Tagged With hearthstone card of the month

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Up until the launch of this month’s “Rise of Shadows” expansion, Hearthstone was ruled by a few select cards that provide what fans call “infinite” value: Once you played them, you could benefit from their effects for the rest of the game. Deathstalker Rexxar, for example, provided infinite value by letting you add a powerful minion to your hand every turn after you played it.

Rexxar is no longer playable in Hearthstone’s Standard ranked mode, and Blizzard has tried to get rid of infinite-value cards with this expansion. But a controversial card in the new set is making it apparent that rebalancing might not be so straightforward.

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It was difficult to gauge the quality of Shirvallah, the Tiger before the Hearthstone card released as part of the game’s most recent set, Rastakhan’s Rumble. With its impossibly high Mana cost of 25, it was one of those cards whose strict requirement meant that its true value could only be tested after release.

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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.

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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.

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In Hearthstone, the art of deck building has always taken a relatively specific shape: You choose a win condition (e.g. kill your opponent with small minions as quickly as possible), then fill your deck with the most powerful card combos to help you accomplish that.

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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.