'Hearthstone' Descent of Dragons Nerfs: Galakrond Shaman Forces Devs to Respond

Not even a week after the release of Hearthstone's latest expansion, Descent of Dragons, there's already talks of nerfs. On Thursday night, Community Manager Chris Attalus went to the game's reddit to share that they are "working on a balance update that will arrive within the next week with card adjustments for Descent of Dragons, including some changes aimed at Shaman." Any cards that get changes will reward full dust when refunded.

hearthstone descent of dragons galakrond shaman nerfs
Galakrond Shaman is really powerful and might need a nerf. blizzard

Team 5, the group of developers at Blizzard who work on Hearthstone, aren't usually this quick to respond to a forming meta, but one deck has proven to be comically overpowered. Galakrond Shaman uses Lackeys and the dragon's Invoke ability to swam the board with Rush minions. The deck has incredible cards with value and crushes the matchup in nearly every single game. Because the deck is so consistently powerful, curving out with Devoted Maniac, Invocation of Frost and Corrupt Elementalist, it's seen a massive rise in playership.

According to HSReplay, which catalogs the results and decks of every player, Galakrond Shaman is sitting at an over 64 percent win rate with over 100,000 games played. Most of the matchups on the higher-tier ladder are just Shaman vs. Shaman, which is precisely the type of meta we just escaped from after Saviors of Uldum.

Here's the Galakrond Shaman deck list if you want to build one of your own before the nerfs get handed down.

It would also not be surprising if Faceless Corruptor receives balance changes. The five-mana minion that transforms an ally into a copy of itself has seen play in nearly every popular deck released. The value you get for such a cheap price is too good to pass up for most expert deck builders.

Not everyone is satisfied with these coming changes, including those in the Hearthstone competitive scene. Pro player RYE Viper is worried that the balance team is folding under the pressure of "reddit outrage." T1 Orange, one of the most consistently successful players in the esports scene, had spent the day tweeting that nerfs weren't necessary before the meta calmed down.

if shaman actually gets significant nerfs, while nothing else is touched it seems to me that they balance the game after few days of reddit outrage,
makes me worried for competitive future of hs, because something like shaman atm would be insanely easy to counter in conquest e.g.

— Viper (@RYE_Viper) December 13, 2019

Literally spent all day telling my chat they shouldn't be asking for nerfs this early on. Guess I'll hear about this all day tomorrow 🙃 https://t.co/bEdPudKrBo

— Jon Westberg🍊 (@HS_Orange) December 13, 2019

Hearthstone has had a difficult year in public relations, with the game's esports scene banning Pro Ng "Blitzchung" Wai Chung after he said "Free Hong Kong" after a match during a stream. This brought a massive way of rightful criticism to the company which has struggled to adapt. This change could be seen as a way to quell community animosity before it grows or it could be completely coincidental. Either way, get ready for Shaman nerfs.