Hearthstone 10.2 update is live, Wildfest is coming later this month

The Hearthstone 10.2 update, with changes to Ranked Play and a fond farewell to the dominance of Patches the Pirates, is now live for desktops and on the way to mobile devices. The new Mammoth Card Bundle that Blizzard revealed in the Quest for Packs announcement is now available for purchase, and Blizzard also announced that the Wildfest is on the way. 

Effective March 1, Ranked Play resets will set players to four ranks below the highest rank earned during the season, rather than basing it on earned stars. All ranks will have five stars, and Legend players will be reset to rank four, with no stars. Earning monthly card backs should also be easier, as instead of having to reach Rank 20 to get them, players must win five games in Ranked Standard or Wild at any rank. Changes to card balance will impact Corridor Creeper, Raza the Chained, Bonemare, and Patches the Pirate, who we talked about in-depth here

Beginning February 19 and running until March 11, Wildfest will see the return of Wild cards to the Arena draft, as well as a pair of Wild-themed Tavern Brawls: Venture Into the Wild, with pre-made Wild decks for each class, and the more competitive-focused Brawliseum, which uses player-built decks that are locked for the duration of the run and requires an entry fee paid in either Gold or real money—although the first run is free. Players will do battle until they hit 12 victories or three losses, and rewards will be the same as what's available in the Arena. 

A closer look at the 10.2 update is available at playhearthstone.com. One final note: Messing around with balance changes is always a tricky business, but if you're thinking about going off with some complaints, here's something else to think about first. 

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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.