After days of anticipation, the contents of Hearthstone's upcoming patch 21.3, scheduled to go live on Tuesday afternoon, were revealed.
In a post shared on the game's official site, more than 30 cards across numerous game modes were buffed, nerfed, reworked, and banned all together. The intention behind the balance changes, as they are usually, is to provide a healthier and more diverse playing experience for those at the highest of ranks and those first learning out how to play the collectible card game or the auto chess, Battlegrounds, as well as Arena and Duels.
The following changes come with comments from the development team to pull back the curtain on the inner-workings of Team 5.
Standard and Wild nerfs, reworks, and bans
Comment: Irebound Brute was playable a bit earlier than intended on average. Pushing it back a turn should soften extreme turns.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Standard and Wild buffs
Overarching developer comment: 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.
Battlegrounds balance changes
Shudderwock's Hero Power:
Galewing's Hero Power:
In addition to the changes above, the seldom-played Defiant Shipwright has been replaced with Southsea Captain in the pool of selectable minions.
The numerous bug fixes (including a game crash) going live can be found within the company's post.
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.