Control Warrior Nerfs in Hearthstone: Breaking Down the Wall

Control Warrior is a disliked match-up for many Hearthstone players. It’s the worst to not have any minions by your next turn. When your opponent has 30 armor and a wall of powerful Taunt minions in front of them, there’s no easy way to take your opponent out without running out of cards. Thankfully, the Hearthstone developer team decided to make some significant Control Warrior nerfs to tone down the deck’s power.

Stopping the Boom

Dr. Boom, Mad Genius was a key card in Control Warrior. By turn seven, changing out your hero for Dr. Boom gave every mech minion Rush (allowing them to attack enemy minions right away) and replaced your Hero Power with six interchangeable ones. By the next turn, you can gain 7 armor, deal 1 damage to every enemy, or summon three mechs to instantly attack enemies. Once a player uses Dr. Boom, they rule the entire board

To solve the overwhelming power that came with Dr. Boom, the hero card was changed from 7 mana to 9 mana. Control Warrior decks would have to wait until turn 9 to play Dr. Boom and wouldn’t have enough leftover mana to use their hero power. Mech minions would still have rush, but opponents could take over the board much faster. Now that they have two more turns until Dr. Boom can be played, there’s only so many cards a Warrior deck can use to take over the board.  

The Saviors of Uldum expansion released new cards than can still control the board. Plague of Wrath, a new warrior spell, can easily clear the board after one use of Warpath. However, it can take out the player’s own minions. Nerfing Dr. Boom was a much needed change to alter the Control Warrior meta.

A Different Discovery

A recent nerf to a card ability switched up the possible wall of Taunt minions that Control Warrior can obtain. Discover lets the player to choose one out of three random cards that can be neutral or related to a player’s class. Frightened Flunky is a 2-cost minion that allowed a Warrior deck to Discover another Taunt minion. It was an easy minion to drop on turn 2 to gain another powerful card to use later. Until this new nerf, it was an important minion in any warrior deck.

Though it can be a nerf and a buff, cards that Discover from a random pool no longer apply a class bonus. The reason for this change is “Discover pools have gotten more specific, some are too narrow and repetitive. This change will increase the variety of cards from random Discover pools”. It changes the consistency of the game and makes it more interesting for players and opponents.

The main insight noticed from this change is Frightened Flunky having less of a chance to discover Tomb Warden, a Taunt minion that is very difficult to break through, or any Warrior Taunt minions. Another effect of this is Omega Assembly having less of a chance to discover Warrior mechs and can give the player more Neutral mechs. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad Neutral mechs and Taunt minions to Discover that can hinder a player’s game.

Is Control Warrior Still Playable?

The power of Control Warrior was lessened by nerfs, but the deck type has not become unplayable. Saviors of Uldum added many cards that enhanced the possibilities of what Taunt minions can do and how players can still place an endless blockade. It takes a bit longer to play Dr. Boom and there is a lot more RNG needed to Discover good cards.

The Year of the Dragon is far from over and there’s no telling if any more buffs or nerfs will come to change the meta. The win rate for Control Warrior has gone down across the past few weeks from these nerfs, but it’s still a Tier 2 deck. Unless another important card in Control Warrior will change, it’s unlikely that this deck type will sink in the Hearthstone meta.

Annemarie Bertok
Experienced writer specializing in nonfiction and journalism. With my experience in creative writing, I like to take everyday life and put an artistic spin upon it to keep readers interested in the subject at hand.

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