Card changes are the alteration of cards from their previous designs. Hearthstone`s designers Team 5 (also known as Blizzard Team 5) are the Blizzard Entertainment development team responsible for Hearthstone. A "small and nimble" team of 15 members for much of the game s original development, the team has prefer to avoid changing cards, but when the need arises, card changes will be implemented within patches For the minion card, see Patches the Pirate. Updates to Hearthstone are made in the form of patches. This page lists all Hearthstone patches to date. New patches for Hearthstone are released regularly, fixing bugs . Normally, cards which have been nerfed will be made disenchantable for their full crafting cost, for a short adjustment period. Other card changes will not featureSpecial attraction such refund periods.
This page lists all card changes made in Hearthstone The Hearthstone icon Hearthstone (formerly known as Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft 1] 2]) is a free-to-play digital collectible card game from Blizzard Entertainment. It was first announced in a presentation by Rob Pardo at the , to date.
Only intentional design changes are listed here. For bugs and bug fixes, see Bugs Bugs are minor or major errors within Hearthstone which cause deviations from intended behaviour. The list of bugs in Hearthstone is too extensive and complex to list here. Be that as it may, a comprehensive documentation of all current . Major changes to game mechanics can be found on Rule changes While most rules in Hearthstone are fairly easy to ascertain, when several effects, each with their own behaviours, are brought into conflict, things can get a little more complicated. The advanced rulebook offers a comprehensive . Minor changes to card text and underlying mechanics can be found on individual card or patch pages.
Official explanations of card changes featured in patch notes are included here to provide context for the changes. Changes are listed by patch, in date order. For a list of changes to specific cards, see individual card pages.
Card change protocol
Card changes are usually foreshadowed by official announcements, stating the nature of the coming changes, and offering some explanation for each change.
Changes are put into effect through patches For the minion card, see Patches the Pirate. Updates to Hearthstone are made in the form of patches. This page lists all Hearthstone patches to date. New patches for Hearthstone are released regularly, fixing bugs , with the new versions of the cards immediately replacing the previous versions. Players` deck lists are usually unaffected, but the cards within those decks will be updated to the new versions, which can surprise unaware players when the new version of a card is drawn in a match. This includes in the Arena A video explaining the Arena in Hearthstone made by the Curse Gamepedia @@@#@@@YouTube(youtube.com)###@### Channel. The Arena is a game mode where players compete against each other using specially constructed decks to earn substantial rewards. It , where altered cards will change mid-run.
Because card changes are put into effect through patches, players have a small amount of control over when the changes will be implemented for them. Since patches will not be applied until the player logs out of the game, and players will only be matched with other players using the same version of the client, players will not find their cards changing in the middle of a match, or mid-session without first logging out. Likewise, players will never encounter the old and new versions of a card in the same session.
Significant changes to cards are usually announced to the player upon loading the client for the first time following the changes. Patch 126.96.36.19974 introduced a special interface for this purpose, displaying the new versions of the relevant cards with the changed elements highlighted.
Following card nerfs A nerf is a card change that causes a card to become less effective or less powerful. The opposite of a nerf is a buff (not to be confused with the identical term for an , if a changed card is craftable Crafting mode, in Standard format mode The crafting system is an element of Hearthstone that allows players to directly create new cards. It can be accessed through the My Collection screen. Crafting consumes Arcane Dust , and the change was not a simple technical adjustment, that card will then be made disenchantable for its full crafting cost, for a short period, usually two weeks. This is designed to allow players who have spent dust crafting the card to disenchant it at no cost, minimising the disruption caused by such changes to existing cards. After the adjustment period ends, the card`s disenchantment value will be restored to its usual amount. This also applies to cards moved to Wild format Wild format or Wild is one of Hearthstone s two game formats, the other being Standard format. Wild format appears in game modes in which players are allowed to play decks without the deck restrictions of .
This adjustment is put into effect through increasing the normal disenchanting value for the changed cards. Because of this, the extra Dust is provided whether the card was crafted before the card was changed, or afterwards. As a result, players are able to craft and later disenchant these cards (within that period) without penalty, allowing them to try the cards in their decks before deciding whether to keep or disenchant them. Be that as it may, since almost all eligible card changes are nerfs, this is generally less desirable than might be expected.
The increase means a regular changed card can be converted to any other card of the same rarity, at no cost. It also means that a golden changed card can be exchanged for several cards of the same rarity or even higher rarity. For players more interested in completing their regular collection than collecting golden cards, but not wishing to lose the card altogether, this means they can convert a golden changed card into a regular copy of the same card, as well as regular copies of several other cards. This makes card changes a particularly lucrative time for players who have gained golden copies of the changed cards through rewards such as the Highest Rank Bonus chest The 25 numbered ranks in Ranked play. Ranked (also known as Ranked Play) is the serious side of Play mode, with players able to earn special ranks to reflect their prowess in battle this season. , provided they are not too attached to the golden quality.
- See more: Design and development of Hearthstone#Card changes
The developers have stated that they hope to make "very few card changes, unless they are absolutely necessary". The developers feel it`s important that the cards "feel solid", and fear that changing cards which players have spent time and resources to obtain would undermine that feeling. Familiarity for returning players and alternative attitudes to "bad cards" are other reasons for minimising card changes.
Almost all card changes are nerfs A nerf is a card change that causes a card to become less effective or less powerful. The opposite of a nerf is a buff (not to be confused with the identical term for an , weakening cards that are considered to be too strong. The developers are strongly resistant to simply `buffing` or improving `bad` cards, although broader changes such as the introduction of new minion types Bloodfen Raptor, a simple minion card. A Beast-type minion, it has 3 Attack, 2 Health and a mana cost of 2. Minions are persistent creatures on the battlefield that will fight for their hero. Minion can act as a buff to certain cards.
When a certain card in the game starts to appear too strong, the developers try to find a way to address the card without changing the card itself, such as through the introduction of new cards which will allow players to counter that card. In response to certain decks dominating the meta-game, the overall strategy is to provide players with new "tools" to shift the meta themselves, rather than changing existing cards.
In his 2014 Hearthstone`s Card Balance Philosophy blog, Eric Dodds Eric Dodds Type: Minion Rarity: Legendary Cost: 6 Attack: 5 Health: 5 Abilities: Summon Battlecry: Summon a 2/2 Pirate and destroy all Ninjas.See this card on Hearthpwn data page] Eric Dodds is a Blizzard employee, states that the main reasons for cards being changed include:
- causing non-interactive games;
- being frustrating to play against;
- causing confusion or not being intuitive enough;
- being too strong compared to other cards of the same cost; causing a specific build or style of play to be too strong
For motivations and trends behind recent card changes, see below.
The developers are more likely to make changes to existing cards to coincide with the releaseAnnounce of new cards, especially the larger sets of expansions Expansions are major card set additions to the game of Hearthstone. Expansions introduce large amounts of cards into the game, in contrast to adventures, 1] with expansions featuring around 130-145 new cards and adventures only . This is because while the developers prefer not to directly adjust the meta, the introduction of new cards is already expected to result in "upheaval", and with "everything changing" it feels more acceptable to also alter existing cards.
For a fuller exploration of the principles behind card changes in Hearthstone, see Design and development of Hearthstone#Card changes.
Changes so far
Following the initial development of the cards, the majority of balance changes were centred around weakening decks which create "non-interactive" games, such as Unleash the Hounds Unleash the Hounds Set: Classic Type: Spell Class: Hunter Rarity: Common Cost: 3 Abilities: Charge, Summon Tags: Battlefield-related, Beast-generating For each enemy minion, summon a 1/1 Hound with Charge.You must read the name of this , Grim Patron Grim Patron Set: Blackrock Mountain Type: Minion Rarity: Rare Cost: 5 Attack: 3 Health: 3 Abilities: Summon Tags: Damage-related, Death-related, Triggered effect Whenever this minion survives damage, summon another Grim Patron.If you love getting your and Freeze mages` Pyroblast Pyroblast Set: Classic Type: Spell Class: Mage Rarity: Epic Cost: 10 Abilities: Deal damage Deal 10 damage.Take the time for an evil laugh after you draw this card.See this card on Hearthpwn data page] Pyroblast . Ben Brode Ben Brode Type: Minion Rarity: Legendary Cost: 3 Attack: 4 Health: 1 Your volume can t be reduced below maximum.See this card on Hearthpwn data page] "There is no way to contain the Brode." - Yong has stated that direct damage Direct damage is a term used to refer to effects which deal damage directly to enemy characters. Direct damage mainly comes from spells (Pyroblast), Hero Powers (Steady Shot) and some triggered effects, Battlecries and Deathrattles and Charge For the card of the same name, see Charge (card) Charge is an ability allowing a minion to attack the same turn it is summoned. Charge is available to all classes, but is most strongly effects are some of the most non-interactive mechanics, and consequently many nerfs A nerf is a card change that causes a card to become less effective or less powerful. The opposite of a nerf is a buff (not to be confused with the identical term for an have been focused on keeping cards with these abilities in check.
The other major trend during the game`s first two years was to weaken cards which had become ubiquitous in the meta, with a majority of decks featuring them, such as Nat Pagle Nat Pagle Set: Classic Type: Minion Rarity: Legendary Cost: 2 Attack: 0 Health: 4 Abilities: Draw cards Tags: Random, Triggered effect At the start of your turn, you have a 50% chance to draw an and Novice Engineer Novice Engineer Set: Basic Type: Minion Cost: 2 Attack: 1 Health: 1 Abilities: Battlecry, Draw cards Battlecry: Draw a card."Half of this class will not graduate… since they ll have been turned to chickens." - Tinkmaster during the game`s beta.
With the arrival of game formats Game formats present distinct ways to play Hearthstone. There are two main game formats: Standard and Wild. Other game formats present themselves in tournaments as tournament formats (e.g. Conquest, Last Hero Standing, Sealed Deck, Pauper, in Apr. 2016 a new focus for balance changes emerged. The largest number of card changes yet made in a single post-release patch were made with the introduction of Standard formats Standard format, or Standard, is one of Hearthstone s two game formats, the other being Wild format. Standard format is intended to feature a fresher and more focused Hearthstone experience, with a limited pool of cards , reducing the power of numerous cards from the "evergreen" Basic and Classic sets. While the changes themselves were for reasons such as those given above, the changes were made specifically in order to create a more dynamic and shifting meta in Standard format.
Standard format means that future card changes are expected to be heavily influenced by card set, with interactions between Standard and Wild cards of lesser concern for the balance designers, with the developers stating that there will be "a little bit of difference of tolerance" between the two formats with regard to balance problems. Consequently, the design of cards is likely to be strongly determined by which other cards are in Standard format at the time they are released, and card change decisions are likely to be similarly influenced, with the removal of cards due to the end of the current Standard year offering an alternative to nerfing cards.
A few changes have been presented in the form of bug fixes, adjusting cards to be more intuitive. Be that as it may, while most bug fixes correct clearly aberrant behaviour or miscellaneous errors, a few act to significantly alter the behaviour of the card more in line with a buff or nerf to the basic card function. These "bug fixes" are referred to by some in the community as "stealth" nerfs or buffs.
When aiming to reduce the popularity of a card, or to break the dominance of a particular deck type, the developers often make small `tweaks` or reductions to the card`s power, increasing diversity while still leaving the original card or deck as a valid option. Be that as it may, when dealing with particularly overpowered `problem` cards at the heart of deck types, or cards that critically limit design space, rather than making small adjustments, the developers consistently choose to reduce the card`s power level to a notably low level, generally considered by players to have `killed` the card. This allows the change to reliably remove the card from the meta, making a clean break from the previous situation, without concern that the nerf may have been light, or that the addition of another card may bring the same problem back into the spotlight before too long.
Player reaction to card changes varies. Some are considered desirable and a relief from the overdominance of a certain class or deck type, while others are approved of as reasonable nerfs to cards which had become "auto-includes" in many decks. When a card change `kills` a card, the change is often lamented by players due to the perception that the card will never see play again, despite the change being a positive one overall. While this attitude can be exaggerated, due to the self-imitating nature of the meta "The metagame is the mix of different decks that players bring onto the ladder, that you can expect to see. If you know what decks players are bringing, your deck can be especially good against it is often correct, with cards that have fallen from favour often falling entirely into disuse once influential players disregard them.
- Bestial Wrath Bestial Wrath Set: Classic Type: Spell Class: Hunter Rarity: Epic Cost: 1 Abilities: Immune Tags: Beast-related Give a friendly Beast +2 Attack and Immune this turn.The seething wrath is just beneath the surface. Beneath that can no longer target enemy Beasts
This undocumented change is notable for preventing players from using Bestial Wrath to bypass enemy Taunt The shield-like Taunt visual effect Taunt is a minion ability which forces the opposing player to direct any melee attacks toward enemy targets with this ability. Minions with Taunt (commonly referred to as Taunts) serve minions. Since a minion with both Immune and Taunt will not act as a Taunt, prior to this change Bestial Wrath could be used to effectively remove Taunt from an enemy minion until the end of the turn.
The game`s beta The Hearthstone beta was the beta test phase in the development of Hearthstone, following the alpha test. The beta test began in its closed phase in the Americas region on Aug. 16th 2013, and in saw changes made to cards far more frequently than is seen following full release, as well as the outright removal or replacement of several cards, something which has yet to be since the beta.