Patch 6.1.3 Nerfs Several Decks into Oblivion

Oct 5, 2016

Patch 6.1.3 Deck Fallout

The October 3rd balance changes (nerfs) have officially been implemented. This was the change meant to address problematic cards such as Yogg-Saron and Tuskarr Totemic. While I do think that this patch was good for the health of the game, it has had some downsides. Although the patch only changed six cards, it has managed to delete several decks from the game. Let’s take a look at what will disappear as a result of these changes.

Yogg Druid

This is certainly the most competitive deck that will be affected by the changes. When I say deck, I do mean two decks. A token based Yogg Druid, and a Malygos based Yogg Druid. Both of these decks have been practically eliminated from the game with the Hearthstone Balance Nerf patch 6.1.3changes. The Yogg change was so severe that he will be seeing little play after the changes. These decks were both very focused around playing Yogg.

The token variant of Druid was always close to being viable as a deck. Cards like Fandral and Wisps of the Old Gods brought it close to viability. However, it was Yogg that made the deck finally work. Against certain decks, Yogg was the saving grace. Now that he is gone, the deck will once again have a lot of unfavourable matchups. I would be surprised if it exists at all anymore.

The Malygos version took an even harder blow. This variant has never been viable without Yogg, as it runs out of damage or board clears. Yogg provided a bit of both, and pushed it into viability. With Yogg nerfed, there is little chance this deck will survive.

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Yogg and Load Hunter

This deck is far less competitive than the Druid variants. However it is, in my opinion, a real shame that it is disappearing. This deck made use of Hunter’s many low cost spells as well as Lock and Load to create value. The deck wasn’t viable without a finisher, but Yogg gave it the finisher it needed. Now that Yogg has been nerfed, this deck won’t survive. This is a real shame, considering it was the only use Lock and Load has ever seen.

One Turn Kill Warrior

The nerf to OTK Warrior came out of nowhere. Everyone was expecting that Tuskarr and Yogg would be nerfed, but Charge?!? No one could have seen that coming. It’s unfortunate, because this deck was difficult to play, and did not have a high win rate. This is the perfect example of a high skill, high reward deck. The Charge nerf was targeted against this deck specifically. This means that Blizzard doesn’t want OTK decks to exist at all. While I understand that there have been many oppressive OTK decks in the past, that doesn’t necessarily mean the entire archetype should be removed. OTK Warrior wasn’t oppressive or common on ladder, it’s a shame to see it go.

Hearthstone Balance Nerf patch 6.1.3


The nerfs brought the removal of several decks entirely. Yogg decks in particular took a big hit. I’m no fan of Yogg, and happy to see it nerfed, but it does have some unfortunate collateral damage. Lock and Load will be missed, as will the Druid class for the most part. A far sadder loss is that of OTK Warrior, who never got his chance to shine. Hopefully Blizzard knows what they are doing here. This round of nerfs was needed, but it unfortunately removed some decks without adding any. Perhaps next time we might get some buffs as well?

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Stephen Draper
Stephen has a degree in English from Brock University. He grew up playing video games and card games, always having an affection for strategy. He picked up League of Legends in early Season One and has since achieved Diamond rank multiple times. He also picked up Hearthstone in Beta and has since achieved Legend consistently. When he isn’t reading, writing, or gaming, he’s probably watching other people game.
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