I often want to brand January as “new year, new games” here at 2 Guys Gaming. Other than the previous article about my introduction to Pathfinder, this year’s theme has again been an utter failure. I hamstrung myself by taking the week in between Christmas and New Year’s to talk about Mario Kart and the new D&D adventures I purchased. Also, this year’s Christmas brought many fewer new games than in the past. Luckily, Hearthstone Darkmoon Mini-Set and Magic the Gathering Kaldheim arrive soon to save the day.
Those of you who have been following the Hearthstone saga this year might be surprised to know that people still play the game. The decision to add a battle pass angered many players. They may have quit playing altogether. At the very least, they complained very loudly on Reddit. In spite of it all, Hearthstone survived.
Now, I won’t take full credit for that. But, I will say that I was a voice of reason within the chaos. Sure, streamers like Kibler also tried to talk our fellow Hearthstone players off the ledge, too. Let’s agree that it was a group effort. Everyone played a role. I never got to preview the Hearthstone Darkmoon mini-set. I just bought it with 2000 gold, though, so might as well do a review.
Yes, Virginia, dual class cards are back. I think that means that dual class is now an evergreen keyword. I remember having a discussion about echo and how a card used the echo mechanic, but not the keyword. Someone said, “Well, that keyword was from this expansion and this is the only card with that effect.” I shrugged. Never stops WotC from digging up old keywords to shove onto the latest mono green overpowered rare. I’m just waiting for the next Future Sighted card with banding or some nonsense. You know it’s coming. The point is, I don’t understand why a digital card game that can easily program tool tips for each keyword. Eternal does so. Then again, this is Blizzard and they aren’t exactly known for their efficient programming practices.
Great: Guidance is pretty amazing. Two spells for two mana? That seems like an autoinclude in any druid deck. The versatility alone makes it probable for Totem Shaman and maybe even Evolve. Nitroboost Poison looks good for a Pirate warrior or Aggro rogue deck. 1 mana with corrupt? That’s just unfair. I threw Barricade in as a border case. I will discuss the other possibilities now.
Good: I considered putting both Ivory and Deadeye in the Great section. However, with Ivory, you need another cheap spell to trigger the spellburst that turn. And, Deadeye is too easily removed to make it more than a single turn impact. The corrupt clause on the Hoarder is nice, but three mana to corrupt is a bit slow. Before, we had Mass Hysteria. Now, we have regular old Hysteria. Warlock and Priest get another board clear. How quaint.
Decent: Rally feels far too situational to me. I’m trying to think of the good minions for each class. I guess with priest, you have cleric and the bird man. But, you’d need follow up man with both. I got Resizing Pouch from a discover and never played it. I guess the Phoenix could be used for lethal set up, but I have yet to see it have an impact.
Great: 2 mana Consecration (most of the time)? Don’t mind if I do. The Racer combos with Frost Nova and Blizzard to be a board clear, especially if you have spell damage, which most mages do these days. X’anesh is a personal choice since I like playing Corrupt Priest decks. Outcast abilities are often ridiculous for their cost and this card triggers them automatically. The cheat feels like a power creeped Kirin Tor Mage. Likewise, they nerfed Fiery War Axe all those years ago, then gave us the 2/5 taunt guy who gives a free one and this is basically a 1 cost version. GG, Blizzard. Speaking of GG, 3 mana and 3 damage for 3 cards? Ye gods.
Good – Bola is removal and removal is always good. Drake, if corrupted, is solid stats for the cost. Some priest played Lightsteed against me and basically autowon the game with it. Celestial can be good in a combo with some bigger minions. Shenanigans are just that. Going to mess with card draw decks. Like the Wheel, this will almost always be a 4/6 and it is a battlecry, so persistent. Felsaber follows in the shadow of the Griffon (or Roc or whatever). However, being a DH card, it is naturally overpowered.
Decent: Anything with Treants is usually overcosted or just trash. This card is situational in token druid, I guess. Like Resizing Pouch, I discovered Biscuit. It’s delayed 2 mana. Good for cheap Spellburst, I guess? Libram of Judgement is an overcosted Truesilver Champion. However, it is a libram. I might be very wrong about this card. Mistrunner is normal Shaman trash buff. Rustwix is the randomness that Blizzard loves so much. And, Saddlemaster is typical trash Hunter random beast nonsense.
Neutral – None of these cards merits too much of a discussion. There’s the undercosted 1 drop with 1/3 stats. A garbage murloc with some random keywords. Trash Legendary that will end up beating me at some point. I guess Blackwing is an answer to a solo Ragnaros on the board (which is something that I faced just the other day). Finally, Deathwarden feels like it could be fun in Battlegrounds. I wonder if they have any plans to make that happen.
The Verdict (Hearthstone Darkmoon mini-set is hopefully a nice change up)
I often give Blizzard a ton of crap. It is out of love. I can’t stand Hearthstone as a card game. More often than not, I end up swearing at the game in a way that I’m not proud of. Most recently, Demon Hunter was an error of epic proportions and they just keep piling on. Seriously, nearly every single Demon Hunter build is viable. It’s absurd.
However, they are willing to try new things and use the digital format to their advantage. I like Battlegrounds and will even try Duels every now and again because it is something different from other card games. This Hearthstone Darkmoon mini-set adds some new cards that will hopefully offer a change in the meta. Due to the fact that Blizzard mostly just supports Standard, the meta gets stale much faster than in other card games.