Hearthstone – Thoughts on League of Explorers

Now that we’ve all had a day or so to digest the new cards coming in the upcoming Hearthstone adventure League of Explorershere’s a few random thoughts on them.

New Mechanic: Discover

scarabI don’t think the discover mechanic is very good. Sure, it has the “Unstable Portal” effect, meaning your opponent can’t easily narrow down the range of cards you could be holding, but like most RNG effects in the game, it either comes at too high a cost or isn’t worth the mana.

Think about Jeweled Scarab, which discovers a three drop when played. It’s a two mana 1/1 Beast, which is terrible by itself, and generally worse than Novice Engineer, a card that saw play only when the game was very young.

You get no discount on this three drop, which could be a minion or a spell, and you can only get neutrals or cards for your class. If you look at the 3-drop neutral minions, they generally kinda suck because they aren’t oversized for their cost, and many are great in the right deck (Tinkerer), but are poor otherwise.

The payoff is in the class cards you could get since they are just more powerful. Some classes have weak ones, but generally there are always a few good ones out there. If you ALWAYS discovered class cards, I’d be much higher on these cards in general.

There are about 50 neutral 3-drop minions, and no class has more than like 10 class cards(Let’s average it out at eight). You get three shots at discovering a class card, so that’s something like 60% (8/50 = .16, so chance of whiffing once is .84, so three shots is .84^3= 60-ish percent) of the time you will reveal NO class cards, and thus, probably not worth it since you paid two mana for it and a 1/1.

Animated Armor

armorThis card might not do enough, but it is reasonably-costed at 4/4 for four, and can prevent large amounts of damage in the right spots. At worst it prevents none when it gets Sapped or killed some other way without soaking damage, but at best this is a mega-Antique Healbot that costs less mana and is bigger. I’d like to see this card in Freeze Mage since a huge chunk of the deck is already devoted to effective, but not actual, life gain. Freeze Mage also has precisely dick to do on many turn fours, and this guy is a good distraction.

Raven Idol

idolRaven Idol might be the exception to the rule from my thoughts on Discover in general above. Being one mana means it often costs nothing since you either play it on turn one when nothing is happening anyway, or to fill in awkward turns when your Darnassus Aspirant gets killed.

Let’s not even examine the minion half of this card closely, and just say that it’s not so bad to be able to dig for a random threat at a low cost.

Instead, we should hone in on the spell half. There are 26 druid spells counting Raven Idol. Let’s discount to prospect of getting another for simplicity. At 25 different spells, you have about a 1/9 chance of seeing a particular druid spell. Seven of the 25 are damage spells, some better than others. Wild Growth and Innervate are obviously pretty good since they are almost certainly in your deck, and either part of your combo, or are a little narrow but still not bad in many spots.

In fact, the only two poor hits are Astral Communion and Poison Seeds, and although we don’t know if you can have the same card selected twice in a given discovery, even if they can be, it would be VERY unlikely to select just these two spells for all three slots.

The problem with this card is that since it is purely an unknown quantity, I have no idea what to cut for it. Time will tell.

Everyfin Is Awesome

everyfinThis card will either be amazing or crap. I think it’s borderline good enough to include in a deck that features SOME, but not exclusively ALL murlocs. Not much to say really other than having just two murlocs in play makes this card cost five, and at five mana this card seems GREAT. Anytime you can give +6/+6 or more that attacks that turn, this card carries its weight. Sure, the bonus is spread out over a number of dudes, but that is often better than buffing one dude and getting it removed somehow.

Reno Jackson

reno jacksonI’m going a little out on a limb here, but I think this card is extremely powerful. Any deck that wants to play this wants to play a longer game anyway, and you don’t have to build a singleton deck. It isn’t hard to keep track of what you’ve played, either by paying close attention or using 3rd party software (forgive me I can’t recall the names of any).

But is it better than Alexstraza? Not being able to dome your opponent is a big deal, but it costs far less mana, has a decent body for the cost, and can restore way more life than the Life-Binder ever could.

I suspect this card will appear in some Warrior decks that lean more towards fatigue as a win condition. Or maybe some crazy casino-style singleton deck will be good, who knows?

I’d like to talk a bit more about some cards, but honestly, Fallout 4 is releasing in like 24 hours, 15 minutes, and I’ve reserved this entire week to losing myself in the wasteland. I guess I’ll be back after the first wing is released!

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