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The latest Hearthstone patch just arrived Tuesday with updates for standard mode, alongside a Battlegrounds revamp and an introduction to the new Hearthstone Mercenaries game mode.

Standard mode updates

A couple of minions received balance changes in patch 21.2. Stealer of Souls went from a 4 mana 2/6 to a 6 mana 4/6.

“While the winrate of decks including Stealer of Souls isn’t particularly high, the games where these decks win are often won in an extreme way,” the developer notes explained.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds revamp and Standard updates arrive alongside Mercenaries game mode reveal
The Stealer of Souls card. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

This patch will help with those extremes. It should also be noted that Stealer of Souls is still banned in Wild mode.

Next, Flesh Giant went from a 9 mana 8/8 to a 10 mana 8/8. This nerf will reduce how quickly the minion can be played in an average game.

The Flesh Giant card. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

A player who has Stealer of Souls and Flesh Giant in their collection have two weeks to get a dust refund.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds revamp

Meanwhile, Hearthstone Battlegrounds reset players’ ratings and received a revamp in terms of a new keyword, a damage cap of 15, 37 new minions, in-game cosmetics and more heroes.

According to the initial announcement, there are cards that has the new Avenge keyword: “Does something after (x) friendly minions die.”

New minions with this keyword include ones like Bird Buddy and Palescale Crocolisk. Palescale Crocolisk gives another friendly beast minion +6/+6, while Bird Buddy gives beast minions +1/+1.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds revamp and Standard updates arrive alongside Mercenaries game mode reveal
Palescale Crocolisk. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

Other new cards with the Avenge keyword include Tony Two-Tusk, Mechano-Tank, SI:Sefin, Budding Greenthumb, Witchwing Nestmatron, Dazzling Lightspawn and Impatient Doomsayer.

In total, there are 37 new minions that replaced 37 old ones. In terms of other minion updates, Arm of the Empire Old is a 4/4 instead of a 4/5.

Games now have longer turns to help players adjust to the update. Turns three through nine are five seconds longer, but the length of turns may still be adjusted in the future.

Additionally, a fundamental change is the damage cap of 15 until the first player dies. This damage cap doesn’t check for deaths until the beginning of the Recruit Phase. If a player dies during the Recruit Phase, then the damage cap is applicable for combat.

Master Nguyen and Cariel Roame. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

As for the new heroes, they include Master Nguyen and Cariel Roame. Master Nguyen’s passive is Power of the Storm, which lets a player choose from two new hero powers at the beginning of every turn. Cariel Roame has ranks of Conviction, which involves minion buffs.

Hearthstone Mercenaries reveal

These updates arrived alongside an introduction to the upcoming Hearthstone Mercenaries game mode. Hearthstone Mercenaries lets players collect iconic characters, assemble teams for battle and more.

The game mode involves the Mercenaries Village, where a player gets access to village area upgrades, tasks, their collection, PvE and PvP battles, an in-game shop and announcements.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds revamp and Standard updates arrive alongside Mercenaries game mode reveal
Hearthstone Mercenaries Village. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

Fighters, casters and protectors are the three roles in Hearthstone Mercenaries. Fighters deal double the damage to casters and casters deal double the damage to protectors. Meanwhile, protectors deal double the damage to fighters.

Fighters have green frames, casters are blue and protectors have red frames. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

When creating a party of six within the Mercenaries Village tavern, players should keep these weaknesses and strengths in mind. Three party members can enter the battlefield at once. Once a mercenary goes down, one of your benched roster will replace them.

These mercenaries also have abilities and equipment to unlock and upgrade. Mercenary Coins are the in-game currency used for these upgrades. Players earn them by completing bounties.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds revamp and Standard updates arrive alongside Mercenaries game mode reveal
Cariel Roame’s abilities and equipment. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

As for the battles, a player first goes through the Command Phase. This phase involves selecting an ability for each mercenary and choosing targets. Abilities have speeds, and some of them have a cooldown number. The lower the speed number, the earlier the turn in the proceeding Combat Phase.

Hearthstone Mercenaries board. | Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

Players can now pre-purchase bundles that feature World of Warcraft characters like Arthas and Sylvanas. Although Diablo is not from Azeroth, his bundle is also available.

Hearthstone Mercenaries launches worldwide on October 12.


Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!


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