Hearthstone’s 23.6 patch brings changes to Battlegrounds and seasonal Arena event

Are you ready for a season of highrolls?

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment combined today’s announcement of the upcoming Hearthstone set with the release of a new patch. We’re getting more than just the preorders, though.

With patch 23.6, seasonal Battlegrounds and Arena events both launched today. Darkmoon Prizes return to Battlegrounds and Arena players get to play around with updated versions of the Taverns of Time cards. Mercenaries players also got a bit of (tough) love.

Here’s everything included in patch 23.6.

Battlegrounds updates: New cards and goodies

A large batch of new cards and a new hero have been added to Battlegrounds along with the return of Darkmoon Prizes. Some of the reveals were previously teased during the Lobby Legends broadcasts, and now we have a full list.

Lady Vashj, the new Battlegrounds hero, is a Naga that comes with a one-gold Hero Power called Relics of the Deep. “Discover a Spellcraft spell of your Tier or lower,” the ability reads. She enters the fray as an Armor Tier One character.

A couple of Hero Powers were also buffed:

  • Bigglesworth: Kel’thuzad’s Kitty gives you a Consolation Coin if your opponent dies without any minions.
  • Cariel Roame: Conviction now targets two random minions on Rank One, four on Rank Two, and all seven on Rank Three.
  • Drek’Thar and Vanndar can now target and copy from minions in Bob’s Tavern as well.
  • Guff Runetotem’s Hero Power now costs two gold and gives +3/+2 to a friendly minion of each Tavern Tier. To match this, the hero is now moved from Armor Tier Seven to Armor Tier Four.
  • Overlord Saurfang’s Hero Power now has a persistent upgrade effect that carries over between each turn, Pyramad-style.
  • Sneed’s Hero Power now gives a Deathrattle to summon a random minion of a lower Tavern Tier, but it now only costs one gold again. It is now in Armor Tier One.
  • Y’Shaarj now adds the minion to your hand even if you have no board space at the start of combat.

Many new minions were added to the pool. The number of each Tier One minions was lowered to 15 from 16 to compensate for this.

  • Tavern Tipper (tier one): Two attack, two health. If you have any unspent Gold at the end of your turn, gain +1/+2.
  • Silverback Patriarch (tier one Beast): One attack, four health. Taunt.
  • Sparring Partner (tier two): Three attack, two Taunt. Battlecry: Give a minion Taunt.
  • Kooky Chemist (tier two): Four attack, four health. Battlecry: Swap the attack and health of a minion.
  • Yrel (tier two): One attack, five health. After this attacks, give a friendly minion of each minion type +1/+2.
  • Atramedes (tier four Dragon): Three attack, six health. Whenever this attacks, deal three damage to the target and its neighbors.
  • Wargear (tier four Mech): Five attack, five health. Magnetic.
  • Tunnel Blaster (tier four): Three attack, seven Health. Taunt. Deathrattle: Deal three damage to all minions.
  • Uther, the Lightbringer (tier six): Five attack, six health. Battlecry: Set a minion’s attack and health to 15.

Shifter Zerus and Iron Sensei are back in the pool. Meanwhile, Acolyte of C’Thun, Menagerie Mug, Unstable Ghoul, Budding Greenthumb, Screwjank Clunker, Prestor’s Pyrospawn, Defender of Argus, and Mechano-Egg are out.

A few existing minions were also changed:

  • Bannerboar is now a 1/3 and buffs any adjacent minions.
  • Annihilan Battlemaster now has five attack.
  • Grease Bot is now a tier-six minion with new text and statline: Four attack, seven health. Divine Shield. After a friendly minion loses Divine Shield, give it +3/+2 permanently.

Darkmoon Prizes are back, and some of them have been updated, with two new ones added as well:

  • The Good Stuff now gives +1 attack to all minions in Bob’s Tavern for the rest of the game (instead of +2 health).
  • The Bouncer now gives +6/+6 and Taunt instead of +5/+5 and Taunt.
  • The Bananas generated by B.A.N.A.N.A.S. now have a 50-percent chance to be a Big Banana.
  • Banana Bunch (Prize turn one): Add two Bananas to your hand. (50 percent chance for each to be a Big Banana.)
  • Mindflayer Goggles (Prize turn three): Steal all minions in Bob’s Tavern. Then Refresh it.

Taverns of Time is back in Arena—with a couple of changes

The Arena-exclusive Taverns of Time cards have returned to the Arena, promising bonkers gameplay and nasty highrolls for everyone in the family. Murozond, the Dragon that set your turn timer to 15 seconds for the rest of the game but gave you two extra draws, is now gone, but everything else is back, albeit some with changed statlines.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

You can find all added cards above, and the list of changes made below:

  • Flash Forward now costs two mana.
  • Chronoshot now costs two mana.
  • Infinite Wolf now costs three mana.
  • Cavern Dreamer is now a 1/4.
  • Blessing of Aeons now costs zero mana.
  • Bronze Broodmother is now a 6/6.
  • Déja Vu now costs zero mana.
  • Thief of Futures now costs three mana.
  • Rift Warden is now a 7/7.
  • Infinite Murloc is now a 2/2.
  • Temporal Anomaly is now a 2/3.
  • Chromie is now a 5/5.
  • Possibility Seeker is now a 4/6.
  • Consider the Past now costs three mana.
  • Master of Realities is now a 5/8.
  • Draconic Herald is now a 6/6.

The launch of patch 23.6 marks the beginning of a new Arena season. There is no confirmation about how long the new season will last. No other sets were brought in, which means that with this change, cards from the following sets are draftable in this new rotation:

  • Core
  • The Boomsday Project
  • Descent of Dragons
  • Forged in the Barrens
  • United in Stormwind
  • Fractured in Alterac Valley
  • Voyage to the Sunken City
  • Taverns of Time

Mercenaries also gets a minor update in the 23.6 patch

Three free special portraits have been added for Tyrande Whisperwind, Millhouse Manastorm, and Xyrella for those who have already completed the tutorial by the time of the patch’s launch.

A new limited-time event is also live, revolving around Yogg-Saron, with two new event tasks and 10 in total. Completing them will unlock Yogg-Saron, a Legendary Caster Mercenary with 10/80 maxed stats and the following abilities and equipment:


  • Lunatic Gaze Five (Shadow): (Speed two) Deal 15 damage to an enemy, or restore 15 health to a friendly character. Randomly swap the speeds of their abilities.
  • Mind Yoggle Five (Shadow): (Speed six) Give a friendly character +5 attack this turn. They attack a random enemy. Old Gods’ abilities Refresh (one) for each attack so far this turn.
  • Oh My Yogg 5 (Shadow): (Speed 15, cooldown 15) Randomly use five other abilities from Mercs in play with random targets.


  • Piercing Gaze Four: Lunatic Gaze does an extra five damage.
  • Lash of Hysteria Four: Mind Yoggle gives an extra +five Attack.
  • Awakening Roar Four: Battlecry: Old Gods’ abilities Refresh (four).

Though the patch contained no update about the excess coins that have plagued the game mode since its launch, the devs had the following to say about the situation:

“Later this year, we’ll be adding a system that will let you exchange some of your excess coins for random coins for a Merc you own but haven’t yet Maxed. … It has taken us a little longer than we’d hoped to implement these systems, but we wanted to let you know we have a clear plan on our goals for these projects, we are actively working on them, and they are coming. We consider this to be our highest priority in Mercenaries development; we just need some more time to make sure it’s done correctly.”

You can read the full patch notes here.


Luci Kelemen
Having made a career out of writing about video games as early as 2015, I have amassed a track record of excellence since then in covering a wide variety of subjects from card games like Hearthstone and MTG to first-person shooters, business, chess and, more. Unsurprisingly, if I'm not busy writing about one of them, I'm probably playing them.

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