Hearthstone's Forbidden Library update brings parties to Battlegrounds, and more

Later this month Hearthstone will receive three weeks' worth of fresh stuff themed around the recent Scholomance Academy expansion. The event is called the Forbidden Library and it starts on September 8 with the addition of parties to the popular Battlegrounds mode. That's the autobattler-inspired mode which our Tim Clark summed up as, "building an army of high-synergy idiots and then sending them out to fight in randomised battles against seven other players until your health has been whittled to zero."

Now you'll be able to invite whole gangs of friends to the Battlegrounds. If you put together a group of up to four you'll be queued in ranked Battlegrounds, while parties of five to eight will automatically be put in private lobby. Three new heroes will also be added to Battlegrounds at the same time: Scholomance Academy professors Lord Barov, Jandice Barov, and Forest Warden Omu.

Lord Barov's friendly wager ability, for a cost of 1, asks you to guess which player will win their next combat. If you guess right, you get three coins. Jandice Barov's Swap, Lock, & Shop It ability costs 0 and lets you swap a friendly non-golden minion with a random one in Bob's Tavern. Meanwhile Forest Warden Omu has a passive that gives you two gold after you upgrade Bob's Tavern, but only for that turn.

On September 15 a solo adventure telling Jaina Proudmoore's origin story will be available for free. Completing that will earn you a solitary Mage Pack—which honestly seems a little stingy—that contains only Mage cards from Standard. This singleplayer adventure is part of the Book of Heroes series, which over the next year will tell the stories of Hearthstone's 10 core heroes.

Finally, on September 23 the Heroic Brawliseum arrives. In this Tavern Brawl players construct a deck and are matched against other Brawlers, playing match after match until they either lose three or win 12, earning more rewards the more games they win. Sounds like a rowdy thing to get up to in a library, but maybe that's why it's forbidden. The entry fee is 1000 gold, or $9.99.

As well as all that a Scholar Jaina bundle containing a Scholar Jaina hero skin and five Mage Packs will be available from September 12 to September 22, and from September 22 until September 29 the Magic of Dalaran card back, which was previously a seasonal reward from Season 39 back in 2017, will be available again.

Here's a look at Scholar Jaina and the new Battlegrounds heroes.

As well as this limited-time event there's a patch incoming. The Pack Leader minion will have Attack 2 instead of 3, and the same goes for its summons, while Mecharoo is being removed from the Battlegrounds minion pool. The following nerfs and buffs are also due.

  • Secret Passage: Now replaces your hand with four cards from your deck instead of five.
  • Cabal Acolyte: Health 4, down from Health 6.
  • Totem Goliath: Attack 5, up from Attack 4, with Overload (1) instead of Overload (2).
  • Archwitch Willow: Now costs 8 instead of 9, has Attack 5 and Health 5 instead of 7/7.
  • Darkglare: Costs 2 mana instead of 3, dropped from Attack 3 and Health 4 to 2/3, and refreshes only one mana crystal rather than two after your hero takes damage.

The full 18.2 patch notes are up at blizzard.com

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.