Like many others, I have fallen in love with Blizzard’s new digital card game Hearthstone. One of my favorite aspects of it over physical card games is that the development team can change cards that were initially too strong or too weak and make them more balanced. Cards that would have fallen by the wayside or be banned in professional play can be adjusted and start seeing play again. Players generally focus more on requesting that overpowered cards be made weaker given how often they fall victim to them, but there are some cards that need some love and have their pitiful value buffed up. This week’s 5+ is dedicated to the cards that fail to impress players with their weak abilities and desperately need some sprucing up from the developers if their ever going to see more action.
This big ape is easily the most useful card on this list. It’s an early-game taunt creature with a good amount of survivability that comes with the added bonus of beast-synergy, so it can be useful as a bodyguard for other minions in Hunter decks. However, it’s stats don’t really make up for its three mana cost and a single attack point doesn’t go very far. The Patriarch just needs either one more health point to make it a more efficient protector, one more attack point to give it more aggressive potential, or even have its health brought down by a point to also reduce its mana cost. As it stands, the 3/3 Ironfur Grizzly is the all-around more viable choice for most decks.
This spell is an odd one for this list as the card itself doesn’t need any changes. Being able to destroy a demon-type minion and gain five health for your hero for zero mana cost is pretty fair on its own. The problem is that, just like this spell, most demon cards are exclusive to the Warlock class. Outside of mirror matches, you usually end up destroying one of your own demons to get health in dire situations. Maybe your opponent plays Illidan Stormrage and this spell makes for great removal, but that’s assuming your opponent even owns a card that rare, much less is currently using it in their deck. The easiest way to buff this card is to add more class-neutral demons into the game so that Sacrificial Pact can be used on enemy minions more frequently. Perhaps the upcoming “Curse of Naxxramas” expansion could add a few new demons to the game that can make this spell more viable. Demons would certainly fit with the deathrattle theme that they’re going for with the new cards that we’ve seen so far. The point is that keeping a minion on the board is almost always more valuable to you than a few points of your own health. Speaking of which…
Nobody likes Nightblade; this is a proven fact. As pro-gamer Jeffrey “Trump” Shih has said, “the only health point that matters in Hearthstone is the one just before you die.” Dealing direct damage to your opponent is only a mild annoyance if you can’t produce a combo that gets them to zero in that turn. Cards like the Elven Archer and Stormpike Commander may deal less damage, but the ability to aim that damage wherever you need it is far more valuable. You know what’s a better method of dealing damage to the enemy hero? Getting board control and running your minions at their face. If you don’t have board control, than you need to get or you are going to lose. Meanwhile, that five mana you spent to summon a Nightblade could have been spent on an Azure Drake that has the same stats, but offers you extra spell damage that you can put to a myriad of good uses and gets you a free card on top of all of that. Or you could summon a Darkscale Healer that is stronger than the Nightblade and will heal your everything, helping you maintain a strong board and pulling your hero out of potential danger. Or you could summon a big, scary Chillwind Yeti that eats Nightblades for breakfast and actually costs less mana. Doesn’t all of that sound more appealing than a measly night elf assassin that doesn’t so much assassinate anything, but rather just pokes them on the shoulder a couple times hoping they’ll give up out of mild irritation? Nightblade needs something more to justify her high cost or else every other five cost minion is just going continue outclassing her at every turn.
Enrage is useful because it can potentially get you a powerful minion at a low cost. Taunt is useful because it protects important allies from enemy attacks. Put the two together and you get absolute garbage. The Tauren Warrior is proof that two great tastes can turn toxic when put into a single mixture. The idea is that his taunt forces enemy minions to attack him, thus triggering his enrage and raising his attack. The problem is that three health is really easy to kill in one shot once you get to turn three. Enrage minions are fragile because their bonuses only trigger when they’ve taken damage and getting them to that point makes them easy targets. You want to put your enrage minions behind taunts so that you can control who takes what amount of damage and the enrage minions can survive and get a good amount of work done. Tauren Warrior rarely lives long enough to put his enrage effect to any use and having taunt means that you can’t put another taunt at the front of the line to protect him. For this combination to be any kind of viable, he needs more health available to him so that he doesn’t just die immediately. The amount of buffing that he needs would probably cause his mana cost to jump up, but he simply doesn’t work in his current state.
LOOK AT THIS USELESS IDIOT! Bloodsail Corsair definitely gets my vote for Worst Card in All of Hearthstone. Cards like Wisp, Angry Chicken, and Millhouse Manastorm may be stupid, but they at least have the potential to be really useful in specific situations and deck builds. Those cards are bad in a way that’s oddly charming because now you just want to get use out of them and show the world what these underdogs are really capable of. I cannot think of a single possible scenario where you would ever want Bloodsail Corsair over literally any other card in the entire game. More specifically, I can’t think of a reason why someone would run with this instead of Acidic Swamp Ooze. This Corsair will take away one use of a weapon, while an Ooze will just destroy any weapon outright. Yes, Corsair could be played on turn one, but your opponent hasn’t had a chance to even equip a weapon at that point. Even if they do get a weapon out early, it’s not going to be one of their stronger ones. If you’re going to play a minion that acts as weapon-removal, you’re going to want to wait until the mid-game anyway so you can burn your opponents more valuable weapons. Ooze is not only more reliable, but its also much stronger and only costs one mana more to summon. Also, Ooze is a basic card while Corsair is a rare, so you can’t even make the excuse that you don’t have an Ooze in your collection because yes you do you filthy liar. (About that, who in their right mind looked at this scurvy-riddled trash and honestly thought “Yeah, that’s more valuable than a Cult Master or a Venture Co. Mercenary.) The only other thing that this clown has going for him is that he has pirate-synergy, but even that isn’t anything to brag about. There are currently only two cards in the game that synergize with pirate-class minions, and you’re not going to want to put either of them to use on a 1/2 loser. Once the Bloodsail Corsair learns how to break a weapon properly, I’ll be willing to let up on him. Until then, he shall remain my pick for the Hearthstone card that most direly needs a buff.
What cards do you think need some beefing up? Would be interested in seeing more 5+ articles dedicated to buffs and nerfs that games need to implement? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. Suggest a buff and we may feature it on a follow-up article. Check back June 19th for the next installment of 5+.