It's the last month of 2020! I can't believe it. It feels like we should still be in May, and yet also somehow halfway through 2022 already. It's been a big year in a lot of ways, and certainly a big one for Hearthstone; fingers crossed they can course correct and stick the landing right at the end.
Conversation this week will be on keeping up with the times.
As always, our first order of business is to congratulate the winner of the last WCDC; well done to linkblade91 and their Strength Competition!
Can't wait to see what they come up with for next week's theme!
Reaching the Core
The latest Fan Community Spotlight brought us to the conclusion of a long-running series; Neoguli's Core Set reworks! This last part looks at how they tackled the Neutral cards of the Basic and Classic set, a no doubt daunting task given just how many of them there are.
There's a lot of interesting decisions made here, so I recommend reading the article and checking out their full thread for more information, but something I find very interesting is the choice to move support for certain mechanics into the Core Set.
Note that some cards with Common gems may have been moved to the Basic set in the full rework.
The inclusion of Dragon and Elemental synergy, as well as more Dragons and Elementals (and Mechs and Pirates), for example. Right now, these tribes face a waxing and waning relevance in Standard, since the majority of their cards and all the cards specifically designed to support them appear in sets outwith Basic and Classic - Blackrock Mountain saw the introduction of Dragon synergy, while Journey to Un'Goro introduced Elementals (and their synergy) to the game. Since then, further synergies have been sporadic, with the tribes occasionally gaining relevance due to a particular push but never retaining any sort of long-term presence.
I like this effort to include them further. It feels like a natural update to the Core Set, one that shows off how the game has developed over the years. It's something that is actually at odds with my typical design mantra; I'd normally be advocating for making sure that cards only use mechanics that existed when that set released. While this is good advice for creating new cards or classes whole cloth, you have to think differently for something like this. We're not imagining a world in which this was the original Core Set instead - this is an update that could come out with the rotation next year, for all we know. Incorporating newer elements is practically a requirement, encouraging the continued use of the better ideas from expansions.
Speaking of which...
Discover, Rush, Lifesteal and Poisonous also make more of a splash in their rework! These are great mechanics, and I completely agree with seeing more of them in any hypothetical update of the Core Set. I was pleased to see that Neoguli agreed with me that Charge shouldn't be removed outright and replaced with Rush - both mechanics can coexist happily, I feel, so long as you make sure to keep Charge at an appropriate power.
We've actually seen splashes of these mechanics before in their reworks for the various classes, but I figured I'd call it out here since we can see an example of each of them. Given how frequently these mechanics make their way onto cards, I think it only makes sense to see them when you first pick up the game.
Make sure you check out the full interview at the link above, which contains a link to their full set!
Stats on Stats
Finally, our WCDC for this week! We're looking at some particularly unbalanced stats this week - it's the in thing. Click the banner to find out more!