Balance Patch 2.1

Hi, after burning legion winning the last two regular tournaments without a single loss it’s probably time to rethink the current balance patch
Last discussion: balance patch 2.0

How about either banning burning legion completely or to limit the maximum number of cards to be drawn from a garrison to, say, three per turn?

Next tourny would have an experimental format, so we could have a ban list if people are into that (fall 2018 was the last time we tried a ban list).

But banning Burning Legion isn’t a long-term solution, and tbh might not even be a short-term solution. I could easily see [Fire]/Peace/X working with another strong combat hero like Rook, Calamandra, or Grave.

I agree that Garrison is what we should be looking to nerf. Limiting the number of cards drawn is worth considering, but it might be simpler to just up its cost to 4.

That said, I’d be interested to see how Burning Legion performs against Miracle Grow, with or without the current nerf to MoLaC (which I still think is excessive). But I’m not personally interested in playing either side of that matchup :sweat_smile:

Difficult to say what I would nerf and I have no either answer. Burning legion has 3 advantages coming together:

  1. The P1 start in P3 with 2 lobbers, which almost always kills the her and often tech1.

  2. The meta thread, since Oni is the best meta target and Jaina not the second best but good enough.

  3. The red starter with lobber peace engine. So you always use alle cards you teched and it a direct threat due to all the haste.

Agree with Dreamfire, you can make similar decks. Fire Peace Feral and Blood Peace Demon are probably not as good as Burning legion since they don’t have all advantages above, but bring some other nice extras.

So what to nerf:

  1. Unfortunately it must be garrison, athough I don’t think it is too strong in most other decks. I would start with the extra gold
  2. Vandy is probably still to powerful and should later mid or maxband

Garrison at 4 cost is very hard to use. I think that’s too big of a nerf, especially to mono blue.
Limiting the draws from it is interesting, and I think worth considering.

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What about if Vandy couldn’t fetch her ultimate?


I think limiting Vandy to fetching non-ultimate spells is a nerf worth exploring @charnel_mouse but kinda separately from the “Burning Legion” crux issue, which I agree is “cheap haste + garrison”. That you can slam Lobbers, Mad Man and Rambaster into your opponent, while DS generates runes and you don’t lose any card advantage, is the “cheat code” here.

What if Garrison drew a card for every unit you that doesn’t have haste? No drawing if it has haste, does that fix the issue? Is that too far? It may mean the Battle Suits nerf is no longer needed AND it helps with the Nullcraft super power other Purple Peace decks had

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Yeah, sure. It just occurred to me as a change that could go decently within monocolour, which is something Garrison changes usually struggle with.

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I know I haven’t been very active in the balance changes project, but recently I’ve been reflecting on my experiences playing Blue, and would like to suggest the following:

Blue Starter

  • Jail: $3 → $2


  • General’s Hammer: $3 → $1

Reason being, I find Jail to only be even worth considering in the most niche of scenarios at its current price (e.g. as a counter to Zarramonde’s ability) at $3 when the opponent can just time its removal when it contains a $0 or $1 unit, resulting in a value swing to the person who didn’t play Jail. To be fair, though, I haven’t invested much in experimenting with self-removal of Jail in conjunction with Censorship Council, but considering the added cost and difficulty of removing one’s own Jail (no Blue card even allows for this), it’s hard to imagine this combo being OP even with a less expensive Jail.

For General’s Hammer, I’m thinking about both the use cases of destroying a 3 HP starter/tech I building card, as well as two casts to take down a tech building, add-on, or tech II building card. For a building card, if that card and General’s Hammer cost the same, the Peace player can at best break even if he casts the Hammer the turn after the building was played, before the building could produce any value. If the Hammer is more expensive, it’ll always be a value loss for the Peace player, which can be devastating when Blue is struggling to compete for efficiency in the early game. If the Hammer is less expensive, then it would be an efficient counter… enough so to warrant an opponent at least factoring in the possibility of General’s Hammer being a tech choice before deciding to play the building card. For buildings with 4-6 HP, casting 2 General’s Hammers at $1 each would be $2 + 2 cards, roughly $4 total value… which would still be inefficient to cast on most add-ons and all tech buildings. Really expensive tech II building cards would lose out in the trade, but I think having them so pricey is meant to make them a more risky investment to balance their power, so I think this is fine. Comparing a $5 + 1 card for a Slow-Time Generator vs. $6 and 2 cards for 2x Hammer just reinforces how crippling an investment in General’s Hammer at $3 is. Also, comparing General’s Hammer’s $3 + 1 card for 3 damage to Wrecking Ball’s $0 + 1 card for 2 damage just reinforces the idea that $1 is an appropriate price point for the Hammer.

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Jail, like rich earth, is worth 2.5 gold.

General’s Hammer is literally a card that can self remove jail. It’s also probably too good at $1. $2 should be fine.

Even though I agree that Jail is pretty weak, I would think twice before buffing it (or anything in the Blue starter) in light of mono-blue’s dominance against mono-purple.
The other thing about buffing Jail is that it has a lot of potential to be un-fun. Notice also how Slow-Time Generator is the most expensive building in the game.

It’s really strange that General’s Hammer is strictly worse than Ember Sparks. There is no other pair of teched spells in the game with that relationship. That said, I’d start by buffing it to $2. You don’t actually need 2 Generals’ Hammers to break a building, you just need a Traffic Director or Spectral Aven in play.

I think Jail and Hammer to 2g are fine changes FWIW

Any feedback on this thought?

The combo of Garrison + haste does seem like the biggest issue, doesn’t it? The wording might be a bit clumsy, but I’d say it’s worth testing.

Well, the peace engine for old PPA then will have gotten almost no nerf at all. Yes, the gunship nerf also hits this deck, but I’m really not sure whether this is enough. I tend to say we should leave the BS nerf the way it is, but I’m not completely set on it.
wrt Burning Legion: yes that plus Vandy not being able to fetch her ulti spell night be enough to take the top notch from this deck.

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I think these are both fairly elegant fixes for Vandy and Garrison.

By far Vandy’s most obnoxious quality is that she adds a reliable game-warping meta threat to any deck with no opportunity cost. IMO this is the main reason she is so dominant in the meta. It’s an absolute no-brainer to choose her over other beefy/cheap heroes.

The Garrison nerf is great in that it doesn’t affect mono-blue at all. The main issue will (presumably) be how it interacts with abilities/effects that grant haste to units on arrival or in play e.g. Drakk maxband, Nimble Fencer, Fox’s Den Students. I presume we would be wanting to allow those combos to work as normal, since we would want to reward non-broken combos?

If we were trying to Sirlin-style the text it would be something like:

Whenever you play a unit without haste from your hand, draw a card.

But I think this needs the printed vs gained ambiguity clarified. The following sounds much clunkier but is clear on how it should work:

Whenever you play a unit without printed haste from your hand, draw a card.

Of much less importance than its effect on balance, I think this change also makes sense for an actual army Garrison:

  • Its hard to encourage recruitment if its known your new recruits are instantly meatgrindered
  • The bureaucracy of signing up means you can’t immediately join the front lines
  • You need to have recruits stick around to help with further recruitment

I love the flavor justification here @thehug0naut. I disagree w/ the printed distinction though, it’s fine for Drakk maxband and Fencer buffs to be nerfed as well, there’s still plenty of room for Garrison to kick butt without those things gaining haste also drawing cards.

The harsher nerf would be eliminating haste all together, like “Whenever you play a unit from hand, draw a card. Your units can no longer have the Haste ability”

Agree 100% on Vandy btw. She might even need a counter buff for losing the meta fetch? Give back the resist or reduce the Meta cost to 5 maybe? Probably not lol :slight_smile:

So let’s start getting a running list together:

Running proposal for “Forum Standard” Rules Addenda v 2.2 (CAPS23 Edition)

In addition to the 2.1 changes

Vandy Midband changes to “①, :arrow_heading_down:, Discard a card → Fetch any non-ultimate Demonology spell from your codex, reveal it, then put it in your hand.”
Flagstone Garrison Ability changes to " Whenever you play a unit without haste from your hand, draw a card."
Jail Cost reduced to 2
General’s Hammer Cost reduced to 2

What else? Anyone want more Troq buffs? Thoughts on reverting any 2.1 changes that seem like overkill in hindsight? (Battle Suits specifically I kinda miss, but maybe that’s just me. It did still see quite a bit of play)


I am firmly against jail going to 2. I think if you play some matches with it you will understand why very quickly

Also perhaps Lich’s Bargain should only be 5 damage, but it’s hard to gauge because no-one has played it since the changes.

Good suggestions!

I like the meta one. I anway always thought that this was strange because similar things (Jurisdiction or the dragon) are always excluding ultimate spells. I would not give her anything back, still the best hero…

I like frozen’s second garrison’s suggestions more. You can draw but lose haste. Then this strategy can still be played but is much weaker, especially without meta thread. If you are not allowed to draw I think it is unplayable.

Bs nerf is completely independend from garrison and I think it must stay. There are several strategies to utilize this one. I played some in a test game against dreamfire.

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Regarding Troq buffs. Let’s do a bigger step and make him interesting. Midbands at 3 maxband at 5! Maybe you can create a too strong deck with him, but let’s find out.

My own 2g on proposals so far:

  • Vandy midband / Meta nerf is good.

  • Garrison not drawing cards for hasted units is good. I’m willing to try the harsher no-haste-for-you version as well.

  • General’s Hammer buff to $2 is good.

  • Jail should not cost $2. If we really want to buff it, maybe give it 1 extra hp. EDIT: did a search for “Jail (” in these two threads to find games where it was played. 5 wins in 6 games.

  • No strong opinion about Lich’s Bargain, Battle Suits, or Troq’s levelling.

A couple of other thoughts:

  • MoLaC is currently over-nerfed. I’d walk it back and instead either reduce it to +3/+3, or change it to require tapping (so it can’t be activated the turn it’s played).

  • Buffs to Intimidate: change it to -4/-1 or make it last until your next upkeep (or both).

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I concur. I don’t think cheaper Jail will help in Blue vs Black but will instead boost early game Blue vs Red, Green and Purple.

How about we give Reputable Newsman Can’t be sacrificed ?

Right now Blue has to get early game decisions perfectly right vs Black because of the twin pincer of Deteriorate and StW, the former of which always hits Newsman first due to its 0 attack. I can kind of justify it head-canon wise due to the “Streisand Effect”(suppression of news usually makes people pay more attention to it) which makes martyring a journalist usually fairly counterproductive.

This all said, Jail could probably use 4HP so I’d potentially be in favour of that buff.

Generals Hammer for 2g is good. Blue also has other overcosted and/or lackluster spells (Community Service, Jurisdiction, Hallucination, Dreamscape, Mind Control) but I don’t think fixing them becomes relevant until we do something about Blue starter to make it more viable. At least Peace is played more generally so easier to test.

One other change I like for Blue is to tweak Building Inspector to:

Opponents must pay you 1g to build or rebuild a building

Blue struggles to generate board value from its pre-counters and this puts the gold directly into the hands of the Blue player. It also increases the utility of Building Inspector in the late game if Blue has destroyed a tech building. It probably also helps Tax Collector actually steal some gold as opponents are way more averse to just handing you gold.


I’ve not tested Troq levels but I think it would fit his growth potion flavour to level like Grave: midband at L3 and Maxband at L7. When I played yomi I always thought of him as “grappler Grave” with his strong blocks, good reversals and huge super.

I think it’s important he levels in some way differently to River to preserve some contrast between them but having him be a big body early would really help his usability. Doubly true if we swap his mid and maxband to really make him function like a neutral Grave.

I don’t know if I would add a -1HP to Intimidate but how about:

Exhaust a unit or hero and give them -4ATK until end of turn. Draw a card.

This makes it a clear parallel to bootcamp and makes it more like his Yomi war stomp. I think it fits flavour wise and gives him some fun utility for cracking through a patrol.


MoLaC nerf does seem over harsh but I haven’t tested it. We need to have skilled Miracle Grow testing to investigate it further.

Edit: Took out some unnecessary bloat and re-ordered

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