Hearthstone’s first expansion is going to slow down Hunters, Warlocks and Rogues

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Goblins-vs-Gnomes

I don’t think there’s been a card game since the original Magic: The Gathering and Yu Gi Oh! arrived, that has managed to garner as much interest as Hearthstone: Heroes Of Warcraft. While I prefer playing more casually and not dipping my feet too deep into those card battle waters, the game has managed to create a deep meta-system over the last year with various tactics and strategies. And you can expect the first expansion for Hearthstone to make that rabbit hole even deeper.

Releasing across all of Hearthstone’s available platforms next week, Goblins vs. Ghosts adds 120 new cards to the game, which as usual can be purchased in pack, crafted individually or earned through a conquest of the arena. To show just how special these cards are, they’ll also have a new virtual wrapper. Because that’s how you differentiate kids.

With those cards comes a few new balances and tweaks to the core game. In a blog post on the official Hearthstone forums, Blizzard detailed changes to three individual cards:

  • The Warlock spell card Soulfire will now no longer cost zero mana, but will set you back one mana point.
  • Neutral Gadgetzan Auctioneer minion card now costs six mana instead of five.
  • The Hunter spell Flare has also been hit with inflation, costing two mana to use instead of one.
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In other words, quick-play cheap cards that happen to pack a punch of note are now going to cost you an extra point of mana overall. It doesn’t sound like much, but factor in strategies involved in taking advantage of higher mana bumps that come from later turns, and you can see the beginning stages of a game being less chaotic.

This is especially true for Warlock players, as Soulfire can be used to quickly chain attacks in order to gain an early lead in controlling the field. The Gadgetzan Auctioneer card is especially useful in Rogue miracle decks, as it can help increase your draw rate early on in the game. And let’s not get started on the Hunter Flare card being a useful tool when you want to draw a card and kill enemy secrets.

According to Blizzard, they’ve “kept an eye on the state of the game balance” following the release of 30 new cards in Curse Of Naxxramas, with the current tweaks aimed at quick-draw and speedy decks:

We will continue to make balance changes to Hearthstone when we feel they are necessary in order to increase the variety of cards seen at all levels of play, with the goal of making Hearthstone a more fun and interactive game for everyone.

There’s no exact date for when these changes will be inserted into the game, although I’d hazard a guess that next week will see them implemented alongside the Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion.

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Last Updated: December 3, 2014

Darryn Bonthuys

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