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Hearthstone Battlegrounds nerfs big and Lil' Rag in the next update

(Image credit: Blizzard)
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Two weeks ago, our resident Hearthstone (opens in new tab) head Tim said that Lil' Rag is "the most busted (opens in new tab)" of the new minions added to Hearthstone Battlegrounds, and predicted that it was likely in line for a nerf. Today, Blizzard dropped the Hearthstone 18.4.2 patch notes, and we must once again acknowledge that he was right.

Lil' Rag is currently a Tier 5 minion with 4 attack and 4 health, but following the update he'll be 6/6 at Tier 6. At the same time, another Elemental, Gentle Djinni, drops from Tier 6 to 5, which is honestly how they should have been in the first place.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Lil' Rag isn't the only one being changed in the update, of course. His grown-up namesake, which is comfortably the only Tier 1 hero in game right now, is also being hit. Twice, in fact:  You'll now have to get an additional five kills in order to activate the Sulfuras passive hero power, and the buff has been reduced to +3/+3.

As detailed in the full patch notes (opens in new tab), nerfs and buffs are coming to a whole range of heroes and minions, and there are a few removals as well: Bartendotron has been taken out of the heroes pool, while Whirlwind Tempest and Pogo-Hopper are out of the minions pool. The loss of Pogo is particularly significant, given how degenerate it was when played every turn using Jandice Barov's minion-swapping hero power.

Associate game designer Cora Georgiou dug into some of the reasoning behind the changes in a brief thread on Twitter:

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The Hearthstone 18.4.2 update is set to go live on October 15. The full list of Battlegrounds balance changes is yours to enjoy below.

Battlegrounds Hero Updates:

Bartendotron has been removed from the Battlegrounds Hero Pool.

Ragnaros the Firelord

  • DIE, INSECTS! - Old: After you kill 20 enemy minions, get Sulfuras. → New: After you kill 25 enemy minions, get Sulfuras.
  • Sulfuras - Old: At the end of your turn, give your left and right-most minions +4/+4. → New: At the end of your turn, give your left and right-most minions +3/+3.

Maiev Shadowsong

  • Imprison - Old: Make a minion in Bob's Tavern Dormant. After 2 turns, get it with +1/+1. → New: Make a minion in Bob's Tavern Dormant. After 2 turns, get it with +1 Attack.

Chenvaala

  • Avalanche - Old: After you play 3 Elementals, reduce the cost of upgrading Bob's Tavern by (2). → New: After you play 3 Elementals, reduce the cost of upgrading Bob's Tavern by (3).

Patchwerk

  • All Patched Up - Old: Start with 50 Health instead of 40. → New: Start with 55 Health instead of 40.

Sindragosa

  • Stay Frosty - Old: At the end of your turn, Frozen minions get +1/+1. → New: At the end of your turn, Frozen minions get +2/+1.

King Mukla

  • Bananarama - Now has a chance to give King Mukla a Big Banana that gives a minion +2/+2.

Battlegrounds Minions updates:

Whirlwind Tempest and Pogo-Hopper have been removed from the Battlegrounds minion pool.

  • Selfless Hero - Old: [Tier 1] → New: [Tier 2]
  • Deadly Spore - Old: [Tier 4] → New: [Tier 5]
  • Salty Looter - Old: 3 Attack, 3 Health. → New: 4 Attack, 4 Health.
  • Bloodsail Cannoneer - Old: 4 Attack, 2 Health. → New: 4 Attack, 3 Health.
  • Party Elemental - Old: 2 Attack, 2 Health. → New: 3 Attack, 2 Health.
  • Arcane Assistant - Old: 3 Attack, 2 Health. → New: 3 Attack, 3 Health.
  • Majordomo Executus - Old: At the end of your turn, give your left-most minion +1 / +1 for each Elemental you played this turn. → New: At the end of your turn, give your left-most minion +1/+1. Repeat for each Elemental you played this turn.
  • Lil’ Rag - Old: [Tier 5] 4 Attack, 4 Health. → New: [Tier 6] 6 Attack, 6 Health.
  • Gentle Djinni - Old: [Tier 6] 6 Attack, 8 Health. → New: [Tier 5] 4 Attack, 5 Health.

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.