Observations and Numbers Regarding the New Core

  • ChahDresh's Avatar 235 100 Posts Joined 11/21/2020
    Posted 1 year, 5 months ago

    Let's start by reprinting what we know about the contents of the new Core set:

    • 88 cards returning from Classic (54 class cards, 34 neutral cards).
    • 54 cards returning from Basic (41 class cards, 13 neutral cards).
    • 55 cards returning from Wild (36 class cards, 19 neutral cards).
    • 4 cards returning from Ashes of Outland (4 Demon Hunter Class cards).
    • 4 cards returning from Demon Hunter Initiate.
    • 1 card returning from Hall of Fame (Shadowform).
    • 29 new cards (20 Class cards, 9 Neutral cards).

    That breaks down to 75 neutral cards and 160 class cards, meaning sixteen cards per class across the ten classes. I did a cursory review, using the following criteria:

    -For neutrals, "What cards see play today and/or are possible tech/synergy options?";
    -For the classes, the above, plus "Which cards lend themselves to strategies/synergies per Mr. Ayala's "this should feel like a deck" desire?"

    This turned out to be harder than it looked! It's like game designer is a tricky job or something.

    -I'm quite surprised the team found 13 worthy neutral cards from Basic. I tried to find 13 neutral cards I liked in Basic. I did! It was hard! After you get past Acidic Swamp Ooze, Novice Engineer, and *maybe* Wolfrider and Stonetusk Boar for the most SMORC-y of SMORC, it's pretty bleak. Even tossing in some questionable murlocs for synergy purposes doesn't get you close to 13.

    -Neutral classic is much nicer. I came out in the mid 30s, which feels right. I don't know if we think 7 legendaries is too many Core neutrals.

    -My gosh, Mage's basic/classic selection is *so* much better than the other classes'. If we assume that secret classes need a minimum of four to preserve the mystery, then add in all the other good cards from Mage, we get... around sixteen, depending on how you feel about Water Elemental. Runner-up: Priest and its plethora of control tools.

    -In contrast, my count for Warlock was only seven. Lots of demons with awful drawbacks and the like cluttering up the early sets.

    -Hunter and Paladin only beat Warlock here because of their Secret packages.

    -If Oh My Yogg! hadn't just come out, I would have said the time is ripe to cut Paladin's secret package from standard and substitute Rogue.

    -King's Defender looks like an obvious replacement for Fiery War Axe- the Core set needs weapons, we're pulling from Wild, and KD is a FWA with upside. Or just bring back Death's Bite. Death's Bite is good. 

    -I'm not looking forward to Aldrachi Warblades being part of Core, but if eight out of the ten cards in the current DH Basic set make it in (as the numbers suggest), it's hard to exclude it.

    I'm sure there's plenty more we can infer from this info but that's all I've got for now.

  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1695 1666 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 1 year, 5 months ago

    That's a good summary of something I planned to look into myself over the weekend. I guess I'll chip in a few of my immediate thoughts while I'm here.

    Neutral Basic
    • The murlocs look unimpressive, but aside from Murloc Raider these little guys are always an important backbone to murloc decks. 
    • I'd actually be more surprised to see Stonetusk Boar stick around than any others here, since that card has long been cited as a major limit on design space, even though it looks innocuous.
      • Maybe they'll take the opportunity to remove charge completely? (Except for Kayn Sunfury.)
    • The fact they got 13 cards from here indicates they either want to retain some of the old favourites in order to keep a clear idea of what the vanilla stat-line is (e.g. Yeti, Sen'jin), or they will hand out quite a few buffs to those that are quite interesting but way too weak to see play anymore.
    • I guess priest had it easy since they were prepared for this last year. 
    • My guess is Shadowform is being reworked a bit, hence why it is allowed back from the HoF. Then they'll print some cards that behave differently based on whether you're in shadowform or not.

    Whatever happens, I just hope Sorcerer's Apprentice finally leaves Standard. That card has dodged do many bullets over the years it's not even funny.

    OG Warlock demons

    Honestly, I miss how demons were designed at the start. I appreciate it didn't work out very often, but it made them so much more interesting and flavourful than the demons we've got since. They had a tribal identity of being strong at a cost (basically converting some of the mana cost into something else, e.g. a discard), but nowadays demons are just another tribe with nothing really setting them apart.

    I haven't got much to say regarding what I expect to see in the Core set here. Just airing a pet peeve.

    • The number of secrets needed is something we've been able to test in rogue, and it looks like you can indeed get away with just 3 total, so long as they are all relevant. Note they can include Year of the Phoenix secrets in the count too, and they don't actually need enough within the Core set itself.
    • It is possible they will drop paladin secrets next year. They are certainly able to now they have the Core set mechanism.
    • I wondered whether they'll bring back any of the K&C secrets for rogue. Probably not since Cheat Death is stupid OP alongside Shadowjeweler Hanar, and Evasion is a bit too similar to Cloak of Shadows unless they really want an OTK rogue to exist this year. Sudden Betrayal would be fine, but I'm not sure how much it would add.
    General comment

    I guess they haven't said all the original 9 classes will get the same number from each of Basic, Classic and Wild. Granted the 54 from Classic and 36 from Wild are both divisible by 9 - so they probably will - but we can at least entertain the possibility that they won't. It could certainly help with some of the classes whose Basic/Classic sets haven't held up so well.

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