Friday, January 30, 2015

Dr. Boom's Check-Up: Treatment

In the last post, I talked about just how overpowered Dr. Boom is... and it seems Kripparian agrees.

So, how could Blizzard fix Dr. Boom?


One easy answer would be to increase his mana cost (as they did with Sylvanas). Boom at even 8 mana would be good and pretty comparable to (if not still better than) Onyxia in most respects for the mana.

If you wanted to keep Boom at 7-mana, you'd have to nerf his abilities. Lowering his attack is out of the question, as the main counter to D.B. wouldn't work. Less health might be a good idea, but then you're looking at an easy kill for a 7-cost minion.
Pictured: token minions that
are better than many real minions.

Perhaps the answer lies in the Boom Bots. Kripp's right - if those things were cards by themselves, they'd see play in tons of decks.

Removing their attack would sort of turn them into Nerubian Eggs. That seems alright at first, but activating them would be more difficult as there's a Dr. Boom in between them stopping your Dire Wolf or Argus combos.

Another fix would be to lower the damage on their deathrattles, which seems to be the heart of the issue in the first place. As it stands, these guys can do up to 5 damage each which is kind of ridiculous.

I think making the Dr. a 7/6 and turning the damage down on the Bots' deathrattle (say 1-3 damage each) would end up as a nice compromise... or just make Boom cost more mana to play and keep everything else as is.

In any case, it will likely be a while until we see any changes to the card. Again I feel Kripp's correct when he mentioned Blizzard wanting to "fill their quota" for GvG sales, meaning they probably won't nerf the most powerful card in the game (for its cost) just quite yet.

Surviving the Boom

Assuming Dr. Boom stays as-is (at least for the time being), you're going to have to deal with him. Here's a small list of cards you might consider playing to keep Boom in check.
  • Big Game Hunter - While it doesn't deal with the Bots, 3 mana to remove Boom himself and put a 4/2 on the board is at least something.
  • Hex - If you weren't playing both copies of this before as a shaman, you should be.
  • Hunter's Mark - Removing Boom shouldn't be hard with this. The Bots are still going to wreck you though. Unleash The Hounds might be good too since an opposing Boom means extra hounds for you.
  • Mind Control Tech - Considering Boom increases the opponent's minion count by three, getting this to hit should be fairly easy. Even stealing a Bot isn't horrible.
  • Mirror Entity - Will your opponent have 7 mana next turn? This might snag you a copy of their 7/7 (sorry, Bots not included).
  • Nerub'ar Weblord - If there was ever a time to try playing these guys, now might be it. I highly doubt they'll actually be worth it though as it should be fairly easy to remove a 1/4 on turn 7+ by killing it with a minion.
  • Polymorph - See Hex above. Some mage decks can get away without having Poly at all, but I wouldn't recommend it in this meta.
  • Shadow Word: Death - Same as Hex/Poly. Run two copies, no questions asked.

Should I Play Dr. Boom?

If you have him, you might as well (ab)use him while he's still overpowered. I don't recommend going out of the way to craft/buy him though*, because people are teching against him as it is and it's going to get worse. An alternative is playing minions that can't be BGH'd, as that is the main card people are using to counter Dr. Boom. Their removal is still going to be good and MC Tech's a non-issue when you're playing big minions that don't come with their own entourage.

*UPDATE 3/22/15 - I understand that Blizzard has made a comment stating they have no intentions to change Dr. Boom anytime soon. In light of that, I advise everyone to obtain/craft him ASAP unless you insist on playing non-BGH targets.

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