Hi everyone! DWD just dropped another balance patch and I'm here to share with you my thoughts on it. First and foremost, all of these balance changes seemed to be targeted at constructed rather than draft, suggesting that DWD thinks that draft is in a pretty good place. This is a sentiment that I share; I feel as though this is probably the best and the most enjoyable draft format so far. As such, I'm happy that DWD is mostly leaving it alone and letting us continue to mess around in this amazing draft format. Without further ado, let's look at the individual cards and how the balance patch has changed the cards' ratings.
Safe Return - Now 2TJ, instead of 1TJ
New rating: 0.5 (Previously 1.5)
Previously, this card was a marginal playable, especially if you have units with powerful summon or ultimate effects, such as Herald of the Parliament or Archive Curator. Being able to bounce them for 1 power and re-use their ability is situational, but potentially great, and 1 power is a lot less than 2 (hence why you would run it over Teleport and Temple Tactic). However, now that this card basically costs the same, you will always want to play Teleport or Temple Tactic (if possible) for the added flexibility. Moreover, pure bounce spell effects have also dropped in importance because of the appearance of Sandglass Parma in Set 4, which can provide the bounce effect bundled together with other benefits. Given that most decks don't want too many bounce effects (since it's a card disadvantage play), I think Safe Return is going to be relegated to the almost never played tier of 0.5.
Xenan Lifespeaker - Now gets +3/+3 from its Ultimate, instead of +3/+1
NEW Rating: 4.0 (previously 3.5)
I've gone on about how Xenan Lifespeaker was a great card previously here, and this buff makes it even better. This card is great early, and even later on, a 5 power 4/4 is not embarrassing at all. This is a solid buff to the card, and I think this is easily the second best non-rare in the set now (behind Changeestik). However, for P1P1, I would still take Veteran Strategist over it because of the flexibility that Veteran Strategist provides and that Veteran Strategist can go into every deck.
Zuberi, Outlands Warlord - Now 4/5, instead of 3/5
New rating: 4.0 (Previously 4.0)
While this is a slight buff to Zuberi, the effects aren't that huge. A 4/5 can attack into some boards that a 3/5 can't, but at the end of the day, the two statlines aren't significantly different enough to push Zuberi up a tier.
Acquisitive Crow - Now 2/2, instead of 2/1
New rating: 4.0 (Previously 4.0)
Despite staying at the same rating, the buff to Acquisitive Crow is definitely significant. Going from 1 health to 2 health helps Acquisitive Crow to survive a lot of common 1 damage pings (Tempers and Snowballs from various sources) and also attack into common flying walls like Archive Curator. This buff means that it is much more likely that you will be able to get multiple 1-cost spells out of it. The main reason that Acquisitive Crow retains the same rating was that it was one of the weakest 4.0 previously, and with this buff, it's probably around the middle or higher end of the 4.0 tier.
Well, this was a pretty short and sweet article since none of the changes are really hugely impactful for draft and it seemed mostly targeted around nerfing problematic cards in constructed and buffing some fringe playables. Out of all the buffs, Acquisitive Crow is definitely the one I'm happiest with because it is a card that I enjoy playing for fun. Draft is also in a great place right now, so I'm glad DWD isn't trying to fix what isn't broken. What do you think? As always, let me know your thoughts on the Reddit Thread!
Until the next balance patch,
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