As a deck builder, Hearthstone is an ongoing project of balancing, balancing, and a little more balancing. As new updates roll out, and new heroes are introduced, the meta can shift completely overnight, especially considering the power-creepish tendencies that often occur with the introduction of any new content in a game. It’s hard keeping track of these changes, and often you learn about it the hard way, when suddenly a tactic that has served you well is no longer viable, and you can’t work out why.
Hearthstone has received so much new content recently, with update 17.0, and the Ashes of Outland expansion, introducing the first new class since the game’s inception, the Demon Hunter. If you also consider the changes made to Hearthstone’s rank system, it can be a lot to process. But we’re here to help, documenting all the new changes in an easily digestible format, so you can stay ahead of the curve.
The newest patch, 17.2, brings three new heroes to Hearthstone’s auto chess inspired mode, Battlegrounds, as well as a new minion also. These cards will be unlocked for everyone from May 26. The new collection manager will also help you organise your decks more effectively.
Here’s an overview of patch 17.2 and what it introduces to the game:
- Three new battlegrounds heroes: Maiev Shadowsong, Lady Vashj, Kael’thas Sunstrider
- One new battlegrounds minion
- Improved collection manager
- Nemsy warlock hero is free until May 19
- Direwolf Alpha has gone
- Tweaks, buffs, and bug fixes
Dire Wolf Alpha was a powerful buffing minion that allowed players to strengthen weaker minions to effectively take down stronger ones. Alas, no more. Dire Wolf Alpha has been removed from the minion pool. We don’t know exactly why, but as with most of these changes, it was most likely a little too powerful for its own good.
We’ve got three new heroes for Hearthstone Battlegrounds, so let’s take a look at them:
Maiev is potentially the best of the new heroes, allowing you to make a Minion Dormant, before granting it to you two turns later with +1/+1. This, effectively, allows you to make some extra early gains over your opponents.
Another great new addition, Lady Vashj allows you to skip an entire tier of tavern upgrades, meaning every time you upgrade, you get twice the value, at least for that initial line up of minions. It’s a powerful ability if you strike lucky with minion choice.
This hero isn’t particularly powerful, but it’s a nice little buff that will still come in useful, adding a little more value to purchasing minions in the early game, and provides you with incentive to grab as many as you can during your initial turns.
A new deck ordering system also arrived in update 17.2. Available once you’ve unlocked the basic heroes, you can now drag them around, and search among your decks. New filter improvements have also been put in place.
There are also some tweaks, bug fixes, and balances for Zephrys the Great:
zephrys the great improvements
- Fixed a bug where Zephrys would miss lethal when there was an enemy Taunt minion with Lifesteal that you could attack into.
- Fixed a bug where Zephrys would prefer not to Transform/Silence certain high-stat Deathrattle minions (such as Waxadred).
- Fixed a bug where Zephrys could miss lethal using Unleash the Hounds.
- Fixed a bug where Zephrys would not offer Silence options for minions with the “Can’t Attack Heroes” effect.
- Zephrys is now slightly less likely to offer single-target removal for next turn.
- Zephrys will no longer offer Natalie Seline for next turn.
- Zephrys may now offer Polymorph instead of Hex in a few cases where it would be better for your opponent to have a 1/1 than a 0/1 with Taunt.
- Swipe will now fill the AoE category (instead of single target damage) if Zephrys expects it to be used against the enemy hero.
- Improved how Zephrys evaluates enemy minions that have low base stats for their cost, but are buffed.
general improvements and fixes
Also some general improvements:
- End of Season rewards
- Your total rewards accumulated within the current Ranked season are now highlighted inside your Rewards Chest, which can be found at the top of the Quest Log.
- Collection Manager filter panel (mobile)
- The filter panel will now remain open after using Search.
- The filter panel will now hide once cards are dragged to a deck and will reappear after they’ve been added.
- The filter panel will no longer be dismissed until the “Done” button has been pressed.
- Card text for Teron Gorefiend has been updated to be more technically accurate: “Destroy all other friendly minions. Deathrattle: Resummon them with +1/+1.”
If you’re interested in trying Hearthstone, you can get it on Google Play or the App Store, and remember that Nemsy the warlock hero is free until May 19. Also if you want some tips to help get started, check out our guide for Hearthstone Battlegrounds on mobile.