is clear, but it will not change much the CL meta at the moment.
The key issue that should be addressed (imho) is the ability for UD to put an expo without getting punished and the enormous harass potential of the beetles on Level 2. That’s why instead of hp reduction, it makes sense to consider:
(1) Increase mana cost of the beetles from 45 to 50 mana.
(2) Tie the burrow upgrade for fiends with the beetles’ burrow ability. That is, beetles can get burrow ability at T2, once burrow ability for fiends is researched.
The appearance of CL in the meta is great to see and hopefully it will not be overnerfed. However, with CL as a first pick, the Dreadlord became less popular hero (skellies got nerfed and beetles are so cheap and so good). That is why, future patches should rather aim to slightly nerf beetles power and slightly buff ghouls that are in a good synergy with the Dreadlord.
Several options to suggest (don’t be too judgeful, just brainstorming):
(1) Reduce cannibalise research time from 30 to 20 seconds. Possibly increase the cost from 75 to 100 gold. Make the upgrade increase movement speed (say +10%) for ghouls and abominations. Adjust (nerf) ghoul frenzy’s movement accordingly.
(2) Give ghouls a passive ability granting X% magic resistance (this partially resembles Elune’s grace) to make ghouls a bit more durable in the late game.
(3) Simply give ghouls +10 hp from the start of the game.
Ok. This is all wishful thinking, but some of it might be worth considering.
Thats nonsense. UD expo is getting canceled atleast 1-2 times by a competent opponent. UD is also losing Ghouls regularly, it cannot be avoided. UD is the race which is unable to play the game without going t3. No other race is forced into rushing t3 because dispel is not locked behind 3.5 for any other race.
We have seen UD expo for some time now, often times with Dreadlord in the past. UD gives up mapcontrol completely with this style because UD invests more into Ghouls, which are absolute trash units so UD cannot contest anything on the map.
We all hope so aswell. Before Beetles were buffed, they were the worst summons in the game. Do not forget this.
And this brings them exactly to the same stage, again. Its a huge over-nerf. Instead, a smaller nerf like -30 HP on level 2 and -40 HP on level 3 is way more reasonable.
Their stats are weak but they still grant the same amount of exp. Crypt Lord will only be used for Impale again since the summons are too weak in actual fights.
Everyone has already learned how to deal with CL: Human just invests into Breakers exactly like it works vs Tauren Chieftain. Both melee strength heroes are completely shut down by Breakers. Orc just invests into a Spirit lodge with 1 Troll priest to spot burrow and load peons into burrows. Even in UD mirror the CL is figured out. DK + Dark Ranger second is able to snowball off of all the Ghouls using a Fiend focused army and create tons of Skeletons while also denying corpses.
The CL has been figured out. Nerfing beetles to anything less than 300 HP on level 2 and 450 HP on level 3 is too much. UD is in grave danger of losing the smallest hero variety which they ever had in more than 15 years.
Consider this: After the giant buffs to Clap and Stomp, it took more than 1 year to see even just small nerfs (1 second cooldown increase). Players already found a way with dealing with these heavily buffed abilities, just like they already found answers to the Crypt Lord. Giant nerfs of -55 HP on level 2 and -80HP on level 3 will the be nail in the coffin for Crypt Lord.
If Blizzard nerfs the CL exactly like PTR, he will be severely weakened and DK first will take over again.
The Dreadlord is never going to be a viable playstyle because he doesn’t synergize with the rest of UD at all. Vampirc Aura is useless for UD (unless you have a Cryptlord with beetles, ironically).
Ghouls are trash units, every other unit and hero they go up against has been buffed in some shape or form. Archers + 15 HP, Headhunters +30 HP and bonus range, bonuse attack speed on Riflemen and all these giant buffs to Stomp, Clap, Alchemist with armor reduction + focus fire. 340 HP with 0 armor is laughable. The game is essentially ranged armies vs ranged armies as most melee units have big problems against ranged units + hero spells.
My suggestion: Players must be able to cancel cannibalise. That would open up a lot more micro opportunities, for Ghouls and Aboms during fights. Ghouls need higher stats, name HP and especially +2 armor. Otherwise they do not benefit enough from unholy aura, statues, coils and potentially vampiric aura healing. They are weak to burst damage and ranged damage volleys or spells render them useless.
+10 HP from start of the game would be a start, but they need something like +40 HP and +2 armor to be truly useful army units. An increase of +10 gold cost is reasonable. This +40 HP and +2 armor could be achieved by being gained from cannibalise.
Maybe +2 armor, +10 Hp at start, +30 HP with cannibalise and being able to cancel cannibalise.
Or the power creep has to be reduced. Archers got a flat +15 HP out of nowhere, along with +33% buff to Marksmanship. Headhunters got +30 HP. Ghouls are complete trash compared to the status that these units reach with t3.
Changes for Frost Wyrms are missing completely. This unit will forever stay useless without being more accessible, having greater attack range against the mass piercing damage.
Necromancers are still the worst designed unit in the game. They need a rework similar to the last one. Put unholy frenzy on master tier (reduce HP drain slightly), move cripple to first spell, move raise Skeletons to adept. Make Cripple an actually good spell which lasts longer than 20 seconds and doesn’t cost 80 mana.
The skeletons also need stat changes. Maybe much higher mana cost but much great Skeleton stats. The “stats/space occupied on the map” is one of the worst ratios in the entire game. A skeleton army is laughably bad and instantly countered by Aoe dispel. Its much better to simply have Fiends instead, which have higher “stats/space occupied on the map”.