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New cards, game mechanics, and info about the upcoming set from the "What's Next" panel

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Heaps of new information about the upcoming set was revealed during the "Hearthstone | What's Next" panel. Come take a look at everything you might have missed without a Blizzcon Virtual Ticket.

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Those who purchased the Blizzcon Virtual Ticket were treated to an illuminating "Hearthstone | What's Next" panel, which saw the reveal of a number of new cards, game mechanics, and features that will join Hearthstone with the release of Kobolds and Catacombs this December. Let's kick things off by exploring our two new card types, Spellstones and Unidentified Magic Items.

Unidentified Magic Items

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The first Unidentified Magic Item to be announced was a Priest card called Unidentified Elixir. The image you see above is exactly how the card will appear during deck construction; the card will gain its random "bonus effect" only after it finds its way into your hand.

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Once drawn, the Unidentified Elixir transforms into one of four potential "identified" elixirs. The cost (3 mana) and described effect (+2/+2 to a minion) stay consistent throughout all four potential elixirs, while the bonus effect varies wildly. Elixir of Shadows, for example, summons a 1/1 copy of the minion you target it with, while Elixir of Purity gives the minion Divine Shield. Each of the four elixirs appear to be powerful for their mana cost, but may struggle to see play in constructed formats due to their inherently random nature.

As "a love letter to classic dungeon crawlers", the thematic design of the Unidentified Magic Items brilliantly ties into the themes of the upcoming set. Everyone who's played a dungeon crawler can empathize with the unique feeling of excitement that comes from discovering a magical item deep within a dungeon. Unidentified Magic Items pay homage to that feeling by being a mystery until you draw them. Revealed in a demo clip during the panel, an animation will transform the card in a location which is between your deck and your hand. It is not yet known if the slight pause which occurs as you draw the card will be apparent to opponents.

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Two more Unidentified Magic Items will be joining Unidentified Elixir, a shield and a weapon. It has not been revealed what these cards will do, but it seems safe to bet that Warrior will be one of the other classes to receive this exciting new card type.

Spellstones

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Each class will receive a Spellstone in the latest expansion, a new card type which appears to be quite powerful and promises to be the focal point of several new decks.

Spellstones begin as relatively weak spells with modest effects, but evolve into more and more devastating spells as certain conditions are met. Druid's Lesser Jasper Spellstone starts off as a 1 mana spell which deals 2 damage to a minion, but if you can gain 3 armor while the card is in your hand it will transform into Jasper Spellstone.

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The card will retain its mana cost after transforming into Jasper Spellstone while doubling its damage output. One mana for 4 damage is a great deal, but it gets even better from there. If you can gain three more armor while holding onto Jasper Spellstone the card will transform into Greater Jasper Spellstone.

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Talk about efficient! One mana for 6 damage is obviously incredibly powerful, but it remains to be seen just how difficult will it be to evolve these cards while they're burning a hole in your hand. The Jasper Spellstones seem to mitigate that risk by being useful in their lesser form, while other Spellstones will fit more in the "build-around-me" category.

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Shaman's Spellstones pack a vastly different punch than their Druid counterparts. The payoff for evolving the Spellstone all the way up to its "Greater" form is massive for Shaman, while the initial "Lesser" form is quite lackluster.

Though not quite as much of a thematic design success as the Unidentified Magical Items, the game design space which Spellstones open up from could potentially deliver on some incredibly novel gameplay experiences. There's a world of difference between the dedicated "build-around-me" Spellstones and the more flexible ones which pack a punch at the "Lesser" level, and it will be exciting to see where the remaining seven Spellstones fall on this scale.

Kobolds and Catacombs Spoilers

Sprinkled in among the new card mechanics and game modes were a number of spoilers from the new set. Here they are in all their glory:

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Wandering Monster is latest in a long list of "probably not quite good enough to see play" Hunter Secrets.

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The Legendary weapon for the Mage class has some of the most alluring text you could possibly print on a Hearthstone card, "Draw 3 Cards". An incredibly powerful effect, Aluneth and the rest of the Legendary weapons might mark the dawning of the age of Gluttonous Ooze.

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A callback to Moat Lurker, is Carnivorous Cube the missing piece that dedicated Deathrattle decks were looking for? Summoning 2 copies of a minion is obviously powerful, but the set-up cost of destroying one of your own minions could be a bit too high.

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Four 1/1s for the price of one card? Sign me up! Given how ubiquitous Fire Fly has become, it wouldn't surprise me at all if this card ends up seeing some serious play.

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Our second look at a card with the new ability Recruit, Guild Recruiter will summon a random minion from your deck with cost 4 or less whenever it triggers its Battlecry. With the right deck building this card could be extremely powerful, as summoning a 4 mana minion and a 2/4 for 5 mana is some serious value.

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This card has "Combo" written all over it. Cheating out a Malygos or a Gadgetzan Auctioneer ahead of schedule could allow Rogue to set up some crazy combos as early as turn 5.

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Our final spoiler of the day will surely be one of the most highly anticipated and hotly debated cards leading up to the release of Kobolds and Catacombs. When Rin, the First Disciple dies she will add The First Seal to your hand. The First Seal costs a whopping 5 mana to summon a 2/2 Demon, but it also adds The Second Seal to your hand. That card summons a 3/3 and adds The Third Seal to your hand, which summons a 4/4 and adds The Fourth Seal to your head, which summons a 5/5 and adds The Final Seal to your hand.

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31 mana later - say hello to Azari, the Devourer!

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How cool is that? Though this sequence of events is probably way too slow to ever see serious play in constructed, it's pretty hard not to get excited about the idea of destroying your opponent's entire deck. Sure, there might be faster ways to kill your opponent with 41 mana, but you'd be hard pressed to find a cooler way to win a game of Hearthstone.

Dungeon Runs

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Dungeon Runs are a new single-player game mode coming to Hearthstone with the release of the next expansion. They are currently available to demo at Blizzcon, which means that much more information should be coming about Dungeon Runs in the near future. The "What's Next" panel offered us a taste of what to expect from this new game mode, but that taste has only left me hungering for seconds.

Players will begin each Dungeon Run by selecting one of the nine classes. They will start out with only 10 cards in their deck and 15 life to work with. From there, they will attempt to fight a series of 8 encounters against bosses of increasing difficulty. There will be 48 total bosses with varying abilities and decks, and each boss can appear in any order. A single defeat will result in permanent death, marking the end of a player's Dungeon Run.

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Defeating a boss will reward the player with some loot, which comes in the form of cards that will be added to your deck for future boss encounters.

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Also acquired by defeating bosses, players can acquire powerful passive abilities called Treasure. These abilities will carry over for each boss fight in the remainder of the Dungeon Run.


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Treasure might also come in the form of extremely powerful cards that will be added to your deck. Who else isn't licking their chops at the thought of casting random Pyroblasts until someone dies?!

By all accounts, Dungeon Run is shaping up to be one of the most exciting new additions in the history of Hearthstone. The first reports from the floors of Blizzcon are coming back with glowing reviews, which is only making me all the more jealous that I'm not at Blizzcon.

The Best of the Rest

  • You can look forward to the more new spoilers for Kobolds and Catacombs on November 20th.
  • There will be a "league of adventures" as Legendary minions in this set. Among them was our first new card, Marin the Fox.
  • All players will receive a free copy of Marin the Fox for logging in sometime next week.
  • Tons of art was revealed from the upcoming set during the panel, which means that we should have plenty to speculate on in the days to come.

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Can Azari be created by 'Add a random demon to your hand' type effects? Guessing it's not in the pool.

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That Warlock stuff is going to give at least a nice fun casual deck :)

As far as I know non-collectible cards are not in the pool of discover or add or similar effects.

Edited by Caldyrvan

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4 hours ago, Bozonik said:

Can Azari be created by 'Add a random demon to your hand' type effects? Guessing it's not in the pool.

 I highly doubt it. Tempted to try out Fatiguelock (yes I know, I won't work) with that legenadary.

Not a fan of the Unidentified Magic Item system, but spellstones looks good.

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Looks like the worst expansion yet. Oh well.

4 hours ago, Bozonik said:

Can Azari be created by 'Add a random demon to your hand' type effects? Guessing it's not in the pool.

Tokens cannot be added. Same goes for all token Imps.

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9 hours ago, Aleco said:

An incredibly powerful effect, Aluneth and the rest of the Legendary weapons might mark the dawning of the age of Gluttonous Ooze

Are we sure about this? You know Acidic Swamp Ooze costs 1 less mana, and Harrison Jones draws cards for remaining durabilities. Though first one has one less health then Gluttonous Ooze, as you play the card at later stages, I don't think it matters too much.

Shaman spellstone is really bad. You need to have something valuable on board beforehand, and bunch of mana crystals to overload, which doesn't seem possible with the current playstyle of shaman decks. Maybe infamous 4 mana 7/7 guy will make a comeback. I think that it will never see play competitively.

For the druid one though, it is not very well thought I guess. 6 damage for 1 mana is really high, and the requirement for upgrading is not that problematic. Once you have the DK on board, 3 armor is your hero power anyways.

If priest legendary weapon was rogue legendary weapon with a decent reward, I could say that the miracle rogue will be Top T2/Bottom T1 . Priest can't make use of it well enough. Lyra the Sunshard should help, but again, those spells are random and priest has many spells which costs a lot.

I also agree that, this expansion will most probably suck.

 

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1 hour ago, FanOfValeera said:

I also agree that, this expansion will most probably suck.

After we got quests we are prepared to endure a lot now, I guess :D

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11 hours ago, Bozonik said:

Can Azari be created by 'Add a random demon to your hand' type effects? Guessing it's not in the pool.

That's a great question, and I hope not! If it can we might be in for some really cheap wins.

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5 hours ago, FanOfValeera said:

Are we sure about this? You know Acidic Swamp Ooze costs 1 less mana, and Harrison Jones draws cards for remaining durabilities. Though first one has one less health then Gluttonous Ooze, as you play the card at later stages, I don't think it matters too much.

I agree, vs. 0 attack weapons your suggestions seem better.

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6 hours ago, FanOfValeera said:

Are we sure about this? You know Acidic Swamp Ooze costs 1 less mana, and Harrison Jones draws cards for remaining durabilities. Though first one has one less health then Gluttonous Ooze, as you play the card at later stages, I don't think it matters too much.

While the other two are better against Legendary 0-attack weapons, there will still be non-legendary weapons, such as Fiery War Axe or Truesilver Champion, where Gluttonous Ooze is arguably the best choice. So, it's about how popular the non-legendary weapons are going to be.

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If the legendary weapons will fit well in the meta (and I assume somehow most of them will) everyone will (have to) use the weapon destroyer cards ... pretty bad development imo.

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1 hour ago, positiv2 said:

While the other two are better against Legendary 0-attack weapons, there will still be non-legendary weapons, such as Fiery War Axe or Truesilver Champion, where Gluttonous Ooze is arguably the best choice. So, it's about how popular the non-legendary weapons are going to be.

Well, I didn't think about the other weapons, and I guess neither did the original poster, though if other weapons see play commonly, you are right :)

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I don't feel great about the new legendary weapons.

If they are bad and nobody plays them - well, then they have 0 impact and it is like they don't even exist.

If they are good and see quite some use - well, it seems liklely that anti-weapon cards will be used frequently.

In itself that isn't a problem.

 

But what about classes that already use weapons? Like Warrior e.g.?

Until now these clases have some powerful weapons. But the big question always was: Will I be paired against such a class? Is it useful to use an anti-weapon card? If I play against a warrior, that will probably be a could idea. But if I run against Priest? A (quite) useless card. The answer to the question wasn't a 100% one - some used an anti-weapon card, some not.

If this line of thought changes to: Well, how many weapons will the enemy have? Most will run a legendary weapon, no matter the class. And if I run against a warrior, he will have more weapons. And the answer will be quite easy: Well, yes, I'll definitly run 1 or 2 anti-weapon cards.

 

With strong weapons available for every class there is next to no reason not to include anti-weapon cards. And that is a HUGE setback for classes that already relied on weapons.

It makes them way weaker, because the meta will have tons of anti-weapon cards more in the decks.

 

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I had the same thought, now everyone has to include anti-weapon cards (limiting their other options) and all classes who usually or often play weapons have to either include more weapons to compensate for it or play with less/no weapons at all.

On the other hand some cards might see play with this now, Doomerang comes to mind. We have no idea what cards will be in the new expansion so maybe similar, weapon synergy, cards will be included. But who knows :D

Edited by Caldyrvan

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Haven't thought about Molten Blade but it's still too random and to wait until it transform into something useful is not a good thing for a well constructed deck, I guess.

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Already have the overload control shaman and now we have greater sapphire spellstone. Late game 0 mana snowfury giant+greater sapphire spellstone to give you 4 giants then spirit echo all of them.

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On 04/11/2017 at 10:03 AM, FanOfValeera said:

Shaman spellstone is really bad. You need to have something valuable on board beforehand, and bunch of mana crystals to overload, which doesn't seem possible with the current playstyle of shaman decks. Maybe infamous 4 mana 7/7 guy will make a comeback. I think that it will never see play competitively.

I think it's more likely to appear in a control shaman list with Earth Elemental and Ancestral Spirit. Seems a bit greedy though, does run the danger of being a dead card for too long too often.

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Kabal Courier could give a Rin to a mage or priest (occasionally).

As long as the deck is already built to duplicate minions... it is conceivable to cast all your seals in 1 turn.

This could be a spectacular (albeit very rare) alternate ending to say a timewarp deck, when Archmage Antonidas is stuck at the bottom of your deck, or got hit by a Dirty Rat.

Hey, it could happen.

-------------------------------------

On another note, I love the potential of Carnivorous Cube. Having messed around with deathrattle decks quitea bit, to me, it DOES feel like that could be the missing piece.  Unlike Moat Lurker, the cube actually has decent stats and might survive a turn to let you play Spiritsinger Umbra before you kill it off.

Or if you want to indulge in more of a "Pie In The Sky" scenario, on turn 9 play umbra and cube together.

Edited by HugeHoss

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Couldn't resist trying out Marin... so out went a Bonemare, in went Marin, probably the worst ever tempo-rogue tech choice ever! So far two Marins, first time I drew it I had lethal elsewhere. Second time it went down empty-handed on Turn 9 against a Dragon-InnerFire Priest, in a game that was looking lost. He had to dragonfire to clear my board though, killing what remained of the 0/8. So my turn 10 was 3-mana summon two deathwings, and play the topdecked bonemare to boot. 33/33 in stats, not a bad turn!

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19 hours ago, Bozonik said:

Couldn't resist trying out Marin... so out went a Bonemare, in went Marin, probably the worst ever tempo-rogue tech choice ever! So far two Marins, first time I drew it I had lethal elsewhere. Second time it went down empty-handed on Turn 9 against a Dragon-InnerFire Priest, in a game that was looking lost. He had to dragonfire to clear my board though, killing what remained of the 0/8. So my turn 10 was 3-mana summon two deathwings, and play the topdecked bonemare to boot. 33/33 in stats, not a bad turn!

He truly is a joy to play with. Did the same swap in my Rogue deck just to get him in there to try out!

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4 hours ago, Blainie said:

He truly is a joy to play with. Did the same swap in my Rogue deck just to get him in there to try out!

Yeah, been running into him in all sorts of decks, guess everyone wants to try him. I've still only managed to play him the once, might have to stick him in a wild Reno deck so I can actually play him hehe.

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24 minutes ago, Bozonik said:

Yeah, been running into him in all sorts of decks, guess everyone wants to try him. I've still only managed to play him the once, might have to stick him in a wild Reno deck so I can actually play him hehe.

I find myself adjusting my plays and holding lethal so that I can trigger the treasure spells. It's the only way with a Keleseth Rogue deck!

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