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Hearthstone update: Free Deck, Priest card changes and Stormrage Battlegrounds patch news

The Hearthstone Battlegrounds update coming today will include a lot of changes for both the base game and the Auto-Battler spin-off. With the Ashes of the Outland expansion just a few weeks off, Blizzard is making some big changes before the new cards land. These tweaks were fleshed out last week by the team, along with the news of the new Demon Hunter Class.

That stole a lot of headlines but there’s also plenty of other changes coming in today’s Hearthstone update.

One of the more eye-catching is the introduction of free decks for lapsed players and those just joining the game.

“Starting March 26, new players and players who have not logged into Hearthstone in the past four months will earn a free deck from a class of their choice–built with cards from Year of the Dragon–upon graduating from the New Player ranks!

“Free deck only available to players who have not logged into Hearthstone in the past 4 months beginning on March 17, 2020. Limit one per account.”

This could help bring back players to the game and also encourage those who are little intimidated by it to have a go.

The March 26 patch also brings changes to how card packs work, with Blizzard making it so players no longer receive more than two copies of any Common, Rare, or Epic until you have owned two copies of all cards of that rarity in a set.

Blizzard has also confirmed that Crafting a card counts towards acquiring it, and any cards you acquire and later disenchant (whether golden or non-golden) count as well.

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“This means that if you get a card that you don’t want, you can disenchant it and you will not receive it again until you have all cards of that rarity from that set,” a message from Blizzard adds. “This change does not affect the overall distribution of rarities in card packs.”

Today will also see the introduction of a big Priest update, which includes rotating six cards to the Hall of Fame and adding six brand-new Priest cards to the Basic and Classic Sets.

Seven existing Priest cards are also being improved in Basic and Classic Sets, with Dust refunds being handed out today.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds will also see big changes today before the launch of the game’s next expansion.

Illidan Stormrage will make his debut in Battlegrounds, offering up his own unique ability in the popular eight-way auto-battler mode.

This includes the Passive Start of Combat ability, which allows Your left and right-most minions to attack immediately.

This new Hearthstone update is going live later today and is expected to be available to download sometime in the afternoon in the UK.

New perks will also be going live today from the Tavern Pass, with Blizzard adding: “With the release of Ashes of Outland, we’re introducing the Tavern Pass—an all-new way to access Perks for Battlegrounds.

“Available for $19.99 or 2500 Gold, the Tavern Pass includes four Arena Tickets and the following Battlegrounds Perks for the duration of the Ashes of Outland expansion cycle: advanced stats, visual emotes, a third and fourth hero to choose from at the start of a game, and early access to new Battlegrounds Heroes (subject to the release schedule of new Heroes).

“If you currently have Battlegrounds bonus stats, choose from 3 Heroes, or visual emotes unlocked—you will get access to the equivalent new perk starting on March 26.

“Battlegrounds Perks earned from collecting Descent of Dragons packs (including the new perks such as choosing from 4 heroes) will expire once Ashes of Outland is released.

“With the introduction of the Tavern Pass, which is included in the Ashes of Outland Mega Bundle, players will no longer have to purchase card packs in order to unlock Battlegrounds Perks.”

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