Hearthstone Patch 18.4: Goodbye MMR, Hello Nerfs! | EarlyGame
Ranking changes, nerfs and news

Hearthstone Patch 18.4: Goodbye MMR, Hello Nerfs!

Hearthstone Patch 18.4 MMR, Nerfs und News
The new Hearthstone patch notes and everything you need to know! (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Yesterday Blizzard announced the details of the upcoming patch 18.4 and oh boy there is something coming. Get ready, because, besides bug fixes, new minions, and modes, there will be card nerfs and the reset of our MMR!

Let's look at the positive and good news first: We are getting new Battleground Heroes! Here's a small overview of the four new and interesting heroes, whose designs are already very appealing. By the way, everyone who has a Tavern Pass - which will now be available for a lower price - will have early access to these new heroes before they are officially released on October 13.

Ragnaros the Firelord and Chenvaala

Ragnaros the Firelord and Chenvaala in Patch 18.4
Ragnaros the Firelord and Chenvaala. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Ragnaros the Firelord

  • Die, Insects [Passive]: After you kill 20 enemy minions, get Sulfuras.
  • Sulfuras [Passive]: At the end of your turn, give your left and right-most minions +4/+4.


  • Avalanche [Passive]: After you play 3 Elementals, reduce the cost of upgrading Bob's Tavern by (2).

Rakanishu and Al'Akir the Wind Lord

Rakanishu and Al
Rakanishu and Al'Akir the Wind Lord. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)


  • Tavern Lighting [cost: 2]: Give a random friendly minion stat equal to your Tavern Tier.

Al'Akir the Wind Lord

  • Swatting Insects [Passive]: Start of Combat: Give your left-most minion Windfury, Divine Shield, and Taunt.

Ready for the Masquerade Ball?

Drum roll, please! We get the double class arena back! In addition to the super cool sounding but time-limited Masquerade Ball event, which also comes in the new patch and brings some tasks and updates to the battlefield mode! To celebrate the return of the arena, all players will receive free arena access. When you start an arena round during the Masquerade Ball event, you will first select your hero and then select the hero ability of another class. You will then be offered cards to choose from both classes plus the additional neutral cards.

The schedule for the Masquerade Ball event is as follows:

October 7: Masquerade Ball Tavern Brawl

This is clearly about the game of hide and seek through costumes! If you play a minion, it will immediately be transformed into another minion that costs (2) more. If this minion is defeated, the original minion will reappear and can immediately return to the battle.

October 13: Hearthstone Book of Heroes: Rexxar

As you can see, besides the Masquerade Ball event there is also Rexxar's story to play in the new Book of Heroes. If you defeat all 8 bosses in this adventure, you will get a hunter pack, which contains only standard format hunter cards.

October 14: Boss Battle Royale 3 Tavern Brawl

You can disguise yourself as one of 10 different bosses and use their unique heroic skills to get involved in the party. In the card chaos "Boss Battle Royale 3 Tavern Brawl" you can play the following bosses:

  • Dr. Boom
  • Mother Sharaz
  • White King
  • Cenarius
  • Baduu Prime
  • Kriziki the Winged
  • Lich Baz’hial
  • Rotwing
  • Hagatha the Vengeful
  • Illidan Stormrage

There is also a secret quest to follow the steps of the transfer student. The hints that Blizzard drops say that you will have to visit Dalaran, Uldum, the Dragonblight, and the Black Temple to do this. You'll also have to play Rexxar's Book of Heroes adventures and complete at least one match in the Battlegrounds Mode and the Arena. Once you've done all that, you'll receive two golden copies from the exchange student!

Exchange student card in patch 18.4
Your prize for the secret quest series! (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Now to the "bad" parts. Here come the nerfs and balance changes. In addition to this, there will be a new rank system that will reset your progress in the ranking to 0.

The hardest nerf will probably be all the meetings that had fun on the Turtle Mage deck, because Tortollan Pilgrim will be changed. It's battle cry will now detect a spell in the deck instead of a copy of a spell, and cast it on random enemies. This means that you can no longer specifically fish for Potion of Illusion to copy Tortollan Pilgrim again, creating the loop.

Guardian Animals are also changed, although this change is rather small. The mana cost is increased from 7 to 8 but even if it doesn't sound like much, such changes can already make quite the difference. The burst phase will be one turn later. We'll see how that works out - eventually.

Goodbye, MMR

Finally, a more detailed explanation of the change in the ranking. All will be set back to 0 and all newcomers will start at 0. There will now be an external and an internal ranking. The external ranking will be such that you can get up to 300 points maximum by winning. However, your ranking can't fall below 0, so there will be no frustrating permanent loss if you have bad matches. Following this, there will also be milestones that you will unlock when you reach a rank of 2000 and every 500 points after that (2500, 3000, etc.) What does that mean?

You will not be able to fall below this value anymore. If you have 2000 points your progress will not be stomped into the ground again which should help you to improve. The internal ranking is mainly responsible for matchmaking. The internal ranking will not set you to 0 so players with a high internal ranking are not matched won't get to play with newcomers. Also, players with a higher internal ranking get a boost to adjust the external ranking to the internal one. You will get a higher ranking faster and will meet players on your level faster.

That would be all the news you need to know for Patch 18.4! What do you think about the changes? And are you happy that Turtle Mage has been generated, or are you one of those people who think it's a pity? Share your opinion on our Facebook page!

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