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Hearthstone 16.6 patch notes reverts Wild nerfs, balances Battlegrounds

The 16.6 update for Hearthstone issues some major balance changes for Battlegrounds, while also looking at Wild and letting chaos reign completely.

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There was a lot to talk about this morning with Hearthstone's plans for the Year of the Phoenix. Among the topics included the start of the new Standard and all of the Year of the Raven cards about to head into Wild. With that said, Wild is becoming a bit of a free-for-all, chaotic landscape. So why not go full chaos and just undo a lot of nerfs that were originally meant to bring order to Standard? That's the idea that Blizzard has going forward, so with today's 16.6 update, Hearthstone is undoing a handful of nerfs. And to show they're serious, Yogg-Saron is back in all his original glory.

The following changes have been implemented to cards currently in Wild:

  • Spiteful Summoner: Costs 6 Mana. (Down from 7 Mana)
  • Call of the Wild: Costs 8 Mana. (Down from 9 Mana)
  • Lesser Emerald Spellstone: Costs 5 Mana. (Down from 6 Mana)
  • Raza the Chained: Now reads "Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, your Hero Power costs (0) this game." (Changed from "Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, your Hero Power costs (1) this game.")
  • Yogg-Saron, Hope's End: No longer stops casting when he leaves the board.
  • Sludge Slurper: Now carries 2/1 stats. (Changed from 1/1 stats)

The eagle-eyed reader may think, "Wait a minute, Sludge Slurper isn't a Wild card." And you would be correct. In an instance of Blizzard admitting something of an overreaction, it has reverted the Sludge Slurper nerf and put its stats back to their original line.

But that's not the big story. The big story is the reversion of cards like Yogg-Saron and Raza the Chained. This is Blizzard essentially coming to terms with Wild containing far too many one-turn-kill plays, uncontrollable combos, and overall unfair balance and simply running with it. Go full chaos, right? The publisher will carry this philosophy with future cards that go off into Wild. With that said, more changes are planned for March 26's Standard rotation. They are:

  • Dr. Boom, Mad Genius: Cost 7 Mana (Down from 9 Mana)
  • Giggling Inventor: Cost 6 Mana (Down from 7 Mana)
  • Raiding Party: Cost 3 Mana (Down from 4 Mana)
  • Reckless Experimenter: Now reads "Deathrattle minions you play cost (3) less, but die at end of turn." (Changed from "Deathrattle minions you play cost (3) less, but die at end of turn. (Cost can't be reduced below 1.)")

Other changes with today's patch include a few changes to Battlegrounds. Fungalmancer Flurgl joins the pool with a "Gone Fishing" Passive Hero Power, which adds a random Murloc to Bob's Tavern upon selling a Murloc. Sir Finley Mrrglton also returns with a revamped Hero Power that has him Discover a Hero Power at the start of the game. Professor Putricide is back, as well, and his +10 Attack Hero Power can now targeted at any friendly minion. Illidan Stormrage was discussed earlier as a new Battlegrounds hero. He'll make his debut on March 26.

Other Battlegrounds changes include:

  • The Lich King: Reborn can now be targeted at any minion.
  • Ysera: Ysera's Hero Power cost has been eliminated and is now a Passive.
  • Pyramad: Pyramad now adds +4 Health to a random minion, up from +3.
  • Millhouse Manastorm: Millhouse will now start the game with 3 Gold.
  • The Rat King: The Rat King's boost returns to +1/+2.
  • Milificent Manastorm: Mechs will now have a +2 Attack boost instead of +1.
  • Deathwing: All minions now have +2 Attack, down from +3.
  • Reno Jackson: Reno's Hero Power cost has been reduced to 3, down from 4.
  • Savannah Highmane: Now a Tier 4 minion, down from Tier 5.
  • Herald of Flame: Now has 5/6 stats, up from 5/4. (Golden version has 10/12 stats)
  • Steward of Time: Now has 3/4 stats, up from 2/4. (Golden version has 6/8 stats)
  • Kalecgos, Arcane Aspect: Now has 4/12 stats, up from 2/8. (Golden version has 8/24 stats)
  • Nathrezim Overseer: Now has 2/3 stats, down from 2/4. (Golden version has 4/6 stats)
  • Twilight Emissary: Now a Tier 3 with 4/4 stats that gives +2/+2 to a friendly Dragon, down from Tier 5 with 6/8 that gives +3/+3 to a friendly Dragon. (Golden version has 8/8 stats and gives +4/+4 to a friendly Dragon)

That's a lot to take in. Want even more to take in? Check out our full Year of the Phoenix recap. We'll have more on Hearthstone in the days ahead, so stay tuned. For the full list of changes, check out the Hearthstone website.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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