Hearthstone update 18.6.1 patch notes make first Duels adjustments

Hearthstone is seeing some major changes for both the new Duels mode and the popular Battlegrounds mode with today's 18.6.1 update.


It's only been a few weeks since Hearthstone took its new Duels mode into early access. But the game mode isn't even available to everyone for another week and Blizzard is already issuing some balance tweaks. Hearthstone's 18.6.1 update makes nearly a dozen adjustments to the various treasures in Duels mode, as well as some major balance changes to Battlegrounds.

The following changes are being issued to Hearthstone Duels with today's 18.6.1 update:

  • Party Portal (Neutral): Now had 4 Health (Down from 6 Health)
  • Amalgamate (Neutral): Now costs 0 mana (Down from 1 mana)
  • Spyglass (Neutral): Now costs 1 mana (Down from 2 mana)
  • Canopic Jars (Neutral): Now costs 5 mana (Up from 4 mana)
  • Wish (Neutral): Now costs 10 mana (Down from 11 mana)
  • Pure Cold (Neutral): Now costs 5 mana (Down from 6 mana)
  • Crystal Gem (Neutral): On your first two turns, you have 1 extra Mana Crystal (Down from 2 Mana Crystals)
  • Summoning Ritual (Demon Hunter): Now costs 5 mana (Up from 4 mana)
  • Deadly Weapons 101 (Rogue): Now gives your weapon +2/+2 (Up from +2/+1)
  • Rogueish Maneuvers (Rogue Hero Power): Now costs 1 mana (Down from 2 mana)
  • Totemic Power (Shaman Hero Power): Now summons a non-basic Totem only when Overloaded (Down from summoning both a basic and non-basic Totem when Overloaded)
  • Dark Arts (Warlock Hero Power): Now costs 1 mana (Down from 2 mana)
  • No Guts, No Glory (Warrior Hero Power): Now costs 1 mana (Down from 2 mana)

Duels isn't the only Hearthstone game mode getting a big update today. Battlegrounds is also getting some major changes. The first thing to note is that Nefarian, who has been in Battlegrounds since its inception, is being retired. It's been a good run for the evil dragon, but the party's now over. Meanwhile, there are a handful of other Heroes getting left in the dust by newcomers. So Blizzard is attempting to bring them up a notch to make them more viable. Here are the changes to Battlegrounds:

  • Queen Wagtoggle: Wax Warband Hero Power now gives a friendly minion of each type +2/+1 instead of just +2 Attack.
  • The Curator: Start the game with a 1/2 Amalgam instead of a 1/1 Amalgam.
  • Captain Hooktusk: Trash for Treasure Hero Power now removes a friendly minion and Discovers a new minion from a Tavern Tier lower for 1 mana instead of removing a friendly minion and getting a random one from a Tavern Tier lower for 0 mana.
  • Rat King: A Tale of Kings Hero Power now gives a minion of a specific type +2/+2 instead of +1/+2.
  • Rakanishu: Tavern Lighting Hero Power now gives a friendly minion of your choice stats equal to your Tavern Tier instead of giving those stats to a random minion.
  • George the Fallen: Boon of Light Hero Power now costs 2 mana instead of 3.
  • Ysera: Dream Portal Hero Power will now always offer a dragon whenever Bob's Tavern is refreshed, not just at the start of your turn.
  • The Great Akazamzarak: Prestidigitation now costs 1 mana instead of 2. Effigy is being removed from the Secret pool.
  • Galakrond: Galakrond's Greed Hero Power now costs 0 mana instead of 1 and no longer freezes.
  • Tess Greymane: Bob's Burgles Hero Power now refreshes Bob's Tavern with all of your last opponent's warband, not just select minions.
  • Elise Starseeker: Recruitment Maps from the Lead Explorer Hero Power now cost 2 mana instead of 3.
  • Lord Barov: Friendly Wager Hero Power will now refund players in the event of a tie.

But that's not all! There are a few minions who are getting some changes, too. This is a mixture of buffs and nerfs, with stat lines and tier levels going all over the place.

  • Wrath Weaver: Now has 1/3 stats (Up from 1/1 stats)
  • Yo-ho-Ogre: Now a Tier 2 minion with 2/5 stats (Down from Tier 3 with 2/8 stats)
  • Iron Sensei: Now a Tier 3 minion (Down from Tier 4)
  • Southsea Strongarm: Now a Tier 3 minion with 4/3 stats (Down from Tier 4 with 5/4 stats)
  • Ripsnarl Captain: Now has 4/5 stats (Up from 3/4 stats)
  • Lightfang Enforcer: Now gives a friendly minion of each type +2/+2 at the end of your turn. (Up from +2/+1, reversing a previous nerf)
  • Gentle Djinni: Now a Tier 6 minion (Up from Tier 5)
  • Lieutenant Garr: Now has 5/1 stats (Down from 8/1 stats)
  • Lil' Rag: Now has his old 4/4 stat line, but is still a Tier 6 minion (Down from 6/6 stats)
  • Dread Admiral Eliza: Now gives all friendly minions +2/+1 whenever a friendly Pirate attacks (Up from +1/+1)
  • Amalgadon: Now reads "For each different minion type you have among other minions, Adapt randomly." (Changed from "For each different minion type you have, Adapt randomly.")

This is a lot to soak in, but there's no time like the present to dive into these changes. This newest update should be live right about now. Visit the Hearthstone website for the full 18.6.1 patch notes. If you don't have access to Duels yet, no worries. It'll be available to everyone starting next Thursday, November 12, days before the arrival of the new Madness at the Darkmoon Faire expansion.

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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