Time to shake the meta up again with the Hearthstone 26.4.3 balance update, join us while we go thru the patch notes.
The anticipated 26.4.3 Hearthstone Patch Notes are out and the patch should be live anytime now. While the Hearthstone team teased which cards would be changed in this update, we just now get to know the details in the patch notes. Let's go over the changes.
Hearthstone 26.4.3 patch notes
Today's patch notes open with a comment from the Hearthstone team regarding the meta prior to this 26.4.3 update. It seems that they are quite satisfied with the general situation of the game, and the plan is just to make minor adjustments today.
"The meta is in a pretty healthy place right now and a lot of players seem to be enjoying the post-mini-set meta, so we’re not trying to be too disruptive with this round of changes. We’re making some smaller adjustments to tone down a few emerging meta outliers and to give a little more power to some of the mini-set cards that have not gotten much attention."
As we have discussed, Pure Paladin was one of the decks that were a bit out of line in terms of winrate and popularity. The Audiopocalypse Miniset gave the deck the cherry on top to turn from decent to excellent. That is why today we will see nerfs to three of its core cards.
The idea behind these nerfs in the 26.4.3 Hearthstone patch is to allow Pure Paladin opponents to catch up with the board and establish a resource battle in the mid-game. Purator was just too good in the deck, and for sure it will still see play at 6 Mana.
Disco Maul's nerf was more of a surprise, but considering that it got an attack buff, the card is also playable. Finally, for Paladin, Feas and Famine went up by one Mana. While this diminishes its impact on the early game, it still allows for crazy from-hand damage when combined with The Horn.
The 26.4.3 patch notes included some reasons Hearthstone devs gave about this series of nerfs:
"Purator is the best card in the best deck, by every measure, so it was an easy target for change. We expect it to still see play after getting toned down a little. Disco Maul has been a card we’ve had our eyes on for a while, and this felt like the appropriate time to act on it. Finally, we’ve seen a lot of power come from the Horn of the Windlord – Feast and Famine combo, but we can see that Horn of the Windlord isn’t a problem in Shaman, so we’re adjusting the other half of the combo to make it a little slower overall and less flexible on non-combo turns."
Paladin was not the only victim in the 26.4.3 Hearthstone Patch notes. Spell Demon Hunter, got a big hit with Lady S'theno losing one attack point. The deck will definitely lose power and will need more time and pieces to combo opponents, but the card should not vanish like Sinful Brand.
Dev Comment: "There’s been a growing negative sentiment about Spell Demon Hunter, especially at the top levels of play, and particularly with the class closing out games in the same way for a long time. There were a few choices for us on which card(s) to adjust, but Lady S’Theno seemed like the best target to have the biggest impact on play experience and player sentiment."
Big Beast Hunter was one of the new decks rising, and Hope of Quel'Thalas seemed to be performing better than expected by Blizzard, especially in combination with Hollow Hound. That's why, after nerfing Paladin, the 26.4.3 Hearthstone patch notes also introduce a preemptive nerf to this deck.
Dev Comment: Big Hunter has emerged as another power outlier after the mini-set additions of Hollow Hound and Star Power. We think the deck is fun and cool, and we want to see players continue to enjoy it, but we also don’t want it to become too powerful after the other adjustments this patch, so this is a small preemptive adjustment to shave a little bit of its power
The last card in our round of nerfs is Pozzik, Audio Engineer. This free legendary is just amazing, and it was curious the card didn't see more play. Hearthstone devs state in the 26.4.3 patch notes that "Pozzik is the highest winrate neutral legendary in the game and has been criminally underplayed." Well, before players start catching up, they are trying to correct the issue.
Crimson Clergy Banned from Wild
Before we jump to the buffs, we have another topic to address. The Hearthstone team has decided to ban Crimson Clergy from wild. Despite the card doesn't see play in Standard, the abundance of resources in Wild to activate the new Overheal Priest keyword turns the card into a problem in the format.
This is not the first time something like this happens, remember that Hearthstone also banned Stealer of Souls and the Demon Seed from Wild some time ago. Despite it having been repeated many times that Wild is supposed to be Wild, it's nice to see that they are giving some love to the format.
Hearthstone 26.4.3 patch buffs
On top of balancing the meta outliers, the Hearthstone team aims to give some love to the least played cards from the Audiopocalypse miniset in the 26.4.3 patch notes. Players will see three cards buffed, with the intention of bumping up their popularity.
In total honesty, they don't seem to be key pieces in any particular deck right now, but who knows, maybe them being cheaper gains them a place somewhere.
Remember that Hearthstone gives full Arcane Dust refunds for the cards nerfed in the 26.4.3 patch notes. However, Pozzik was a free legendary so it's not disenchantable. You have two weeks to dust them under these conditions, after that, the general rule applies.
My advice is that you disenchant them for full dust, worst-case scenario you craft them again and lost nothing. For more tips, you can always check out our guides on collection management and what to do with nerfed cards.
Before we go, there are plenty more changes featured in the Hearthstone 26.4.3 patch notes. Battlegrounds is also receiving a balance patch as teased on social media, and on top of that, Duels is getting adjustments as well. Feel free to check out the Hearthstone 26.4.3 patch notes in the official blog post.