Hearthstone’s Patch 19.2 is now live

The first balance update of this expansion cycle for Standard brings massive changes to other modes too.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Following the conclusion of the Hearthstone World Championship this weekend, Blizzard has revealed the first set of balance changes for the Madness at the Darkmoon Faire expansion.

Hearthstone’s Patch 19.2 went live today. The patch brings much-awaited card changes to the popular and ever-present new class, Demon Hunter, among other powerful cards on the ladder. Aside from the Standard ladder changes, the patch also introduces sweeping balance updates to Duels, major new Battlegrounds updates, the next two scheduled Book of Heroes, and the Winter Veil event.

Here are all the important takeaways from Patch 19.2.

Duels notes

Since Duels became accessible for all players to try, the newest treasures posed balance problems that propelled Warlock and Demon Hunter to astronomically high tiers. Due to this, both classes had their treasures nerfed to reduce their consistency since their ability to summon large creatures and OTK effortlessly was a common occurrence. In addition to nerfs, there are buffs to underperforming treasures and hero powers like Druid, Mage, and Paladin.

On top of Duels balancing, one critique from the community was that the mode was inaccessible for players with a smaller collection since treasures and hero powers were tied to the amount of epics players had. With the patch, the requirements have been lowered to the following:

  • Reduced the number of unique Madness at the Darkmoon Faire Epic cards required for unlocking Hero Power No. 2 for each class from 10 to five.
  • Reduced the number of unique Madness at the Darkmoon Faire cards required for unlocking Signature Treasure No. 2 for each class from 100 to 90.
  • Reduced the number of unique Scholomance Academy Epic cards required for unlocking Signature Treasure No. 3 for each class from 20 to 15.

Here are the exact balance changes:

Connections

  • Removed Battlecry from Shadowshell Informant.

Secret Studies

  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 1]

Killmox the Banished One

  • Old: Rush. Lifesteal. This minion has +2/+2 for each card you discarded this game. If this minion is discarded, return it to your hand. → New: Rush. Lifesteal. This minion has +1/+1 for each card you discarded this game. If this minion is discarded, return it to your hand.

Mo’arg Outcast

  • Old: [Costs 3] → New: [Costs 4]

Gift of the Legion

  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 3]

Herding Horn

  • Old: [Costs 5] → New: [Costs 4]

Drocomurchanicas

  • Old: [Costs 5] → New: [Costs 4]

Battlegrounds notes

Teased by various content creators yesterday, the newest patch brings multiple new heroes, neutral minions, and spells to the entire pool. Aside from the new content, the patch also includes sweeping buffs to underperforming heroes in the meta. The new heroes will be available to all players who don’t have the battle pass on Dec. 29.

Here are the exact notes for the balance updates and new content:

Hero pool updates

  • Galakrond has been temporarily removed from the Battlegrounds Hero Pool.
  • Sir Finley Mrrgglton has returned to the Battlegrounds Hero Pool.
  • The Great Akazamzarak has returned to the Battlegrounds Hero Pool.
  • Competitive Spirit has been added to The Great Akazamzarak’s Secret pool.

Silas Darkmoon

  • Come One, Come All!
  • Increased overall chances of getting tickets after turn 1.

Zephrys, the Great

  • Three Wishes
  • Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 3]

New Heroes

C’Thun

  • Saturday C’Thuns! [Costs 2]
  • At end of turn, give a friendly minion +1/+1. Repeat 0 Times. (Upgrades after each use!)

N’Zoth

  • Avatar of N’Zoth [Passive]
  • Start the game with a 1/1 Fish that gains all your Deathrattles in combat.

Y’Shaarj

  • Embrace your Rage [Costs 2]
  • Start of Combat: Add a minion from your Tavern Tier to your warband. Keep it.

New minions

Acolyte of C’Thun

  • [Tier 1] 2 Attack, 2 Health
  • Reborn. Taunt.

Tormented Ritualist

  • [Tier 2] 2 Attack, 3 Health
  • Taunt. Whenever this is attacked, give adjacent minions +1/+1.

Warden of Old

  • [Tier 3] 3 Attack, 3 Health
  • Deathrattle: Add a Gold Coin to your hand.

Arm of the Empire

  • [Tier 3] 4 Attack, 5 Health
  • Whenever a friendly Taunt minion is attacked, give it +3 Attack.

Bigfernal

  • [Tier 4, Demon] 4 Attack, 4 Health
  • After you summon a Demon, gain +1/+1 permanently.

Qiraji Harbinger

  • [Tier 4] 5 Attack, 5 Health
  • After a friendly minion with Taunt dies, give its neighbors +2/+2.

Champion of Y’Shaarj

  • [Tier 4] 2 Attack, 2 Health
  • Whenever a friendly Taunt minion is attacked, gain +1/+1 permanently.

Faceless Taverngoer

  • [Tier 5] 4 Attack, 4 Health
  • Battlecry: Choose a minion in Bob’s Tavern. Transform into a plain copy of it.

Mythrax, the Unraveler

  • [Tier 5] 4 Attack, 4 Health
  • At the end of your turn, gain +1/+2 for each minion type you control.

Elistra the Immortal

  • [Tier 6] 7 Attack, 7 Health
  • Divine Shield. Reborn. Whenever a friendly Taunt minion is attacked, this gets attacked instead.

Minion pool updates

  • Righteous Protector has been removed from the Battlegrounds minion pool.
  • The Beast has been removed from the Battlegrounds minion pool.
  • Crowd Favorite has been removed from the Battlegrounds minion pool.
  • Shifter Zerus has been removed from the Battlegrounds minion pool.

Standard update

While the majority of the balance update hits Demon Hunter, there are also a few key nerfs to potent neutral cards that helped elevate strategies, like Voracious Reader and Lorekeeper Polkelt. The nerf to Dinotamer Brann is a temporary one until Brann rotates into Wild since Highlander Hunter has been a potent force on the Standard ladder. Every card listed here’s eligible for a full dust refund:

Blade Dance

  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 3]

Dreadlord’s Bite

  • Old: 3 Attack, 2 Durability → New: 2 Attack, 2 Durability

Shardshatter Mystic

  • Old: [Costs 3] → New: [Costs 4]

Dinotamer Brann

  • Old: [Costs 7] → New: [Costs 8]

Voracious Reader

  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 3]

Lorekeeper Polkelt

  • Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 5]

Other key notes

Following heavy criticism from the community of the new Progression System, Blizzard has reduced the amount of experience needed to reach certain levels. In addition, some of the rewards were reworked.

Here are the exact changes:

  • Reducing the amount of experience needed to reach certain levels on the Rewards Track.
  • Reduced total required XP for completing the Rewards Track by 37,000 XP.
  • Adjusting a variety of Daily and Weekly Quests that feel unrewarding or too difficult.
  • Removed ‘Finish an Arena run with 4 or more wins’ Quest. 
  • Removed ‘Play an Old God Legendary from the Darkmoon Faire 10 times’ Quest.
  • Adjusted ‘Play 50 Corrupt cards’ Quest to now read ‘Play 30 Corrupt cards’.
  • Adjusted ‘Win 7 games of Ranked Play mode’ to ‘Win 5 games of Ranked Play mode’.
  • Adjusted ‘Finish in top 2 in Battlegrounds’ to ‘Finish in top 4 in Battlegrounds’
  • Adjusted ‘Deal 2,000 damage to enemy minions in Battlegrounds’ to ‘Deal 1,500 damage to enemy minions in Battlegrounds’
  • Adjusted ‘Play two 10 cost cards’ to ‘Play one 10 cost card’
  • Adjusted ‘Play 20 Murlocs’ to ‘Play 10 Murlocs’
  • Adjusted ‘Play 6 Weapons’ to ‘Play 4 Weapons’
  • Adjusted all 800 XP Daily Quests to award 900 XP.
  • Adjusted applicable quests to count progress from Tavern Brawls and Battlegrounds.
  • Adding more rewards to certain levels of the Rewards Track and expanding the Rewards Track levels above level 50.
  • Added 50 additional Gold each to levels 27 and 30. Players who hit these milestones before the 19.2 patch will be compensated in a future update.
  • Expanded levels 51-150 to a maximum level of 350 and adjusted each level after level 50 to require 1/3 as much XP and reward 50 Gold.
  • Follow Garrosh’s journey to becoming the Warlord of the Warsong clan in the next installment of Hearthstone Book of Heroes, releasing on December 16! Defeating all 8 bosses in this linear adventure will reward 1 Warrior Pack, containing only Warrior cards from Standard!
  • Then, on January 5, protect the weak, bring justice to the unjust, and vanquish evil! Defeating all 8 bosses in Uther’s Book of Heroes will reward 1 Paladin Pack, containing only Paladin cards from Standard! Dev Comment: The Achievement for completing Book of Heroes Uther is missing. This is a known issue that will be fixed in a future update.

You can experience the Winter Veil and more now that Hearthstone Patch 19.2 is live.