Hearthstone Update – January 9, 2019 – Rumble Run & Arena Changes

A new, small Hearthstone patch was just announced. Here’s a quick summary of what’s going on:

  • Appearance rate of different cards in Arena was adjusted in order to keep the win rate of each class to as close to 50% as possible. Hunter, Rogue and Warrior had the average quality of picks lowered. Druid, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Shaman and Warlock had the average quality of picks increased.
  • Full dust refunds for the cards nerfed in the December update are no longer available.
  • Some changes to Rumble Run were made. According to many players, Rastakhan’s Rumble PvE content was underwhelming, and some upgrades went through. You will now get card buckets that synergize with your Shrine at a higher rate, boss decks were adjusted to be less swingy, and there were some changes to the shrine picks. On top of those, a new Rumble Run-related Quest should be added to the game.

This Hearthstone update mixes Rumble Run up for a refreshing new change, while also bringing in some updates to Arena buckets together with the cessation of December 2018’s dust refund. Read on for details!

Arena Updates

Following our Arena update last December, we have adjusted the appearance rate of each individual card available in Arena to ensure the overall win-rate of each class remains as close as possible to our ideal of 50%.

  • Hunter, Rogue, and Warrior have had the average quality of their Arena picks lowered.
  • Druid, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, and Warlock have had the average quality of their Arena picks raised.

December Update

The dust refunds that were available following our last update in December 2018 are no longer available as of this post.

Rumble Run Changes

Champions, rumblers, and trolls of all sizes! We’ve watched you spend a month punching faces in the Rumble Run, and we think there’s room for some changes based on how things have gone. Here’s what’s new with the Rumble Run.

Weighted Card Rewards

We’ve increased the possibility of synergistic cards for your shrine appearing more often. One of our primary goals with this mode was to showcase the nine troll champions and have you really get to know them. We wanted you to “live the dream” of fighting in the Gurubashi Arena, and to do so, we had to make sure that each Run had its own strong theme. Adjusting the card bucket offerings for decks and re-adding bonus buckets will help strengthen that experience.

Boss Deck Adjustments

One of our design goals with the Rumble Run was to provide huge, overpowered combat. Balancing at such a high power level is a challenge. When it works, it works great. You get epic, monumental combat against overwhelming odds. But when it doesn’t work, it feels random and swingy – like when the AI pulls an overwhelming combo. And since no one likes being repeatedly hit in the face with a club, we’ve pruned some of the power from the boss decks so that your Runs will play out more moderately. We have a lot of data about which bosses have the biggest body counts, and we’ve used that to target the worst offenders. Rumble Runs are now a little easier, but more importantly, they’ll feel a little more fair.

Shrine Selection Changes

In early builds of the Rumble Run, we allowed players to pick a class and shrine before playing. What we found was that playtesters immediately picked their favorite class, gravitated to a certain shrine, and played that shrine repeatedly.

We had wanted to encourage players to try different shrines, especially to experiment with stuff they normally wouldn’t, so we put the current random shrine drafting in place. While that helped achieve our initial goal, it removed that feeling of mastery – the ability to choose a shrine and play with it until you feel you’ve mastered it or exhausted its possibilities.

So we want to bring that back. With this update, whenever you lose, you can expect to always be offered the shrine you just lost with. The shrine that the boss used to beat you in your last run will also be offered, per the status quo.

Some Final Rumble Ruminations

We always prefer to experiment, try extreme ideas, and get feedback rather than play it safe. In true troll fashion, we went big with the Rumble Run and tried some different ideas to give this expansion a unique feel and to capture the thrill of stepping into an arena against known opponents for some superpowered brutality. It’s wallop or be walloped in there, for better or for worse.

One of the things we experimented with—and heard great feedback on—was about the earlier pack rewards for the Rumble Run. Previous Hearthstone missions awarded packs via quests for completing content. For The Boomsday Project, we gave packs out without a quest to celebrate the launch of the expansion’s missions. This time around, we front-loaded the rewards and gave players three extra packs on launch day instead of during the Rumble Run. We felt that packs might be more interesting to people during the initial weeks of the expansion.

As many of you have pointed out, this decision just made the missions feel especially un-rewarding. It’s always more gratifying to earn packs by competing a quest, rather than just being given them. To this end, we’re adding the new quest described above, and going forward, we’ll keep this feedback in mind for the launch of new single-player content.

We had a ton of fun making mode and really appreciate the time that many of you took to write out thoughtful feedback. Everything we learn helps make future content better.

And now, it’s back to the Rumble Run!



A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over five years of playing and four years of writing about the game, he has achieved infinite Arena and multiple top 100 Legend climbs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!


  1. […] Blizzard: Hearthstone Update – January 9, 2019 – Rumble Run & Arena Changes […]

  2. Duncan
    January 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    I felt that the rumble run wasnt awful overall. I will admit that even though i went through the majority of shrines to see how they played, i enjoyed most of them(except shaman it was just awful the buckets are complete garbage and if you pull unstable you just autowin with the right shrine) Rogue boss was very dissapointing and lacking challenge as a final boss whereas heal priest and spell hunter werw disgusting due too 8 health shrines. Im glad changes were made to let me play dragon warrior 50 times in a row. Ive spent countless hours on thus pve expansion deeming it my favorite this year. Unfortunately i find myself trapped in this content because whether i play casual or ranked I just wait for turn 6 rexxar so i can concede or play 3 mind blasts. Instead of avoiding the standard issues of being the most boring and monotonous expansion yet, Blizzard needs to address what happened when they nerfed every counter to the best deck and left it untouched. Dont give up on standard to make wild and pve good, ive been stuck playing them anyways

    • Duncan
      January 10, 2019 at 1:36 pm

      I feel we are being forced out of standard to appreciate blizzards wild and pve gameplay which just feels bad for people who already enjoyed those

  3. DukeStarswisher
    January 10, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Rumble Run is the Fallout 76 of Team 5. Its too late to fix now. It was already ruined and now they’ve made it even worse.

    As soon as opponent druid summoned tyrantus on turn 4 with that broken recruit card I knew that this solo mode was no good. Broken vs. possibly broken if lucky is just not fun at all.

    • Duncan
      January 10, 2019 at 1:40 pm

      Some decks can answer this easily with the proper treasures. You can play arounf overkill unless you have a 3 health or less shrine. It can be very unfair for anyone stuck with that stealth rogue shrine being the exception, because the treasure will never attack shrine if you have 2 minions in play

      • DukeStarswisher
        January 10, 2019 at 1:49 pm

        I’m sorry why would you not have a <4 health minion on turn 4? You just pretty much told me it can be dealt with if you are lucky.

    • bern4u
      January 13, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      I agree 100%.

      It appears the Rumble Run changes with respect to bosses and card selection only lasted a day. We do get offered the same shrine (which I hate), but the high rolling bosses and horrible non-synergistic weak-sauce card selection is back with a vengeance. I played on Thursday and kicked butt (it was a lot easier when I was offered cards that synergized with my shrine). But on Friday and Saturday it seemed as though Team 5 readjusted Rumble Run again. I was barely able to win against any bosses between 3-5. They high rolled me EVERY game and this was over many hours of playing. I got to the eighth boss a few times, but was killed easily before turn 5 (not due to bad RNG on my part — due to perfect synergistic boss decks that draw every card they need in the perfect order so they can win 100% of the time). Where’s the fun in that? Today it’s the same thing. Did Blizzard mess around with the weighted card and boss deck adjustments on Friday and not tell us?

  4. Selby
    January 9, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    The shrine pick change is annoying and makes it harder to play a shrine you want as you essentially get 1 random shrine.
    If I just got slaughtered with a shrine why would I want to play it again?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      January 9, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      I actually agree with that. A while ago, I wrote an article criticizing the mode, and one of my biggest gripes was the Shrine choice. You’re often shoehorned into only the Shrines you don’t want to play and finding the one you actually want to test is hard.

      Now it’s even harder, because you get only ONE random Shrine every time you start a run. One is the one you’ve lost with and the other is the one you’ve lost to. So finding a specific Shrine that you want to play with can be a nightmare now.

  5. blood
    January 9, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    nothing impress, just a meh news , ty for info guys, love this web

  6. Smellberg
    January 9, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    “What we found was that playtesters immediately picked their favorite class, gravitated to a certain shrine, and played that shrine repeatedly.”

    Ofcourse they do. How is this a problem? That players pick what they enjoy?

    “We had wanted to encourage players to try different shrines, especially to experiment with stuff they normally wouldn’t, so we put the current random shrine drafting in place.”

    This is not encouraging, it’s forcing. And it is completely stupid. It’s like forcing you to play every second game in constructed with Whizbang the Wonderful. Or giving every game a choise between three classes that you have to pick from.

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