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Hearthstone Patch 21.2 nerfs Warlock and brings massive Battlegrounds change

The metas in both of these formats will be shifting. Here’s what you need to know.

Hearthstone: United in Stormwind has received its second round of balance changes in Patch 21.2.

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The update is already live and will nerf two cards that have appeared in previous patch notes: Stealer of Souls and Flesh Giant. Stealer of Souls has already been banned in Wild and Flesh Giant received a nerf in the game’s last update.

Aside from further alterations to Warlock, the largest scale of changes have come to the popular Battlegrounds mode. The major takeaways from this update are that Battlegrounds is receiving an exclusive keyword that activates after a set number of minions die in combat, 37 minions are being replaced with new ones, players with Battlegrounds Perks have a higher chance of receiving newer heroes, and there’s a damage cap of 15 that’s in place as long as no players have died yet.

Hearthstone’s newest game mode, Mercenaries, is also available for pre-purchase with this patch.

Here are all of the changes and everything you need to know about Hearthstone Patch 21.2.

Standard updates

  • Stealer of Souls
    • Old: [Costs 4] 2 Attack, 6 Health → New: [Costs 6] 4 Attack, 6 Health
    • Dev Comment: While the winrate of decks including Stealer of Souls isn’t particularly high, the games where these decks win are often won in an extreme way. This change, like our philosophy in the first Stormwind balance patch, is aimed at slowing the down the speed of Stealer of Souls and softening those extremes. Note: Stealer of Souls will remain banned in Wild alongside this change.
  • Flesh Giant
    • Old: [Costs 9] → New: [Costs 10]
    • Dev Comment: We’re moving Flesh Giant up another mana to further reduce the speed at which comes down in the average game. After monitoring the initial balance to change here, we believe it was a bit too soft and are adjusting Flesh Giant accordingly.

Both cards will be eligible for a full dust refund for two weeks after Patch 21.2 goes live.

Battlegrounds revamp

General updates

  • Battlegrounds Specific Keyword added, Avenge: Does something after X friendly minions die.
  • The length of turns three to nine have been increased by five seconds. Blizzard might further adjust the length of turns in the future.
  • Darkmoon Prizes have been disabled.
  • All players’ Battlegrounds ratings have been reset for a new season.
  • Damage cap of 15 damage has been added until the first player dies. Please note that the damage cap does not check for player deaths until the start of each Recruit Phase, meaning if someone concedes, disconnects, or dies during the Recruit Phase (Is Wrath Weaver ever really on your team?), the damage cap will still be present for that combat.
  • Players with Battlegrounds Perks are now more likely to be offered new Heroes during the two-week early access period that follows their initial announcement. In every lobby during the two-week early access period, the option to play with new Heroes will be distributed at random between players with Battlegrounds Perks. No player will be offered more than one new Hero.

New heroes

  • Master Nguyen
    • Power of the Storm [Passive]
    • At the start of every turn, choose from two new Hero Powers.
  • Cariel Roame
    • Conviction (Rank 1) – One Gold
      • Give a random friendly minion +1/+1. (Upgrades at Tavern Tier 3.)
    • Conviction (Rank 2) – One Gold
      • Give three random friendly minions +1/+1. (Upgrades at Tavern Tier 5.)
    • Conviction (Rank 3) – One Gold
      • Give five random friendly minions +1/+1.

Players who have Battlegrounds Perks will have early access to the heroes above before they’re officially released two weeks after the next patch on Sept. 14.

New minions


  • Leapfrogger
    • [Tier 2, Beast] Deathrattle: Give a friendly Beast +2/+2 and this Deathrattle.
  • Sewer Rat
    • [Tier 2, Beast] Deathrattle: Summon a 2/3 Turtle with Taunt.
  • Bird Buddy
    • [Tier 3, Not a Beast] Avenge (1): Give your Beasts +1/+1.
  • Reanimating Rattler
    • [Tier 4, Beast] Battlecry: Give a friendly Beast Reborn.
  • Palescale Crocolisk
    • [Tier 5, Beast] Avenge (2) and Deathrattle: Give another friendly Beast +6/+6.


  • Impulsive Trickster
    • [Tier 1, Demon] Deathrattle: Give this minion’s maximum Health to a friendly minion.
  • Icky Imp
    • [Tier 1, Demon] Deathrattle: Summon two 1/1 Imps.
  • Impatient Doomsayer
    • [Tier 3, Not a Demon] Avenge (3): Add a random Demon to your hand.
  • Kathra’natir
    • [Tier 4, Demon] Your other Demons have +3 Attack. Your Hero is Immune.
  • Insatiable Ur’zul
    • [Tier 5, Demon] Taunt. After you play a Demon, consume a minion in Bob’s Tavern to gain its stats.
  • Famished Felbat
    • [Tier 6, Demon] At the end of your turn, each friendly Demon consumes a minion in Bob’s Tavern to gain its stats.


  • Pupbot
    • [Tier 1, Mech] Divine Shield
  • Mechano-Tank
    • [Tier 4, Mech] Avenge (2): Deal 6 damage to the highest Health enemy minion.
  • Grease Bot
    • [Tier 4, Mech] After a friendly minion loses Divine Shield, give it +2/+1 permanently.
  • Holy Mecherel
    • [Tier 5, Mech] After a friendly minion loses Divine Shield, gain Divine Shield.
  • Omega Buster
    • [Tier 6, Mech] Deathrattle: Summon six 1/1 Microbots. For each that doesn’t fit, give your Mechs +1/+1.


  • Saltscale Honcho
    • [Tier 2, Murloc] After you play a Murloc, give two other friendly Murlocs +1 Health.
  • Swolefin
    • [Tier 3, Murloc] Battlecry: Gain +2/+1 for each other friendly Murloc.
  • SI:Sefin
    • [Tier 5, Murloc] Avenge (3): Give a friendly Murloc Poisonous permanently.
  • Seafood Slinger
    • [Tier 6, Not a Murloc] Battlecry: Make a Murloc Golden.


  • Evolving Chromawing
    • [Tier 1, Dragon] After you upgrade your Tavern Tier, double this minion’s Attack.
  • Whelp Smuggler
    • [Tier 2, Not a Dragon] After a friendly Dragon gains Attack, give it +2 Health.
  • Tarecgosa
    • [Tier 3, Dragon] This permanently keeps enchantments from combat.
  • Prized Promo-Drake
    • [Tier 4, Dragon] Start of Combat: Give adjacent minions +1/+1 for each friendly Dragon.
  • Prestor’s Pyrospawn
    • [Tier 4, Dragon] Whenever another friendly Dragon attacks, deal 3 damage to its target.


  • Defiant Shipwright
    • [Tier 2, Not a Pirate] After you upgrade your Tavern Tier, add a random Pirate to Bob’s Tavern.
  • Briny Bootlegger
    • [Tier 3, Pirate] At the end of your turn, if you have another Pirate, add a Gold Coin to your hand.
  • Peggy Brittlebone
    • [Tier 4, Pirate] After a card is added to your hand, give another Pirate +1/+1.
  • Tony Two-Tusk
    • [Tier 5, Pirate] Avenge (5): Make another friendly Pirate Golden permanently.
  • Nosy Looter
    • [Tier 6, Pirate] Every two turns, add a random Golden minion to your hand.


  • Smogger
    • [Tier 3, Elemental] Battlecry: Give a friendly Elemental stats equal to your Tavern Tier.
  • Dazzling Lightspawn
    • [Tier 4, Elemental] Avenge (2): Elementals in Bob’s Tavern have +1/+1 for the rest of the game.
  • Recycling Wraith
    • [Tier 4, Elemental] After you play an Elemental, your next Refresh costs (0).
  • Master of Realities
    • [Tier 6, Not an Elemental] Taunt. After a friendly Elemental gains stats, gain +1/+1.


  • Gemsplitter
    • [Tier 3, Quilboar] After a friendly minion loses Divine Shield, gain a Blood Gem.

Neutral Minions

  • Budding Greenthumb
    • [Tier 3] Avenge (3): Give adjacent minions +2/+1 permanently.
  • Witchwing Nestmatron
    • [Tier 4] Avenge (3): Add a random Battlecry minion to your hand.

Removed minions

Tavern Tier One

  • Fiendish Servant
  • Vulgar Homunculus
  • Micro Machine
  • Murloc Tidecaller
  • Dragonspawn Lieutenant

Tavern Tier Two

  • Pack Leader
  • Kindly Grandmother
  • Steward of Time
  • Waxrider Togwaggle
  • Southsea Captain
  • Tormented Ritualist

Tavern Tier Three

  • Arcane Assistant
  • Imp Gang Boss
  • Infested Wolf
  • Iron Sensei
  • Hangry Dragon
  • Bloodsail Cannoneer
  • Warden of Old
  • Crystalweaver
  • Thorncaller

Tavern Tier Four

  • Virmen Sensei
  • Hexruin Maurader
  • Junkbot
  • Toxfin
  • Herald of Flame
  • Qiraji Harbinger
  • Bolvar, Fireblood
  • Security Rover

Tavern Tier Five

  • Sneed’s Old Shredder
  • Nat Pagle, Extreme Angler
  • Seabreaker Goliath
  • Ironhide Direhorn
  • Mythrax, the Unraveler
  • Mal’Ganis
  • Faceless Taverngoer

Tavern Tier Six

  • The Tide Razor
  • Lieutenant Garr

Nerfed minion

  • Arm of the Empire
    • Old: 5 Health → New: 4 Health

Mercenaries for Hire

Hearthstone Mercenaries is the new game mode where you collect iconic Mercenaries, assembling Parties to take down procedurally generated Bounties,” Blizzard said. “It is an entirely new way to play Hearthstone, combining RPG and roguelike elements with some of your favorite Hearthstone characters. Check out our OverviewGameplay, and Village blogs before pre-purchasing—Mercenaries launches worldwide on October 12.”

Duels update

  • Meek Mastery has been moved from Passive Treasures Pool 1 to Pool 2.
    • Dev comment: “In this patch, we are moving Meek Mastery to Passive Treasure Pool 2. We will continue to monitor Duels and make small adjustments as needed while we work on a much larger Duels update, planned for later in this expansion cycle.”

Book of Mercenaries Tamsin joins Sept. 7

“After escaping a vengeful demon hunter in the Barrens, the warlock Tamsin Roame has vengeance on her mind as well,” Blizzard said. “Her bloodthirsty mission will take her to the Alliance’s seat of power, the city of Stormwind, Tamsin’s home when she was mortal. There she will attempt to unleash the demon Anetheron upon the city. But when Tamsin comes face to face with her own father, will she or anyone in the city survive? Find out when Book of Mercenaries Tamsin launches September 7th. Defeating all 8 bosses in this linear adventure will reward 1 Warlock pack, containing only Warlock cards from Standard.”

Bug fixes and game improvements

  • The main menu has been updated. A Mercenaries button has been added (locked until mode is live), Battlegrounds can now be accessed from the main menu, and Solo Adventures have been moved under Modes—where Arena and Duels can still be found.
  • The first-time user experience has been updated and streamlined. New Players can now play Battlegrounds right away or the original Hearthstone tutorial.
  • Fixed a bug where players were able to delete their first deck immediately after the tutorial and were unable to build a new deck because they had not yet unlocked any playable classes.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the friends list to load slowly for players who had many friends online and made it difficult to challenge a friend from that list.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Deathrattles to be tracked as triggered (by cards such as Counterfeit Blade) in situations where the Deathrattle condition was not met.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Wild Growth and Overgrowth to award Excess Mana if the mana cap was reached through temporary mana (such as Innervate or Lightning Bloom).
  • Fixed a bug where the Fireballs cast by Grand Magus Antonidas were not affected by Spell Damage.
  • Fixed a bug where if multiple versions of a card name exist in a player’s deck (such as one with a buff and one without) Southsea Scoundrel would count them as distinct for the first half of its battlecry, but not the second half. Now they will count as distinct for the entire Battlecry.
  • Fixed a bug where Reckless Apprentice used up the mana cost reduction from Tour Guide.
  • Fixed a bug where Transfer Student was not receiving the correct effect on the Madness at the Darkmoon Faire game board.
  • Fixed a bug where Purified Shard (the Priest Questline final reward) was revealed to the opponent when drawn.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to play a deck that included Stealer of Souls in Wild if the deck was a Standard-legal deck.
  • Fixed a bug where Wild was not properly unlocking for some players who had met the unlock criteria.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed a Battlegrounds player to face Kel’Thuzad if an even number of players remained in the lobby.
  • Fixed various display errors in the Achievement Journal.
  • Fixed a bug causing opponents’ names to appear smaller than intended on phones.
  • Fixed a visual bug with Pandaren Importer’s Golden animation.
  • Fixed a bug where the wrong art was displayed for Sphere of Sapience’s “A New Fate” option, Learn the Truth (the second phase of the Rogue Questline), and Repair Bot (summoned by Gelbin Mekkatorque).

You can try out the new changes for yourself since Hearthstone Patch 21.2 is live now.

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Dylan Ladd
My name's Dylan! I play card games, write about them, and I'm making one too! I'm also into a ton of other competitive games (MOBAs and Fighting Games especially). Sometimes you can catch me streaming on Twitch!