In a move that’s likely to be cheered by a lot of fans, Blizzard has announced a couple of changes to two of its most powerful — and difficult to react to — cards in Hearthstone.

The changes were announced in a recent blue post from Community Manager Zeriyah and will go into effect on Sept. 22. Leeroy Jenkins will have his cost raised from four to five, while the Starving Buzzard, a staple of hunter Unleash the Hounds decks, will have its cost raised from two to five and its stats raised from 2/1 to 3/2.

As someone who’s been beaten down by multiple Leeroys in one turn and agrees that “taking 20+ damage in one turn is not particularly fun or interactive,” as Zeriyah puts it, I agree with the change. Increasing the cost by one should be enough to at least keep Leeroy from too easily triggering three-plus times in a turn, thus reducing his burst damage potential to that of, say, a Pyroblast.

And as someone who’s played quite a few games with a hunter deck and the Buzzard/Hounds combo, I can see why those changes are being made, too. Unleash the Hounds was already altered to increase its cost by one, but apparently that wasn’t enough. Let’s just hope that Blizzard is a lot more careful in the future when it comes to making overly powerful, asymmetrical, minions with Charge.

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

14 Readers Commented

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  1. s on September 15, 2014

    all this “balance” change did was buff zoo again.

  2. duke on September 13, 2014

    Too bad they didn’t stop the zoo players

  3. duke on September 13, 2014

    Too bad they didn’t stop the zoo players.

  4. DesyncMan on September 13, 2014

    I don’t understand why this game has still so much RNG than it should have. In wow, logic was to reduce RNG effects as much as possible (ex: 15% stun duration reduction from 15% chance to ignore completly stuns, orcs passive) so the skill level of differents players would be as precise as possible and didn’t rely on chance in pvp. Here I can’t count the number of tournaments that were won just because of a sniper Ragnaros/knife juggler or a smart MC tech in arena.
    I know there is already RNG in the card digging order, but hell good topdecks plus good RNG plus bad luck on your side and you are litterally owned by anyone with a common deck. Ripped hairs all around the place.

    • Padsoldier on September 13, 2014

      Card games inherently have a huge amount of RNG in them (it’s possible that you die before you can play any cards because you didn’t draw the right ones), most of it is unavoidable. Some games try to reduce it to minimum (like adding targeted draws), some endorse it (more random effects).

      I’ll admit that some randomness is needed for games in order to be fun, because it’s unpredictable and creates unique experience, but with this level of randomness they shouldn’t push Hearthstone as a competitive game because if a full-on beginner can defeat a pro-gamer solely based on RNG then the tournaments formats are forced to be at least BO7s in the qualifiers and like BO11 later which they clearly aren’t.

      • Big Boi on September 13, 2014

        Card games might inherently have RNG aspects but many have ways of cycling through your deck for cards or card types you’re after with the “search deck for X card and put it in your hand” or similar effects. For example, Yu-gi-oh also has the side deck to use and deck searching effects on cards that come into play or, in some cases, when a card itself is destroyed.

        This game has little way to actually effect your deck directly and that’s why it comes off worse than others in terms of heavy RNG I’d say.

  5. O'mally on September 13, 2014

    Glad to see these changes. So sick of hunters insta winning cause they get an unbeatable combo :/ Play around the combo, you give up board control and generally lose. Don’t play around combo and boom they have instant card advantage that’s impossible for most to catch up to and very difficult for even warlocks to come back from.

  6. Hestis on September 13, 2014

    This nerf is great. I am suprised blizzard will do this since they fix nothing in the game. but they have to change the warlock power and remove thouthsteal and mind control from the game

  7. Trenix on September 12, 2014

    This is surprising, they said they weren’t going to make anymore balances changes, aside from just adding more cards to the game. Maybe this game has some hope…

  8. DesertFox on September 12, 2014

    hmm..mmobomb seems to hit the deep end. what a pointless article.

    • duke on September 13, 2014

      Its very interesting for me. Why are you here if you are not interested? You know where the door is.. kthxbye!!

      • DesertFox on September 13, 2014

        Writing a whole article about minor gameplay changes in a card game shows how lackluster their material are. But I guess it’s not your fault your tiny brain cannot comprehend that 😉

  9. Hammelfleisch on September 12, 2014

    A tip for all the desperate Miracle Rogues out there: Swap Leeroy with Malygos and you should be fine.

    • FiveNine on September 18, 2014

      That’s stupid sorry. The leeroy replacement is southsea deckhand, 2x cold blood and faceless manip.