Let’s talk about Hearthstone. If you were unaware, HS’s new expansion released last week: ‘Journey to Un’goro’. Do I like HS? Yes, though no one would be surprised were I to express frustrations at the game. Daily frustrations. However, regardless of the value barriers Un’goro presents, I am enjoying it very much! For one, very specific reason: one very specific deck:
My taunt weapons warrior quest deck! :}
My favorite HS class is the warrior—favorite by a wide margin! And my favorite warrior theme is a weapons-centric deck. Not ‘weapons-heavy’, but ‘-centric’: focused on as much weapon synergy as permitted by the Rank 20 meta.
From GvG through ONiK, one of the warrior’s class-defining features—Taunt—has been useless to the point that I never ran taunt minions. No one did. (Although I cannot find a particular article from which to source this opinion, it is commonly stated by players and in forums.) There are three reasons for this:
(i) Taunt has routinely been over-priced, or taunt minions are routinely under-statted. Most taunt minions have not been interesting—Sludge Belcher was the most interesting taunt minion HS had, such that everyone ran it!
(ii) Taunt minions, because of (i), are low-tempo propositions. HS has become a ‘faster’ [source??] game with every expansion until…well, Un’goro. Fast card games require players to maintain a certain level of momentum, or ‘tempo’, or one’s eventual defeat can be predicted as early as turn 2 or 3.
(iii) The warrior hero power can keep a warrior alive better than that of any other class. Given Armorsmith/Whirlwind combinations, C’thun armor decks, Reno Jackson, and Justicar Trueheart, a warrior just never really needed the security of taunt minions.
With low-value taunt minions, the continuous nerf of charge minions, and the nerf of one-turn-kill (OTK) enrage-based mechanisms, warriors had basically one class-defining feature: the Fiery War Axe.
No: the Fiery Win Axe.
Shit: weapons. Warriors consistently get great, common weapons with every expansion. Or passable common weapons. Every time another class gets a common weapon, that class gets apeshit over-powered. Since Blackrock, I’ve been using Reno warrior decks with some big minions (e.g. Chromaggus, Nefarian); charge enrage decks with some big minions (e.g. Chromaggus, Nefarian); since WotOG, pirate decks with some big minions (e.g. Chromaggus, Nefarian). And weapons. So many weapons, the current President would approve my budget increase.
My weapons warrior decks have never been Legend-quality; some months, they’re not even Rank 16 quality. But I like them very much, and I play mostly vs. Innkeeper or Dungeons. (I am sad that Blizzard anct’d that they won’t be doing any Dungeons in the coming year.)
When Un’goro launched, I had to copy 14 Standard decks to my archive before deleting them! Since then, I’ve only made two decks: my taunt weapons warrior quest deck, and a murloc shaman to summon 30 murlocs. Also, I got two copies of the shaman deck when I spent all of my gold buying Un’goro packs.
My new warrior deck is awesome! It’s a ton of fun to play, has not lost all of its PvP matches, and is interesting to the point of being viable against every other class. I must credit the HS dev team: from the perspective of warrior and shaman, they have focused Un’goro around these quests while still introducing a wide variety of mechanics. Most of the new taunt minions are interesting and fun to play, and Sulfuras with its associated change in hero power could not be more fantastic and apropos to weapons-centric warrior decks and play-styles!
P.S. I don’t normally gush about HS—on a given day, I may not even like HS—but the HS team deserves 600 words of my praise and excitement for making a new warrior archetype enjoyable and engaging.