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Hearthstone's next patch is coming today, so here are the patch notes

best Hearthstone decks
(Image credit: Blizzard)

These days, Hearthstone patches arrive with the frequency of particularly aggressive buses. Look, here's another, and it'll actually be live today, with bug fixes and balance updates for both Standard and Battlegrounds. The patch notes are live now, which means we can find out what's going to happen before it happens. Exciting, no?

The update to Standard brings nerfs to Refreshing Spring Water, Hysteria, Crabrider, and Olgra, Mankrik's Wife, and a sort of up-down tweak to First Day of School, which had its cost increased from 0 to 1 but now adds three random 1-Cost minions to your hand instead of two. Here's how it breaks down, and why:

  • Refreshing Spring Water - Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 5]

Spell Mage currently exhibits many explosive turns, with Refreshing Spring Water playing a significant role. By nerfing Refreshing Spring Water to 5 mana, we're aiming to lower the frequency of extreme turns where Refreshing Spring Water draws cards and gains you mana in the process. By lowering the frequency of those gameplay sequences, we believe the deck's range of possibilities will be more in line with other current options.

  • First Day of School - Old: [Costs 0] Add 2 random 1-Cost minions to your hand → New: [Costs 1] Add 3 random 1-Cost minions to your hand.    

As we look at Paladin's continued strong performance across multiple archetypes, we're nerfing First Day of School in order to hit Paladin's early-game strength. By bumping up First Day of School's mana cost and the amount of 1-Cost minions generated, we are moving the card to fit a value role rather than its initial position as an efficient curve enabler.

  • Hysteria - Old: [Costs 3] → New: [Costs 4]

At 3 mana, Hysteria becomes an option before opponents really have the opportunity to consider how to best interact with it. Pushing Hysteria to 4 mana gives more space for those board-committal decisions to occur and also allows cheaper removal in Priest/Warlock to have a more distinct purpose.

  • Crabrider - Old: Rush Windfury → New: Rush Battlecry: Gain Windfury this turn only.

Crabrider is too efficient in some of our board-based decks, clearing minions and dishing out a lot of Windfury damage. By changing Crabrider's Windfury to only last until end of turn, we're pulling back on the lethality it poses if left alone for a few turns. We aim for Crabrider to still remain a solid option for decks looking to swing back the board, especially when combined with buffs.

  • Olgra, Mankrik’s Wife - Old: Casts When Drawn Summon a 3/10 Mankrik, who immediately attacks the enemy hero. → New: Casts When Drawn Summon a 3/7 Mankrik, who immediately attacks the enemy hero.

We are lowering the Health on Mankrik, Consumed by Hatred to soften the effect of an early Olgra draw. At 7 Health, the token will be more in reach of the mid-game removal that's available throughout turns 4-6.

There is one surprising omission though: Incanter's Flow. It's the Mage card which is so egregiously powerful that Hearthstone caster Darroch Brown recently tweeted out a supercut of Grandmaster players reacting in horror and frustration to the card being played last weekend. 

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And here's what recent Hearthstone Masters Tour Ogrimmar winner Gabriel “Gaby” Jeanne thinks of that decision. 

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As always, the above cards will all be eligible for a full dust refund for two weeks after the update goes live.

Unusually, there are also a good number of buffs on the way, "mainly focused on bringing up struggling classes and archetypes". *cough* Shaman.

  • Razorboar - Old: 2 Attack, 2 Health → New: 3 Attack, 2 Health   
  • Dark Inquisitor Xanesh - Old: Reduce the Cost of all Corrupt cards in your hand and deck by (2). → New: Reduce the Cost of all Corrupt and Corrupted cards in your hand and deck by (2).   
  • Unbound Elemental - Old: 2 Attack, 4 Health → New: 3 Attack, 4 Health   
  • Tidal Surge - Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 3]   
  • Lilypad Lurker - Old: 4 Attack, 5 Health → New: 5 Attack, 6 Health   
  • Fiendish Circle - Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 3]   
  • Deck of Chaos - Old: [Costs 6] → New: [Costs 5]   
  • Whirling Combatant - Old: 2 Attack, 6 Health → New: 3 Attack, 6 Health   
  • Shieldmaiden - Old: [Costs 6] → New: [Costs 5]   
  • N’Zoth, God of the Deep - Old: [Costs 10] → New: [Costs 9]

On the Battlegrounds side, Barrens Blacksmith will be removed from the minion pool, and a handful of other minions have been toned down slightly—or not so slightly, in some cases—mainly to bring the recently-added Quillboar tribe into check.

  • Roadboar - Old: 2 Attack, 4 Health → New: 1 Attack, 4 Health
  • Prophet of the Boar - Old: 3 Attack, 3 Health → New: 2 Attack, 3 Health
  • Bannerboar - Old: 2 Attack, 5 Health → New: 1 Attack, 4 Health
  • Bristleback Brute - Old: The first Blood Gem played on this each turn gives an extra +3/+3. → New: The first Blood Gem played on this each turn gives an extra +2/+2.
  • Groundshaker - Old: After a Blood Gem is played on this, give your minions +2 Attack for next combat only. → New: After a Blood Gem is played on this, give your other minions +2 Attack for next combat only.
  • Dynamic Duo - Old: 5 Attack, 6 Health → New: 3 Attack, 4 Health
  • Bonker - Old: 4 Attack, 7 Health → New: 3 Attack, 7 Health
  • Old (Golden): Mega-Windfury. After this attacks, gain 2 Blood Gems. → New: Mega-Windfury. After this attacks, gain a Blood Gem.
  • Charlga - Old: 7 Attack, 7 Health. At the end of your turn, play a Blood Gem on all friendly minions. → New: 4 Attack, 4 Health. At the end of your turn, play a Blood Gem on all other friendly minions.

Blizzard is also working to fix a bug that's preventing updated text from display on non-English Battlegrounds cards:

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And finally, the bug fixes:

  • Fixed a bug that removed Glaivebound Adept from the game. It will now be back in your collection, safe and where it belongs.
  • Fixed a bug where Sparkjoy Cheat would draw a card whenever you had a Secret in your hand, even if the Secret was not castable (such as if the Secret was a duplicate of one already in play). Sparkjoy Cheat will now only draw a card if a Secret is cast from your hand.       
  • Fixed a bug where using Vol’jin’s Hero Power on Goldgrubber would sometimes result in Goldgrubber’s stats being reset each round.       
  • Updated language on certain Amalgam cards to properly include all Minion Types.     
  • Fixed a bug related to in-game notifications.       
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Battle-Ready Decks from being accessed if Dame Hazelbark was opened first.       
  • Fixed various bugs related to properly displaying pricing on items in the in-game shop.    

The Hearthstone 20.2.2 patch is set to go live later today. We'll let you know when it does.

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.