The 22.2 Hearthstone Patch brings Standard and Wild Balance changes to end the Rogue meta. Huge Battlegrounds and Duels updates coming too. Check everything in this article.

Hearthstone Patch 22.2, launching on January 25, brings much-awaited balance changes for standard and wild constructed modes. Eight cards will be affected, with 7 nerf and 1 buff. Moreover, the Hearthstone 22.2 patch will include a massive Battlegrounds update and tons of Duels changes, as we have already announced in previous articles. Everything you need to know about these balance changes in this article.

Hearthstone Balance changes in Patch 22.2

Standard Balance Changes

It seems that the Rouge era will be coming to an end soon. Three of the most powerful cards are receiving nerfs. The class had an astronomic 44% popularity in High Legend, according to Vicious Syindicate’s stats. Devs hope that these changes will help balance things out and make different strategies and archetypes viable. Furthermore, we are seeing a new nerf to Enchanters Flow aiming to tune Mozaki Mage’s power.

Shadowcrafter Scabbs Nerfed in Hearthstone Patch 22.2
Shadowcrafter Scabbs Nerfed

Shadowcrafter Scabbs

  • Old: [Costs 7] → New: [Costs 8]
    • Dev Comment: Rogue has seen significant increases in playrate and winrate since the last patch, and Scabbs is a pretty clear outlier in terms of power. We expect this change to make a fairly large impact in the strength of Rogue archetypes across the board.
Wildpaw Gnoll Nerfed in Hearthstone Patch 22.2
Wildpaw Gnoll Nerfed

Wildpaw Gnoll

  • Old: [Costs 5] 4 Attack, 5 Health → New: [Costs 6] 3 Attack, 5 Health
    • Dev Comment: Wildpaw Gnoll was intended to be a strong payoff for Maestra of the Masquerade’s fun effect, but it has been overperforming in this role—even in decks that don’t have dedicated Burgle strategies. We’re adjusting Gnoll to both come down a bit later, as a slightly smaller threat when it does. 
Cloak of Shadows Nerf
Cloak of Shadows Nerf

Cloak of Shadows

  • Old: [Costs 3] → New: [Costs 4]
    • Dev Comment: We’re happy with Poison Rogue when it’s a niche player in the metagame, but the current playrate of the archetype is much higher than intended. Cloak of Shadows also combined with Shadowcrafter Scabbs for frustrating play experiences. Reducing the power levels of both these pieces should bring Poison Rogue’s overall power level back in line.
Create a Distraction (Raid the Docks Warrior Quest) Nerfed
Create a Distraction (Raid the Docks Warrior Quest) Nerfed

Raid the Docks

  • Create a Distraction (the second part of the Questline)
    • Old: Questline: Play 2 Pirates. Reward: Deal 2 damage to a random enemy twice. New: Questline: Play 3 Pirates. Reward: Deal 2 damage to a random enemy twice.
    • Dev Comment: Pirate Warrior is not a power outlier at the highest ranks of play, but it is overperforming at many of the lower ranks of play. Going from 7 total Pirates to 8 total will promote deck diversity in the Bronze through Diamond ranks. 
Incanter's Flow Nerfed (again)
Incanter’s Flow Nerfed (again)

Incanter’s Flow

  • Old: [Costs 3] → New: [Costs 4]
    • Dev Comment: When combo Mages play Incanter’s Flow on an early turn, they can assemble their game winning combo at a very fast rate. Similar to our goals for combo-based decks in the previous patch, pushing Incanter’s Flow up a Mana will slow down combo Mages by a turn or two, giving slower strategies a better chance to thrive in the overall meta.
Rokara, buffed in the Hearthstone 22.2 Patch
Rokara, buffed in the Hearthstone 22.2 Patch

Rokara the Valorous

  • Old: [5 Armor] → New: [10 Armor]
    • Dev Comment: Rokara is one of the less viable Hero cards right now. We want each class to have exciting play options, so we’re increasing her Armor to give her more leeway in swinging into high-Attack minions, and to better synergize with some of Warrior’s Armor-focused cards.

Wild Balance Changes

Finally, after many community claims, Wild is getting balance changes with the 22.2 Hearthstone patch. Wild is supposed to be wild. However, things have been out of control for a while. High-synergistic combo decks were oppressive to the metagame, and the Hearthstone 22.2 Balance Patch aims to correct that. The main offenders: Odd Quest Hunter and OTK Mage, Pirate Warrior slightly tuned with the Raid the Docks Nerf.

Rapid Fire is now slower (Wild Nerf)
Rapid Fire is now slower (Wild Nerf)

Rapid Fire

  • Old: [Costs 1] → New: [Costs 2]
  • Old: Twinspell Deal 1 damage. → New: Twinspell Deal 2 damage.
    • Dev Comment: The Rapid Fire and Sorcerer’s Apprentice changes are targeted at some of the strongest decks in the current Wild metagame, to improve the long-term, overall health of the format. Both of these balance adjustments are aimed at decks with extremely efficient from-hand damage, which puts big constraints on which strategies can find success in Wild. By removing power here, the format should open up for a few more viable archetypes to see play, and for the Wild format to slightly slow down overall.
Sorcerers's Apprentice Nerfed (Wild)
Sorcerers’s Apprentice Nerfed (Wild)

Sorcerer’s Apprentice

  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 4]

We didn’t get specific Dev comments for Sorcerer’s Apprentice. However, we can throw this Tweet from Iksar as compensation.

The cards nerfed will be eligible for a full dust refund for 2 weeks after the 22.2 patch goes live. Rokara will not be eligible for a full dust refund since she received a buff.

More news with the 22.2 Hearthstone Patch

On top of the Balance changes, the 22.2 Hearthstone Patch, brings a huge Battlegrounds update with the new Buddy system. Moreover, two new Heros will be entering Duels with multiclass abilities. Last but not least, Mercenaries will have a content update too.

If you want to read about the Duels changes, make sure to check our article on the New Hero Reveals. For more information, you can also check the official patch notes post. For all Battlegrounds fans, we have a dedicated article covering the Battlegrounds Buddy system too. Make sure to check all the changes and new Heroes entering Bob’s tavern.

Mercenaries Update

Mercenaries will also get new content in the Hearthstone 22.2 Patch. The first new content players are getting is a Village update. Training Grounds (previously announced as Training Hall) has finally arrived at Mercenaries. This new building will allow your Mercenaries to passively gain experience as you do Bounties with your other Mercs, play other game modes, or even while you sleep! Training Grounds will cost 100 gold to construct and 200 gold to fully upgrade it, for a total of two training slots.

Mercenaries New Training Grounds Hearthstone Patch 22.2
Mercenaries New Training Grounds
New Mercenaries Village Hearthstone Patch 22.2
New Mercenaries Village

Five new Mercenaries are coming as well to Hearthstone Mercenaries, with the 22.2 Patch landing on January 25th. We will have a more detailed article soon on them. But, if you want a sneak peek, here they are:

Balinda Stonehearth (Legendary Fighter)

Captain Galvangar (Epic Fighter)

Wrathion (Epic Fighter)

Lokholar (Rare Protector)

Sinestra (Rare Fighter)

Along with the new Mercenaries, New Bounties are coming too. The new zone coming to the game mode will be Alterac Valley! The epic battle between the Alliance and the Horde has spilled over into Mercenaries with sex new Bounties.

New Bounties

  • Ravak Grimtotem
  • Louis Philips
  • Captain Galvanger
  • Popsicooler
  • Drek’Thar
  • Lokholar the Ice Lord

New Mercenaries Bounties Hearthstone Patch 22.2
New Mercenaries Bounties

That is all for now, remember to check everything in our Hearthstone special news section and in the official Patch Notes. Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more 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.