Hearthstone has been through a lot in the past couple of years. It finally gave rise to true digitalization of collectible card games, a market that has already surpassed physical collectible card games. At times Hearthstone has went overboard in using randomness enabled by the digital nature of the game, but there are also many examples of great digital card design in the game.
In this post, I’ll take a look at the best designs made possible, or at least significantly more convenient, by the digital nature of the game.
Once upon a time, in the early days of Hearthstone, Tinkmaster Overspark was a superstar. The Classic set legendary minion that nowadays is a three-cost 3/3 with a battlecry to transform another random minion into a 5/5 Devilsaur or a 1/1 Squirrel (at random) used to have a 2/2 statline but the battlecry effect was targetable. As such, it was generally a superior form of silence.
Then, on 11 March 2014, Tinkmaster Overspark was nerfed to oblivion, or so we all thought. I was actually one of the many players who disenchanted their Tinkmaster Overspark, as it was no longer worth running over a simple silence effect.
However, times change, and with the nuances of the Standard format becoming more clear, Tinkmaster Overspark has already seen a slight return back to the metagame and there is every reason to believe that this gnome will see more play in the near future.
Chillmaw received a mixed reception during its introduction in Hearthstone’s The Grand Tournament (TGT) expansion in autumn 2015. A card designed to challenge Patron Warrior as a seven mana 6/6 dragon with a deathrattle to deal three damage to all minions if you are holding a dragon, it saw modest play in Dragon Priest and even many Dragon Priest lists chose to not run it.
Let’s face it, Chillmaw is not a fancy legendary when compared to the dragon powerhouses such as Chromaggus, Nefarian, or Ysera. However, it seems to always find a spot in all dragon decks I build, whether Priest, Druid, or Warrior. It is also the card that I get the most inquiries about replacing – people are generally unwilling to craft Chillmaw as it does not do anything fancy at first sight.
Perhaps people should be more enthusiastic about crafting Chillmaw though, especially now with the Standard format making it more powerful than ever. Let’s take a deeper look.
The new Warrior class legendary introduced in the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion, Malkorok, has received a mixed reception. It has seen some play in both Tempo Warrior and Control Warrior, but many people also avoid the card.
Let’s take a closer look at this seven mana, 6/5 minion that also equips a random weapon for you.
With the Standard format fast approaching, it will soon be time to re-evaluate some of the established truths and choices when it comes to selecting cards for Hearthstone decks. However, there are some cards that are already great when used properly, but that do not receive the appreciation they deserve – much to the delight of the few players who have realized their power.