It’s preview season! Time to get unreasonably excited about cards, pronounce others overpowered without ever testing them, and dismiss out of hand cards that will eventually be metagame defining.
On a more serious note the next expansion, Kobolds and Catacombs, had a bunch of cards previewed at Blizzcon and the hype train has started. We get a peek at the next mechanics and some neat ideas they’ve implemented for the set. Here’s a quick recap with a few of my thoughts on the cards revealed so far.
If you’ve ever played with or against Patches you know how powerful it is to get a minion from your deck directly into play. Recruit is similar: the recruiting card pulls a random minion (sometimes with restrictions) out of your deck and puts it directly into play. The effect is obviously harder to control than Patches is but a free minion is extremely powerful. So far they’ve only spoiled two Recruit cards, one Warrior and one neutral (below), but both seem like they could be very powerful. The neutral looks harder to control but the Warrior card is similar to Shadow Essence and could be a build around.
This mechanic doesn’t have a keyword name so I’m just calling it escalate because that’s exactly what it does: the spellstones get more powerful as you perform the actions that trigger them. So far we’ve only seen two: the first, a damage based removal spell in druid, is probably good but the really exciting one is the copying machine spell in shaman:
This thing looks really cool. Overloading three multiple times (with the requirement of having this in hand) is probably more difficult than it sounds but the payoff is potentially absurd (I’m already having dreams of targeting Malygos with this). Three copies hitting the board is a huge and even getting two copies can be a big deal. This mechanic seems like it could be sweet and I can’t wait to see what they’re doing with the other spellstones.
Silly Case! Weapons aren’t a theme! Well, this time they are and they will probably make Oozes or Harrison a requirement again. Each class is getting a legendary weapon and they look powerful.
The priest weapon’s activation requirements for relatively low payoff means it is probably the weaker of the two spoiled but I could see it being a good kill condition in a spell heavy control priest deck. The mage weapon looks absurd to me as a finisher in an aggressive deck: you get to draw four cards a turn! Even if it’s destroyed on the opponent’s turn you still get to draw three. It’s non optional so fatigue could be a thing if the game drags but Mana Tide Totem ended games by giving a shaman player a nonstop flood of threats and this thing draws more and is harder to deal with. These weapons look potentially metagame defining.
We’ve seen somewhat similar mechanics (Kazakus potion), and these aren’t particularly exciting to me. The power level of the card will generally depend on the base effect of the spell and the random effect will probably just be a bonus: sometimes you’ll high roll and it’ll be situationally great and sometimes you’ll low roll and the second effect won’t matter as much. The one they’ve shown is cool but unless the other Unidentified spells have different random effects they don’t seem that interesting though they seem like they’ll probably be reasonably playable.
As always, a new Hearthstone expansion brings a ton of hype and excitement to the table. The only thing I can say for certain is the metagame is guaranteed in for a shakeup (and that at some point I’ll have four Malygos in play).