A Different Type of Constructed

Browse through the deck lists from sites like Hearthhead or Team Liquid and you’ll notice a hefty number of uncommon cards. Not uncommon in terms of use or deck presence, uncommon in that the cards aren’t common. Decks are brimming with epics and legendaries, swollen with rares. This is not a bad thing, of course. Rares and their even more infrequent counterparts are usually better cards than the commons everyone has piles of. But this does highlight the fundamental problem with a rarity system in a game like this: once you have the are card, it’s rarity is irrelevant.

A card’s rarity doesn’t carry over into your deck. You have an equal chance to draw any of the cards, be that one of the five legendaries you run or another Faerie Dragon. A card’s rarity only hurts people building a collection and makes competitive decks stuffed with those elusive, powerful cards essential. Again though, this isn’t a complaint. Hearthstone is modeled after card games of similar mechanisms and the rarity encourages people to spend money to buy packs in hopes of acquiring the coveted Sylvannas Windrunner. The competitive scene evolves to take advantage of the best cards and those that have the largest library are in better position to win.

But here’s an idea: construction restrictions. Not official ones, of course, but ones imposed by tournament organizers, friends, and the community. Not for every game or every event, but perhaps a few. Just to change things up a bit. Rather than constructing decks from all available cards, why not limit resources and encourage some creativity? Only one legendary, or epics can only come from class cards, you need 3 commons for every 1 rare. No odd mana cost cards. No duplicates in the deck.

What I would love to see from Blizzard would be a Rarity mode for constructed play. As there’s no real deck to sift through and organize, shuffle and sort, stacking your own is impossible. Imagine if the game patterned your deck so that you drew a non-common card every 5  draws, like when opening a pack.  You know you’ll get at least one everyone 5 but you might get one sooner. Or, since there’s no deck, that each draw has a chance to be a card from your deck but weighted by rarity – commons are frequent, rares less so, epics not so much, and legendaries are just that. Would it be popular? I’d play it There are fewer limits in a virtual card game than in a physical one. Why not embrace the potential and do some weird things?

It’ll probably never happen but it would definitely be interesting.

Travis Morrow

Travis is a writer and designer who thoroughly enjoys getting pummeled in Hearthstone. His personal website is www.travisem.com

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