Controversial Hearthstone Card Not Appearing in Arena

One of the new cards being added to Hearthstone with the upcoming One Night in Karazhan expansion has been creating a negative stir.  Purify is a new card for the Priest class, which is currently the weakest class in the game, and has received a great deal of criticism from several noteworthy players for possibly being the worst card to have been introduced to the game yet.

Most notably, Kripparrian posted an extensive rant against the card on his Youtube channel that mainly focused on how the card will effect the Arena game mode. Arena has players drafting a deck of random cards and seeing how far they can go playing against people working under the same conditions, so introducing a bad card is always going to have an impact in that mode.  However, the development team has issued a surprising statement in regards to Purify and how they are responding to the criticism.

Ben Brode, the lead designer on Hearthstone and the face of the game, released a Designer Insights video on the official Hearthstone Youtube channel speaking specifically on Purify.  He explains that the design team’s thought process on designing the card was to support the niche archetype of Silence Priest that, while not a competitive-level deck, still has viable strategies and can take people by surprise.

However, they do understand the importance of Arena balance and have been working on a new algorithm for the frequency of specific cards that appear in Arena in order to even out the various classes.  While this isn’t expected to be ready any time soon, the developers are taking action to prevent Purify from skewing Arena balance by keeping it out of the game mode entirely.  This isn’t the first time that a card has been made undraftable in Arena as all of the C’Thun-based cards introduced in Whispers of the Old Gods were given the same treatment.

Brode closes his video with the following statement: “We’re going to disagree sometimes on decisions that we make, and we’re going to make mistakes, too, but hopefully we can learn together and make the game better overtime.”  What are your thoughts on Brode’s feedback to the community?  What do you feel still needs to be done to sort out Arena balance?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Hearthstone: One Night In Karazhan Cards Preview #1

One Night in Karazhan is bringing some of the most fondly-remembered boss fights from World of Warcraft into Hearthstone and, while they’re always fun challenge, it’s the cards they award that make a lasting impact on the game.  While adventures introduce significantly less cards than card packs, just one or two especially good cards can turn the entire game on its head (e.g. Undertaker, Grim Patron, Tunnel Trogg).

Let’s go over some of the new cards that have been revealed and see where the game may be going with this update.  Be sure to also check out the announcement article which briefly discusses three more new cards that won’t be examined here.

Firelands_Portal

One of the themes for new cards being introduced with this expansion are the portals.  There will be five different portal cards, each for a different class and each with a different effect, and the Firelands Portal will be the first one you get as one of three cards rewarded from the free prologue mission.  For constructed play, this portal probably won’t see play as a simple Fireball is much more reliable in most situations.

In Arena, however, this takes Mage from being incredibly strong to outright broken.  Having strong removal and a strong summon combined into a single card is incredibly powerful in Arena’s playstyle, even for 7 mana, and the fact that this is a common card is bound to make Arena Mage’s almost impossible to beat.  It wouldn’t be so bad if it had just been made a Rare card, and Arena is the only place where rarity of adventure cards has any impact.  It’s just another friendly reminder that the Hearthstone developers don’t play their own game.

Moroes

To play Moroes, you’re first going to need a meta-shift where everyone stops playing board control cards.  Once people stop putting cards like Flamestrike, Ravaging Ghoul, Lightning Storm, Explosive Trap, and Consecration, then Moroes can finally find a spot in your deck as a worse Imp Master.  Granted, there are cards like Steward of Darkshire and Hobgoblin (at least in Wild) that Moroes can synergize with and we may get another card along the same lines in this expansion, but there’s no chance Moroes will ever see competitive-level play.

Protect_the_King

This is an interesting inclusion, although its viability is a tough call.  It’s essentially a defensive version of Unleash the Hounds and that could be a potent play.  It’s a card that demands your opponent’s attention and could turn the pace of the game in your favor.  However, it’s highly vulnerable to AoE effects like the ones I mentioned under Moroes and that alone could render it unplayable.  It’s usefulness is going to rely heavily on the current meta, but it should be able to find its niche.  It should at least be a handy Arena card with how much room it gives you to turn the tide.

Prince_Malchezaar

This is easily the coolest new card being added to the game and the best part is that he’s free to everyone with the prologue mission.  That’s very important as his biggest benefit is that he’ll allow new players and those playing on a budget to play around with legendaries they haven’t collected yet.  He’s also a neutral demon with a lot of viability, so we may actually see Sacrificial Pact enter the meta.  Finally, he has a new type of effect that automatically triggers at the start of the game just from having him in your deck.  That’s a fascinating ability and there’s plenty of potential for more cards that work along the same line.

Pompous_Thespian

Hey, have you heard of this new game called Chronicle: Runescape Legends?  It’s a really cool digital card game with great production values and a unique premise.  Instead of summoning monsters to fight for you, you battle your own creatures and create your own mini-adventure with the goal of growing stronger than your opponent for a final battle at the end.  It’s free-to-play and you can check it out for yourself here.  Maybe it will have the decency not to sell playable versions of underpowered cards.

Okay, so One Night in Karazhan isn’t exactly getting off on the right foot with some of it’s early reveals, but there are some really good cards mixed in.  Sadly, aside from a couple of really cool legendaries, this is looking to be the weakest adventure yet in terms of meta-shift.  There are still plenty more cards left to reveal and we may see something grand emerge down the line, but I’ve never wanted to switch to a different card game more than after seeing some of the terribly designed cards featured above.  At least the boss fights should be fun.

What are your thoughts on One Night in Karazhan?  Which of the new cards is your favorite?  Which one most needs to be thrown on a bonfire?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.