Potential Nerfs to Demon Hunter, Sacrificial Pact, Bad Luck Albatross, Frenzied Felwing, Kael’thas Sunstrider, Quest Mage & Darkest Hour Warlock

Just like we’ve mentioned earlier, Hearthstone dev team was holding a reddit AMA earlier today. We will post a full round-up of it tomorrow, but there’s one very interesting bit we wanted to share right now. When doing Demon Hunter nerf, Blizzard has mentioned that they might do another balance patch this week, and they were asked about it.

In a response, they’ve confirmed that they do plan to release another balance patch soon (no specific date was given yet). And here’s what they’re currently planning:

  • 1 or 2 more Demon Hunter cards should get nerfed. We don’t know which ones (but if I had to guess, I would pick Battlefiend, Twin Slice or Altruis the Outcast).
  • As for the other Standard cards, they’re looking at Sacrificial Pact, Bad Luck Albatross, Frenzied Felwing and Kael'thas Sunstrider. This is NOT an official confirmation that all of those cards will get changed, but I would say that there’s a very high chance that they will.
  • In Wild, they’re looking at the Quest Mage and Darkest Hour Warlock. The main reason is that they’re uninteractive and “play their own game”, something that Blizzard didn’t like in the past. They’re looking to change Open the Waygate and Bloodbloom.
  • In Arena, they’re looking to do a round of microadjustments, since Demon Hunter is still a bit too strong.

It should be a pretty big patch and we’re looking forward to it!

Read the original response below:

Hey! We are planning something soon, but here I will shed light on what we are looking at.

With the Year of the Phoenix and Demon Hunter especially, we want to make sure we are active with our approach to balance. There will be additional changes coming shortly that is focused on Demon Hunter, Standard, Wild, and Arena.

For Demon Hunter, we are still monitoring the data as it comes in but expect 1 or 2 cards to see a change. We are thrilled by how players have responded to Demon Hunter, but we want the class to be in a healthy state for years to come. Will be adjusting as we see fit in order to get it into a great spot.

For other standard cards, we are looking at a number of cards including Sacrificial Pact, Bad Luck Albatross, Frenzied Felwing, and Kael’Thas. Some of these cards present some raw power that is just a little too high (Bad Luck Albatross, Frenzied Felwing), while a card like Kael’Thas can create some crazy swing turns but that’s usually only fun for one player. Kael’Thas is a super interesting card though so we don’t want to kill off his combo potential entirely.

When it comes to Sac Pac, we don’t believe it is fun if it plays such a large role in the metagame. That says a lot about where the meta is and your ability to play certain cards. Also, it would be awesome to see more Jaraxxus!

For Wild, we know there has been a lot of very strong reactions to Quest Mage and Darkest Hour Warlock. These decks play in a one-player fashion similar to other decks we’ve nerfed in the past. There’s going to be crazy combos in Wild, but we don’t think these two decks in particular are healthy. Expect to see changes to Open the Waygate and Bloodbloom.

Finally for Arena, we are looking to do a full microadjust patch alongside these changes or shortly after. DH is still a little too strong here and we want to bring up the other classes to close this gap.



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. WarKing
    April 16, 2020 at 9:26 am

    What date and time can we expect these?

  2. Heartwork
    April 16, 2020 at 6:37 am

    Galakrond Warlock isn’t strong and doesn’t need nerfs, it’s just sometimes able to beat DH; that’s it! Galakrond warlock was sitting low tier 2 before DH released with almost no changes to their deck.

    Alabtross also doesn’t require a nerf at all, it offers some sort of counter play to Highlander decks that otherwise isn’t there and also serves as disrupting draw for slower decks.

    Demonhunter is still far too strong with the highest winrate in the game and most dead-brain gameplay ever.

  3. JakeRed96
    April 16, 2020 at 4:38 am

    Even with the galvanizers, you kill the deck. I do not have thaurissan so I run it with 2 Galva. If bloodbloom is nerf to a 4-cost spell, the deck will be dead

  4. Kuskie
    April 15, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Nerfing DH will interestingly balance the meta out. Galakrond warlock is strong particularly because of it winning against DH. If play rates/play strength for DH decreases, warlocks would naturally decrease as well because other classes will come up with counters for that.
    Similar senario happened last year when rogue was strong in rise of shadows and warrior followed as a great counter.

  5. Griml0ck
    April 15, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    Anyone else having incredible trouble playing Time-Warp mages? It’s SO annoying, feels like you’re losing to a cheat…

  6. Da5Do5
    April 15, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Bad luck albatross is one of the best cards and it makes the meta balanced. It should not be nerfed.

    • Ridanculous
      April 15, 2020 at 8:49 pm

      I agree! That said, it would still do its main job even if it was a 3/3

    • Vincent
      April 16, 2020 at 3:27 am

      I disagree. Some suggestions I read which I like: shuffle 2 Albatrosses into both decks, or give the albatrosses a battlecry: draw a card. But I guess Blizzard will just increase the mana cost (4 mana, 3/3).

  7. JKoala
    April 15, 2020 at 5:12 am

    Why nerf Sacrificial Pact? Just change the fact that playing Jaraxxus makes it a ‘Hero’ instead of a ‘Demon’.
    Easy. Otherwise, SacPac is just a situational card that works nice in this meta because of the “demon” theme.

  8. DnnyPhntm
    April 15, 2020 at 1:41 am

    i wonder if they plan to buff anything.
    My boi Uther and Shaman had a hard week to find a place in the meta. Paladin is actually more meme than before 🙁

    • Gracz593
      April 15, 2020 at 6:39 am

      Agree, especially paladin is in bad shape now. I love that class, but now its just not working no matter what you do. Pally need some serious changes in order to be competitive even to other classes, not mentioning T1…..

  9. Lanakias
    April 15, 2020 at 1:03 am

    So still they denied to nerf galakrond decks specially warlock and rogue. And also DH need plenty of nerfs.. Specially this outcast mechanic and 1 mana hero power. The whole class is a disaster for the game right now.

    • Heartwork
      April 16, 2020 at 6:40 am

      Galakrond Warlock was low tier 2 before this expansion and has only see a higher WR against the stupid-ness of DH; no nerfs required at all.

      DH needs several more nerfs to not be oppressive to so many other decks.

      Galakrond Rogue is suffering but if DH is toned down it could see tier 1 again.

      A lot of classes depended a lot on Zillax healing, Blizzard in their wisdom removed a universal heal body for every class and introduced the brain-dead DH that smorks face every turn and can ignore taunt; great idea…..

    • Zombie69
      April 16, 2020 at 8:20 am

      What are you talking about? Nerfing Sacrificial Pact would affect Galakrond Warlock a lot! Also you can’t possibly know what Demon Hunter will look like after the second round of nerfs since we don’t even know which cards will get nerfed or how. Remember what happened to Shaman after two rounds of nerfs last expansion? They need to thread carefully here. They don’t want to destroy the new class, that would be a marketing disaster.

  10. Skaro
    April 15, 2020 at 12:57 am

    I know it may be a little controversial, but I am so glad to see a mention of bad luck albatross. It ruins fun for so many decks. I appreciate some highlander decks may need something to keep them in check, but it destroys all the pure archetypes also as a by-product and they are balanced as they are. When I face a priest or warlock my heart sinks when I see the albatross on 3. Often these days warlocks run 2 and the deck is so good they run highlander cards without even being!

    • Raphapd
      April 15, 2020 at 8:09 am

      I play as pure paladin, two of my cards are literally dead after I even see Albatross in play. Glad they’re nerfing as well

  11. PitLord
    April 14, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    If you want to see more Jaraxxus simply remove the stupid interaction with sac pact, the ideal should be trasform Lord J in a truly hero card, so 5 armor gain, battlecry and so on.

    6 spell for open the waygate it’s ridicoulous, it was fine on journey of ungoro, not now and even the cost must be rise to not use vargoth on the same round (so minimum 7).

    If they nerf DH again will end like shaman, a useless class not playable

  12. JakeRed96
    April 14, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    So… The nerf to bloodbloom is real…Why my Mecha’thun warlock has to die? 🙁

    • Sparkz
      April 15, 2020 at 4:57 am

      well right before reno quest mage took over, mechathun was top, mechathun is still top as well, but they’ll just need to run a galvanizer in their list somewhere

    • Kuhjahh716
      April 15, 2020 at 5:58 am

      Because Mecha-Cthun is a terrible card that should never have been created. Another solitaire deck. so terrible. But if Team 5 would stop making cards like this or Zephyrs we wouldn’t have to have these nerfs.

  13. Beerdserkr
    April 14, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    Seriously, Demon Hunter is fine now, anymore nerfs will kill it or relegate it to tier 3 or worse, it’s a new class it SHOULD be one of the best right now..

    • Kuhjahh716
      April 15, 2020 at 6:01 am

      that’s a TERRIBLE reason to say why DH should be so powerful. you’re just handing the company an excuse to make broken cards every expansion release.

      • Gracz593
        April 15, 2020 at 7:07 am

        Yeah, reason is terrible, but I think that it is easier to tune an OP class and match it to the others, than struggle to make the weak one strong. I think that in time, disproportion of DH to other classes will disappear, just give some time.

        • Ridanculous
          April 15, 2020 at 8:53 pm

          Still, I’d love to see more buffs every now and then instead of nerfs nerfs nerfs all the time. If cards can be nerfed for overperforming compared to expectations, I think it should warrant buffs to underperforming cards too.

  14. Crazyjerre
    April 14, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Why nerf open the waygate? any idea how they will nerf it?

    • Sparkz
      April 15, 2020 at 4:56 am

      I mean this kindly, but do you even play wild?
      Way gate will probably lose it’s interaction with vargoth, and will prob also lose its low generation counter, i could see req being raised as high as 10.

  15. H0lysatan
    April 14, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Pretty much similar to what happened to Shaman nerfs.
    They nerf some cards, and when it’s not enough, they nerf another.
    I would assume it will kill the DH entirely, but I just can’t see it, because even though those cards got nerfs, DH still had pretty good cards.

    Pretty sad to the guy who screaming nerf rage at IksarHS’s wedding tweet just to get bullied, when they actually planning to nerf Open the Waygate. I feel pity for him.

    • Njuns
      April 14, 2020 at 10:40 pm

      I don’t feel pity for people who ask nerf by insulting and lacking respect to the developers. I feel sad for Iksar and the rest of the team who have to deal with this kind of childish people everyday.

    • Ridanculous
      April 15, 2020 at 8:55 pm

      What happened to Shaman was truly disappointing. Way too overpowering on release followed by overbearingly crippling nerfs. It’s like they messed up twice! If it happens again to DH it’ll solidify this pattern.