Friday, March 6, 2015

Blackrock Mountain and Spellweaver Beta

Blizzard announced the next expansion for Hearthstone -  it's Blackrock Mountain, which will be an Adventure similar to Curse of Naxxramas. A handful of cards have been previewed and can be seen below.

Of the five cards shown, Hungry Dragon seems to have the most overall potential to join constructed decks and Dark Iron Skulker will likely be a great utility minion for rogues. Rend Blackhand feels a little clunky due to its low health for a 7-drop, and sadly will never see play as long as Dr. Boom goes unchecked.

While Blackrock Mountain sounds like a load of fun, I'm not quite as excited about it compared to when Naxx was announced. I still feel a long ways off from getting all the GvG cards I really want, and the constructed meta settled down way too fast for such a large influx to the card pool.

I've already mentioned a number of cards that perhaps seem a little strong in previous posts, but that's only part of the problem. Most of the other cards throughout the Goblins vs Gnomes set feel so sub-par in comparison that they're not worth playing. Who really wants to open a pack and find Hemet Nesingwary as their legend? Looking through the GvG set, it's fairly easy to identify most cards as either 'playable' or 'trash'. There's only a handful of cards that fit the 'situationally good' slot such as Kezan Mystic, which is a shame. This unfortunate mix is why the meta already felt stale about a month after GvG's release. I find it hard to believe that the 31 new cards from the next expansion will do much to keep constructed play fresh for long, which is why my excitement level for Blackrock Mountain isn't as high as it could be.

In other happenings, I just got in to the Spellweaver TCG closed beta. This title looks promising and fits somewhere in between Hearthstone and Magic: the Gathering in terms of complexity and mechanics. I'm interested in seeing how Spellweaver ends up, particularly its cash shop model as it will be free-to-play for everyone once it's ready. If they can establish a fair business model while keeping the cards and effects balanced in-game, Dream Reactor may just have a TCG hit on their hands.

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