Blizzard has announced the first new minion-type for Hearthstone Battlegrounds today. Dragons have joined the auto-battler and are available now as part of patch 16.4. This update adds 18 new minions to Hearthstone Battlegrounds and seven new heroes. Best of all, 12 of these new minions are Dragon-type, which is brand-new to Battlegrounds and all but two of these new minions are brand-new to Hearthstone altogether and exclusive to Battlegrounds.
Hearthstone Battlegrounds an;
auto-battling game mode that introduces a fresh, strategic, 8-player experience to Hearthstone. In Battlegrounds, you’ll take on the role of a familiar Hero straight out of Hearthstone history, craft a powerful board of recruited Minions, and face-off in an action-packed series of duels until a single winner is crowned.
The introduction of a new minion type, new heroes and Dragons is certain to really shake up the Battlegrounds meta.
Given that the current expansion in Hearthstone is Descent of Dragons and we are in the Year of the Dragon, it makes sense that Blizzard has added them to Battlegrounds now. Especially as both Galakrond and Reno Jackson have had starring roles in the narrative recently.
Galakrond and Renogos will be joined by the five original Dragon Aspects as the new heroes. To celebrate Dragons joining Battlegrounds, Blizzard is offering up Descent of Dragons card packs. By watching six hours of any Hearthstone streams, players can earn two packs; one for each three hour period, so long as their Twitch and Battle.net accounts are linked.
In addition to Dragons coming to Battlegrounds, Blizzard has made some changes to the mode with this update too. Tavern Tier 6 will now cost 10 Gold, down from 11. According to Blizzard, this is because “Tavern Tier 6 has a lot of exciting minions and we’d like players to have a more of an opportunity to reach it than they have.”
Finally, 10 minions have been removed from Battlegrounds.
- Shielded Minibot
- Mounted Raptor
- Phalanx Commander
- Tortollan Shellraiser
- Piloted Sky Golem
- Festeroot Hulk
- Sated Threshadon
Some minions are being removed to make way for Dragons and also for balance. Blizzard says there were far more Mechs than any other minion in Battlegrounds, which will now change. It has also removed underperforming minions and those that aren’t exciting to play.
Other improvements and bug fixes include;
- Speeding up animations from 0.8s > 0.2s across all game modes for Overkill, Lifesteal, Poisonous, Inspire, and cards that reference “Whenever” and “After” in their text, outside of some special cases.
- “Recruit” will no longer be displayed on the turn timer when a player is about to lose in Battlegrounds.
- Rafaam’s hero power will no longer trigger a Triple notification before you transition to the combat phase in Battlegrounds.
- Fixed a visual issue in which Golden Primalfin Lookout would sometimes display Golden Murloc cards.
- Fixed an issue where the scoreboard would not sort players correctly on the first turn if they conceded during the mulligan in Battlegrounds.
- Fixed an issue where the scoreboard could appear unsorted when reconnecting to a game in progress in Battlegrounds.
While in attendance at the Hearthstone Summit 2020, I briefly had a chance to play Battlegrounds with the new Heroes and Minions. I was beaten rather soundly but did get to use Galakrond as my hero and try some of the new minions out.
Having Dragons in Battlegrounds is a big change and one that refreshes the auto-battler and makes it feel different again. One thing I noted while playing was that I had the option to select from four different Heroes rather than three. Whether this is implemented in the final release of patch 16.4 remains to be seen. However, having four heroes to choose from, on top of Dragons makes the changes feel even greater.
Battlegrounds players are definitely going to enjoy the addition of Dragons and the new ways to play the mode.
Patch 16.4 is live now, so jump into Battlegrounds and take the Dragons for a test flight.
Leo Stevenson travelled to Irvine, California as a guest of Blizzard.