Oof. That’s a long title, and I’m not sure if I even managed to cover everything. Patch 17.0 (Ashes of Outland pre-patch) was just released and it’s HUGE.
Here’s a quick summary of everything new:
- Priest class got its Basic/Classic sets reworked – 6 cards were moved to Hall of Fame (Wild), 6 new cards take their place, 7 other cards got changed.
- Hall of Fame rotation – Other than Priest cards, we’ve also got five Neutral cards rotating out: Leeroy Jenkins, Mountain Giant, Mind Control Tech, Acolyte of Pain and Spellbreaker will all be gone from Standard.
- Duplicate Protection – Duplicate protection in card packs, which now only works on Legendaries, will now be present across all rarities. Yep, Commons, Rares and Epics will also be protected. It will make packs more valuable and less annoying to open (you will no longer be able to get e.g. 4-5 of the same Epic). Note that duplicates don’t disappear completely – once you open all cards from a given rarity, you will start getting duplicates once again.
- Free New / Returning Players Decks – If you’re a new player (just got out of new player ranks) or returning player (haven’t played for 4 months), you will get to pick one of the 9 competitive decks for free. They contain only Basic/Classic and Year of the Dragon cards, so nothing will rotate out.
- More Cards Got Their Nerfs Reverted – And this time we’re talking about cards that are still in Standard. Raiding Party costs 3, Giggling Inventor costs 6 (so kind of a middle ground between original cost and the nerf), Reckless Experimenter can again reduce the cost of Deathrattle minions to 0 and Dr. Boom, Mad Genius costs 7. While I don’t suspect that those will have a massive impact on Wild meta, I can actually see them being played in Standard for the next few days.
- Battlegrounds Update – New Hero (Illidan), two new minions (Deflect-o-bot and Felfin Navigator). Cobalt Guardian got removed, but the new Deflect-o-bot has a very similar functionality. (Edit: Felfin Navigator is not showing up in BG, but it’s a bug – it should be fixed soon!)
- Zephrys the Great was updated to include the new Priest cards, as well as the Basic Demon Hunter cards. It also got some bugfixes.
- A new expansion launch Legendary Quest chain was announced. Players will get three new Quests between April 7 and 9, each giving two card packs (so 6 packs in total).
New Ranked system & Demon Hunter Prologue will be available soon (April 1 & April 2 respectively).
Ashes of Outland and a new Arena rotation will drop on April 7.
Read more in the official blog post below:
The Ashes of Outland patch ushers in a host of major updates and new features to kick off the Year of the Phoenix!
Card Packs Now Have Duplicate Protection Across All Rarities
Starting today, your card packs are going to be full of the good stuff—new cards! You’ll no longer receive more than two copies of any Common, Rare, or Epic card until you have owned two copies of all cards of that rarity in a set. Crafting a card counts towards acquiring it, and any cards you acquire and later disenchant (whether golden or non-golden) count as well. This means that if you get a card that you don’t want, you can disenchant it and you will not receive it again until you have all cards of that rarity from that set. This improvement even affects card packs you already own, but it won’t affect the overall distribution of rarities in card packs.
Free Deck for New and Returning Players
If you’re new to the game—or you’ve been away for a spell—we’d like to help you get right to playing and having fun. Starting today, players new to the game who graduate from the New Player ranks will get a free competitive deck from a class of their choice, built with cards from the Year of the Dragon! This also applies to players who haven’t logged into the game in the past four months*.
*Free deck only available to players who have not logged into Hearthstone in the past 4 months beginning on March 17, 2020. Limit one per account.
- Cobalt Guardian has been removed from the Minion pool.
NEW HERO – Illidan Stormrage added to the pool.
- Wingmen [Passive] Start of Combat: Your left and right-most minions attack immediately.
NEW MINIONS –
Deflect-o-Bot [Mech, Tier 3] 3 Attack, 2 Health.
- Divine Shield Whenever you summon a Mech during combat, gain +1 Attack and Divine Shield.
Felfin Navigator [Murloc, Tier 3] 4 Attack, 4 Health.
- Battlecry: Give your other Murlocs +1/+1.
- Dr. Boom, Mad Genius
- Old: Cost 9 mana → New: Cost 7 mana.
- Giggling Inventor
- Old: Cost 7 mana → New: Cost 6 mana.
- Raiding Party
- Old: Cost 4 mana → New: Cost 3 mana.
- Reckless Experimenter
- Old: Deathrattle minions you play cost (3) less, but die at end of turn. (Cost can’t be reduced below 1.) → New: Deathrattle minions you play cost (3) less, but die at end of turn.
Zephrys the Great—Now Greater Than Ever
- Zephrys the Great has been updated for the changes to the Basic/Classic sets in Year of the Phoenix:
- Removal of the 5 Neutral and 6 Priest cards sent to the Hall of Fame.
- Addition of Demon Hunter Basic cards (pending Ashes of Outland launch on April 7), and the 6 new Priest Basic/Classic cards.
- Improved ordering of simulated attacks to best make use of Rush minions to clear Taunts, in order to maximize potential face damage. This should solve many cases where Zephrys ‘missed lethal’ that involved trading a Rush minion into a Taunt before going face with other minions.
- Zephrys is now more likely to offer a Freeze card when the opponent has a full board, since it locks the opponent out of being able to play any minions.
- Fixed a bug where Freeze effects were sometimes offered against already-Frozen enemies.
- Fixed a bug where SI:7 Infiltrator was offered for next turn over Flare for this turn.
- Fixed several bugs involving the opponent’s weapon and/or Frozen state, for calculating whether healing should be offered.
- Fixed a bug where minions whose base cost was higher than 10 (such as Shirvallah, the Tiger) were evaluated as being extremely valuable.
- Fixed a bug where Windfury was not offered for use on a minion that has already attacked once this turn.
- Fixed a bug where Crazed Alchemist was offered to destroy your own Doomsayer.
Priest Cards Entering Hall of Fame
Players who own the Classic cards below will be granted the full Arcane Dust refund for each. Players who do not have access to the Wild format will have the two Basic cards removed from their Collection and will be granted a full dust refund for both.
- Classic – Auchenai Soulpriest
- Classic – Holy Fire
- Classic – Shadowform
- Classic – Prophet Velen
- Basic – Divine Spirit
- Basic – Northshire Cleric
Priest Balance Updates
- Power Word: Shield
- Old: [Cost 1] Give a minion +2 Health. Draw a card.
- New: [Cost 0] Give a minion +2 Health.
- Shadow Word: Death
- Old: [Cost 3] Destroy a minion with 5 or more Attack.
- New: [Cost 2] Destroy a minion with 5 or more Attack.
- Holy Smite
- Old: [Cost 1] Deal 2 damage.
- New: [Cost 1] Deal 3 damage to a minion.
- Holy Nova
- Old: [Cost 5] Deal 2 damage to all enemies. Restore 2 Health to all friendly characters.
- New: [Cost 4] Deal 2 damage to all enemy minions. Restore 2 Health to all friendly characters.
- Shadow Madness
- Old: [Cost 4] Gain control of an enemy minion with 3 or less Attack until end of turn.
- New: [Cost 3] Gain control of an enemy minion with 3 or less Attack until end of turn.
- Temple Enforcer
- Old: [Cost 6] 6/6 – Give a friendly minion +3 Health.
- New: [Cost 5] 5/6 Give a friendly minion +3 Health.
- Old: [Cost 3] Copy 2 cards in your opponent’s deck and add them to your hand.
- New: [Cost 2] Copy 2 cards in your opponent’s deck and add them to your hand.
New Priest Cards
Players will automatically be granted the two new Basic Priest cards, and the four new Classic Priest cards can be crafted or obtained from Classic card packs.
Basic – [[Psychic Conjurer]]
- [Cost 1] 1 Attack, 1 Health
- Battlecry: Copy a card in your opponent’s deck and add it to your hand.
Basic – [[Power Infusion]]
- [Cost 4]
- Give a minion +2/+6.
Classic – [[Kul Tiran Chaplain]]
- [Cost 2] 2 Attack, 3 Health
- Battlecry: Give a friendly minion +2 Health.
Classic – [[Scarlet Subjugator]]
- [Cost 1] 2 Attack, 1 Health
- Battlecry: Give an enemy minion -2 Attack until your next turn.
Classic – [[Shadow Word: Ruin]]
- [Cost 4]
- Destroy all minions with 5 or more Attack.
Classic – [[Natalie Seline]]
- [Cost 8] 8 Attack, 1 Health
- Battlecry: Destroy a minion and gain its Health.
Neutral Cards Entering Hall of Fame
You will be able to keep your copies of these card once they move to the Hall of Fame, and you’ll also be granted the full Arcane Dust value for each card (up to the maximum number that can be used in a deck). The dust will be automatically awarded once you log-in after March 26.
Ranked Overhaul – Coming April 1
Starting with the April 2020 Ranked Season, we’re replacing the existing ladder in Ranked Mode with a new league system. The new system features five leagues to conquer—Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond—each made up of 10 ranks. Players start each season at Bronze 10 and climb their way to Bronze 1 before graduating to the Silver league, and on through Gold, Platinum, and Diamond before hitting Legend. Each league will also have rank floors at rank 10 and rank 5, where you cannot go down in rank for losing a match. The New Player ranks will have their own league that runs from ranks 40–1. The Legend ranks will continue to work as they currently do.
To go from one rank to the next—say, Gold 10 to Gold 9—you will need to gain three Stars. You’ll gain one Star for each match you win and lose a Star for a lost match. At the start of each season, players will be awarded a Star Bonus based on their performance the previous season. This Star Bonus acts as a multiplier on the Stars you earn from each win.
For example, if you have a Star Bonus of 5x and you win a game, you’ll get five Stars instead of one. If your winning game is a part of a win streak, you’ll get double that: 10 Stars! Upon hitting each ranked floor in your climb, your Star Bonus will be reduced by one. When playing with a Star Bonus you’ll be matched by your matchmaking rating (MMR), meaning you’ll be matched even more precisely with players of your similar skill level when climbing!
New Ranked Rewards
We’ve reworked the rewards you earn at the end of each season of Ranked play. Your reward chest can now contain card packs from the latest expansion, Rare cards, and even an Epic card, based on the rank you achieve. Five wins at any rank will also award the seasonal card back immediately, instead of at the end of the season.
There are also brand-new first-time rewards. These one-time rewards of Classic card packs, Rare cards, and Epic cards will be granted immediately upon hitting a ranked floor for the first time on your account. Hitting Legend for the first time in the new ranked system will grant a random Classic Legendary card!
Ranking Up To End Of Season Reward First-Time Rewards Legend 1 Latest Expansion Pack 1 Random Classic Legendary Card Diamond 5 1 Random Standard Epic Card 1 Classic Pack Diamond 10 1 Latest Expansion Pack 1 Random Classic Epic Card Platinum 5 2 Random Standard Rare Cards 1 Classic Pack Platinum 10 1 Latest Expansion Pack 1 Random Classic Epic Card Gold 5 2 Random Standard Rare Cards 1 Classic Pack Gold 10 1 Latest Expansion Pack 4 Random Classic Rare Cards Silver 5 2 Random Standard Rare Cards 1 Classic Pack Silver 10 1 Latest Expansion Pack 4 Random Classic Rare Cards Bronze 5 1 Standard Rare Card 1 Classic Pack
Demon Hunter Prologue – Coming April 2
The Year of the Phoenix introduces Hearthstone’s first new class since launch: the Demon Hunter!
Log in and complete the Demon Hunter prologue starting April 2 to receive all 10 Demon Hunter Basic cards, a 20-card Demon Hunter Initiate set (belonging to the Year of the Dragon for rotation purposes), and a pre-built Demon Hunter deck list—so long as you have an open deck slot. Starting with Ashes of Outland, 15 new Demon Hunter cards will be released with each future expansion in the Year of the Phoenix.
After the prologue has been completed, the Demon Hunter will officially unlock on April 7!
Set Rotation, Ashes of Outland, and Demon Hunter – Coming April 7
With the Year of the Dragon’s end at hand, the time has come for Rastakhan’s Rumble, The Boomsday Project, and The Witchwood to enter Wild and rotate out of Standard. The first new expansion of the Year of the Phoenix, Ashes of Outland, launches worldwide on April 7, bringing with it the Demon Hunter and the menacing Rusted Legion!
Launch Quest Chain
To celebrate the launch of the Demon Hunter we’ll be introducing a new quest chain on April 7, where you can earn free card packs from Year of the Dragon expansions and Ashes of Outland! The quests will be initially available on the following dates.
- April 7, 10:00 a.m. PT: Play 25 Cards in Play Mode to earn an Ashes of Outland and Descent of Dragons card pack.
- April 8, 10:00 a.m. PT: Play 3 Games in Play Mode as Demon Hunter to earn an Ashes of Outland and Saviors of Uldum card pack.
- April 9, 10:00 a.m. PT: Play 20 Spells in any mode to earn an Ashes of Outland and Rise of Shadows card pack.
Starting April 7, the Arena will include cards from the following sets:
- Rise of Shadows
- Saviors of Uldum
- Descent of Dragons
- Galakrond’s Awakening
- Ashes of Outland
- Demon Hunter Initiate