Blizzard’s latest announcement lines up the game’s next expansion with the Grand Tournament, but what do the pro players think?
As predicted, Blizzard’s announcement on the 22nd July was indeed the reveal of a new expansion, but for a different tournament than many perhaps expected. A few of the Grand Tournament cards were revealed, and a good number revealed featuring the game’s new keyword – Inspire.
From the outside, it looks like The Foundry may in fact be ground zero for a good shake up in the game – something it sorely needs right now – but what did some of the pros make of the announcement, and the new cards?
— Hearthstone (@PlayHearthstone) July 22, 2015
The Grand Tournament promises to bring with it over 130 new cards, as well as a new keyword with Inspire, activating a special ability whenever the player uses their Hero Power – a triggered battlecry, essentially. On top of that, a good number of cards that revolve around Hero Powers were released, akin to GvG’s Steamwheedle Sniper.
Possibly the biggest reveals of the stream were for the Mage and Shaman class-exclusive cards, Coldarra Drake and Totem Golem. The Mage card, an Epic 6/6 for 6 mana, lets you use your hero power any number of times that turn, caused a stir on Twitter, as did the Shaman card, a Common 3/4 for 2 mana with 1 Overload.
— Dimitris Th (@F2K_Dethelor) July 22, 2015
You had me at "new dragon" @PlayHearthstone
— Brian Kibler (@bmkibler) July 22, 2015
A slightly strange sigh was the quality of the revealed Hunter’s exclusive cards. First a Rare 6 mana spell that summons three Webspinners, immediately touted as a contender for the worst card in the game, and then the Epic 2 mana Lock and Load. A strange pair of cards, definitely not suited for an aggro-style deck, perhaps this is Blizzard finally actively trying to push the game in another direction?
As with the last expansion, another Giant was on the cards, this time in the form of the 10 mana Frost Giant, costing 1 less mana for every time you’ve used your Hero Power, immediately leading to speculation and theorycrafting around its viability in a deck like Handlock.
6 Mana for 3 Webspinners, that's gotta be the worst card ever 😀
— Jan Engelmann (@FaramirHS) July 22, 2015
Dat Frost Giant tho. Might be a thing for Handlock? Not sure yet. @PlayHearthstone
— Thijs Molendijk (@ThijsHS) July 22, 2015
The two Legendary cards revealed so far have been met with different reactions. Another Pirate Legendary will enter the game – Skycap’n Kragg. A 4/6 for 7 mana, he doesn’t seem all too powerful, but costs 1 less mana for each Pirate on your side of the board, perhaps giving Pirate decks a little more viability with a fairly bulky and cheap minion – and of course, we can’t forget that he has Charrrrrrge!
Nexus-Champion Saraad was also revealed, a 5 mana 4/5 minion utilising the new Inspire mechanic in an interesting way – whenever you use your Hero Power, you’re given a random spell.
id rather play boom than saraad heropower on 7 lol
— Xixo (@ArchonXixo) July 22, 2015
PIRATES!!! My Piratedin is ready for an update! ARGH @PlayHearthstone
— Thijs Molendijk (@ThijsHS) July 22, 2015
Since last night, a couple of players have also put out videos regarding the expansion, and their views on the cards that have been released so far. Here we have a few quotes from them, links to their videos, and their thoughts on the expansion so far as a whole.
“With this new expansion in the Grand Tournament, they want to do a lot with the Hero Powers. Besides the Inspire effect, you also have cards that say ‘Your Hero Power goes off twice’, or ‘Your Hero Power deals 1 more damage’, or ‘Your Hero Power has double effects’, so that is really interesting, what they want to do. The real thing about it is that Hearthstone gets a bit more skillful, in my opinion, because it gets more- they are bringing in some more things, and I think less RNG, so I like this new expansion.” – The Grand Tournament, My Thoughts and Breakdown.
“The Inspire mechanic, I feel like it’s something that’s really healthy for the game. I’ve been talking a lot about uninteractive decks and Emperor kinda lately, but the Inspire mechanic is something really good for the game because Inspire is a mechanic that’s really interactive, first of all, you’re kinda rewarded for your minions sticking around and having the advantage, and you’re building incremental advantages as well. It’s better than Battlecry for the game in a little way because it’s like a slower thing, and it gives your opponents time to interact.” – The Grand Tournament First Look.
So far, the reaction to Hearthstone’s second expansion seems fairly positive. None of the cards yet seem that unbalanced, there’s nothing but praise for the new mechanic that seems to have a good shot at slowing the game down, everything really seems to be going right for the Grand Tournament at the moment. With 50 packs available for pre-purchase starting next week – coming with an added cardback – the Grand Tournament is going to be released into the game at the start of August, not long to wait now!
To keep up to date with all of the Grand Tournament happenings, head over to Blizzard’s own page for it here or at www.thegrandtourney.com to see all of the released cards so far, and take part in the vote to see which card is revealed next!
The Grand Tournament is AWESOME. I can't wait for y'all to see the rest of the set. Especially the class legendaries. 😉
— Ben Brode (@bdbrode) July 22, 2015