The Hearthstone 20.2.2 patch, which landed last night, is bringing some changes to key cards. As per usual, Standard and Battlegrounds are the formats targeted with these changes. The first change is Refreshing Spell Water going from a 4 cost to a 5 cost. The reason for this change is very simple: Spell Mage decks won’t have such explosive turns before turn five. The move makes it much more inline with other decks that get their engines going in the midgame.
Many other cards are getting small changes. First Day of School is also seeing a cost increase from 0 to 1 to help curb early game rushdown with Paladins. Hysteria is going from a 3 cost to a 4 cost to give other decks more time to counter it with removal cards. Crabrider now only gets Windfury until the end of the turn, allowing it to still deal some good damage but not become so overwhelming when left on the board for a couple of turns. The Mankrik that Olga, Mankrik’s Wife summons will now be a 3/7 instead of a 3/10, making it much easier to deal with by playing removal cards on turns 4 through 6.
The new patch is also seeing some buffs to cards as well. These buffs should help some underrepresented archetypes pick up some slack in the meta. Razorboar is now a 3/2, and Unbound Elemental is a 3/4 instead of a 2/4. Dark Inquisitor Xanesh now reduces the cost of all Corrupt and Corrupted cards by 2 — as opposed to just Corrupt cards like before. Tidal Surge now only costs 3, Lilypad Lurker is now a 5/6, and Fiendish Circle also now only costs 3 to cast. Deck of Chaos and Shieldmaiden now cost 5 instead of 6, and N’Zoth, God of the Deep now costs 9 instead of 10. The last buff goes to Whirling Combatant, which now has 3 attack points instead of 2, making it a 3/6.
Boar’s head on the chopping block
Battlegrounds is also seeing its fair share of changes. First off, Barrens Blacksmith will now be removed from the Minion Pool. Boar cards are the target of this latest round of nerfs. Roadboar is now a 1/4, Prophet of the Boar is now a 2/3, and Bannerboar is a 1/4 down from a 2/5. Bristleback Brute now only gives the first Blood Gem played each turn +2/+2 instead of +3/+3. Groundshaker now only gives your other minions +2 attack during the next combat and not himself. The change for Groundshaker makes sense, and was probably the card’s intended design from the beginning.
The list of changes to boar cards goes on. Dynamic Duo got the most drastic stat change, going from a 5/6 to a 3/4, significantly lowering its combat potential. Bonker is a 3/7 instead of a 4/7, and gold Bonker now only gains one Blood Gem after attacking, not two. However, Charlga got the biggest nerf to both stats and text and is now a 4/4, down from a 7/7. Also, similar to Groundshaker, he only gives Blood Gems to all other minions at the end of the turn, not including himself.
This is a pretty huge round of nerfs to the entire Boar archetype, and it will be interesting to see how well the deck can hold up after the patch. There are also some other smaller bug fixes and changes to Duels Treasure Pools that you can find on the full Hearthstone 20.2.2 patch notes.