HearthStone

Why Mor’Shan Watch Post needs to be removed from Arena.

From Dean Ayala/Iksar's Community QA,, he said that they're going to discuss Mor'Shan Watch Post in Arena, and says they don't want to get into a habit of banning cards from Arena because they're too good. I wanted to address this point to say why Watch Post is not just being banned because it's too good.

In Arena, there's been a few cards that have been banned from Arena after being in there for a period of time. The list is Vicious Fledgling, Mind Control Tech, Dragonmaw Poacher, and the Death Knight Hero Cards (and subsequently all future hero cards). All of these cards were banned for the same reason: They single-handedly won games on their own with no ability to play around these cards. With Fledgling, if you couldn't answer it on T3 and it got Windfury, it would snowball and win games on its own. With MCT, it forced you to play sub-optimally around the small chance the card would go off and steal your strongest minion. With Poacher, it punished you heavily for drafting/playing dragons, the key of Descent of Dragons. With Death Knights, if they were played when the game was even, it generally meant you lost the game due to the opponent having an OP hero power while you had a mediocre one.

A key thing with all these cards is, they were not that great. In terms of winrate from HSreplay or Heartharena statistics (based on a card's winrate from their stats), none of these cards would've been above an 80, outside maybe 1 or 2 Death Knights. They were not banned because they were the best cards, they were banned because they were completely unfun experiences. They were banned because they made your deck and your interactions meaningless. There are probably hundreds of cards in Hearthstone that were better than these cards that were not banned, because as annoying a, say, Spikeridge Steed was, you could interact with the board to either prevent it from happening, or react afterwards to remove the minion, even if at a disadvantage. Even a Twin Tyrant, while a massive swing card in the late game that was as good as any class card, could be interacted with by spreading out or making trades to stay above 4 health to try to minimize the effect, and was not banned.

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With Mor'Shan Watchpost, it is legit as good as Twin Tyrant when it comes down to winrate. Going by HSreplay Premium stats, the average class that plays it on T3 has a 67.5% winrate, which is insane. The only cards among all classes that have a higher played winrate on curve are only the extremely strong Demon Hunter late-game cards (Performers, Cycle, Coilfang, Void Hound, Inquisitor). And, like many of the other banned cards, it is an oppressively powerful card that there is little interaction with. In Arena, you don't have control over your deck. You can't guarantee to have weapons or spells that generate minions on T3 to set up a clear on it. You can't guarantee having an overwhelming board lead such that you can remove it. Your choices in the early game are extremely limited, so if this comes down on 3, or coined out on 2, there is no way to interact with it. You either play minions on curve to be eaten by the 2/2 grunts, or you slow down to hopefully play something that can deal with it later. Or you flat-out lose the game due to 1 card. When a single card comes down that early, and makes your deck irrelevant, makes any choices you or the opponent could've made irrelevant, and wins games just by being played, it has no business being in Arena, especially where losses matter so much.

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Also, to address a point from Dean, Blizzard was already removing cards from Arena for all intents for being too powerful. They're called Microadjusts. Coilfang/Cycle/Performers in Demon Hunter have been around for a long time. They were microadjusted down to the point that they basically did not exist in Arena, to the point they appeared less than Legendary cards in drafts, and are only back because Microadjusts were reverted for the new year, hence DH being so much better than every other class. The same thing with Sap and Kidnapper for Rogue, or Highmane for Hunter. These cards were so problematic to class winrates that they were effectively removed from the drafting pool. They even went out of their way during Darkmoon Races to removed Blackwing Poacher/Dragnaros from the Arena pool, because they recognized how strong the card was. And to be honest, given a choice between Dragnaros and Mor'Shan Watch Post, I'd easily rather have Dragnaros around because at the very least it comes out T9 and you can either kill the opponent before it comes out or answer it after it comes out.

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