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As expected, the card reveals are now coming thick and fast. March 21st brought four more, which brings the total so far to twenty-eight. The Shaman Quest card was amongst those revealed in E.Malone's Journal Week 3.
For those interested in the flavour of the Journal, it can be found on the official site. Professor George H. Doyle's second video is shown at the bottom of this post. The rest of this article concentrates on the cards revealed.
As with all of the Quest cards so far, the Shaman Quest relies on doing something a certain number of times. It remains to be seen if there will be ways to counter this, or if you have to rely on being able counter the reward once it has happened.
Unite the Murlocs seems really powerful, although 10 Murlocs is a lot of Murlocs, especially if you have to keep the Quest and play it on turn 1 or 2, which seems likely. Megafin is the perfect reward because decks that have to play a huge number of cheap minions run out of cards fast, refilling your hand for five mana while developing a huge threat seems like it will probably be game winning in many situations. All that remains to be seen is if there are any new Murloc cards, and how the synergy plays out in practice.
So, there is a new Murloc card, which follows the pattern so far of printing a new card that is clearly designed to work alongside the Quest. Although it is not clear which way you would build a Murloc deck for maximum efficiency, the ability to Discover a Murloc is a powerful one, especially with Finja, the Flying Star in the rotation. It seems very likely that this card will see a lot of play. Just a note of caution to budding deckbuilders out there, Everyfin is Awesome does rotate out of Standard when Un'Goro is released, so that won't be able to go into this deck.
Tol'vir Stoneshaper builds on the Elemental synergy plan that is being pushed hard in this set. Obviously the card is pretty powerful if it comes down after an Elemental often enough. A 3/5 for 4 Mana is reasonable enough on the occasions that it doesn't trigger that the card will definitely be considered in Elemental heavy decks that have things to do on turn 3.
19-20 March: here.
Live reveal stream, 11 cards: here.
Un'Goro announcement video: here.
7.1 is live, brings Arena changes, balance tweaks and more
The latest update, Patch 7.1, is live. This update includes changes to Arena, the long awaited balance changes, and the introduction of Un'Goro pre-purchase.
The entire list for the notes can be seen at the bottom of this post, but here are the highlights.
Balance and Ladder Changes
As announced previously, Small-Time Buccaneer is now a 1/1 minion. Spirit Claws now costs 2 Mana. You will no longer be able to fall below certain Ranks on ladder. Those ranks are 15,10, and 5.
Also now live are the announced Arena changes.
Arena has seen a major overhaul, with the format being Standard only. Commons, and neutral Basic and Classic cards will be less frequent. Spells will be offered more often. If you have Golden cards in your collection, they will appear in your draft.
The keyword Poisonous has been added to replace "Destroy any minion damaged by this minion". This will apply to Pit Snake, Emperor Cobra, Maexxna, and Patient Assassin. From the pieces we have seen regarding Un'Goro, it will probably also apply to Plants in the new set, and possibly some other cards as well.
There have been changes to the matchmaking system. Presumably in line with the discussion with Iksar last week. If so, these changes will mainly impact Legendary players.
Ranked Play Upon achieving certain milestones in Ranked Play, it will no longer be possible to lose ranks beyond those milestones for that season. The milestones are Rank 20, 15, 10, 5, and Legend. Arena Creating decks for the Arena will now feature Standard cards only. Arena runs that were started prior to the patch will still include Wild cards. Rares, Epics, and Legendaries will be offered more frequently during Arena deckbuilding. Spells will now show up with a higher frequency. Neutral Basic / Classic cards will appear less often. If you own a Golden version of a card, the first copy you draft will be Golden. If you own multiple Golden copies of a card, all copies you draft will be Golden. Balance Updates Small-time Buccaneer’s health reduced from 2 to 1. The mana cost of Spirit Claws increased from 1 to 2. GeneralNew keyword: Poisonous - Minions with Poisonous will destroy any minion they inflict damage to. Pit Snake, Patient Assassin, Emperor Cobra, and Maexxna have been updated with the new keyword. Added some memory optimizations. Improved matchmaking for new players. We are testing an update to the account creation process for mobile players. This will minimize the overhead associated with creating a new Battle.net account, and will be available in limited release. Maximum in-game music volume has been capped in order to retain the best audio quality. [Android] We made some optimizations to Android distribution, allowing for a smaller install size and smoother patching in the future. Bug Fixes Resolved inconsistencies in the way that Small Time Buccaneer’s Attack interacts with effects such as those generated by Humility, Keeper of Uldaman, and Crazed Alchemist. Resolved an issue where a Kazakus potion spell cards could appear blank when copied by a minion or spell effect. Knuckles will now correctly use its effect when under the effects of Misdirection. Addressed an issue with the interaction of Wrath’s card draw timing in conjunction with Daring Reporter. Snipe will now correctly trigger after Potion of Polymorph. Djinni of Zephyrs will now correctly copy spells buffed by spell damage. Bouncing Blade will now correctly continue bouncing after clearing a Divine Shield. Resolved an issue where seasonal reward cards could take a while to show up in the Collection Manager. Searching the Collection Manager with a class name will now correctly display Tri-Class cards. Resolved issues that could slow or stop payment authentication when using the in-game Shop. Fixed many minor visual issues and some card text inconsistencies. (source)
The official site has published a discussion with Mike Donais about the design process of Elementals for Journey to Un'Goro. The article contains a lot of interesting information, as well as four new cards.
As usual when the designers discuss their work, the article is well worth a read. Anyone interested in the design process should take a look. For the purposes of this article and comments though, we will concentrate on the new cards revealed.
Stone Sentinel introduces us to how Elementals are going to function, where the full power of the card is unleashed if you also played an Elemental on the previous turn. A comparable card is Jade Chieftain, which in a straight stats battle will probably come out on top. However, if the metagame goes the right way, Stone Sentinel could still be a playable card in a control deck as aggressive decks often struggle to get through two Taunt minions in one turn. Shaman can also usually find ways to use wide boards, and generating three minions from one card will have added value because of this. This is a good example of why just adding up stats isn't always the best way to decide how good a card is, and the card will require testing within a synergetic deck to see how powerful it is going to be.
While Ozruk has some "wow" factor, (It is stated in the article that the design team have seen it with 30 Health), it is probably aimed more at casual players than serious ones. Unless it can combine with another card to become untargetable, then a huge Health total might not be as good as it seems most of the time. Ancient of War comes down just in time to be a huge nuisance to aggro decks, while Soggoth the Slitherer almost always eats a relevant amount of damage. Ozruk has neither of those benefits, and although it will definitely win some games as a 5/20 Taunt minion, it seems likely that there are will be too many ways for decks to circumvent a single expensive card like this.
After seeing the first two cards, it was clear we were going to need some enablers. Fire Fly and Flame Geyser are two of those. A little like predicting Jade cards, these are going to be difficult to have a feel for until they are played in the new meta. They do seem like good cards on face value alone though, and when Elemental synergy is added in, it seems likely that we'll be playing these cards next month!
The other notable point regarding Elementals in the article, was the list of cards that will now be classed as Elementals. Those cards are listed below. We know, from when Mechs were added, that even if there are cards that impact Elementals in a negative way, there will be no dust refund for the changed cards. (Other than Ragnaros of course, as it is entering the Hall of Fame.)
Water Elemental Anomalus Ragnaros Lightlord Lightspawn Dust Devil Unbound Elemental Fireguard Destroyer Rumbling Elemental Earth Elemental Fire Elemental Neptulon Al’Akir the Windlord Arcane Anomaly Ice Rager Magma Rager Frost Elemental Baron Geddon Ragnaros the Firelord
There’s a current theory, based on two major clues, placing the release of the next Hearthstone expansion in the beginning of April.
Namely, the date is Thursday the 6th of April. This conclusion was reached when u/17inchcorckscrew used a well-known trick: he/she set his/her computer’s clock ahead until the Un’Goro pack he/she had became openable. If you want the exact hour, the pack was made available after 10 a.m. PST in the Americas and after 7 p.m. EST in Europe.
Screenshot provided by the Redditor mentioned above. The client crashed when the user tried to open the pack.
Hearthpwn has also pointed out that there is currently an Amazon coin promotion for pre-purchasing Journey to Un’Goro. The offer is due to end exactly at 11:59 p.m. PST on April 5th.
Now, this is pretty strong evidence, but the Un’Goro packs ingame mention that they are “available in mid April*!” and the 6th of April isn’t exactly in the middle of April. Perhaps the asterisk signifies that this isn't something set in stone.
On the other hand, if this turns out to be true, it will be the second time that something about the new expansion is accidentally leaked – the first time being when its name and its dinosaur-themed content were revealed a few days before its actual announcement.
Four more cards have been revealed since our previous update. This brings the total revealed so far to twenty.
With under a month to reveal 135 cards, spoiler season is well underway, so let's take a look at the most recently spoiled cards.
The first thing that springs to mind when seeing this card is that it is designed to be played with Awaken the Makers, the new Priest Quest card that requires you to summon seven Deathrattle minions. Cards from your opponent's deck will not have good synergy with your deck, but they will tend to be good cards (other than situational cards like weapon buffs, or Quests that have been mulliganed away). Babbling Book was not expected to be a very playable card, but found a home in many decks by being just good enough. I think Crystalline Oracle is also destined to be played, but I am not sure how much.
Sunkeeper Tarim seems to have many potential uses, and as such will likely find a home somewhere. As its ability can turn your army of 1/1s into a huge army at a moment's notice, just the threat of it being in your deck will put pressure on the opponent to keep that army under control. At first, Tarim also seems to be an okay solution to opposing Jade cards, as it would take three enemy 3/3s to get through the 3/7 taunt. The main problem with that, is that if your deck is far enough behind that it needs to turn Jades into 3/3, the Jade player will probably make even bigger minions on the following turn. The best use seems to be the combination of the two,which is to force through final damage in an aggressive deck.
This is a very interesting card. If the meta is fast, then Shadow Visions will be unplayable, but if it is slow, then the card can be used as a way to generate slots in your deck. Having only one of some cards will help to reduce the clutter that sometimes occurs in control decks, and so this card will have to be tested quite heavily. There is also the more amusing combo with the new Elise card, which would enable you to find your pack faster.
As with Crystalline Oracle, Clutchmother Zavas seems like it was created to fit in with the Warlock Quest. One of the big problems with Lakkari Sacrifice is that even in a control shell, discarding six cards over the course of a game is a very expensive ask. Your hand empties, and then you have to not only refill it, but be prepared to discard some of it. Zavas appears to solve those problems, and has a big upside as well. I would expect this card to not only fit into a Control Warlock Quest deck with ease, but to enable the archetype to exist.
Live reveal stream, 11 cards: here.
Un'Goro announcement video: here.