21.0.3 Balance Update – Eight Constructed Card Nerfs + Five Battlegrounds Hero Buffs – Coming Tomorrow (August 17)

First balance update of United in Stormwind was just announced. Patch 21.0.3 will drop tomorrow (August 17) and it will target both Constructed and Battlegrounds. The patch also includes Arena microadjustments and a bunch of bug fixes.

For Constructed, the following cards will be changed:

As you can see, three of those changes might seem like side-grades – mana cost is upped, but so are the stats. However, they are definitely nerfed. Putting the same effect on a card with a higher cost makes it much worse – those cards are first and foremost played for their text and how they synergize with other cards, making them cost more means that it will be harder for them to take off (or perform OTK combo in case of Il’gynoth – here the stats are irrelevant 99% of the time). Other changes are all straight up nerfs.

Here are all the nerfs presented in visual form:

Now, when it comes to Battlegrounds, the following Heroes will be changed:



  • Old: Burbling [Costs 1] Your next Battlecry this turn triggers twice. → New: Snicker-snack [Costs 0] Add a 1/1 Shudderling to your hand that repeats all Battlecries you’ve played. (Twice per game).



Dancin’ Daryl

  • Hat Trick
    • Old: [Passive] After you sell a minion, randomly give a minion in Bob’s Tavern +1/+1 twice. → New: [Passive] After you sell a minion, randomly give a minion in Bob’s Tavern +1/+1 three times.


Fungalmancer Flurgl

  • Gone Fishing
    • Old: [Passive] After you sell a Murloc, add a random Murloc to Bob’s Tavern. → New: [Passive] After you sell a minion, add a random Murloc to Bob’s Tavern.


Maiev Shadowsong

  • Imprison
    • Old: [Costs 1] Make a minion in Bob’s Tavern Dormant. After 3 turns, get it with +1/+1. → New: [Costs 1] Make a minion in Bob’s Tavern Dormant. After 3 turns, get it with +2/+2.



  • Arcane Alteration
    • Old: [Costs 0] Replace a minion with a random one of the same Tavern Tier. → New: [Costs 0] Replace a minion with a random one of the same Tavern Tier. (Twice per turn).


As you can see, in the case of Battlegrounds all five changes are buffs. Team 5 took some of the most underwhelming Heroes (+Shudderwock, which was removed from the pool back in Patch 20.8) and made their Hero Powers significantly stronger. It’s hard to say whether those changes will make them worth picking, but at the very least they should no longer be bottom of the barrel.

And finally, Arena update and bug fixes:

Arena Balance Update

We’ve updated the appearance rate of cards to ensure class balance remains close to the ideal 50% win-rate. Specifically, the win-rate of Druid, Warrior, and Demon Hunter should now be decreased. The win-rate of Mage, Priest, Rogue, and Shaman should now be increased. The win-rate of the other classes should be roughly the same as before.

Bug Fixes & Game Improvements

  • Updated the Stealer of Souls animation to now only trigger if the card ends up in your hand (it does not trigger for cards that are Cast When Drawn, such as Soul Shards). The animation will also no longer trigger if the drawn card already costs Health instead of Mana (such as when you have two Stealer of Souls in play).
  • Fixed card text errors for Psyfiend and Florist (no functional change to either).
  • Fixed a bug where Prismatic Jewel Kit would trigger when effects returned a Divine Shield minion to the owner’s hand or moved a Divine Shield minion from the owner’s hand to the owner’s deck.
  • Fixed a bug where Seek Guidance (the Priest questline) would sometimes count the original Cost of cards, instead of the Cost actually paid for the card.
  • Fixed a bug where the Initiate Set version of Eye Beam did not properly display card art in the Collection Manager.
  • Fixed a bug where Reborn Rites, The Lich King’s Battlegrounds hero power, caused players to disconnect from the game server.
  • Added interactions between Pave the Way (part of the Paladin Questline) and Duels-specific hero powers.
  • Fixed various bugs in Book of Heroes Gul’dan and Book of Heroes Illidan.
  • Fixed a bug where Duels achievements were not tracking properly.
  • Fixed a bug where Witchwood collection achievements triggered even though the requirements were not yet met.
  • (Updated) Fixed a bug where completing all Book of Heroes installments would not display the proper achievement or give the proper award. All players who have already completed all 10 Book of Heroes will automatically receive the proper award of a Golden Standard pack at a later date.



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.

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Leave a Reply


  1. Caimael
    August 18, 2021 at 2:09 am

    No dust refund for changed cards (like Kolkar Pack Runner) seems a little stingy. Sure, they weren’t straight-up nerfed, but the changes to their cost have still had a big effect on their playability in their respective decks, and not being refunded that dust is unfair, and perhaps an oversight from Blizzard, I think.

    • Unicorn
      August 18, 2021 at 5:15 am

      What do you mean? All of the changed cards are currently available for a full dust refund. It’s the same as every other nerf they’ve ever done.

      • Marimba
        August 18, 2021 at 7:28 am

        I also noticed that there was a brief moment, when dusting the cards didnt offer the full refund. Must have been some minor mistake, which is fixed right now, so everything is cool. 🙂

  2. DemianHS
    August 17, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    Nice and smooth nerfs. Great work this time. <3

  3. Vincent
    August 17, 2021 at 2:21 am

    So Alliance Bannerman and Prismatic Jewel kit are fine?

    • Asperkraken
      August 17, 2021 at 5:36 am

      Handbuff Paladin is strong but it’s the burst damage that wins game. Conviction would often be a one mana fireball and Battlemaster also sealed games allowing this deck to go off by doubling attacks. One mana – or one turn rather – is often the difference between winning and losing. Time will tell though.

  4. A person who reacts to this
    August 17, 2021 at 2:06 am

    So wild warlock and mage got a bit slower, but all the other equally crazy deck still remain. Oh well my questline hunter is not affected either so I guess I will keep playing that then.

    • Asperkraken
      August 17, 2021 at 5:38 am

      From what I watched at GMs, Mage and Warlock are way over-represented. And the DH combo was just dumb. Take that Questline Hunter to Wild – it’s working well there.

  5. Irish Seadog
    August 17, 2021 at 1:08 am

    I wonder whether a more midrange build of Lifesteal DH could emerge here, with Il’gynoth playable as a threat in it’s own right, rather than exclusively a combo piece?

  6. PitLord
    August 17, 2021 at 1:04 am

    Battlemaster to 6 it’s still too cheap, luckily even convinction got nerfed so you need 8 mana. Onestly to be sure i would have changed in battlecry give windfury to one minion at 6, and its still dangerous with the sneak/divine shield minion. Anyway i’m plenty of copies of the card it’s broken and I knew it would be nerfed.

    • Generalflagada
      August 17, 2021 at 1:18 am

      Well we have windspeaker: the shaman 4 mana 3/3 battlecry give 1 minion windfury
      And it does not see anyplay

      The problem is the battleground guy give 2 minion windfury

      So I hope that 6mana is slow enough for the card,
      But I will still play it in SI:7 rogue for a finisher

      • PitLord
        August 19, 2021 at 2:40 am

        Well, it’s also a nice finisher in even warlock in wild

  7. Cut2theKwik
    August 16, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    Pack Runner and Darkglare are a little surprising to me. I don’t necessarily see those as being the problem cards in their archetypes. Battleground Battlemaster was a mistake the moment they printed it. I could make a case that even 6 is too cheap for that effect.

    • Alglyphic
      August 16, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      I’d agree with you here. My experience on Pack Runner and Darkglare is that they’re epics I don’t usually draw into, and they’re combo pieces that require other cards to work. So you wouldn’t drop them on Turn 2, and I’d say you might not even drop them on Turn 4. Could you make a case that increasing the Mana required means it’s harder to drop two copies and build up combos? Sure, but what are the odds of holding onto both at the same time by mid to late game, with the resources to make them work? Funnily enough Darkglare was originally a 3-mana 3/4 (that refreshed two Crystals), so… the Circle of Life! Battlemaster is mostly only dropped for the KO, so you wouldn’t be dropping two copies – and it’s mostly on boards that already have large minions so they could make it cost 10 mana and it wouldn’t change the state of things.

      • January1979
        August 16, 2021 at 6:45 pm

        Darkglare is almost certainly a nerf for wild. It’s incredibly strong there, and has been the reason that warlock is the strongest class/deck in wild for some time now.

        And i like the pack runner nerf. I don’t know how much face hunter you guys queue into, but a turn two pack runner on the coin is very difficult to come back from.

      • January1979
        August 16, 2021 at 6:46 pm

        Also, couldnt disagree more about the change to battle master. Changing it from a turn 5 combo to a turn 6 one is a huge deal.

  8. Sketchscape
    August 16, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    Of course they can’t just ban Refreshing Spring Water in standard. No just let them keep drawing cards and free mana to bore players to death. Blizzard likes their Solitaire…

  9. Wolfur
    August 16, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    Boosting the health from 3 to 4, means I can’t one shot them anymore. I see this as a buff, not a nerf.
    Increasing mana cost by 1 means nothing if the fight takes midrange time or longer.

  10. Whereismurder
    August 16, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Could they please fix the oh my yogg animation? It takes an eternity and is really choppy.

  11. Alfeizar
    August 16, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    At least 2400 worth of dust, nice. Might craft Shaman Quest.

  12. Joco
    August 16, 2021 at 11:57 am

    Il’gynoth OTK has been around for way too long. About time it got axed.

    Finally you can play Draconic Studies with Priest Quest.

  13. Vanelloppe
    August 16, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Good nerfs, mage, demo, illidan and paladin hard nerfed, it seems blizzard wanna slow down combo decks and have more interplay between players instead play goldfish. The ll’gynoth’s nerf prove it, it burry the otk combo, but i think demo combo will be still fine.

  14. Dynasty
    August 16, 2021 at 11:23 am

    I knew conviction would be nerfed the minute I saw its release. Crazy op.

  15. Serranocean
    August 16, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Very interesting changes coming our way… intrigued to see how it plays out…

  16. Asperkraken
    August 16, 2021 at 11:08 am

    Good nerfs. Didn’t think they would touch the quest. That Ilgynoth combo sucks to lose to so good riddance. All these nerfs are good. Like said earlier, not sure about the Granite Forgeborn nerf. Surprised they didn’t up his mana cost by 1.

  17. KingArthas
    August 16, 2021 at 11:03 am

    This is a joke, right? It has to be, but it’s not even a good one. Btw, Stealer of souls (you know, the card that was banned in wild) must be laughing his a$$ off while looking at these “nerfs”. Honestly, those guys will never learn!

  18. Kapslocke
    August 16, 2021 at 10:53 am

    Nice, great changes overall. As expected, they didn’t nerf any quests. Not sure about the shaman nerf, is Granite Forgeborn that oppressive? Feels like there are like 10 cards more powerful in the deck haha