Hearthstone Patch 24.0.3 includes nerfs to the Imp Warlock and Control Shaman decks and features Standard, Wild, Battlegrounds and Duels updates, Blizzard announced on Tuesday.
According to the developers, although they’re happy that the Warlock and Shaman decks are powerful in the meta, they’re not satisfied about the power level of the weakest classes. Some cards were nerfed to reduce the frustration of playing against the top decks and make other classes more viable.
Celestial Alignment nerf
One of these nerfed cards is the Celestial Alignment spell from the Druid class. Instead of setting each player’s mana crystals to zero, the updated card now sets the Druid player’s mana crystals to zero. It also sets the cost of all the cards in that player’s hand and deck to one mana.
“We hear you,” the Hearthstone patch notes explained. “Alignment has been a frustrating card to play against for a while now and has remained that way after the release of Murder at Castle Nathria, even if it is not a balance outlier.”
The developer notes added that in addition to removing as much of that frustration as possible for the opponent, the Celestial Alignment player can still enjoy the spell’s primary effect.
- Celestial Alignment: Old: Set each player to 0 Mana Crystals. Set the cost of all cards in hands and decks to (1). → New: Set your Mana Crystals to 0. Set the cost of all cards in your hand and deck to (1).
Snowfall Guardian card adjustment
Another notable update is the Snowfall Guardian from the Shaman class. It used to be a 3/3 minion with a Battlecry that freezes all other minions and gives the Snowfall Guardian +1/+1 for each frozen minion. Now, the card has 5/5 in stats and a Battlecry that only freezes all other minions.
The Control Shaman deck, in particular, has been dominant since the Murder at Castle Nathria launch. It’s powerful due to Snowfall Guardian’s effect, and the latest adjustment makes the card less difficult for opponents to go up against.
- Snowfall Guardian: Old: 3 Attack, 3 Health. Battlecry: Freeze all other minions. Gain +1/+1 for each Frozen minion. → New: 5 Attack, 5 Health. Battlecry: Freeze all other minions.
Stag Spirit Wildseed weapon nerf
Meanwhile, Stag Spirit Wildseed for the Hunter class is still dormant for three turns when it’s played on the board. However, instead of equipping the player with a 4/2 Greatbow when it awakens, Stag Spirit Wildseed gives the player one with a 3/2 Greatbow.
The developers noted that the card has been putting out significant damage to face. Despite the adjusted power level for Stag Spirit Wildseed, they hope that Wildseeds will continue being a key aspect of Hunter decks moving forward.
- Stag Spirit Wildseed: Old: Dormant for 3 turns. When this awakens, equip a 4/2 Greatbow. → New: Dormant for 3 turns. When this awakens, equip a 3/2 Greatbow.
Imp Warlock and Big Rogue nerfs
Vile Library, which is one of the new location cards, received a nerf as well. It now gives a minion +1/+1 for each Imp one controls on the board. This is to mitigate the amount of burst damage that Vile Library can give the Imp Warlock player.
As for Kobold Illusionist, the Wild card now costs one mana more than its previous iteration. The reason for this is because the Big Rogue deck has been a powerhouse too early in the game thanks to its consistently powerful summons. The added mana cost slows the deck down a bit.
- Vile Library: Old: Give a friendly minion +1/+1. Repeat for each Imp you control. → New: Give a minion +1/+1 for each Imp you control.
- Kobold Illusionist: Old: [Costs 4] → New: [Costs 5]
Card buffs in the latest Hearthstone patch
Buffed cards include mana updates to Relic Vault, Relic of Extinction, Abyssal Depths, Irebound Brute, Legendary Invitation, Stand Against Darkness, Sprint, Silverleaf Poison, Slam and Bash. All of these cards now cost a mana less. Edwin, Defias Kingpin also costs one mana less and now has 3/3 in original stats.
Meanwhile, cards such as Bibliomite, Magnifying Glaive, Battleworn Vanguard and Cruel Taskmaster have updated stats. Cards with text and effect changes include Warhorse Trainer, Promotion, Halkias, Sanguine Depths, Imbued Axe, Tidal Revenant and Shield Shatter.
“We may have been a little over zealous when we were addressing Control Warrior in the last balance patch,” the Hearthstone developers said. “We’re correcting that here. We’re also giving them a couple new tools in Slam and Bash, which might even make their way into non-control Warrior lists.”
All of these card buff details can be viewed in the patch 24.0.3 notes.
More Hearthstone patch notes
For Hearthstone Battlegrounds, Lich Baz’hial is now in the first armor tier. Meanwhile, Dancin’ Deryl, Deathwing, Elise Starseeker, Guff Runetotem and Sneed are in armor tier two.
Hero changes are also in place for Lich Baz’hial, Guff Runetotem, Deathwing, Kael’thas Sunstrider and Elise Starseeker. It should be noted that Sneed has updated hero power text as opposed to a balance change. Minion updates include ones to Grease Bot, Lil’ Rag, Gentle Djinni, Evolving Chromawing and Great Deal.
As for the Duels game mode, Brittle Bones triggers if an opposing minion gets destroyed with a spell and Killmox, the Banished One is considered as an Imp. Darius Crowley’s Fire! and Fire at Thee! hero powers now cost a mana less each. His Grizzled Reinforcement treasure has a mana reduction from six to five.
About the Author
Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!