Battlegrounds Q&A with Mike Donais – MMR Changes, New Heroes on Tuesday, Buffs to Demons & Murlocs, Nerf to Junkbot, Next Big Patch December 5, New Tribe Next Year

Mike Donais was a guest on TidesOfTime’s stream, and answered some questions from Twitch chat related to Hearthstone Battlegrounds. We’ve learned a lot of useful information, so if you’re a fan of the new mode be sure to read them all!

Below, you will find a summary of the answers. I’m honestly surprised that Mike said so much – some of the info he gave is very specific and interesting!

  • MMR changes coming on Tuesday – rating swings will be multiplied by four after many games. Right now, early games award / deduct lots of rating (even 100+), but it’s down to ~20 after a while. The plan is to multiply that number by 4 (so the later swings will be up to 80). It should make your position after the first X games less relevant, and you will be able to climb back up (or fall down) more easily.
  • 4 new Heroes (most likely those four datamined last week) are coming this Tuesday (November 19), alongside a small balance patch. They do plan to release patches regularly.
  • 3 more Heroes and 2 new minions coming December 5 with another balance patch.
  • Right now the goal of upcoming balance patches is to buff Demons & Murlocs. There’s also a nerf to Junkbot planned (moving him up to Tier 5). We don’t know which changes will happen in which patch!
  • When new Heroes are introduced, some of the current Heroes will rotate out. On Tuesday, 4 new Heroes will replace the two strongest and two weakest ones. So the total number of Heroes will remain the same (24). Milificent Manastorm and King Mukla will be two of the Heroes rotated out “until they can adjust their design in a future patch”. We don’t know when and how the old Heroes will be rotated back in.
  • Professor Putricide will be buffed in December patch – he will give +20 Attack instead of +10.
  • They plan to change Nightmare Amalgam (possibly nerf his stats to 2/2), but that will be in January patch. They (obviously) won’t change stats of HS minions to balance Battlegrounds, but rather design new versions of the cards.
  • A new minion tribe will be added in future patch, possibly March next year. Mike also commented on adding Dragons to Battlegrounds recently, which might mean that it will be the next tribe (but it will require a lot of balance changes first).
  • Mike answered some questions about Hero win rates (although without giving specifics): Curator is good, but not in Top 5, Pyramad and Bartendotron are average, Toki (post-nerf) is below average. Akazamzarak is also strong if you know how to play him.
  • Mobile animations & performance should be improved. “Big minion slam” (when a high attack minion attacks) is going to be turned off, Poisonous animation going to get improved or also turned off.
  • Beta might last for ~4 months, but they’re not really sure yet.
  • There are no plans for ladder reset right now.


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. OldManSanns
    November 18, 2019 at 9:38 am

    IMHO, the problem with Nightmare Amalgam isn’t his initial stats, it’s that its so easy AND rewarding to turn him into a fat divine shield + taunt + poison late game. Everyone plays “see an Amalgam, pick an Amalgam”, so a lot of games come down to just who got offered and who doesn’t. A better rework IMHO would be to move him to Tier 4 or 5. That way he still has the potential to carry late game, but by then a 3/4 naked body is really weak and your board is full so you really need to think about if its worth investing in him or not. Strategy-wise he becomes more like a Lightfang, Iron Sensei, or Brann, except instead of sacrificing a slot to give buffs to your other minions, you’re doing it to accept buffs.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 18, 2019 at 1:50 pm

      3/4 vs 2/2 stats don’t matter in the late game, but I still think it’s a viable nerf. At 3/4, he’s a good tempo pick initially ON TOP of having insane late game. Picking a vanilla 2/2 will put you in a weaker spot immediately, which means that it will be harder to play greedy and let’s say go for a Lightfang strategy, where it’s most useful.

      Will it be enough? Hard to say, honestly – probably not. But it’s a bigger nerf than it might seem, because there’s a high chance you will lose next combat or two after picking a vanilla 2/2 from T2 (because it loses to even T1 minions).

      On the other hand, I think that moving him to T4 and especially to T5 is way too severe nerf – when you’re already in the late game, you rarely want to pick Amalgam anyway, unless you specifically have a Menagerie setup ready and not all of the tribes covered. I skip like 95% of Amalgams I see in the late game (unless I’m looking for triple). T3 + stats nerf should suffice IMO.

      Right now Amalgam is so good, because you can pick him early, it’s good early, and it has amazing late game scaling. I think that making you pick him later (T3) and making his stats weaker so you need to sacrifice more tempo would be enough, he should no longer be an auto-pick then, but still a consideration in certain setups. Or MAYBE T4, but without stats nerf. Possibly even a slight stats buff, like to 4/5, because T4 has a lot of key cards that would compete with him.

  2. Tuscarora87
    November 18, 2019 at 9:33 am

    Murlocs will get King Bagurgle (3/3) – “Battlecry and Deathrattle: Give other Murlocs +2/+2 (+4/+4)”

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 18, 2019 at 1:54 pm

      Yeah, I’ve seen it, but the in the “leak” a part of the card was covered, so the exact text, stats etc. weren’t confirmed yet. That’s why I didn’t want to post it yet. It should get confirmed soon, maybe even in tomorrow’s patch 🙂

  3. Sealbinder
    November 18, 2019 at 5:09 am

    I would like to see a non-tribe synergy as well. Things like bolvar, tortollan shellraiser, festerroot hulk, etc are neat cards, but need something more to support them. Bolvar is already close, but Nefarion just removes this entire strategy.

    Still overall, I love this mode. I have played standard to completed quests and with friends, but otherwise I am living in the battlegrounds. I hope they continue to support this mode.

    • OldManSanns
      November 18, 2019 at 9:25 am

      ^^ This. Except they need to be smart about it. Specifically: I think they need to give a way where players can increase the stats of non-tribal minions late-game that doesn’t just give an additional way to grow tribal minions.

      • Stonekeep - Site Admin
        November 18, 2019 at 1:52 pm

        I agree completely – maybe some cards that specifically work on minions without tribes. Something like “Give your every tribeless (or however they would want to call it) minion +2/+2”. Also more synergies for those cards – e.g. going for a Divine Strategy with Bolvar might be fun, but we would need more DS synergies.

  4. Thriss
    November 18, 2019 at 1:08 am

    Wow all of these are exactly what I think BGs need. For Murlocs I hope they will just create something new which can “grow” during battle phase and match Junkbot in Mechs or Hyena in Beasts.
    Only one point I’m not so happy about – that we will get another tribe probably much later than I would hope. I think adding a new tribe (dragons were exactly what I was thinking as well) is I think the most needed change of them all to make the games more varied. Now it really feels like it’s 70% mechs, 20% beasts, 10% demons + others (though hopefully the changes will adjust that and maybe make murlocks viable)

  5. H0lysatan
    November 17, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    finally new article. after almost 2 days without any good reading.
    hearthstone getting bored nowadays, and nothing to do while waiting for card reveals on 21th.

    • EndeavourXX
      November 18, 2019 at 12:30 am

      after battlegrounds launched, hearthstone is refreshed for me, forgot about ladder (very tired of it actually) and I haven’t even 1 boring minute.

      • H0lysatan
        November 18, 2019 at 12:38 am

        yea, that’s a miss-type.. I don’t say Hearthstone game in particular. but HSTD.
        this site usually provide good reading once in a while.