Hearthstone Battlegrounds major update, minion removals, and Avenge!

Hearthstone Battlegrounds gameplay just got a giant kick in the pants. This format for gameplay inside Hearthstone will see a series of game-changing updates, some nerfs, some buffs, and a bunch of new cards. This format will also get a brand new Battlegrounds specific keyword: Avenge!

New minions and keyword: Avenge

Avenge "does something after (x) friendly minions die." So if you're the sort of player that depends on summoning a bunch of demons just to grind them up, this might be the keyword for you. For example the new minion "Bird Buddy" has Avenge (1): Give your Beasts +1/+1 (or +2/+2 if he's golden.)

There's a level 5 minion called Palescale Crocolisk that has Avenge (2) AND Deathrattle: Give another friendly Beast +6/+6. Two ways to get that bump! The (3-star) minion Impatient Doomsayer has Avenge (3): Add 2 random Demons to your hand!

Avenge comes to the biggest monster with Mechano-Tank, which has Avenge (3): Deal 6 damage to the highest Health enemy minion. Murlocs get some new hard-hitters with this set too, including the minion SI:Sefin. That's a parody of the "SI:7" collection, of course.

SI:Sevfin has Avenge (3): Give a friendly Murloc Poisonous permanently! The Murloc Swolefin has Battlecry: Gain +2/+1 for each other friendly Murloc. Saltscale Honcho has a passive skill: After you play a Murloc, give two other friendly Murlocs +1 Health.

There's even a non-Murloc helper minion called Seafood Slinger. This 6-star minion has Battlecry: Make a Murloc Golden. On that note, there's a Pirate-friendly Pirate called Tony Two-Tusk, with Avenge (5): Make another friendly Pirate Golden permanently.

A new Elemental called Dazzling Lightspawn has Avenge (2): Elementals in Bob's Tavern have +1/+1 for the rest of the game. A tier-3 minion Budding Greenthumb has Avenge (3): Give adjacent minions +2/+1 permanently. A tier-4 minion by the name of Witchwing Nestmatron has Avenge (3): Add a random Battlecry minion to your hand.

The most game-changing new minion of the bunch might very well be Tarecgosa. This Dragon permanently keeps enchantments given to it from combat. A lot of combat-only enchantments are only really worth the effort early in the game. If they stick around, even for this one minion – it could get WILD.

Just ONE minion was changed in this update – that's Arm of the Empire. The skill remains the same, the ONLY difference is that it has 4 Health instead of 5 Health.

Minions Removed

This update removes a WHOLE BUNCH of minions from the mix. For Tavern Tier 1, the following are removed: Fiendish Servant, Vulgar Homunculus, Micro Machine, Murloc Tidecaller, and Dragonspawn Lieutenant. Removed from Tavern Tier 2: Pack Leader, Kindly Grandmother, Steward of Time, Waxrider Togwaggle, Southsea Captain, and Tormented Ritualist.

Tavern Tier 3 loses Arcane Assistant, Imp Gang Boss, Infested Wolf, Iron Sensei, Hangry Dragon, Bloodsail Cannoneer, Warden of Old, Crystalweaver, and Thorncaller. Once we get to Tavern Tier 4, we start seeing removals of some fan favorites: Virmen Sensei, Hexruin Maurader, Junkbot, Toxfin, Herald of Flame, Qiraji Harbinger, Bolvar, Fireblood, and Security Rover.

In Tavern Tier 5 and 6, we're going to need to pour one out for some of the greats. Say goodbye to Sneed's Old Shredder! Also bid farewell to Nat Pagle, Extreme Angler, Seabreaker Goliath, Ironhide Direhorn, Mythrax, the Unraveler, Mal'Ganis, and Faceless Taverngoer. Tier 6 has just two removals: The Tide Razor and Lieutenant Garr!

New Heroes

This update adds a hero by the name of Cariel Roam who attains a growing skill (rank). At Tavern Tiers 1 and 2, Roame has the skill "Conviction (Rank 1)" that gives a random friendly minion +1/+1 for 1 mana. At Tier 3, this goes up to three random minions, and Tier 5 changes to five random minions.

Perhaps the most awesome Hero in the entire Battlegrounds arena is the new Master Nguyen. This Hero has "Power of the Storm," a passive skill that says: At the start of every turn, choose from 2 new Hero Powers. That could be awesome, or it could be a mess!

Players with Battlegrounds Perks will be the first to have early access to the new Heroes. These Heroes will be "formally released" on September 14.

A few other changes

With this update, a damage cap of 15 is now in place "until the first player dies." The check for this switch happens at the start of each Recruit Phase. After the first player dies, the damage cap is removed, and you can absolutely decimate your opponent at your leisure.

Darkmoon Prizes will be removed from the game entirely, starting with the new season. The new season also resets Battleground ratings for all players. The length of turns 3-9 are each 5 seconds longer. It is possible that the developers of this game may "further adjust the length of turns sometime in the future."

Above you'll see a 44-second overview of the changes that'll arrive this week! Let us know if you're just playing Hearthstone's Battlegrounds format for the first time this week, or if because of the changes you'll NEVER PLAY AGAIN!