It should probably be Sorcerer's Apprentice, Brawl, and Scavenging Hyena + Unleash the Hounds, but it's kinda not been. I think a lot of the low-cost neutral minions that draw cards could possibly be restricting how some classes get alternative options in the future. But currently I don't feel like there's anything necessarily restricting what they can make.
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Jul 6, 2019Dorkpork posted a message on A Case for an Unnerfing and Hall of Faming of Warsong CommanderPosted in: General Discussion
Having believed Hearthpwn was still closing, I hadn't bothered to post this here. It's pretty exciting that it isn't! Over on outof.cards and reddit (linked are those threads), I posted this in order to make a statement, start a discussion, and hear as many opinions as I could from the Hearthstone community. So, furthering that, I'd love to hear opinions from some of the people I've shared this community with for several years. What do you think about this topic?
I've copied over the thread from outof.cards, but it's a little finnicky, if you want to read the original and the discussion there, or the discussion on reddit, go check them out from the links above.
I'm going to begin with making the assumption that there are a considerable amount of new players to Hearthstone who won't know what I'm talking about if I don't otherwise explain some HS history, so I'll start there. If you're already familiar with the history of this card, feel free to skip ahead.
Warsong Commander has a pretty significant history, though to a newer player, it probably wouldn't seem like it. That's because the current Warsong Commander is an entirely different card than that which was a crucial part in one of the most iconic decks of Hearthstone's history. In the very early days of Hearthstone, Warsong Commander looked like this:
This was actually after a very early buff to the card, in which it was given +1 Health. The issue with this card at the time was probably as obvious as it is now. This version of Warsong Commander caused games in which players had to be cautious of dealing damage to enemy Warriors, because at a certain point they would be able to play Warsong Commander, Molten Giant, Molten Giant, Youthful Brewmaster, Youthful Brewmaster, Molten Giant, Molten Giant, and often deal well over 30 damage. Keep in mind, this is during a time in the game in which giants were 10/10s and playing Warsong Commander into Boulderfist Ogre or Chillwind Yeti was among one of the strongest things you could do. So, the card was problematic. And it was rightfully nerfed, to this version:
This nerf was seen as extremely oppressive to the card, though all-in-all it was a pretty fair one. It was still obviously combo-able with Frothing Berserker and Raging Worgen to get potential lethals with Whirlwind and Inner Rage type effects, but it wasn't a very successful or popular deck; the burst the deck required just wasn't high enough. In 2014, Blackrock Mountain was released, and decks like Freeze Mage, Handlock, and fringe Dragon decks rose in popularity. Mech Mage, Oil Rogue, Face Hunter, Midrange Druid, Midrange Paladin, and Zoo Warlock were among the top tiered decks. From early on, it was apparent that what would become known as Patron Warrior would rise in popularity: "The fix to Warsong Commander* and the introduction of Emperor [Thaurissan] means we will be seeing a lot more huge Warrior combos using Frothing [Berserker], Raging Worgen, and now Grim Patron." (Tempo Storm Meta Snapshot #12)
* - Warsong Commander previously had an issue in which "token" minions, ie. minions from any source other than their own card, wouldn't gain Charge. Additionally, minions with 3-or-less Attack that gained additional Attack (giving them 4 or more) from their Battlecry would not gain Charge, circumventing how effect triggers are supposed to stack.
The additions of Grim Patron and Emperor Thaurissan gave tremendous support to the previously fringe Combo Warrior archetype, and the meta was well suited for Patron Warrior to take off. Decks running small, persistent minions like Haunted Creeper were regularly top tier, and Patron Warrior proved efficient at dealing with small-stats-but-very-wide boards, and these board states grew the power level of eventual Patron combo turns. Additionally, Patrons were impressively stable at dealing with the most powerful minion in the history of the game at that time, Dr. Boom, and nothing stopped Patron Warrior from just also running Boom. If you can sometimes beat 'em, who says you still can't play 'em? Patron Warrior became the anti-aggro police deck on ladder, effectively countering what most of all decks were doing.
Following Blackrock Mountain was The Grand Tournament, which did three major things worth noting. First, it offered Patron Warrior almost nothing (Bash would see play in Control Warrior, and Alexstrasza's Champion would see play in Dragon Warrior). However, all Warriors got one of the most crucial cards in the history of Warrior deckbuilding: Justicar Trueheart, who would immediately see play in most slower Warrior decks, inevitably being played in certain Patron builds slightly longer down the road. The second thing TGT did was introduce Mysterious Challenger, Murloc Knight, and Competitive Spirit. This gave the already solid Midrange Paladin the new name Secret Paladin, and it quickly became one of the best decks in the game. Lastly, it gave legs to the big breakout deck of the set, Dragon Priest, with the cards Wymrest Agent, Twilight Guardian, and Chillmaw. However, these decks had no real way of stopping Patron Warrior in the hands of a knowledgeable player, because their few answers weren't enough to outnumber Warrior's removal package, and Patron remained king for several months.
Then, in October of 2015, Warsong Commander was nerfed a final time, and in the following months, it sunk further and further in popularity, until it was essentially a joke. The card read as it now does:
The card was regarded to have such a significant fall from grace that it spawned a lot of both grief and jokes from the community. The card became effectively useless and went from one of the most played cards in the game to one of the least. Only one month later, League of Explorers was released, and became regarded by many as one of the best Hearthstone sets ever. It gave support to the already solid Aggro Shaman, created an entirely new combo deck in Murloc Paladin, gave Priest great control tools in Entomb and Excavated Evil, blew people away with the incredibly efficient Tomb Pillager, birthed entire new archetypes with Sir Finley Mrrgglton, Brann Bronzebeard, Elise Starseeker, and Reno Jackson, and gave Warriors Cursed Blade, which was regarded mostly as a joke. Regardless, everyone was pretty happy with the set, as aggro, control, and combo decks all had support. And furthermore, the following set, Whispers of the Old Gods, completely transformed the game, both by introducing a massive number of archetypes, and by introducing the Wild/Standard formats. This upset a number of Patron players who thought the Wild format would have made a good home for Patron Warrior--others, however, believed Patron Warrior would simply dominate the format forever, and in hindsight there's certainly validity to both of those opinions at the time.
The Discussion in 2019
There are four major points I'd like to present as the primary reasons for which Warsong Commander should be changed yet again. Here's a little more backstory: in early 2017, massive issues with the Classic set were recognized when a number of cards from the set were frequent offenders in powerful decks (or regarded as improper to have in Standard). Ten cards (Conceal, Ice Lance, Power Overwhelming, Azure Drake, Captain's Parrot, Gelbin Mekkatorque, Elite Tauren Chieftain, Old Murk-Eye, Ragnaros the Firelord, and Sylvanas Windrunner) were removed from the Classic set and put into a new, Wild-only set, known as Hall of Fame. A year later, three additional cards (Coldlight Oracle, Ice Block, and Molten Giant) were moved from Classic to Hall of Fame. Molten Giant marked the first card to be unnerfed during this transition, with its cost dropping from a nerfed 25 back down to a pre-nerf 20. In 2019, an additional three cards from the Classic set were moved to the Hall of Fame (Naturalize, Divine Favor, and Doomguard). Again in 2019, an additional two cards were moved from an eternal set to Hall of Fame, however, this time it was from the Basic set (Mind Blast and Vanish). A number of cards were added to Basic and Classic to replace some holes in the set caused by these changes.
1. The first point is, considering that now both a) cards have been unnerfed when being moved from an eternal set to Hall of Fame and b) cards from the Basic set have been moved to Hall of Fame, there's no practical reason restricting Blizzard from making the decision of reverting Warsong Commander to it's text "Whenever you summon a minion with 3 or less Attack, give it Charge." and moving it from Basic to Hall of Fame. In other words, it is not a decision that would go against their previous conduct.
2. The second point is that the card in its most previous iteration would not go against the design team's philosophy of interaction in the Wild format. Hearthstone is a game with specific types of interaction, which gives a specific perception on how interactive a deck, card, combo, mechanic, or interaction can be. To efficiently interact, you need specific ways of preemptively resisting or negating what your opponent will do, in the context of dealing with combo (otherwise, interaction can be as simple as using a spell to remove an in-play creature, but in this instance we're discussing preventing OTKs). Keeping Patron Warrior's history in mind, we can make note of a couple of things: a) Warsong Commander was nerfed before the introduction of the Wild format, b) cards designed explicitly for Wild have so far not been made (at least not as a part of Standard sets), c) Patron Warrior typically requires Emperor Thaurissan to function optimally, which is mostly considered very slow for combos in Wild, and d) cards have been made since the nerfing of Warsong Commander that either preemptively interact with or simply outpace Patron Warrior. Existing cards that can collectively hinder the power of Patron Warrior include Ice Block, Evasion, Explosive Runes, Potion of Polymorph, Reno Jackson, Ironwood Golem, Thing from Below, Sludge Belcher, Twilight Guardian, Rotten Applebaum, Zilliax, Tar Creeper Obsidian Statue (and several Big Priest cards), Voidlord, Mal'Ganis, Bloodreaver Gul'dan, Molten Giant, Mountain Giant, Arcane Giant, Defender of Argus, Loatheb, Dirty Rat, Hecklebot, Chillmaw, Tunnel Blaster, Twin Emperor Vek'lor, and Soggoth the Slitherer, and decks that would likely do well or average against Patron Warrior include Quest Mage, Big Priest, Handlock/Control Warlock, Control/Odd Warrior, Control Paladin, Odd Rogue, Taunt Druid, and certain Shudderwock Shaman builds. It's also worth noting that in regards to interactivity, many have argued that certain Wild decks have little options in regards to effective interaction, and while these complaints have been officially addressed, no solutions have so far been made, and considerable buffs and options have been given to those decks since (chiefly, I'm talking about Big Priest).
3. The third point is actually a challenge to the design team's Hall of Fame philosophy and the broader concept of the Wild format. In 2017, former Lead Producer Yong Woo spoke about their plans for Hall of Fame, stating "For us, the most important aspect of [the] Standard format is diversity. If a metagame largely consists of decks with similar cores and ideas, we'll consider making changes." (Woo's interview with invenglobal). I want to challenge that statement in an honestly sneaky way, but I believe it to be relevant. The Basic and Classic sets seem to exist with two ideas in mind that were to an extent relevant at inception and especially relevant now: to introduce a pool of cards to new players that offer some level of significance to basic deckbuilding without being abhorrently quintessential to certain decks or strategies, and to offer experienced players some deckbuilding options when theoretically superior options aren't available at the time or when there is a significant importance from what that card offers without being build-around cards themselves (Novice Engineer and Fireball being two examples; Mind Blast and Vanish being not (thus the Hall of Fame rotation)). Out of the 133 cards currently in the Basic set, many are playable and relevant both in the hands of new players and veterans, and can often be bought up in discussion as potential inclusions in competitive decks. What statistically unplayable/underplayed cards in the Basic set means is that those cards are likely inherently unusable in decks for any player regardless of their level of skill or experience. When options in the Basic set are compromised by unplayable/unused cards, those who feel it the most are the newer players. Moving back to actual design philosophy, here's another extract from that same interview with Yong Woo. When asked what to expect for the Wild format, Woo says, "We think of the Wild format as a place to play with all the cards that ever have been or will be a part of Hearthstone, so we want to support the format accordingly." This obviously should not be taken at strictly face value, because when a card is nerfed, fixed, or tweaked, it is technically no longer that original card. But what if a card's name, cost, stats, and art remain the same, but the effect changes entirely? When comparing the current and previous iterations of Warsong Commander, they're all very different, but it's quite obvious that the most previous iteration is a direct nerf from the iteration before it. However, the current iteration of Warsong Commander isn't functionally similar to the most previous iteration in any way other than the stats, and that the word Charge appears on the card. It's an entirely different card, and the previous version, a nerf from it's even earlier version, is no longer a usable card in the game, despite being a considerable part of the game's history.
4. The fourth point is an address to part of the reason why Warsong Commander/Patron Warrior was nerfed in the first place, and why a lot of cards historically got nerfed in Hearthstone: they were too tournament-meta warping, and in part with that, cards that eventually required nerfs typically limited design space in some way. Steamer TrumpHS and former Hearthstone Game Director Ben Brode cover it best. In Wild, Patron Warrior with the inclusion of Warsong Commander has enough strong counters against it that considerable tournament meta warping is unlikely aside from being great tech against decks like Odd Paladin and Murloc Shaman. In Wild, an eternal format, the issue of cards limiting design space is far less of an issue considering that the card pool in Wild is considerably larger with a greater number cards that counteract the impacts of otherwise problematic cards that may cause issues in formats that have smaller card pools, like Standard. Often times, card game designers must ban cards for the health of their game, but later find the opportunities to unban those cards once more cards have been added to the format in question. In the case of Hearthstone, bans and unbans don't exist outside of the Odd/Even effective-bans in Standard, so an unnerfing of an older card isn't something to shy away from.
5. The fifth point may be a bit ridiculous to some, but it's absolutely worth mentioning. Patron Warrior had a considerable difference in win rate based on the player's skill with the deck. Many players had remarkably low win rates with the deck, while others dominated the ladder. The deck was likely a difficult one to nerf because it heavily rewarded skilled players, rather than rewarding players for just playing it, like many decks get accused of having the issue of.
6. The final point I'd like to present has less to do with Hearthstone, and more to do with games that see updates and changes over long periods of time. I want to refer to an example from another card game, Magic: the Gathering, and a specific story from it, that I'll call The Boogeyman. I'd like you to take a break from reading, if you want, and watch a video--don't worry, you don't need to know anything about the game to enjoy the video. If you're familiar with the legend of Jace, the Mind Sculptor, you're fine, but I still recommend that video. Jace, the Mind Sculptor has a very interesting story. In Standard, a format near-identical to Hearthstone's, Jace, the Mind Sculptor dominated on all levels, and the decks playing it were consistently winning--it was metawarping. In the right hands, it often felt unbeatable, and at a point the format became significantly warped around the card that mirror matches were decided and won by the deck that specifically planned ahead to win the mirror match. It didn't win with combo, but when the pieces moved it often felt like one. One year after the release of Jace, the Mind Sculptor and its dominance over Standard, the new eternal format Modern was created, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor was immediately banned from being played in Modern. For seven years it was remembered by Modern players as overpowered, infuriating, and scary, until it was unbanned in February of 2018. People lost their minds, but as it turned out, Jace underperformed after his debut into the format. The card is played, and in some of the best decks in the format, but it seemed the legacy had outhyped the legend. A big consideration of how Warsong Commander would impact Wild is the meta; it historically had really great success against decks flooding the board with small bodies, and that isn't what's currently dominating the ladder. People are playing control, and combo, and decks oozing with value. The dominance of Jace, the Mind Sculptor over the pool of cards in MTG's Standard at the time and the relative unimpressive performance in MTG's Modern seems comparable to the potential impact Warsong Commander would have over Hearthstone's Wild when remembering only its Standard.
In closing, I quite obviously believe in a return of pre-nerf Warsong Commander to exclusively Wild, but I am very curious what others think about this topic.
Apr 19, 2019Posted in: [Wild] Boss Affinity
It's definitely fun. I haven't been playing a ton of it since I've been mostly grinding ladder this season. I mostly put it together as an experiment to see how fast Hunter could drop mechs without losing sustainability; Ursatron, Piloted Shredder, Sneed's Old Shredder, Nine Lives, and kind of even Oblivitron, and definitely the heroes, definitely provide some big sustainability. The big drawback is that Mecharoo isn't super impressive in this build, so Cogmaster is the only real currently viable 1-drop (in my opinion). That means the deck can't really drop mechs and stuff as fast as it hopes to. So, technically that means the experiment failed, but I don't think the deck is bad, and I think it's close to being viable. It just needs a Galvanizer/Mechwarper type effect for 1 mana.
Mar 31, 2019Posted in: Hakkar Paladin
Prelates are the only obvious option for extending your game into fatigue. I can agree with changing the buffs package, but in no way did I ever imply this is a busted deck and the most optimal version of it. This is the version I uploaded. If you want, you can alter it. You can rethink it. Go crazy.
Mar 30, 2019Posted in: Hakkar Paladin
It's not easy, but it's functional. It beats Mecha'thun and enemy Hakkar decks almost every time, and other similar "draw deck, win" strategies, and at the end of the day it's playing Tarim and Zilliax and Shirvallah and looping Spikeridged Steeds on Immortal Prelates so if all goes to plan it can typically stave off aggro.
Nov 27, 2018Posted in: News
The point I meant to get at is that Blizzard has lately been very heavy on telling the player what decks they should be playing. You could make the argument that they've always done that, but I would argue that even with Reno Jackson, they left the deck design heavily up to the players. I love Hero cards, but only when done right. Dr. Boom, Valeera, and Malfurion are ones I'd say were done right; they're powerful cards, AND leave the player with a lot of choice in their deck building. Gul'dan and Jaina are close behind, because the demons and elementals don't necessarily make or break them, but what deck runs them and not a single demon/elemental? Zul'jin isn't asking for an occasional tribal or card type to make it work a little better, it's asking for you to design your deck to maximize just the one card--because paying 10 mana and not drastically changing the advantage of the game on the spot isn't worth it, especially with a dinky hero power. I've asked for Hunter to get that hero power for a long time, but not at an initial 10-mana investment.
TL;DR: Basically, I don't see Zul'jin being in a deck that doesn't just jam secrets, spells that hurt specifically the opponent's board, and spells that make minions. I don't see any creativity in this card, in terms of deck building opportunities, or in behind-the-scenes card design.
Nov 27, 2018Posted in: News
Weird that Zul'jin is a Hunter, I thought he was a Warrior canonically. This is kind of the epitome of this sets "uninspired" design, it seems. I'm excited for like four cards, and this is not one of them.
I mean, woohoo, pre-nerf Yogg Hunter? Did anyone want that?
It's actually less fun than Yogg. The most powerful thing I can imagine with this is developing 4-5 secrets and getting a board full of random Animal Companions and 3/3 wolves, but I can imagine this card just being bad in Spell Hunter because the hero power is so much worse in the late game than DK Rexxar's, and it requires some pretty good spells to dedicate a whole turn to.
Aug 9, 2018Dorkpork posted a message on Poll: Are you happy with what you got from your packs?Posted in: General Discussion
Harbinger Celestia was my golden. What do I do with this thing.
Zerek, Master Cloner was my login. What do I do with this thing.
Golden Flobbidinous Floop was my first 10. What do I do with this thing.
Myra Rotspring. What do I do with this thing.
Electra Stormsurge. Yay!
Dr. Morrigan. What do I do with this thing.
The Boomship. I've got plans.
That's from 83 packs. Not great, but definitely not terrible. The legendaries were not quite what I was looking for, but 5r and 2g is pretty solid from an 80 pack preorder, so I can't necessarily complain. I got super hosed on the epics though, I don't even want to talk about it.
Apr 11, 2018Posted in: General Discussion
Moonkin are definitely considered beasts, Darkmire probably isn't a beast because it's a neutral minion and Blizzard is very particular to what classes should have access to what. That said, Darkmire being a beast and a spell damage card don't seemingly equate into a broken card or anything. Maybe they're fearful that The Curator pulling Malygos and additional spell damage would be too good, but the only class that would really play a card like Darkmire is Druid due to the Aviana Kun combo, and in that case, they would just run their own Moonkin, which is functionally the same and has more flexibility in the deck.
Astral Tiger isn't a beast because Blizzard is afraid of making theoretical synergies that either don't work or aren't good, and funnily enough would be overshadowed anyway by other cards (Jade Idol being a good example). It's weird to get into because there's contradictions, because that's just what Blizzard does best. /thread
Crystalweaver is a Draenei, Prince Malchezaar is a Man'ari. Both are Eredar who come from Argus, it's just that some were corrupted into the Man'ari and others were not, like Prophet Velen. Witchwood Piper is probably a Satyr, which means they do have a lot of connections to demons (their "ancestor" being Xavius, a Highborne Night Elf turn Satyr turn weird demon Ancient), but Illidan Stormrage is a Night Elf who has a long, long, long story and became a demon who also hunts and kills demons. So, they're just different things.
Edit: Whoops, questions have been answered, time wasted. :(
Wait what? How can guldan be alive without his skull?Spoiler: Warcraft has multiple dimensions, some weird time stuff, and straight up mistakes in the timeline. Gul'dan was a super old figure in the main timeline who died a while back, but the Gul'dan who's around now is one from another dimension.
Apr 8, 2018Posted in: Other Games
If the game is exactly how he's trying to market it, I'm sure it'll be okay, the little bit of explanation sounds interesting. What he said about P2W vs. F2P is a bit weird though, I'm glad he's taking a personable stance on it but the video overall felt like it lacked a lot of definitive information. I'd be more interested in how the cards work, how you actually get stuff done, and how you can have some reliable control over how a "class" should operate.
The main concerns I currently have are that the presentation seems like he's describing an idea he had, that the art styles seem kinda random and inconsistent, and that he didn't explain the classes or cards at all. He exposed too much about the behind the scenes and not enough about the game itself, and that's a bad start before asking for $150k+.
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