Rejoice! Hearthstone's Undertaker is Nerfed at Last
The streak is over; Plus, awesome fan creates witty Twitter feed.
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There is a special circle of hell reserved for people who open Hearthstone games with an Undertaker, a coin, and a one-mana deathrattle minion.
Such a dastardly combination gives the maddening mortician a 2 attack, 3 health buff by the end of turn one (not to mention its skull-and-bones-wearing associate to deal with too). As you probably know, this is because Undertaker starts at 1 attack, 2 health and gains 1/1 for every deathrattle card dropped on the board.
If you can't remove it straight away--and it's pretty hard at this sage--there's a fair chance that your opponent will drop another deathrattle card, pushing Taker to 3/4 by the end of turn two. The game is already, by this stage, creeping away from you.
Such devastating synergy, coupled with how frequently it occurs, led many players to expect that--surely--the card would be nerfed.
Well, when GameSpot spoke to the game's designer Ben Brode about the issue in December, he seemed open-minded about the possibility but was generally against it.
"Ah, well, we did add some cards to Goblins vs Gnomes that are specifically good against Deathrattle decks," he said at the time.
"But The Undertaker is one of those cards that feels really powerful when he's hurting you, but if you draw him late in the game he's pretty terrible. We were paying attention to how people were using him, and looked at how we were playing against him, but we didn't feel he's nerf-worthy. He is very powerful, but it wasn't past the line for us. I think it's worth noting that Kolento [professional player Alexander Malsh] recently won a pretty large tournament and didn't use Undertaker in any of his decks."
However, following a few more weeks of soul searching, Blizzard has implemented a nerf to the card that seems very fair. The starting stats and mana cost is the same, but henceforth the Undertaker won't buff health from deathrattles, only attack. This still makes it a useful card, but with 2 health its dominance will likely not stretch too far into the game. Two-mana removal is not hard to concoct.
The nerf will come into effect in the next update, Blizzard said. As a nice bonus for those who pin their early-game strategies on Undertakers and deathrattles, the golden version of Undertaker can be disenchanted for its full cost for a limited time once this balance change goes live.
Writing on the Hearthstone forums, Blizzard community manager Christina Sims added: "We will continue to make balance changes to Hearthstone when we feel they are necessary in order to increase the variety of cards seen at all levels of play, with the goal of making Hearthstone a more fun and interactive game for everyone."
Ready for Action!
Okay, so if you've read this far it's pretty likely that you love Hearthstone, so here's something awesome for you.
If Undertaker dwells at the badass end of the one-mana spectrum, then the Goldshire Footman surely exists on the opposite end. A wave of joy sweeps through players every time they see the 1/2 taunt drop onto the board, as it's quite possibly the best indicator that you're up against an inexperienced player.
Goldshire, of course, feels a little neglected by this, which is why one awesome player has decided to chronicle his thoughts and feelings with an unofficial Twitter feed.
An example of the fine work is below. Follow him here!
I feel like even the slightest buff would make me way more playable. Like, this, for example: pic.twitter.com/E2BkIBiUMm— Goldshire Footman (@FootmanFTW) January 23, 2015
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