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Hearthstone 21.0.3 patch notes: Incanter’s Flow, Il’gynoth, Battleground Battlemaster nerfs, more

Hearthstone patch 21.0.3 is releasing on 17th August and it is targeting dominant decks across several classes. Check out the full list of nerfs and our analysis.
Hearthstone 21.0.3 patch notes: Incanter’s Flow, Il’gynoth, Battleground Battlemaster nerfs, more

The first big balance update following the United in Stormwind release is here and it comes with several major nerfs for top meta decks.

Hearthstone's United in Stormwind expansion has reintroduced Quest cards in a form of Questlines, which have severely disrupted the current state of the game and created a combo-dominant meta.

Having good combo decks in the meta is healthy as it keeps control decks in check, but the situation is far from ideal when they are as prevailing as they currently are.

Instead of nerfing problematic Questline cards directly (the most problematic are Final Showdown, The Demon Seed, and Sorcerer's Gambit), Blizzard has decided to weaken them indirectly, be nerfing some of the most important cards in those decks.

In total, nine cards have been nerfed with the 21.0.3 patch, all targeting Tier 1 decks.

Let's check out all the nerfs.

Hearthstone 21.0.3 Patch - All card nerfs

Incanter’s Flow

Hearthstone 21.0.3 Patch Notes: Incanter’s Flow, Il’gynoth, Battleground Battlemaster nerfs
(Picture: Blizzard)
  • Old: [Costs 2] → New: [Costs 3]

Quite frankly, a nerf for Incanter’s Flow has been long overdue, and it should have come several expansions ago. The card has been a staple in myriads of Mage decks and it often created completely unfair situations if you draw the card early in the game.

Being 1 mana more expensive means that you won't be able to coin the card on turn 1 anymore, and it will significantly slow down the tempo gain of popular Mage decks that utilize its permanent mana reduction.

Nonetheless, we think that the card will still be playable even at 3 mana. It just won't be broken anymore.

Il’gynoth

Hearthstone 21.0.3 Patch Notes: Incanter’s Flow, Il’gynoth, Battleground Battlemaster nerfs
(Picture: Blizzard)
  • Old: [Costs 4] 2 Attack, 6 Health → New: [Costs 6] 4 Attack, 8 Health

Il’gynoth has been a key component of the OTK Lifesteal Demon Hunter deck, which was good even before the latest expansion, but only as a Tier 2 or 3 deck. The addition of the quest (Final Showdown) has created a much easier situation for Demon Hunter players to assemble all the combo pieces quickly and reduce their cost.

At 6 mana, it will be much harder to do a crazy amount of damage in one turn, unless Demon Hunter manages to get discounts for the right cards.

Darkglare

Hearthstone 21.0.3 Patch Notes: Incanter’s Flow, Il’gynoth, Battleground Battlemaster nerfs
(Picture: Blizzard)
  • Old: [Costs 2] 2 Attack, 3 Health → New: [Costs 3] 3 Attack, 4 Health

This is a second nerf for Darkglare, which was already previously nerfed. While this is not technically a nerf, it will be much harder to make crazy combo turns with infinite mana as it was before, when the card was only 2 mana.

This is a direct nerf to Questline Warlock, one of the most overpowered decks in the current meta.

Flesh Giant

Hearthstone 21.0.3 Patch Notes: Incanter’s Flow, Il’gynoth, Battleground Battlemaster nerfs
(Picture: Blizzard)
  • Old: [Costs 8] → New: [Costs 9]

Another nerf for self-damaging Warlocks, but this one seems rather weak, as increasing the mana cost for 1 will barely do anything in terms of the card's power level.
Warlock is capable of decreasing Flesh Giant's cost extremely rapidly, and this won't help in that regard.

Kolkar Pack Runner

Hearthstone 21.0.3 Patch Notes: Incanter’s Flow, Il’gynoth, Battleground Battlemaster nerfs
(Picture: Blizzard)
  • Old: [Costs 2] 2 Attack, 3 Health → New: [Costs 3] 3 Attack, 4 Health

Kolkar Pack Runner has been a staple in all Hunter decks since the card's introduction, and one of the reasons, just like Darkglare, was the fact that due to its low price, it was quite easy to combo cheap spells with him.

At 3 mana that will be harder, but with 3/4 stats, he will also be harder to kill, so we are not exactly sure if this is a complete nerf.

Granite Forgeborn

Hearthstone 21.0.3 Patch Notes: Incanter’s Flow, Il’gynoth, Battleground Battlemaster nerfs, more
(Picture: Blizzard)
  • Old: 4 Attack, 5 Health → New: 4 Attack, 4 Health

Elemental Shaman continues to be a strong deck for two expansions in a row, and the addition of Granite Forgeborn has only strengthened the deck further.

To be honest, we are not exactly sure if this nerf will achieve much as there are many Elemental Shaman variations that don't even play Granite Forgeborn, as the core of that deck is still around the cards from previous expansions.

Conviction

Hearthstone 21.0.3 Patch Notes: Incanter’s Flow, Il’gynoth, Battleground Battlemaster nerfs, more
(Picture: Blizzard)
  • Old: [Costs 1] → New: [Costs 2]

Conviction has been a ridiculously strong card in a deck that has such an easy time to establish a board and always have two targets to land Conviction buffs.

A constant fear of a sudden damage burst from the opponent's hand made this card extremely oppressive, and bringing its cost to 2 mana might be a step in the right direction.

Battleground Battlemaster

Hearthstone 21.0.3 Patch Notes: Incanter’s Flow, Il’gynoth, Battleground Battlemaster nerfs, more
(Picture: Blizzard)
  • Old: [Costs 5] → New: [Costs 6]

Battleground Battlemaster is the only neutral card nerfed in this patch, but the nerf is essentially targeting Paladins, as they were the ones able to utilize the card's absurd damage out of nowhere, for the same reason Conviction was strong - they almost always have sticky minions on the board to be buffed with Windfury.

The card will still be playable at 6 mana, but it will not be as oppressive as it was before the nerfs.

And there you have it, all card nefs from Hearthstone 21.0.3 patch. These are definitely some major changes, but it remains to be seen how will they affect the meta and if Blizzard will need to do more balance updates in the following weeks.

The update goes live today, 17th August, at 7 pm CET / 1 pm ET / 10 am PT.

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