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Hearthstone 24.4.3 patch notes confirm nerfs for Hunter and Theotar. Is Renathal coming next? cover image

Hearthstone 24.4.3 patch notes confirm nerfs for Hunter and Theotar. Is Renathal coming next?

#News

Patch notes for Hearthstone 24.4.3 update are out. As predicted, Hunter and Theotar will be nerfed today, but what about Renathal?

The 24.4.3 update launching today, on October 13th, will bring 4 nerfs that, according to the patch notes, are a first step towards balancing Hearthstone meta. Will these changes bring balance to the force? What about Renathal? Let's go over all the constructed changes coming in Hearthstone 24.4.3 patch notes.

"The meta is relatively stable right now, with just a few outliers. Our goal with this patch is to reduce frustration and give weaker decks a bit more breathing room by reducing the overall power level of Hunter."

Hearthstone Devs comment on 24.4.3 patch notes

Theotar not dead

Theotar has been the reason for most community complaints for a while now. Hearthstone devs even teased a nerf two months ago, but when 24.2 patch notes came out, the card was untouched. This time, Theotar is getting a slight nerf, going up by one mana.
Theotar, the Mad Duke<br>Old: Costs 4<br><strong>New: Costs 5</strong><br>Image via Blizzard<br>
Theotar, the Mad Duke
Old: Costs 4
New: Costs 5
Image via Blizzard
In the Patch notes, Hearthstone devs acknowledge that "He plays an important role in giving players agency against powerful late-game plays, but he can also be very frustrating to lose to."  
Understandably, many frustrated players want the card erased from the game. However, it's important to realize the bigger picture and understand that Theotar is one of the few Denathrius counters. Theotar will continue under evaluation to see if this nerf lands in the sweet spot or if further actions are needed.

"If his playrate doesn’t drop significantly with this change, we’ll evaluate further changes at the next opportunity."

Devs comment on 24.4.3 patch notes

Hunter nerfs in Hearthstone 24.4.3 patch notes

As we predicted more than a week before patch notes arrived, Hearthstone is nerfing Hunter's early game package in the 24.4.3 update. Wildseeds will see new balance adjustments, trying to create some breathing room for more aggressive strategies to succeed.
Bear Spirit Wildseed<br>Old: 2 Attack, 5 Health<br><strong>New: 2 Attack, 4 Health</strong><br>Image via Blizzard
Bear Spirit Wildseed
Old: 2 Attack, 5 Health
New: 2 Attack, 4 Health
Image via Blizzard
Stag Spirit Wildseed<br>Old: 5 Attack, 4 Health<br><strong>New: 4 Attack, 3 Health</strong><br>Image via Blizzard
Stag Spirit Wildseed
Old: 5 Attack, 4 Health
New: 4 Attack, 3 Health
Image via Blizzard
In the same way, 24.4.3 Hearthstone patch notes bring a nerf to Harpoon Gun. Despite not having an extensive explanation for why this buff was reverted, it falls under the same logic. Reducing mana cheat allows faster decks to get an edge over Hunter. At the same time, this should reduce the frustration of facing a Hydralodon or Mountain Bear on turn 4.
Harpoon Gun<br>Old: After your hero attacks, Dredge. If it’s a Beast, reduce its cost by (3).<br><strong>New: After your hero attacks, Dredge. It it’s a Beast, reduce its cost by (2).</strong><br>Image via Blizzard
Harpoon Gun
Old: After your hero attacks, Dredge. If it’s a Beast, reduce its cost by (3).
New: After your hero attacks, Dredge. It it’s a Beast, reduce its cost by (2).
Image via Blizzard

"These changes are meant to address some of the sharper play patterns this class is capable of, while simultaneously lowering the overall class power level."

Devs comment on 24.4.3 patch notes
Remember that all these craftable cards will be eligible for a 100% dust refund for 2 weeks. In the case of Bear Spirt and Stag Spirit, this means that all the cards that can summon them (Spirit Poacher, Stag Charge, Wild Spirits, and Ara’lon), will follow this refund rule. If you want to be safe, you can just dust all of them and re-craft them if they still see play after the nerfs.

Will the next Hearthstone patch nerf Renathal?

Renathal hasn't yet completed an expansion cycle. Yet, its incredible impact on the game is raising concerns. While the card is not similar to what Genn and Baku did back in Witchwood, its almost 60% popularity has clearly shaped the meta.
The problem that devs face is that there is no easy way to fix the card without changing its core design. Hearthstone 24.4.3 patch notes refer to Renathal, sending the message that the card might see changes if things don't adjust.
Furthermore, Hearthstone devs used the patch notes to tease us with "something fun coming in Patch 24.6". Creating change expectations is a good measure of buying time. However, it is hard to manage players' expectations without even teasing them. Now, the risk of not meeting them is way higher than usual.

"He is powerful and popular, but we don’t want this patch to completely shake up the meta, because we have something fun coming in Patch 24.6 and we want to see how Renathal performs in the next expansion before making changes to him."

Devs comment on 24.4.3 patch notes

Hearthstone 24.4.3 patch notes conclusions

Hearthstone seems to have taken a "baby steps" nerfing policy from what we see in the few past patch notes. While this breaks less stuff along the way, results usually fall short compared to community expectations.
That balance is hard to nail. As long as things aren't unattended for too long (as probably Theotar was, and Renathal might be), I think it's something players can accept.
One more thing I would like to mention about the 24.4.3 Hearthstone patch notes. Having dev comments on current and possible future changes goes a long way. Players might agree or not, but revealing the thought process behind the nerfs is a key factor for the community to receive changes in a better way.
If you are a Battlegrounds fan, we will analyze the changes in a separate article that should come later today. Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates. See you next time in the tavern.
Manuel "Rane" Delgado
Manuel "Rane" Delgado
Editor | 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 casts the Hearthstone Esports circuit for the LATAM region, among other content creation and tournament organization.