Blizzard's 17.4.1 Hearthstone patch arrives today, introducing several balance changes to Hearthstone's Battlegrounds mode. This time around we'll see adjustments to a few hero powers, and tweaks to three beastly minions. Demon Hunter also undergoes yet another nerf, as Twin Slice's cost and attack have each been increased by one.
This patch follows the Trial by Felfire solo adventure, which unlocked yesterday. Constructed of five chapters, the adventure focuses on Elise Starseeker's younger sister, Aranna, as she assembles a team to take on Mecha-Jaraxxus. When logging in you'll notice a new quest that challenges you to finish chapter one in exchange for a Year of the Dragon, Ashes of Outland and Rise of Shadows pack. The entire adventure is available for free and continues to unlock as you defeat each opponent. Completing all five chapters only takes a couple of hours and awards the Rusted Legion card back. Prepare to laugh along with—or sigh—at the tireless rhyming dialogue between each fight.
Battlegrounds heroes Reno Jackson and Lord Jaraxxus will each have the cost of their hero powers lowered by one gold. Millificient Manastorm's passive hero power now reads "Mechs in Bob's Tavern have +1/+1". Rounding off the hero changes, Maiev Shadowsong's Dormant minions "no longer reduce the number of minions you see when refreshing Bob’s Tavern". It'll be interesting to see whether these buffs are enough to give each hero the boost they need, but so far these adjustments look very positive.
Onto Battlegrounds minions, Scavenging Hyena is moving down to Tier 1. While this is a small win for the beast, I imagine its impact will be minimal compared to the other changes. Rabid Saurolisk gains +1 health, but will now move up to Tier 2, which should make it feel slightly fairer. Of the three minions, Monstrous Macaw is the one to watch. It'll retain its 3/2 stats and Beast tag, but it's now moving up to Tier 3. Having only joined the pool recently, it has quickly proven to be far too powerful in Tier 2. This has prompted a snappy reaction from the Hearthstone team, but we'll have to wait and see whether this adjustment is severe enough.
Turning our attention to Standard, the Twin Slice change looks as though it'll hit Demon Hunter pretty hard. While paying one additional mana for +1 attack doesn't seem too disastrous, its synergies with cards like Altruis the Outcast, Battlefiend and Glaivebound Adept will be weakened. I'd say Twin Slice is certainly still playable, even though you have to wait a turn for certain combos now. If you happen to be a Wild player, then this is actually a cause for celebration as Odd Demon Hunter just got a cheeky buff.
That covers the highlights in the 17.4.1 Hearthstone patch. Arena fans will be disappointed to hear that there are still no updates regarding Arena rotation. The Battlegrounds adjustments and solo adventure should keep players occupied for now, and there's more Felfire Festival content to look forward to next week. A Trial by Felfire challenge mode is scheduled to unlock on June 24. This shifts the focus back to deckbuilding to defeat raid bosses. There are more packs up for grabs for participation, and a golden Kael'thas Sunstrider if you smash all the challenges. Burndown Tavern Brawl also returns next Wednesday.
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As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.