The Initial Design of the Curse of Naxxramas Adventure Rewards

The Initial Design of the Curse of Naxxramas Adventure Rewards

Ben Brode shared a document today on his Twitter account which showed what the initial design of the Naxxramas Adventure rewards looked like from back in 2013. There's not too many cards that ended up making it to the final set, but it sure does make you wonder what things could have been like with a Loatheb that prevented all healing instead of just increasing the cost of spells for a turn.

Interestingly, the list only has 25 cards on it, 5 less than the 30 we actually received. It's almost as if they didn't originally intend to have extra rewards for the end of each wing. This is further validated by not seeing any of the end of wing bosses on the list other than our best bud Loatheb. Of course, that's just some good ol' speculation.

Update: Ben doesn't believe at this point in design they had figured out the structure.

Quote from Ben Brode

I'm curious, there's only 25 cards here. Was this before it was decided that wings would reward cards?

I don't think we had figured out the single-player structure at this point.


Cards That Evolved

Some cards from initial design ended up making it into the game with slight modifications.

  • Dread Creeper eventually became Haunted Creeper. The cost was dropped by 1, and the attack was dropped by 2.
  • Stoneskin Gargoyle had no text or name change but did cost 2 less in the original design but had 2 less health. It was also a Beast - OP!
  • Shade of Naxxramas started out weaker at 1/1 and instead took a full turn longer to get onto the field. Ouch.


Fun Observations

  • Warriors would have had a killer card to go along with their Taunt synergies that exist today thanks to Tank Swap.
  • Mages see an early version of Shatter. It cost 2 more mana but it destroyed every Frozen minion.
  • Rogues were always destined for Poisonous awesomeness, something they brought recently with Envenom Weapon.
  • The Karazhan Druid card Enchanted Raven is seen in the set, but as the Hunter card Plaguebat.
  • Only six cards have Deathrattle in the initial design whereas fifteen ended up with it in final - half the set!
  • Necroknight is actually present in the game in its initial form, but not as a collectible card; It's a boss exclusive for many Naxx bosses.
  • Mr. Bigglesworth was deemed unworthy of a collectible card and was instead given an extra attack point and made as an easter egg during the Kel'Thuzad fight.
  • Initial design saw 7 spells coming out for the classes, but we only ended up with 4.

The Design Document

Here's the screenshot of the document that Ben shared.

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