One of Hearthstone’s most reliable (and frustrating) combos has found itself in Blizzard’s crosshairs. In a pair of tweets last night, senior game designer August Dean Ayala revealed that the Priest class’ Divine Spirit/Inner Fire pairing could soon be no more.
The combo itself is pretty simple. Divine Spirit is a two-mana spell that doubles a minion’s health. That’s always useful, of course, but when paired with Inner Fire – a one-mana card that changes a minion’s attack to be equal to its health – it’s easy to manufacture a pretty terrifying minion in a single turn.
Now, however, it looks like Blizzard is looking into ways to kill off the combo for good. In a tweet last night Ayala told fans that “we have some plans to remove [Divine Spirit], but it comes with some other sweeping changes. If we end up doing that (a big maybe) it will probably be around set rotation timeline because we don’t feel like it’s as much an issue for current Hearthstone as it is for future Hearthstone.”
Most of the time, cards rotate in and out of standard competitive play on a two-year basis, but Hearthstone also has a set of ‘basic’ cards that form the underlying core of a number of common decks. Both Inner Fire and Divine Spirit fall under that category, but it’s worth noting that Blizzard isn’t in the habit of cutting cards from the classic set.
Yeah, I hear you. I don’t love DS and Inner Fire as a forever win condition but it’s clearly easier to play around than Patron was.
— August Dean Ayala (@IksarHS) September 24, 2019
Fortunately, the change isn’t likely to completely screw over Priest decks. The class has a number of other ways to buff a minion’s health which should mean that Inner Fire maintains at least some of its relevance.
It’s also worth noting that there’s no guarantee that the card will be cut at all, as Ayala says the potential decision is still “a big maybe.” A significant nerf is another possibility, but we’re unlikely to find out either way until the Year of the Dragon draws to an end in April.