I’m Taking that Candle

Introduction

I know this is late for a preview/impressions post on the new Hearthstone expansion, as it has been out for about a week now.A� However, I have yet to actually play a game with any of the cards.A� As I said to Chris, I haven’t even opened a single pack from Knights of the Frozen Throne.A� I have played through only dungeon runs so far, which gives me almost no indication about the cards.A� Nevertheless, I’ve been watching and paying attention to the card reveals and think that I can give a decent impression to my fellow noobs.

Mechanics

I’m not positive if there aren’t usually very many new keywords in each set.A� I suppose that I could not be lazy and Google past sets, but then I might actually get a reputation for being a responsible journalist.A� Besides, I don’t even have to Google anything because I’m already on Hearthstonepedia (or whatever it’s called) so all I’d have to do is click a few links and I’m not even willing to do that much.

Seriously, have you seen House of Cards? Reporters just end up dead on the front of a subway train!

Recruit – This is the only official keyword that I can see that is new on the cards.A� There are a couple of others that show up once or twice or aren’t exactly keywords, per se, that I will review quickly at the end of the section.A� However, recruit is the only new bold word onA� card text.A� On the surface, it seems strong because it takes a card from your deck and puts it onto the battlefield.A� Yes, you read that right.A� Never change, Blizzard.A� Never change.

Spellstone – I wouldn’t necessarily call this a keyword.A� It is more of a card type.A� Each of the classes have a type of spellstone (only one now, but it’s probably only a matter of time before they introduce more) that does something relevant to the class.A� It starts off as a lesser spellstone, but can be upgraded to a spellstone and then further upgraded to a greater spellstone, again through some action that the class usually accomplishes through normal gameplay.A� I like the idea of these cards as they really push the narrative of being able to do things online that can’t be done in a traditional card game.

Legendary Weapons – Each class has also been given a new weapon of legendary status.A� Just like minions, only one can be included in a deck and they, at least on the surface, promise the same kind of game breaking potential.A� As they say, results may vary.

“Bonus effect” isn’t bold, but it does show up on several cards in the set. When you draw the card, you see the bonus effect which, in true Hearthstone fashion, is randomized.
I promised some unique mechanics in the set. As far as I know, this is the only card in the set with “dormant”. It also reads an awful lot like Dark Depths from Magic, though not as reliable…yet. I will say that I’ve been impressed at the Hearthstone team’s ability to make formerly terrible cards not as terrible. So, who knows. Before long, The Darkness could be meta.

Notable Cards

Please understand that this doesn’t mean good, or even necessarily playable cards.A� If you want that list, there are a thousand other pages that will give you the best cards, combos, decks, etc.A� If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re in the wrong place.A� I also just mentioned The Darkness and how bad it is, so I’m not going to waste your time with borderline unplayable cards.A� However, if you just want a (possibly random) collection of cool and interesting cards, read on!

I like this card because it takes the druid mechanic of choice and expands the possibilities. Very cool design.
Rogue finally gets secrets, something that seems to fit the class more than Paladin. This one is cool because it’s like a delayed shadowstep. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to play around, which defeats the purpose of secrets.
The first card in Hearthstone with “Trample” and it is a situational spell card. Weird, but neat!
There are at least two cards that have this ability only to attack if you have a certain amount of armor. It is a bit of a half measure between the “can’t attack” and normal minions. There are so many applications of this for other classes.
This is an example of them testing the waters with an idea (the mage quest) and then building on it. Admittedly, this is an odd application of the extra turn dynamic, but it shows that they are willing to take chances and experiment.

The Verdict

This set has perhaps the stupidest name for a card game expansion I’ve ever heard.A� I honestly thought it was one of Blizzard’s famous April’s Fools Day jokes either very late or a bit early when I first heard the name.A� In spite of that, I still logged in and claimed my packs.A� I haven’t opened them.A� Heck, I haven’t even opened my Frozen Throne packs, as I said earlier.

So, I don’t see this set getting me to play the game any more than I have been playing it to this point, which is only enough to finish a quest or two a day.A� What does get me to play more is interesting stuff like the mash up arena mode that they had for Halloween this year.A� I played through several of those runs.A� Oh, I have also done a few dungeon runs recently, and those have been a fun and interesting experience.A� Aside from that, though, I will just have another 50+ packs sitting in my inventory.A� Oh well, there’s always Eternal and Magic the Gathering to keep me busy.

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