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Update 7.1 to introduce Floors to Ranked Ladder, nerfs to Small-Time Buccaneer and Spirit Claws

by Sasha Erfanian Feb 14
Thumbnail image courtesy of Blizzard Press

Hearthstone's next patch will make major changes to the game, including nerfs to Small-Time Buccaneer and Spirit Claws as well as floors to the ranked ladder, according to a Reddit post from Blizzard community manager Christina "Zeriyah" Sims.

Small-Time Buccaneer, a card credited for the dominance of the "Pirate Package," will have its health reduced from two to one, making it easier to remove from play. The +2 attack buff it receives when its owner has a weapon equipped has not been changed.

"The combination of Small Time Buccaneer and Patches the Pirate has been showing up too often in the meta," Sims wrote. "Weapon-utilizing classes have been heavily utilizing this combination of cards, especially Shaman, and we’d like to see more diversity in the meta overall. Small Time Buccaneer’s Health will be reduced to 1 to make it easier for additional classes to remove from the board."

Spirit Claws, a one-cost Shaman weapon, has had it's mana-cost increased to two. According to Sims, the card paired too well with Bloodmage Thalnos and the Wrath of Air Totem for its cost.

"Spirit Claws has been a notably powerful Shaman weapon. At one mana, Spirit Claws has been able to capitalize on cards such as Bloodmage Thalnos or the Shaman Hero power to provide extremely efficient minion removal on curve. Increasing its mana by one will slow down Spirit Claws’ ability to curve out as efficiently."

RELATED: Developer QA details possible Ranked Ladder, Arena changes and the state of Pirates

The Ranked Ladder Floors will make it so that once a player reaches Ranks 15, 10, and 5, they can no longer go below that rank regardless of numbers of losses. Sims says the Hearthstone teams the change will reduce Ladder Anxiety and make players more willing to play non-meta decks.

"When a player achieves Rank 15, regardless of how many losses a player accumulates within the season, that player will not de-rank back to 16," she wrote. "We hope this promotes additional deck experimentation between ranks, and that any losses that may occur feel less punishing."

While no exact date was given, Sims wrote that the patch will be implemented at the end of the month.

Sasha Erfanian is in Charrrge now! Follow him on Twitter.

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