The Hearthstone developers released the biggest patch of the year just a couple of hours ago. Included in this patch are many changes to Hearthstone Battlegrounds, including the introduction of three entirely new heroes: Edwin Vancleef, Sylvanas Windrunner, and Arch-Villain Rafaam:
- Edwin Vancleef
- Sharpen Blades
- Costs 1. Give a minion +1/+1 for each minion you’ve bought this turn.
- Sylvanas Windrunner
- Banshee’s Blessing
- Costs 0. Remove a friendly minion to give adjacent minions +1/+1.
- Arch-Villain Rafaam
- I’ll Take That!
- Costs 1. Next combat, add a plain copy of the first minion you kill to your hand. (Note: this is an unbuffed, non-golden copy.)
New and returning heroes for Hearthstone Battlegrounds
Unlike many other abilities in Hearthstone Battlegrounds, Edwin Vancleef’s ability is not a random buff. This alone makes Edwin a much better hero than many other options. Next, Sylvanas’ Banshee’s Blessing option to sacrifice units for power instead of mana is an interesting concept I would love to see them develop further. Finally, Arch-Villain Rafaam has possibly the strongest ability in the entire game, since this is the first consistent way of accessing units outside of the minion pool shared among all players. The main advantage of Arch-Villain Rafaam comes when many players are forced to play similar builds. This is something that occurs frequently in Hearthstone Battlegrounds, as the different build paths are so far quite limited.
In addition to these three new heroes, Millificent Manastorm and Lich Baz’hial will be returning this patch after being removed last patch.
Making space for new heroes
As five heroes will be entering Hearthstone Battlegrounds, an equal number of heroes will be leaving. The following five heroes were among the weakest and least exciting heroes available in the game and so shall be leaving:
- Patches the Pirate
- Professor Putricide
- Trade Prince Gallywix
This patch introduces two new minions to Hearthstone Battlegrounds. The first is aimed at improving the mid-game phase of the Murlocs before they are able to crush you by accessing Megasaur. The other is an unreal card for the Demon trait. Many considered the Demon trait the weakest of all, but after this patch, that is certainly no longer the case — introducing King Bagurgle and Floating Watcher!
Balance changes for Hearthstone Battlegrounds
There are several key changes announced in the new blog post. Here are all changes made in Hearthstone Battlegrounds in the newest patch.
- Lightfang Enforcer’s buff of +2/+2 to all main traits has changed to +2/+1.
- Millificent Manastorm (Mech Hero) now increases the stats of all Mechs in Bob’s Tavern by 1 attack, rather than +1/+1 in Health and Attack.
- Patchwerk’s starting health reduces from 60 to 50.
- A. F. Kay now gets access to two Tier 3 minions, rather than a minion from Tier 3 and 4.
- The Rat King now increases the stats of [Type], which switches every turn, by +1/+1 rather than +1/+2.
- Lich Baz’hial’s Graveyard Shift now only damages Lich by 2 health to earn a Coin. The synergy with Floating Watcher can’t be missed and is certain to become a key strategy for this hero.
- The Great Akazamzarak (2 mana, discover a secret) now has a decreased chance of getting Ice Block. Additionally, the Hand of Salvation secret has been removed from the pool.
That is all for the changes today for Hearthstone Battlegrounds. For more of today’s Hearthstone update, be sure to check out our coverage of everything happening in the new Hearthstone expansion, Descent of Dragons.