So the last round of PBE changes reduced this item's damage from 50 to 40, and dropped the cost by 300 or so. A clear nerf. It lost damage and the gold refund was not equal to the damage loss- double nerf.
However, in the most recent change- the damage was changed from 40 to 45 and now builds out of long sword x2 instead of pickaxe. No mention of whether the 75 gold difference is reduced in overall cost or just added to the combine (I'll assume the latter for sure).
Either way, I think I like that version better than the live version atm. Not that Pickaxe was ever really hard to get- but I would often find myself having 400 gold to spend on my first or second back and choosing a longsword rather than saving for pickaxe. Not a bad thing, but does delay the item and leaves you with a longsword until you turn it into a brutalizer or hexdrinker as probably a 3rd item.
All in all- I'd gladly trade 5 damage for an easier build path and ~300 gold cheaper item, seems to me it just went from nerf to buff- anyone else?