Hearthstone is offering more free content than ever, however, players complain about the Duplicate Protection for Vanndar and Drek’Thar. What’s all the drama about?

After the opening of millions of Alterac Valley’s packs, the Hearthstone community claims that Duplicate Protection is failing. Many players felt ripped off after opening Vanndar o Drek’Thar in packs, two legendaries that can be obtained for free in the Battle for Alterac Valley Honor event.

Hearthstone Duplicate Protection System

In March 2020, before Ashes of Outlands came out, Hearthstone launched the Duplicate protection system across all rarities. This way, players wouldn’t open cards they already owned until they had every card of that rarety.

This Duplicate protection System made Hearthstone way more accessible for Free-to-Play players and cheaper in general for everyone spending money on packs. The community has praised the system expansion after expansion. This time, however, there is a problem with it.

The Vanndar and Drek’Thar problem

If you have opened Hearthstone after the 21.8 patch, you noticed that you were asked to choose between Horde or Alliance. Depending on which faction you choose, you received either a copy Drek’Thar or Vanndar. Despite which Faction leader you choose at first, you could earn the other copy for free down the road with the Battle for Alterac Valley event.

Hearthstone Duplicate Protection Drek'Thar and Vanndar
Drek’Thar and Vanndar main characters for the Hearthstone Duplicate Protection drama

The problem began when players started opening packs and got the missing faction Leader in them. Why is this a bittersweet experience at best? Well, getting something that you already have (or will have) is exactly what the Hearthstone Duplicate protection system aims to prevent.

Hearthstone’s Response to the Duplicate Protection complaints

The complaints about the Duplicate Protection system failing escalated, and many prominent Hearthstone streamers and content creators made echoes of them. The Hearthstone team was quick to answer the questions. The well-respected Nicholas “Decktech” Weiss addressed the concerns in his Known Issues tweet. However, the answer doesn’t state if this is perceived as a bug from Blizzard’s point of view. Furthermore, it is not listed as a “22.0 Patch Known Issues”.

To be clear, this is not on DeckTech’s court, nor is he responsible for solving it. Employees should not be harassed by any circumstances about game bugs or issues. Furthermore, DeckTech has been doing an amazing job in communicating and engaging with the community. Personally, that is something I am thankful for.

Back to the Hearthstone Duplicate Protection system. There were instances in which Blizzard gave refunds for cards that players could obtain for free. The Hearthstone community is already asking for full refunds to compensate for this glitch.

The Hearthstone team has been open for feedback and quick on change during the last expansion. Stay tuned to Esports.gg to see how this story ends and for more Hearthstone news and updates. If you need me, I’ll be in Alterac Valley.


Manuel "Rane" Delgado

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @RaneTDF

Manuel “Rane” Delgado is an experienced Hearthstone caster, content creator, and tournament organizer from Argentina. He started his career on Esports casting his own tournaments, now he currently covers Hearthstone Grandmasters’ Americas region for LATAM, among other content creation. Besides esports, he works in a construction company, which made him kind of a "handyman" when fixing everyday house problems.