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Discussion With Mike Donais About Elementals in Un'Goro

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

Blizzard LogoBlizzard

  1. Water Elemental
  2. Anomalus
  3. Ragnaros Lightlord
  4. Lightspawn
  5. Dust Devil
  6. Unbound Elemental
  7. Fireguard Destroyer
  8. Rumbling Elemental
  9. Earth Elemental
  10. Fire Elemental
  11. Neptulon
  12. Al’Akir the Windlord
  13. Arcane Anomaly
  14. Ice Rager
  15. Magma Rager
  16. Frost Elemental
  17. Baron Geddon
  18. Ragnaros the Firelord

 

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If more cheap elementals are introduced, silence will be needed for Ozruk, many decks will run at least one. Other cards compared with this are Ancient of War (it is used in many druid decks right now) and Soggoth the Slitherer (this one is bad), however, with some elemental synergy, it could have 15 health at some point, the point is, elementals must be played one turn before, so if you could play 2 (completely possible), it is a 9 mana 5/15 taunt, which is huge, not only against aggro decks, also midrange decks.

I don't know, maybe I am overreacting, but I think that card has a big potential. 

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47 minutes ago, FanOfValeera said:

If more cheap elementals are introduced, silence will be needed for Ozruk, many decks will run at least one. Other cards compared with this are Ancient of War (it is used in many druid decks right now) and Soggoth the Slitherer (this one is bad), however, with some elemental synergy, it could have 15 health at some point, the point is, elementals must be played one turn before, so if you could play 2 (completely possible), it is a 9 mana 5/15 taunt, which is huge, not only against aggro decks, also midrange decks.

I don't know, maybe I am overreacting, but I think that card has a big potential. 

I don't find him as drastic. Right now every deck has 1 clean removal card as it is, and when this comes out sylv and rag are shelved. So for standard the removal that is already in archetypes just change their target rather than gaining one more. Especially since he has 5 attack (big difference for removals like priest) and taunt (opens up Black Knight) he isn't that scary.

Edit: Not saying he isn't useful, just not game-changing scary. This does TOTALLY make sense why the removed Sylvanas Windrunner. As she is an instant counter.

Edited by Laragon

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1 minute ago, positiv2 said:

Wait, is Twilight Elemental really not getting the Elemental tribe tag? Tokens have a hard life :(

I think It is not listed because it is a token.  Note that elemental synergy requires play not summon so it is irrevelant anyway. It is sad because I hoped that my favourite WoW character will get a buff. Illidan Stormrage and his Flames of Azzinoth are not prepared to enter the meta

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27 minutes ago, Strongpoint said:

I think It is not listed because it is a token.  Note that elemental synergy requires play not summon so it is irrevelant anyway

Tokens can actually return to your hand. Some examples of cards that can do that are DuplicateFreezing Trap or Sap. So, in some rare cases, it does matter.

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5 hours ago, Laragon said:

I don't find him as drastic. Right now every deck has 1 clean removal card as it is, and when this comes out sylv and rag are shelved. So for standard the removal that is already in archetypes just change their target rather than gaining one more. Especially since he has 5 attack (big difference for removals like priest) and taunt (opens up Black Knight) he isn't that scary.

Edit: Not saying he isn't useful, just not game-changing scary. This does TOTALLY make sense why the removed Sylvanas Windrunner. As she is an instant counter.

Well, only a guaranteed counter if he's alone on the board.

Agree it's not that scary a card, it's too late against aggro and most other decks will have some sort of hard removal. You just have to be ready for it.

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