Hearthstone’s Living Graveyard – Dead cards that you can still play

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Blizzard recently detailed a number of changes to problematic cards that are causing a headache for players.

While many players have been calling for changes for a while there was one particular nerf that appears to be a lightning bolt from the gods. That change was to Corridor Creeper and the change from five attack damage to two-attack is a nerf that says one thing – this card is way to overpowered.

Today we’re going to look at a few Hearthstone cards that suddenly disappeared from competitive play once Blizzard changed them.

Welcome to the Hearthstone’s Living Graveyard.

Warsong Commander

You might not know it but there was a time when Warsong Commander gave every single minion on the board “Charge”.

The card was then nerfed to only give minions with 3 or less attack Charge and all seemed fine.

Charge forward! Or don’t charge at all, whatever.

The trouble with the Commander only came with the release of Curse of Naxxramas and the Neutral minion – Grim Patron.

The tools given to Warrior allowed players to execute massive one-turn-kills (OTKs) using a Warsong Commander, a Frothing Beserker (or two) and a Grim Patron. When combined with Whirlwind effects and Grim Patron the amount of damage that could be generated in a single turn made Warrior nearly unstoppable.

The card was eventually nerfed into the ground. Today the card grants Charge minions one additional attack point but its not really good value for the mana when there are better plays.

Molten Giant

The Molten Giant is the most expensive card in Hearthstone with a 25-mana cost to put it on the board.

Thankfully the card reads “Costs (1) less for each damage your hero has taken” so you could get it out for zero mana, provided you are at 5 HP.

A different take on the phrase “friendly fire”.

There was a time however when this Giant only cost 20-mana.

During that time it was not uncommon to see a Warlock worming its way to 10-hp in a bid to play a Molten Giant (or two) for zero mana and proceed to play a Defender of Argus to make a 9/9 taunt minion (or two).

Blizzard noticed that many Molten Giant was forming the basis of a number of decks especially in the controlling Handlock archetype.

To counter this the mana increase was implemented and now Molten Giant is rarely seen outside of Wild decks that use Naga Sea Witch to pull off some horrifying plays. Horrifying for your opponent that is.


How do you kill an Undertaker?

That was a question that plagued Tavern goers for months until Blizzard weakened the the card.

While Undertaker is not available in Standard play its nerfs are too great not to mention in this round-up.

A one-mana 1/2 minion is decent but what pushed Undertaker over the edge was its text – Whenever you summon a minion with Deathrattle, gain +1/+1.

The potential this had for “abuse” was quickly discovered and it wasn’t long before Undertaker was in 25% of decks on the Ranked ladder during a time when Deathrattle minions were out in full force.

In 2015 Blizzard nerfed Undertaker by removing the HP gain effect and that was the end of the Undertaker. May that mistake never be repeated.

Post-nerf this reward wasn’t even worth the dust we got from disenchanting it.

Starving Buzzard

Drawing additional cards in Hearthstone is a powerful mechanic. So powerful in fact that Blizzard has to be very careful about how cards that draw cards are designed.

Nothing reveals this more than Starving Buzzard.

This buzzard may never feed again.

Originally the card only cost two-mana with 2/2 stats and the text “Whenever you play a Beast draw a card”. The word play was changed to Summon so that if you were to play a Savannah Highmane the Hyenas it generates upon death would draw you two cards.

The card was then changed to have the stats 2/1 and while it was a weaker minion the card draw it offered up was immense.

So eventually Blizzard stepped in and the nerf hammer was dropped on the Buzzard. Today the card costs 5-mana to put into play and it’s stats make it nearly impossible to consider putting into a deck.

Small-Time Buccaneer

Small-Time Buccaneer faced a similar fate to that of Corridor Creeper.

A few months after the release of the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan this tiny pirate faced the wrath of Team Five’s ban hammer.

Originally Small-Time Buccaneer had 1/2 stats with the text “Has +2 Attack while you have a weapon equipped” and it only cost 1-mana.

As it turned out the pirate was far too overpowered what with so many cheap weapons available to classes that were already aggressive.

So just before we journeyed into Un’Goro Blizzard changed the Buccaneer to only have one HP point making it easier to kill. The result was an immediate removal of Small-Time Buccaneer from a number of decks and today the once harrowing calls of “Who goes thar?” are just a memory.

Once a brave pirate seen around the coasts of Turn One, Buccaneer has faded into obscurity.

Special mentions

Yogg Saron, Hope’s End

Once a Hail-Mary card for spell heavy decks, Yogg Saron quickly fell out of favour with deck builders when the card was changed so that it stopped casting spells when it was removed from play. A few decks still run the Old God but the results are not nearly as consistent as they were when the card was released.

Gadgetzan Auctioneer

This goblin has still found a way into a number of Rogue (and more recently Priest) deck archetypes but it might’ve been in more decks were it not for a mana-cost change. At one stage Gadget (as he is known by players) only cost 5-mana to play.

Granted the card is still being played because the card draw it can offer up is immense but we think a lot more decks would be searching for deals had Gadget been a bit cheaper.

The Caverns Below

At first the Rogue Quest seemed impossible. Playing four minions with the same name seemed like a hard ask until Tavern Goers started playing with the card.

As it turned out it was far too easy to complete the Quest and Blizzard increased the number of minions with the same name to five.

The card has seen some play in recent times thanks to the introduction of Sonya Shadowdancer in Kobolds & Catacombs but it’s not nearly as prevalent as it was following its release.

Millhouse Manastorm

Just… What is the point of this card Blizzard?

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.