Is Grim Patron Too Strong? Blizzard Doesn’t Think So (EDIT: OOps!)

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Everyone who follows the Hearthstone scene knows by know that the Grim Patron deck is a tough nut to crack in many situations. The deck appears to have reached its final form, achieving a low enough curve that it is able to draw into win conditions in almost every matchup. Although the deck is one of the most popular, it does not have a particularly high win rate, 49.74%, according to the recent write-up by Kevin ”Monk” Dong, director of Hearthstone at Teamliquid. You can take a look at the stats that Monk released on Blackrock Mountain era tournaments here.

One of the many current variations | Source: Hearthpwn
One of the many current variations | Source: Hearthpwn

Various tier lists put out by professional gaming organizations have listed Patron as the #1 spot for 6 months running now, since the beginning of the BRM Adventure. The most popular lists for monthly reports on the tournament, and ladder meta are Team Liquid Power Rankings, and the Tempo/Storm Meta Snapshot. Each utilizes a pool of professional Hearthstone players to rank decks, depending on the current meta in tournaments, and high-level ladder play. The fact that Grim Patron has remained prominent in the professional, and ladder meta, despite being fairly non-interactive is a bit of an oddity judging by Blizzard’s past record of nerfing archetypes that become too strong, such as Miracle Rogue. It’s hard to say if Patron will receive a nerf based on that criteria alone, however.

According to a recent interview with Japanese site 4gamer.net, the executive producer of Hearthstone, Hamilton Chu, stated:

I don’t think it’s quite as good as the players think it is. It’s very popular, but I don’t think that its popularity is necessarily proportional to its strength. It’s a deck that’s used often in tournaments, so I think that because they see it so often the players believe it to be that strong. However, we take what you say very seriously, so we’ll continue to watch Patron Warrior closely and decide what to do from here.”

The translated transcript of the interview can be found on Liquidhearth, here.

Various professional players have commented on their desire, or expectation of a nerf to Grim Patron Warrior. Though not all want to see the deck vanish from the scene, opinions are polarized, just as they are within the community at large. In an interview with PC Gamer, popular Twitch streamer Sebastian “Forsen” Fors had this to say:

PC Gamer: If you could delete any one card from Hearthstone, what would it be?

Forsen: Warsong Commander. For obvious reasons.”

During a Hearthstonely interview with David “Shoop” Steinberg, of Team vS, when asked about his feelings on the rise of the deck, he added:

…I think a tournament format other than no-ban Conquest would allow players to bring a wider variety of decks and shake up a stale tournament metagame without requiring a nerf to a good-but-not-overpowered deck.”

Top Decks 2 - Warsong and PAtron

It is clear that the Grim Patron Warrior will be sticking around for a bit for better, or worse. The low dependence on randomness, other than card draw, means that the deck will continue to maintain a strong presence in the tournament circuit, as well as all levels of ranked play. It is hard to play, and difficult to master, but that won’t stop anyone who has the patience to stick with it, and learn the optimal plays. Until next time, Hearthstone fans, don’t give up out there!

Dave Eaton

An avid Hearthstone player after the game released. When he isn't writing, he can be found sipping on coffee, enjoying some EDM, and gaming with his girlfriend. Don't let him fool you, she's better than he is.

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