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Hearthstone's Game Director answers some community questions on the Ars Technica YouTube show.
Here are the most interesting questions and answers we've picked out:
- Wackiest card idea?
The "World Flipper" turns the game upside down. The "Auto-Pecker" is a chicken that does damage to whichever player mouses over it. There was also a 3-mana 1/1 Ooze that had the Battlecry: Gain +1/+1 for each game you've lost in a row.
- How many sets are you working on at the same time?
Both upcoming Year of the Raven sets are at the final design process. The first of the 2019 Year is at an initial design stage. So it's around 3 sets that they know about at the same time.
- Combos players have found that the devs didn't?
Freeze Mage and Miracle Rogue. Also the Explore Un'Goro > King Togwaggle > Skulking Geist combo.
- Misjudged cards?
Valeera the Hollow hasn't made much of an impact as they expected (that's not the first time the team admits that).
- On the Hall of Fame:
Some classes, like Mage, have lost some Classic cards. They are considering remaking some cards, that have rotated out of Standard format, into Classic cards - like Shatter.
- How did they come up with the fatigue mechanic?
At first, they had the same mechanic as other card games: when you run out of cards, you lose. But then they saw Jeff Kaplan from the Overwatch team playtesting Hearthstone and his reaction to losing a very long game, so they came up with the fatigue mechanic.
We recommend that you watch the entire video for more answers on the process of designing and naming cards, the Hall of Fame and other topics.
We've got a fun puzzle for you to solve from The Witchwood, as well as the answer to last week's episode.
Situation #20: What to Dude?
Welcome to the first follow-up episode of WTM! For those unfamiliar with the new format for the series, I've moved away from videos to try out a more community-oriented approach to WTM.
In episode 20, I presented the following situation from one my ladder matches:
I don't think I can sum up this situation any better than Ethiviath did in this comment. Here's what he had to say about this decision (with some minor edits for clarity):
I don't have much more to add than that! This was the exact play I made, and for all the same reasons.
Duskbreaker is the only true board clear we have in hand, and we just can't afford to waste it on such a low-investment board from our opponent. I'd rather Mass Dispel than Duskbreaker this turn, but both plays are inferior to Radiant Elemental + Potion of Madness on Drygulch Jailor + Dude + Dude. It denies him three Dudes of reload, develops our board, pops Divine Shield, removes one minion from our opponent's board, and empties our hand a bit to play around Divine Favor. Though our Dudes likely to die soon, they're also likely to soak up a few points of damage on their way out, which is just as good as healing in my book.
Situation #21: Azari Incoming!
Following up on my Vivid Velen guide, I'd like to present a challenging situation from one of my recent ladder matches with the deck. If you're unfamiliar with how the Vivid Velen cobmo works, I cover all of that and much more in the guide.
Here's the situation:
Deck Code: AAECAa0GBAntBbTOApDTAg37AaEE5QTJBtMK1grRwQLYwQLwzwLo0AKp4gLj6QKC9wIA
Replay Link: https://hsreplay.net/replay/kVZ6kdKS59mdnTpFpwqXE2
Cards in Hand:
Greater Diamond Spellstone Would only resurrect Radiant Elemental and Prophet Velen. Vivid Nightmare 2 Shadow Word: Death 2 Psychic Scream Mind Blast Shadow Essence 2 Loot Hoarder, 1 Bloodmage Thalnos, and 1 Radiant Elemental remain in my deck. Holy Nova My opponent just played The Final Seal and has Azari, the Devourer in their hand. A Prophet Velen and Radiant Elemental have already died this game, but both Loot Hoarders and Bloodmage Thalnos remain in my deck. I have a Greater Diamond Spellstone to resurrect these key combo pieces, but there's no way for us to OTK our opponent from 28 with just one Mind Blast and one Vivid Nightmare.
If we were to play Greater Diamond Spellstone, Vivid Nightmare the Velen, then Mind Blast, we would only deal 20 damage. Our opponent would be able to play his Azari on the following turn and kill Velen with his Demons on board, which would leave us with Holy Nova as our only source of damage for the rest of the game. Clearly, playing Spellstone here isn't a winning line. However, if we assume our opponent is going to play Azari next turn (spoiler alert: they play Azari next turn), there is a winning line to be found from this situation. Can you spot it? Let us know in the comments here on Icy Veins, in the reddit thread, or in a tweet to @Aleco_P.
As always, I highly encourage readers to submit their own situations to What's the Move! All you need to do is play with a deck tracker, send me the game's replay link, and include a screenshot of your situation and your decklist as I did above. The replay link and two screenshots will easily fit in a tweet, or in a direct message on Icy Veins or Reddit. I look forward to reviewing your submissions soon!