The era of Mage and Rogue dominance in Arena is possibly coming to an end.

Blizzard announced major changes designed to make the Arena mode of its popular digital card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft more fair. Hearthstone generates more than $20 million a month from in-game purchases and is the biggest hit in the digital card-battling genre.

Arena has players making decks by selecting a class and then picking one of three cards over and over until they’ve chosen 30. They then fight other players until they lose three times, receiving better rewards the more wins they earn (maxing out at 12). However, some classes do better than others. That’s because the random cards you pick aren’t entirely random. Cards that are specific to your class or have lower rarities are more likely to appear. This has made classes like Mage and Rogue with powerful, common class cards very strong in Arena.

To try to balance the classes, Blizzard is going to remove cards from the Arena draft. It has done this before, actually. When the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion released earlier this year, it did not include C’thun cards in arena. That’s because those minions directly impact a single, powerful creature. If you don’t happen to get him in your deck (and you almost never would, since C’thun is Legendary and unlikely to be an option), all of those other C’thun synergies lose a lot of value. Blizzard also recently removed a new Priest card from the One Night in Karazhan Adventure, Purify, which fans criticized for being weak. Since it was a common class card, it would have often appeared in Priest drafts, a class that already struggled in Arena.


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Now, Blizzard is removing a lot of cards from Arena. You can see the list below.


  • Forgotten Torch
  • Snowchugger
  • Faceless Summoner


  • Goblin Auto-Barber
  • Undercity Valiant


  • No changes


  • Vitality Totem
  • Dust Devil
  • Totemic Might
  • Ancestral Healing
  • Dunemaul Shaman
  • Windspeaker


  • Anima Golem
  • Sacrificial Pact
  • Curse of Rafaam
  • Sense Demons
  • Void Crusher
  • Reliquary Seeker
  • Succubus


  • Savagery
  • Poison Seeds
  • Soul of the Forest
  • Mark of Nature
  • Tree of Life
  • Astral Communion


  • Warsong Commander
  • Bolster
  • Charge
  • Bouncing Blade
  • Axe Flinger
  • Rampage
  • Ogre Warmaul


  • Starving Buzzard
  • Call Pet
  • Timber Wolf
  • Cobra Shot
  • Lock and Load
  • Dart Trap
  • Snipe


  • Mind Blast
  • Shadowbomber
  • Lightwell
  • Power Word: Glory
  • Confuse
  • Convert
  • Inner Fire

The developer isn’t removing most of these cards because they are too powerful. Instead, they are weak cards. Blizzard is hoping that removing them will make it more likely that struggling classes will draft better cards.

Blizzard also noted that this isn’t a permanent solution.

“We’re looking to develop additional solutions to balance Arena as well, such as the ability to adjust the rate that individual cards show up in your draft depending on a designer input value,” Blizzard noted on Hearthstone’s website. “If we pursue that route, there is still the matter of deciding on the best way to go about using that tool to achieve balance for each of the nine classes and still have Arena feel fun and different each run. Drafting by card rarity is another discussion that we’ve been hearing a lot. If it’s a matter of balance, we’re fairly confident the ability to adjust the ‘weights’ of cards available can solve that.”

The changes will come in an upcoming patch, although Blizzard did not give a release date.

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