Hearthstone's Demon Hunter class is already getting nerfed

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Update: The planned changes have been detailed on the Hearthstone subreddit. This update is entirely server-side, meaning that you won't have to download anything—it will all happen behind the scenes.

"We wanted to get these changes out the door today, and in doing so you will only see the new stats for these cards—displayed in both red and green—in matches, not in your Collection," Blizzard said. "The red and green numbers will return to white and the cards will be updated in your Collection with a data-only patch that we’re expecting to deploy before the end of the day tomorrow."

  • Skull of Gul’dan – Mana cost increased from 5 to 6.
  • Imprisoned Antaen – Mana cost increased from 5 to 6.
  • Eye Beam – Outcast Mana cost increased from 0 to 1.
  • Aldrachi Warblades – Durability decreased from 3 to 2.

Blizzard is also reducing the offering rates on the following Demon Hunter cards in Arena, "until we’re able to properly address the class with more accurate micro-adjustments in a future patch."

  • Chaos Nova
  • Coilfang Warlord
  • Command the Illidari
  • Flamereaper
  • Furious Felfin
  • Glaivebound Adept
  • Illidari Felblade
  • Immolation Aura
  • Metamorphosis
  • Netherwalker
  • Nethrandamus
  • Priestess of Fury
  • Skull of Gul'dan
  • Twin Slice
  • Umberwing

Blizzard said that it will continue to monitor and adjust the class as necessary, "in order to get Demon Hunter to where we believe it should be."

Original story:

Hearthstone's Ashes of Outland expansion went live Tuesday, bringing with it the Demon Hunter, the first new class to be added to the game since it debuted in 2014. Today, senior designer Dean Ayala said that Illidan Stormrage's newcomers are bringing a little too much heat, and so nerfs are on the way.

Complaints about the new class began to surface on the Hearthstone forums almost immediately after the update went live. Tonquikei said in this thread, for instance, that prior to the release of Ashes of Outland, four classes had a 50-52 percent winrate, and the other five were in the 47-50 percent range. 

"DH is so good that it has pushed every single other class in the game’s winrate below a level required to climb. When one class has a 58% WR and the next highest is at 49%, that’s a significant problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible," they wrote.

"DH does it all. You simply can’t out tempo it in the early game and will struggle to out value it in the late game if you somehow managed to survive that long. The class has so many options playing against it feels like playing against an adventure boss like the Lich King on heroic."

Hearthstone player F2K_Zeddy illustrated the problem more succinctly on Twitter:

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The situation is serious enough that Blizzard is working on a patch that it hopes to get out today—the first time in Hearthstone history that nerfs have been announced within 24 hours of an expansion's release, according to our resident expert Tim. The previous "fastest nerfs ever," following last year's Descent of Dragons expansion, took more than a week to actually roll out. 

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Along with the immediate changes to cards, Ayala said Blizzard will adjust Demon Hunter in Arena, and make some changes to the class that will aim to keep its "class-defining pieces" powerful while down-tuning cards that give Demon Hunter too much of that "does it all" capability.

"The expectation should be that there will be a lot of balance iteration over the next few weeks. We'll be making changes a little more frequently until we feel that DH is in a fun, unique, and balanced state," Ayala said. "We have another patch planned for late next week that will address any further changes we want to make to Constructed, Battlegrounds, or Arena."

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.