A whole lot is going down for Hearthstone soon.

Where do I begin?

Umm, I guess with the new set, Journey to Un’goro.

One of the new keywords to come out of this set is Adapt: a mechanic that lets you discover an ability.

For example: Verdant Longneck can come with +3 Attack, Divine Shield, or a plethora of other abilities that weren’t shown in the video, which completely busts the door wide open in terms of lines of play and planning ahead. If there is an early drop with Adapt that’s heavily played, games will be won or lost because of your choice. This is a very good thing for Hearthstone in general, as it can help with preparing for what you’re expecting. On the other side, it may look like the dreaded random number generator, but that’s mostly an excuse for people who aren’t as good at maximizing their knowledge, rather than actual randomness not working out in their favor. It isn’t as if Adapt is a hidden thing that’s happening; you know it’s coming, so if you’re playing against Adapt, prepare for what they could have. All of this said, Adapt promises to be a mechanic to firmly test those from a gameplay and a deckbuilding perspective.

Next up are Quests.

Quests cards are cards that begin a quest, akin to many an RPG game. When the quest is complete, the payoff is supposed to be huge. From what’s implied, the quest cards themselves don’t seem to have an impact on the board, so you’re spending a card and some amount of mana to do nothing for a turn. This means that the card that you’re getting when you complete the quest needs to be worth, at the very least, two cards or more. Using Awaken the Makers as an example, your payoff after summoning seven Deathrattle minions is a five mana 8/8 Taunt that sets your health to 40.

This is exactly the kind of card you should expect to get if you decide to play quest cards. It’s relatively cheap, completely swings the game against any deck trying to kill you quickly, and will probably put the game out of reach much like Reno Jackson does. Combined with the fact that Priest is a resilient class itself, and when surrounded by resilient Deathrattle minions, and you have yourself a formula for a solid shell.

Lastly, we have the new minion type: Elemental. This is honestly a long time coming, and isn’t as big a deal as the first two reveals, but the retroactive changes are a nice thing coming, and I would expect smaller synergies to pop up with this new set, as well as older cards potentially seeing more play because of the new type.

With Hearthstone making all of these changes, one thing is clear to me: Blizzard is certainly not afraid of making drastic changes to maintain its playerbase, and they’re certainly not afraid of pushing out super powerful cards now, and going back and reviewing later. This is a strategy that sells, and should be adopted more across any card game that goes digital. I wouldn’t be surprised to even see analog card games adapt this. While the consequences are a bit more harsh; being forced to restrict/ban since “nerfing” isn’t really possible after printing, it feels like more and more of a necessary thing to do, given the demand for power level, innovation, and balance. I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of this set has to offer, as well as what other card games do when it comes to longevity.

Anthony has been competing in games for the better part of his adult life and is dedicated to improving his game, improving his community, improving himself as a person, and most importantly having fun and enjoying himself while doing so. You can check out his stream to find out which video game is the latest to catch his attention.

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