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For the card changes in Battlegrounds, see Patch changes
For the card changes in Duels, see Duels/Card changes.

Card changes are the alteration of cards from their previous designs. When the need arises, Hearthstone's designers make card changes that get implemented within patches. Normally, cards which have been nerfed will be made disenchantable for their full crafting cost, for a short adjustment period of 2 weeks. Other card changes, such as buffs will not feature such refund periods.

This page lists all card changes made in Hearthstone, to date.

Only intentional design changes are listed here. For bugs and bug fixes, see Bugs. Major changes to game mechanics can be found on the pages Game Mechanics Updates and Rule changes. Minor changes to card text and underlying mechanics can be found on individual card or patch pages.

Official explanations of card changes featured in patch notes are included here to provide context for the changes. Changes are listed by patch, in date order. For a list of changes to specific cards, see individual card pages.

For a summarized overview of the history of card changes from 2014-2020 in Hearthstone, see the section below: #History.

Card change protocol[]

Card changes interface screenshot

Card changes are displayed to the player when logging in for the first time following the changes

Card changes are usually foreshadowed by official announcements, stating the nature of the coming changes, and offering some explanation for each change.

Implementation[]

Changes are put into effect through patches, with the new versions of the cards immediately replacing the previous versions. Players' deck lists are usually unaffected, but the cards within those decks will be updated to the new versions, which can surprise unaware players when the new version of a card is drawn in a match. This includes in the Arena, where altered cards will change mid-run.[1]

Because card changes are put into effect through patches, players have a small amount of control over when the changes will be implemented for them. Since client-side patches will not be applied until the player logs out of the game, and players will only be matched with other players using the same version of the client, players will not find their cards changing in the middle of a match, or mid-session without first logging out. However, if the card change was applied by a server-side patch, the card will be able to function differently in its changed form in the middle of a game, which may surprise the player.

Significant changes to cards are usually announced to the player upon loading the client for the first time following the changes. Patch 5.0.0.12574 introduced a special interface for this purpose, displaying the new versions of the relevant cards with the changed elements highlighted.

Disenchanting[]

Card change disenchant value screenshot

Cards can be disenchanted for full refund value during the adjustment period for nerfs.

See also: Dust refunds

Following card nerfs, if a changed card is craftable, and the change was not a simple technical adjustment, that card will then be made disenchantable for its full crafting cost, for a short period, usually two weeks. This is designed to allow players who have spent dust crafting the card to disenchant it at no cost, minimising the disruption caused by such changes to existing cards. After the adjustment period ends, the card's disenchantment value will be restored to its usual amount.

This adjustment is put into effect through increasing the normal disenchanting value for the changed cards. Because of this, the extra Dust is provided whether the card was crafted before the card was changed, or afterwards.[2] As a result, players are able to craft and later disenchant these cards (within that period) without penalty, allowing them to try the cards in their decks before deciding whether to keep or disenchant them. However, since almost all eligible card changes are nerfs, this is generally less desirable than might be expected.

The increase means a regular changed card can be converted to any other card of the same rarity, at no cost. It also means that a golden changed card can be exchanged for several cards of the same rarity or even higher rarity. For players more interested in completing their regular collection than collecting golden cards, but not wishing to lose the card altogether, this means they can convert a golden changed card into a regular copy of the same card, as well as regular copies of several other cards. This makes card changes a particularly lucrative time for players who have gained golden copies of the changed cards through rewards such as the Highest Rank Bonus chest, provided they are not too attached to the golden quality.

2023[]

Click 'Expand' to view more details

Patch 27.0.3.182995 (2023-08-08)[]

Dev Comment: This is a smaller, numbers-only adjustment intended to address negative play experience outliers from the first few days of the new expansion. There will be another patch a couple weeks after this one where we will have more data points to make larger adjustments to the meta, if needed.

Murder at Castle NathriaSolid Alibi

  • Old: [2 Mana]
  • New: [3 Mana]


TITANSLab Constructor

  • Old: [4 Mana]
  • New: [5 Mana]

Patch 26.4.3.178555 (2023-06-16)[]

Dev Comment: The meta is in a pretty healthy place right now and a lot of players seem to be enjoying the post mini-set meta, so we're not trying to be too disruptive with this round of changes. We're making some smaller adjustments to tone down a few emerging meta outliers and to give a little more power to some of the mini-set cards that have not gotten much attention.

The following cards have been adjusted to be less powerful:

March of the Lich KingThe Purator

  • Old: [5 Mana]
  • New: [6 Mana]


Festival of LegendsDisco Maul

  • Old: [2 Mana] 2 Attack, 2 Durability
  • New: [3 Mana] 3 Attack, 2 Durability


March of the Lich KingFeast and Famine

  • Old: [1 Mana]
  • New: [2 Mana]


Dev Comment: Pure Paladin has been a strong deck for a while now. After this latest patch, we saw a jump in the deck's power to the point where it is now a dominant power outlier at all levels of play. Purator is the best card in the best deck, by every measure, so it was an easy target for change. We expect it to still see play after getting toned down a little. Disco Maul has been a card we've had our eyes on for a while, and this felt like the appropriate time to act on it. Finally, we've seen a lot of power come from the Horn of the Windlord – Feast and Famine combo, but we can see that Horn of the Windlord isn't a problem in Shaman, so we're adjusting the other half of the combo to make it a little slower overall and less flexible on non-combo turns.

Voyage to the Sunken CityLady S'theno

  • Old: 2 Attack, 4 Health
  • New: 1 Attack, 4 Health


Dev Comment: There's been a growing negative sentiment about Spell Demon Hunter, especially at the top levels of play, and particularly with the class closing out games in the same way for a long time. There were a few choices for us on which card(s) to adjust, but Lady S'Theno seemed like the best target to have the biggest impact on play experience and player sentiment.

March of the Lich KingHope of Quel'Thalas

  • Old: 4 Attack, 2 Durability
  • New: 3 Attack, 2 Durability


Dev Comment: Big Hunter has emerged as another power outlier after the mini-set additions of Hollow Hound and Star Power. We think the deck is fun and cool, and we want to see players continue to enjoy it, but we also don't want it to become too powerful after the other adjustments this patch, so this is a small preemptive adjustment to shave a little bit of its power.

Festival of LegendsPozzik, Audio Engineer

  • Old: 5 Attack, 4 Health
  • New: 4 Attack, 4 Health


Dev Comment: Statistically, Pozzik is the highest winrate neutral legendary in the game and has been criminally underplayed. As we saw more and more decks trying the card, it became clear it could use a little nudge.

LegacyCrimson Clergy

  • Now banned in Wild.


Dev Comment: Crimson Clergy is a key enabler in a combo deck with play patterns beyond what we want for the format.

The above craftable cards will be eligible for a full dust refund for two weeks following Patch 26.4.3 (there is both an uncraftable version of Crimson Clergy that all players have for free as part of the Core Set, which can't be disenchanted, and a version of Crimson Clergy in the Legacy Set that can be crafted or disenchanted).

The following cards have been adjusted to be more powerful:

Dev Comment: These mini-set cards were the ones that had the most room for adjustment.

Festival of LegendsRhythmdancer Risa

  • Old: [5 Mana]
  • New: [4 Mana]


Festival of LegendsFiddlefire Imp

  • Old: 3 Attack, 2 Health
  • New: 3 Attack, 3 Health


Festival of LegendsRemixed Dispense-o-bot

  • Old: [4 Mana] 4 Attack, 4 Health
  • New: [3 Mana] 3 Attack, 3 Health

Patch 26.2.2.176014 (2023-05-19)[]

Dev Comment: Overall, the meta is in a pretty good spot right now, with lots of competitive options for players across almost every class. This is our opportunity to some adjustments that hit a few power outliers and play experience outliers. We're also including a few buffs that we hope will give players a few more neutral options and open up some space for the weaker classes.

The following cards have been adjusted to be less powerful:

Murder at Castle NathriaSinful Brand

  • Old: Brand an enemy minion. Whenever it takes damage, deal 2 damage to the enemy hero.
  • New: Brand an enemy minion. Whenever it takes damage, deal 1 damage to the enemy hero.
  • Dev Comment: Demon Hunter is one of the few power outliers in this meta, with several competitive archetypes. Sinful Brand Spell Demon Hunter is a standout within that class in both power and negative play experiences. This change is intended to significantly reduce the power and prevalence of that card.


March of the Lich KingFelscale Evoker

  • Old: 5 Attack
  • New: 3 Attack
  • Dev Comment: This is a standout card in the newly emergent Big Demon Hunter archetype. Its powerful effect makes it one of the strongest cards in the deck. It doesn't also need to be a threat in its own right. We think it's really cool that Big Demon Hunter has finally become a competitive archetype, and we expect that the archetype will continue to see play after this slight adjustment.


Voyage to the Sunken CityPredation

  • Old: [3 Mana] Deal 3 damage. Costs 0 if you played a Naga while holding this.
  • New: [2 Mana] Deal 2 damage. Costs 0 if you played a Naga while holding this.
  • Dev Comment: The Lady S'Theno-Predation combo has been used across many Demon Hunter decks for a long time. This change is intended to be a smaller adjustment across the entire class.


CoreBattlefield Necromancer

  • Old: 3 Health
  • New: 2 Health


March of the Lich KingBlightfang

  • Old: [3 Mana]
  • New: [4 Mana]
  • Dev Comment: Both these Death Knight cards were buffed last expansion, which was necessary when the class was struggling. However, our current balance philosophy is that balance changes are fluid adjustments over time, not decisions set in stone. Unholy Death Knight is now the strongest deck on the ladder, so it needs to be toned back down. We're not reverting the prior buffs, but trying different adjustments to weaken it slightly, particularly in its matchup versus other aggro decks, where the deck is disproportionately powerful.


March of the Lich KingHigh Cultist Basaleph

  • Old: [4 Mana]
  • New: [5 Mana]
  • Dev Comment: Aggro Priest is in a good spot right now at all levels of play, but especially at lower levels. This reversion of a prior buff is intended to be a small adjustment to put it back in line with other decks. We expect this deck, and this card in it, to remain competitive.


March of the Lich KingAnub'Rekhan

  • Old: Battlecry: Gain 8 Armor. Your next 3 minions this turn cost Armor instead of Mana.
  • New: Battlecry: Gain 5 Armor. Your next 3 minions this turn cost Armor instead of Mana.
  • Dev Comment: Anub'Rekhan allows for a notably negative play experience that warps the meta around it. This change does not prevent Druid players from making their big flashy plays, but it does mean that more setup is now required. We expect this to mean fans of the deck can still play it, but its overall power, playrate, and influence on the meta will lessen.


Murder at Castle NathriaScribbling Stenographer

  • Old: [6 Mana]
  • New: [7 Mana]
  • Dev Comment: Miracle Rogue is not a power outlier at most levels of play, but it remains strong and prevalent at higher levels of play. This is a minor adjustment to reflect its current power level and its potential power level after the adjustments to the other cards changed in this patch.


The above craftable cards will be eligible for full a full dust refund for two weeks following Patch 26.2.2.

The following cards have been adjusted to be more powerful:

Festival of LegendsSymphony of Sins

  • Old: [6 Mana]
  • New: [5 Mana]
  • Dev Comment: Players really love playing this card, but it is not very powerful. This change is to make it a little more palatable to play this exciting card.


Voyage to the Sunken CityFrom the Depths

  • Old: [4 Mana] Reduce the Cost of the bottom five cards in your deck by (3), then Dredge.
  • New: [3 Mana] Reduce the Cost of the bottom five cards in your deck by (2), then Dredge.
  • Dev Comment: Warrior has gotten more options, more power, and more play after our recent adjustments, but players still hunger for a slower Warrior. We're making this adjustment to a proven powerful card that we expect will see play again after this change.


Festival of LegendsChorus Riff

  • Old: Draw a minion. Give it +2/+2. Finale: Play your last Riff.
  • New: Draw a minion. Give it +3/+3. Finale: Play your last Riff.
  • Dev Comment: We recently made a few adjustments to the Riff package, and those adjustments were successful in raising the playrate and power of the Riffs package. But now Chorus Riff is the weakest of the Riffs, and all the Riffs need to be good for the package to be good. This is a slight nudge to make that whole package a little stronger.


Murder at Castle NathriaDemolition Renovator

  • Old: Battlecry: Destroy an enemy location.
  • New: Tradeable Battlecry: Destroy an enemy location.


The WitchwoodRotten Applebaum

  • Old: 4 Attack, 5 Health. Taunt Deathrattle: Restore 4 Health to your hero.
  • New: 4 Attack, 6 Health. Taunt Deathrattle: Restore 6 Health to your hero.
  • Dev Comment: Demolition Renovator has never seen much play, so we wanted to make it feel a little better as a tech card option. Rotten Applebaum is getting a decent buff to add an option for slower decks that want to target aggressive strategies.


United in StormwindPandaren Importer

  • Old: [3 Mana] 2Attack, 4 Health
  • New: [2 Mana] 1 Attack, 3Health
  • Dev Comment: Pandaren Importer was previously adjusted due to an unintended play pattern that was made possible by the smaller card pool in Standard. Now that it is in Wild, that concern no longer exists and the prior change can be reverted.

Patch 26.0.4.173781 (2023-04-27)[]

The following cards have been adjusted to be less powerful:

Festival of LegendsRowdy Fan

  • Old: Battlecry: Choose a minion. It has +4 Attack while this is alive.
  • New: Battlecry: Choose a minion. It has +3 Attack while this is alive.
  • Dev Comment: Rowdy fan has gotten a lot of attention in combination with Lady S'Theno, a powerful combo at high levels of play. But even outside of that combo, it's a card that is just a bit too efficient at its rate in a wide variety of decks.


CoreOverseer Frigidara

  • Old: 5 Attack, 6 Health
  • New: 3 Attack, 6 Health
  • Dev Comment: Death Knight has several strong decks, and Frost Death Knight stands out as the strongest of the bunch. We wanted to shave a bit more power off it by bringing one of its best cards more in line with the rest of the deck.


Kobolds & CatacombsTwig of the World Tree

  • Old: Deathrattle: Gain 10 Mana Crystals.
  • New: Deathrattle: Refresh your Mana Crystals.
  • Dev Comment: Twig of the World Tree is the best card in a really good deck leading to some frustrating play experiences in Wild right now. The interaction between Twig of the World Tree and Sphere of Sapience didn't exist when Twig was first printed, so this change is to curb this card's power level and bring it back closer to the original play pattern.


Rowdy Fan and Twig of the World Tree will be eligible for full dust refunds for two weeks following Patch 26.0.4. Overseer Frigidara is a Core Set card, so it can't be crafted or disenchanted.

The following cards have been adjusted to be more powerful:

Festival of LegendsRock Master Voone

  • Old: [4 Mana]
  • New: [3 Mana]


Festival of LegendsVerse Riff

  • Old: [2 Mana]
  • New: [1 Mana]


Festival of LegendsBridge Riff

  • Old: [6 Mana]
  • New: [5 Mana]


Festival of LegendsPower Slider

  • Old: 1 Attack, 2 Health
  • New: 2 Attack, 3 Health


LegacyShield Block

  • Old: [3 Mana]
  • New: [2 Mana]


Saviors of UldumFrightened Flunky

  • Old: 2 Attack, 2 Health
  • New: 2 Attack, 3 Health


March of the Lich KingThori'belore

  • Old: Rush. Deathrattle: Go Dormant. Cast a Fire spell to revive Thori-belore! (Revives 2 times.)
  • New: Rush. Deathrattle: Go Dormant. Cast a Fire spell to revive Thori-belore!


Dev Comment: Warrior had two major themes this expansion, menagerie and riffs, and neither of them landed at the level we were hoping for at launch. We're buffing these Festival of Legends cards to give those themes a chance. We're also buffing some older cards to help support the class generally. Shield Block is a card we now hope can become a definitional, powerful card that represents what Warrior is about. We'll continue to monitor the class after these adjustments to determine if further changes are needed down the line.

Festival of LegendsInfinitize the Maxitude

  • Old: Discover a spell. Finale: Return this to your hand at end of turn.
  • New: Discover a spell. Reduce its Cost by (1). Finale: Return this to your hand at end of turn.


Festival of LegendsAudio Splitter

  • Old: [3 Mana] 4 Attack, 3 Health
  • New: [2 Mana] 3 Attack, 2 Health


Voyage to the Sunken CitySpitelash Siren

  • Old: [5 Mana] 2 Attack, 6 Health
  • New: [4 Mana] 2 Attack, 5 Health


Kobolds & CatacombsArcane Artificer

  • Old: 1 Attack, 2 Health
  • New: 1 Attack, 3 Health


Dev Comment: Mage got two major focuses in Festival of Legends: Light Show and DJ Manastorm. Audio Splitter and Infinitize the Maxitude can both fit into those decks, and others, so we hope these changes can help open up the class. As for the reversion to Spitelash Siren, what more can we say other than, “Naga, Spell, Naga...”

Festival of LegendsStranglethorn Heart

  • Old: [10 Mana]
  • New: [8 Mana]


March of the Lich KingHalduron Brightwing

  • Old: Battlecry: Give all Arcane spells in your deck Spell Damage +1.
  • New: Battlecry: Give all Arcane spells in your hand and deck Spell Damage +1.


Dev Comment: Like Infinitize the Maxitude, Stranglethorn Heart is underperforming. We're giving them both buffs because we want these Legendary spells to feel better to open and play. We're also buffing Halduron to give some help to the Arcane Hunter package that has never had a chance to shine.

Festival of LegendsJazz Bass

  • Old: 2 Attack, 2 Durability
  • New: 3 Attack, 2 Durability


Festival of LegendsAltered Chord

  • Old: Lifesteal. Deal 5 damage to a minion. Costs (3) less if you're Overloaded.
  • New: Lifesteal. Deal 6 damage to a minion. Costs (3) less if you're Overloaded.


Festival of LegendsFlowrider

  • Old: [2 Mana] 3 Attack, 2 Health
  • New: [1 Mana] 2 Attack, 1 Health


LegacyLightning Storm

  • Old: Overload (2)
  • New: Overload (1)


Dev Comment: The new Overload Shaman deck has not performed where we wanted or expected it to, so we're giving it help with all these changes. This change to Lightning Storm also puts it better in line with the other current 3-4 Cost AoE spells.

Festival of LegendsCrescendo

  • Old: [3 Mana]
  • New: [2 Mana]


Festival of LegendsCrazed Conductor

  • Old: [5 Mana] 4 Attack, 5 Health
  • New: [4 Mana] 3 Attack, 4 Health


LegacySiphon Soul

  • Old: [5 Mana]
  • New: [4 Mana]


Dev Comment: Warlock is one of the weakest classes in the game right now, so we're giving it some buffs to its new Fatigue package. We're also bumping up Siphon Soul, which we think should help the class a little more generally.

Festival of LegendsRecord Scratcher

  • Old: 2 Attack, 2 Durability
  • New: 3 Attack, 2 Durability


Festival of LegendsMC Blingtron

  • Old: 3 Attack, 4 Health
  • New: 5 Attack, 5 Health


Dev Comment: Rogue has some good decks right now, especially at higher levels. We didn't want to further strengthen those existing decks, but we did want to give them some more options from their Festival of Legends set.

LegacyHoly Nova

  • Old: [4 Mana] Deal 2 damage to all enemies. Restore 2 Health to all friendly characters.
  • New: [3 Mana] Deal 2 damage to all enemy minions. Restore 2 Health to all friendly characters.


Dev Comment: Right now, Priest has some powerful aggressive strategies. This adjustment is to make its other decks—control and Overheal—more enticing. While some players were hoping for more Overheal support in this patch, Overheal is an evergreen mechanic that we hope and expect to evolve over time, including through additional future card drops, instead of just adjustments to our first batch.

Madness at the Darkmoon FaireKiri, Chosen of Elune

  • Old: [4 Mana]
  • New: [3 Mana]


Murder at Castle NathriaDeath Blossom Whomper

  • Old: [6 Mana] 7 Attack, 6 Health
  • New: [5 Mana] 6 Attack, 5 Health


Dev Comment: Druid is one of the classes that has seen a lot of new Festival of Legends cards see play, and we're pretty happy with where its expansion set has landed. We're taking this opportunity to set a higher bar for the Core Set and to encourage more of the cool Deathrattle support the class got from Murder at Castle Nathria.

Patch 26.0.0.170824 (2023-04-11)[]

The following cards are being adjusted with Patch 26.0. Most of these adjustments are reversions to prior changes, in preparation for these cards rotating into Wild:

  • United in StormwindFinal Showdown (the first phase of the Demon Hunter Questline)
    • Old: Draw 6 cards in one turn.
    • New: Draw 4 cards in one turn.
  • Fractured in Alterac ValleyCaria Felsoul
    • Old: [7 Mana] 7 Attack, 7 Health. Battlecry: Transform into a 7/7 copy of a Demon in your deck.
    • New: [6 Mana] 6 Attack, 6 Health. Battlecry: Transform into a 6/6 copy of a Demon in your deck.
  • United in StormwindArcanist Dawngrasp (the final reward from Sorcerer's Gambit, the Mage Questline)
    • Old: Battlecry: For the rest of the game, you have +2 Spell Damage.
    • New: Battlecry: For the rest of the game, you have +3 Spell Damage.
  • Fractured in Alterac ValleyArcane Burst (Fractured in Alterac ValleyMagister Dawngrasp's hero power)
    • Old: Deal 2 damage. Honorable Kill: Gain +1 damage.
    • New: Deal 2 damage. Honorable Kill: Gain +2 damage.
  • United in StormwindGarrote
    • Old: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. Shuffle 2 Bleeds into your deck that deal 2 more when drawn.
    • New: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. Shuffle 3 Bleeds into your deck that deal 2 more when drawn.
  • Kobolds & CatacombsDark Pact
    • Old: Destroy a friendly minion. Restore 4 Health to your hero.
    • New: Destroy a friendly minion. Restore 8 Health to your hero.
  • United in StormwindThe Demon Seed (each phase of the Warlock Questline)
    • Old: Take 8 damage on your turns. (Each phase of the Questline)
    • New: Take 10 damage on your turns. (Each phase of the Questline)
    • The Demon Seed is no longer banned in Wild.
  • Forged in the BarrensStealer of Souls
    • Old: [6 Mana] 4 Attack, 6 Health. After you draw a card, change its Cost to Health instead of Mana.
    • New: [4 Mana] 2 Attack, 6 Health. The first card you draw each turn costs Health instead of Mana.
    • Stealer of Souls is no longer banned in Wild.
  • LegacyWarsong Commander
    • Old: After you summon another minion, give it Rush.
    • New: Whenever you summon a minion with 3 or less Attack, give it Charge.
  • Fractured in Alterac ValleyIce Revenant
    • Old: Whenever you cast a Frost spell, gain +1/+1.
    • New: Whenever you cast a Frost spell, gain +2/+2.

Patch 25.4.3.168129 (2023-03-02)[]

Dev Comment: Overall, this is a little bit of a lighter patch for Standard. We just had a big infusion of cards with the mini-set, so this patch is just looking to address two major outliers after that card infusion. We're excited to see where the mini-set lands after these adjustments.

For Wild, we've been discussing potential updates to the mode. In this patch, we're making changes to help curb some of the mode's negative play experiences. We don't view these changes as exhaustive, but we are working on some more long-term updates that we're excited to share once they are more solidified.

March of the Lich KingConstruct Quarter

  • Old: [3 Mana]
  • New: [4 Mana]
  • Dev Comment: Frost Death Knight is the best deck in Standard after the mini-set and Construct Quarter is the stand-out card in that deck and in other Death Knight decks. This change is both an acknowledgment of the strongest deck in the format and the strongest card in that deck.

United in StormwindGoldshire Gnoll

  • Old: [10 Mana]
  • New: [11 Mana]
  • Dev Comment: Before the rise of Frost Death Knight, Evolve Shaman was the biggest outlier in the format. This change is to keep Evolve Shaman in line after the adjustment to Construct Quarter. Goldshire Gnoll is an important enabler for the deck's bad play patterns, and this makes those play patterns slower and less powerful, while still allowing Evolve Shaman to play with the exciting new cards they got in the mini-set.

United in StormwindGrey Sage Parrot

  • Old: Battlecry: Repeat the last spell you've cast that costs (5) or more.
  • New: Battlecry: Repeat the last spell you've cast that costs (6) or more.


Knights of the Frozen ThroneSpectral Pillager

  • Old: [6 Mana] Combo: Deal damage equal to the number of other cards you've played this turn.
  • New: [5 Mana] Combo: Deal 2 damage to a minion for each other card you've played this turn.


Kobolds & CatacombsCataclysm

  • Old: [4 Mana] Destroy all minions. Discard your hand.
  • New: [5 Mana] Destroy all minions. Discard 2 cards.

Patch 25.4.0.165029 (2023-02-14)[]

The following cards had their minion types updated:

Patch 25.2.2.163976 (2023-01-26)[]

Dev Comment: In general, our recent patch cadence has been faster than it has been in the past. This can make it more painful when updates are a little slower, such as around the holiday break period. We're discussing as a team how to make the patch schedule work a little better for future holiday periods.

This is the first patch after the new March of the Lich King expansion where we have enough data to make significant and informed buffs to the new cards. Now that we have seen where the set's archetypes landed on a power basis, we know where we can safely inject a bit of power.

The following cards are being adjusted to be less powerful:

Fractured in Alterac ValleyWildpaw Gnoll

  • Old: Rush. Costs (1) less for each card you've added to your hand from another class.
  • New: Rush. Costs (1) less for each non-Rogue class card you've added to your hand.


Dev Comment: Dual-class cards that are Rogue and another class will not reduce the cost of Gnoll.  

Murder at Castle NathriaSinstone Graveyard

  • Old: Summon a 1/1 Stealthed Ghost. (Has +1/+1 for each other card you played this turn!)
  • New: Summon a 1/1 Ghost. (Has +1/+1 for each other card you played this turn!)


Dev Comment: We recognize that Rogue has been a little too good (for a little too long) at higher ranks. The change to the Gnoll/Maestra interaction is a major change to the class intended to substantially shakeup how it looks and plays, while the Sinstone Graveyard change gives opponents more of a chance to respond to the big Rogue pop-off turns.

United in StormwindFinal Showdown (the first phase of the Demon Hunter Questline)

  • Old: Draw 4 cards in one turn.
  • New: Draw 6 cards in one turn.


Murder at Castle NathriaSinful Brand

  • Old: [1 Mana]
  • New: [2 Mana]


Dev Comment: Demon Hunter is the other best performing class at high levels of play, so these changes are intended to adjust its power. Sinful Brand was chosen as a card to target because it punishes opponents for simply playing the game, a play pattern that we don't like being too powerful or prevalent.

March of the Lich KingShockspitter

  • Old: [3 Mana] 2 Attack, 2 Health
  • New: [4 Mana] 3 Attack, 3 Health


Dev Comment: Hunter is the top class at most parts of the ladder. When we changed Shockspitter to 3 mana in Patch 25.0.3, we expected that it would remain powerful after that change and debated whether we should just change it to 4 at that time. We decided that we didn't want to hit Hunter too hard all at once. Now that we've seen how the card performs at 3 mana, we think it can use another nudge—especially with the other top performers being adjusted down around it.

Path of ArthasGlacial Advance

  • Old: Deal 4 damage. Your next spell this turn costs (2) less.
  • New: Deal 4 damage. Your next spell this turn costs (1) less.


Dev Comment: Frost Death Knight is performing well right now, so we wanted to slightly shave some of its power to make sure it stays in line with the rest of the meta after the other changes this patch. This adjustment takes away a little bit of the deck's explosive burst-from-hand capabilities.

March of the Lich KingAstalor Bloodsworn (changes to all three phases)

Astalor Bloodsworn (phase 1)

  • Old: Battlecry: Add Astalor, the Protector to your hand. Manathirst (4): Deal 2 damage.
  • New: Battlecry: Add Astalor, the Protector to your hand. Manathirst (5): Deal 2 damage.


March of the Lich KingAstalor, the Protector (phase 2)

  • Old: Battlecry: Add Astalor, the Flamebringer to your hand. Manathirst (7): Gain 5 Armor.
  • New: Battlecry: Add Astalor, the Flamebringer to your hand. Manathirst (8): Gain 5 Armor.


March of the Lich KingAstalor, the Flamebringer (phase 3)

  • Old: Battlecry: Deal 8 damage randomly split between all enemies. Manathirst (10): Deal 16 instead.
  • New: Battlecry: Deal 7 damage randomly split between all enemies. Manathirst (10): Deal 14 instead.


Dev Comment: Players seem to really enjoy the power and flexibility of Astalor. At the same time, that power and flexibility has made Astalor a near auto-include in almost every deck in the meta. These changes are designed to bring Astalor's power more in line with what we want from a Neutral, general-purpose utility card like this. We still hope and expect that Astalor remains a powerful option for many decks so that players can continue to enjoy this card.

The above craftable cards will be eligible for a full dust refund for two weeks following Patch 25.2.2.

The following cards are being adjusted to be more powerful: CoreBattlefield Necromancer

  • Old: At the end of your turn, raise a Corpse as a 1/2 Risen Footman with Taunt.
  • New: At the end of your turn, raise a Corpse as a 1/3 Risen Footman with Taunt.


March of the Lich KingBoneguard Commander

  • Old: Taunt. Battlecry: Raise up to 6 Corpses as 1/2 Risen Footmen with Taunt.
  • New: Taunt. Battlecry: Raise up to 6 Corpses as 1/3 Risen Footmen with Taunt.


Path of ArthasUnholy Frenzy

  • Old: [3 Mana]
  • New: [2 Mana]


Dev Comment: Blood and Unholy Death Knight are both still underperforming in Standard. Death Knight is difficult to balance because individual cards within the class tend to be very strong, but we found a couple spots where we felt we could add a little bit of power to individual cards to make them more appealing.

March of the Lich KingWither

  • Old: [2 Mana]
  • New: [1 Mana]


March of the Lich KingBonecaller

  • Old: 2 Attack, 4 Health
  • New: 2 Attack, 5 Health


March of the Lich KingHaunting Nightmare

  • Old: 3 Attack, 3 Health. Deathrattle: Haunt a card in your hand. When you play it, summon a 3/3 Soldier.
  • New: 4 Attack, 3 Health. Deathrattle: Haunt a card in your hand. When you play it, summon a 4/3 Soldier.


March of the Lich KingHigh Cultist Basaleph

  • Old: [5 Mana]
  • New: [4 Mana]


March of the Lich KingDar'Khan Drathir

  • Old: [8 Mana]
  • New: [7 Mana]


March of the Lich KingInfantry Reanimator

  • Old: [6 Mana]
  • New: [5 Mana]


Dev Comment: Most Undead aggro decks have been underperforming compared to what we were expecting. Our changes here are to encourage exploration of those archetypes. We discussed potential changes to Undead Neutral cards, but opted to target the class cards this patch instead.

March of the Lich KingVengeful Walloper

  • Old: [7 Mana]
  • New: [6 Mana]


March of the Lich KingEnergy Shaper

  • Old: [4 Mana] 3 Attack, 5 Health
  • New: [3 Mana] 3 Attack, 4 Health


March of the Lich KingVast Wisdom

  • Old: [3 Mana]
  • New: [2 Mana]


March of the Lich KingTimewarden

  • Old: [4 Mana] 3 Attack, 5 Health
  • New: [3 Mana] 3 Attack, 4 Health


March of the Lich KingAsvedon, the Grandshield

  • Old: 3 Attack, 3 Health. Battlecry: Cast a copy of the last spell your opponent played.
  • New: 3 Attack, 4 Health. Taunt. Battlecry: Cast a copy of the last spell your opponent played.


March of the Lich KingDisruptive Spellbreaker

  • Old: 4 Attack, 5 Health
  • New: 4 Attack, 6 Health


March of the Lich KingLast Stand

  • Old: [4 Mana] Draw a Taunt minion. Double its stats.
  • New: [1 Mana] Draw a Taunt minion. Manathirst (7): Double its stats.


Voyage to the Sunken CityNellie's Pirate Ship (the Colossal appendage to Voyage to the Sunken CityNellie, the Great Thresher)

  • Old: Taunt. Deathrattle: Add Nellie's Pirate crew to your hand. They cost (1) less.
  • New: Taunt. Deathrattle: Add Nellie's Pirate crew to your hand. They cost (2) less.


Murder at Castle NathriaRemornia, Living Blade

  • Old: 4 Attack, 10 Health
  • New: 5 Attack, 10 Health


Dev Comment: Warrior seems to be the class that needs the most help in the current meta, so we're giving them the most buffs here. With Last Stand, we wanted it to feel more impactful and flexible, and we have a great new mechanic in Manathirst that gives us that kind of flexibility. This isn't the type of change that we normally do, but this was a good opportunity for us to make this card a little fresher and more interesting. We're also making a few changes to some older, exciting cards, to provide the class that boost it needs.

2022[]

Click 'Expand' to view more details

Patch 25.0.4.160910 (2022-12-19)[]

Dev Comment: Balance changes at this point in an expansion are made with early, somewhat limited data. For these changes, we like to address the most egregious power outliers and play patterns that we know we don't like—cards that we're likely to adjust down the line anyway as the meta evolves over time. We hope and expect to make some spicier changes in our next balance pass, once we have more data.

The following cards are being adjusted to be less powerful:

March of the Lich KingUnleash Fel

  • Old: Manathirst (4)
  • New: Manathirst (6)

Murder at Castle NathriaRelic of Dimensions

  • Old: [Costs 5]
  • New: [Costs 6]

Dev Comment: The Manathirst on Unleash Fel felt like a non-factor that was almost always on anyway when you wanted to play the card. This change makes the card more interesting and helps reel in a Demon Hunter power outlier. Relics are prevalent and powerful—we like them and didn't want to fully revert their power level, so we're just touching the strongest Relic to make it a little less explosive.

March of the Lich KingAnub'Rekhan

  • Old: Battlecry: Gain 8 Armor. This turn, your minions cost Armor instead of Mana.
  • New: Battlecry: Gain 8 Armor. This turn, your next 3 minions cost Armor instead of Mana.

Dev Comment: This Brann-Anub'Rekhan combo is not a big winrate outlier, but it represents a play pattern we don't like. We wanted to reduce lethality and remove the ability for the combo to let players dump their entire hand, while still allowing ramp strategies.

Murder at Castle NathriaBoon of the Ascended

  • Old: [Costs 4]
  • New [Costs 5]

Voyage to the Sunken CityPriestess Valishj

  • Old: [Costs 0]
  • New: [Costs 1]

Dev Comment: Boon Priest is not common or overly powerful at most levels of play, but it is the best performing deck at high legend and it wins through frustrating play patterns. We wanted to give it a couple small adjustments to make it more in line with the rest of the meta, especially after the other adjustments in this patch.

Murder at Castle NathriaNecrolord Draka

  • Old: [Costs 4]
  • New: [Costs 5]

Murder at Castle NathriaSinstone Graveyard

  • Old: [Costs 2]
  • New: [Costs 3]

United in StormwindSketchy Information

  • Old: [Costs 3]
  • New: [Costs 4]

Fractured in Alterac ValleyForsaken Lieutenant

  • Old: [Costs 2]
  • New: [Costs 3]

Dev Comment: There are two Rogue decks that we want to adjust this patch. Deathrattle Rogue is a deck that can do some cool, fun things, but it's too fast for most decks to deal with. We don't want to destroy these synergies, but we do want to slow them down. Similarly, Miracle Rogue makes for very bad play experiences when their pop-off turns are too powerful too soon. We think it is fun and thematic for Rogue to have those turns where they play a bunch of cards and get rewarded for it, but we want to slow that turn down a little.

Murder at Castle NathriaPrince Renathal

  • Old: Your deck size and starting Health are 40.
  • New: Your deck size is 40. Your starting Health is 35.

Dev Comment: Renathal had its run. He's the most played card in the game and the meta has warped around him for a long time, so we are making this change to open the meta back up. At the same time, we know he's one of the most popular cards we've ever made, so we wanted to preserve his core effect as an option for his fans.

Murder at Castle NathriaTome Tampering

  • Now banned in Wild.

Dev Comment: Discard is a thematic Warlock archetype with many tools over the years. Those tools have combined into a disruptive force in the Wild meta. Tome Tampering is the powerful enabler that puts this deck over the format's power level; banning that enabler will let players continue to use those thematic discard Warlock tools, but at a level that is more in line with the rest of the format.

The above craftable cards will be eligible for a full dust refund for two weeks following Patch 25.0.4 (Signature versions of Anub'Rekhan and all versions of Prince Renathal are not craftable).

We're taking a hard look at what systemic changes we want to make to Signature cards in the future, and have not finalized those decisions. This time, players who have the Signature version of Anub'Rekhan as of December 20th at 10am PST will receive a grant of 1600 Arcane Dust at login, later that week. Things may work differently in the future. We will share more information on those future plans once they're finalized.

The following cards are being adjusted to be more powerful:

Dev Comment: Death Knight is the cool new class that many players want to try out, so we're making some adjustments to open them up a little and give them more toys to tinker with. Like with the nerfs, these buffs are designed to be higher confidence; we specifically looked for low playrate Death Knight cards that seemed primed for upgrades. We plan to take another look in the next balance pass.

Path of ArthasCorpse Bride

  • Old: Battlecry: Spend up to 8 Corpses. Summon a Risen Groom with stats equal to the amount spent.
  • New: Battlecry: Spend up to 10 Corpses. Summon a Risen Groom with stats equal to the amount spent.

Path of ArthasMalignant Horror

  • Old: At the end of your turn, spend 5 Corpses to summon a copy of this minion.
  • New: At the end of your turn, spend 4 Corpses to summon a copy of this minion.

March of the Lich KingMeat Grinder

  • Old: Battlecry: Shred a random minion in your deck to gain 3 Corpses.
  • New: Battlecry: Shred a random minion in your deck to gain 4 Corpses.

March of the Lich KingBlightfang

  • Old: 3 Attack, 3 Health
  • New: 3 Attack, 4 Health

CoreStitched Giant

  • Old: [Costs 10]
  • New: [Costs 9]

CoreYmirjar Deathbringer

  • Old: 3 Attack, 3 Health
  • New: 4 Attack, 3 Health

CoreRime Sculptor

  • Old: 3 Attack, 3 Health
  • New: 4 Attack, 3 Health

CoreObliterate

  • Old: Destroy a minion. Your hero takes damage equal to its Health.
  • New: Destroy a minion. Your hero takes 3 damage.

Path of ArthasBlood Tap

  • Old: Give all minions in your hand +1/+1. Spend 3 Corpses to give them +1/+1 more.
  • New: Give all minions in your hand +1/+1. Spend 2 Corpses to give them +1/+1 more.

Patch 25.0.3.160183 (2022-12-09)[]

Card Updates

Dev Comment: We set up this balance window to address any changes we wanted to make immediately after the expansion launched. Shockspitter is exactly that type of card, ending games sooner, more easily, and more consistently than we intended. Sire Denathrius is a card we have had our eyes on for some time, but we wanted to see how he performed in the new expansion first. With a couple days of data, we can see that it is still a very popular and polarizing card, warping early meta development in a way we want to address before the World Championship (December 16-18).

This balance update was reserved for only the most standout cards immediately after expansion unlock. We’ll continue to keep our eye on how the metagame develops and make any further adjustments needed in our next balance window, reserved for a few weeks from now.

Murder at Castle NathriaSire Denathrius

  • Old: Lifesteal. Battlecry: Deal 5 damage amongst enemies. Endlessly Infuse (1): Deal 1 more.
  • New: Lifesteal. Battlecry: Deal 5 damage amongst enemies. Endlessly Infuse (2): Deal 1 more.


March of the Lich KingShockspitter

  • Old: [Costs 2]
  • New: [Costs 3]


The above craftable cards will be eligible for a full dust refund for two weeks following Patch 25.0.3. As a reminder, regular Sire Denathrius was a free card and can’t be crafted or disenchanted.

Patch 25.0.0.158725 (2022-11-29)[]

Card Updates

Murder at Castle NathriaTheotar, the Mad Duke

  • Old: [5 Mana] 3 Attack, 3 Health
  • New: [6 Mana] 4 Attack, 4 Health

Dev Comment: The release of a new class is an incredibly exciting moment for Hearthstone players everywhere, and a moment that we want to be as enjoyable and accessible as possible. Knowing the importance of this new class release, our plan with Theotar was to test out a smaller change to the card (from 4 to 5 mana in Patch 24.4.3) before potentially moving for a larger change if necessary. Theotar's play rate did not drop as far as we would have liked it to with the smaller change, and is still higher than we would like it to be leading into March of the Lich King. Our aim with this second change is to lower the card's play rate to ensure that the release of Death Knight is as fun as possible for players with a wide variety of interests and experience levels.

Fractured in Alterac ValleyIce Revenant

  • Old: Whenever you cast a Frost spell, gain +2/+2.
  • New: Whenever you cast a Frost spell, gain +1/+1.

Dev Comment: The nerf to Ice Revenant might appear out of place, but it feels like a necessary one in a world where Death Knight has access to multiple cheap Frost spells (like Horn of Winter). In testing, we were frequently seeing Ice Revenants at game-ending sizes as early as turn 4, and the card was simply overshadowing many of the new and exciting things in the set.

The following cards got the Undead minion type:

Patch 24.4.3.152904 (2022-10-13)[]

Dev Comment: The meta is relatively stable right now, with just a few outliers. Our goal with this patch is to reduce frustration and give weaker decks a bit more breathing room by reducing the overall power level of Hunter.

The one notable outlier that is not getting changed, but which we are keeping a close eye on, is Prince Renathal. He is powerful and popular, but we don't want this patch to completely shake up the meta, because we have something fun coming in Patch 24.6 and we want to see how Renathal performs in the next expansion before making changes to him.

The following cards have been adjusted down in power:

Murder at Castle NathriaTheotar, the Mad Duke

  • Old: Costs 4
  • New: Costs 5


Dev Comment: Theotar is a defining card in the current meta. He plays an important role in giving players agency against powerful late-game plays, but he can also be very frustrating to lose to. We don't want him to be one of the most popular cards in the next expansion, and our goal with this change is to lower his playrate across all ranks. If his playrate doesn't drop significantly with this change, we'll evaluate further changes at the next opportunity.

Murder at Castle NathriaStag Spirit Wildseed

  • Old: 5 Attack, 4 Health
  • New: 4 Attack, 3 Health


Murder at Castle NathriaBear Spirit Wildseed

  • Old: 2 Attack, 5 Health
  • New: 2 Attack, 4 Health


Voyage to the Sunken CityHarpoon Gun

  • Old: After your hero attacks, Dredge. If it's a Beast, reduce its cost by (3).
  • New: After your hero attacks, Dredge. It it's a Beast, reduce its cost by (2).


Dev Comment: Hunter has been the most popular and arguably the most powerful class in the game for some time, especially in lower ranks. These changes are meant to address some of the sharper play patterns this class is capable of, while simultaneously lowering the overall class power level.

Patch 24.2.2.149417 (2022-09-09)[]

Dev Comment: Our top priority this patch was to make the meta feel more stable and more diverse. For that reason, we focused primarily on making a moderate number of high-confidence changes this patch. We expect there will still be room for adjustment after this patch settles in, but we'd like to take the opportunity to see where these changes land before making further changes.


The following cards have been adjusted down in power:

Fractured in Alterac ValleyWildheart Guff

  • Old: Battlecry and Hero Power granted full mana crystals.
  • New: Battlecry and Hero Power grant empty mana crystals.
  • Dev Comment: Ramp Druid is one of the most powerful and influential decks in the game this patch. Guff was the clear power outlier for the deck, so a change to Guff was the highest confidence change we could make. We still expect Guff to be a playable card, with an important role in these strategies, but we hope that this change will make it feel like there is more of a cost to ramping than there was previously.

United in StormwindEdwin, Defias Kingpin

  • Old: [Costs 3] 3 Attack, 3 Health
  • New: [Costs 4] 4 Attack, 4 Health
  • Dev Comment: There's been a lot of attention on Edwin ever since he was buffed in the last patch—and rightfully so! Since his buff, he has been one of the most highly played and winningest cards in the game, which made him an obvious candidate for a high confidence adjustment to Rogue. When we made the initial buff, Rogue looked like it needed some help, but now that these lists have been more refined, we think Rogue will remain a player in the meta even with Edwin back at 4.

Fractured in Alterac ValleyArcane Burst (Fractured in Alterac ValleyMagister Dawngrasp's Hero Power)

  • Old: Deal 2 damage. Honorable Kill: Gain +2 damage.
  • New: Deal 2 damage. Honorable Kill: Gain +1 damage.


Murder at Castle NathriaNightcloak Sanctum

  • Old: 3 Durability
  • New: 2 Durability
  • Dev Comment: Along with Druid and Rogue, Mage has been one of the most dominant classes since the last patch. Nightcloak Sanctum has been a clear outlier in the mid-stages of the game, and the scaling threat of Magister Dawngrasp's hero power has been the dominant in the end game. These two standout cards were the most obvious targets for tuning down the deck's power level, and should also make the class less frustrating to play against in the mid- and late game.

United in StormwindDefend the Dwarven District (the first stage of the Hunter Questline)

  • Old: Deal damage with 2 spells.
  • New: Deal damage with 3 spells.
  • Dev Comment: Quest Hunter is a frustrating deck to play against and was poised to be a powerful meta contender after the changes to the other classes. This change is both to address the deck's current state and anticipated relative power level after this patch.

Murder at Castle NathriaKael'thas Sinstrider

  • Old: [Costs 6]
  • New: [Costs 8]
  • Dev Comment: Kael'thas, Brann, and Denathrius have appeared together as a package in a variety of decks. To address the specific interaction between these three cards, we felt the best solution was to add 2 more cost to the Brann-Kael'thas combo so that they can't be played with 10 mana. We preferred to change Kael'thas over Brann because Kael'thas is being used primarily for things like this combo while Brann has other interesting use cases, too.

Voyage to the Sunken CitySmothering Starfish

  • Old: [Costs 3]
  • New: [Costs 4]
  • Dev Comment: Smothering Starfish was living up to its name a bit too much. The goal for this card was for it to be a strong tech card, but the cost to include it in your deck was low enough that it was acting more like a staple than a tech card. While responding to specific meta forces, Starfish was also unintentionally snuffing out a variety of underrepresented decks. We think this adjustment will still allow Starfish to be used as a powerful tech option, but will make it less generically ubiquitous.

The above cards will be eligible for a full dust refund for two weeks following Patch 24.2.2.


The following cards have been adjusted up in power:

Voyage to the Sunken CitySchool Teacher

  • Old: 4 Attack, 3 Health
  • New: 4 Attack, 4 Health
  • Dev Comment: When we initially changed School Teacher, it was the most played card in the game. We're partially reverting the balance change in order to make the card feel a bit better to include in decks, while still acknowledging that its power level at launch was a bit higher than we would have liked it to be.

United in StormwindAlliance Bannerman

  • Old: 2 Attack, 1 Health
  • New: 2 Attack, 2 Health
  • Dev Comment: When we buff cards in underperforming classes, we rarely do it with the goal of immediately shooting the class to a 50% plus winrate. Our goal is to make the game more fun, something we can accomplish by bringing the class up to a level where players feel like there is something worth exploring. With the focus on high confidence changes in this patch, the change we were most confident we could give Paladin was something we've seen before—a reversion to a previous balance change.

Patch 24.0.3.147348 (2022-08-16)[]

Dev Comment: The current power level of the top decks after the launch of Murder at Castle Nathria is pretty close to the level that we'd like it to be. We're happy with decks like Imp Warlock and Control Shaman being powerful, but we're less happy with the power level of the weakest classes. So while we did a few touches to the top decks with the goal of reducing play-against frustration, the primary goal of this patch was to elevate the classes that are struggling in the current meta.

The following cards have been adjusted down in their power:

Forged in the BarrensCelestial Alignment

  • Old: Set each player to 0 Mana Crystals. Set the cost of all cards in hands and decks to (1). → New:  Set your Mana Crystals to 0. Set the cost of all cards in your hand and deck to (1).


Dev Comment: We hear you. Alignment has been a frustrating card to play against for a while now and has remained that way after the release of Murder at Castle Nathria, even if it is not a balance outlier. This change is targeted at removing as much of that frustration as possible while still retaining the primary effect for players who enjoy the big turns it can allow.

Murder at Castle NathriaStag Spirit Wildseed

  • Old: Dormant for 3 turns. When this awakens, equip a 4/2 Greatbow. → New: Dormant for 3 turns. When this awakens, equip a 3/2 Greatbow.


Dev Comment: The Wildseed package has been a fun addition to Hunter, but Stag Spirit Wildseed has been putting out more face damage than we intended. We hope Wildseeds will remain a key part of Hunter decks going forward, but will be a little less ubiquitous across all Hunter archetypes.

Fractured in Alterac ValleySnowfall Guardian

  • Old: 3 Attack, 3 Health. Battlecry: Freeze all other minions. Gain +1/+1 for each Frozen minion. → New: 5 Attack, 5 Health. Battlecry: Freeze all other minions.


Dev Comment: Control Shaman has been one of the most dominant decks since the expansion launch. A big part of their power comes from their ability to repeatedly freeze enemy boards while also pressuring their life totals, thanks to Snowfall Guardian. We hope that by removing the pressure this card applies, it will be less difficult for players to navigate.

Murder at Castle NathriaVile Library

  • Old: Give a friendly minion +1/+1. Repeat for each Imp you control. → New: Give a minion +1/+1 for each Imp you control.


Dev Comment: We're happy to see that Imp Warlock has been one of the top performing decks in this expansion, but a little bit too much of its power is coming from the burst damage this single card allows. We're lightly touching Vile Library because we don't want it to go away, we just want to bring the deck more in line with the other decks in the meta.

Kobolds & CatacombsKobold Illusionist

  • Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 5]


Dev Comments: Big Rogue has developed into a powerhouse that too consistently summons powerful minions too early in the game for players to meaningfully interact with. We're adding a mana cost to Kobold Illusionist to slow the deck down and break up some of its consistency.

The above craftable cards, as well as Spirit Poacher, Stag Charge, Wild Spirits, and Ara'lon will be eligible for full dust refunds for two weeks following Patch 24.0.3.

The following cards have been adjusted up in their power:

Murder at Castle NathriaRelic Vault

  • Old: [Costs 3] → New: [Costs 2]


Murder at Castle NathriaRelic of Extinction

  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 1]


Dev Comment: Relics are a fun and flavorful new archetype from Murder at Castle Nathria, but they haven't had their chance to shine. We're hoping that a couple buffs will make these cards easier to squeeze into turns and make the whole package feel better to try in a variety of decks.

Murder at Castle NathriaBibliomite

  • Old: 4 Attack, 4 Health → New: 5 Attack, 4 Health


Murder at Castle NathriaMagnifying Glaive

  • Old: 2 Attack, 2 Durability → New: 3 Attack, 2 Durability


Dev Comment: We were a little too safe on the numbers for the new Aggro Demon Hunter cards. We hope these buffs will make the low-hand-size deck a little more appealing!

Voyage to the Sunken CityAbyssal Depths

  • Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 3]


Fractured in Alterac ValleyBattleworn Vanguard

  • Old: 2 Attack, 1 Health → New: 2 Attack, 2 Health


United in StormwindIrebound Brute

  • Old: [Costs 8] →  New: [Costs 7]


Dev Comment: Demon Hunter has been struggling in a big way this expansion. We felt that changes to new cards alone might not be enough to bring the power level of this class in line with the rest of this meta. So we're buffing a few older cards to help bridge the gap. We're hoping that Abyssal Depths can now function as a powerful tool for a variety of Demon Hunter decks, new and old alike. The reverts to Battleworn Vanguard and Irebound Brute should make them more attractive options for the class. Broot me dood!

Murder at Castle NathriaLegendary Invitation (generated by Murder at Castle NathriaThe Countess)

  • Old: [Costs 3] → New: [Costs 2]


Dev Comment: As the big reward for the Pure Paladin archetype, the Countess wasn't, well, rewarding enough. This change should make her feel better in decks that are willing to pay the cost of cutting all Neutral cards.

Whispers of the Old GodsStand Against Darkness

  • Old: [Costs 5] → New: [Costs 4]


The Grand TournamentWarhorse Trainer

  • Old: Your Silver Hand Recruits Have +1 Attack. → New: Your Silver Hand Recruits have +2 Attack and Taunt.


Murder at Castle NathriaPromotion

  • Old: Give a Silver Hand Recruit +3/+3. → New: Give a Silver Hand Recruit +3/+3 and Taunt.


Dev Comment: The new Silver Hand archetype has come up much shorter than we hoped it would. Cards like Stand Against Darkness and Warhorse Trainer were simply not at the power level of modern Hearthstone, so we're buffing them up to see what they can do in this new age. To top it off, Promotion now comes with a raise!

United in StormwindEdwin, Defias Kingpin

  • Old: [Costs 4] 4 Attack, 4 Health → New: [Costs 3] 3 Attack, 3 Health


LegacySprint

  • Old: [Costs 6] →  New: [Costs 5]


Forged in the BarrensSilverleaf Poison

  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 1]


Murder at Castle NathriaHalkias

  • Old: Deathrattle: If you control a Secret, store Halkias' soul inside of it. It resummons Halkias when triggered. → New: Stealth. Deathrattle: Store Halkias's soul inside of a friendly Secret. It resummons Halkias when triggered.


Dev Comment: Card draw has traditionally been one of Rogue's strengths, but it doesn't feel like a strength in the current meta. The buffs to Edwin, Sprint, and Silverleaf Poison are all made with the intention of reinforcing card draw as a strength of the class. Miracle Rogue has not been overperforming in power, but we are aware it can win in frustrating ways, so we'll be keeping an eye on how it develops following these buffs. We also wanted to show a little love to the new secret package. We're starting with a buff to Halkias that makes him feel better to play, but we may revisit this package later if it needs additional support.

Murder at Castle NathriaSanguine Depths

  • Old: Deal 1 damage to a minion and give it +1 Attack. → New: Deal 1 damage to a minion and give it +2 Attack.


Murder at Castle NathriaImbued Axe

  • Old: After your hero attacks, give your damaged minions +1/+1. Infuse (3): +2/+2 instead. → New: After your hero attacks, give your damaged minions +1/+2. Infuse (2): +2/+2 instead.


LegacyCruel Taskmaster

  • Old: 2 Attack, 2 Health →  New: 2 Attack, 3 Health


Dev Comment: Along with Demon Hunter, Warrior has been struggling this expansion. A big part of that is that their new Enrage Warrior archetype hasn't been nearly as powerful as we'd hoped it to be. These three buffs are targeted at improving the Enrage Warrior archetype, which we hope to see become a player in the metagame.

Voyage to the Sunken CityTidal Revenant

  • Old: Battlecry: Deal 5 damage. Gain 5 Armor. → New: Battlecry: Deal 5 damage. Gain 8 Armor.


Fractured in Alterac ValleyShield Shatter

  • Old: Deal 4 damage to all minions. Costs (1) less for each Armor you have. → New: Deal 5 damage to all minions. Costs (1) less for each Armor you have.


LegacySlam

  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 1]


The Grand TournamentBash

  • Old: [Costs 3] → New: [Costs 2]


Dev Comment: We may have been a little over zealous when we were addressing Control Warrior in the last balance patch. We're correcting that here. We're also giving them a couple new tools in Slam and Bash, which might even make their way into non-control Warrior lists.

Patch 23.4.3.141643 (2022-06-16)[]

Dev Comments: We have a lot of big Standard balance changes coming this patch (and one for Wild!) which are attempting to accomplish a few different goals. First, we want to lower the power level of the most powerful decks in the current metagame - Fel Demon Hunter and Control Warrior variants. Roughly half of the changes in this patch are balance-motivated and intended to target the winrates of these decks directly.

The rest of the changes in this patch are not primarily motivated by power level, but are instead focused on improving the play-against experience of some of the more polarizing cards in the game.

The following cards have been adjusted to have their power reduced:

Fractured in Alterac ValleyShield Shatter

  • Old: Deal 5 damage to all minions. Costs (1) less for each Armor you have. New: Deal 4 damage to all minions. Costs (1) less for each Armor you have.

Voyage to the Sunken CityTidal Revenant

  • Old: Battlecry: Deal 5 damage. Gain 8 Armor. New: Battlecry: Deal 5 damage. Gain 5 Armor.

Voyage to the Sunken CityNellie's Pirate Ship (the Colossal appendage summoned by Voyage to the Sunken CityNellie, the Great Thresher)

  • Old: Taunt. Deathrattle: Add Nellie's Pirate crew to your hand. They cost (1). New: Taunt. Deathrattle: Add Nellie's Pirate crew to your hand. They cost (1) less.

Voyage to the Sunken CityFrom the Depths

  • Old: [Costs 3] → New: [Costs 4]

Dev Comment: Both Charge Warrior and Control Warrior variants have been overperforming on the ladder, and trend towards higher and higher winrates the further up the ladder you climb. These decks share several key cards, and this batch of changes is intended to lower the winrates of both those archetypes. We don't want or expect these decks to disappear entirely after the changes, but we do hope that some of the more frustrating plays that they are capable of (such as Nellie creating 1-cost Mr. Smite) will be removed or weakened going forward.

Fractured in Alterac ValleyCaria Felsoul

  • Old: [Costs 6] 6 Attack, 6 Health. Battlecry: Transform into a 6/6 copy of a Demon in your deck. New: [Costs 7] 7 Attack, 7 Health. Battlecry: Transform into a 7/7 copy of a Demon in your deck.

Fractured in Alterac ValleyBattleworn Vanguard

  • Old: 2 Attack, 2 Health → New: 2 Attack, 1 Health

Dev Comment: Demon Hunter has been the other standout winrate class since the release of the latest mini-set. Although we're happy to see the new and improved Xhilag making a splash, we aren't as excited about Caria being used to cheat out a copy of Xhilag ahead of schedule. In addition to slowing down that interaction, we've shaving one Health off Battleworn Vanguard in order to lower the odds that it sticks early and snowballs the game.

Fractured in Alterac ValleyWildpaw Gnoll

  • Old: 4 Attack, 5 Health → New: 3 Attack, 5 Health

Dev Comment: Rogue has been one of the most played classes in Standard, and it didn't feel right for us to hit the other popular classes without taking a small amount of power out of Rogue. Wildpaw Gnoll has been a tricky card for us to get right, but we're optimistic that the latest change to it will leave both the card and the class in the right place.

Fractured in Alterac ValleyLightforged Cariel

  • Old: [Costs 7] → New: [Costs 8]

Dev Comment: We are happy to see hero cards pack a late game punch for their classes, but felt like Cariel was providing that power a turn earlier than she should have been. Paladin is in a pretty healthy spot in the current metagame, and with the rest of the changes we are seeing in this patch, we expect things to stay that way.

Voyage to the Sunken CitySpitelash Siren

  • Old: [Costs 4] 2 Attack, 5 Health → New: [Costs 5] 2 Attack, 6 Health

Dev Comment: Spitelash Siren is a fun and interesting card for Naga mage decks, but we felt that it was capable of effectively ending games in a way that didn't leave enough room for counterplay. We are hoping that by moving this effect back one turn, opponents of the card will have more time to interact with the wide boards it is capable of generating.

Journey to Un'GoroEarthen Scales

  • Old: [Costs 1] → New: [Costs 2]

Dev Comment: Druid hasn't been a dominant class since the mini-set, but it can still be quite frustrating to lose to. We felt Earthen Scales was doing too much for a one-mana card, and that increasing its cost by 1 the class should be a little easier to attack in the mid-game.

Scholomance AcademyLightning Bloom

  • Old: Gain 2 Mana Crystals this turn only. Overload: (2). → New: Refresh 2 Mana Crystals. Overload: (2).

Dev Comment: As we tracked gameplay following the mini-set, we noticed concerns about game experiences in Wild, particularly when it comes to Big Shaman decks. These decks can sometimes ramp out big threats very early, which could make games feel like non-games. We quickly identified Lightning Bloom as the card which was creating the most problems for the format both in the short-term and long-term, so we are making an aggressive adjustment to it.

United in StormwindMr. Smite

  • Old: [Costs 6] → New: [Costs 7]

Dev Comment: Mr. Smite is a powerful, game-ending card that doesn't need to be quite as powerful as he is on curve. This change will hopefully make the card a little more tolerable in the mid-game, while also slowing down the various combos he is involved in.

Voyage to the Sunken CitySchool Teacher

  • Old: 5 Attack, 4 Health → New: 4 Attack, 3 Health

Dev Comment: Though we're generally happy with the kinds of gameplay that School Teacher provides, a card with a premium Battlecry effect doesn't also need to have premium stats. We expect this card to still see plenty of play, but we hope that it won't be quite as ubiquitous as it is now.

Patch 23.2.2.139522 (2022-05-19)[]

Fractured in Alterac ValleyDrek'Thar

  • Old: Battlecry: If this costs more than every minion in your deck, summon 2 of them. New: Battlecry: If this costs more than every minion in your deck, summon one of those minions.

Voyage to the Sunken CityMulti-Strike

  • Old: [Costs 1] New: [Costs 2]

Fractured in Alterac ValleyDragonbane Shot

  • Old: [Costs 2] New: [Costs 3]

The following cards have been buffed:

Xhilag's Stalk (part of Voyage to the Sunken CityXhilag of the Abyss)

  • Old: At the end of your turn, deal 1 damage to an enemy. New: At the end of your turn, deal 2 damage to an enemy.

Voyage to the Sunken CityHarpoon Gun

  • Old: After your hero attacks, Dredge. If it’s a Beast, reduce its Cost by (2). New: After your hero attacks, Dredge. If it’s a Beast, reduce its Cost by (3).

Fractured in Alterac ValleyPet Collector

  • Old: 3 Attack, 3 Health → New: 4 Attack, 4 Health

Voyage to the Sunken CityAzsharan Saber

  • Old: 3 Attack, 3 Health New: 4 Attack, 3 Health

Voyage to the Sunken CitySunken Saber (generated by Voyage to the Sunken CityAzsharan Saber)

  • Old: 3 Attack, 3 Health New: 4 Attack, 3 Health

Voyage to the Sunken CityBlackwater Behemoth

  • Old: [Costs 8] New: [Costs 7]

Voyage to the Sunken CityWhirlpool

  • Old: [Costs 9] New: [Costs 8]

United in StormwindShadowcloth Needle

  • Old: [Costs 2] New: [Costs 1]

Voyage to the Sunken CitySerpent Wig

  • Old: Give a minion +1/+1. If you played a Naga while holding this, add a Serpent Wig into your hand. New: Give a minion +1/+2. If you played a Naga while holding this, add a Serpent Wig into your hand.

Fractured in Alterac ValleyTooth of Nefarian

  • Old: [Costs 3] New: [Costs 2]

Fractured in Alterac ValleySI:7 Smuggler

  • Old: Battlecry: Summon a random 0-Cost minion. (Improved for each other SI:7 card you have played this game). New: Battlecry: Summon a random 1-Cost minion. (Improved for each other SI:7 card you have played this game).

Fractured in Alterac ValleyWildpaw Gnoll

  • Old: [Costs 6] 3 Attack, 5 Health New: [Costs 5] 4 Attack, 5 Health

The WitchwoodTess Greymane

  • Old: [Costs 8] New: [Costs 7]

Rise of ShadowsHench-Clan Burglar

  • Old: 4 Attack, 3 Health New: 4 Attack, 4 Health

Voyage to the Sunken CitySira'kess Cultist

  • Old: 2 Attack, 3 Health New: 3 Attack, 4 Health

Voyage to the Sunken CityDragged Below

  • Old: [Costs 4] New: [Costs 3]

Voyage to the Sunken CityAzsharan Scavenger

  • Old: [Costs 3] 3 Attack, 4 Health New: [Costs 2] 2 Attack, 3 Health

Voyage to the Sunken CitySunken Scavenger (generated by Voyage to the Sunken CityAzsharan Scavenger)

  • Old: [Costs 3] 3 Attack, 4 Health New: [Costs 2] 2 Attack, 3 Health

Voyage to the Sunken CityBloodscent Vilefin

  • Old: [Costs 4] 4 Attack, 4 Health New: [Costs 3] 3 Attack, 4 Health

Patch 23.0.3.137436 (2022-04-26)[]

Fractured in Alterac ValleyKazakusan

  • Old: Battlecry: If all minions in your deck are Dragons, craft a custom deck of treasures. New: Battlecry: If you played 4 other Dragons this game, craft a custom deck of treasures.

Voyage to the Sunken CityMiracle Growth

  • Old: [Costs 7] New: [Costs 8]

United in StormwindSecure the Supplies (the third portion of the Warrior Questline, United in StormwindRaid the Docks)

  • Old: Play 2 Pirates. New: Play 3 Pirates.

Voyage to the Sunken CityPufferfist

  • Old: 3 Attack, 4 Health New: 3 Attack, 3 Health

Voyage to the Sunken CitySwitcheroo

  • Old: Draw 2 minions. Swap their stats. New: Draw 2 minions. Swap their Health.
  • Banned in Wild.

Ashes of OutlandKael'thas Sunstrider

  • Old: Every third spell you cast each turn costs (0). New: Every third spell you cast each turn costs (1).

Patch 23.0.0.135540 (2022-05-04)[]

Balance changes

Numerous cards were changed either due to rotating to Wild or being added to/changed in the Core set.

Naga minion type additions
Uncollectible

Fractured in Alterac ValleyWax Rager - Increased Wax Rager’s death limit from 8 to 51 for instances where it would die multiple times from one effect, from cards like Forged in the BarrensPerpetual Flame and Fractured in Alterac ValleySpammy Arcanist.

Patch 22.4.3.133122 (2022-03-02)[]

Patch 22.4.3, launching tomorrow, includes balance changes to Battlegrounds and Standard.

Standard Updates

The following cards have been adjusted down in power:

Fractured in Alterac ValleyKazakusan

Dev Comment: We’re making a small adjustment to reduce the amount of focus that Kazakusan’s treasure hoard has on from-hand damage. Removing LOCUUUUSTS!!! from the Discover pool will allow for a bit more back-and-forth for both players after Kazakusan has been played.

Fractured in Alterac ValleySI:7 Smuggler

  • Old: Battlecry: Summon a random minion with Cost equal to the amount of SI:7 cards you’ve played this game. → New: Battlecry: Summon a random 0-cost minion (Upgraded for each SI:7 card you have played this game).

Dev Comment: Smuggler is receiving an effect change to account for improper wording on release. The new wording should now properly track the Cost of the minion which will be summoned while Smuggler remains in hand. Along with this, SI:7 Informant is receiving a wording change to correctly state that it only counts other SI:7 cards that have been played.

The following card’s text has been adjusted for clarity (no functional change):

United in StormwindSI:7 Informant

  • Old: Battlecry: Gain +1/+1 for each SI:7 card you’ve played this game. → New: Battlecry: Gain +1/+1 for each other SI:7 card you’ve played this game.

Patch 22.2.0.130051 (2022-01-20)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

  • Fractured in Alterac ValleyShadowcrafter Scabbs - Now costs 8 mana (Up from 7).

    Dev Comment: Rogue has seen significant increases in playrate and winrate since the last patch, and Scabbs is a pretty clear outlier in terms of power. We expect this change to make a fairly large impact in the strength of Rogue archetypes across the board.

  • Fractured in Alterac ValleyWildpaw Gnoll - Now costs 6 mana (Up from 0 5). Now has 3 Attack (Down from 4).

    Dev Comment: Wildpaw Gnoll was intended to be a strong payoff for Maestra of the Masquerade’s fun effect, but it has been overperforming in this role—even in decks that don’t have dedicated Burgle strategies. We’re adjusting Gnoll to both come down a bit later, as a slightly smaller threat when it does.

     
  • Madness at the Darkmoon FaireCloak of Shadows - Now costs 4 mana (Up from 3).

    Dev Comment: We’re happy with Poison Rogue when it’s a niche player in the metagame, but the current playrate of the archetype is much higher than intended. Cloak of Shadows also combined with Shadowcrafter Scabbs for frustrating play experiences. Reducing the power levels of both these pieces should bring Poison Rogue’s overall power level back in line.

  • United in StormwindRaid the Docks

    • United in StormwindCreate a Distraction (second phase) - Now reads: Questline: Play 3 Pirates. Reward: Deal 2 damage to a random enemy twice. (previously: Questline: Play 2 Pirates. Reward: Deal 2 damage to a random enemy twice.).

      Dev Comment: Pirate Warrior is not a power outlier at the highest ranks of play, but it is overperforming at many of the lower ranks of play. Going from 7 total Pirates to 8 total will promote deck diversity in the Bronze through Diamond ranks.

  • Ashes of OutlandIncanter's Flow - Now costs 4 mana (Up from 3).

    Dev Comment: When combo Mages play Incanter’s Flow on an early turn, they can assemble their game winning combo at a very fast rate. Similar to our goals for combo-based decks in the previous patch, pushing Incanter’s Flow up a Mana will slow down combo Mages by a turn or two, giving slower strategies a better chance to thrive in the overall meta.

  • LegacySorcerer's Apprentice - Now costs 4 mana (Up from 2).

  • Rise of ShadowsRapid Fire - Now costs 2 mana (Up from 1). Now reads: Twinspell Deal 2 damage. (previously: Twinspell Deal 1 damage.).

    Dev Comment: The Rapid Fire and Sorcerer’s Apprentice changes are targeted at some of the strongest decks in the current Wild metagame, to improve the long-term, overall health of the format. Both of these balance adjustments are aimed at decks with extremely efficient from-hand damage, which puts big constraints on which strategies can find success in Wild. By removing power here, the format should open up for a few more viable archetypes to see play, and for the Wild format to slightly slow down overall.

The following card was buffed.

  • Fractured in Alterac ValleyRokara, the Valorous - Now gains 10 Armor (Up from 5).

    Dev Comment: Rokara is one of the less viable Hero cards right now. We want each class to have exciting play options, so we’re increasing her Armor to give her more leeway in swinging into high-Attack minions, and to better synergize with some of Warrior's Armor-focused cards.

2021[]

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Patch 22.0.2.128654 (2021-12-20)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

  • Forged in the BarrensCelestial Alignment - Now costs 8 mana (Up from 7).

    Dev Comment: Although Celestial Alignment is not usually a card used for from-hand, burst damage, it does frequently allow for absurd turns that happen a little earlier than we feel is healthy. Moving it up a mana should allow for more setup and counterplay before Celestial Alignment is cast.

  • United in StormwindAlliance Bannerman - Now has 1 Health (Down from 2).

    Dev Comment: Paladins have a very consistent, powerful package of cards that they can include in quite a few distinct strategies. Alliance Bannerman is one of these cards that can fit into a wide range of decks. Lowering its Health by one should tone down Paladin decks by a small amount across the board.

  • Forged in the BarrensEfficient Octo-bot - Now costs 3 mana (Up from 2).

    Dev Comment: Efficient Octo-bot has been a little too efficient at the upper echelons of play. We’re slowing it down as part of the general goal of toning down the power level of combo strategies.

  • Fractured in Alterac ValleySnowfall Guardian - Now costs 6 mana (Up from 5).

    Dev Comment: Snowfall Guardian was designed with the intent of giving Freeze Shaman decks a powerful tool, but it is a little too efficient at locking up the board, especially when combined with cards like Brilliant Macaw. Moving it up one mana should soften the power of this interaction.

  • United in StormwindTouch of the Nathrezim - Now reads: Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it dies, restore 3 Health to your hero. (previously: Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it dies, restore 4 Health to your hero.).

    Dev Comment: Touch of the Nathrezim is meant to be a solid removal option for slower Warlock decks, but the overall Health restoration in Warlock is slightly too high. This is meant to be a softer change that leaves Warlock with a powerful removal option, but reduces overall Warlock healing capabilities enough to bring that aspect of the class back in line.

  • United in StormwindRuned Mithril Rod - Now costs 5 mana (Up from 4).

    Dev Comment: Runed Mithril Rod was an incredibly strong tool in the first few days after the launch of Fractured in Alterac Valley. While players were able to find a counter to it in cards like Rustrot Viper, we believe going up a Mana here will lead to healthier play patterns for the game overall.

  • LegacyBloodsail Deckhand - Now has 1 Health (Down from 2).

    Dev Comment: We’re reverting our previous change to Bloodsail Deckhand. Questline Warrior ended up slightly stronger than intended, and we believe it will continue to find success after this change. 

  • Fractured in Alterac ValleyIrondeep Trogg - Now reads: After your opponent casts a spell, summon another Irondeep Trogg. (previously: After your opponent casts a spell, summon a copy of this.).

    Dev Comment: Irondeep Trogg has the capability of running away with games very early when combined with minion buffs like Noble Mount or Doggie Biscuit. Taking into account the rest of the changes we’re making with this patch, we want to adjust Trogg to remain a viable counter to early spells, but to better match the targeted power level of the format as a whole.

  • Ashes of OutlandMo'arg Artificer - Now costs 3 mana (Up from 2). Now has 5 Health (Up from 4).

    Dev Comment: Mo’arg Artificer does too much, too efficiently for decks with large amounts of removal. Increasing its cost by one will make the card a little less efficient as a tool for cheap clears, large amounts of life gain, and combo finishers.

The following cards were buffed.

Dev Comment: Alongside the changes above, we’re also making a couple adjustments aimed at powering up slower Mage decks and the less powerful Hero Cards.

  • Fractured in Alterac ValleyBeaststalker Tavish - Now reads: Hero Power Costs 2 (previously: Hero Power Costs 3).
  • United in StormwindGrey Sage Parrot - Now costs 6 mana (Down from 8). Now a 4/5 (Down from 6/6).
  • Fractured in Alterac ValleyMagister Dawngrasp - Now costs 7 (Down from 8). Now reads: Hero Power: Deal 2 Damage. Honorable Kill: Gain +2 Damage. (previously: Hero Power: Deal 1 Damage. Honorable Kill: Gain +2 Damage.).
  • Forged in the BarrensWildfire - Now reads: Increase the damage of your Hero Power by 1 this game. (previously: Increase the damage of your Hero Power by 1.).

    Dev Comment: This is a minor rework to make it so that Wildfire will now persist after swapping Hero Powers. Although we don’t envision this being dramatically impactful, we do think it will allow for a smoother gameplay experience with Hero Power changing cards like Magister Dawngrasp.

Patch 21.8.0.126451 (2021-11-16)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

  • Forged in the BarrensRazormane Battleguard - Now has 2 Health (Down from 3).

    Dev Comment: We’re scaling back on Battleguard to allow a few more answers to it in the early game. Taunt Druid is performing quite well, so we’ll be monitoring it closely to determine whether any more changes are needed.

  • United in StormwindArcanist Dawngrasp (Mage Questline final reward) - Now reads: Battlecry: For the rest of the game, you have Spell Damage +2 (previously: Battlecry: For the rest of the game, you have Spell Damage +3).

    Dev Comment: Reducing the lethality of Questline Mage should help open up additional room for slower strategies to succeed.

  • United in StormwindGarrote - Now reads: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. Shuffle 2 Bleeds into your deck that deal 2 more when drawn (previously: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. Shuffle 3 Bleeds into your deck that deal 2 more when drawn).

    Dev Comment: Garrote Rogue has performed quite well at higher ranks. This is a softer change aimed at increasing the breakpoint of Spell Damage needed from 2 to 3, while also making Armor a more effective counter to the strategy.

The following card was buffed.

  • Ashes of OutlandRenew - Now costs 1 mana (Down from 2).

    Dev Comment: Priest archetypes outside of Shadow have been underperforming relative to the field. This revert should add a bit of power back to those strategies.

Patch 21.3.0.93849 (2021-09-21)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

  • United in StormwindIrebound Brute - Now costs 8 mana (Up from 7).

    Dev Comment: Irebound Brute was playable a bit earlier than intended on average. Pushing it back a turn should soften extreme turns.

  • Scholomance AcademyMindrender Illucia - Now reads: Battlecry: Swap hands and decks with your opponent until your next turn. (previously: Battlecry: Replace your hand with a copy of your opponent’s until end of turn.).

    Dev Comment: With the refinement of Shadow Priest in recent weeks, Mindrender Illucia has been overperforming in the archetype, in an unintended way. Instead of being used as a late game disruption tool, Shadow Priests have been using Illucia as an early game play to essentially skip the opponent’s turn. This change is aimed at removing that problematic gameplay from Illucia, while still keeping her in a similar space with her effect.

  • Forged in the BarrensPerpetual Flame - Now costs 2 mana (Up from 1).

    Dev Comment: Perpetual Flame is a very efficient removal tool for Questline Shaman. Going up one mana here will give board-based decks a better shot against Shaman in the early- and mid-game.

  • United in StormwindCommand the Elements

    • United in StormwindTame the Flames (third phase) - Now reads: Play 3 cards with Overload. Reward: Stormcaller Bru’kan (previously: Play 2 cards with Overload. Reward: Stormcaller Bru’kan).

      Dev Comment: Slowing down the speed at which Questline Shamans can get their final reward should open up more room for counterplay, particularly from slower strategies.

  • United in StormwindThe Demon Seed

    • United in StormwindThe Demon Seed (first phase) - Now reads: Take 8 damage on your turns. Reward: Lifesteal. Deal 3 damage to the enemy hero (previously: Take 6 damage on your turns. Reward: Lifesteal. Deal 3 damage to the enemy hero).

    • United in StormwindEstablish the Link (second phase) - Now reads: Take 8 damage on your turns. Reward: Lifesteal. Deal 3 damage to the enemy hero (previously: Take 7 damage on your turns. Reward: Lifesteal. Deal 3 damage to the enemy hero).

    • Additionally, The Demon Seed is now banned in Wild.

      Dev Comment: After monitoring both Standard and Wild since the release of Stormwind, we’ve decided to both increase the damage required on the first two steps for Standard and ban the Questline in Wild. In Standard, we are slightly upping the amount of damage needed to complete the Questline to slow down the speed at which Tamsin locks up games. In Wild, where there are many more efficient self-damaging cards, The Demon Seed can be completed at an unintentionally fast rate. We are banning the card to protect the format from the problematic gameplay it created. When The Demon Seed rotates to Wild, we will unban it and reposition the card to be more appropriate for the format.

  • United in StormwindRuned Mithril Rod - Now costs 4 mana (Up from 3). Dev Comment: Runed Mithril Rod is overperforming relative to mana-generation sources in other classes, mainly due to Warlock’s card draw potential. Going up one mana will bring Runed Mithril Rod’s power level more in line with what other classes have access to.

The following cards were buffed.

  • United in StormwindLeatherworking Kit - Now costs 1 mana (Down from 2).
  • CoreSelective Breeder - Now has 3 Health (Up from 1).
  • Forged in the BarrensWildfire - Now costs 1 mana (Down from 2).
  • Forged in the BarrensMordresh Fire Eye - Now costs 8 mana (Down from 10). Now an 8/8 (Down from 10/10).
  • United in StormwindStormwind Freebooter - Now has 4 Health (Up from 3).
  • Forged in the BarrensStonemaul Anchorman - Now has 6 Health (Up from 5).
  • LegacyBloodsail Deckhand - Now has 2 Health (Up from 1). Dev Comments: We’re looking at opening up a few more strategies for some of the less-diverse classes and underrepresented archetypes in the Standard metagame. These buffs are aimed at some of the weaker archetypes to make them more appealing options to play with. Some of these changes are on the lighter side, in anticipation of the mini-set coming in the next major patch after the patch launching Mercenaries.

Patch 21.2.0.91456 (2021-08-31)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

  • Forged in the BarrensStealer of Souls - Now costs 6 mana (Up from 4). Now has 4 Attack (Up from 2).

    Dev Comment: While the winrate of decks including Stealer of Souls isn’t particularly high, the games where these decks win are often won in an extreme way. This change, like our philosophy in the first Stormwind balance patch, is aimed at slowing the down the speed of Stealer of Souls and softening those extremes. Note: Stealer of Souls will remain banned in Wild alongside this change.

  • Scholomance AcademyFlesh Giant - Now costs 10 mana (Up from 9).

    Dev Comment: We’re moving Flesh Giant up another mana to further reduce the speed at which comes down in the average game. After monitoring the initial balance to change here, we believe it was a bit too soft and are adjusting Flesh Giant accordingly.

Patch 21.03.91040 (2021-08-17)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

  • Ashes of OutlandIncanter's Flow - Now costs 3 mana (Up from 2).
  • Madness at the Darkmoon FaireIl'gynoth - Now costs 6 mana (Up from 4). Now a 4/8 (Up from 2/6).
  • Ashes of OutlandDarkglare - Now costs 3 mana (Up from 2). Now a 3/4 (Up from 2/3).
  • United in StormwindBattleground Battlemaster - Now costs 6 mana (Up from 5).
  • Forged in the BarrensKolkar Pack Runner - Now costs 3 mana (Up from 2). Now a 3/4 (Up from 2/3).
  • United in StormwindGranite Forgeborn - Now has 4 Health (Down from 5).
  • Conviction (Rank 1), Forged in the BarrensConviction (Rank 2), Forged in the BarrensConviction (Rank 3) - Now costs 2 mana (Up from 1).
  • Scholomance AcademyFlesh Giant - Now costs 9 mana (Up from 8).

    Dev Comments: After two weeks of monitoring the rapidly evolving United in Stormwind launch metagame, we’re making a few balance changes to slow down the speed of the game by a turn or two. Overall, this translates to two things: limiting the efficiency at which combo decks can assemble the pieces they need to win, and reducing the burst damage that board-based decks have access to from hand. We hope that these changes will give a bit more room for slower strategies to find success in this meta, and we’ll continue to keep an eye on the live game to see if any further changes are needed.

Patch 20.8.2.86605 (2021-07-15)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

  • Ashes of OutlandApotheosis - Now reads: Give a minion +1/+2 and Lifesteal. (previously: Give a minion +2/+3 and Lifesteal.).

    Dev Comment: We’re doing two Priest changes, targeting the burst healing available in the class and their generation capabilities. Let's start with Apotheosis—we are moving the buff down to +1/+2 to hit the card's general power and combo capabilities. While healing will always be a strength of Priest, we want to reduce the urgency felt when dealing with Priest's minions. Currently, it can feel like you must remove every Priest minion because of the threat Apotheosis poses. A slight reduction in the buff here should lessen that urgency and make the minions post-Apotheosis easier to deal with. The other side of this nerf is the Samuro + Apotheosis combo. The punishment for playing minions into this combo is too much at the moment, so while we'd like to keep some of that tension of resource commitment, we don't want the punishment to be a full heal for the opponent. The reduction in attack here helps get that combo into a healthier push/pull state.

  • Ashes of OutlandRenew - Now costs 2 mana (Up from 1).

    Dev Comment: Renew is going to 2 mana. Heading into this patch, we wanted to knock some of Priest's generation potential as one of our main goals in Hearthstone is to have the cards you chose to include in your deck matter. We decided to change Renew specifically because we believe this change makes the largest impact towards curbing the chains of generation in Priest. At 2 mana, Renew has to be more thoughtful inclusion during deckbuilding, won't be generated by Scholomance AcademyWandmaker, and takes another mana reduction to get to 0. While Priest's identity looks different in future expansions, we wanted to take this opportunity to reign in their card generation and build a better match experience for both players.

  • Scholomance AcademyGibberling - Now costs 2 mana (Up from 1).

    Dev Comment: Gibberling is moving to 2 mana. Currently Gibberling is the cause of many "non-games", matches that are heavily lopsided in the early game and can have their outcome decided far too early. We want to lower the frequency of this occurrence and Gibberling at 2 mana should result in many more games where opponents can respond to an early board of this little menace.

Patch 20.4.0.84593 (2021-06-03)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

  • Scholomance AcademyFirst Day of School - Now reads: Add 2 random 1-Cost minions to your hand. (previously: Add 3 random 1-Cost minions to your hand.).
  • Ashes of OutlandHand of A'dal - Now reads: Give a minion +2/+1. Draw a card. (previously: Give a minion +2/+2. Draw a card.).
Dev Comment: As we move into the launch of the Wailing Caverns Mini-Set, we’re taking the opportunity to hit some of Paladin’s generic power. First Day of School and Hand of A’dal are strong performers played in all four main Paladin archetypes (Libram, Aggro, Secret, and Menagerie), and we are nerfing them in 20.4 to help other classes close the gap with Paladin. Another note on First Day of School: While the last balance change for this card only resulted in a mild change in power, we will still be attempting changes like it in the future. Our current balance philosophy is to move forward with light changes when we can, as we did when we first repositioned First Day of School, and we’ve seen great results over the past year with this approach. It’s important to us that players’ decks usually stay intact following balance changes, even if the power of the deck may shift down. This approach then leaves us open to make further adjustments later if we need to, like we have here.

Patch 20.2.2.82994 (2021-05-12)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

Spell Mage currently exhibits many explosive turns, with Refreshing Spring Water playing a significant role. By nerfing Refreshing Spring Water to 5 mana, we're aiming to lower the frequency of extreme turns where Refreshing Spring Water draws cards and gains you mana in the process. By lowering the frequency of those gameplay sequences, we believe the deck's range of possibilities will be more in line with other current options.
  • Scholomance AcademyFirst Day of School - Now costs 1 mana (Up from 0). Now reads: "Add 3 random 1-Cost minions to your hand."
As we look at Paladin's continued strong performance across multiple archetypes, we're nerfing First Day of School in order to hit Paladin's early-game strength. By bumping up First Day of School's mana cost and the amount of 1-Cost minions generated, we are moving the card to fit a value role rather than its initial position as an efficient curve enabler.
  • Madness at the Darkmoon FaireHysteria - Now costs 4 mana (Up from 3).
At 3 mana, Hysteria becomes an option before opponents really have the opportunity to consider how to best interact with it. Pushing Hysteria to 4 mana gives more space for those board-committal decisions to occur and also allows cheaper removal in Priest/Warlock to have a more distinct purpose.
  • Madness at the Darkmoon FaireCrabrider - Now reads: "Rush Battlecry: Gain Windfury this turn only."
Crabrider is too efficient in some of our board-based decks, clearing minions and dishing out a lot of Windfury damage. By changing Crabrider's Windfury to only last until end of turn, we're pulling back on the lethality it poses if left alone for a few turns. We aim for Crabrider to still remain a solid option for decks looking to swing back the board, especially when combined with buffs.
We are lowering the Health on Mankrik, Consumed by Hatred to soften the effect of an early Olgra draw. At 7 Health, the token will be more in reach of the mid-game removal that's available throughout turns 4-6.

The following cards were buffed.

We're issuing a number of buffs in 20.2.2, mainly focused on bringing up struggling classes and archetypes. One of our goals for a meta is to provide deck diversity: not only different class options, but also attractive deck options that play markedly different from one another. These buffs follow that goal, as each one is targeted at helping out an underrepresented archetype or play pattern.

The following cards were adjusted.

Patch 20.0.2.79904 (2021-04-13)[]

The following cards were nerfed. They and Forged in the BarrensKargal Battlescar were able to be disenchanted for full Arcane Dust value for 2 weeks.

Deck of Lunacy moves up to 4 mana, removing its ability to provide a game-warping effect on turn 1 or 2. When we create cards like Deck of Lunacy, we're aiming for an experience that lets you do wacky, over-the-top things at the cost of power. There's a large audience for that (Spell Mage's play-rate shows!), but Deck of Lunacy very clearly crosses the power threshold we set for these types of cards.
Sword of the Fallen is not only powerful, but also creates early-game situations with too many Secrets in play. We're moving Sword of the Fallen down to 2 durability to reduce the overall value of the card and make those turns against 3-4 Secrets less common.
Jandice Barov benefitted greatly from the Core Set refresh and the rotation of weaker 5-Cost minions. Looking ahead, we don't intend to dilute Jandice's pool of summoned minions and that's not something we'd want to rely on for her balance. With that in mind, we are nerfing Jandice Barov to 6 mana where her total stat output is much more appropriate.
  • Scholomance AcademyPen Flinger - Now reads: "Battlecry: Deal 1 damage to a minion. Spellburst: Return this to your hand."
Pen Flinger equips some classes with large amounts of chip damage, whether it be to minions or to the opposing hero. This flexibility makes Pen Flinger an attractive option for many decks, but when that utility is combined with repetition it takes over the story of a match. Pen Flinger takes out your minions, might deal 10 damage to your face over multiple turns, and even had the gall to call you names throughout all of it. We're nerfing Pen Flinger to now only target minions, positioning it as a removal option rather than a dual-threat card.
Watch Posts are meant to act as an interesting tech-package when dealing with certain gameplans. Currently though, they act as go-to options in many classes, sporting quite high winrates for disruption-based cards. In order to cut into their power, we're reducing the Health of both Far Watch Post and Mor'shan Watch Post. This change will make them easier to deal with on turns 2 + 3, lowering the investment barrier for removal to better match the options available on those early turns.

The following cards were adjusted.

Patch 20.0.0.77662 (2021-03-25)[]

Aside from spells getting spell schools, these cards were changed.

Madness at the Darkmoon FaireNitroboost Poison, LegacyYsera, Forged in the BarrensMankrik and Forged in the BarrensBlademaster Samuro were able to be disenchanted for full Arcane Dust value for 2 weeks.

Demon Hunter
Druid
  • LegacyMark of the Wild - Now reads: Give a minion Taunt and +2/+3. (+2 Attack/+3 Health)
  • LegacyKeeper of the Grove - Now has 4 Health (Up from 2)
  • LegacyDruid of the Claw - Now has 5 Attack (Up from 4). Now reads: Choose One - Transform into a 5/4 with Rush; or a 5/6 with Taunt.
  • One Night in KarazhanMenagerie Warden - Now costs 5 mana (Down from 6). Now has 4 Attack (Down from 5). Now has 4 Health (Down from 5).
  • LegacyAncient of Lore - Now reads: Choose One - Draw 2 cards; or Restore 5 Health.
  • LegacyCenarius - Now costs 8 mana (Down from 9).
Hunter
Mage
Paladin
Priest
  • LegacyPower Word: Shield - Now costs 1 mana (Up from 0). Now draws a card.
  • LegacyShadowform - Now costs 2 mana (Down from 3). Now reads: Your Hero Power becomes 'Deal 2 damage.'
  • LegacyLightspawn - Now costs 3 mana (Down from 4). Now has 4 Health (Down from 5).
Rogue
Shaman
Warlock
Warrior
  • Saviors of UldumBloodsworn Mercenary - Now has 3 Attack (Up from 2). Now has 3 Health (Up from 2).
  • LegacyCharge - Now costs 3 mana (Up from 1). Now reads: Give a friendly minion +2 Attack and Charge.
  • Descent of DragonsScion of Ruin - Now costs 3 mana (Down from 4)
  • LegacyWarsong Commander - Now reads: After you summon another minion, give it Rush.
Dual-class
We're moving Nitroboost Poison to 2 mana to reduce the amount of cheap burst damage available in Rogue and create a real cost for Corruption. When evaluating Rogue's future weapon-centric archetypes, we want to position the play patterns around building up a weapon over multiple turns and fighting for board rather than the hyper-aggressive strategies seen in decks like Stealth Rogue.
Neutral
Non-fuctional changes

Patch 19.6.0.74257 (2021-02-19)[]

The following card was nerfed.

"High Abbess Alura is going to 5 mana in order to push out the swing turns she enables. When an individual card contains a large amount of a deck's winrate, as Alura does, it breaks the promises of a Hearthstone match. Instead of having a natural back-and-forth flow between players, games with a turn 4 Alura can create seemingly insurmountable board states too early in the match. At 5 mana, Alura's identity as a big spell buildaround card remains intact but the change will give more room for games to occur before the swing and for responses to be ready after her Spellburst trigger."[3]

Patch 19.4.1.72661 (2021-01-28)[]

The following card was nerfed.

  • Madness at the Darkmoon FaireHysteria - Now reads "Choose an enemy minion. It attacks random minions until it dies."

"Believe it to be the best future-proof change. We're going to keep making on-attack triggers and any plan where you can purposefully skip your opponent's turn isn't something we want around. Hurts to lose some of the more interesting decisions with hysteria but felt it was right."[4]

Patch 19.2.1.70828 (2021-01-08)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

"The last few weeks have been the best Edwin has ever performed as an individual card (the highest win rate card in multiple Rogue archetypes). Alongside cards like Foxy Fraud and Shadowstep, the frequency of early 8/8 or 10/10 Edwin VanCleefs reached a point we are no longer comfortable with. Edwin's mana cost is increasing by 1 to weaken some of the powerful openings at Rogue's disposal. We were planning on rotating Edwin out of Standard in a few months (still are, more info on that soon!), but want to evaluate how the rest of Rogue's kit performs without this very powerful iteration of Edwin. Cards like Foxy Fraud, Swindle, and Prize Plunderer are important pieces for future expansions and card interactions, so we'll be keeping close tabs on how they perform with the influx of new cards and Edwin's nerf."[5]

"We're lowering the attack on Boggspine Knuckles in order to cut into the fluidity of Evolve Shaman, increasing the required investment of playing a 5-mana weapon without a free Dread Corsair, and reduce the overall damage output the deck is capable of over multiple weapon charges. This change lowers the amount of explosive plays available to Evolve Shaman and should create an overall healthier meta."[5]

2020[]

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Patch 19.2.0.68600 (2020-12-15)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

"Hello, hello! The nerfs tomorrow are mainly focused on lowering the overall power level of Demon Hunter. Demon Hunter's population in higher levels of play was growing week over week, hitting nearly 35% last week. Our approach was to look at the two decks (Aggro and Soul Fragment DH) separately as their power cards differed between them. The nerfs to cards like Dreadlord's Bite, Voracious Reader, and Lorekeeper Polkelt are aimed at reducing the refill and reach Aggro DH currently has."[6]

"For Soul Fragment DH, our changes to Blade Dance and Shardshatter Mystic are focused on the efficiency of their board-clearing ability. Blade Dance was a card that got significantly more powerful as DH accumulated more ways to gain attack (Twin Slice change, new weapons, etc.) and didn't agree with one of the outlined class weaknesses Demon Hunter is supposed to have: killing big minions."[7]

"Our last change is a nerf to Dinotamer Brann. This was a preemptive change as we saw a potentially dominant matchup spread for Hunter after these changes."[8]

Patch 18.6.0.63160 (2020-10-22)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

"While looking at the current environment and future metas, Evocation helped enable a lot of early game swings that could feel insurmountable. We want to smooth that out. At 2 mana, it's not as fluid with Sorcerer's Apprentice and won't be generated from Wandmaker/Spellkin."[9]

"For Solarian Prime, we stepped back and evaluated where it stacked up compared to the other Primes. With that and some of the power spikes it can generate, moving it to 9 mana felt appropriate."[10]

Patch 18.4.0.60352 (2020-09-29)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

  • Saviors of UldumTortollan Pilgrim - Now reads: Battlecry: Discover a spell in your deck and cast it with random targets.

Let's start with Tortollan Pilgrim. By changing the textbox to now consume the discovered spell, we are eliminating the repetitive gameplay in Turtle Mage.

We had talked about Pilgrim in balance meetings previously, but wanted to see how the deck would compete with time. Was it just an interesting tournament pick or would it become a mainstay on the ladder with a solid winrate? Over time it became clear that Turtle Mage was here to stay. There was a clear shift in "maybe it falls off" to "I see this on the ladder quite frequently."

While we love when the community comes up with novel decks that challenge your idea of what is possible within Hearthstone, the feelings of inevitability present in Turtle Mage didn't make for a healthy gameplay experience.[11]

Then we have Guardian Animals. We are increasing the mana cost to 8 to add a bit more friction to the common pattern of Overgrowth -> Guardian Animals.

On day 1 of Scholomance Academy, Guardian Animals Druid was very strong, but the meta adapted to combat it. We saw decks punish Druid for taking too long to get things going as well as decks that could deal with the big Guardian Animals turn efficiently. Even today you could say Guardian Animals is in a fine spot balance wise, it's strong but not out of bounds. Our change here is more focused on pushing out the big swing by a turn to alleviate some of the negative feelings when you're on the opposing end. Guardian Animals can be a knockout punch and we'd like that to occur a bit later.[11]

Patch 18.2.0.58213 (2020-09-08)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

  • Scholomance AcademySecret Passage - Now reads: Replace your hand with 4 cards from your deck. Swap back next turn.

First up is Secret Passage, one of the top cards across all Rogue archetypes. Going down to 4 cards takes some of the raw power out but still gives you a solid draw option for a more aggressive package. Some future protection in this change, the question was when not if.[12]

Moving on to Cabal Acolyte, going to 4 Health will tone down some of its defensive capabilities on turn 4 and post-Spellburst effect. Acolyte was one of the best performing cards in Priest and we want these sort of effects (mind control-esque) to be a deckbuilding choice.

  • Ashes of OutlandDarkglare - Now costs 2 mana, down from 3. Stats reduced from 3/4 to 2/3. Now reads: After your hero takes damage, refresh a Mana Crystal.

Then there's Darkglare, this is a change mainly done for Wild. In Wild, Darkglare Warlock is fairly rampant and creates early board states that make for a lot of non-games. The change to 2/3 and 1 mana being refreshed is aimed to retain some of its identity in a smaller form.

The following cards were buffed.

  • Scholomance AcademyArchwitch Willow - Now costs 8 mana, down from 9. Attack and Health reduced from 7 to 5.

Finally, we have two buffs! With the Darkglare change, we wanted to give Warlock a buff. Willow going to 8 mana makes for an intriguing late game option for heavier Warlock builds. We played at this mana cost for much of development and thought it was right to go back.

  • Scholomance AcademyTotem Goliath - Attack increased from 4 to 5. Now reads: Deathrattle: Summon all four basic Totems. Overload: (1).

The change to Totem Goliath is more of a correction, the 2 overload was too limiting for a deck that wants to follow up with another strong play for 5 mana (bloodlust, second goliath). We'll continue to monitor how Shaman performs in the meta and see if other buffs are necessary.

Patch 18.0.2.56359 (2020-08-18)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

Patch 17.6.0.53261 (2020-07-14)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

Patch 17.4.1.51510 (2020-06-18)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

  • Demon Hunter InitiateTwin Slice - Now costs 1 mana, up from 0. Now reads: Give your hero +2 Attack this turn. Add 'Second Slice' to your hand.
    • Demon Hunter InitiateSecond Slice - Now costs 1 mana, up from 0. Now reads: Give your hero +2 Attack this turn.

Patch 17.2.1.48313 (2020-05-18)[]

The following cards were buffed.

The following cards were nerfed.

Patch 17.0.2.45932 (2020-04-20)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

There are two aspects of Kael'thas. He can play a zero-cost spell twice or even three times in a turn and we could say only the first spell that you cast. Or we could nerf the mana cost and there are benefits to both. Changing the mana keeps the dream and fun part of the card alive, you play Kael'thas to have these crazy power turns. We are leaning towards increasing the mana cost because we want to keep the Kael'thas dream alive, we just don't want it to happen every game.[13]

It's supposed to be included against duplicate decks but it is being included at such a wide rate right now because the cost you pay for it is not much. Its effect honestly isn't that powerful, it just feels so good to be able to use it against Spell Mage or Pure Paladin, but metrics-wise it's not very good. If you are really only interested in winning games, you should take Albatross out of your deck.[13]

It's a card that can snowball the game out of control really early. It's really hard to come back from double Felwing. Now that Demon Hunter exists they are utilizing it really well and we don't want to be hindered by past cards. The thing we are trying to get away from is being able to cast a card on a turn you have no business casting it on. It's the extreme early game swing stuff that we try to get away from and Felwing falls into that bucket a little bit.[13]

  • LegacySacrificial Pact - Now reads: Destroy a friendly Demon. Restore 5 Health to your hero.

Cards like Journey to Un'GoroGolakka Crawler and Sacrificial Pact, sometimes called hate cards, where you either have them or you can't catch up. That's a little more extreme than we would like and Sac Pact has been a really nice card for a long time but Ashes of Outland and Demon Hunter has made it really powerful. Our leading candidate is having it only affect friendly demons, so it still works in decks like Galakrond Warlock.[13]

The following card was buffed.

The following card was adjusted.

Patch 17.0.0.45310 (2020-04-09)[]

The following Demon Hunter card nerfs were the fastest card nerfs in Hearthstone history, being nerfed on April 8th, 1 day after their release on April 7th. On April 8th, a server-side patch was applied, nerfing the cards, but the nerfed cards appeared normal in the collection; however, they could be seen as functionally nerfed during in-game matches. For example, Skull of Gul'dan had a red mana cost number of 6, and Eye Beam had its mana cost at 1 when its Outcast ability was active, even though its card text still read "Outcast: This costs (0)". This server-side patch was applied around 6:30pm PDT April 8th. On April 9th, the following card nerfs were finalized on the client-side with Patch 17.0.0.45310.

Patch 17.0.0.44222 (2020-03-26)[]

The following cards were buffed.

The following seven priest cards from the Basic and Classic sets were changed.

  • LegacyPower Word: Shield - Now costs 0 mana, down from 1. Now reads: Give a minion +2 Health.
  • LegacyShadow Word: Death - Now costs 2 mana, down from 3.
  • LegacyHoly Smite - Now reads: Deal 3 damage to a minion.
  • LegacyHoly Nova - Now costs 4 mana, down from 5. Now reads: Deal 2 damage to all enemy minions. Restore 2 Health to all friendly characters.
  • LegacyShadow Madness - Now costs 3 mana, down from 4.
  • LegacyTemple Enforcer - Now costs 5 mana, down from 6. Attack decreased from 6 to 5.
  • LegacyThoughtsteal - Now costs 2 mana, down from 3.

The following cards were redesigned.

Additionally, The Grand TournamentLiving Roots' rarity was unintentionally changed to Epic from Common. This was reverted in Patch 17.0.0.44582.

Patch 16.6.0.43246 (2020-03-17)[]

The following cards were buffed.

Patch 16.0.8.39282 (2020-01-09)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

The influx of card changes this expansion has a little to do with those cards being quite powerful, but it’s mostly that we wanted to try a different approach to the cadence we make card changes.

The changes [Dean "Iksar" Ayala] feels were absolutely necessary this expansion were the ones to Galakrond Shaman. It was really the only archetype that was at a power level unacceptable under any past circumstance. Even after the first round of changes, there turned out to be an undiscovered deck that played a little slower and was even more powerful than the version being used during the first couple weeks. During playtesting, we honestly just thought that Galakrond Shaman was an incredibly fun deck to play and wanted to push it to a level where it would be considered one of the more powerful decks. We pushed too far, it happens.

As far as the rest of the changes, I think in the past we would have waited a little longer to take action. There are some advantages and disadvantages to waiting. One of the advantages is that the fewer changes you make, the more I think players are motivated to deckbuild and create new solutions rather than depend on us to make balance changes to things that might appear to be slightly out of line. In general, it’s probably healthier for the game if your first reaction to a powerful strategy is to try and find ways to beat it rather than join along and ride the wave because investing time into finding alternatives is undermined by constant changes.

One of the core disadvantages is that change happens less frequently. If there is something that frustrates you, maybe you can play a different strategy but maybe you don’t enjoy that strategy as much. Maybe you don’t own the cards for it. Maybe your favorite class is just weak to whatever the popular deck is and you don’t get to play it. Some of these things are very hard to avoid, but a faster rate of change makes it so you are less likely to be frustrated by a particular thing for too long. Change can be fun. Expansions aren’t just fun for players with the new cards, they can be fun for players playing old strategies too because the meta environment totally changes.

So, why are we trying something different? Some of it has to do with research. We dug through a bunch of data trying to find out what the behavior of players is when they have a strategy they play get nerfed. I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that a dedicated Shaman player might see a large decrease in play if their deck is nerfed in a way that makes them less excited to play it. It turns out, data hasn’t really backed up that theory in a way we might have expected. We’ve done this kind of research in the past, but as Garrosh might say, times change.

Of course, we’ve just started on a track to a different strategy. It’s possible we’ll find that over time increasing the cadence of change fatigues players in a way we would only find out after sticking to the strategy for a longer period. It’s possible that because we’re opting to change more cards more often, we’ll end up changing cards players didn’t think needed changes at a rate that makes people unhappy. We look to the audience for feedback on that, so let us know![14]

2019[]

Click 'Expand' to view more details

Patch 16.0.5.38377 (2019-12-19)[]

The following cards were nerfed. Two of the following cards, Corrupt Elementalist and Faceless Corruptor, were the fastest a card had ever been nerfed at the time of this patch, having been released only 9 days earlier.

Patch 16.0.0.37060 (2019-12-06)[]

The following cards were not directly nerfed, but were eligible for full dust refunds because the Echo ability was nerfed to no longer be able to reduce Echo cards below 1 mana. This patch marks the first time that cards were eligible for full dust refunds based solely on a change to the function of an ability.

This change is targeted at a very popular deck in Wild that utilizes SN1P-SN4P along with the Echo mechanic to generate extremely large minions or near infinite damage. This change should put a stop to that interaction while having very limited impact on the average use case for Echo cards. Glinda, SN1P-SN4P, and Sound the Bells were the three cards that took advantage of generating 0-cost copies through Echo, so we've opted to refund all three of those cards as a result.

Patch 15.0.4.33402 (2019-08-26)[]

The following cards were nerfed.

While Conjurer’s Calling is a powerful tool that’s found in a number of Mage decks, when used in decks focused around cards like Mountain Giant and Sea Giant, it was creating extremely powerful board states at a point in the game where opponents didn’t have effective answers.

Increasing the mana cost of this card will make using both copies of the Twinspell card in a single turn significantly more difficult, postponing these potentially overwhelming turns until later in the game when the Mage’s opponent has more available resources to react to the board.

Buffing cards with the Rise of the Mech event was a big change in philosophy for us. While we are happy with the overall outcome of the changes, Luna's Pocket Galaxy has proven to be an exception.

An early Luna's Pocket Galaxy can often leave opponents feeling helpless if late-game minions were drawn in subsequent turns. This has occurred more often than we had intended, therefore we're reverting its mana cost back to its original value of 7, as was the case before the Rise of the Mech event.

We’d still like Dr. Boom, Mad Genius to be a great option for control Warrior decks looking to close out games, but right now the card gets played a bit too early. Increasing the mana cost to 9 should make it more difficult to find a good turn to play Dr. Boom, giving opponents time to make powerful plays as well.

During the Rise of the Mech event, Priest was one of the weaker classes in the game. Buffing Extra Arms gave Priest a powerful spell for the early game to enable some of their board-focused strategies.

With the release of Saviors of Uldum, Priest has access to many more powerful early game minions and has seen a large jump in both popularity and winrate. Between all of Priests buff spells and heal effects, it can be hard to fight for the board against them early in the game. Increasing the mana cost of Extra Arms back to 3 should give room for other decks to challenge them early on, while leaving the powerful Priest minions and combos untouched.

  • One Night in KarazhanBarnes - Now costs 5 mana, up from 4.

Barnes has been a hot topic in Wild format discussions for quite some time now, especially regarding how oppressive this card can feel when facing certain Priest decks.

While we’re okay with Wild having a higher power level in general, Barnes stood out as too consistently powerful early in the game. Increasing his mana cost by 1 will let opponents have an easier time reacting, but still lets Barnes retain its identity as a way to summon specific minions early in the game.

Patch 14.6.0.31761 (2019-07-01)[]

The following cards were redesigned. Thus, they were not eligible for full dust refunds.

  • LegacyPilfer - Now reads: Add a random card from another class to your hand.

We’ve updated the card text and functionality for Pilfer to match the recent changes to other “Burgle” cards currently available in Standard.

The recent changes were applied to make those cards more visually cohesive and consistent with the art style of Hearthstone today. When Hearthstone first launched, we brought in a lot of artwork from the physical World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. In the years since, Hearthstone has developed a look, feel, and personality of its own that distinguishes it from that of Warcraft — though we still love being a part of that universe. We’ll always be looking for ways to deliver on the game’s unique style, charm, and personality.[15]

We went back and really just brought everything up to our standards. It wasn't because we were looking at ratings, or international [regulations], or anything like that. We really just wanted our artists to feel good about everything in the set.[15]

Patch 14.4.0.31268 (2019-06-03)[]

The first list of card changes below were card buffs and thus were not eligible for full dust refunds; however, Reckless Experimenter was eligible because it was nerfed instead. In addition, this patch notably marked the first time card buffs were given out to cards since the official release of Hearthstone in 2014.

For this update, we decided to take two cards from The Boomsday Project from each class and give them a slight power boost. We think all the cards we chose can lead to fun and interesting experiences, and our aim for these changes is to encourage you to think differently about how you’re currently building decks. We’re hoping that some of these cards will see consistent play in the current rotation, and even inspire completely new decks without having a lasting negative impact on their respective classes. If the goal of a balance update is to address metagame outliers, then the goal of something like the Rise of the Mech update is to inspire some fun, new ideas. We look forward to hearing your feedback!

  • The Boomsday ProjectReckless Experimenter - Now reads: Deathrattle minions you play cost (3) less, but die at end of turn. (Cost can't be reduced below 1.)

We’ve decided to make a change to how Reckless Experimenter functions due to an unwanted interaction with The Boomsday ProjectSN1P-SN4P that allows for an early-game infinite damage combo in Priest decks. We’re also aware of some interactions that SN1P-SN4P creates in Wild when played alongside multiple Mechwarpers, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on how that plays out over the next few weeks.

Patch 14.2.2.31022 (2019-05-22)[]

EVIL Miscreant is meant to be a value-generating card that creates future swing turns, but having 5 Health on this minion means Rogue players sacrifice very little to set up those turns. We expect that EVIL Miscreant will continue to be a great option for Rogue decks, just at a power level that is more in line with other available cards.

Rogue already excels at drawing cards, so having another powerful option that offers consistent results has resulted in Rogue games that play out a little too similarly than we think is fun. We’re making this change to better represent the power level of drawing from a very specific subset of cards.

  • LegacyPreparation – Now reads: The next spell you cast this turn costs (2) less.

All changes we make to the Basic and Classic sets are aimed at ensuring Hearthstone’s long-term health. Preparation is currently seen as such a powerful card that it appears in nearly all Rogue deck archetypes. That said, the change we’ve landed on is a small one. While we do want the card’s power to decrease, we also think it’s important for Preparation to remain a reasonable option, since it fits the Rogue class fantasy so well.

Preparation is regularly used to reduce the cost of cards like Sap or Eviscerate, and those interactions will remain unchanged. Reducing the cost of your next spell by 2 as opposed to 3 opens our design options up a little more to create higher cost Rogue spells without having to balance so closely around the assumption that they’ll be cast alongside Preparation.

Our goal here was to preserve the feeling and power level of Archivist Elysiana when it comes to general use, while making much more difficult to play her multiple times in the same game. Shaman will still be able to replay Elysiana through Shudderwock, but this is not as common or problematic as what we’ve seen in control Warrior decks. Now, playing Elysiana alongside cards like Baleful Banker or Youthful Brewmaster should be a less consistent strategy.

Patch 13.2.0.28855 (2019-02-05)[]

We think Hearthstone is most fun when strategies are consistently evolving. When new cards are released, we’d like for older expansion decks to get a few interesting new pieces while also allowing you to experiment with the totally new archetypes that emerge. When Basic and Classic cards become so broadly effective—no matter what you’re facing—that they drive what deck styles are considered viable every expansion, then it makes that goal difficult to achieve.

Basic and Classic are sets that, ideally, should embody the flavor and mechanics of each Class. As we’ve mentioned before, cards in these sets can become an issue when they make all other strategies look less interesting. This doesn't mean that all Basic and Classic cards should be ineffective, however. It’s hugely important to us that these sets contain a good number of cards that are great tools for different situations and deck archetypes.

We’re changing these particular cards because each one has been highly prevalent, regardless of what strategies have been popular or what other cards have existed around them. When Basic and Classic cards become this ubiquitous, they take away some of the flexibility players have when building decks, ultimately stifling the diversity of decks we see when playing Hearthstone.

These changes are intended to shift these cards from general-purpose “auto-includes” into options that are more likely to be chosen for decks that are focused on strategies that capitalize on what these cards have to offer.

The only non-Basic or Classic card in this round of changes. We want to position Emerald Spellstone as an efficient mid- and late-game threat, so we’re moving its cost up by one to reduce its utility as an early-game, aggressive tempo option. This change—along with the Hunter’s Mark change—is aimed at addressing Hunter’s prevalence, while still leaving it as a viable option.

2018[]

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Patch 13.0.3.28329 (2018-12-19)[]

Wild Growth and Nourish have been present in every mid-range, combo, and control Druid deck since their introduction in the Basic and Classic set. When cards from the Basic and Classic set are too powerful, they can have negative long-term effects on the game. Continuously playing against these cards can start to feel repetitive, and they can feel so mandatory that they stifle creative deckbuilding decisions. By increasing the mana cost of both cards by one, we expect them to be considerations in late-game control Druid decks, but more difficult to fit in strategies that don’t directly take advantage of ramping mana.

Odd Paladin has consistently been one of the most powerful and most played decks since its introduction in The Witchwood. By removing Level Up from Odd Paladin, we still expect it to be a competitive board control deck, just with more consistent damage output that should be easier to play around.

The WitchwoodShudderwock brings an interesting combo to the table, but playing Shudderwock multiple times in a single game can be frustrating. Changing Saronite Chain Gang makes playing multiple Shudderwocks in a game much more difficult. Shudderwock should now exist as a powerful one-turn effect rather than constantly copying itself with Saronite Chain Gang’s Battlecry.

  • Knights of the Frozen ThroneLeeching Poison – Now costs 1 mana, down from 2. Now reads: Give your weapon Lifesteal this turn.

We love the fantasy of building a powerful weapon over the course of a game with Kobolds & CatacombsKingsbane, but granting it a permanent Lifesteal effect with Leeching Poison resulted in an endgame with few weaknesses, as well as conflicting with our philosophy that Rogues should not have persistent self-healing effects. Making the Lifesteal effect only active for one turn should address some of the power level issues with Kingsbane Rogue’s late game.

Patch 12.2.0.27358 (2018-10-18)[]

Giggling Inventor is one of the most powerful and popular cards we’ve ever created. There’s virtually no downside to including it in a deck, and because it’s neutral, it’s played in almost every deck. We think it’s important to take risks when making powerful cards, especially when it comes to neutral taunts, given the role they can play in encouraging minion interactions and making games more interesting. However, Giggling Inventor has stepped beyond its intended role, and we don’t feel that it should be as effective as it currently is.

We initially tested this card at (6) mana in both the current Standard format as well as with cards that will be released in the future. Ultimately, we felt that its power level was still higher than is appropriate for a Neutral card with no build-around requirements. At (7) mana, we expect Giggling Inventor will find its way into fewer decks in general—and be much less effective in Quest Rogue—while it might remain situationally playable within specific deck archetypes, such as Evolve Shaman.

Over time, we’ve been moving away from powerful, early-game 1-drops like Mana Wyrm. It can often feel like the outcome of a game is decided by whether Mana Wyrm was played on turn one, and if it could be removed quickly by an opponent. Mana Wyrm has also steered us away from making powerful low-cost Mage spells. We’d like Mana Wyrm to remain an option for decks it synergizes with, while preventing it from being a huge turn one threat.

At (2) mana, it will be easier to deal with Mana Wyrm the turn it’s played, and it will be harder to buff it with cheap spells early in the match. We still expect it to remain an option in decks that have a heavy focus on cheap spells, but it should be a less appealing option in decks that aren’t built with that focus in mind.

  • The Grand TournamentAviana – Now costs 10 mana, up from 9.

Changing Aviana to (10) mana means it will no longer be possible to play Aviana and Kun the Forgotten King on the same turn without some additional help from cards like Innervate or The Coin. It also means Juicy Psychmelon will no longer draw both Aviana and Kun. This should make the combos Aviana and Kun produce less consistent, while still allowing decks that use the combos to exist for the players that enjoy playing them.

Patch 12.0.0.25770 (2018-08-02)[]

In this patch, only Shadowboxer was eligible for full dust refunds.

  • Goblins vs GnomesShadowboxer – Now reads: Whenever a minion is healed, deal 1 damage to a random enemy.

Since the creation of the Lifesteal keyword, Shadowboxer has been a high risk card, in that it can trigger off of itself and deal up to 30 damage in one turn if you ever give it Lifesteal.

We made a decision that, at least by default, spectral/undead/ghost/spirit versions of animals are not considered Beasts in Hearthstone. There are quite a lot of these sort of cards, most of which are already not Beasts, and changing them would have extensive balance implications.

Ghostly Charger is one of those cards. Clearly a ghost in both its name and art, its Beast tag has also not been relevant in any significantly used interaction. As a result, we’re planning to remove the Beast tag in a future update.

In the much rarer case of spectral/undead/ghost/spirit versions of Dragons, Murlocs, Pirates, and Elementals, they will still remain their Type. There aren’t a whole lot of these cards, but there are a few, and they’re already consistently their type. Examples of these are Ghost Light Angler, Cursed Castaway, Bone Drake.

World of Warcraft uses a looser definition of Elemental than what we decided to standardize on for Hearthstone. In Hearthstone, an elemental is something that has been brought to life by being inhabited by an elemental spirit, but is otherwise not alive. These are easy to recognize: a Fire Elemental looks like a living creature made out of fire; A Water Elemental looks like a living creature made out of water.

One of the biggest outliers to this definition are plant creatures. There are a ton of minions in Hearthstone that are some sort of plant. We’ve decided that these do not count as Elementals in Hearthstone. Examples of these include The Voraxx, Fen Creeper, Biteweed, Vilespine Slayer, Rotten Applebaum.

Ixlid, Fungal Lord, is by this definition, a plant creature. Although we’re committed to consistency, there are also other criteria that we consider when changing card Types. One of them is how often a card’s current Type matters when it comes to interacting with other cards. Ixlid’s Elemental tag is not significantly used in current decks, so we’ve decided to remove it in a future update.

  • Journey to Un'GoroLiving Mana – Now reads: Transform your Mana Crystals into 2/2 Treants. Recover the mana when they die.

Patch 11.1.1.24589 (2018-05-22)[]

Currently, there are three popular Paladin decks: Even Paladin, Murloc Paladin, and Odd Paladin. Among the three decks, Even Paladin and Murloc Paladin have consistently been the most powerful two archetypes over the first few weeks since the release of The Witchwood. Call to Arms moving to 5 mana restricts it from being used in Even decks and reduces its power somewhat when used in Murloc and other Paladin decks.

We expect that players will experiment with Call to Arms at 5 mana in Odd Paladin decks, but we don’t expect this card to have much of an impact. This is because Odd Paladin can’t access 2 mana minions (meaning Call to Arms could only ever summon three 1 mana minions if played in that deck).

The Quest Rogue deck uses a strategy that’s strong against slow, control-heavy and fatigue decks, but struggles against most other deck archetypes. There’s a fine line between being powerful against very slow decks and being powerful versus virtually all non-aggressive strategies. By changing the quest reward to make the resulting minions 4/4 instead of 5/5, Quest Rogue should still be a reasonable option versus slow, extreme late-game decks, but offer a less polarized matchup with more moderate control decks.

  • Kobolds & CatacombsDark Pact - Now restores 4 health, down from 8.

There are two aspects of Dark Pact that make it powerful. At a cost of 1 mana, it’s easily used alongside cards like Carnivorous Cube, Possessed Lackey, and Spiritsinger Umbra for big combo turns. It also gives Warlocks enough healing potential so that aggressively using Lifetap and playing cards like Kobold Librarian and Hellfire feel less consequential. We left Dark Pact’s cost intact so it can still be used as part of interesting combos, but lessened the healing it provides so Warlocks will need to more carefully consider how much damage they take over the course of a match.

In update 9.1, we introduced a rule change to increase the consistency of Hearthstone game mechanics. The change affected precisely when Naga Sea Witch’s cost change was applied to cards. This allowed it to be combined with the cost reduction effects on giants, and as a result, it became fairly easy to reduce their mana cost to 0.

We think Hearthstone is better all around when interactions are consistent, and we like the fact that a Naga Sea Witch giants deck archetype exists. That said, we also understand that, with its current functionality, this deck can generate early board states that are unreasonable for most classes to deal with. By increasing the cost of Naga Sea Witch to 8 mana, the deck’s concept remains intact, but the combo is delayed until later in a match when more decks are likely to have the tools to handle the arrival of so many giants.

Some of the card combos involving Possessed Lackey present situations that are too difficult to deal with in the early-to-mid stages of the game. Increasing its mana cost to 6 delays some of those powerful card combos to turns that are easier for opposing decks to overcome.

After set rotation arrived with the Year of the Raven, Spiteful Summoner became more powerful and consistent when used in decks containing 10 mana cost spells. This is because the pool of 10 mana cost minions in Standard is smaller, so players could more reliably count on getting a powerful minion from Spiteful Summoner’s effect. Even considering the deckbuilding sacrifices that an effective Spiteful Summoner deck requires, we think that increasing the card’s mana cost to 7 is more in line with the powerful outcomes that are possible when it’s used alongside cards like Ultimate Infestation.

Patch 11.0.0.23966 (2018-04-10)[]

The change happens when the patch goes live, even though the card will move to the Hall of Fame with the release of The Witchwood.

Patch 10.2.0.23180 (2018-02-06)[]

  • Knights of the Frozen ThroneBonemare - Now costs 8 mana. (Up from 7)

Bonemare has been quite strong in both constructed and Arena. It has a big, immediate impact on the board, and since it’s neutral, it’s been finding its way into a wide variety of decks. Increasing its mana cost by 1 will give opponents more time to utilize powerful late-game cards to counteract Bonemare’s effect on the board.

Due to the way that Corridor Creeper’s mana cost reduction works, it can cause big swings based on whether or not it happens to be in-hand at the start of the game. Since it’s a very strong neutral card, Corridor Creeper has been played by a lot of classes. By lowering its attack, we reduce the overall swing potential and power level of the card, but still allow players who draw it early to benefit from having a low-cost minion to play when the game state is ideal.

As we move closer to the new Hearthstone Year, we had some concerns about allowing Patches to remain in his current state after moving out of Standard. Patches’ strength has caused almost every class to add some Pirates just to benefit from him, and his early game power forces control decks to include a good answer to him. This change should give Wild players more flexibility when building their decks. Removing Charge will lower his power level, ensuring he shows up in fewer decks and allowing opposing players some additional time to respond to Patches, making him less “in charge” of the early game.

  • Mean Streets of GadgetzanRaza the Chained - Now reads: Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, your Hero Power costs (1) this game.

In a similar vein to Patches the Pirate, we had some concerns about allowing Raza to remain in his current state forever. Raza is currently an important combo piece along with Shadowreaper Anduin, and can lead to games that rely heavily on drawing him by turn 5. Adjusting his Battlecry will lower his overall power level when combined with Shadowreaper Anduin in Standard, and keep his power level reasonable in Wild as we prepare for the new Hearthstone Year.

2017[]

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Patch 9.1.0.20970 (2017-09-18)[]

  • LegacyInnervate - Now reads: Gain 1 Mana Crystal this turn only. (Down from 2)

Several powerful variations of Druid are currently seeing play, and all of them utilize Innervate. Innervate creates explosive starts to the game that can be difficult for the opposing player to recover from. This change leaves Innervate as a simple Basic card and slows down the explosive start potential, while ensuring that it will be utilized in decks that revolve around playing inexpensive spells.

Fiery War Axe has been a powerful Warrior weapon since the launch of Hearthstone. Already great tempo for its cost, Fiery War Axe is well complemented by Pirates and cards that synergize with weapons. Raising its mana cost by 1 will slow down the Warrior’s tempo and lower the overall power level of the card.

  • LegacyHex - Now costs 4 mana. (Up from 3)

We’re not making the change to Hex due to a current power-level problem. Shaman is a class that currently has a lot of flexibility, but is lacking in both class identity and identifiable weaknesses. Changing Hex makes Shaman a bit weaker against big minions and worse at silencing—having both strengths and weaknesses in a class is important.

  • LegacyMurloc Warleader Now reads: Your other Murlocs have +2 Attack. (Down from +2 Attack, +1 Health)

Murlocs are good at taking an early lead, and if a player can’t clear the board in time, the game can ultimately snowball to victory using cards like Murloc Warleader. Removing the Health buff from Murloc Warleader will make it easier for players to clear the board of murlocs, and still have it remain a Classic build-around card. Simplifying health buff interactions is an additional benefit of this change. For example, in its current state, having a Murloc Warleader in play then using Wild Pyromancer and Equality would not destroy other murlocs on the board, leading to unclear interactions for some players.

Spreading Plague is a great defensive tool for Druid to protect themselves against aggressive decks, but it was too efficient at 5 mana. Raising the mana cost to 6 will slow the card down slightly, while still allowing for the defensive minions Spreading Plague creates to be utilized in the later stages of the game.

Patch 9.0.0.20457 (2017-08-08)[]

  • The Grand TournamentDreadsteed - Due to the potential for an endless loop when combined with Knights of the Frozen ThroneDefile, Dreadsteed now reads: Deathrattle: At the end of the turn, summon a Dreadsteed.
  • The League of ExplorersNaga Sea Witch - Mana cost modifier from this card is now applied before other mana cost modifiers, making cards like various Giants cost much less.

Patch 8.4.0.20022 (2017-07-10)[]

The Caverns Below is uniquely powerful versus several slower, control-oriented decks and is played often enough to push those decks out of play. While deck diversity in Ranked Play is good, a change to The Caverns Below was still warranted to help keep that trend going into the future.

Patch 7.1.0.17720 (2017-02-28)[]

This patch brought nerfs to Mean Streets of GadgetzanSmall-Time Buccaneer, a highly powerful card that was very commonly seen in several meta-dominating Pirate decks, particularly Pirate Warrior, as well as to One Night in KarazhanSpirit Claws, which was not only strong by itself, but also had strong synergy with various aggressive Pirate cards.

The combination of Small Time Buccaneer and Patches the Pirate has been showing up too often in the meta. Weapon-utilizing classes have been heavily utilizing this combination of cards, especially Shaman, and we’d like to see more diversity in the meta overall. Small Time Buccaneer’s Health will be reduced to 1 to make it easier for additional classes to remove from the board.

Spirit Claws has been a notably powerful Shaman weapon. At one mana, Spirit Claws has been able to capitalize on cards such as Bloodmage Thalnos or the Shaman Hero power to provide extremely efficient minion removal on curve. Increasing its mana by one will slow down Spirit Claws’ ability to curve out as efficiently.

2016[]

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Patch 6.2.0.15181 (2016-10-20)[]

This patch brought some fairly unexpected and non-critical changes. Most were made apparently in order to improve the very rarely seen Murloc mirror match,[16] while Ethereal Peddler was changed partly to free up design space.

  • One Night in KarazhanEthereal Peddler now reads "Battlecry: If you're holding any non-Rogue class cards, reduce their Cost by (2)." This was done to make it more clear, especially with upcoming releases.
  • The following Murlocs that affected ALL Murlocs now only affect friendly ones, to improve the Murloc mirror-match. These cards are not eligible for a full dust refund.

Patch 6.1.3.14830 (2016-10-03)[]

This patch saw a continuation of the changes implemented with the arrival of game formats, further reducing the power of a number of cards from the "evergreen" Basic and Classic sets, that the developers felt were "too oppressive to our players in the current state of the meta game",[17] as well as nerfing some problem cards from the current Standard format expansions. The changes included two major themes: the reduction of power of the shaman class, which had been dominating the meta with a variety of aggro and midrange decks; and the nerfing of Yogg-Saron, which had been a cause of substantial complaints especially in regard to its often game-winning presence in major tournaments. Whispers of the Old GodsCall of the Wild was another card which had seen a number of complaints. The developers considered changing a number of other shaman cards at this time, including The Grand TournamentTotem Golem, The League of ExplorersTunnel Trogg, Whispers of the Old GodsThing from Below and LegacyDoomhammer.

The notes for these changes were extensive. Comments for specific cards are included below, but more general commentary is not. For the full notes, see the official blog.

Rockbiter is the culprit of a few mass burst-damage combos in addition to being a reliable early game removal tool. Due to its strength in a variety of circumstances, it’s been one of the most widely played Shaman cards in Hearthstone’s history. Making changes to Basic cards that show up in every deck will help instigate more variety and help the Standard format succeed in the future. We’re preserving some of the synergistic potential of Rockbiter Weapon but decreasing its value as a removal tool by changing the cost of the card from 1 to 2 Mana.

We considered other Shaman cards like The League of ExplorersTunnel Trogg and The Grand TournamentTotem Golem, but these are both leaving Standard relatively soon, so we thought it would be better to change Rockbiter and improve the Standard format in a more permanent way.

  • The Grand TournamentTuskarr Totemic - Now summons "a random basic Totem", instead of "ANY random Totem".

We like that Tuskarr is contributing to totem focused decks, but currently the power level is centered around the possibility of summoning cards like Totem Golem or LegacyMana Tide Totem. This isn’t the most fun type of randomness for a card that is low mana and sees this much play. We want this card to be an option for decks that take advantage of extra totems through cards like Thing From Below or Whispers of the Old GodsPrimal Fusion, but a weaker option for players looking for standalone high power level options on turn three. That said, we are adjusting the battlecry for Tuskarr Totemic to only summon basic totems.

Although Call of the Wild is intended to be a powerful late game option, it is over performing at 8 mana. By moving it to 9 mana we intend to tone down its power enough that it won’t be an automatic inclusion in every Hunter deck and overshadow other strategies.

  • LegacyExecute - Cost increased from 1 to 2.

The Warrior class has access to a large amount of removal spells, and while we want to continue providing Warrior players with powerful removal options, Execute stands out as one that has proven to be too efficient in too many situations. We’re increasing the cost of Execute from 1 to 2 Mana in order to keep the card as an option closer in power level to other existing and future removal tools.

  • Charge - Cost reduced from 3 to 1. No longer grants +2 Attack, but the target now cannot attack heroes that turn.

While we enjoy seeing players explore combo styles of play and will continue to support it in the future, we’ve seen in the past that the ability to give Charge to minions that don’t normally have it has been particularly problematic and also heavily restricts future cards. We’ve redesigned the card Charge in a way that provides opportunities for minion combat, but does not enable strategies that intend to win without allowing opponents to interact.

Aggressive decks are stronger than we would like right now, and Abusive Sergeant is in virtually all of them. We like that Abusive Sergeant is available to players using minion heavy strategies, but neutral cards in the base set should be narrow enough that they aren’t showing up in such a wide variety of circumstances. We’re changing Abusive Sergeant to be a 1/1 so the battlecry becomes the clear focus, rather than the card being a reasonable turn one option for all aggressive deck types.

  • Whispers of the Old GodsYogg-Saron, Hope's End - Rule change: Will now stop casting spells if it is destroyed, Silenced, transformed or returned to the hand.

This is the most controversial card we've ever made. Some people LOVE Yogg, and others hate it. We felt like seeing Yogg in tournaments was not where we originally hoped it would end up. Yogg should be for players who want to have a lot of fun, but maybe not the card you see frequently in high-level tournaments. Yogg is relatively weak in power level for nearly every class at every level, but is slightly above average in 2 decks – Tempo Mage and Token Druid. We didn't want to nerf it so much that it couldn't still be a fun card for players who currently love Yogg. Yogg-Saron will now stop casting spells if, during Yogg-Saron’s battlecry, it is destroyed, silenced, transformed, or returned to its owner’s hand. We tried a bunch of things and we think this is a significant enough nerf that it could reduce the amount it gets seen (especially in tournaments), while still maintaining the dream for people who love the card.

In addition to the above changes, we will be addressing the bug where cards with Overload cast by Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End will not cause Overload to the player in a future update.

Patch 5.2.0.13619 (2016-07-12)[]

In this patch, Silithid Swarmer was not eligible for full dust refunds.

Although not taking place until nearly three months after the card's release, the Beast type was described by Ben Brode as being the card's intended design.[18]

Patch 5.0.0.12574 (2016-04-24)[]

This patch saw the largest set of card changes since the game's closed beta, in preparation for the arrival of game formats. The intention of the changes was to address an over-reliance on cards from these sets, resulting in stale gameplay as new cards are unable to outstrip these already available options. By nerfing Basic and Classic cards, the developers hoped to help the release of new content to be more impactful, resulting in a more dynamic and shifting meta as well as a less stale experience for deckbuilders.[19]

The notes for these changes were extensive. Comments for specific cards are included below, but more general commentary is not. For the full notes, see the official blog.

  • LegacyAncient of Lore - Card text changed from "Choose One - Draw 2 cards; or Restore 5 Health." to "Choose One - Draw a card; or Restore 5 Health."

Drawing cards is powerful in Hearthstone, and Ancient of Lore easily found its way into nearly every popular Druid deck. We’d like Druid players to feel that other cards can compete with Ancient of Lore, so we’ve reduced the number of cards drawn from 2 to 1.

  • LegacyForce of Nature - Cost reduced from 6 to 5. Card text changed from "Summon three 2/2 Treants with Charge that die at the end of the turn." to "Summon three 2/2 Treants." Treants summoned by this spell no longer have Charge but no longer die at the end of the turn.

The new version of Force of Nature lowers its mana cost by 1, but removes Charge and makes the summoned Treants permanent—like the other Treants that Druids summon. This change also removes the powerful one-turn combo of Force of Nature and LegacySavage Roar. Now, opponents will have a chance to deal with the threat that the Treants represent, and it won’t feel mandatory to always include the combo.

Keeper of the Grove is a strong and versatile minion that combines Silence with solid stats, which made the decision to include it in every Druid deck virtually automatic. Whether or not to introduce a source of Silence to a deck should require some decision making, so Keeper of the Grove shouldn’t be a default choice for all Druid decks. Its stats have been changed from 2/4 to 2/2.

Ironbeak Owl is a staple source for an inexpensive Silence in many decks. In line with our overall goal to make Silence effects more costly, Ironbeak Owl is moving from 2 to 3 mana.

Big Game Hunter represents an inexpensive source of removal that is packaged with a minion. It’s efficient enough that some Heroes with powerful Class-based removal cards choose to run the neutral Big Game Hunter. We’re increasing the cost of the card from 3 mana to 5 mana.

Hunter’s Mark is an important option for Hunters, but it’s too efficient at 0 mana. We are increasing its cost to 1.

  • LegacyBlade Flurry - Cost increased from 2 to 4. Card text changed from "Destroy your weapon and deal its damage to all enemies." to "Destroy your weapon and deal its damage to all enemy minions."

Blade Flurry is a problem because it enables both board clear and heavy burst damage, and it’s also an obstacle to adding better cards for Rogues. To address these issues, the cost of Blade Flurry is moving from 2 to 4 mana, and it will now only affect minions, so that Rogues have to choose between removing threats or damaging the enemy Hero.

Knife Juggler should be a good choice in decks that play many cheap minions, but with 3 Attack, it is played almost universally. We’re reducing Knife Juggler’s Attack from 3 to 2, so this card will move into a more specialized role in the decks that include it, instead of always being among the best choices for a 2 mana-cost minion.

Leper Gnome is powerful for its cost, finds its way into almost every aggressive deck, and requires no further deck building decisions to be effective. We’d like other 1 mana minions to be more compelling, so we’re reducing its Attack from 2 to 1.

  • LegacyArcane Golem - Changed from a 4/2 to a 4/4. No longer has Charge.

Charge is an ability we’ve learned to use sparingly. Arcane Golem has been a staple in many aggressive and ‘one turn kill’ combo decks, and its drawback is rarely relevant. We’re addressing both issues by removing Charge and increasing Arcane Golem’s Health, while leaving its drawback. Arcane Golem will now be a 3 mana 4/4 with Battlecry: Give your opponent a Mana Crystal.

Molten Giant is an interesting card, but it’s too easy for players to reduce its mana cost to 0. We’re increasing Molten Giant’s mana cost to 25 to increase the risks players must take to get a free Giant. The changes to LegacyForce of Nature and LegacyArcane Golem will make dropping to low health somewhat less risky as well, which helped spur this change.

  • LegacyMaster of Disguise - Card text changed from "Battlecry: Give a friendly minion Stealth." to "Battlecry: Give a friendly minion Stealth until your next turn."

The ability of Master of Disguise to grant permanent Stealth has been a design obstacle for a long time, so we are changing Master of Disguise to only grant Stealth until the next turn. This change opens up exciting options for future cards.

  • LegacyCaptain's Parrot - No longer rewarded from collecting Classic Pirates. Can now be crafted.
  • LegacyOld Murk-Eye - No longer rewarded from collecting Classic Murlocs. Can now be crafted.
Commentary

2015[]

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Patch 3.2.0.10604 (2015-10-20)[]

  • LegacyWarsong Commander now reads: Your Charge minions have +1 Attack. [Was: Whenever you summon a minion with 3 or less Attack, give it Charge.]

...we felt this change was necessary to help expand both future design space and to stand by our overarching game philosophy that battles between minions and fighting for board control is what makes Hearthstone fun and compelling.[20]

This change was made in connection to the card's use in the then extremely popular Patron Warrior decks, with the combination of Blackrock MountainGrim Patron and Warsong Commander (alongside LegacyFrothing Berserker and activator cards such as LegacyWhirlwind) producing a very effective but also somewhat non-interactive deck. The reasons for its eventual nerf parallel earlier nerfs for Miracle Rogue and Freeze Mage.

Commentary

Patch 2.7.0.9166 (2015-06-15)[]

  • LegacyShadow of Nothing (created by LegacyMindgames when the opponent's deck has no minions remaining in it) no longer has a hidden triggered effect which destroys itself at the end of the turn.

This change was not mentioned in the patch notes, but was in line with previous comments by developers suggesting the triggered effect may be unnecessary.[21]

Patch 2.4.0.8311 (2015-03-31)[]

Announced as a bug fix, this change came following wide-spread request from players, especially following the release of Goblins vs Gnomes. After stating that they would consider the matter, 4 months later the developers changed the card to provide an effect more fitting to its card text.

Patch 2.1.0.7628 (2015-01-29)[]

  • NaxxramasUndertaker now reads: Whenever you summon a minion with Deathrattle, gain +1 Attack. [Previously: Whenever you summon a minion with Deathrattle, gain +1/+1.]

Undertaker was frustrating to play against. It often gained both Attack and Health stats significantly above those of other inexpensive minions very early in the game. With this change, we expect Undertaker will still be better than other 1-Mana minions when played in a deck with a Deathrattle theme, but more likely to die in combat against other minions.

2014[]

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Patch 2.0.0.7234 (2014-12-04)[]

  • LegacyFlare now costs 2 (up from 1)

Flare allowed the Hunter an advantage versus decks that revolve around Secrets, while also allowing the Hunter to draw a card for little cost. We want to encourage a variety of decks in Hearthstone. With this change, Flare will continue to be useful against decks playing Secrets, but will be weaker against other decks.

Gadgetzan Auctioneer’s ability allows for a player to potentially draw many cards for little cost. Card draw and card advantage are important to the game—overall, games are less interesting when a player draws their entire deck. This change brings Gadgetzan Auctioneer’s cost more in line with its power level.

Soulfire, along with fast and powerful minions, allowed Warlock rush decks to get ahead on the board and stay ahead. We’ve upped Soulfire’s mana cost by 1 to slow down the Warlock rush deck just a bit and allow more players time to react and interact against the Warlock.

Minion type changes
Undocumented

This undocumented change is notable for preventing players from using Bestial Wrath to bypass enemy Taunt minions. Since a minion with both Immune and Taunt will not act as a Taunt, prior to this change Bestial Wrath could be used to effectively remove Taunt from an enemy minion until the end of the turn.

Patch 1.2.0.6485 (2014-09-22)[]

Leeroy Jenkins created a strategy that revolved around trying to defeat your opponent in one turn without requiring any cards on the board. Fighting for board control and battles between minions make an overall game of Hearthstone more fun and compelling, but taking 20+ damage in one turn is not particularly fun or interactive. This was occurring when Leeroy was used in combination with other cards like LegacyPower Overwhelming, LegacyFaceless Manipulator, LegacyCold Blood, LegacyShadowstep, and LegacyUnleash the Hounds, among others.

Leeroy had been a regularly complained about card for several months prior to this change (if not since beta), mostly due to his power as a fi