Hearthstone’s Small-Time Buccaneer nerf is now live

Even if you’re currently wearing two eyepatches, anyone who has played Hearthstone since the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion dropped can’t have failed to notice that Small-Time Buccaneer was a bit too strong. And by strong, I mean absolutely bloody broken. But as of now, the dread pirate’s reign of terror is (hopefully) over. The promised nerf to Buccaneer—which reduces the card’s health from 2 to 1, making it much easier to handle— is now live on all servers.

As part of the same patch, the cost of Spirit Claws has been increased from 1 to 2, providing a welcome blow to the power of Shaman decks which have been rampant for multiple expansions. Another nice quality of life improvement being added to the game with this patch is the addition of “floors” in Ranked mode, which mean you won’t be able to drop below ranks 15, 10 and 5 once you’ve reached them. That should take some of the grind out of the climb.

Fans of the game’s Arena mode can also look forward to testing a number of changes with this patch, including the shift from the Wild format to Standard, more spells appearing when making your draft picks, and the appearance of golden cards if you already own them.

One previously undocumented change is that the effect on Emperor Cobra, Pit Snake, Patient Assassin, and Maexxna has been renamed “Poisonous”. Previously it read “Destroy any minion damaged by this minion”, so I guess this is snappier. 

It’s probably because the game’s next expansion, Journey to Un’Goro, which was announced yesterday, will feature all manner of poisonous wildlife lurking in its prehistoric crater. The update to the client also means you can now pre-order the 50-pack bundle of Un’Goro cards for $50 or £35. Patch notes can be found here, and are worth checking out for a few other minor bug fixes.

Tim Clark

With over two decades covering videogames, Tim has been there from the beginning. In his case, that meant playing Elite in 'co-op' on a BBC Micro (one player uses the movement keys, the other shoots) until his parents finally caved and bought an Amstrad CPC 6128. These days, when not steering the good ship PC Gamer, Tim spends his time complaining that all Priest mains in Hearthstone are degenerates and raiding in Destiny 2. He's almost certainly doing one of these right now.