It's been a busy day for Hearthstone and there's still more coming to Blizzard's digital card game. The game is getting one of its biggest patches to date with this week's deployment of the 20.0 update. However, for all of the new content that the game is set to add, the most exciting change may involve something old. For those interested in turning back the clock, Hearthstone's 20.0 update will officially launch the new Classic format.
Originally revealed at BlizzConline, the Classic format will only allow Hearthstone's original 240 cards from the Basic, Classic, and Hall of Fame sets. Those cards will have any nerfs and buffs reverted to what they were when Hearthstone originally launched back in 2014. To give players an incentive to try this out, players can pick up a new Golden Classic Card pack for logging in after the 20.0 update is deployed. This pack will include five Golden Cards for use in Classic mode.
As for the new stuff, there are some... excuse me, I should rephrase this. There is *a* balance change for Standard. Yes, only one card is getting adjusted for the 20.0 update and that's the Rogue's Nitroboost Poison spell. In an effort to reduce the Rogue's heavy burst potential, this spell's cost is being increased from (1) to (2).
Hearthstone Battlegrounds is about to receive some noteworthy changes with the next patch. Overlord Saurfang will make his debut as a playable hero. His Hero Power will be For the Horde! That will give +1 Attack to the next minion purchased and it's a Hero Power that will upgrade each turn. Barrens Blacksmith, from the new Forged in the Barrens expansion, will be available as a Tier 3 minion and will replace Piloted Shredder, which is being sent to the scrap heap.
Hearthstone Duels is getting a massive amount of changes, so many that Blizzard gave it a separate update page. The new Duels season will now allow cards from the new Forged in the Barrens expansion, the new Core set, and the old Journey to Un'Goro set. Look for new passive treasures, as well as several changes to Hero Powers and an update to the banned cards list.
For the final days of this Standard year, Hearthstone is about to become a dumpster fire. Between Thursday's 20.0 patch and the official Standard rotation next Tuesday, Blizzard is kicking off something the team is calling "The Great Unnerfing." With 36 cards about to rotate to Wild, the development team is getting ahead of the game and reverting many of their nerfs. The developers are admitting that some of these reversions will probably break the game, so the team is going to sit back and watch the chaos unfold for that five-day window. Some of the biggest changes include Starving Buzzard going back to (2), Charge allowing actual Charge again, the Shaman's Galakrond cards all going back to normal, Arcane Golem getting Charge back, and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza once more offering free Dragons.
Arena players can look forward to a new season on March 30. This season will allow cards from the Core set and the new Forged in the Barrens expansion, as well as cards from Madness at the Darkmoon Faire (including the Darkmoon Races Mini-Set), Scholomance Academy, Ashes of Outland, Rise of Shadows, and Mean Streets of Gadgetzan sets. Solo players can start getting ready for new single-player content in the form of the new Book of Mercenaries story, which will serve as a complement to the current Book of Heroes stories. Rokara's story will begin on April 6 and reward a Warrior card pack upon completion.
Lastly, here are the bug fixes and adjustments coming in Hearthstone's 20.0 update:
- Increased the number of available deck slots from 18 to 27.
- Moved the Seasonal Ranked Rewards Chest to the Deck Selection screen. Additionally, the Seasonal Ranked Rewards for March will give Forged in the Barrens packs instead of Madness at the Darkmoon Faire packs.
- Added progress bars for each Achievement category in the Journal.
- Updated the guaranteed Weekly Quest Win 5 Games of Ranked Play Mode to be re-rollable.
- Updated several loading tips to reflect recent changes.
- Updated Arena Rewards to now include Forged in the Barrens packs and no longer include Classic packs.
- Updated Tavern Brawls to reward one Year of the Phoenix pack instead of a Classic pack.
- Updated both new player Legendary quest lines so that several of the quests can be completed in Battlegrounds and will offer pack rewards from recent expansions instead of Classic packs.
- Removed the returning player missions against Malfurion, Tyrande, and Hakkar and updated the Legendary quest line for returning players to reward a total of 15 card packs from recent expansions.
- Updated free decks for new and returning players
- Updated Book of Heroes so that completing all Book of Heroes missions for a class will now unlock that class.
- Updated the Demon Hunter class so that it can be unlocked by playing against the class in Play mode or beating the class in Practice mode.
- Completing the Demon Hunter prologue will still unlock the class but will now reward 1 Demon Hunter class pack for players that have yet to complete it.
- Fixed a bug where Wild cards would not appear in the Collection without having Demon Hunter unlocked.
- Fixed a bug where Zephrys the Great would not offer Mass Dispel or Shadowflame when your board was full.
- Fixed a bug where cards that target Deathrattle minions, such as Play Dead, would still work with Deathwarden in play.
- Fixed a bug where minions buffed by Soul of the Murloc would not show a Deathrattle icon.
- Fixed a bug where Khadgar would not copy Vectus’ Deathrattle effects on Plagued Hatchling.
- Fixed a bug where Sparkjoy Cheat casting a secret from your hand would trigger an opponent’s Counterspell and still put the secret into play. It will now no longer trigger Counterspell.
- Fixed a bug where Shenanigans would not trigger if the opponent’s first card drawn was a “Cast When Drawn” card.
- Fixed a bug where Shadow Clone would trigger despite having a full board.
- Fixed a bug where playing Crystal Core and Humble Blessing in the same match would not grant the persistent stat effect of whichever was played second.
- Fixed a Battlegrounds bug where minions that buff others would not visually update all minions that are spawned during combat.
- Fixed a Battlegrounds bug where the Prize Wall Hero Power would not show the correct number of turns left for players other than Tickatus.
- Fixed a Battlegrounds bug where secrets generated from Prestidigitation showed a Gold cost despite not costing any Gold to cast.
- Fixed a Duels bug where the win counter could show -1.
- Fixed a Duels bug where duplicate card buckets could appear.
- Fixed a Duels bug where your deck would not appear on the end of run screen.
- Fixed a Duels bug where the Deathstrider Treasure could cause crashes when triggering multiple Deathrattles.
- Fixed a Duels bug where the Soulcial Studies Hero Power could still appear as Coming Soon.
- Fixed a Duels bug where Prince Malchezaar’s start of game effect would not activate if Prince Malchezaar was drawn from Small Pouches.
- Fixed a bug where clicking the victory banner in Solo Adventures would not exit the match.
- Fixed a bug in Trial by Felfire where the adventure would not show as completed despite earning its respective completion Achievement.
- Fixed a bug in Trial by Felfire where the fight with Gruul the Dragonkiller could lock the game.
- Fixed a bug with Book of Heroes Valeera where minions drawn by Varian Wrynn would not be placed on the board despite having adequate board space.
- Fixed a bug with Book of Heroes Valeera where the AI would play Sleep with the Fishes for no value.
- Fixed a visual bug with Book of Heroes Valeera where minions in play at the start of a match would appear ready to attack during the Mulligan.
- Fixed a visual bug with Book of Heroes Valeera where Rehgar Earthfury would appear unable to attack despite being able to attack.
- Fixed a visual bug with V-O7-TR-ON’s entrance animation.
- Fixed a visual bug where Imprisoned Phoenix would briefly appear to give its Spell Damage buff while Dormant.
- Fixed a visual bug where parts of the Zhuge Liang Anduin and Diao Chan Valeera Hero Skins were not appearing animated.
The Hearthstone 20.0 update will deploy this Thursday, March 25. That'll be the day players can find the new Classic mode, Battlegrounds changes, and Duels changes. The Great Unnerfing will officially start on that date, as well. Hearthstone: Forged in the Barrens will release next Tuesday, March 30. That will also be the day that the new Arena season begins.