[Updated on October 2]

The trial commences, and it's time to bring some Maw and Disorder into Hearthstone via the newest Mini-Set for Murder at Castle Nathria! Sylvanas takes to the stand to answer her accusers, with menacing forces at play.

Besides adding 35 new cards to our collection (not for free, alas), the latest major 24.4 Patch update sends our Mercenaries to Darkmoon Faire, adds something extra to Battlegrounds, and enables the new rotation for Arena while updating Duels buckets. There are also various game improvements - including the curious option of AI opponents for new and low MMR (matchmaking rating) players in Standard - and bug fixes. Plus, you will be happy to learn the persisting exclamation mark showing on your Journal icon should be no more!

Patch 24.4 on Desktop and Mobile

To begin with, prepare for a rather hefty download. As is always the case, the patch hit the Battle.net desktop clients first; yet it looks like the mobile storefronts might have already caught up due to the Hearthstone team continuing their new philosophy. 

Quote From DeckTech
Team is continuing the experiment from last time of making the mobile come closer to the main patch. Aiming to reduce to ~1 hour delay before they are released (and then it’s up to that particular mobile platform).

If you had auto-updates disabled, you may need to choose to run the process manually (if you are logged out of the game you might be required to do so before being able to enter the tavern again, anyway). Remember, if you update your desktop client but not the mobile application and then log in, you might not be able to launch the latter afterwards. And vice versa, until all devices are synced to share the same game version. 

Patch 24.4 Mobile Updates
Which also means you could delay your Arena rotation and run retirement for a little bit more, should you wish to! 

Quote From Blizzard
Patch 24.4 is now live on desktop. The mobile update is expected to be available for voluntary update at approximately 11 a.m. Pacific.

As there wasn't much delay when it comes to mobile versions becoming available (with Google Android and iOS confirmed within 90 minutes of the Battle.net desktop, and only Amazon greatly lagging behind), do mind that they are only voluntary updates for the time being - you'll have to manually navigate to your storefront and prompt the patch download. Otherwise, it'll probably take a few hours before you are not able to log in on the older client version and will be 'forced' to update when attempting to enter the game. 

Update: Amazon storefront took a long time to release its patch update. Which even prompted the following Blizzard statement to be added to the Known Issues forum thread. But at least now the patch should be available everywhere.

Quote From Blizzard

  • [Resolved] The team is aware that the update is still not available on the Amazon storefront. The update was cleared for release with the other mobile updates this morning, so it will become available automatically, as soon as Amazon releases it.
    • Update: The patch is now available on all devices.

As for our detailed patch overview, the prosecution takes charge: 

New Castle Nathria Cards From The Maw and Disorder Mini-Set

You can grab all 35 new cards by spending a good chunk of in-game gold, actual cash, or these strange Runestones. Or you could choose not to and either directly craft whatever you are interested in, or attempt to pull the cards from the existing expansion packs for Murder at Castle Nathria. Then trust the few new options are just good enough to assist your favorite class in becoming superior! 

There are no special full-blown trailers being made for the Mini-Set releases anymore, but we do get another video preview related to the current patch and its content release. 

Big Mercenaries Content Update - Enter the Darkmoon Faire

In this patch, it's the Mercenaries game mode that's received the largest content infusion. 14 new characters, 19 more Bounties across 3 Zones, and a new Charge keyword just about sums it all up. If you are curious about the development plans for the near future, we've also received a small update on this particular matter. 

Make sure to enjoy your Darkmoon visit! The new Tasks await, both for the main story and individual characters, and there are even new achievements available for the game mode. 

Update: Heads up, if you weren't able to open your Mercenaries Packs for several hours following the patch release (find more details here):

Quote From Blizzard

  • [Resolved] In Mercenaries, Garona Halforcen is improperly not appearing in Mercenaries Packs.
    • Update: Players who opened Mercenaries Packs during the time that this was bugged have received two Mercenaries Packs as compensation.

Sylvanas Makes a Daring Battlegrounds Return

Other game modes were introduced to powerful Sylvanas, the Accused, and so Hearthstone Battlegrounds has decided to bring back their own version of Sylvanas Windrunner as well. Luckily, her Hero Power no longer seems to be as weak as it used to be! 

Remember, everyone can immediately get access to the new Hero, and there will be an increased chance to see her in the lobbies for the first 2 weeks. 

We'll also be able to find out whether the final Quest Reward (with its animation speed now fixed) is going to prove as useful as we we've been counting on.

Another Hidden Body

Update: But apparently another Quest Reward just got broken... Oh well.

Quote From Blizzard

  • In Battlegrounds, the Theotar’s Parasol Quest Reward has been temporarily disabled, as it was found to cause crashes in specific situations.

Theotar's Parasol

New Arena Rotation

As it happens on a regular basis, another new Arena meta is about to take over the place. 

Quote From Blizzard

On September 27, when Maw and Disorder launches, all current Arena runs will end and a new Arena season will begin. The eligible card sets will rotate so that the following sets will make up the Arena card pool:

  • Core
  • Blackrock Mountain
  • Kobolds & Catacombs
  • Ashes of Outland
  • Journey to Un'goro
  • Rise of Shadows
  • Murder at Castle Nathria (including Maw and Disorder Mini-Set)

For the record, this is how the Arena class winrates looked like before the current patch/set rotation (based on the data from HS.Replay): 

  • Demon Hunter, Warrior, Paladin, and Mage formed the top ranks with 51%-52,5% winrate.
  • Hunter and Priest hovered between 48-49%
  • Druid, Shaman, and Warlock found themselves within 46-47%
  • Rogue was dead last, with a winrate of only 43%.

Going to be interesting to find out just how much the new set rotation can shift these numbers around.

Duels Updates

Very, very little to be found here. New Mini-Set cards go into buckets, Sire Denathrius no longer allowed to hang in there.

Quote From Blizzard

  • Maw and Disorder Mini-Set cards can now be used in building a starting deck.
  • Card buckets were added and adjusted to incorporate Maw and Disorder Mini-Set cards.
  • Sire Denathrius has been removed from all card buckets.

Sire Denathrius Card Image

Early Progression and Milestone Offer Updates

This is one very interesting segment. If you are familiar with how the AI "Your Opponent" works in Hearthstone Mercenaries and why, the following should also make a lot more sense to you. 

Quote From Blizzard

Apprentice (new player ranks) and low internal-rating players (colloquially called “MMR”) may now face up against AI opponents when playing on the ranked Standard ladder. This will help said players have a more fun experience while learning the game. Experienced players will not face these AI opponents, and they will have no impact on MMR, leaderboards, or legend ranks. Most players advance beyond the affected MMR range upon leaving Silver or Gold ranks.

Additionally, milestone shop offers are returning to celebrate Standard ladder progression in October. This time, some players will be offered Battle-Ready Decks as part of those offers. Upon reaching Bronze, those players will be offered a Battle-Ready Deck for their most-played class. Upon reaching Platinum, they will be offered a second Battle-Ready Deck for their second most-played class.

Early Hearthstone Bugs and Fixes

Unsurpsingly, the new major patch coming along with the Mini-Set has indeed managed to introduce some Maw and Disorder. We've already mentioned a couple of confirmed problems in this very article, and have now put together our detailed article on the current Known Issues - so head on over there to learn about everything of note! 

Now that we've had a chance to comb through various reports and figure out what works and what doesn't, we can just point fingers at Theotar and Garona. Breaking news, Sylvanas has been found innocent! For now.

Theotar, the Mad Duke Card Image Garona Halforcen

On the upside, we've got some good news too: 

Quote From Walt
happy 24.4! the "!" darkness has been banished also, the BG rewards button should now have a badge for unclaimed rewards. we just needed to spread the "!" more evenly across the app

ps: BG track scrolling to your active level is coming in 24.6. didn't quite make the 24.4 cutoff



New Achievements

As expected, the arrival of the Mini-Set and its new cards has also brought us a number of new XP achievements for each class and Neutral category. Their demands and quality can vary greatly. We'll be working on our usual guides for these! Meanwhile, here are some developer insights on a certain contentious matter: 

Quote From Leo Robles
Please stop making achievements that rely on your opponent to do a specific thing. I love difficult achievements but one where I have to hope my opponent will plays 3 cards to proc my secret and die, not just once, but three times, is beyond frustrating.

i cant promise anything (especially since achievements are worked on by the whole initial design gang usually), but i will say that theres a decent handful of us that share this sentiment

Hope on the horizon? Besides those, we've also got a handful of new Mercenaries achievements - you might enjoy some of the rewards! They also don't tend to expire between expansions, so there isn't any real rush here. 

And last but certainly not least, the new secret Mystery achievement (offering special Deviate Delight card back as a reward) has been the talk of the entire castle ever since its sneaky introduction with the current patch. We've also got a detailed guide available, should you need any tips to steer you in the right direction! 

Hearthstone Game Shop Updates

We can certainly say with full confidence that there are now a lot of Standard Golden Packs (plus other shiny offers) out there... and of course the Mini-Set, let's not forget about that. Also available all in Golden. We have prepared our detailed article listing all of the both new and old deals that can be currently found within the in-game Hearthstone shop: 

On a side note, Blizzard has also updated the "Golden Packs" section of their support article with the expected pack opening odds. 

Quote From Blizzard

Sylvanas has been accused and must stand trial before the Jailer! Get all the Accusations, new synergies, and courtroom characters in this Mini-Set of 35 all-new cards to add to your collection. Get them in Murder at Castle Nathria packs, or as a complete 66-card* Mini-Set. Get the Normal version in-game for 1500 Runestones or 2000 Gold, or get the all-Golden version for $69.99 or 7000 Runestones.

* 4 Legendary cards (x1), 1 Epic card (x2), 14 Rare cards (x2), and 16 Common cards (x2) 

We'll keep updating this post with more information as we continue following the trial of Sylvanas, so make sure to check back later! What's going to be your first order of business with this major patch? Headed straight for the Mini-Set cards and your favorite Ranked ladder, or are you more of a Mercenaries, Battlegrounds, or Arena/Duels player?