Hearthstone Patch 29.2.2 - Review of all Buffs and Nerfs

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On April 25th, Blizzard released one of the biggest rounds of nerfs and buffs in the history of Hearthstone's 10 years. They tried to not only rein in strong decks a bit, but also restate how they understand this format and how they'll approach it. Let's head straight into Patch 29.2.2!

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被某某人翻译 Joey Sticks

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审核人 Tabata Marques

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Hello, everyone! This past Thursday, April 25th, 2024, Blizzard announced a massive round of nerfs and buffs (and a few things in between) to Hearthstone- the biggest in the last few years.

Unlike past patches, whose nerfs were mostly meant to eliminate a few outlier factors, this patch went beyond. According to Blizzard: "This patch is a little different than our usual balance patches—it’s more about the general design direction of the game than it is about particular power outliers (though we hit a few of those, too)".


So, even though they changed some cards because of how dominant they were in Standard and Wild, they also changed other cards to avoid game patterns that limited how much your opponent could affect your game plan. Another goal was to make sure board removals didn't curb aggro decks entirely.

Additionally, as the devs would rather not return to the pre-rotation meta, they decided to buff some cards from the Whizbang set that didn't meet their expectations. Finally, they changed a few Highlander cards from the previous set, which I'll mention later on.


We divided the nerfs into 3 categories: cards that can end the game quickly, and limit how much your opponent can answer your game plan; board clears that discourage minion-based decks; and cards that are just too powerful and distort the metagame (this includes nerfs for the Wild format).


Zilliax Deluxe 3000 (Virus Module)

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This is the second time Zilliax Deluxe 3000's modules have been nerfed. This time, the devs nerfed the Virus Module, which, with the Power Module, originated Virus Rogue, a deck whose game plan was to find and play this version of Zilliax as soon as possible. Then, you were supposed to let it grow under the protection of its Stealth ability until you could find lethal and kill your opponent with a single blow (or with two blows with the help of SP-3Y3-D3R).

This nerf, which removed this card's Stealth ability, probably meant to obliterate this deck from existence because, if we can't protect Zilliax, this game plan simply doesn't work. This nerf really got to me - it was the deck I used this season from Diamond 10 to top 250 in Legend.

Snake Oil

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The most common way to use this card was to swap it for something better after Miracle Salesman died, which was quite common in aggro decks and far from problematic. However, the reason this spell is in this list is the decks that used it to deal a massive amount of damage through spell damage, like Sif Mage and Nature Shaman. Now that it costs 1 mana instead of 0, combo turns will be slower and give your opponent more opportunities to play around them.

Wheel of Death

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Now, Wheel of Death's countdown starts at the beginning of your turn instead of at the end of it, which effectively gives your opponent one more turn to live. Ironically, a good majority of players (me included) thought this spell already worked like this when it was released!

Boomboss Tho’grun

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With Deepminer Brann and a lot of card draw, Bomboss could destroy your opponent's entire board, hand, and deck all in one go. Now, it is more similar to Dr. Boom's Boom Bots.

Flash of Lightning

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When your opponent plays this spell, you usually know you have to kill them next turn; otherwise you'll get hit with a lot of spell damage. Now that it is a bit more expensive, you'd think this will affect the combo turn itself, but that's not exactly true. This will impact how you prepare for this turn, even more so if you consider the other cards that got more expensive.


Jungle Gym

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Hunter can quickly fill the board, be it through R.C Rampage, Remote Control, or Awakening Tremors, which means this location may deal a truckload of damage. Three times! Well, now it's only twice, which should be more than enough most times.

Board Clear

Reno, Lone Ranger

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The first Neutral Hero turned out to be too strong as a board clear, even though he costs 8 mana. Now that he costs 9, which may seem small at first, the decks that depend on him to stabilize their game plan will win less games overall, which will impact their win rates. Those games in which he turns out to be one turn slower than you need will be the main culprits behind this. There's also the change to the rule regarding Highlander cards (whose ability activates if your deck has no duplicates), which I'll discuss later on.

Threads of Despair

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Death Knight's Defile took a bit to gain traction among players, but soon became one of the most efficient cards to explode boards. It is also really powerful with your Hero Power. Besides, it has a lot of synergy with the next card we'll discuss.

Sickly Grimewalker

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With the card above or Crop Rotation, Grimewalker could decimate the opponent's board. It still can, but now it will give your opponent a wider window of opportunity to answer it.


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After Safety Goggles came along, Sanitize became an incredibly reliable way to reset the board, even when your opponent put pressure on your Armor to try to make it less efficient.

Its Forged ability got a little better, but it now costs a little bit more too. Once again, it is another way to give gas to aggro decks.

Trial by Fire

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This nerf is just reverting a buff that ended up creating one of the best board control tools in the game. Now, this card will return to the same level as Scales of Onyxia, a card that was already good enough before it rotated out of Standard.

Crash of Thunder

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This card is a mixture of board clear with finisher in Nature Shaman. It costs six now, which should be really annoying both when players use it to throw damage at their opponent's face and when they use it (alongside Lightning Reflexes) to gain time as they deal with their opponent's minions.

Power Level

Gaslight Gatekeeper

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This card let Rogue decks play Playhouse Giant for 0 mana very fast, which created oppressive boards when you played Breakdance afterward. It was also a really easy way to make Everything Must Go! work.

Making it cost one mana more may seem too little, but it is already enough to significantly delay this deck's game plan, and also break Gatekeeper sequences with Shadowstep.

Forge of Wills

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With some big, cheap minions like Imposing Anubisath or Dark Alley Pact, this location could build very oppressive boards already on turn 4. It was by far what you wanted most in your starting hand when you played these decks.


Imprisoned Horror

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Pain Warlock finally got enough tools to reduce the cost of this Horror to 0 already on turn 3. After this patch, this card will be easier to answer and also give your opponent more time.

Timewinder Zarimi

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This is the card that most instilled fear in the hearts of players when it was revealed. It certainly lived up to its name and took over the format after Demon Hunter was nerfed, as it was the only deck keeping Dragon Priest under control.

This is quite a nerf both to Standard and Wild because Zarimi was also wreaking havoc there. Now that you need to summon 8 other Dragons, games in which players got an extra turn around turn 5 or 6 effortlessly are over. But don't be mistaken: Zarimi's Battlecry should still be popular, but it will need to adapt.

Time Warp

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This was maybe the most frustrating deck to face in Wild - your opponent would just play a sequence of infinite turns. No more.

Floop’s Glorious Gloop

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Blizzard has been changing broken Druid cards like this for a while: instead of creating extra mana, this card will now refill your mana. Like so, Gloop, with Scale of Onyxia and Poison Seeds, won't create obscene amounts of mana on the first few turns of the game anymore.

Snowfall Graveyard

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For 3 mana, this card let Mine Rogue end the game quite consistently on turn 4 or 5, and you didn't even have to interact with your opponent - it was a very oppressive deck. Now that it is 5 mana, I expect it to disappear from Wild.

Everything in Between

Like I mentioned before, they changed Highlander cards from Showdown in the Badlands: now they check for duplicates in your deck when the game starts instead of when they resolve. This, in most cases, is a buff because it can't be answered by shuffling Plagues in the deck in question to disable the mechanic.

However, there were some decks which weren't Highlander decks but used this mechanic in other ways. They either drew cards quickly to get rid of their duplicates and play Reno, Lone Ranger around turn 8, or destroyed their deck with Wheel of Death, and then used Reno to gain time as the wheel spun.

These strategies are now dead - this is why I consider this change as neither a buff nor a nerf: it is something in between!


As I said above as well, in the midst of all of these nerfs, Blizzard found a way to buff a few forgotten Whizbang cards to encourage players to play them and maybe even create new archetypes.

Manufacturing Error

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Spell Mage didn't really make it as a viable deck, even though it had this card, which is basically a Skull of Gul'dan without Outcast. What about the original Skull, which cost 5 mana? This new version is strong on paper - all we need to know now is if it will actually carry the deck.

Sunset Volley

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Even though this may seem like a buff to a card that sees no play, this, in fact, is a shadow nerf (a disguised nerf) on Chaotic Tendril. The decks that use Tendril want to activate their effect ten times so that, from then on, each Tendril has 50% of chance to cast Sunset Volley.

Mes’Adune the Fractured

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This another attempt at making Elemental Mage work. I don't have much hope it will.

Woodland Wonders

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Spell Damage Druid also didn't make it as a proper deck, so Blizzard is now trying to buff its ability to survive matches against aggro decks.

Zok Fogsnout

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They said they'd give priority to archetypes released in Whizbang, but Hero Power Druid is a deck from way back in Festival Legends, that never really took off.

Chia Drake

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Even though this buff probably meant to encourage players to play the spell damage archetype, with these stats, this Dragon may as well be an option in Dragon Druid and even in other archetypes in this class.

Hagatha the Fabled

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Shaman failed to create viable archetypes besides the (now) nerfed Nature Shaman. With this buff, you may play Hagatha on curve and next play a 5-cost spell if you draw it.


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This is a partial revert to a previous nerf, which was meant for Warrior and ended up hitting Shaman because this spell is available in both classes. It once again costs 4 mana, but now you can discount its cost by 1 mana.


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As a 3/9, it was a completely forgettable Legendary. It shouldn't see much play as a 4/12 as well, but it's something.


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This card got a little better, but it's still basically an Arena card.

Shoplifter Goldbeard

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This was easily the worst Legendary in this set. It is still quite weak even after this buff.

The Crystal Cove

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When compared to Forge of Wills, this location was terrible. Now that Wills was nerfed, and this card buffed, Wills still takes the prize, but someone might make this one work.

Crane Game

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This buff will probably not be enough to get Big Demon Warlock out of the paper.

Fly Off the Shelves

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Now that Timewinder Zarimi was nerfed, what Blizzard wants is for it to find space in a Dragon Priest build that is more control - this buff is meant to try to make that happen.

Papercraft Angel

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The fact this card now costs a little less, even though its body is still fragile, should encourage players to refocus on Overheal Priest, a deck that was gaining some traction pre-rotation but was suppressed by Whizbang.

Treasure Distributor

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I know the idea behind this change is to boost Pirate Rogue in Standard, but this card may become a problem in Wild, considering both Pirate Rogue and Pirate Shadow Priest are some of the strongest decks in the format.


Final Words

Whew! Blizzard didn't take it easy this time (and I didn't even touch Battlegrounds!) and tried to shake up both Standard and Wild. Personally, I was sad when I saw what they did to Virus Rogue, but I know that many players disliked this archetype, to put it lightly.

Zarimi indeed needed a change, considering it was affecting both formats quite heavily. Now that Plague Death Knight no longer counters Highlander Warrior, we have to see whether Highlander Warrior will become dominant (despite the fact its board clears were also nerfed).

Blizzard told us they'll keep an eye on these nerfs/buffs and that they may make new changes that won't focus on just hitting cards with power levels that are out of control.

I hope you liked this review!

See you next time!