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HearthstoneJun 13, 2024 3:30 pm CT

Buddies are being reintroduced to Hearthstone Battlegrounds alongside a minion roster shakeup

Hearthstone patch 29.6 will reintroduce Buddies to the Battlegrounds, and the heroes who still didn’t have their buddies will get them this time. The patch is also making a few updates to existing buddies, and other assorted changes — including a shakeup to the minion roster, with minions being changed, removed, and returned, as well as brand-new minions being added to the game mode.

Let’s take a look at what is changing in Battlegrounds for this reintroduction of buddies.

How will Buddies work in Hearthstone Battlegrounds?

There won’t be any major mechanical changes to how buddies work: you’ll still get them by pressing a button located on the left side of your hero pane, for a gold cost, up to twice per game. The first time you press this button you get a copy of your buddy, and the gold cost is reset and slightly increased. The second time you press it, you get two more copies of your buddy (and the potential to make it a triple if you still have your first copy), and the button can no longer be used during that match.

The starting gold cost depends on the Tavern Tier of the buddy itself — stronger buddies cost more. The cost always goes down after each combat, but how much it goes down depends on your performance: if you win or tie your match, it goes down by three, but if you lose, it goes down by two.

This is the first time we’ll be able to play with buddies in Duos mode. As players get acquainted to them, all games will have an extra 10 seconds added to each turn timer.

Heroes who didn’t have their buddies yet are getting them now. These include:

The same is true, of course, for the brand-new Duos-only heroes:

Other heroes, like Ragnaros and A. F. Kay, are getting balance adjustments to their existing buddies. You can check those out at the official blog.

The minion roster is getting a shake up

It’s time to say goodbye (for now) to the following minions, who are being removed from the game with this patch:

  • Augmented Laborer (the Mech/Demon who gives you other Mech/Demons with his Avenge effect)
  • Bazaar Dealer (the Demon that makes the first Tavern Spell you buy each turn cost Health instead of gold)
  • Deadstomper (the Undead/Beast dinosaur that gives extra attack to minions you summon during combat)
  • Faceless Disciple (the one that transforms a minion into one from a Tier higher)
  • Gem Smuggler (the Quilboar that plays a Blood Gem on all your other minions with his Battlecry)
  • Goldshell Warden (the Beast that buffs all your other Beasts +2/+4 with its Battlecry)
  • Heedless Hoarder (the Murloc that passes its stats to another Murloc when you sell it)
  • Long John Copper (the Pirate that gives you gold when it takes damage)
  • Reef Explorer (the minion that lets you Discover a minion of a type you don’t have)
  • Timecap’n Hooktail (the Dragon/Pirate that buffs your minions’ Attack whenever you cast a Tavern spell)
  • Vengeful Slitherer (the Undead/Naga with the Spellcraft that permanently increases the Health of your minions if they die in combat)
  • Winged Chimera (the minion of All types that buffs a minion of each type when it takes damage)

We’re seeing the return of three minions that had been removed from the game in prior patches:

  • Poetic Pen Pal (that Kobold who reduces the cost of your next Buddy by two)
  • Imposing Percussionist (the Demon with a Battlecry that lets you Discover another Demon, and then take damage equal to its Tier)
  • Silent Swimmer (the Naga with a Spellcraft that gives +3/+5 and Stealth)

There are some brand-new minions joining the fray. They are:

  • Barrens Brawler [Tier 3]
    • 2/6. Battlecry: Get a random Deathrattle minion.
  • Barrens Conjurer [Tier 5]
    • 6/2. Deathrattle: Get a random Battlecry minion.
  • Arid Atrocity [Tier 6, All]
    • 7/7. Deathrattle: Summon a 7/7 Golem. Give it +7/+7 for each friendly minion type that died this combat.
  • Prime Mate [Tier 4, Beast/Pirate]
    • 2/8. After a friendly Deathrattle minion dies, gain 1 Gold next turn.
  • Ghoul-acabra [Tier 6, Undead/Beast]
    • 2/11. Whenever you trigger a Deathrattle, give your minions +2/+2 permanently.
  • ‘Loc Prince [Tier 4, Murloc]
    • 2/2. Whenever this gains stats, add +2/+2 to that amount (wherever this is).
  • Fairy Gillmother [Tier 4, Murloc]
    • 1/5. At the end of your turn, get a random Murloc.
  • Crow’s Nest Sentry [Tier 3, Pirate]
    • 5/2. Battlecry: Give your other Pirates +3 Health.
  • Clunker Junker [Tier 4, Mech]
    • 3/4. Battlecry: Choose a friendly Mech. Discover a Mech to Magnetize to it.
  • Three Lil’ Quilboar [Tier 5, Quilboar]
    • 3/3. Deathrattle: Play three Blood Gems on your Quilboar.

And for Duos only:

  • Jumping Jack [Tier 3, All]
    • 3/4. The first time this is sold, Pass it instead.

Finally, two existing minions are being adjusted:

  • King Bagurgle is now Tier 5 instead of 4, has 6/3 stats instead of 5/3, and gives your Murlocs +3/+3 rather than +2/+2.
  • The returning Imposing Percussionist is now found at Tier 4 instead of 5, and has 4/4 stats rather than 6/6.

What Hero changes are we getting in this patch?

This patch heralds the return of E.T.C. Band Manager to the Hero pool — buddies are his specialty, after all. In addition, The Curator will no longer be offered in games where Demons are present.

There are also some balance updates:

  • Alexstrasza’s hero power is being changed to “[Passive] At the start of your turn, Discover a Dragon. (Unlocks at Tier 4).” This seems like a much better version than the previous ability to Discover two dragons (just once) at Tier 5.
  • Tae’thelan Bloodwatcher no longer follows the rule of thirds: instead of “Every third Tavern spell you buy costs (1) less,” his hero power now reads “Every fourth Tavern Spell you buy costs (0).”
  • Rakanishu’s hero power now adds a Lantern Light to your hand for 1 Gold. This is essentially the same effect as his previous hero power, but getting to hold or play the Tavern Spell when you want does offer some distinct advantages.

This patch will certainly change things up a lot. Buddies are kind of a “love it or hate it” mechanic, so we expect some players will be delighted, while others will turn up their noses at their return. Still, it’s definitely good to see changes to keep the game mode from getting stale.

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