Hearthstone games rarely go according to plan. Sometimes you draw the wrong cards and have to make the most of the situation. Sometimes your opponent discards your most important combo piece and you have to find a new way to win the game. Once you play the game enough, you start to get familiar with the decks you’re facing and you learn to avoid your opponent’s potential disruptions. But there is a card that throws that all out the window, and it’s the backbone of Hearthstone’s most unpredictable deck.
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One of the most persistently annoying mechanics in Hearthstone is Taunt. When a minion has Taunt, you have to attack it — you can’t attack other minions or the enemy Hero. Usually, Taunt minions are not that difficult to deal with, as they typically have weaker stats than their Taunt-less counterparts.
On December 22, 2017, when SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 test rocket and lit up the skies of Los Angeles with a glowing orb of smoke, a not-insignificant number of Southern Californians began to believe the aliens had finally come to murder us all.
I was there for that, and I can say with confidence that my vexation in that moment didn’t even approach what I felt when I first laid eyes on the latest Hearthstone reveal.
No Hearthstone card is bad on its own. Sure, some underperform in certain decks, in certain metagames, in certain pools of available cards. But time has proven that sometimes, cards that we thought were bad are actually pretty good when things align the right way.
The object of Hearthstone is to bring your opponent's life points down to zero, so it stands to reason that Ice Block, a Mage-specific card that makes that literally impossible to do for a whole turn, is pretty strong. So strong, in fact, that starting with the next expansion, Blizzard is moving the card out of the game's Standard mode of competitive play.