Stealer of Souls – The first card EVER to be banned by Blizzard cover image

Stealer of Souls – The first card EVER to be banned by Blizzard

The latest Hearthstone update brought a big surprise for players. In a first-of-its kind decision, Blizzard has banned the Stealer of Souls card.

Blizzard announced the Hearthstone 20.4.2 patch that brings two balance changes to the Battleground and more importantly, will ban a card from the Wild. This is a first of its kind decision and the developers reserve the right to do so in the future for issues with no solution in sight. In addition to banning the Stealer of Souls card, the latest update also brings about some balance changes to Captain's Flat Tusk and Kangor's Apprentice in the Battleground.

Patch 20.4.2 bans the Stealer of Souls card in the Wild

The 20.4.2 patch released on June 16 and has a surprise in store for Hearthstone players. The developers have banned the Stealer of Souls card from the wild. 

Dev Comment: We've decided to ban Stealer of Souls in Wild, where it caused many games to stray too far away from the type of gameplay we’re aiming for. After deliberating on the appropriate action, we’ve decided to ban the card in order to maintain its current, and healthier, function in standard—as well as eliminate the problems caused in Wild. 

This might worry a few players as Blizzard does not usually ban cards altogether. The standard practice has been to implement changes to the cards in order to balance them. But there are some cards that continue to pose problems no matter how much you tweak them or make changes. The Stealer of Souls was one such card.

We do not have plans to ban many cards in the future. Bans will be reserved for cards creating extreme gameplay issues where there is no great solution for all formats. Since this is the first decision of its kind in Hearthstone, we'd love to hear your feedback. We’ll continue to monitor the card in all Modes and formats to determine if further action is needed elsewhere. When Stealer of Souls rotates into Wild, we’ll reposition it for the Wild environment and remove the ban. If there are any balance changes to Stealer of Souls before then, we’ll re-evaluate the ban.

The developers had anticipated community concerns with the 'first-ever' card ban. This is why the announcement clarifies they do not plan to ban cards frequently. However, they reserve the right to do so for cards with extreme gameplay issues. They have also kept open the option to re-evaluate the Stealer of Souls ban. 

What are the balance changes to the Battleground in 20.4.2 update?

In addition to the card ban, the 20.4.2 update also has a few balance changes to Captain Flat Tusk and Kangor’s Apprentice in the Battleground.

Captain’s Flat Tusk

Changes to Captain's Flat Tusk.
Changes to Captain's Flat Tusk.

While previously, players would gain a blood gem if they spend 3 gold with the Captain’s Flat Task card. With the latest update, they have to spend 4 gold if they wish to gain a Blood Gem.

Kangor’s Apprentice

Changes to Kangor's Apprentice.
Changes to Kangor's Apprentice.

The update also nerfs the Kangor’s Apprentice, reducing its tier by one level. As a result, the card now deals less damage and has lower HP than before. 

There are also quite a few bug fixes that should ensure smoother gameplay. You can check out the Hearthstone 20.4.2. patch notes here.

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