The latest Hearthstone Patch 20.4 was released a few days ago (June 3rd). It contained a TON of goodies such as the Wailing Caverns mini set and the latest Battlegrounds update (two new heroes and a minion replacement). The Wailing Caverns mini set costs 2000 gold or $15. In terms of cards to cost ratio, it is very efficient. See below for an image of all the cards in the set. In this post we'll talk about what this means for the Hearthstone constructed meta and the Battlegrounds meta.
CUTEST CARD: Definitely Serpentbloom. Is it the CUTEST card in Hearthstone? Jury is still out on if it's actually good but in terms of cuteness it's definitely up there.
STRONGEST CARD: Stealer of Souls for Wild. Cheating out cards will always be problematic where the pool of cards to cheat out is vast (eg: WILD).
MOST INTERESTING CARD: Lady Anaconda is a great way to cheat out cards. A 6 mana, 3/7 stat line is also nothing to scoff at. Most spells are already labeled 'Nature' and there's a lot of ways to cheat out cards already in Druid. At a certain point, 'cheating out cards' theme of Druid will hit a critical mass and decks will be built around high rolling. Imagine wild bloom + coin +overgrowth on turn 1. Into innervate + Lady Anaconda on turn 3. Into double germination (2 mana then free) + Cenarion Ward (4 mana) turn 4. That would be 3x Lady Anacondas AND a random 8 drop. Literally no other deck can handle this type of high roll.
SLEEPER CARD: My WILD guess is that Party Up! will be a good card that will be initially overlooked. Although the general power level of an adventurer is low, the sheer value of 10/10 with random bonuses for 7 mana is great. 7 mana is admittedly on the higher end but the board impact and potential rush/taunts might be enough to make this card playable.
OVERRATED CARD: Perpetual Flame. Recasting with Overload (1) makes it so your next turn will most likely be pass or close to it. It's situational, and the greater the 'value' of this card, the more awkward your next turn will get. At a certain point it'll just be more worth to run a general AOE card instead of this.
What does this mean for the meta? People are clamoring for the Stealer of Souls warlock card to get nerfed. Its impact to Standard isn't very high but the WILD meta is warped around this. For Standard, there are other strong cards such as Felrattler, Devourer Ectoplasm, and Wailing Vapor that will most certainly see play. It's tough to say that there are any Standard format meta defining cards here. It probably does not mean much for the current meta but definitely enforces the current deck archetypes out there.
The 20.4 Hearthstone update also had some small changes to its Battleground format. Two new heroes (Guff & Mutanus) as well as Hexruin Marauder replacing Siegebreaker.
First of all, let's pour one out for Siegebreaker. He wasn't a meta or battleground composition defining card by any means but he was reliable. Triple on tier 3 early? Discovering a Siegebreaker wasn't the end of the world and helped you stabilize while you figure out your direction/future. He knew he wasn't your dream guy but was that safe bet to settle on and save you a few HP.
He was replaced by Hexruin Marauder, a 4* 3/5 stat minion with +3/+3 if you are a six minion andy player. IF you play one turn with 6 minions, he quickly 'breaks-even' with Siegebreaker. But then this means you have to be a six minion andy player. +3/+3 scaling every turn for one minion is nothing to scoff at but that seventh spot is very valuable. This also means you are most likely always attacking second. Currently, the battle phase is setup such that the player with more minions always attacks first (or random if the number of minions in the warband are tied). Are there any compositions currently that wants you to run only six minions? I can't think of any.
Overall, Hexruin Marauder is a decent card early but will definitely not be the focal point of your composition. I can't imagine sacrificing a whole minion slot just to get +3/+3 every turn will ever be worth it. I can imagine it helping out Demon composition players transition late game into a Mal'Ganis and never getting the benefit of the effect ever again.
Here's a recent battlegrounds game on Aranna Starseeker where I tried to force demons and got an (early) exit around turn 9. I think this game highlights pretty well on why Demons are a '4th place' composition that is extremely hard to get 1st or 2nd place with. Taking early hits trying to get the right setup AND taking damage from Wrath Weaver's effect spells for an awful time. Other compositions currently (looking at you Quillboars) can scale just as well without the negative effect of taking free damage.
On a side note, if you want to start recording awesome Hearthstone Battlegrounds OR Constructed replays such as this, check it out at: https://squadov.gg/hearthstone!
That's all folks! Thanks for reading. Next time we'll see if my predictions/hot takes were actually (or more likely, see how wrong I was).
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