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Hearthstone Patch 20.2 brings a new Battlegrounds minion type, Quilboars

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The major content update for Hearthstone’s Battlegrounds game mode in the Forged in the Barrens expansion cycle is arriving next week.

Blizzard revealed the notes for the upcoming 20.2 patch today. The update will add Quilboars, an eighth unique minion type. Outside of Battlegrounds, Blizzard also teased the next big cosmetic updates, which includes Ragnaros becoming the third Diamond Card and 10 new skins for heroes that are attained through achievements.

Here are all of the important takeaways from the Patch 20.2 notes.

Battlegrounds

New heroes

  • Death Speaker Blackthorn
    • Bloodbound [Passive]
      • After you upgrade Bob’s Tavern, gain 2 Blood Gems.
  • Vol’jin
    • Spirit Swap [Costs 0]
      • Choose two minions. Swap their stats.
  • Xyrella
    • See the Light [Costs 2]
      • Choose a minion in Bob’s Tavern to add to your hand. Set its stats to 2.
  • Rat King (Updated to include Quilboar)
    • King of Quilboar [Passive]
      • Whenever you buy a Quilboar, give it +2/+2. Swaps type each turn.
  • Players with Battlegrounds Perks can play with the heroes before their formal release on May 18.

New minions

  • Razorfen Geomancer
    • [Tier 1, Quilboar] 3 Attack, 1 Health. Battlecry: Gain a Blood Gem.
  • Sun-Bacon Relaxer
    • [Tier 1, Quilboar] 1 Attack, 2 Health. When you sell this, gain 2 Blood Gems.
  • Roadboar
    • [Tier 2, Quilboar] 2 Attack, 4 Health. Frenzy: Gain a Blood Gem.
  • Tough Tusk
    • [Tier 2, Quilboar] 4 Attack, 3 Health. After a Blood Gem is played on this, gain Divine Shield for the next combat.
  • Prophet of the Boar
    • [Tier 2] 3 Attack, 3 Health. Once per Turn: After you play a Quilboar, gain a Blood Gem.
  • Bristleback Brute
    • [Tier 3, Quilboar] 3 Attack, 3 Health. The first Blood Gem played on this each turn gives an extra +3/+3.
  • Bannerboar
    • [Tier 3, Quilboar] 2 Attack, 5 Health. At the end of your turn, play a Blood Gem on adjacent Quilboar.
  • Thorncaller
    • [Tier 3, Quilboar] 4 Attack, 3 Health. Battlecry and Deathrattle: Gain a Blood Gem.
  • Necrolyte
    • [Tier 3, Quilboar] 3 Attack, 3 Health. Battlecry: Choose a friendly minion. It steals all Blood Gems from its neighbors.
  • Dynamic Duo
    • [Tier 4, Quilboar] 5 Attack, 6 Health. Taunt. After a Blood Gem is played on another Quilboar, gain +1/+1.
  • Bonker
    • [Tier 4, Quilboar] 4 Attack, 7 Health. Windfury. After this attacks, gain a Blood Gem.
  • Groundshaker
    • [Tier 4, Quilboar] 2 Attack, 6 Health. After a Blood Gem is played on this, give your minions +2 Attack for next combat only.
  • Bristleback Knight
    • [Tier 5, Quilboar] 4 Attack, 8 Health. Windfury, Divine Shield. Frenzy: Gain Divine Shield.
  • Aggem Thorncurse
    • [Tier 5, Quilboar] 3 Attack, 6 Health. After a Blood Gem is played on this, give a friendly minion of each minion type +1/+1.
  • Agamaggan, The Great Boar
    • [Tier 5, Beast] 6 Attack, 6 Health. Your Blood Gems give an extra +1/+1.
  • Charlga
    • [Tier 6, Quilboar] 7 Attack, 7 Health. At the end of your turn, play a Blood Gem on all friendly minions.

How the Battleground meta will be affected

Since Quilboars are a new minion type, they’re guaranteed to show up in the Battlegrounds shifting type pool until the next major content patch. Blood Gems can either serve as a permanent stat boost to minions as you play them or you can hold onto them and take early losses to accrue massive value later.

One interesting aspect about the Quilboar minions is that Agamaggan is a Beast, which allows for potential Menagerie-focused slots with Quilboars. This combination is especially apparent with the other Tier Five Quilboar, Aggem Thorncurse, who allows you to gain a Lightfang-like effect as long as you keep feeding him Blood Gems.

In regard to the new heroes, Xyrella has huge potential due to her ability to get minions at a discount of one gold less at the cost of having augmented stats. While setting the stats to two can be a major downside for most minions, this could be a big boost in the early game. A good example of this is Murloc Tidehunter, Alleycat, or other economy-based units. In addition, Xyrella has a chance to shine in the late game since she can cycle through Battlecries because you sell them quickly after using their effects.

Vol’jin is also an interesting hero due to his ability to swap stats without the random aspect. This can be especially strong in the late game if you’re trying to scale up minions that normally have trouble becoming more powerful, like Zapp or Baron Rivendare. In addition, his effect doesn’t specify targeting minions on your side of the board or Bob’s Tavern, so you can buy minions with weaker power and health and trade their stat line with something powerful in the early game, like Vulgar Homunculus.

Duels updates

  • New tech has been added so that you’ll more regularly be offered Treasures that synergize better with the cards in your deck.
  • Nozdormu the Eternal has been unbanned.

Humble Blessings (Paladin Signature Treasure)

Image via Blizzard Entertainment
  • Old: [Costs 3] → New: [Costs 4]

Diamond Ragnaros and Tavern Regular Achievement

Diamond Ragnaros has been added to the Tavern. Diamond Ragnaros can be acquired by completing the Classic Legendary Collector 5/5 achievement (collect all 36 Classic Legendary cards). Players who have already completed and claimed this achievement must reclaim it to obtain Diamond Ragnaros.

Blizzard also added a new progression achievement, Tavern Regular, which tracks total reward track levels earned on your account across all reward tracks from each expansion. Completing each tier of this achievement will reward a choice from one of 10 new hero skins, featuring upgraded armor.

Battle-Ready decks

“For the first time ever, we’ll be offering curated decks optimized for the most recent expansion through the web and in-game shops, starting May 4,” Blizzard said. “When these Battle-Ready decks become available, you’ll be able to add a complete deck list from the class of your choice to your Collection permanently—each handcrafted using data captured across hundreds of thousands of play sessions to ensure you’re taking home a combat-worthy list. Battle-Ready decks will be available for purchase for a limited time for $19.99 and will be limited to one per account.”

Book of Heroes Thrall coming May 25

Torn away from his people when he was young, Thrall has fought hard to make his place in the world and keep his allies from danger. From the snows of Alterac to sunny Kalimdor, Thrall’s fate is forever entwined with the fate of the Horde. Defeating all eight bosses in this linear adventure will reward one Shaman pack, containing only Shaman cards from Standard.

Bug fixes and game improvements

  • Fixed a bug where Power Word: Fortitude created by Deck of Lunacy would not have a updated mana cost.
  • Fixed a bug where Strength Totem’s history tile would not display which minion it gave an Attack buff.
  • Fixed a bug with Canonmaster Smythe where secrets would spawn as minions in a fixed order.
  • Fixed a bug where Razormane Raider would not regain Frenzy if played after triggering a Freezing Trap.
  • Fixed a bug where Razormane Battleguard would Corrupt cards of equal cost after Celestial Alignment is played.
  • Sped up animation time for Serena Bloodfeather when drawing Attack and Health from large minions.
  • Fixed a bug where effects for Steward of Darkshire and Carnival Barker would not trigger on minions summoned with one Health remaining.
  • Fixed a bug where the Deathrattle for Darkspear Berserker and Nerubian Egg would not create a history tile.
  • Fixed a bug where Dirty Rat summoning Outcast minions from the opponent’s hand would remove discounts from Illidari Studies.
  • Fixed additional cases where Achievement pop-ups could spoil the outcome of a Battlegrounds match.
  • Fixed a Battlegrounds bug where triples formed by Khadgar were not counting toward the Ruler of Thirds Achievement.
  • Fixed a Battlegrounds bug where the Three Wishes Hero Power would flip back over after all three wishes had been used.
  • Fixed a Battlegrounds bug where Golden Imp Mama would turn non-Golden during her token spawning animation.
  • Fixed a Battlegrounds bug where spectators were unable to see parts of the board when there were more than 5 players.
  • Fixed a bug where some cards specific to Duels had a watermark.
  • Fixed a bug where Legacy and Core set filters were not appearing when making a deck in Duels.
  • Fixed a Duels bug on mobile where the client could become stuck on the rewards screen after finishing a Heroic run.
  • Fixed a bug where Desperate Measures would not work in Duels or Arena.
  • Fixed a bug where Nozdormu the Eternal’s effect would not trigger in Arena until your first card was played.
  • Fixed a bug where attempting to enter a practice match with Demon Hunter after queuing for Ranked Classic would result in an Invalid Class error.
  • Fixed a bug where the Book of Mercenaries menu was incorrectly showing a ‘New Hero!’ banner.
  • Fixed a misspelling on the card Arrival in Orgrimmar from Book of Mercenaries Rokara.
  • Added functionality so that players who did not claim the level 50 Hero Skin on the Madness at the Darkmoon Faire Rewards Track will be prompted to do so upon login after the 20.2 patch has gone live, and all players who do not claim the level 50 Hero Skin moving forward will now be prompted to do so when the Rewards Track refreshes in the future.
  • Updated the Rewards Track to open to the earliest page on which you have unclaimed rewards.
  • Fixed a bug where claiming numerous rewards on the Rewards Track could prevent additional rewards from being claimed until the Journal is reopened.
  • Fixed a bug where The Final Lesson Achievement would not be marked as completed after completing Book of Mercenaries Rokara.
  • Updated the Collection to so that Core and Legacy cards no longer take up 4 spots with Golden versions. Core set cards will take precedence based on card amounts.
  • Fixed a bug where the Collection manager wouldn’t remember what format was picked when entering from the Play mode screen.
  • Fixed a bug where some cards could appear with a blue tint when hovering over them in the deck builder.
  • Fixed a bug where searching for “missing” in the Collection Manager would not count Golden cards you own toward the results of what you’re missing.
  • Fixed a bug where Hero unlock notifications can appear zoomed in.
  • Fixed a visual bug where the achievements “Mug Half Full” and “Lord of the Battlegrounds” would show twice as much progress as intended.
  • Fixed a bug where text size could be inconsistent on Achievements in the Journal.
  • Fixed a bug where the Seasonal Rewards Chest could be missing from the UI on mobile devices.
  • Fixed a bug where Astral Communion would not play any VFX.
  • Fixed a bug where the VFX for Malygos the Spellweaver would show over your deck when played by the opponent.
  • Fixed a bug where the screen could remain desaturated and blurred after a match.
  • Fixed a bug where Felheart Gul’dan was missing emotes and VO.
  • Fixed a bug where Diamond cards were appearing slightly larger than other cards.
  • Fixed a bug where cards that can create copies of Diamond Cards, such as Soul Mirror, would generate a Golden version instead.
  • Fixed a bug where enchantments from Golden spells, such as Soul of the Murloc, would not create Golden tokens.
  • Fixed a bug where leaving and returning to the client on mobile devices could make the Shop button non-functional.
  • Fixed a bug where two players could become stuck on the main menu if they challenged each other at the exact same time.
  • Added additional in-game messaging functionality.

You can try out Quilboars in Battlegrounds when Hearthstone Patch 20.2 goes live next week on May 4.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/hearthstone/news/hearthstone-patch-20-2-full-notes

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Fortnite Console Champions Cup to Start May 14

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Fortnite

Photo by Epic Games

Fortnite Console Champions Cup was announced by Epic Games on May 6 with a start date set for May 14.

“Introducing the Console Champions Cup, the first installment of a seasonal console-only Fortnite tournament. Compete in the Console Champions Cup May 14-16 with a $250,000 prize pool across all regions,” Epic Games said in the announcement.

Epic Games also released a checklist in terms of how to participate in the event:

“The Console Champions Cup will be the first installment in a series of seasonal, cross-platform, console exclusive tournaments. We’re still making adjustments in the calendar for future tournaments, so we don’t have dates for the following seasons just yet, but we’ll keep you posted when we do,” Epic Games said.

“Don’t worry, we’re also still planning on offering additional platform-specific console tournaments with in-game rewards up for grabs, just like we did with the Switch Cup and the Aloy Cup.”

For more information on the Fortnite Console Champions Cup, click here.

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Source: https://www.dbltap.com/posts/fortnite-console-champions-cup-to-start-may-14-01f51stsvxsa?utm_source=RSS

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Nintendo spent $880 million on research and development last year, mentions next platform after Switch

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Nintendo’s latest financial report for the fiscal year that ended on March 31 shows the company had its highest operating profit ever, 36 different titles that sold over one million copies on the Switch during that period, and 84.59 million units sold for the console. 

But one of the most interesting aspects of the financial report is Nintendo’s continued heavy spending on research and development, with approximately $880 million going into R&D between April 2020 and March 31. 

This was highlighted by Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Partners, and later summarized by games analyst and adviser David Gibson, who highlighted portions of Nintendo’s actual results call. 

When asked about the specifics of the R&D spending during the question and answer portion of the call, one Nintendo representative noted because the Switch is halfway through its lifecycle, software and additional outsourcing costs are increasing for the console. That also includes the cost per title being developed increasing, investing in online features, and other areas as needed. 

Along with that, the speaker also said that, despite the console only being at an estimated midway of its hardware cycle, some of that investment has gone towards “the next platform, where hardware and software integrated will continue.”

Related: Pokémon Sword and Shield record over 21 million all-time sales

That comment plays into the rumors of an updated Switch model being released later this year, but it could also mean that Nintendo has only just begun laying the groundwork for whatever console will release once the hybrid-device reaches the end of its lifecycle. 

The actual financial report documents don’t mention any specifics about R&D spending outside of the total amount being listed and noting a “a rise in research and development expenses.” So for now, these comments are the only information we have to go on until Nintendo announces new hardware in the future.

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Source: https://dotesports.com/news/nintendo-spent-880-million-on-research-and-development-last-year-mentions-next-platform-after-switch

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MTG tabletop sanctioned play returns to US at end of May

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Sanctioned play in Magic: The Gathering will resume this summer at local game stores in the U.S., featuring prerelease events and rewards with the launch of Modern Horizons 2, Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, and a limited-time Mystery Booster convention edition Draft. 

Wizards of the Coast revealed an official reopening of MTG sanctioned play today that will take place on May 28. Local guidelines will still take priority as tabletop gameplay resumes in the U.S., joining Asia-Pacific, Japan, and Africa. In conjunction with the return of sanctioned play at local game stores, WotC will still offer remote prerelease events through the SpellTable beta.

To celebrate the return of sanctioned MTG gameplay at local game stores, WotC is offering players promotional copies of Fabled Passage with a foil retro frame when $50 or more is spent at an official Wizards Play Network (WPN) store, starting June 11. 

Image via WotC

Players can also receive Dungeons & Dragons spellbook notepads with the purchase of two or more Adventures in Forgotten Realms (AFR) prerelease packs that will run from July 16 to 22. Exclusive WPN stores will run a Mystery Booster convention edition Draft later this year. Mystery booster packs from this event are only available for players participating in the event at their local game store. 

The return of tabletop gameplay to local WPN stores will take place prior to the release of Magic’s summer sets that were revealed today by WotC. Modern Horizons 2 will digitally launch on June 3, with an official release taking place on June 18. A prerelease event will take place at local game stores from June 11 to 17. The AFR prerelease is scheduled to take place from July 16 to 22, with a digital release on July 8 and an official launch on July 23. 

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Source: https://dotesports.com/mtg/news/mtg-tabletop-sanctioned-play-returns-to-us-at-end-of-may

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MTG Arena heats up with Historic Anthology V, Mirror, Mirror, and Jumpstart events

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Historic Anthology V will add 25 new cards to the Magic: The Gathering Historic digital format at the end of May, Wizards of the Coast announced today. 

Scheduled to launch on May 27, Historic Anthology V will include Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger, and Whirler Rogue. The anthology set will include a total of 25 cards. In addition to the release of Historic Anthology V, and a number of competitive tournaments taking place in the coming months, WotC revealed a new event today called Mirror, Mirror launching later this year. 

Exploring a meta with the return of cards like Oko, Thief of Crowns and Teferi, Time Raveler, the Mirror, Mirror event will offer MTG Arena players a revised verson of banned cards with nerfed stats and text reintroduced back into the Historic format. The event will take place later this year and will only run for a limited time. 

Other events taking place via MTG Arena include the Arena Open that begins on May 8, featuring gameplay in the Limited Sealed format. Players competing in the tournament have a chance to win cash prizes, qualification invites to the Strixhaven Championship, along with Will and Rowan card sleeves. Prizes and points can also be earned by players during the Strixhaven College Cup, starting on May 13 and running until the end of May. 

The month of June in MTG Arena will feature the return of Jumpstart, a Draft that features 46 different 20-card themed packs. Similar to last summer, the Jumpstart event will run for a limited time, ending in early July. And to celebrate the release of Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, an Arena Open will run from July 31 to Aug. 1.

Each MTG Arena event has various entry fee requirements, offering players rewards in the form of cash and other prizes. Historic Anthology V releases on May 27, Jumpstart returns from June to early July, and the Mirror, Mirror event will launch later this year. 

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Source: https://dotesports.com/mtg/news/mtg-arena-heats-up-with-historic-anthology-v-mirror-and-jumpstart-events

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