Balance Update 20.0.2 Coming “Early Next Week”, 6 Cards Nerfed, Targets Mage, Paladin, Rogue and Neutral Cards

Basically title. Game Designer Alec Dawson shared some more information about the balance patch, which everyone expected. While I was hoping that we’ll learn the exact changes, it’s still cool to know when they will come and which classes will be targeted. We’ll hear more details “soon” (hopefully this week).

We’ll give you an update as soon as we know which cards get changed. Some of the cards that have a solid chance of getting hit are Pen Flinger, Deck of Lunacy, Incanter's Flow, Sword of the Fallen, Far Watch Post and Jandice Barov. But what would be your predictions?


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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  1. Nerose
    April 8, 2021 at 8:59 am

    My prediction:
    Pen flinger- minions only
    Tour guide- hero power costs 1 less
    Sword of the fallen- +1 mana, +1 durability
    Deck of lunacy- four mana
    Self sharpening sword- 1/3

  2. DarkParsley
    April 8, 2021 at 6:07 am

    Deck of Lunacy is sure going up to at least 3 mana, that’s the least they can do. Going up to 4 is probably a better idea. Or making the spells cost only 2 more. Idk. The card is wild. And problematic.

    Sword of the Fallen to 1/2, or up to 3 mana ? They could also tack something weird on it, like doing damage to yourself while playing it, or can attack only minions (on top of being a 1/2). But it needs addressing, yup.

    Rogue I’m guessing Jandice, as it also impacts mage. Maybe the squid. Not impossible that they’re gonna dial Secret Passage down to 3 cards or 2 mana. Would still be very strong at 2 mana, and even only 3 cards, with all the tools to generate cards in most rogue decks, wouldn’t be that bad.

    Pen Flinger being limited to minions, or only your first spell per turn, is probably necessary.
    Aldor Attendant could also be up to 2 mana. That would be something, tbh !

    I’d like to see the 2/4 watchpost going down to 2/2. The other one going to 3/4 (or even 3/3) is also probably a good idea.

    Basically the same as everyone else already have said 😀 😀

    Except that for mage I could also be seeing a nerf to the spell that gives you 3 minions if you aren’t playin’ any, going up one mana for that thing should be very good tbh, or giving you only 2 and not 3.

    Basically Lunacy Mage, Secret and Libram Paladin and Rogue needs something to tone them down.
    Good thing they’re seeing it !

  3. H0lysatan
    April 7, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Whatever the nerf may be, remember to hoard your card and don’t disenchant any copies.
    Especially so, if you’re like me and you have Golden Deck of Lunacy. woohoo.

  4. Alduin
    April 7, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    I take it back. It would be a better Arcene intellect.

  5. Alduin
    April 7, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    If they would nerf spring water in my view the optimal way would be to decrease its cost to 3 and it refreshes only 1 mana. Just as they did to Darkglare. Other way it would be an overkill, I think. Btw, sometimes Blizzard was really good at overkilling nerfs, especially in the old times.

    • Alduin
      April 7, 2021 at 4:17 pm

      I take it back. It would be a better Arcene intellect.

    • H0lysatan
      April 7, 2021 at 7:22 pm

      Thats a big if, besides spring water is not really problematic, just because the meta revolve around no minion mage atm. The real culprit is still Deck of Lunacy because you can cheat big spells and plays a very RNG based game that many people can’t predict.

      If no minion Mage deck starts to diminish, I believe Spring Water should work as it was intended to be, it may or may not refresh mana when you draw cards.

      • Baalrogg
        April 8, 2021 at 12:49 pm

        Spring Water is also the primary enabler for the most oppressive deck in Wild at the moment, the newest version of solitaire mage. The deck can very, very often OTK the opponent by turn 5-6 (by cycling through most of the deck on the same turn if necessary) and isn’t even very susceptible to aggro as it has so many cheap stall and “free turn” cards.

        • H0lysatan
          April 8, 2021 at 10:03 pm

          Wild like always, is not the primary concern.
          I mean c’mon, they don’t even care how broken the unnerfed Cavern Below did.
          or any other unpredictable mess still exist in Wild.

          So, no. I still think it’s not a problem unless they monitor every mode as close as Standard.

          • Baalrogg
            April 9, 2021 at 4:54 pm

            No, it’s never been the primary concern, but they do nerf cards specifically for wild balance – especially if they’re also overtuned in standard. I’m not sure why they’d have to monitor wild as closely as standard to make card adjustments to it. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more of a meta upheaval in wild with all of the un-nerfed cards, but paladin and mage continue to dominate there pretty unchecked. Much like in standard, lol.

  6. Axiotes
    April 7, 2021 at 9:07 am

    I don’t know if this is what they’ll do, but here’s what I think would be good:

    The obvious ones:
    –Sword of the Fallen to 2 durability
    –Deck of Lunacy to 4 mana
    –Far Watch Post to 2/3

    Less obvious:
    –Aldor Attendant to 1/2
    –Pen Flinger only targets minions, but still at 1 mana
    –Morshan Watch Post to 3/4
    –Jandice summons 4 drops

    I’m not sure if other Rogue or Mage stuff needs to be adjusted yet. Without Deck of Lunacy, No-Minion Mage is actually a pretty fair deck, and I worry that nerfing either Incanter’s Flow or Refreshing Spring Water would kill it. And Rogue would be less annoying with weaker watch posts and less Pen Flinger versatility. A Pen Flinger that targets only minions is still useful, but not an auto-include.

    Paladin needs more general steps to reduce power level, but I think a slow and incremental approach is best. They can always do more in a bit if needed.

  7. ThePhoenix
    April 7, 2021 at 6:01 am

    Deck of Lunacy is far too strong (and consistent) right now due to the smaller pool of strong spells we have right now. Its value is unmatched. Maybe they won’t be able to fix this issue with a nerf at the moment, but its reliability in standard will dwindle as more Gryphon expansions come out.

    • Legendhunter01
      April 7, 2021 at 7:24 pm

      I have some interesting nerf ideas for Deck of Lunacy… like not letting the spells keep their original cost perhaps.

  8. Axiom11154
    April 7, 2021 at 4:29 am

    My Guesses:

    Pen Flinger — 2 mana cost
    Far Watch Post — 2/3 stats OR 0/4 stats
    Deck of Lunacy — 4 mana cost OR transform spells into 1 mana more
    Jandice Barov — 6 mana cost OR summons 4 mana minions
    Sword of the Fallen — 1 attack/2 durability

    as for the rogue card…. I’m gonna go crazy here

    I think if Pen Flinger gets nerfed, then Field Contact gets weakened by default and I also think they would have nerfed Self-Sharpening Sword by now if they thought it was a problem.

    so, I’m going to say the Rogue card nerf is:
    Efficient Octo-bot — 3 mana OR 1/3 stats

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 7, 2021 at 8:09 am

      Well, remember that Jandice Barov is a Rogue card too, so the class might not get “its own” nerf 🙂 But otherwise, interesting guesses!

      • Axiom11154
        April 8, 2021 at 3:25 pm

        Very True…. but, I still think Octo-Bot could be a target for nerf

        I also think that Refreshing Spring Water could be a target.

        I would change it to only give back 1 mana when you draw a spell, making it a 2 mana, draw 2 (in spell mage)

        Still better than Arcane Intellect, but no longer just free card draw

    • Makuku
      April 7, 2021 at 9:06 am

      I think Jandice Barov does not need a nerf.

  9. INeedHealing123
    April 7, 2021 at 3:29 am

    My predictions:
    Sword of the fallen: 3 -> 2 durability
    Deck of lunacy: 2 -> 4 mana
    Incanter’s flow: 2 -> 3 mana
    Jandice Barov: 5 -> 6 mana
    Field contract: 3 -> 4 mana
    Watch posts: stats reduced to vanilla

  10. Vincent
    April 7, 2021 at 2:49 am

    No change to Tickatus? Cause it shuts down every other control deck.

    • ThePhoenix
      April 7, 2021 at 5:48 am

      Agreed. A change to Tickatus would shake up the meta a lot.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 7, 2021 at 9:12 am

      Eh, I see people asking for a nerf to Tickatus, but I can’t agree with it. I don’t like nerfing decks that are already pretty meh.

      Also, after playing some Control Warlock, I don’t think it’s Tickatus that “shuts down” Control decks as much as Jaraxxus. I faced Control Priests and won games without Tickatus even being relevant – the game was over before they hit fatigue because of 6/6’s every turn. Control Warlock is just a deck that thrives against Control and gets destroyed by Aggro. I don’t think that Control decks having a counter / bad matchup is a bad thing. Every deck should have those.

  11. A person who reacts to this
    April 6, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    Nice my new favorite deck in wild rank doesn’t seem to be affected. 😀

    • A person who reacts to this
      April 6, 2021 at 11:40 pm

      And hope they don’t know about or fix the positive weekly quest bug 😀

      • Stonekeep - Site Admin
        April 7, 2021 at 1:38 am

        And what’s the deck you’re playing?

        And the bug? Because I honestly haven’t heard about it.

        • A person who reacts to this
          April 7, 2021 at 1:59 am

          Probably should share the bug so they fix it, but here it is.
          The bug for weekly is that if you finish the win 5 ranked quest first, you can then reroll the others to be 5 ranked again. So you can play three of that quest in a week instead and since it is the one with the highest exp it is rather sweet. With a quick search I have seen that a few others have noticed it to and has been going on for a while. So let’s hope they don’t find out.

          The deck I am playing is not that special really it is a random murloc shaman I tossed together. However the murlocs and the buffs in shaman is really extreme. Most games end around turn 4-8. It’s not a 100% win rate, but if I take what I have seen this far it has around 90% and I have no big issues with mages or paladins or rouges. Fun when quest rouge managed to complete it’s quest on turn five then I was already sitting with murlocs that all were around 8/5… Worst opponent is priests with many taunts, if you get a bad draw and don’t finish them of before they start spawning them then you either need to be lucky and pull the new murloc combo remover or you are doomed.

          • A person who reacts to this
            April 7, 2021 at 2:01 am

            Hit diamond now, and I don’t play that many ranked games, but when I play my other decks earlier like different priests, mages things start to go slow around rank 5 in gold, this one has not slowed down one bit.

            • A person who reacts to this
              April 7, 2021 at 2:01 am

              *Probably shouldn’t share the bug so they fix it, but here it is.

              • Stonekeep - Site Admin
                April 7, 2021 at 8:11 am

                Don’t worry, I don’t think that they’re reading comment section here 🙂 But that’s an interesting bug! Indeed, you can get some extra XP this way. I probably won’t go out of my way to do it, but maybe I’ll try next week if it’s not fixed.

                Oh yeah, I’ve seen some Murloc Shaman decks, they seem to have got a nice buff with the new cards. Cool that you’re enjoying it and playing something off-meta.

                • A person who reacts to this
                  April 8, 2021 at 6:53 am

                  Hehe, let’s hope so, or that some way to responsible person reads it and reports it as a bug xD
                  Yeah rerolling the high one seem to get you 1500 xp more a week and 1 800 xp with the 20% boost so it’s decent.

                  Yeah I have encountered a few different types too, those who do it without the quest I really wonder how they make it if they don’t get a good staring hand, but I’m sure there is a way. Well yeah it’s fun to have a deck that is at least not a direct copy of the main once, and it dose make the opponent less certain on what to do I think. Like when I play big priest I use only three minions, one is the blood that awakens the ancient one (30/30) and more often then not people seem to forget that priest has mass silence as they think a few taunts can stop it xD. (It is also great since it almost always survives mass hysteria and can then attack directly after.)

      • Manfredman
        April 7, 2021 at 8:42 am

        Thx for sharing, I rerolled my only weekly quest left and there the 2500xp quest showed up…

  12. Legendhunter01
    April 6, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    I think that instead of Incanter’s Flow, Self-Sharpening Sword will be nerfed, as well are RSW being nerfed rather than Jandice.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 7, 2021 at 1:37 am

      I would guess Self-Sharpening Sword late last expansion, but Aggro Rogue isn’t doing THAT well right now, so I’m not sure if they will hit the card.

      Jandice has insane played WR right now, the 5-drop pool became really good after the rotation, that’s why I think they might nerf her, because it’s not only a “current” problem, she will remain OP as long as they keep printing good 5 mana minions.

      But I agree that Spring Water can get hit rather than Flow. However, Flow is easier to nerf – you increase its cost to 3 and you’re done. Weaker, but still playable. With Spring Water, it’s much harder to come up with a nerf that doesn’t outright kill it.

      • Gibilan
        April 7, 2021 at 3:11 am

        “Aggro Rogue isn`t doing that well right now” ? I ate all control warlocks & lunacy mages with it. Its just insane vs them. And btw the ladder is full of them right now.

        • Gibilan
          April 7, 2021 at 3:12 am

          And self-sharpening sword could easily be replaced by the new 3mana weapon from Barrens and put some potions in the deck and i think it will be even more op

          • Gibilan
            April 7, 2021 at 3:13 am

            But if they nerf pen, then thats an “ouch” for aggro rogue

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          April 7, 2021 at 8:51 am

          By that well I meant as well as last expansion, it’s still far behind Paladin and Mage in terms of WR, and one of the main reasons why it works so good is a good matchup against the most popular deck on the ladder (Spell Mage). That’s why I don’t think it needs a major nerf. Keep in mind that nerfing Pen Flinger is already a nerf to Rogue (of course assuming that Flinger will get hit), if you throw in its good matchup (that’s ~30% of the ladder) getting a nerf AND another nerf on top of that, that would be too much IMO.

          Aggro Rogue is now ~2.5% of the ladder, I wouldn’t call that “full”. And according to the stats, Aggro Rogue is like mid Tier 2, so I don’t think it really need any more nerfs right now.

  13. Chaosgalaxy
    April 6, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    I hope the sword of the fallen nerf targets durability, not cost. Secret Pally should be a faster deck- and it’s so refreshing to have a quick-start deck that isn’t just face-spamming!!

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 7, 2021 at 8:53 am

      Yeah, Durability down to 2 is the most obvious nerf. Making it pull 2 instead of 3 Secrets means that it’s still a good option, but no longer deciding games when played on curve.

      It’s a bit like Warrior’s Ancharrr, which was busted at 2/3, and then still very strong, but no longer imbalanced at 2/2.

  14. Kenichyo
    April 6, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    i agree with everything, except with Jandice, i think should be Refreshing Spring Water instead c:

    • Chaosgalaxy
      April 6, 2021 at 9:19 pm

      I think that for the current meta nerfing RSW makes sense, BUT I also love the card, think it’s a great way to manage mana cheating (can’t be used before turn 4 for full effect), and it isn’t the card causing problems (that’s deck of lunacy, for the most part).

      Jandice nerf would target rogue, which has just wayyyy too many bounce effects for Jandice to feel anything other than miserable to play against- I haven’t seen a mage play her other than from Font of Power, which is a niche highroll.

      • OParis
        April 6, 2021 at 11:12 pm

        The card is basically 0 mana draw 2 but with the condition that you are at 4. This is not balanced, it’s a similar thing Secret Passage does and all this type of things shouldn’t exist. It was enough that druid is able to get at 10 mana in like, turn 4. Drawing so much for such a cheap price just make combo finish their stuff even before turn 10 and that’s not healthy for the game at all. In wild Mozaki mage is able to finish the combo sometimes even in turn 5 and that 4 mana draw 2 is a big reason why this happends.

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          April 7, 2021 at 1:32 am

          In a similar vein, you could say that Reno is a 6 mana 4/6 that heals you to full, how is he balanced?

          Yeah, I get that Refreshing Spring Water is a bit too strong, but you can’t say that being at 4 mana is its only condition. A pretty major deckbuilding restriction (you have to run exclusively or at least almost exclusively spells) is another condition.

          And the biggest problem is that I don’t see a way to nerf it without killing it. Putting it to 5 kills it. Making the spells refresh mana by 1 kills it.

          • Medo
            April 7, 2021 at 4:07 am

            I think 5 mana is actually a good change on RSW. A common thing between all deck building restriction cards are that without their conditions met they are really bad. Reno is a 6 cost 4/6 that does nothing if the condition isn’t met. If RSW costed 5 it would be a bad card if no conditions are met however if it’s conditions are met it’s a 1 mana draw 2. That’s really strong still. 0 mana draw 2 is just too strong rn. Also it costing 5 would mean that mages drawing is a little delayed which I think is still good. Hopefully if they do that it doesn’t kill the card although I don’t think it would.

            • 2asandab
              April 7, 2021 at 9:07 am

              I think you make a compelling case Medo. How about just halve it 2 cost draw 1 spell refresh 2 mana?

              Speaking of killing a card… Pen Flinger @ 2 mana. Who’s the loser now! Guess you could make it do 2 dmg, but I doubt it survives a nerf. Which is honestly fine with me, Ive seen it enough.

            • Stonekeep - Site Admin
              April 7, 2021 at 9:08 am

              RSW is already bad if no conditions are met – 4 mana to draw 2 cards is maybe not as bad as a 6 mana 4/6, but both are terrible cards that would see no play, and that’s all that matters when it comes to cards like that.

              I honestly think that nerfing it to 5 would kill it, it would become too slow against Aggro and you would no longer be able to play it and still use all of your mana, so you’d have to delay it very often. E.g. right now you often play it on T5 and then still drop Apexis Blast – all plays like that would be delayed by a turn. The biggest selling point of RSW is that you can play it and it won’t disrupt your gameplan. And it’s a build-around card, those are meant to be stronger. Warrior and Rogue are often playing 0 mana card draw if they build the right deck too, and other classes also have or had access to cheap draw.

              Anyway, I’m almost sure that Lunacy will be their first choice. And honestly, it might be enough – Spell Mage is strong, but it’s actually not AS powerful as some people might think and its play rate might suggest. It has like 52-53% WR on average, which is pretty normal for a Tier 1 deck. Just hitting Lunacy should bring it closer to 50% WR. Maybe they decide to nerf a second card just in case, and then Flow or RSW are the most obvious choices, so we’ll see.

              • Medo
                April 7, 2021 at 11:20 am

                Ya that’s very true. Guess we will wait and see

  15. SOUPZE
    April 6, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    Ur mother

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 6, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      You okay?

      • SOUPZE
        April 6, 2021 at 6:39 pm

        I am currently 10-24 today so not really

        • Chi.Spurger
          April 7, 2021 at 1:01 am

          I feel you. Went from rank 1, 2* back to rank 4 the other day. Cant wait for lunacy mage to get hit with the nerfbat!

          • Gibilan
            April 7, 2021 at 3:14 am

            Just play Aggro rogue vs mages

          • INeedHealing123
            April 7, 2021 at 7:33 am

            Same with secret Paladin. I just hit legend with it for the second time ever, and that says something. Now I can relax, wait for the nerfs, and play control in peace.

            • 2asandab
              April 7, 2021 at 9:01 am

              I too have been doing well vs spell mage with my secret paly deck. I feel like I see way more mages than all other classes combined (definitely if you exclude paladin).