Hearthstone patch 20.4 reveals updates to multiple formats - Upcomer
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Alongside the release of the Wailing Caverns mini-set, Hearthstone patch 20.4 will include updates to Standard cards, Battlegrounds and more.

Standard updates

Three cards that are playable in Standard mode will receive updates. First Day of School will now add two random minions that cost one mana to a player’s hand. Meanwhile, Hand of A’dal will give a minion one less health than it did before. Finally, the timing on Unbound Elemental’s ability has changed to after the player plays an Overload card.

According to developers, First Day of School and Hand of A’dal will receive these nerfs to help other classes out against Paladin. Currently, they allow for strong performances in the main Libram, Aggro, Secret and Menagerie Paladin deck archetypes.

“Another note on First Day of School: While the last balance change for this card only resulted in a mild change in power, we will still be attempting changes like it in the future,” the developer notes stated.

Unbound Elemental’s update. | Image provided by Blizzard Entertainment.

The current balance approach consists of light changes while also making sure decks remain intact despite nerfs. The developers said this approach leaves them open to make further adjustments later if needed. For two weeks, these cards will also be eligible for dust refunds after patch 20.4 goes live.

Updates to Hearthstone Battlegrounds

As for Hearthstone Battlegrounds, players will get the option to face others as new heroes. One is Mutanus the Devourer, who has the Devour power that costs zero mana. It also removes a friendly minion, spits its stats onto another and gives the player one gold.

Hearthstone patch 20.4 reveals updates to Standard, Battlegrounds and more
Mutanus the Devourer is one of two new heroes for Hearthstone Battlegrounds. | Image provided by Blizzard Entertainment.

The other new hero is Guff Runetotem, who has Natural Balance for one mana. Natural Balance gives a friendly minion of each tier +2/+1. These heroes will be formally released on June 17, but players who have Battlegrounds Perks will get early access to them.

Guff Runetotem is one of two new heroes for Hearthstone Battlegrounds. | Image provided by Blizzard Entertainment.

In terms of the current hero pool, Maiev Shadowsong will be temporarily removed from it.

As for minions, Hexruin Marauder will debut as a 3/5 that gains +3/+3 if the player has six or fewer minions at the end of their turn.

Hearthstone patch 20.4 reveals updates to Standard, Battlegrounds and more
Hexruin Marauder is a new minion for Hearthstone Battlegrounds. | Image provided by Blizzard Entertainment.

Meanwhile, the presence of Quilboar minions will no longer be guaranteed in every match. Siegebreaker will also be removed from Hearthstone Battlegrounds. And although Cap’n Hoggarr will have no functional changes, the card text will be reworded to “whenever” instead of “after.”

Arena cards

For players who like to fight against others in Arena mode, cards from the following sets will be included in the pool:

  • Ashes of Outland
  • Core
  • Darkmoon Races Mini-Set
  • Forged in the Barrens
  • Goblins vs. Gnomes
  • Kobolds & Catacombs
  • Madness at the Darkmoon Faire
  • Scholomance Academy
  • Wailing Caverns Mini-Set

These sets will be available in Arena mode alongside the patch 20.4 launch.

Hero skins and card backs

Several previously released alternative skins and card backs will also be available. A total of 11 skins and 94 card backs can be gained by players.

Magni Bronzebeard is getting an alternative skin in Hearthstone. | Image provided by Blizzard Entertainment.

At launch, the following alternative skins will be made available for either 1,200 or 1,800 in-game gold:

  • Alleria Windrunner
  • Dame Hazelbark
  • Khadgar
  • Lei Shen/Thunder King
  • Lunara
  • Magni Bronzebeard
  • Maiev Shadowsong
  • Medivh
  • Morgl the Oracle
  • Sir Annoy-O
  • Sylvanas Windrunner

Meanwhile, the card backs that don’t come with a skin will be available for either 500 or 600 gold.

Book of Mercenaries Xyrella

Book of Mercenaries Xyrella will also launch on June 3, allowing players to earn a card pack that contains only Standard Priest cards.

Hearthstone patch 20.4 reveals updates to Standard, Battlegrounds and more
Heathstone’s Priest, Xyrella is being used to promote Standard Priest card packs. | Image provided by Blizzard Entertainment.

The single-player game mode will also feature Guff Runetotem on June 15 and Malfurion Stormrage on June 22. While Guff Runetotem is unique to Hearthstone, Malfurion Stormrage is from the World of Warcraft universe.

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!