Hearthstone’s Journey to Un’Goro expansion card reveal season is underway, and a couple of cards featuring the new mechanic, Adapt, have already been revealed. What is Adapt all about and is it any good?
Let’s take a closer look!
The Adapt mechanic
The Adapt mechanic applies an enhancement to one or more of your minions. It works in a similar way to Discover: you are presented with three options to choose from. In case of Adapt, there are a total of 10 enhancements to choose from, and each adaptation is independent from any previous ones, so if you can somehow adapt a single minion multiple times, you may be presented with the same options.
The 10 possible adaptations are:
- Divine Shield
- +3 Attack
- Deathrattle: Summon two 1/1 Plants
- Can’t be targeted by spells or Hero Powers
- +3 Health
- Stealth until your next turn
Adapt does not support one-turn-kill (OTK) combos very well, as Charge is not offered. However, if you are able to combine multiple adaptations, you may be able to combine Stealth and Windfury for some interesting damage potential, or if you have existing minions on the board that you buff up with adapt that can also work.
So, Adapt gives you a lot of flexibility, but how often do you find exactly what you need?
The probability to find a specific adaptation:
- One attempt: 30%
- Two attempts: 51%
- Three attempts: 66%
- Four attempts: 76%
- Five attempts: 83%
- Six attempts: 88%
Thus, if you have a simple Adapt minion in hand, it does not become a Taunt minion more than 30% of the time, but if you are able to adapt multiple minions or multiple times, your odds of finding the right adaptation increase quite nicely.
Volcanosaur and Ravenous Pterrordax
One of the revealed Adapt minions is Volcanosaur. The Volcanosaur is a 7-mana 5/6 minion with a Battlecry to Adapt itself twice. It has also been revealed that players will receive a golden copy of it as a login bonus sometime near the expansion launch, so make sure you won’t miss those daily login bonuses when they arrive.
Volcanosaur is an interesting minion, as it can Adapt twice. (Edit: As can the newly revealed Ravenous Pterrordax)
So, you put the Volcanosaur in a Paladin deck with Dinosize, play it on 7, choose Stealth and Windfury, and Dinosize it on 8 for 20 damage to face, right? Probably not, as the odds to find two specific adaptations in two attempts is only 16%.
Even though the damage combo might not be that common, there are lots of attractive combinations available for the Volcanosaur. How does a 5/9 minion that cannot be targeted by spells sound like? Or a 5/6 Taunt minion with Divine Shield?
That said, the Volcanosaur might end up being too average for its mana cost, as that 7 mana investment is a lot and you generally want it to have an immediate effect. It also gets the adaptation you want the most only 51% of the time.
Another revealed Adapt minion is Crackling Razormaw. It is a Hunter minion, a 2-mana 3/2 that Adapts a friendly Beast as a Battlecry. It is actually a fairly powerful card for its mana cost, even though Hunter currently has some trouble staying on the board long enough to use it.
In the early game, if you manage to get a 1-drop to stick, you can give it a considerable buff, such as +3 Health to make it survive some early trades. In the late game, Windfury or Divine Shield on a more powerful minion can make a world of difference.
Crackling Razormaw is a nice card for Hunter, because it can be useful at any stage of the game. With the poor card draw capabilities of Hunter, having your early-game cards also contribute in the later stages is a huge asset.
Now, if only Hunter could find a way to build a board that stays alive to actually use the card.
The ultimate adapter is the Paladin Legendary quest reward, Galvadon.
This minion can adapt a whopping 5 times! This means you have an 83% chance to find your favorite adaptation, and a 64.44% chance to find a combination of two specific adaptations.
Adapting multiple minions
There are also a number of cards that allow you to adapt multiple minions, such as the Gentle Megasaur. The way they work is that you pick one adaptation, and it is then applied to all the eligible targets.
Adapt increases flexibility, but on the other hand it also increases the coin flip nature of Hearthstone: as you can only find the thing you want the most 30% of the time from a single adapt, you will often need to compromise. In a way that can also promote skillful playing, as making the best compromises leads to an overall higher win rate, but being on the losing side of those coin flips feels bad. We’ll have to wait and see what other Adapt cards are coming before the overall strength of those cards can be determined.