct move.

Reception to the upcoming nerfs for Fiery War Axe, Murloc Warleader, Spreading Plague, Innervate, and Hex have been somewhat mixed to say the least. The foremost, in particular, has many Warrior fans up in arms as the weapon formerly known as Win Axe is receiving a huge downgrade which makes it worse than King's Defender, a card which has pretty much never seen play.

However, the story has been different in the Arena. While there's no arguing that War Axe is easily one of the best cards available to draft right now, the Warrior class itself is bottom of the barrel and notoriously bad.

We reached out to Arena expert ADWCTA, one of the two founders of The Lightforge Arena Tier List and one of the original members of HearthArena's algorithm team.

Changes look good overall.

Love the direction of nerfing blatantly overpowered cards to even card by card power levels.  Less swing is always good for skill.

War Axe and Hex are both over 200!! on the Lightforge Tier list, meaning they are literally twice as good as an average card, and I won't get into the math, but that's about the equivalent value of having 4+ cards in hand rather than 1.  It's pretty ridiculous.  Now, the only classic/basic card left over 200 is Gorehowl (although Aldor Peacekeeper, Truesilver Champion, Eaglehorn Bow and Stormforged Axe come close).  There are two non-legendary expansion cards currently in rotation also over 200 (Ultimate Infestation and Vinecleaver), and neither will rotate out for another two cycles.

It's unfortunate right now that the two classes hit the hardest in the Arena are Warrior and Shaman, by far the two worst Arena classes.  Especially for the Warrior, while new War Axe will still be a great Arena card, it is no longer a 2-drop, and Warriors have always required a good 2-drop curve to do well in the Arena. Right now, Warriors are already not offered enough 2-drops to consistently fill their curve every draft, and removing their best card in the spot will reduce the number of solid 2-drops offered in the average Warrior draft by roughly 15%, a huge nerf.  This is basically Blizzard throwing in the towel on balancing these classes in the Arena for KFT.  To get the results they need for balance, Blizzard's offering rate adjustments will have to be more than "micro-adjustment".  We'll have to wait until the KFT bonus goes away (likely in one month) before these classes can be playable again.  

Unlike the Warsong Commander nerf back in the day, these changes will at least have a positive effect on the Arena in the future, even if they look bad now.  So, there's a light at the end of this tunnel!

The only nerf that I think is bad for the Arena both now and in the future is the Innervate nerf.  It was always a good card, but never broken in the Arena, and really gave Druids (an otherwise bland neutral class in Arena) some flavor.  I will miss Innervate very much.

 

We've been following the opinions of pro players and streamers regarding Constructed. A few have chosen to offer us statements so make sure to check back in a day or so for those.

What are your thoughts on the changes? Are they good for the health of the Arena?