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HearthstoneMay 10, 2022 12:30 pm CT

The Naga are flooding into Hearthstone Battlegrounds today, bringing a new keyword with them

Prepare yourself to face the coming tides, for the Naga are finally arriving in Hearthstone Battlegrounds today, May 10, bringing many spells with them. Not only are we getting a brand-new minion type — which means several brand-new minions, and a few other changes — we’re also getting the new Spellcraft keyword.

There’s quite a lot to unpack with this major patch, so let’s cut to the chase.

A new minion type, Naga, makes playing non-minion cards more important than ever

There are a total of 16 brand-new minions of the Naga type. Luckily, if you’re excited to try them out, they’ll be appearing in every lobby for the first two weeks after the patch goes live. Just like with their Constructed counterparts, the Naga in Battlegrounds will be completely synergetic with spellcasting.

Many of these Naga get special effects once you cast spells from your hand — and by “spells,” they also mean things like Coins, Blood Gems, and the rewards from Triple minions. Basically, any non-minion card.

“But wait,” you’re surely asking, “that still seems very limited, since there aren’t many spells at all in Battlegrounds.” Well, that is about to change, because Naga will bring many spells of their own with the new Spellcraft keyword.

You may take a look at all of the Naga minions that have been revealed at the official blog.

The new Spellcraft keyword ensures that you’ll keep… crafting spells

Minions with the new Spellcraft keyword add a spell card to your hand when they’re summoned, and they repeat that at the start of every new Recruit phase — which means that they provide you with at least one spell to play immediately, and one more every turn they remain in your warband.

However, these spells are ephemeral in nature — if you don’t use them on the turn that you get them, you lose them. So no accumulating should be possible: you need to use all of the ones you generate on each turn.

These spells also have some sort of “full hand protection.” If your hand is full at the time when you would have generated a new spell from a Spellcraft effect, the game will wait until you make room, and try to give you the spell again, until you finally get it. Which is handy. Pun fully intended.

Finally, when you get a golden version of a Spellcraft minion, the spell they generate will be more powerful as well. They should have double the effect of their regular versions, which is in line with how everything about golden minions already works.

Queen Azshara is a new Hero set to conquer the Battlegrounds with her Naga servants

Queen Azshara is a “transformation” hero, like a few others before her, such as Ragnaros or Aranna Starseeker. She starts the game in her Highborn Night Elf form, with no actual Hero Power. However, once you accrue a total of 30 Attack across all your minions, she turns into her Naga visage.

In her Naga form, Queen Azshara has a 1-cost Hero Power that lets her Discover a Naga. From previous experiences with heroes that can easily generate other minions of the same type, this is a potentially strong hero power. Those heroes have dominated the meta a few times in past opportunities, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Azshara comes out strong.

Other minion changes include additions and removals

In addition to the new Naga minions, we’re getting 5 new minions of other types, and 2 old minions will return. But 5 current minions — Champion of Y’Shaarj, Deadly Spore, Amalgadon, Seafood Slinger, and Captain Flat Tusk — are leaving the pool.

You can check the official patch notes for all the upcoming changes to Battlegrounds. We can’t wait to get into the action!

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