In the most recent wave of Hearthstone nerfs, Priest and Druid receive the short end of the stick.

The subject of what to do with the game’s volatile Priest class came up in a recent interview with the Hearthstone dev team. “We want to make sure that players playing against [Priest] aren’t pulling their hair out,” senior game designer Liv Breeden explained, and thus a fresh Hearthstone patch is due to come tomorrow, bringing with it a new round of Priest nerfs.

If you’re a Druid hater, good news: that’s also receiving a hit, and there are some adjustments coming to Battlegrounds, as well as some hints about what to anticipate from the mode’s upcoming major update. But first, let’s address the Standard nerfs, with developer commentary explaining why action was required.

Apotheosis: Old: Give a minion +2/+3 and Lifesteal. → New: Give a minion +1/+2 and Lifesteal.

Because of the threat that Apotheosis poses, it may feel as though you must remove every Priest minion. A minor reduction in the boost here should alleviate the urgency and make the post-Apotheosis minions simpler to deal with. The Samuro + Apotheosis combination is the opposite side of this nerf. The penalty for using minions in this combination is currently too severe, so while we’d like to maintain some of the stress of resource commitment, we don’t want the punishment to be a complete heal for the opponent. The decrease in assault here aids in getting the combination into a more healthy push/pull condition.

Renew: Old: [Costs 1] → New: [Costs 2]

We chose to alter Renew particularly because we feel it will have the most impact on breaking the generational shackles in Priest. At 2 mana, Renew requires more thinking during deckbuilding, will not be created by Wandmaker, and requires another mana reduction to get to 0. While Priest’s identity may change in future expansions, we wanted to use this chance to limit their card production and provide a better match experience for both players.

Gibberling: Old: [Costs 1] → New: [Costs 2]

Currently, Gibberling is the source of many “non-games,” or games that are excessively unbalanced in the early game and can have their conclusion determined much too early. We want to reduce the frequency of this happening, and Gibberling at 2 mana should result in a lot more games where opponents can respond to an early board with this tiny threat.

As always, the cards listed above will be eligible for a full dust refund for two weeks following the update’s release on July 15.

Here’s what you can expect from the update in terms of changes and fixes:

  • Updated the wording of Kurtrus Ashfallen’s fully upgraded Battlegrounds Hero Power to clarify its one-time completion (no functional change).       
  • Updated Archdruid Hamuul in Battlegrounds so that when your minion types are tied, he will not refresh Bob’s Tavern with minion types that are not in the pool.       
  • Adjusted Darkmoon Prizes to offer better Prizes for players on the bottom half of the leaderboard.    

It’s a little upgrade for Standard, but a far larger one is on the horizon for Battlegrounds. On Twitter yesterday, Hearthstone lead designer Alec Dawson stated that the next 21.2 patch will be “a significant shakeup” for Battlegrounds, with roughly 35 new minions introduced and a comparable amount removed. The patch’s release date has not been revealed, but Dawson stated that Blizzard would have more to say about it a few weeks following the release of the United in Stormwind expansion, which is scheduled for August 3.

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