A new Hearthstone balance patch brings a number of changes to Blizzard’s long-running CCG, most notably to Drek’Thar, which has been nerfed considerably: Its battlecry now summons just one minion from a player’s deck, instead of two. It’s a notable change not just because of the reduction in power, but because it includes the card that Blizzard was selling by itself for $25 in April.
Diamond cards are a cosmetic card variant introduced to Hearthstone in 2021. A tier above the golden rarity, diamond cards are animated but functionally identical to the standard versions. You’re paying strictly for the look, in other words—although some folks think the high price tag should justify a little bit of a gameplay boost, too.
Diamond Drek’thar should summon 10-drops because it sure as hell costs more than every single minion in my deck. pic.twitter.com/CwX7KvhRHuApril 5, 2022
Despite the high cost of the card, Hearthstone players who sprung for it don’t seem especially upset about the nerf, because Blizzard is being very generous with diamond Drek’Thar refunds.
Normally, Hearthstone cards that are substantially nerfed are eligible for a “dust refund,” giving players an opportunity to trade in the diminished card for arcane dust, an in-game resource used for card crafting. That’s the case here as well: Drek’Thar, along with Multi-Strike and Dragonbane Shot, will be eligible for full dust refunds for two weeks.
That’s not really sufficient for diamond cards, though, because of their high cost: Owners would be effectively forced to choose between holding onto a card they don’t really want anymore just because it’s so damn pretty (even if they’re not able to show it off as much anymore), or exchanging it for the same amount of dust as people with the standard variant.
Blizzard saw that trouble coming and headed it off at the pass by giving diamond Drek’Thar owners 3,000 gold, automatically, the next time they log into the game. That’s what the diamond Drek’Thar card cost for those who purchased it using gold, and it’s enough to get you 30 Hearthstone card packs. And very importantly, unlike standard dust refunds, you get to keep your diamond Drek’Thar card—it’s basically a free diamond card for anyone who sprung for it pre-nerf.
“I am incredibly happy about that,” xnerdyxrealistx wrote on Reddit. “Very generous.”
“The 3k gold I spent on diamond Drek’thar was well worth it now, free diamond card now,” FluffyOnReddit wrote.
Not everyone is thrilled with the change. At least one player who paid cash for the diamond Drek’Thar card complained that even with the 3,000 gold, he’s still out the cash he spent on the card. Others, though, were disappointed that they missed out: “Wow, full 3k gold refund for diamond Drek’Thar,” GregLoire lamented. “I guess I should have bought that after all.”
The full 23.2.2 patch notes are up at playhearthstone.com.