Monday, May 23, 2016

Missing something

I have been playing a lot of N'Zoth paladin lately in Hearthstone and seeing the decks out there has made me wonder if I, and maybe everybody else, was missing some things in times gone by.  In particular I look at some of the cards in my deck that have been around forever and yet weren't seeing play and wonder if things have really changed, or if people have just shifted their perceptions of the game.

For example, in my deck I have the following cards:

Obviously these two cards work well together.  You can, for six mana, destroy any enemy minion.  Plus both cards are potentially quite useful on their own, as Kodo finds plenty of targets without any help and Humility can cheaply turn big drops into big sacks of nothing.

But go back a few months and I would have considered both of these cards junk.  They weren't in competitive decks and my opinion of them could be characterized as full of disdain.

So what happened?

There are some obvious answers, but I don't know that those answers cover it.  One of the most crucial reasons is that the game has swung away from powerful deathrattle minions.  Kodo may stomp on a Haunted Creeper, but that isn't actually helping much.  Using single shot removal on a Piloted Shredder feels terrible because even when it dies it still does something.  Creeper and Shredder were played a lot, so they have an influence, but does it really cover it?

I think there are other things to consider too.  One of those things is that the metagame has shifted dramatically away from aggro decks that flood the board with cheap stuff and then burn you out.  You can't play cards like Humility in a format where many decks don't run anything with more than 3 Attack and Kodo is useless at keeping direct damage from hitting you in the head.  Nearly all decks are running some big minions so that helps Humility's case, and the game is slower and people are winning by controlling the board with minions so Kodo is a lot more likely to be useful.

Likely another candidate is the massive nerfing of Big Game Hunter.  It was the go to card to deal with gigantic minions and has been nerfed so hard that people are looking for other options - enter Humility.  It used to be you would be silly to make a 7/7 into a 1/7 for 1 mana when you could use BGH and just kill it for 3 mana and get a 4/2 on your side to boot.  Now though Humility is really worth a look as big removal and when two cards both get noticeably better and have combo potential together it should be no great surprise that they see play.

I feel as though I want to go back in time and play a deck with Humility and Kodo in it to see for myself.  How would these new techniques fare in an different environment?  Unfortunately that experiment isn't available to me and I will have to settle for just wondering.

Thing is... what else am I missing?  What other cards are cruising on the edge of viability that are slipping past me right now?  I wish I knew.


  1. Can't you just play the wild format to see?

  2. Not really, because the wild format now has all the new cards. I suppose I would run into some decks that are unaltered, but most of them also respond to meta changes so my data would be imperfect.

    Granted it would be closer than playing Standard, but really I want to test against an unaltered system.

    Of course I haven't played Wild... so maybe it would work. Have the decks there basically stayed the same?

  3. No clue. I don't have the cards for either format!