Hearthstone 22.0.2 Patch is live, bringing nerfs and buffs to 14 cards to stop the combo strategies that rule the metagame. Will the patch succeed this time?

Hearthstone 22.0.2 Patch will launch today, Monday 20th, and brings many nerfs and buffs to try to shake the metagame. After a World Championship with little to no new archetypes despite the recent Fractured in Alterac Valley expansion, Hearthstone devs are addressing the problem. Will this be enough to change the combo metagame we live in? On top of that, Battlegrounds and Mercenaries will also see changes. Check everything in this Esports.gg article.

Hearthstone 22.0.2 Patch: Standard Balance updates

The usual Hearthstone post-expansion Balance update is here with the 22.0.2 patch. Fractured in Alterac Valley’s expansion didn’t change the metagame enough if we take into consideration what were the most powerful decks and strategies centered around combo decks. Hearthstone devs commented on the objectives of 22.0.2 Patch:

“This patch is mainly focused on weakening some of the stronger, combo-centric strategies that have had long-term success throughout the Year of the Gryphon.”

Hearthstone devs comments on the 22.0.2 patch

The top 3 offenders of the metagame were Garrote Rogue, OTK Demon Hunter, and Alignment Druid. Some other decks and classes were toned down to keep balance. Moreover, some archetypes that were relegated regarding power level received buffs to catch up with the metagame.

22.0.2 Patch Hearthstone Nerfs:

Bellow, you can find the nerfed cards and the dev comments on the changes.

 Celestial Alignment nerfed in the Hearthstone 22.0.2 Patch
Celestial Alignment

Celestial Alignment

  • Old: [Costs 7]  New: [Costs 8]
    • Dev Comment: Although Celestial Alignment is not usually a card used for from-hand, burst damage, it does frequently allow for absurd turns that happen a little earlier than we feel is healthy. Moving it up a mana should allow for more setup and counterplay before Celestial Alignment is cast.
Efficient Octo-bot nerfed in the Hearthstone 22.0.2 Patch
Efficient Octo-bot

Efficient Octo-bot

  • Old: [Costs 2]  New: [Costs 3]
    • Dev Comment: Efficient Octo-bot has been a little too efficient at the upper echelons of play. We’re slowing it down as part of the general goal of toning down the power level of combo strategies.
 Mo’arg Artificer  nerfed in the Hearthstone 22.0.2 Patch
Mo’arg Artificer

Mo’arg Artificer

  • Old: [Costs 2] 2 Attack, 4 Health  New: [Costs 3] 2 Attack, 5 Health
    • Dev Comment: Mo’arg Artificer does too much, too efficiently for decks with large amounts of removal. Increasing its cost by one will make the card a little less efficient as a tool for cheap clears, large amounts of life gain, and combo finishers.
 Irondeep Trogg  nerfed in the Hearthstone 22.0.2 Patch
Irondeep Trogg

Irondeep Trogg

  • Old: After your opponent casts a spell, summon a copy of this.  New: After your opponent casts a spell, summon another Irondeep Trogg.
    • Dev Comment: Irondeep Trogg has the capability of running away with games very early when combined with minion buffs like Noble Mount or Doggie Biscuit. Taking into account the rest of the changes we’re making with this patch, we want to adjust Trogg to remain a viable counter to early spells, but to better match the targeted power level of the format as a whole.
 Runed Mithril Rod nerfed in the Hearthstone 22.0.2 Patch
Runed Mithril Rod

Runed Mithril Rod

  • Old: [Costs 4]  New: [Costs 5]
    • Dev Comment: Runed Mithril Rod was an incredibly strong tool in the first few days after the launch of Fractured in Alterac Valley. While players were able to find a counter to it in cards like Rustrot Viper, we believe going up a Mana here will lead to healthier play patterns for the game overall.
 Touch of the Nathrezim
Touch of the Nathrezim

Touch of the Nathrezim

  • Old: Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it dies, restore 4 Health to your hero. → New: Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it dies, restore 3 Health to your hero.
    • Dev Comment: Touch of the Nathrezim is meant to be a solid removal option for slower Warlock decks, but the overall Health restoration in Warlock is slightly too high. This is meant to be a softer change that leaves Warlock with a powerful removal option, but reduces overall Warlock healing capabilities enough to bring that aspect of the class back in line.
 Alliance Bannerman
Alliance Bannerman

Alliance Bannerman

  • Old: 2 Attack, 2 Health  New: 2 Attack, 1 Health
    • Dev Comment: Paladins have a very consistent, powerful package of cards that they can include in quite a few distinct strategies. Alliance Bannerman is one of these cards that can fit into a wide range of decks. Lowering its Health by one should tone down Paladin decks by a small amount across the board.
 Snowfall Guardian
Snowfall Guardian

Snowfall Guardian

  • Old: [Costs 5]  New: [Costs 6]
    • Dev Comment: Snowfall Guardian was designed with the intent of giving Freeze Shaman decks a powerful tool, but it is a little too efficient at locking up the board, especially when combined with cards like Brilliant Macaw. Moving it up one mana should soften the power of this interaction.
 Bloodsail Deckhand
Bloodsail Deckhand

Bloodsail Deckhand

  • Old: 2 Attack, 2 Health  New: 2 Attack, 1 Health
    • Dev Comment: We’re reverting our previous change to Bloodsail Deckhand. Questline Warrior ended up slightly stronger than intended, and we believe it will continue to find success after this change. 

It’s worth mentioning that, as usual, the collectible cards listed above will be eligible for a full dust refund for 2 weeks after the 22.0.2 Hearthstone patch goes live. Bloodsail Deckhand is not eligible for the dust refund, because it’s a Core Set card, not a collectible one.

22.0.2 Patch Hearthstone Buffs:

As we mentioned before, on top of the nerfs, some other cards were balanced as well to make more strategies viable. Below, the buffs brought by the 22.0.2 Patch.

 Beaststalker Tavish Hero Power buffed in the Hearthstone 22.0.2 Patch
Beaststalker Tavish
Old: [Hero Power Costs 3]  New: [Hero Power Costs 2]
Magister Dawngrasp buffed in the Hearthstone 22.0.2 Patch
Magister Dawngrasp
Old: [Costs 8]  New: [Costs 7]
Old: Hero Power: Deal 1 Damage. Honorable Kill: Gain +2 Damage.  New: Hero Power: Deal 2 Damage. Honorable Kill: Gain +2 Damage.
Grey Sage Parrot buffed in the Hearthstone 22.0.2 Patch
Grey Sage Parrot
Old: [Costs 8] 6 Attack, 6 Health  New: [Costs 6] 4 Attack, 5 Health
Wildfire
Wildfire
Old: Increase the damage of your Hero Power by 1. → New: Increase the damage of your Hero Power by 1 this game.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds changes with patch 22.0.2

Along with the changes in constructed, the 22.0.2 Hearthstone patch, also brings some minor tweaks to the autobattler game mode. Following you will find the changes in Hero Powers, Minions, and Armor gain for this patch.

Sneed Hero Power
Sneed
Sneed’s ReplicatorOld: [Costs 1] → New: [Costs 2]

Tamsin Hero Power
Tamsin
Fragrant PhylacteryOld: [Costs 0] Start of Combat: Destroy your lowest Health minion. Give its Health to all your others.  New: [Costs 1] Start of Combat: Destroy your lowest Health minion. Give its stats to all your others.
Prized Promo-Drake
Prized Promo-Drake
Old: 5 Attack, 5 Health  New: 3 Attack, 3 Health
Dazzling Lightspawn
Dazzling Lightspawn
Old: 4 Attack, 5 Health  New: 2 Attack, 5 Health

Armor Updates

  • Scabbs Cutterbutter: Armor Tier changed from Tier 2 (2-5 Armor) to Tier 1 (0 Armor)
  • Cariel Roame: Armor Tier changed from Tier 6 (6-9 Armor) to Tier 7 (7-10 Armor)
  • Deathwing: Armor Tier changed from Tier 4 (4-7 Armor) to Tier 5 (5-8 Armor)
  • Millificent Manastorm: Armor Tier changed from Tier 3 (3-6 Armor) to Tier 5 (5-8 Armor)
  • Overlord Saurfang: Armor Tier changed from Tier 6 (6-9 Armor) to Tier 7 (7-10 Armor)
  • Patches the Pirate: Armor Tier changed from Tier 3 (3-6 Armor) to Tier 2 (2-5 Armor)
  • Trade Prince Gallywix: Armor Tier changed from Tier 4 (4-7 Armor) to Tier 2 (2-5 Armor)

Bonus Track

The Hearthstone 22.0.2 patch also brings some minor updates to Mercenaries, Arena, and other bug fixes and game improvements. In Mercenaries, now all level 30 Bountines will award at least one pile of Legendary Coins. Regarding Arena, the public enemy #1, Abominable Lieutenant will no longer be draftable. Last but not least, with the 22.0.2 Hearthstone patch, the base versions Drek’Thar and Vanndar will be eligible for full dust refunds. A separate update later on patch day will grant additional Arcane Dust to players who already disenchanted either card.

Finally, Winter Veil returns with Snow-Covered Celebrations on the 21st of December with Legendary Quests, special Tavern Brawls, and free skins. Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more news and updates. See you next time in the tavern. 

Manuel

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.