Brainstorming Baku and Genn changes.

Play Mode Discussion
It's really hard to find a way to balance these two without fundamentally changing what they do. I am curious what ideas others may have to address them. Here is one I just thought of as an example and I will include several reasons why I think it makes sense:

Swap Genn and Bakus effects with one another! It almost makes too much sense (in my mind anyways).

For one thing, it makes more sense thematically. Genn's upgraded power would also be even and Baku's odd.

The deck restrictions haven't been enough to slow these two down, but the awkwardness of mana cost would be an actual drawback that makes up for the consistency of the upgraded hero power. Let's use palidan as an example. With this swap, the cost of making 2 1/1's on turn 2 means you don't get to have a 1 drop. The power of the silver hand is kept in check because there are more turns where you are left floating mana.

Another thing it accomplishes would be separating powerful tools from these decks. Let's look at warrior for example. Tank up being even separates the powerful sustain from the classes best aoe removal options. This forces the deck to adjust it's strategy and not just be a reactive one.

I think swapping Genn and Bakus effects might be the best way to balance the cards without killing them or changing them fundamentally. More turns with floating mana makes the consistency of the hero power feel less oppressive. It also makes for more game to game variance. As smashing the hero power is less likely to be the best play you may have every turn. It also could be a refreshing change-up midway through their lifecycle where experimentation and new decks may be formed.

This is just my idea for how to keep Baku and Genn decks from being stale and dominating tier 1. What ideas do you guys' think might work?
Baku and genn aren't all that.

Like...

The hero powers are as metagame dependdant as any card but they are all in 2 cards.

That is why judge genn and baku as 2 cards is unfair.

They are all that 18 upgraded hero powers and how many of they you would put as meta defining?

They have in fact a big impact but if X or Y hero power is overpowered it is X or Y hero power that needs a nerf.
Unfortunately, Baku the Mooneater and Genn Greymane will likely necessitate more drastic and unprecedented action.

There is no doubt that the concept was interesting and the idea itself fun, but both Team 5 and the playerbase completely underestimated just how consistently prevalent and powerful these cards would be.

They completely warp the metagame around them because of their potential. Even if the meta Hero Powers are not inherently too powerful when upgraded at the start of the game, they are almost always worth the deckbuilding sacrifice in some classes due to the cards that happen to exist. This is true in Wild due to the synergies that exacerbate their consistency and potential power, and in Standard due to their unique ability to compete with other meta-warping cards from the Year of the Mammoth (and, no doubt, will be due to a lack of alternatives that are as good after rotation).

We have already seen their effect to the detriment of multiple otherwise fair cards, with some even being nerfed harder than usual to prevent them from being used in certain Even or Odd decks.

Yet nerfing Genn and Baku is not very feasible: weakening certain Hero Powers is inelegant and raises other balance issues; making them start in one's opening hand raises pseudo-consistency and polarity for the worse, and is only a temporary solution that invites more problems; raising their Mana cost and lowering their stats just makes them more low-roll in the worst possible when drawn; and nerfing them in any other meaningful way is impossible, since they will either be good enough to make certain decks work or virtually useless.

As such, there is probably no fitting solution for the long-term health of the game besides outright banning them from competitive play. Just remove these cards (and the supporting ones like Murkspark Eel and Glitter Moth) from PvP modes and refund all players for them. This could be along the lines of the Hall of Fame: Arcane Dust equal to the crafting cost of the maximum number that can be used in a deck, favoring Golden copies.

The cards would be fun and potentially powerful options in friendly challenges and in PvE, but they have no place staying in the game if they continue to all but destroy it.
Personally here is the balance change to them I've been advocating since hearing it from someone here:

Genn and Baku are in your starting hand (cannot be mulliganed).

You now have a dead card in Mulligan phase and this, in theory, will hurt the consistency of your early turns with the trade-off being the upgraded hero powers. I'd like to see how the decks would do with that trade-off being added.
just something for thought, Justicar Trueheart was the same ability and didn't see play in paladin much at all, its just those early hero powers snowballing.

if it just made a 2/2 recruit it would at least be countered by rogue and mage upgrade heropowers
Baku the Mooneater

Start of Game:

If you deck has only odd-Cost cards, upgrade your Hero Power.

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Baku the Mooneater

Start of Game:

If you deck has only odd-Cost cards, upgrade your Hero Power, in 50% of the matches.

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And Geen Greymane doens't need a nerf. And I'm not sure if that is the best nerf to Baku.
02/08/2019 03:58 PMPosted by Hegemonkey
Let's use palidan as an example. With this swap, the cost of making 2 1/1's on turn 2 means you don't get to have a 1 drop. The power of the silver hand is kept in check because there are more turns where you are left floating mana.

And then you realize that even paladin exists and it is all about buffing the board, which would be totally broken with the silver hand. You would also have to go through every class and make sure nothing else would be broken by the switch.

The best I've seen is turning them both into quest-likes. They start in your hand, must be played to activate the effect, and aren't a minion. Starting a card down and essentially skipping turn 1 add a little extra detriment to the decks these cards are in. Genn and Baku's stats usually don't matter, but playing them isn't the worst thing in the world either. By completely removing the minion portion, it is one less threat in the deck.

If you want to keep them as a minion, you could make them quest like, lower their cost to 3 and 4 or so and make their effect a battlecry to delay the effect a few turns. It's still consistent, it just eases some pressure in the very early game
02/08/2019 10:11 PMPosted by SquidLips
It's still consistent, it just eases some pressure in the very early game


I think regardless of how they are fixed. This is one of the biggest issues that needs to be addressed. The snowball starts are too easily achieved as is.
Outright destroy them and create new cards to change them.
It is not healthy for standard.
IT IS NOT HEALTHY FOR WILD.
That should make a very alarming case when something is that bad for wild
I couldn't possibly find a way to keep Baku and Genn faster than Justicar Trueheart, and still balanced.

Most obvious thing would be (keeping mana costs and stats):

Baku
Start of Game: Draw this card
Battlecry: If your deck has only odd costed cards, upgrade your Hero Power

Genn
Start of Game: Draw this card
Battlecry: If your deck contains only even costed cards, upgrade your Hero Power

Still, Genn decks wouldn't have turn 1 options (except 0 Mana drops) and this would cripple them. Genn could be kept the way it is.
Warlock is the class which Genn made the most oppressive, but without DK, Spellstones, Defile and Hooked Reavers that is going to be way less problematic.

Baku would have turn 1 and 3, the Upgrade in hand ready to be played turn 9, and this kind of slowdown would be very crippling too but I can bet several players would be glad to see it.
Baku itself (this version, the Battlecry one) could be reduced to 7 mana if it's necessary
I've actually thought they should combine the deck building restrictions they have with the Reno one. I.e. your deck must contain no duplicates AND be all Odd\Even.

This would both nerf their power levels by making them play slightly worse cards, while also helping to combat the repetitive play patterns they create that make them dull to play with and against.

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