Hearthstone Ancient Of Lore Was Nerfed, Why Not Ultimate Infestation Too?

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Why is one allowed but not the other? Imgur

The Hearthstone meta after the release of the last expansion, Knights Of The Frozen Throne , has been a bit stale, which is why I was so excited when nerfs were announced for some of the game’s most troublesome cards. Druid and its nigh-invulnerable Jade Golems stomping all over the place has been nothing but a thorn in the side for players all around Azeroth. Nerfs to Innervate and Spreading Plague were also announced, but the card that’s received the largest backlash online wasn’t touched at all. Ultimate Infestation, the ultimate swing-card that gives you five armor, summons a 5/5 Ghoul, draws five cards, deals five damage and punches five Murlocs in the face, remained entirely safe.

According to the Developer Note, Team 5 had “discussed making a change to Ultimate Infestation since it feels bad to lose to...With the other changes we are making to Druid, ramping out Ultimate Infestation before turn 10 should happen less often, so we decided to leave it as is.” Players, myself included, were flabbergasted at the fact that this obviously overpowered card remained untouched. Many looked to past Hearthstone nerfs for a comparison, wondering why Ben Brode and his merry men would choose to let such an abhorrent brute unbalance the meta.

In early 2016, Druid was the most powerful deck in Hearthstone. The Force Of Nature into Savage Roar combo was too powerful to defeat and its card draw was just too powerful – most decks fell by the wayside to Malfurion’s prowess. Then, in April last year, Blizzard announced a series of nerfs to stabilize the meta, which botched both those cards so badly that neither of them see any competitive play to this day.

Ancient Of Lore, which was at that point the most consistently useful tool in the deck, had its card draw dropped from two to one. To Hearthstone casuals, that might not seem like a big deal, but it completely destroyed the treeman. Drawing two cards and getting a 5/5 body for seven mana was too good to pass up, a powerful turn no matter the situation.

In a post, Blizzard explained: “Drawing cards is powerful in Hearthstone, and Ancient of Lore easily found its way into nearly every popular Druid deck. We’d like Druid players to feel that other cards can compete with Ancient of Lore, so we’ve reduced the number of cards drawn from 2 to 1.”

It’s impossible not to look at Ultimate Infestation and Ancient Of Lore and wonder why one’s okay while the other isn't. There have been countless posts on the Hearthstone subreddit asking that same question, with no answer in sight. The best reasoning I can come up with is that Ancient Of Lore is a Basic set card, meaning that it will stay in the game forever. If the mighty oak wasn’t nerfed, it would be included in every Druid deck from now until the end of time. Ultimate Infestation has a two-year expiration date until it rotates out of Standard and be stuck annoying people in Wild. Because of this, Blizzard feels that nerfing Basic set cards like Innervate might serve as a better solution to the Jade Druid epidemic. We’ll have to wait until the nerfs go live sometime in the next couple of weeks to see if the developer’s were right all along and the Hearthstone community just likes complaining about things.

Why do you think Ultimate Infestation avoided nerfs? Don’t tell me, I want it to be a secret.

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