Hearthstone (finally) nerfs Edwin VanCleef and Boggspine Knuckles

Edwin Van Cleef
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Ending games of Hearthstone early by creating a big Edwin VanCleef has been a signature of the Rogue class since the game started. And yet somehow the legendary card has dodged nerfs like Neo ducking bullets in The Matrix. Well, he finally caught one, and it's happening today. Blizzard is rolling out a balance update for Hearthstone that will nerfs both VanCleef and Shaman's Boggspine Knuckles weapon. Meanwhile, over in Battlegrounds, another overperformer is getting toned down, and no surprise it's Elistra the Immortal.

It's a small patch, but clearly one Blizzard felt was needed to keep both modes healthy. Let's get to the notes:


Edwin VanCleef

  • Old: [Costs 3] → New: [Costs 4]

(Image credit: Blizzard)

The last few weeks have been the best Edwin has ever performed as an individual card (the highest win rate card in multiple Rogue archetypes). Alongside cards like Foxy Fraud and Shadowstep, the frequency of early 8/8 or 10/10 Edwin VanCleefs reached a point we are no longer comfortable with. We want to evaluate how the rest of Rogue's kit performs without this very powerful iteration of Edwin. Cards like Foxy Fraud, Swindle, and Prize Plunderer are important pieces for future expansions and card interactions, so we'll be keeping close tabs on how they perform with the influx of new cards and Edwin's nerf.

[updated] Based on a tweet from senior game designer Alex Dawson, it sounds like Blizzard is actually going to remove Edwin from Standard entirely later this year at which point the nerf will be removed, though it won't happen using the Hall of Fame mechanic because that is also being replaced. According to Dawson, if you have a copy of the card you want a full dust refund for then you should disenchant during the current window.

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Boggspine Knuckles

  • Old: 4 Attack → New: 3 Attack

(Image credit: Blizzard)

We're lowering the attack on Boggspine Knuckles in order to cut into the fluidity of Evolve Shaman, increasing the required investment of playing a 5-mana weapon without a free Dread Corsair, and reduce the overall damage output the deck is capable of over multiple weapon charges. This change lowers the amount of explosive plays available to Evolve Shaman and should create an overall healthier meta.


Elistra the Immortal

  • Old: 7 Attack, 7 Health → New: 4 Attack, 4 Health

(Image credit: Blizzard)

The update also makes a couple of fixes, as they traditionally do: A bug that kept Infinite Toki's Temportal Tavern from functioning properly with with the New Recruit Darkmoon Prize has been fixed, as has another that prevented Ysera’s Dream Portal from offering a Dragon when Bob's Tavern is full when used with a New Recruit Darkmoon Prize.

As always, the Edwin VanCleef and Boggspine Knuckles cards will be eligible for a full dust refund for two weeks after the update goes live. An exact rollout time hasn't been announced, but you can expect it to arrive today.

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.