Hearthstone Battlegrounds is getting new barmen, cosmetics, and the biggest minion shakeup yet

Remember to tip your server or take 8 damage to the face. (Image credit: Blizzard)

Blizzard announced today that the next Hearthstone expansion, United in Stormwind, will arrive in August with 135 new cards, the new Tradeable keyword, Profession Tools, Mounts, and more. But that's not the only big Hearthstone news of the day: A major update to the Hearthstone Battlegrounds autobattler is also on the way that will make big changes to the minion pool—including 25 new ones—and usher in the game's first batch of optional cosmetics.

First, the cosmetics, because we all like to look good. Two bundles will be available:

  • The Battlegrounds Bundle: Beach Party – Seven new portraits of Hearthstone heroes having some fun in the sun, including Grill King Bovar and Chillin' Vol'jin, plus Tikilord Ragnaros (top) as a fully-voiced alternate Bartender "who serves up drinks with a scorching attitude." Get it? Because he's on fire.
  • The Battlegrounds Heroes: Shadowlands bundle – Get eight heroes reimagined as members of the Covenants featured in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, including Finley of the Kyrian and Ysera of the Night Fae.

Note also that the larger of the United in Stormwind pre-order bundles comes with another alternate barman—the Ven'ari—in addition to the usual Battleground perks, such as being able to select from four heroes at the start of each match.

Details on the minion changes haven't been revealed yet, beyond an example given that Pirates will lean even more into acquiring gold, but Blizzard said it will be "the largest minion pool shakeup" since Hearthstone Battlegrounds went live, so players can expect a substantial meta shift.

Somewhat frustratingly, the rollout date for the Battlegrounds update hasn't been made public yet, but the United in Stormwind expansion will go live on August 3. Get the full details on what's coming for the base game right here.

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.