16.0.8 Balance Update is Out! Nerfs to Shaman, Rogue, Warlock and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza + Battlegrounds Changes

It seems that the nerf patch was just released out of blue. Blizzard usually sticks to their patch cycle pretty strictly and most of them come out around 10 AM PT (19:00 CET). It seems that they’ve decided to shake things up and released the patch ~6 hours later. Never mind the reason, it’s out now, so log into the game and start testing!

We’ll start adding new meta decks to this post after a while (but mostly tomorrow, because the it’s around 2 AM my time when I’m writing this so I won’t stick around for too long).

There’s also a bunch of Battlegrounds changes in the patch, a few Heroes are getting solid nerfs and might go for Tier 1 once again.

Here’s a quick reminder of all the changes:





  • Dragon's Pack – If you’ve invoked twice, it gives Wolves +2/+2 (down from +3/+3) – Wolves will be 4/5 Taunts now.
  • Invocation of Frost – Now costs 2 mana (up from 1).



All of those cards will be disenchantable for full crafting cost for the next 2 weeks (until January 23).

And here are all of the nerfs in a single handy image in case you want to share them:



  • Shudderwock
    • Burbling: Cost reduced from (2) to (1).
  • Queen Wagtoggle
    • Wax Warband: Give a random friendly Mech, Demon, Murloc and Beast +2 Attack. (instead of +1 Health)
  • Infinite Toki
    • Temporal Tavern: Cost reduced from (2) to (1). Now reads, “Refresh Bob’s Tavern. Include a Minion from a higher Tavern Tier.”
  • Patches the Pirate
    • Has returned to the Battlegrounds Hero Pool.
    • Fire the Cannons!: At the start of next combat, deal 4 damage to two random enemy minions. (increased from 3 damage)
  • Pyramad
    • Has returned to the Battlegrounds Hero Pool.
    • Brick by Brick: Give a random friendly minion +3 Health. (increased from +2 Health)


  • Golden Soul Juggler
    • After a friendly Demon dies, deal 3 damage to a random enemy minion twice. (instead of 6 damage once)

Bug Fixes and Game Improvements

  • Battlegrounds: Selfless Hero’s Deathrattle will now only affect minions that do not already have Divine Shield.
  • Arena: The appearance rate of cards in the draft has been updated to ensure class balance remains close to the ideal 50% win-rate. Specifically, the win-rate of Druid, Hunter, and Paladin should now be decreased. The win-rate of Priest, Rogue, Shaman and Warlock should now be increased. Card appearance rates for Mage and Warrior remain untouched.


A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

Leave a Reply


  1. Alglyphic
    January 10, 2020 at 12:46 am

    As the year and meta (well, hopefully the latter eventually) settles, and given I have no idea where to ask this…

    Since we’re waving goodbye to the Witchwood in a few months, I wonder if HSTD’s analysts might consider a speculative article on what the Year of the Dragon might have been if Baku and Genn weren’t Hall of Famed? Might that be an interesting topic to delve into? Would odd and even decks have any impact on metas at all? Was the design basis of Dragon’s expansions too much to accommodate potentially overpowered odd/even decks? Or would odd/even decks just fall by the wayside to Highlander and DoD’s power creep?

  2. JoyDivision
    January 10, 2020 at 12:01 am

    Sorry for double posting… but I think it better belongs here:

    Erm… did I miss that… I was just able to disenchant Mind Blast and Vanish!? o.O

    • Gil.galad
      January 10, 2020 at 12:15 am

      Yeah that was some nice dust back then.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      January 10, 2020 at 4:48 am

      You could already do that before :p When Vanish & Mind Blast have rotated out to Hall of Fame, they’ve changed their rarity from Basic to Common. And, as you know, you can disenchant Commons just fine.

  3. Gil.galad
    January 9, 2020 at 11:43 pm

    So I have all these cards, should I disenchant or not? Some of my main decks are Pirate Warrior, Galakrond Warrior and Highlander Hunter. From what I understand the hits on these decks do not render them unplayable but I do not know what the proper disenchanting actions are in these kind of situations.

    • JoyDivision
      January 10, 2020 at 12:05 am

      This site promotes to always disenchant cards for their full dust cost.

      Imho this is true MOST of the time for cards in high rarities. But (also imho, authors of this site strongly disagree 😉 ) if you don’t need dust you can keep cards that might still see play. For example, Dragonqueen Alexstrasza is still absolutely viable in HL decks. So, if you don’t need or want to craft anything else and you want to keep playing HL decks in Standard… keep Alex.

      Besides that: Always disenchant commons. You’ll get them back over time because, well, they are common. 😉

      • Gil.galad
        January 10, 2020 at 12:13 am

        Hm… Never thought about the common thing, basically 200 dust for free? But still you invalidate two decks… Yeah disenchanting meta-based cards seems a bad idea to me also. I mean I don’t neeeeed anything in particular, I could make a semi-strong Highlander Rogue if I disenchant almost everything else but still the Pirate and Galakrond Warrior decks don’t feel out of the meta with these nerfs, just kept in line with Highlander Rogue and Treant Druid.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      January 10, 2020 at 4:54 am

      The best course of action is to disenchant all the cards you AREN’T playing. If you do play Pirate Warrior or Galakrond Warrior and Ancharrr / Scion of Ruin turn out to be viable, there’s no point in dusting them (because you don’t gain anything if you have to craft them right away anyway).

      If you don’t play a card and it gets nerfed, you should Dust it simply because even if it turns out to be viable, you don’t lose anything by re-crafting it. And if it doesn’t turn out to be viable, or you won’t play it anyway, then you got yourself a lot of free Dust. E.g. even if Necrium Apothecary is still good, but you don’t play it, you’d rather have its full crafting Cost than the actual card (because you can use that Dust on something else). I explain this philosophy more in-depth in the post with post-nerf deck lists (https://www.hearthstonetopdecks.com/descent-of-dragons-post-second-nerf-meta-decks-best-hearthstone-pro-streamer-deck-lists-for-all-classes/)

      In your case, I’d definitely dust Necrium, Dragon’s Pack, Invocation of Frost and Fiendish Rites (since you play the rest of nerfed cards).

  4. OldManSanns
    January 9, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    I guess I’m glad they moved so quickly on this? But to be honest, I had hoped to “free craft” Dragonqueen to play with her a few days this week and then dust her for 100% refund. I know technically I can still do that for the next 13 days, but I don’t trust myself to remember. 😛

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      January 10, 2020 at 4:56 am

      To be fair, if you forget to Dust her and leave her around, it won’t be the worst thing ever, since she’s still perfectly viable 🙂