Hearthstone 20.0 Patch Notes: Balance Update & Classic Format

20.0 Patch Notes

The upcoming 20.0 patch is a big one! A whole host of new content will unlock when the patch hits on March 25, and things will get even more exciting when Forged in the Barrens launches on March 30! Below you can find an extensive list of what changes you can expect and when. Unless otherwise stated, the changes below will go into effect with the patch on March 25!

Balance Update

Nitroboost Poison

  • Old: [Costs 1] → New: [Costs 2]
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Dev Comment: We’re moving Nitroboost Poison to 2 mana to reduce the amount of cheap burst damage available in Rogue and create a real cost for Corruption. When evaluating Rogue’s future weapon-centric archetypes, we want to position the play patterns around building up a weapon over multiple turns and fighting for board rather than the hyper-aggressive strategies seen in decks like Stealth Rogue.

Nitroboost Poison will be eligible for a full dust refund for 2 weeks after the 20.0 patch goes live.

Battlegrounds Updates

  • Piloted Shredder has been removed from the Battlegrounds Minion Pool.

» NEW HERO

Overlord Saurfang

  • For the Horde! [Costs 1]
    • Give +1 Attack to the next minion you buy this turn. (Upgrades each turn!)

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Players with Battlegrounds Perks will have early access to Overlord Saurfang before the Hero is formally released on April 8.

 

» NEW MINION

Barrens Blacksmith (Golden Watermark is not final)

  • [Tier 3] 3 Attack, 5 Health. Frenzy: Give your other Minions +2/+2.

NEUTRAL_BAR_073_enUS_BarrensBlacksmith-62582_NORMAL.pngNEUTRAL_TB_BaconUps_320_enUS_BarrensBlacksmith-71533_GOLDEN.png

 

Classic Format, Set Rotation, and the New Core Set

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Ready for some nostalgia? The Classic format invites players to craft decks and compete using Hearthstone’s original 240 cards as they were in 2014, the year that Hearthstone launched! When the patch lands on March 25, your entire collection of relevant Basic, Classic, and Hall of Fame cards will be mirrored and available for deck building in the Classic format—as they were in the 1.0.0.5832 patch of June 2014 (after we made a few important changes), with any and all balance changes since then reverted. Classic packs will now add to your Collection for the Classic format, as well as the Legacy set in Wild. The Classic format leaderboards will launch on March 30. Read our announcement of the Classic format to learn more.

Map

We’re celebrating the launch of the Classic format by rewarding all players with one Golden Classic Card Pack just for logging in after the 20.0 patch has gone live! 

 

Set Rotation for the Year of the Gryphon will take place when Forged in the Barrens launches on March 30! Rise of Shadows, Saviors of Uldum, Descent of Dragons, Galakrond’s Awakening, Demon Hunter Initiate, Basic, and Classic will be rotating to Wild. Replacing Basic and Classic in Standard will be the new Core Set comprised of returning, reimagined, and completely new cards! The full breakdown is as follows:

  • 88 cards returning from Classic (54 class cards, 34 neutral cards).
  • 52 cards returning from Basic (41 class cards, 11 neutral cards).
  • 55 cards returning from Wild (36 class cards, 19 neutral cards).
  • 4 cards returning from Ashes of Outland (4 Demon Hunter Class cards).
  • 4 cards returning from Demon Hunter Initiate.
  • 1 card returning from Hall of Fame (Shadowform).
  • 31 new cards (20 Class cards, 11 Neutral cards).

You might notice that the numbers for Basic and new cards have changed since we last shared the Core set breakdown. That’s because, after taking time to consider community feedback, we’ve replaced the previously announced Core set versions of Stonetusk Boar and Bluegill Warrior with two brand new minions—Emerald Skytalon and Redgill Razorjaw!

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Lastly, we’ve updated the Shaman Hero power to replace the Wrath of Air (Spell Damage) Totem with a new totem, Strength Totem, which gives a friendly minion +1 Attack at the end of your turn!

SHAMAN_CS2_049_H1_enUS_TotemicCall-40247.pngSHAMAN_CS2_058_enUS_StrengthTotem-62320_NORMAL.png

 

The Great Unnerfing

We’re also reverting nerfs for 36 cards rotating to Wild! There are five days between when the 20.0 patch goes out and when these cards rotate so, we’re expecting the Standard meta to be very interesting this weekend. Watermarks on cards shown below are not final. 

MAGE

Mana Wrym

  • Old: [Costs 2] 1 Attack, 3 Health. → New: [Costs 1] 1 Attack, 2 Health.
MAGE_NEW1_012_enUS_ManaWyrm-405.pngcardchanges_arrow.pngMAGE_NEW1_012_enUS_ManaWyrm-405_NORMAL.png

Wrym Weaver

  • Old: [Costs 5] 3 Attack, 6 Health. Spellburt: Summon two 1/3 Mana Wryms. → New: [Costs 4] 3 Attack, 5 Health. Spellburst: Summon two 1/2 Mana Wryms.
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Conjurer’s Calling

  • Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 3]
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Dragoncaster

  • Old: [Costs 7] → New: [Costs 6]
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HUNTER

Flare

  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 1]
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Hunter’s Mark

  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 1]
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Starving Buzzard

  • Old: [Costs 5] 3 Attack, 2 Health → New: [Costs 2] 2 Attack, 1 Health.
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Dinotamer Brann

  • Old: [Costs 8] → New: [Costs 7]
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WARRIOR

Charge

  • Old: [Costs 1] Give a friendly minion Charge. It can’t attack heroes this turn. → New: [Costs 3] Give a friendly minion +2 Attack and Charge.
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Bloodsworn Mercenary

  • Old: 2 Attack, 2 Health. → New: 3 Attack, 3 Health.
WARRIOR_ULD_720_enUS_BloodswornMercenary-54492.pngcardchanges_arrow.pngWARRIOR_ULD_720_enUS_BloodswornMercenary-54492_NORMAL.png

Scion of Ruin

  • Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 3]
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SHAMAN

Spirit Claws

  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 1]
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Flametongue Totem

  • Old: [Costs 3] 0 Attack, 3 Health. → New: [Costs 2] 0 Attack, 2 Health.
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Invocation of Frost

  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 1]
SHAMAN_DRG_248_enUS_InvocationofFrost-55248.pngcardchanges_arrow.pngSHAMAN_DRG_248_enUS_InvocationofFrost-55248_NORMAL.png

Dragon’s Pack

  • Old: Summon two 2/3 Spirit Wolves with Taunt. If you’ve Invoked twice, give them +2/+2. → New: Summon two 2/3 Spirit Wolves with Taunt. If you’ve Invoked twice, give them +3/+3.
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Corrupt Elementalist

  • Old: [Costs 6] → New: [Costs 5]
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DRUID

Keeper of the Grove

  • Old: 2 Attack, 2 Health. → New: 2 Attack, 4 Health.
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Ancient of Lore

  • Old: Choose One – Draw a card; or Restore 5 Health. → New: Choose One – Draw 2 cards; or Restore 5 Health.
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PRIEST

Power Word: Shield

  • Old: [Costs 0] Give a minion +2 Health. → New: [Costs 1] Give a minion +2 Health. Draw a card.
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ROGUE

The Caverns Below

  • Old: Quest: Play five minions with the same name. Reward: Crystal Core (For the rest of the game, your minions are 4/4). → New: Quest: Play four minions with the same name. Reward: Crystal Core (For the rest of the game, your minions are 5/5).
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Edwin VanCleef

  • Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 3]
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Blade Flurry

  • Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 2]
ROGUE_CS2_233_enUS_BladeFlurry-1064.pngcardchanges_arrow.pngROGUE_CS2_233_enUS_BladeFlurry-1064_NORMAL.png

Necrium Apothecary

  • Old: [Costs 5] → New: [Costs 4]
ROGUE_DRG_031_enUS_NecriumApothecary-55099.pngcardchanges_arrow.pngROGUE_DRG_031_enUS_NecriumApothecary-55099_NORMAL.png

Galakrond, the Nightmare (Applies to upgraded versions)

  • Old: Draw 1 card. It cost (1). → New: Draw 1 card. It cost (0).
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PALADIN

Call to Arms

  • Old: [Costs 5] → New: [Costs 4]
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WARLOCK

Fiendish Rites

  • Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 3]
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NEUTRAL

Undertaker

  • Old: Whenever you summon a minion with Deathrattle, gain +1 Attack. → New: Whenever you summon a minion with Deathrattle, gain +1/+1.
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Leper Gnome

  • Old: 1 Attack, 1 Health → New: 2 Attack, 1 Health.
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Knife Juggler

  • Old: 2 Attack, 2 Health. → New: 3 Attack, 2 Health.
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Frenzied Felwing

  • Old: 3 Attack, 2 Health. → New: 3 Attack, 3 Health.
NEUTRAL_YOD_032_enUS_FrenziedFelwing-56122.pngcardchanges_arrow.pngNEUTRAL_YOD_032_enUS_FrenziedFelwing-56122_NORMAL.png

Bad Luck Albatross

  • Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 3]
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Saronite Chain Gang

  • Old: Battlecry: Summon another Saronite Chain Gang. → New: Battlecry: Summon a copy of this minion.
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Arcane Golem

  • Old: 4 Attack, 4 Health. → New: 4 Attack, 2 Health. Charge.
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Bonemare

  • Old: [Costs 8] → New: [Costs 7]
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Archivist Elysiana

  • Old: [Costs 9] → New: [Costs 8]
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Dragonqueen Alexstrasza

  • Old: Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, add 2 other random Dragons to your hand. They cost (1). → New: Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, add 2 other random Dragons to your hand. They cost (0).
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Spell Schools

Magical Spell Schools—Arcane, Fel, Fire, Frost, Holy, Shadow, and Nature—are being added to 545 previously released Spells across Standard and Wild as a permanent addition to Hearthstone with the patch on March 25! Spell Schools will add synergies and a new layer of depth throughout your Collection, and there are 24 more being added with Forged in the Barrens! You can find the updated breakdown below. For specifics, head over to the card library.

  • Arcane (2 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 44 Spells from past sets)
  • *UPDATED* Fel (3 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 23 Spells from past sets)
  • *UPDATED* Fire (2 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 45 Spells from past sets)
  • Frost (2 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 24 Spells from past sets)
  • Holy (5 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 67 Spells from past sets)
  • *UPDATED* Shadow (4 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 113 Spells from past sets)
  • *UPDATED* Nature (6 Spells in Forged in the Barrens, added to 117 Spells from past sets)

Duels Content Update

The 20.0 patch includes a big update for Duels! When the patch hits on March 25, Duels ratings for Casual and Heroic will reset, and the pool of eligible cards you can use to build your 15-card starter deck will be updated as follows:

What’s more, Forged in the Barrens cards can be found in card buckets offered between matches in Duels before the expansion unlocks on March 30!

» New Passive Treasures

The following Passive Treasures can now be found between matches in a Duels run:

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» Duels Balance Updates

Watermarks on cards pictured below are not final. 

Frost Shards

  • Old: [Costs 2] Deal 1 damage. Add a 1/1 Ice Shard that Freezes to your hand. → New: [Costs 1] Deal 1 damage. Add a 2/1 Ice Shard that Freezes to your hand.
MAGE_PVPDR_YOP_MageP1_enUS_FrostShards-67434.pngcardchanges_arrow.pngMAGE_PVPDR_YOP_MageP1_enUS_FrostShards-67434_NORMAL.png

Ice Shard

  • Old: [Costs 1] Attack 1, Health 1. → New: [Costs 2] Attack 2, Health 1.
NEUTRAL_YOD_029t_enUS_IceShard-56117.pngcardchanges_arrow.pngNEUTRAL_PVPDR_YOP_MageP1m1_enUS_IceShard-71530_NORMAL.png

Dark Arts

  • Old: Look at up to 4 cards in your hand and discard 1. Then, draw 1 card. → New: Look at up to 3 cards in your hand and discard 1. Then, draw 1 card.
WARLOCK_PVPDR_SCH_Warlockp2_enUS_DarkArts-64210.pngcardchanges_arrow.pngWARLOCK_PVPDR_SCH_Warlockp2_enUS_DarkArts-64210_NORMAL.png

Favored Racer

  • Old: Battlecry: Cast 1 random blessing on this minion. (Improves during run) → New: Rush. Battlecry: Cast 1 random blessing on this minion. (Improves during run)
PALADIN_PVPDR_YOP_PaladinT1_enUS_FavoredRacer-67397.pngcardchanges_arrow.pngPALADIN_PVPDR_YOP_PaladinT1_enUS_FavoredRacer-67397_NORMAL.png

Tempest’s Fury

  • Old: Attack 2, Durability 2. → New: Attack 2, Durability 3.
SHAMAN_PVPDR_DMF_Shamant1_enUS_TempestsFury-66763.pngcardchanges_arrow.pngSHAMAN_PVPDR_DMF_Shamant1_enUS_TempestsFury-66763_NORMAL.png

Connections

  • Old: At the start of your turn, add a 1/1 Informant to your hand. → New: At the start of your turn, add a random 1-Cost minion to your hand.
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Deathstrider

  • Now has the Beast tag.

 

» Banned Cards

We’re banning several cards from Duels in 20.0 for deckbuilding specifically, and then excluding a few more from card buckets. As you may have noticed, Self-Sharpening Sword has been banned in Duels since the mode launched. In the 20.0 patch, Self-Sharpening Sword will be unbanned from Deckbuilding, will become Discoverable, and can now show up in the Group Learning bucket.

Unbanned from Deckbuilding and Card Buckets:

  • Self-Sharpening Sword

Banned from Deckbuilding:

  • Ice Lance
  • Sylvanas Windrunner
  • Leeroy Jenkins
  • Ice Block
  • Doomguard
  • Divine Favor
  • Prophet Velen
  • Auchenai Soulpriest
  • Mind Blast
  • Old Murk-Eye
  • Divine Spirit
  • Tour Guide
  • Pen Flinger
  • Lightning Bloom
  • Nozdormu the Eternal

Banned from Card Buckets:

  • Jungle Giants
  • The Marsh Queen
  • Open the Waygate
  • The Last Kaleidosaur
  • Awaken the Makers
  • The Caverns Below
  • Unite the Murlocs
  • Lakkari Sacrifice
  • Fire Plume’s Heart

» Duels General Updates

We’ve made a few miscellaneous updates to Duels outside of the balance changes listed above. You might notice we’ve updated the general game flow to offer Passive/Active Treasures, adjust Health values, and offer card buckets at new intervals throughout a Duels run. Also, Spell Schools have been added to several Signature Treasures!

  • Nature – Warden’s Insight, Marvelous Mycelium, Deadly Weapons 101, Chaos Storm
  • Shadow – Fractured Spirits, Shadow Word: Void, Acquired Allies, Demonology 101
  • Fel – Summoning Ritual, Gift of Legion, Binding Chains
  • Holy – Men at Arms, Humble Blessings
  • Fire – Elemental Learning
  • Arcane – Infinite Arcane

We’ve also added six new buckets of cards that will appear between matches:

  • Little Bites (Hunter)
  • Razerrattle (Demon Hunter)
  • Hero Power (Mage)
  • Divine Duty (Priest)
  • Hero Power (Neutral)
  • Barrens Chat (Neutral)

Lastly, we’ve updated the unlock criteria for all Signature Treasures and Hero Powers to now count duplicates in your Collection, and no longer require unique cards.

Rewards Track Refresh & Diamond Cards

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When the Rewards Track refreshes for the first time on March 30, all players will automatically be granted any unclaimed rewards on both the free track and the Tavern Pass track if owned, and a completely new Rewards Track featuring a bevy of new unlockable loot will take its place!*

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We’ve made several additional changes for the new Rewards Track in the 20.0 patch aimed at making in-game progression feel even better. In summary, we’ve doubled the number of core reward levels from 50 to 100 and halved the amount of XP required to reach each level. Where possible, we’ve also adjusted the amount of rewards at each level, in order to distribute them more effectively across the whole track. You can find the full table of rewards and specifics of how we’ve further improved the track here. Please note that incomplete Madness at the Darkmoon Faire Gameplay and Duels achievements as of March 25 will no longer grant Rewards Track XP, and instead a new set of Forged in the Barrens achievements will!

With the introduction of the Forged in the Barrens Tavern Pass, we’re excited to announce an all-new cosmetic card tier for Hearthstone: Diamond cards! Each expansion will include one or more handcrafted Diamond Legendary cards that feature completely new 3D animations, more real estate for card art, and a stylish Diamond border.

Blademaster Samuro and Bru’kan will receive the Diamond treatment in Forged in the Barrens! The unlock criteria for these cards are as follows:

  • Diamond Blademaster Samuro – Obtained instantly by purchasing the Forged in the Barrens Tavern Pass and claiming the card on the Rewards track. 
  • Diamond Bru’kan – Obtained by completing the Forged in the Barrens Legendary Collector 5/5 Achievement (Collect all Legendary cards from the set.)

NEUTRAL_BAR_078_enUS_BlademasterSamuro-62587_DIAMOND.pngSHAMAN_BAR_048_enUS_Brukan-63074_DIAMOND.png

*Level 50 Hero skin choice must be made before the Forged in the Barrens Rewards Track refresh. Additionally, all players who are online at the time of the refresh will not see their Rewards Track immediately change over. These players must relog to receive the updated rewards track. We’re working to have the level 50 Hero skin automatically granted for those who missed claiming it and for the refresh to happen seamlessly for actively online players in a future patch.

 

Forged in the Barrens Tavern Pass

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Purchasing the Tavern Pass at any point during the expansion will immediately grant the Diamond Blademaster Samuro Legendary card, a 10% XP Boost that lasts for the duration of the expansion, and all items up to your current level on the paid track. As you progress with the Tavern Pass during the Forged in the Barrens expansion, you’ll earn additional XP Boosts, the Barrens card back, the uncraftable Shadowhunter Vol’jin Golden Legendary minion, the Firefang Rexxar Hero Skin, and an all-new cosmetic coin! You can also earn Hero Skins for the new Mercenaries introduced in Forged in the Barrens: three Rokara Warrior Hero Skins, three Kurtrus Demon Hunter Hero Skins, and three Xyrella Priest Hero Skins!

 

New Cosmetic Coins

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There are three new Cosmetic Coins on the way, two of which are themed after Forged in the Barrens and obtainable by the following means:

  • Completing the first 90 levels of the Rewards Track with the Tavern Pass.
  • Collecting 135 unique Forged in the Barrens cards.

We are planning a 35 card Mini-Set for Forged in the Barrens, so that second Achievement will become much easier once there are 170 to collect in total! We’ll have more information to share on the Forged in the Barrens Mini-Set in the coming months.

We’ve also added a Bigglesworth Coin for collecting one of every card from Scholomance Academy. Collect all 135 cards from Scholomance Academy and this new coin will be yours!

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Book of Mercenaries Rokara

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Forged in the Barrens introduces 10 all-new Mercenary characters as Legendary minions! We’ll be telling the stories for these characters over the course of the year through our expansions, our website, the Hearthstone Mercenaries game mode, and through Book of Mercenaries!

Book of Mercenaries will tell an epic, serialized story featuring all 10 new Mercenary characters and will release on a semi-monthly basis like Book of Heroes. Book of Mercenaries Rokara, the first installment in the series, will release on April 6 and reward a Warrior class pack for its completion!

 

March 30 - Arena Rotation

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When Forged in the Barrens launches on March 30, the Arena will include cards from the following sets:

Bug Fixes & Game Improvements

  • Increased the number of available deck slots from 18 to 27.
  • Moved the Seasonal Ranked Rewards Chest to the Deck Selection screen. Additionally, the Seasonal Ranked Rewards for March will give Forged in the Barrens packs instead of Madness at the Darkmoon Faire packs.
  • Added progress bars for each Achievement category in the Journal.
  • Updated the guaranteed Weekly Quest Win 5 Games of Ranked Play Mode to be re-rollable.
  • Updated several loading tips to reflect recent changes.
  • Updated Arena Rewards to now include Forged in the Barrens packs and no longer include Classic packs.
  • Updated Tavern Brawls to reward one Year of the Phoenix pack instead of a Classic pack.
  • Updated both new player Legendary quest lines so that several of the quests can be completed in Battlegrounds and will offer pack rewards from recent expansions instead of Classic packs.
  • Removed the returning player missions against Malfurion, Tyrande, and Hakkar and updated the Legendary quest line for returning players to reward a total of 15 card packs from recent expansions.
  • Updated free decks for new and returning players (recipes can be found here).*
  • Updated Book of Heroes so that completing all Book of Heroes missions for a class will now unlock that class.
  • Updated the Demon Hunter class so that it can be unlocked by playing against the class in Play mode or beating the class in Practice mode. Completing the Demon Hunter prologue will still unlock the class but will now reward 1 Demon Hunter class pack for players that have yet to complete it.
  • Fixed a bug where Wild cards would not appear in the Collection without having Demon Hunter unlocked.
  • Fixed a bug where Zephrys the Great would not offer Mass Dispel or Shadowflame when your board was full.
  • Fixed a bug where cards that target Deathrattle minions, such as Play Dead, would still work with Deathwarden in play.
  • Fixed a bug where minions buffed by Soul of the Murloc would not show a Deathrattle icon.
  • Fixed a bug where Khadgar would not copy Vectus’ Deathrattle effects on Plagued Hatchling.
  • Fixed a bug where Sparkjoy Cheat casting a secret from your hand would trigger an opponent’s Counterspell and still put the secret into play. It will now no longer trigger Counterspell.
  • Fixed a bug where Shenanigans would not trigger if the opponent’s first card drawn was a “Cast When Drawn” card.
  • Fixed a bug where Shadow Clone would trigger despite having a full board.
  • Fixed a bug where playing Crystal Core and Humble Blessing in the same match would not grant the persistent stat effect of whichever was played second.
  • Fixed a Battlegrounds bug where minions that buff others would not visually update all minions that are spawned during combat.
  • Fixed a Battlegrounds bug where the Prize Wall Hero Power would not show the correct number of turns left for players other than Tickatus.
  • Fixed a Battlegrounds bug where secrets generated from Prestidigitation showed a Gold cost despite not costing any Gold to cast.
  • Fixed a Duels bug where the win counter could show -1.
  • Fixed a Duels bug where duplicate card buckets could appear.
  • Fixed a Duels bug where your deck would not appear on the end of run screen.
  • Fixed a Duels bug where the Deathstrider Treasure could cause crashes when triggering multiple Deathrattles.
  • Fixed a Duels bug where the Soulcial Studies Hero Power could still appear as Coming Soon.
  • Fixed a Duels bug where Prince Malchezaar’s start of game effect would not activate if Prince Malchezaar was drawn from Small Pouches.
  • Fixed a bug where clicking the victory banner in Solo Adventures would not exit the match.
  • Fixed a bug in Trial by Felfire where the adventure would not show as completed despite earning its respective completion Achievement.
  • Fixed a bug in Trial by Felfire where the fight with Gruul the Dragonkiller could lock the game.
  • Fixed a bug with Book of Heroes Valeera where minions drawn by Varian Wrynn would not be placed on the board despite having adequate board space.
  • Fixed a bug with Book of Heroes Valeera where the AI would play Sleep with the Fishes for no value.
  • Fixed a visual bug with Book of Heroes Valeera where minions in play at the start of a match would appear ready to attack during the Mulligan.
  • Fixed a visual bug with Book of Heroes Valeera where Rehgar Earthfury would appear unable to attack despite being able to attack.
  • Fixed a visual bug with V-O7-TR-ON’s entrance animation.
  • Fixed a visual bug where Imprisoned Phoenix would briefly appear to give its Spell Damage buff while Dormant.
  • Fixed a visual bug where parts of the Zhuge Liang Anduin and Diao Chan Valeera Hero Skins were not appearing animated.

* Limit one per account. A returning player is defined as one who has not logged into Hearthstone for 120 consecutive days

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