Nerf Patch (16.0.8) Coming Later This Week – Nerfs to Fiendish Rites, Scion of Ruin, Ancharrr, Dragon’s Pack, Invocation of Frost, Necrium Apothecary and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza

We have a pretty big nerf patch coming later this week (no exact date was given yet, but weekend is probably out of question, so we can assume that it’s Thursday or Friday). We didn’t expect so many cards to get hit. At the same time, we’ll also see a bunch of changes to Battlegrounds format. Here’s a full list of 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 2 weeks after the patch.

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.

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Leave a Reply


  1. Opal736
    January 9, 2020 at 4:51 am

    Not sure about those nerfs. I mean, I’ve never played Galakrond Shaman and hated it before last nerfs too, but right now it doesn’t feel as powerful as before. Maybe Dragon Pack was a bit oppressive, and I don’t dislike that nerf, but Invocation of Frost? Never felt like that card’s cost was unfair or anything else when up against Shaman. Warrior was really strong and Scion’s nerf is probably called for, not sure about Ancharrr though… I feel like with the low chance of drawing it, making it a big swing card wasn’t a bad idea. Also drawing it too late in hybrid Galakrond decks was useless anyway.

    About Deathrattle Rogue nerfs… sure ok, but what about Highlander which is even more oppressive? Galakrond Warlock’s nerfs are actually the opposite, it’s a really strong deck right now, but I didn’t feel like Fiendish Rites was the unfair card in there. If this is just a try to make the deck clunkier in its process to fully invoke Galakrond, sure, go on, but I feel like it won’t really affect Galakrond Zoolock itself. At least my Galakrond Handlock can still survive cutting down a copy for another Shield.

    Now reading comments about everybody complaining about Priest, but what about Hunter? I mean I’m a main Hunter (although I haven’t played it once since DotD, I’d like to play something else for once), but with so many strong Hunter decks right now I feel like meta is going back to a 1-2 class supremacy. Give us something to work with, idk, a buff, maybe on Paladin/Druid/Mage, haven’t seen those guys since the release week. Hope nerfs will be enough for them to see play, but I doubt it. Highlander Hunter eats all of their decks for breakfast.

    • Skoopy
      January 9, 2020 at 5:18 am

      I dont see any problems with the nerfs. based on data drawn and played winrates of Ancharr and Apothecary are way over 70%!!!! Invocation is just a better Glacial Shard and that alone was a really good card for 1 mana. So 2 mana for freeze (also face) and 2/1 with rush is way more balanced. Scion nothing more to add. Talking about data, there is no really huge powerspike in highlander rogue, its just a good deck like highlander hunter too. The class card package from hunter and rogue now are just better than some other classes, thats why highlander versions are Pretty decent. Highlander mage is one of my most played archetypes this expansion. Well teched its totally busted and you are going to farm shamans and rogues as hell! By increasing the cost of any invoke, the curve should slow down a bit i guess. So Warlock will be fine after that. I totally disagree with 1-2 class supremacy. It will be really really balanced! And hunter will not be the top! If hunter will, there will be at least 3 or 4 more classes with same classwinrates.

  2. JoyDivision
    January 8, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    Time for Murloc Overload Aggro Shaman to shine. 😉

    Imho some of those nerfs are pretty hefty – Invocation and Scion, tbe. Galakrond into 3 7/6 on turn 10 happened more often than it should and was a superb comeback play for Galakrond Warrior.

    Besides that, even if I’ll get dust, I’m more a fan of the buff strategy. In many peoples mindset, it would be a more ‘positive’ approach trying to balance the game.

  3. 1194Ching
    January 8, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    Hmm, pretty standard nerfs. Tweak the cost here, tweak the cost there.. but hey, Dragon’s pack is now weaker with the card text changed.

    • Skoopy
      January 9, 2020 at 12:01 am

      I like the nerfs, especially Dragons Pack. You can clear now one Wolf with Dagger/Evis, Flamestrike/Ping, both with Reno. Will be much less threatening.

  4. Lorde
    January 8, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    As a shaman main, i have to say this nerfs are unnecessary and fucking ridiculous.

  5. H0lysatan
    January 8, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    I think Shaman is getting slammed pretty hard.
    overnerfing Shaman is not a good move.
    But forget about Shaman. Nerfing this many cards is a prove that there’s an epic fail in Team 5 card tester.
    (it’s just an honest opinion from myself)

    Btw, admin. Could you maybe make a different discussion articles for each of the nerfed cards??
    It’s kinda hard to read all different opinions when it’s mixed.

    • 1194Ching
      January 8, 2020 at 11:09 pm

      Agreed. It is okay to increase the power level but please Blizz, you gotta make it fair to all classes. Some classes have cards that are outrageous while Priest have a reduce 1 cost to cards on hand invoke support equivalent. Also, Necrium Apothecary? This card is bonkers. It feels like old Cube Lock or even Malganis decks in the past.

  6. Fareh
    January 8, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    pretty standard nerfs, nothing to kill anything, besides shaman that is way down to tier 2-3 now.

    The Alextraza is a very good one… last night i faced 3 of them on the same match!!!

  7. RoNiN2X
    January 8, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    Whatever happened to Reno? Must be one hell of a visual bug.

  8. Pandablu
    January 8, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    I can disenchant my golden ancharrr now. FeelsGoodMan

    • Skoopy
      January 8, 2020 at 11:59 pm

      Getting 3200 dust, than you can recraft it for 1600 (normal) ;).

  9. Gusty24
    January 8, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    I have 1200 gold, do you guys think i should buy 12 packs just to get some extra copies of the nerfed cards, or wait for the adventure later this month that costs gold?

    • OldManSanns
      January 8, 2020 at 3:22 pm

      The odds of getting a either one of these 2 legendaries or one of the 3 epics out of just 12 packs is very low. You probably will find at a least a couple of the commons, but you’re talking about 70-105 dust–nothing to write home about.

      On the other hand, paying 700 gold per wing isn’t really a great return either. If you’ve got the cash, it’s probably worth it to pay cash for the entire adventure and spend your gold either on packs or arena.

      • Gusty24
        March 6, 2020 at 4:35 am

        I didn’t buy the packs before the nerfs and i got some dust with the duplicates i had. Bought all of the adventure wings with gold and have now 2500 gold saved up for next expansion and 10000 dust too.
        Thanks for the advice

  10. Vincent
    January 8, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Wow predicted 5 out of 7. Quest priest candidate for tier 0? Was already afraid for this, in for a boring meta meh! Return of otk decks like Holy wrath paladin (or malygos decks – still not moved to the hall of fame) to counter priest? Highlander hunter will surely benefit. This all means that I need dust lots of it 🙁 Will Blizzard compensate?

    • OldManSanns
      January 8, 2020 at 3:34 pm

      >>Quest priest candidate for tier 0?
      Rez priest will never be Tier 0. It’s problem is that it is too easy to tech against–especially now with Zul’drak Ritualist as a neutral option. As soon as it gets too popular, other decks will start adding him and their win rate will plummet. Then the meta will move on, priest will become unpopular, people will start removing Ritualist accordingly, the winrate will go back up, and so on. In short: it has a baked-in equilibrium that ~5-10% of the population can play it.

      • 1194Ching
        January 8, 2020 at 10:57 pm

        Agreed. Plus, Quest Priest isn’t really a good deck when put against other decks in the other metas that existed. It only is good because it stops Midrange Decks from domination, which is more than half of the decks being played atm. Once meta shifts, so is Quest Priest’s presence.

  11. Toffee76
    January 8, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    I have two golden Dragon pack, that’s 3200 dust, is that correct

  12. Ooaris
    January 8, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    So, Queen wagtoggle now buffs all tribes with 2 atk for 1mp.and jaraxus buffs only demons with 1/1 for 2 mp… Sounds fair!

    • MilesTegF
      January 8, 2020 at 1:27 pm

      Queen Wagtoggle gives that to a random minion of each type so in the best case scenario, she gives +2 attack to 4 minions (but you have to choose, either go for menagerie strategy to get full bonus, or not do it and get a much weeker HP) Jaraxus gives +1/+1 to all demons, so in his best case scenario he gives +1/+1 to 6-7 minions (but ofc you are forced to go into demon strategy or ignore the HP).
      Also personally i think +1/+1 is better than +2/+0. but i think these two heroes will now be pretty similar in power level.

      • Ooaris
        January 9, 2020 at 3:49 am

        Still 2gold hero power for +1/1 demons ,is expensive. You need to sell couple early demons for the t5 ones later on anyway. Very weak hero and with these bg buffs he is gonna reach the last place

  13. Electronick
    January 8, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Good nerds. Hopefully agro chills a bit now. Also hopefully there’ll be less resurrect priest: playing against that deck is like pulling teeth out.

    Very happy to see ancharrr getting nerfed, wasn’t happy to open him.

    • Skoopy
      January 8, 2020 at 11:46 pm

      I do consider dusting the Ancharr… cause i dont like the style of pirates at all. Well…i do have 30k dust…. so i dont mind at all. But the winrate of the deck right now is insane, but very low popularity (like 5% average from rank 5 to 1).

  14. DukeStarswisher
    January 8, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Do we know if buffs to Selfless Hero in battlegrounds apply to the rest of the modes? Its not a meta changer, but I would imagine they’d like to code it similarly across the board?

  15. Skoopy
    January 8, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Wow, i nearly predicted 90% of that. And i really really like this stuff!
    My Summary: Mage, Druid, Hunter and Pally will profit for sure!
    Highlander Mage will be closing the gap a bit more.
    Highlander Rogue will sky rocket!
    Highlander Hunter will come closer to tier 1 too!
    Hand Warlock will close the gap to the power rolls from galakronds too.
    Priest will be a bit more viable.
    Top Tier Winrate Classes will be nearly the same percentage.
    All Galakrond Decks will remain strong. But the Powerspikes will come later in the game, giving Highlander and some midrange stuff more time to get the game.
    5/5 for me (a bit worried if 5 Mana Apothecary is enough….)

    • Trollguy119
      January 8, 2020 at 5:44 pm

      I think the nerf to apothecary should be enough since it really messes up deathrattle rogue’s curve. After this nerf, I think the best curve is nec blade on 3, coin + apothecary on 4 and either anka or nec vial on 5. But this curve relies on going second with coin. If going first, turn 4 is going to be really passive.

  16. DnnyPhntm
    January 8, 2020 at 11:51 am

    Nerfs everywhere!
    IMO its nice that the galakrond mechanic gets nerfed just because the classes with doesnt belong to the league of evil are dying at the moment.
    On the other hand it feels a bit unprofessional to release two nerf patches in a short period. I mean: dont they playtest before the new expansion drops?
    Why did they take so long to see, that Alex is absolute famechanger when generate himself?(yes i did see it too often against Highlander Rogue)
    And is it necessary for shaman to take so many hits? We will see…
    I see Priest in a very good spot. Maybe also fast rogue builds but thats just my opinion.

    • 1194Ching
      January 8, 2020 at 11:01 pm

      Except Priest though. Priest was a mess in the Dragon Year, with only Combo Priest (which is an archetype of old) that made it survive. Their League of Evil Representative has a bad card unlike the others who are playable, and their Galakrond is so meh. Value? Yeah let the class focus on Value other than focusing to Win using the Value generated.

  17. Julot1234
    January 8, 2020 at 11:49 am

    I’m suddenly very happy i opened a golden necrium apothicary O:)

  18. PitLord
    January 8, 2020 at 11:06 am

    Fiendish rite? Serious, warlock invoke card are pretty meh.
    And i don’t think shaman its that good right now, basically he died against every aggro deck, nerfing again its card definitely kill the class for the rest of the set.
    Nothing to say to the rest, i’m happy that i have one golden necrium to shard.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      January 8, 2020 at 11:15 am

      Galakrond Warlock is one of the best decks on the ladder right now, and its Invoke cards definitely aren’t “meh”. People just discovered its power quite recently and it didn’t become oppressive yet, but it’s good to give it a small nerf preemptively IMO.

      • PitLord
        January 8, 2020 at 12:01 pm

        I encounter war and rogue for the most, against rogue ok, against war, it’s a free loss (or win if you are warrior).
        Irony of fate the best of the “good” class its facehunter xD

  19. Thanatos
    January 8, 2020 at 11:05 am

    I liked the nerfs on constructed, but Priest will be tier 0… Quest Ressurect Priest is alredy tier 1. The only way to win is to speed up and kill the opponent before turn 9. The nerfs are delaying those decks in 1 turn. Priest will be tier 0…

  20. MilesTegF
    January 8, 2020 at 10:52 am

    All three bufffs seem quite good. Their performance should improve quite a bit.
    Now that Pyramad and Patches return, no hero leaves?? i thought the numer of heroes was suppose to be fixed at 24. (i guess its really no problem if more than 24 are avaliable at a time tho)

    I didnt know that that selfless hero behavior was a bug, but the card should be stronger now, specially the golden version that currently sometimes buffs the same minion twice.
    The golden Juggler change seems like a balanced buff, now it will be quite more effective in the lategame to remove divine shields and tokens.

    Another bug currently present that i have noticed, is that sometimes, Mounted Raptor’s deathrattle summons Toxifin (tier 4) instead of a tier 1 minion, this feel particulary unfair when Toxifin survives and add 4dmg instead of 1dmg to the hero attack.

    • MilesTegF
      January 8, 2020 at 10:59 am

      Regarding the constructed nerfs, the only ones that i have doubts about is fiendish rites. ¿Was it that strong at 3 mana? All the other seem pretty reasonable. Scion of Ruin was ridiculsly good, and so was Dragon pack and invocation of Frost. I also like the Necrium Apothecarium nerf, delaying that play one turn should give the opponent more chance to respond to it. The alextraza nerf seems good as well, i never seen that happen, but i imagine that dropping 5 dragons for 9 mana, two of them being 8/8 its quite insane.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      January 8, 2020 at 11:12 am

      I’m nearly sure that some Heroes will leave, they just haven’t announced which ones yet.

      And Mounted Raptor’s thing is not a bug. It does not summon TIER 1 minions, it summons 1 COST minions. So minions that cost 1 mana in regular Constructed. Same goes for Shredders / Sky Golem. Sky Golem can for example drop a Megasaur, which costs 4 in Constructed.

      It’s confusing and should be changed IMO, but that’s how it works right now.

      • MilesTegF
        January 8, 2020 at 11:48 am

        Ahhhh, i hadn’t noticed that distinction.. Yeah i think its confusing and should be changed as well, cos in Battlegrounds you have no indication regarding how much a minion costs in constructed so it doesn’t have much sense that it works like that.

  21. Andrzej
    January 8, 2020 at 10:38 am

    Mayby they should invest more in testing stuff. I know that nerfs mainly hit galakrond cards and that new mehanic, but some of affected cards seems overpowerd since revealed. It looks unprofessional.

    • HuntingFor90
      January 8, 2020 at 1:48 pm

      Same, I’m always happy that they nerf things to keep balance but at some point you have to wonder wtf they are doing. Half the cards that they have nerfed people said as soon as they were revealed that they were going to be OP.