Changing Ragnaros Wasn't Enough
Hearthstone is in a pretty decent place right now. The current cadence includes big Battlegrounds patches between the main standard sets, and I really like the rocking approach. Whenever the norm gets me down, I have the option of crouching in Battlegrounds: and vice-versa.
Lately Battlegrounds has been an absolute war zone with the introduction of several new heroes and the elemental tribe. The elementals have been dominant in many ways, alongside a new hero that crushes it so heavily that it probably should have been tested a bit more (Ragnaros) and several others that have no impact. Patch 18.4.2 is making progress in bringing things back into order.
Major takeaways include Ragnaros getting a slight nerf (he needs to kill 25 minions instead of 20 now to bring his Sulfuras ability online, which now gives +3/+3 instead of +4/+4), Maiev gets nerfed (Imprisonment now gives +1 attack instead of +1/+1) and full Pogo-Hopper minion removal; who saw very sordid playing with one of the last waves of heroes (Jandice).
If Pogos or Ragnaros were in your matches for the past few weeks, there was a good chance they would be in the top four, if not taking the whole crown. It was frustrating to play against and not incredibly interactive to play, so thankfully these changes come at the right time. Low end heroes have also been buffed a bit (Chenvaala, Patchwerk, Sindragosa, Mukla) and Bartendotron (a very low win rate hero) has been completely removed from the pool to reduce the annoyance of being offered multiple low end characters of range.
Several minions have also been changed, including Deadly Spore (which is now Tavern level six), Lil'rag (also moved to level six), and Gentle Djinni (now level five). All of these changes should result in a big meta rework, as Lil'Rag was one of the early catalysts for the Elementals. Yes, both versions of Ragnaros have been nerfed: fair play for the Fire Lord.
Overall, I'm happy with most of the changes here, but I'm not sure the Ragnaros nerf was enough. He'll need another round to bring his abilities online, but once that happens (especially now that Deadly Spore is a level up) he's still going to dominate most comps: enough to push him up the ante. top four out of sheer will. Clearing Pogos may have been overkill, but as a workaround, I'm just glad that every Jandice I play against isn't using the same boring, homogenized build.
Patch 18.4.2 is available today!
18.4.2 Patch Notes [Hearthstone]