Hearthstone Patch 23.2 has now become available for downloads. It's a sizeable package, so your game clients might need a moment. If you have auto-updates disabled, you'll have to choose to run it manually (the Battle.net client and the game are likely to prompt you to do so before you are allowed to proceed, eventually).

As always, patch updates for mobile storefronts took a while longer to arrive. If you've updated your desktop client but not the mobile application, you won't be able to launch the latter. And vice versa, until both share the same client version. 

Quote From DeckTech
For major patches the mobile patch always comes a few hours after the desktop patch. And yes, that's by design.

Since the launch of this patch, Hearthstone team has been dealing with some major issues. The worst should have been fixed by now. We've been keeping track of everything as time went by:

And here are the full patch notes, for reference: 

This patch is largely concerned with the Battlegrounds game mode, plus some Mercenaries content and a few new game features: 


Battlegrounds - Rise of the Naga

There is so much to focus on here. Battlegrounds Buddies out, new Naga tribe and Spellcraft keyword in, Armor System adjustments, other minion changes, and a proper regular Season for the game mode. 

Hearthstone even chose to celebrate this moment with a special little video! That's a fine beat for a quick overview, upholding the spirit of the recent Crab Rave


Besides that, we've had some special developer insights from Battlegrounds Lead Designer John McIntyre being posted on the Blizzard forums, while game designer Dominic Calkosz joined in for a short interview during Kripparrian's recent minion reveal: 


Mercenaries - N'zoth Special Event, New Bounty

It's too bad that the new PvE zone has been off to a bad start, making poor players stuck on reconnecting and getting temporarily disabled. Looks like the Mercenaries content is a little fussy for the time being. 

The first two tasks of the new special limited time N'zoth event should be accessible straight away, and the Old God will also be available as a mercenary. We'll make sure to return to this with a larger overview and more helpful guides. 


Besides that we have some reworks in the mix, especially for the Refresh keyword and introducing Fatigue option into PvP. Oh, and you will no longer have to go through all PvE zones in one specific order. 

  • A new Fatigue system has been added to the Fighting Pit. Now, after 10 turns of combat, all characters will be in Fatigue and take double damage (which means 4x damage for Critical Hits).
  • The “Refresh” keyword has been updated. Instead of fully finishing a Cooldown on an Ability, Refresh will now be written as “Refresh (x)” and reduce the Cooldown of an Ability by that amount.
  • Completing all Bounties in the Wintersping Zone will now unlock the first Bounty in each subsequent Zone.

Three New Game Features 

We've covered those in greater detail already, along with bonus developer insights. Make sure you haven't missed out on any info:


No Constructed Balance Changes, Arena's Due Soon 

Not much to report on any potential further balance changes for Standard and Wild, for the time being. You can bet Drek'Thar & friends are content. Chances are we'll hear something concrete sooner rather than later. But the concerns aren't being flat out ignored or anything.

A small discussion unfolded as former Grandmaster and current 'artistic' streamer Feno felt the need to rant a little bit, which prompted DeckTech to respond: 

Quote From Feno
I just don't understand how we aren't getting DH changes, like what more do we need? It's favored against 95% of the decks (by quite a lot vs most) and also has a 68% muligan wr card that feels so bad to play against. I'm sure we've got changes for way less than this...👿 

Quote From DeckTech
Balance changes just don't usually come in content patches, which have to be wrapped up and submitted to the storefronts ahead of time. The team's aware of the concerns.

Then other known individuals joined in, including D0nkey and Ridiculous Hat

Quote From D0nkey
That's just not accurate, is it? X.2.0 patches, ie the big BG content patches, have usually included balance changes. I think it's 4 out the 5 previous ones that have included standard changes, and the one that didn't included changes for other modes.

I did a quick check on the wiki recently because I was initially expecting balance changes with this patch.

Quote From DeckTech
I confess, I didn't do a historical check (especially not of specifically .2 patches), but the typical workflow from my perspective on the inside is that the major content patches aren't expected to have balance changes (though they can); usually there's a diff window for them.
 

Then the Interim Game Director and Q&A Master himself, Dean "Iksar" Ayala, stepped in with further clarifications: 

Quote From Iksar
We don't usually make reactive, time sensitive balance changes in content patches. This is because content patches require us to have the changes made a week or two in advance. 

The kinds of changes that come in content patches are ones we don't think we'll change our mind in a few weeks time and we're also fine waiting. The kinds of changes that come in data patches are ones we want to decide on and have them go into a build within days.

for mull win-rate I think Drek is a borderline violator here, so we don't necessarily disagree. That said, more useful to look at the delta between deck win-rate and mull win-rate of specific cards. If we're talking about a 63% hsreplay deck, all the mull wr will be inflated.

there will always be some cards that increase your win rate by X amount if you get them in mull, question is how much increase is appropriate and how much is ok 3%? 5%? 10%?

In this specific case it's 10% which seems like a lot.

agreed :)

So there you have it. One way or another, it's going to take at least a little more time and patience. 

Drek'Thar Card Image

For now, it means that the metagame status quo remains. We've shared a large number of viable decklists as of late (with and without Drek), along detailed notes on how to pilot or choose tech cards for various decks:

On the other hand, at least the Arena mode should be seeing some micro-adjustments soon enough. If you've been tired of Druid dominance there and such: 


Dust Refunds

Turns out the previous blog post did not lie: the refunds remain active until May 12

Miracle Growth Card Image Switcheroo Card Image Pufferfist Card Image


New and Returning Shop Deals

New major patch means another larger in-game shop update, as some of the previous packages rotated out. You will find plenty of bundles for Hero skins, Battlegrounds cosmetics, and Mercenary offers. 

But what's more, two of the Mini-Sets: The Forged in the Barrens (Wailing Caverns) and United in Stormwind (Deadmines) have returned, this time also offering all their respective cards as Golden. If you've never picked them before, it could be worth a consideration! 


There is even more content to explore and we'll very likely update this post at a later date. For now, enjoy your stay in the Zin-Azshari tavern!