The upcoming 26.0 Hearthstone update will change 24 cards before the expansion arrival, join me while we go over the patch notes.

Hearthstone released today the 26.0 patch notes, covering all the changes happening in the game in preparation for the Festival of Legends set. The update will go live tomorrow, April 4, and it will contain all the necessary files for the upcoming April 11 expansion launch.

The 26.0 Hearthstone patch notes bring several balance changes to cards that are rotating. This will create a completely new meta for a week since the rotating cards will see their changes go live tomorrow, but they will stay on Standard for a week. Let's go over the 26.0 Hearthstone patch notes.

Hearthstone 26.0 patch notes: Balance changes

With each annual rotation, the Hearthstone team usually reverts most of the nerfs applied to standard cards. Standard powerlevel is nothing compared with Wild synergies, which is why cards that rotate out of standard usually get back to their original versions.

These changes will go live on April 4, so enjoy a week of broken gameplay before they leave. These are the balance changes included in Hearthstone 26.0 patch notes.

Arcanist Dawngrasp<br>Old: Battlecry: For the rest of the game, you have +2 Spell Damage.<br><strong>New: Battlecry: For the rest of the game, you have +3 Spell Damage.</strong>
Arcanist Dawngrasp
Old: Battlecry: For the rest of the game, you have +2 Spell Damage.
New: Battlecry: For the rest of the game, you have +3 Spell Damage.
<strong>​</strong>Arcane Burst (Magister Dawngrasp’s hero power)<br>Old: Deal 2 damage. Honorable Kill: Gain +1 damage.<br><strong>New: Deal 2 damage. Honorable Kill: Gain +2 damage.</strong>
Arcane Burst (Magister Dawngrasp’s hero power)
Old: Deal 2 damage. Honorable Kill: Gain +1 damage.
New: Deal 2 damage. Honorable Kill: Gain +2 damage.

Mage enjoyers will once more enjoy the powers of the Stormwind's Quest with the Hearthstone 26.0 update. Will the deck that terrorized the meta in 2021 be good enough today with this buff? Moreover, existing Ping Mage archetypes will see an improvement in Magister Dawngrasp's hero power too.

Final Showdown (the first phase of the Demon Hunter Questline) <br>Old: Draw 6 cards in one turn. <br><strong>New: Draw 4 cards in one turn.</strong>
Final Showdown (the first phase of the Demon Hunter Questline) 
Old: Draw 6 cards in one turn. 
New: Draw 4 cards in one turn.

Hearthstone nerfed the Demon Hunter Quest to prevent the mana cheat the card allowed, however, they are returning it to its original form according to the 26.0 patch notes. With the class dropping the quest after the nerf, there is now room to explore if it's a good addition to existing decks.

Leaving the Demond part behind, regular Hunters are also receiving some love from the Hearthstone team in the 26.0 patch notes. Two cards that were key in its aggressive variant are seeing cost reductions.

Kolkar Pack Runner<br>Old: [3 Mana] 3 Attack, 4 Health<br><strong>New: [2 Mana] 2 Attack, 3 Health</strong>
Kolkar Pack Runner
Old: [3 Mana] 3 Attack, 4 Health
New: [2 Mana] 2 Attack, 3 Health
Dragonbane Shot<br>Old: [3 Mana]<br><strong>New: [2 Mana]</strong>
Dragonbane Shot
Old: [3 Mana]
New: [2 Mana]

The 26.0 Hearthstone patch notes also bring something for combo lovers. Garrote will now deal 50% more damage. Despite this change, with Octo-bot still at 3 mana, it will be hard for the archetype to come back to life.

On the other side, if you add Cold Blood to the equation, maybe you get enough damage for a new aggressive Rogue. Last but not least, Deathrattle rogue is also getting buffed, with Forsaken Lieutenant going down to 2 mana. Is it Mine-Rogue time?

​Garrote<br>Old: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. Shuffle 2 Bleeds into your deck that deal 2 more when drawn.<br><strong>New: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. Shuffle 3 Bleeds into your deck that deal 2 more when drawn.</strong>
​Garrote
Old: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. Shuffle 2 Bleeds into your deck that deal 2 more when drawn.
New: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. Shuffle 3 Bleeds into your deck that deal 2 more when drawn.
Cold Blood<br>Old: [2 Mana]<br><strong>New: [1 Mana]</strong>
Cold Blood
Old: [2 Mana]
New: [1 Mana]
Forsaken Lieutenant<br>Old: [3 Mana]<br><strong>New: [2 Mana]</strong>
Forsaken Lieutenant
Old: [3 Mana]
New: [2 Mana]

One of the decks that terrorized the meta only weeks ago is coming back from the grave. The 26.0 Hearthstone patch notes are reviving Evolve Shaman. With Goldshire Gnoll costing 10 Mana again, players can highroll games left and right evolving into Netptulons on turn 3 or 4.

<strong>​</strong>Goldshire Gnoll <br>Old: [11 Mana]<br><strong>New: [10 Mana]</strong>
Goldshire Gnoll 
Old: [11 Mana]
New: [10 Mana]

Probably the most important change in the whole 26.0 Hearthstone patch notes is that Wild Warlock is getting The Demon Seed and Stealer of Souls back again. The caveat is that each phase of the quest will now require players to take 10 damage in a turn. Moreover, Setaler of Souls will only change the first card's mana cost into health. Will Wild players find a way to break the game once again?

The Demon Seed (each phase of the Warlock Questline)<br>Old: Take 8 damage on your turns. (Each phase of the Questline) <br><strong>New: Take 10 damage on your turns. (Each phase of the Questline) </strong><br><em>The Demon Seed is no longer banned in Wild.</em>
The Demon Seed (each phase of the Warlock Questline)
Old: Take 8 damage on your turns. (Each phase of the Questline) 
New: Take 10 damage on your turns. (Each phase of the Questline) 
The Demon Seed is no longer banned in Wild.
Stealer of Souls<br>Old: [6 Mana] 4 Attack, 6 Health. After you draw a card, change its Cost to Health instead of Mana.<br><strong>New: [4 Mana] 2 Attack, 6 Health. The first card you draw each turn costs Health instead of Mana.</strong><br><em>Stealer of Souls is no longer banned in Wild.</em>
Stealer of Souls
Old: [6 Mana] 4 Attack, 6 Health. After you draw a card, change its Cost to Health instead of Mana.
New: [4 Mana] 2 Attack, 6 Health. The first card you draw each turn costs Health instead of Mana.
Stealer of Souls is no longer banned in Wild.

The 26.0 patch notes brought some news that OG Hearthstone players might appreciate, at least in a nostalgic way. The all-mighty Fieary Win Axe will be 2 mana once again. But that's not all. The mother of all nerf memes will return to its original state. No more "Your Charge minions have +2 attack", Wargsong Commander will grant Charge to any minion summoned with 3 or less Attack. EVERYONE, GET IN HERE!

<em>​</em>Fiery War Axe<br>Old: [3 Mana]<br><strong>New: [2 Mana]</strong>
Fiery War Axe
Old: [3 Mana]
New: [2 Mana]
Warsong Commander<br>Old: After you summon another minion, give it Rush.<br><strong>New: Whenever you summon a minion with 3 or less Attack, give it Charge.</strong>
Warsong Commander
Old: After you summon another minion, give it Rush.
New: Whenever you summon a minion with 3 or less Attack, give it Charge.

Other changes

We have condensed some less impactful balance changes in the following table. The 26.0 Hearthstone patch notes brought a lot to digest, and maybe the missing piece for a broken archetype is in here!

Card
Class
Old Version
New Version
Caria Felsoul
Demon Hunter
Old: [7 Mana] 7 Attack, 7 Health. Battlecry: Transform into a 7/7 copy of a Demon in your deck.
New: [6 Mana] 6 Attack, 6 Health. Battlecry: Transform into a 6/6 copy of a Demon in your deck.
Razormane Battleguard
Druid
Old: 2 Attack, 2 Health
New: 2 Attack, 3 Health
EVIL Miscreant
Rogue
Old: 1 Attack, 4 Health
New: 1 Attack, 5 Health
Conviction
Paladin
Old: [2 Mana]
New: [1 Mana]
Level Up!
Paladin
Old: [6 Mana]
New: [5 Mana]
Tame the Flames
Shaman
Old: Play 3 cards with Overload.
New: Play 2 cards with Overload.
Granite Forgeborn
Shaman
Old: 4 Attack, 4 Health
New: 4 Attack, 5 Health
Mor’shan Watch Post
Neutral
Old: 3 Attack, 4 Health
New: 3 Attack, 5 Health
Ice Revenant
Neutral
Old: Whenever you cast a Frost spell, gain +1/+1.
New: Whenever you cast a Frost spell, gain +2/+2.
Faceless Corruptor
Neutral
Old: 4 Attack, 4 Health
New: 5 Attack, 4 Health
Dark Pact
Warlock
Old: Destroy a friendly minion. Restore 4 Health to your hero.
New: Destroy a friendly minion. Restore 8 Health to your hero.

Final considerations

Remember that once the new Festival of Legends expansion goes live on April 11 (not the 26.0 patch), Hearthstone will have its annual rotation. With this rotation, the Core Set will see the reviewed changes for the Year of the Wolf. Moreover, the following three expansions will become Wild exclusive:

  • Forged in the Barrens
  • United in Stormwind
  • Fractured in Alterac Valley

The 26.0 Hearthstone patch notes also bring Battlegrounds and Duels updates. You can check those out in the official blog post. Talking about Hearthstone modes, don't forget to get some free packs out of expiring Arena and Duels runs. If you don't know the trick, check out this guide on how to get those free packs.

That is all for now, but stay tuned to esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates. See you next time at the Festival of Legends.

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