Blizzard nerfs $25 Hearthstone card

The diamond Drek'Thar card on sale for $24.99
(Image credit: Blizzard)

A new Hearthstone balance patch brings a number of changes to Blizzard's long-running CCG, most notably to Drek'Thar, which has been nerfed considerably: Its battlecry now summons just one minion from a player's deck, instead of two. It's a notable change not just because of the reduction in power, but because it includes the card that Blizzard was selling by itself for $25 (opens in new tab) in April.

Diamond cards are a cosmetic card variant (opens in new tab) introduced to Hearthstone in 2021. A tier above the golden rarity, diamond cards are animated but functionally identical to the standard versions. You're paying strictly for the look, in other words—although some folks think the high price tag should justify a little bit of a gameplay boost, too.

See more

Despite the high cost of the card, Hearthstone players who sprung for it don't seem especially upset about the nerf, because Blizzard is being very generous with diamond Drek'Thar refunds. 

Normally, Hearthstone cards that are substantially nerfed are eligible for a "dust refund," giving players an opportunity to trade in the diminished card for arcane dust, an in-game resource used for card crafting. That's the case here as well: Drek'Thar, along with Multi-Strike and Dragonbane Shot, will be eligible for full dust refunds for two weeks. 

That's not really sufficient for diamond cards, though, because of their high cost: Owners would be effectively forced to choose between holding onto a card they don't really want anymore just because it's so damn pretty (even if they're not able to show it off as much anymore), or exchanging it for the same amount of dust as people with the standard variant.

Blizzard saw that trouble coming and headed it off at the pass by giving diamond Drek'Thar owners 3,000 gold, automatically, the next time they log into the game. That's what the diamond Drek'Thar card cost for those who purchased it using gold, and it's enough to get you 30 Hearthstone card packs. And very importantly, unlike standard dust refunds, you get to keep your diamond Drek'Thar card—it's basically a free diamond card for anyone who sprung for it pre-nerf.

"I am incredibly happy about that," xnerdyxrealistx (opens in new tab) wrote on Reddit. "Very generous."

"The 3k gold I spent on diamond Drek'thar was well worth it now, free diamond card now," FluffyOnReddit (opens in new tab) wrote.

"Yay! I will get my 3,000 gold back and keep the diamond card," Gamefreak_eve (opens in new tab) wrote. "Same here. Great outcome," vyn_ (opens in new tab) replied.

Not everyone is thrilled with the change. At least one player who paid cash for the diamond Drek'Thar card complained that even with the 3,000 gold, he's still out the cash he spent on the card. Others, though, were disappointed that they missed out: "Wow, full 3k gold refund for diamond Drek'Thar," GregLoire (opens in new tab) lamented. "I guess I should have bought that after all."

The full 23.2.2 patch notes are up at (opens in new tab).

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.