Hearthstone players saw the arrival of an unexpected balance change, check out the details as we go over the 26.0.2 patch notes.

Today Hearthstone gave us a surprise releasing a hotfix patch nerfing three cards. The 26.0.2 patch is a server-side update that doesn't require any downloads, so you can log in and play. On top of the standard nerfs, the latest Hearthstone patch notes also include Battlegrounds balance changes. Let's go over the important news.

Hearthstone 26.0.2 patch notes

The Festival of Legends metagame is only 3 days old, but some archetypes have grown stronger than others. The 26.0.2 Hearthstone patch doesn't aim to solve every problem in the game right now, but to address the most important issues.

"For early patches like this one, our goal is to make high-confidence changes which aim to open up the meta a bit until we can come in and make bigger changes later with access to more data and player sentiment."

Aleco commenting on Hearthstone's balance patch

The patch notes bring three nerfs affecting the most popular Hearthstone archetypes at the moment.

Construct Quarter<br>Old: 3 Durability<br><strong>New: 2 Durability</strong>
Construct Quarter
Old: 3 Durability
New: 2 Durability

Construct Quarter has been a powerhouse for Death Knight since the class release. Hearthstone has already nerfed it by one mana, and now it's losing one durability according to the patch notes. The idea is to tone down the class's representation a bit.

Death Knight didn't suffer any losses after the rotation, which turned it into the preferred choice for many players. The Blood Death Knight deck represented almost 15% of Hearthstone's metagame before this patch being the most popular archetype in the game, according to HsReplay.net.

On top of that, the aggressive Death Knight is the third-most-popular class, and both rely on Construct Quarter in a way. While this is a step in the right direction, there is clearly more work to do.

"You can think of this patch as more of a band-aid than anything else. Expect things like buffs and more foundational nerfs in the next patch."

Aleco anticipating more balance changes
Vengeful Walloper<br>Old: 6 Mana<br><strong>New: 7 Mana</strong>
Vengeful Walloper
Old: 6 Mana
New: 7 Mana
Lightray<br>Old: 9 Mana<br><strong>New: 10 Mana</strong>
Lightray
Old: 9 Mana
New: 10 Mana

The other two changes stated in the 26.0.2 Hearthstone patch notes are also nerfing some high-impact cards from other popular decks. Both Lightray and Vengeful Walloper are cards that are played in the mid-game spending 0 mana due to their cost reduction mechanics.

These are important pieces from Pure Paladin and Outcast Demon Hunter. It's expected the decks to slow down a bit, but still perform in the current metagame.

The patch notes don't go into details about when the next Hearthstone balance update will come, but it usually arrives two weeks after the expansion launch. This gives us April 25 as the most likely date.

Additionally, Aleco mentioned that they are looking into Wild, specifically Twig, a powerful Combo Druid enabler: "Also wanted to note that we're discussing Twig in Wild right now. I can't make any promises yet but we're monitoring the situation."

Battlegrounds balance changes

Battlegrounds didn't have a major update with the 26.0 patch which allowed the Hearthstone team to focus more on balance. Patch notes establish that a dozen Hearthstone buddies will see adjustments. The following chart displays those changes.

Buddy
Hero
Old
New
Snow Elemental
Chenvaala
Tavern Tier 4
Tavern Tier 3
Vaelastrasz 
Alexstrasza
Tavern Tier 4
Tavern Tier 3
Talent Scout
E.T.C., Band Manager
Tavern Tier 5
Tavern Tier 3
Coilfang Elite
Lady Vashj
[Tavern Tier 2] 4 Attack, 3 Health
[Tavern Tier 1] 3 Attack, 2 Health
Sub Scrubber
Ini Stormcoil
Tavern Tier 5
Tavern Tier 4
Piloted Whirl-O-Tron
Sneed
Tavern Tier 3
Tavern Tier 2
Festergut 
Professor Putricide
Ticking Abomination has been removed from the Festergut minion pool. (It is still in the minion pool for Professor Putricide’s hero power, Build-An-Undead).
Nightmare Ectoplasm
Mutanus the Devourer
[Tavern Tier3] 5 Attack, 4 Health
[Tavern Tier 4] 4 Attack, 3 Health
Raging Contender
Captain Hooktusk
Tavern Tier 4
Tavern Tier 5
Living Nightmare
Kurtrus Ashfallen
[Tavern Tier 2] 5 Attack, 3 Health
[Tavern Tier 3] 6 Attack, 4 Health
Waxadred, the Drippy
Heistbaron Togwaggle
Tavern Tier 4
Tavern Tier 5
Shady Aristocrat
Sire Denathrius
The Quest Discovered will now be more difficult to complete

You can check out their new versions in the gallery below.

image 1image 2image 3image 4image 5image 6image 7image 8image 9image 10image 11image 12

Furthermore, the new Dr. Boombox Hearthstone Battlegrounds minion will go up a tier according to the patch notes. At Tier 4, the minions worked as a good tempo tool and were a bit too popular and powerful for its tier.

Dr. Boombox<br>Old: Tavern Tier 4<br><strong>New: Tavern Tier 5</strong>
Dr. Boombox
Old: Tavern Tier 4
New: Tavern Tier 5

Last but not least, the Hearthstone patch notes include many changes to Battlegrounds' Heroes' armor. Armor serves as an extra balancing variable, giving more survivability to underperforming Heroes. You can check out the changes in the following tables.

That's all for now, but feel free to explore our Hearthstone news and guides section for more info on the latest Festival of Legends expansion. Be sure to visit esports.gg for all the latest esports news. See you next time in Thousand Needles.

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