Update #2: The delay has ended and the latest Hearthstone patch is now live.
On top of the patch, Hearthstone has also infested a select number of players with the Curse of Hakkar. Yes, the blood god Hakkar has been observing the action in Gurubashi Arena from afar and demands that all pay tribute to him and him only. To do so, he seeks to spread his curse by infecting players with the Mark of Hakkar card back.
Earning the Mark of Hakkar card back is a simple matter of finding other Hearthstone players who have it equipped. Play against any user with the Mark of Hakkar card back, win or lose, and you will earn this card back yourself. The curse will continue to spread until everyone in the Tavern is infected. More details on the Curse can be found on the Hearthstone website.
Update: Originally set for this morning, the latest Hearthstone patch has been delayed by a few hours. It is expected to deploy soon.
Original story: As revealed last week, Hearthstone is here to issue a slew of balance changes to a handful of cards that Blizzard feels has run amok. These cards are mainly nerfs to cards mostly hailing from the Classic card set. Those changes include the following:
- Cold Blood (Rogue): Costs 2 mana. (Up from 1)
- Flametongue Totem (Shaman): Costs 3 mana. (Up from 2)
- Equality (Paladin): Costs 4 mana. (Up from 2)
- Hunter's Mark (Hunter): Costs 2 mana. (Up from 1)
- Emerald Spellstone (Hunter): Costs 6 mana. (Up from 5)
All of these cards are set to impact a variety of decks that have been at the top of the current Hearthstone meta. Cold Blood essentially deals a mortal blow to the Odd Rogue deck that has been running wild for the past couple of expansions. Flametongue Totem deals a major blow to the Even Shaman deck that has seen prominence since the last batch of nerfs wrecked the Shudderwock Shaman. Equality is a high-impact change that affects a Paladin staple that's been around since the very beginning. And while Hunter's Mark and Emerald Spellstone shouldn't have too much impact beyond the upcoming Standard change, it will have a lasting impact on the Wild meta well beyond the end of the Year of the Raven.
Shacknews recently offered a much more detailed breakdown of what this all means for Hearthstone as a whole going forward. Be sure to check out our full analysis for this latest round of card changes.