Why did Hearthstone’s return to the Frozen Throne fail? – Hearthstone

The return of the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion was praised when it was announced. Most players saw this as excellent news, mixing innovation and sadness in a metagame that was beginning to self-destruct. However, now that two weeks have passed, it is possible to check the return of the followers of the Lich King. And unfortunately, it’s not very good.

Right now, if you look at the dominant decks according to HSreplay stats, most of them don’t play any cards from the Frozen Throne set.

If we don’t include the Wound Warrior, which takes advantage of the return of some cards, and is the main reason to appreciate the return of the Lich King. Among the 10 decks with the best winrate between diamond rank and legend at the moment, you have to go to the tenth deck, with Murloc Shaman, to find new cards in a deck.

As for the other eight, two of which were Demon Hunter decks, which didn’t get any new cards, the decks hadn’t evolved, and it didn’t seem to bother them. With this in mind, it’s only natural to say that going back to an entire expansion doesn’t make sense in the current metagame, but the important question is why? The answer is known to all: Powercreep.

Powercreep is this magical concept that all card players have been complaining about for decades and that forces us to keep buying cards, even if we like the current ones. And that from time to time, it becomes very clear that we see this as a scam organized to get money from us.

So in this article, we will review the lack of effect of the return of one of the iconic Hearthstone expansions, and talk about the main reason, powercreep.

1. A keyword problem

Over time, it became very clear that War Cry was the strongest keyword in Hearthstone. The immediacy and firepower provided by this keyword have taken over others over time, including death rattle, the theme of the Lich King expansion.

But another major issue also limits the Lich King’s minions: the Choking Starfish, the common silence of the area after it drops to four mana points.

In fact, even by the time of the Lich King, the best card in the expansion was already a battlecry (Prince Keleseth, don’t pretend to think of anything). But again, the theme of death doesn’t have much of an answer among popular cards in the metagame.

While it’s not powercreep per se, addressing some elements of the game while strengthening others is a way to push some cards out the door. Now, with Brann in the game helping with Warcry and Deathrattle responses, it’s fitting that many Frozen Throne mechanics are completely unusable. For example cards that summon large minions when they die on the opponent’s turn.

2. A different idea of ​​time

There are two main concepts to consider when analyzing a card: What it brings to the game and its application window.

The first category is usually the tip of the iceberg. It is about judging if the card is strong or not, if it opens combinations, causes a lot of damage… But usually, it is the application window of a card that is the main reason for its success. .

In Hearthstone today, we have many cards that are strong in almost every moment of the game among the ones most affected by the metagame:

  • Brann : Copying a battle cry is always good, however, the progress of the game opens up more and more.
  • Theater : As long as we have time to spend five crystal mana, the card can be played at any time.
  • The new generation heroes, Guff, Varden, Cariel Tamsin, Rokara, Tchak… : Good for their mana cost, but also useful later.
  • Demon Hunter Relics : Their growth with each use allows them to grow with the development side

And if we look at the dominant decks according to HSreplay, we see decks with relatively cheap cards that are thus flexible to make different combinations depending on the situation and the mana available. And that’s the big difference from the days of Knights of the Frozen Throne, cards are a lot more flexible these days.

Played on turn 2, Prince Keleseth is definitely still a card worth playing today and can tip the scales in any game. But there is a problem, except for turn 2, the card is of little interest. If we compare him to Prince Renathal for example, who sees his effect weighing on the game regardless because it is automatically triggered. We immediately understood that one was more regular than the other.

A similar comparison can also be made between expensive cards: The Lich King and Sire Denathrius, each symbol of their set.

Even challenging, if the Lich King isn’t played in very good conditions, it’s a pretty average card. In addition, the cards it offers are definitely very powerful, but also very situational, except for Death Coil. Denathrius meanwhile is almost always strong. Once again, we have a card whose power can be measured as the game progresses thanks to imbue. And that deals damage while healing you, leading to defensive and aggressive abilities, making the window of use huge.

It’s possible that the strength of the Frozen Throne cards could rival the cards that saw the light of day this year. But from the point of view of the number of situations in which we can use the cards, the Lich King is light years away from Castle Nathria.

3. A direct injury problem

The last point of this analysis, is perhaps the most important: You will never win Hearthstone the same way. These days, Hearthstone is a game whose main resource is undoubtedly life points. Obviously, mana cheating continues to be common, but mana cheating more often results in damage to the opponent than development being completely suppressed.

Rogue’s Drakka dagger, The mage’s heroic power, the demon hunter’s fel spells, the warlock’s curses… The list is long, but revolves heavily around direct damage.

Back in the Frozen Throne era, the game wasn’t the same, and these were high-value cards. So, with less chance of surprising the opponent with direct damage, minions have more time to express themselves.

Minions are now bigger, faster, and create a sense of urgency that puts the player on the defensive without being able to play their own minions or take too much damage.

So as strong as Frozen Throne cards are, if not used in an optimal situation, they are often too slow for direct damage play. It’s not a question of bad stats or weak effects, the cards just don’t fit the way Hearthstone is played today.

As a result, the only cards that manage to make a place for themselves are the ones that stick to this logic of direct damage. Either as support for our damage, or as a response to the enemy. So that leaves only pickaxe (Ice Fishing on Shaman), cheap support (Animated Berserker on Warrior) or heavy defense (Invasive Plague on Druid).

4. Conclusion

I have no doubt that the Lich King will be the strongest in December when he joins the other 10 Hearthstone classes. As is the tradition from set to set, and if the story with the Demon Hunter repeats itself, it is possible that the Death Knight will dominate until they are nerfed to get back in line. I have very little Frost archetype in the class, which seems to have too much damage to balance out the release.

Until then, we’ll have to wait and be content with the old Lich King cards, failing to test the new ones. And if you regret the fact that only five or six cards really find their place, tell yourself that this is the same number as the last Mini Set, except that these cards are free.

Future articles will obviously focus on future expansion. We’ve seen all the cards for the new class so far, so I’ve prepared the next article to show you the many possible deck orientations.
Until then, I wish you a good game!

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