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Hearthstone: Hunter's Emerald Spellstone, Shaman's Flametongue Totem and other staple class cards changed in February balance update


Hearthstone: Hunter’s Emerald Spellstone, Shaman’s Flametongue Totem and other staple class cards changed in February balance update

In an update scheduled to arrive February 5, several cards will be changed.

Team 5 made some big balance changes to Druid cards such as Wild Growth and Nourish and integral Odd Paladin card Level Up in their December balance update; in February’s balance change some more staple class cards are getting modifications which should shake up the constructed meta in a big way.

Per the official Blizzard announcement:

In an update scheduled to arrive February 5, several cards will be changed.


When we talk about changes that are in store for Hearthstone cards, we normally talk about each card individually to explain why we think that change is needed.

This time, we’re doing things a little differently because most of the upcoming changes are happening for the same reason. Here’s why we’re changing these cards and our general philosophy behind this update.


We think Hearthstone is most fun when strategies are consistently evolving. When new cards are released, we’d like for older expansion decks to get a few interesting new pieces while also allowing you to experiment with the totally new archetypes that emerge. When Basic and Classic cards become so broadly effective–no matter what you’re facing–that they drive what deck styles are considered viable every expansion, then it makes that goal difficult to achieve.

Basic and Classic are sets that, ideally, should embody the flavor and mechanics of each Class. As we’ve mentioned before, cards in these sets can become an issue when they make all other strategies look less interesting. This doesn’t mean is that all Basic and Classic cards should be ineffective, however. It’s hugely important to us that these sets contain a good number of cards that are great tools for different situations and deck archetypes.

We’re changing these particular cards because each one has been highly prevalent, regardless of what strategies have been popular or what other cards have existed around them. When Basic and Classic cards become this ubiquitous, they take away some of the flexibility players have when building decks, ultimately stifling the diversity of decks we see when playing Hearthstone.

The following changes are intended to shift these cards from general-purpose “auto-includes” into options that are more likely to be chosen for decks that are focused on strategies that capitalize on what these cards have to offer.

Cold Blood – Will cost 2 Mana. (Up from 1)


Flametongue Totem – Will cost 3 mana. (Up from 2)


Equality – Will cost 4 mana. (Up from 2)


Hunter’s Mark – Will cost 2 mana. (Up from 1)


Emerald Spellstone – Will cost 6 mana. (Up from 5)

The only non-Basic or Classic card in this round of changes. We want to position Emerald Spellstone as an efficient mid- and late-game threat, so we’re moving its cost up by one to reduce its utility as an early-game, aggressive tempo option. This change–along with the Hunter’s Mark change–is aimed at addressing Hunter’s prevalence, while still leaving it as a viable option.



We look forward to seeing how the meta shakes out in the coming months. Thanks for reading, and good luck on the ladder.

Once these updates are live, players will be able to disenchant the changed non-Basic cards for their full Arcane Dust value for two weeks.

Flametongue Totem and Hunter’s Mark are Basic cards, and cannot be disenchanted.

What do you think of the these changes to staple Classic cards such as Equality, Flametongue Totem and Cold Blood? Sound off in the comments.

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