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MysticalOS

Closed beta has begun

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Well it's a beta, must be sure to leave feedback on the blizz forums. I think for that specific problem maybe some kind of protection that makes at least one 1 mana card spawn in your starting hand or something along those lines.

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Maybe you guys are right and I'm underestimating BoM. Regardless, I'm not certain--creature enchantments have a lot of inherent downside. I couldn't see more than 2 for it.

I'm not inherently offensive that one appears strictly better than the other. They're for different classes, no different from two Magic card for different colors being costed differently as a natural part of the color pie. And maybe Rockbiter's just a bad card, or potentially, and otherwise bad card that's justifiable by Shaman combo potential.

I'm definitely opposed to messing with the natural RNG of card draw. It's a huge can of worms. We've dealt with mana screw for 19 years, we can handle a little variation in a more casual game with a lot of other mitigating factors (smaller deck size, no colors).

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A) Nothing is ever truly free, because even at 0 mana, it costs a card.

B) You can't compare single cards cross-class, like Blessing of Might vs Rockbiter Weapon. Yes, just looking at those two makes it seem like BoM is way better than Rockbiter. However, also involved is what it can combo with. Rockbiter can combo with Windfury, for example, Blessing of Might cannot. Different classes have different abilities that are unique to that class, and taking advantage of them is important (otherwise, why play that class?).

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FYI: if you draw all the cards in your deck, each subsequent attempt to draw will deal you an increasing amount of damage: 1, 2, 3, etc.

May have gone a little overboard in that game.

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I realize they aren't free in that they cost a card. Everything I've said is colored by experience with Magic, where free has been a ticket to broken almost everytime.

Also paladins have access to Windfury via tons of neutral creatures. Perhaps that is the inherent problem. BoM for 1 vs Rockbiter for 1 isn't as offensive if the Paladin isn't able to have half a dozen WF creatures too.

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2 can give you much better creature enchantments like Mark of the Wild (still not really an amazing card) and probably others I don't remember off the top of my head. I don't think BoM would be strong at 2. It's entirely possible to me that 1 is right for BoM and either 0 or 1 for Rockbiter. You've pointed out how driven by card advantage this game is (don't you wind up playing off your deck in a large portion of games?), and those 0-cost spells tend to be pretty bad in that context. Maybe later we'll see what this game's version of aggro looks like and whether 3 damage for 0 and a card adds too much to it, but I'm not totally convinced.

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Rockbiter could probably be 0, overload 1. Would help the synergy with the overload Elemental as well to up the power on it a tad relatively to BoM. I don't know that BoM needs a price increase but maybe should just be +2 permanently for 1.

I really don't find myself out of cards frequently, but I load up on card draw. Acolytes of pain, blessing of wisdom etc. are all pretty great. I might be running too much as I often win with cards in hand still.

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I realize they aren't free in that they cost a card. Everything I've said is colored by experience with Magic, where free has been a ticket to broken almost everytime.

Also paladins have access to Windfury via tons of neutral creatures. Perhaps that is the inherent problem. BoM for 1 vs Rockbiter for 1 isn't as offensive if the Paladin isn't able to have half a dozen WF creatures too.

I am definitely inclined to say Windfury shouldn't be on a single Neutral mob. I've spent some time ruminating on classes, and I feel that counter-class play isn't really an issue, but your class definitely does affect your spell pool, which means that while classes don't specifically counter other classes, they do counter specific build styles. For example, Warlock has a lot of AoE minion damage, which means it beats down on wide decks full of enhancement minions (Raid Leader, et. al.) pretty hard, Mage is extremely effective at taking out more tall decks, such as a Druid's 8/8 Taunt treants, Warrior has a mixture of minion cleave and direct minion assassination (Execute is 1 mana, this feels low to me for an instant kill on what should always be an important, large minion).

Again, my knowledge of MTG and CCG's in general is limited, although I have reinstalled Duels of the Planeswalkers just to remember card names, and a White deck combining Captain's Call, Crusader of Odric, Geist-Honored Monk and Glorious Anthem was a build I really enjoyed, and I have found a Shaman deck that works similarly using a combination of totems, casting Totemic Might once I have at least Healing Totem and one other, using a myriad of taunt neutral minions along with Raid Leaders, Stormwind's Mights and Frostwolf Champions. Cast Bloodlust once that build is reasonably set up and the game is over that turn. I like the build but it's not very flexible or quick and it's pretty easy to disrupt.

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This isn't really mechanical, but the NPCs they choose feel really awkward.

Anduin, really? I've fought him a few times as Thrall and it is just jarring how off it feels. Surely Velen or Tyrande would have made more sense for a powerful figure.

Garrosh feels very forced. He is a relatively recent introduction to the main lore line, and we are killing him off soon. If they wanted a classic Orc warrior, his son would have felt better. Clearly dead characters are fine as we have Gul'dan and Uther.

This is just lore conmentary, and doesn't matter that much but felt like odd choices for immersion into the game

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If they wanted a classic Orc warrior, his son would have felt better.
father?

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Velen and Tyrande haven't done shit in five years. Anduin and Garrosh as heroes makes sense given that they're the characters currently in the spotlight.

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In response to the BoM vs Rockbiter discussion: Rockbiter can be cast on the hero while BoM cannot. That is the important difference. Rockbiter actually tends to be the better card.

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Yeah, someone pointed that out while I was streaming today, and I came to same conclusion (it's actually the better card). The option of being 1-for-1 removal at the cost of a few life adds a lot to something that was otherwise just a finisher (or bad 1-for-2 removal).

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Braindump from this weekend. Mostly going to discuss the mechanical differences from MTG and their strategic consequences.

Mana

You automatically make your land drop every turn and it doesn't cost you any cards. This favors slower/high curve decks. In MTG, one of the advantages to playing a low curve deck is the ability to include fewer mana sources in your deck. If your deck is 20/60 mana sources while your opponent's is 30/60, in any given game you'll draw 33% more spells than your opponent. This gives you the ability to absorb a couple of two-for-ones and still compete in a resource battle. In Hearthstone, aggressive plans don't have that luxury - you win on tempo or lose.

This also makes mana sinks proportionately more important in low-curve decks. One of the basic heuristics for an MTG line of play is how well it uses your mana, on the theory that whichever player manages to spend more mana on beneficial effects will come out ahead, assuming relatively equal effects. I haven't seen any creatures that act as mana sinks, so this just means Hero powers. Warlock is clearly the best, but I'm unsure of the relative rankings in the middle of the pack. Warrior seems like the loser.

I haven't investigated Druid-style permanent or temporary ramp effects yet. Traditionally, these are very powerful.

Creature Combat

Here's the biggest difference. There's no blocking (single or multi) and creatures can attack each other.

In MTG, blocking has haste (charge). You play a creature, and it immediately deters one or more attackers. Not true in Hearthstone. Vanilla creatures (no abilities) basically don't exist until your next turn. As a result, stabilizing a board that you're behind on is often a multi-turn, attritiony process. You can take a lot of damage during that process, so start early. This is a roundabout way of saying not to play vanilla creatures that cost more than 2 or 3.

I see a lot of players incorrectly prioritizing board position (attacking opposing creatures) when they're ahead in a race.

Creatures attacking each other is a big difference from a defensive standpoint. Suddenly all your guys have the potential to eat two of theirs, given time. I'm still learning how to value health on a creature, but it's very different than MTG toughness. Priest seems like the best class to take advantage of this mechanic, playing as many cheap 2/x and 3/x (for large X) as possible. Haven't tried this yet, but it seems promising (and thematically appropriate!).

Opening Hands, Mulligans, and Play/Draw

I'm not sure why opening hands are so small (3/4 versus 7). It's possible that it was necessary to increase variance given the smaller deck size. Games might play out the same way every time with access to 7 out of your chosen 30.

The mulligan rule is an attempt to mitigate that variance - they don't want you to do the same thing every game, but they do want you to do something before you get run over. As mentioned earlier, catching up can be difficult and the best way to do it is to get on the board early. I usually mulligan any card that costs 3 or more in search of cheap spells. You'll have at least N draw steps before your Nth turn; odds are good that you'll draw that expensive spell again or an equivalent effect.

Getting an extra card for going second is normal; the Coin is worth talking about. I'm guessing this was intended as another compensation for small-opening-hand variance: "Sorry you mulliganed your 5s into more 5s. Here's some gold." I'm leaning toward it being too good. I haven't seen many significant 1-mana plays, so the Coin both gives you the option to 'go first' starting on 2 OR lets you accelerate on an important later turn OR synergies with anything triggering on spellcasts.

Sorry for the rambling post. Most of these thoughts hadn't been verbalized yet. There's a lot of MTG wisdom that I don't mention that carries over - basic concepts of card advantage, tempo, control and aggro roles - so I wanted to highlight the differences.

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Large starting hands aren't necessary because you don't have land cards to play.

The Warlock deck is high risk, high reward. It's really easy to put yourself in a situation where you've over-drawn your deck or you can't draw because it will put your health pool in danger -- the class cards are generally expensive so you can't really play it as rushdown without a lot of work. I don't agree that the Warrior passive is bad, because it stacks infinitely high and the deck has a ton of cheap cards.

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My only problem with the warrior ability is it has little utility. I don't like the hunter one for the same reason, they only serve a single purpose, vs Jaina or Anduin which can target minion and player.

The warrior doesn't seem very strong however for other reasons. I don't feel like any if the warrior basic cards impact the board enough, maybe I'll have to try a spell power variant with him. Spell power itself seems like something that could use some tweaking, because the game is so creature focused I'm not sure they offer enough value. Letting them affect things like the Elvish Archers enter play effect might be too strong? But as it sits it feels too weak.

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Regarding basic decks and unlocking base cards, I'd really like it if there were actually 6 basic decks for each class; once you unlocked the level 2 cards you'd have them in your deck, and so forth. That way, playing as a rogue would feel more rogue-like after you were leveled up. Either that, or make it really obvious that they should go to the deck builder to include the new cards in their deck.

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Large starting hands aren't necessary because you don't have land cards to play.

Good point. It's about the same number of spells in an opening hand, just minus the land.

The Warlock deck is high risk, high reward. It's really easy to put yourself in a situation where you've over-drawn your deck or you can't draw because it will put your health pool in danger -- the class cards are generally expensive so you can't really play it as rushdown without a lot of work.

"Most people will do it wrong" isn't a good balance qualifier. I did deck myself the first time I built a custom Warlock deck, but the flaws in my deck construction were easily corrected (too much low impact, high velocity stuff).

I'm trying to be careful so far about drawing too many conclusions from the Basic decks, because a lot of them are built strangely or just have generally bad cards. The Basic Warlock deck is on the controlling side, but aggressive builds are definitely possible. My draft deck last night was extremely aggressive (Flame Imps + Succubi + supporting cast).

The life loss is just not a big deal compared to the benefit of an extra card.

I don't agree that the Warrior passive is bad, because it stacks infinitely high and the deck has a ton of cheap cards.

Conveniently, you can evaluate the other passives by comparing them to the Warlock one. Rewrite the Warrior ability to 2: Draw a card named 'Armorify' with the text "0: Your hero gains 2 armor." Would you put Armorify in your deck? Of course not - it's too low impact. How about '0: Deal 1 damage' (Mage) or '0: 1/1' (Paladin)? Again, not likely to make your deck, but more playable than Armorify.

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I agree with most of that post. The Warlock ability is very strong (keeping in mind that it's hard to evaluate them in a vacuum since the synergies with class-specific cards matter a lot). Your comparison just now does ignore the life loss though, which matters a lot of course. So the limitation on the Warlock one is only being able to do it a few times per game, whereas all the others are fully repeatable ways of getting value without spending a card. I think a strategic factor everyone's probably still trying to wrap our heads around is how much you want to use your hero power early on, even when you have other options, since it's something you can do without playing cards. Especially powers like Shaman that affect the board--your opponent has to lose tempo (often more than 2 mana) dealing with it, and sometimes even a card.

On the other topics:

When I first saw this game I was worried it would be too much about racing due to lack of blocks. But the big mechanic here is Taunt. It's the most tactically significant ability in the game; presence or absence of Taunt is important enough to feel like part of a creature's basic stats (like Flying). Playing a deck without Taunt will probably soon be characterized as recklessly vulnerable to creature aggro (keeping in mind that that can be okay depending on the deck). In particular, Taunt does shut down attacks without having to wait a turn.

Don't have a feel for FTA yet or whether the Coin is needed. I'm pretty sure it should not trigger "play a card/spell" effects though.

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- Druid Innervate: This is essentially a Black Lotus on the draw. You can play a 4 mana ability on turn 1. I've yet to see any druid players really take advantage of it, but this is absurd.

Oh, I have, coin + innervate + innervate = 6/6 out on the first turn, it's pretty cool.

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Oh, I have, coin + innervate + innervate = 6/6 out on the first turn, it's pretty cool.

I knew I had Corruption in my deck for a reason.

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Or you could Naturalize it and wind up right back where you started.

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I don't think that the warlock ability is as powerful as some seem to believe. It's a significant tempo loss and it will often take a while until that extra card even matters. Sure it's good for the late game and against certain classes like priest, but it's far from being overpowered. Without efficient board sweepers and control cards like you have in M:tG, you can't just sit there and spend mana + life to draw cards each turn.

I also disagree that Innervate is anywhere close to a Black Lotus. Playing cards sooner is not as powerful in Hearthstone as it is in M:tG.

The reason is that damage is permanent on minions (and there are no other card types that you could cheat into play early like artifacts or enchantments in M:tG). Something like a turn 1 Shieldmasta is simply not all that impressive, he will still end up trading for two random dorks. Granted, there are a few minions with things like triggered effects each turn, but those are usually either easily dealt with (e.g. Swordsmith) or rather expensive (e.g. Ragnaros) and can be dealt with at that point. Innervate is a good card, but it's not nearly as busted as a Lotus.

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Haven't played MTG seriously since the 90's, but man does this scratch an old, dangerous itch.

[e] while high cost seems less of a deterant than in MTG, swarming tauntless foes seems very viable. Elimination of taunt seems very important with any creature heavy approach.

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