BlizzCon 2018 Hearthstone: What’s Next Panel Transcript

SPIRITS & LOA

Peter: You’ve already seen the Spirit of the Shark in opening ceremonies. That’s a 4 mana 0/3 with stealth for 1 turn. Your minions battlecries and combos trigger twice. So, all of the spirits are 0/3 minions with stealth for 1 turn, and that was really important because we wanted the spirits to be build around. We wanted you to be able to put this in your deck, and your deck feels like the shark deck. It feels like the tiger deck; or the bat deck; or the raptor deck. This was something that was critical for the vibe of the expansion.

They’re also resilient. If you’re going to build your deck around this card, we want to make sure that you can get some output from it. We want you to be able to do your cool thing, and so, stealth for 1 turn is our version of “this minion will probably live for a turn.” We tried a lot of different things for that. We tried some minions that were just invincible, that were dormant. They had their cool effect. They were just permanently there. Turns out that felt really bad to play against. Nobody likes it when there’s a minion that they can’t clear forever. So, we tried minions can’t attack this. They’re ethereal. Also had the problem of it’s pretty hard for some decks to remove it. They last for a long time, not that fun to play against. All right?

So, we swung the other direction. What if they just had 8 health, 10 health, 12 health. They just had a bunch of health. The problem there was that they were really good if you were ahead on board and pretty bad if you were behind on board. Now, your opponent would just attack into it, clear it out. You didn’t get to do your cool thing. If you’re ahead on board, again, it was pretty hard for your opponent to remove them.

So, we settled on stealth for 1 turn. It had a good balance between your opponent can use Hellfire or Multi-shot. There’s some answers for them to remove it, but at the same time, you generally get to start your turn with it, and spend all of your mana doing crazy shenanigans with Pogo-Hoppers and Lab Recruiters, or Edwin Van Cleef, or other powerful rogue minions.

So, there’s a spirit in every single class, and they’re all low cost. Spirit of the Shark is actually the most expensive of the spirits. There are none that costs more than 4 mana, and a bunch that costs less than that. That lets you do your really cool thing on a turn that’s early enough for it to matter. It was really important to us that if your deck is going to be built around battlecries, and combos, and Spirit of the Shark, that you actually get to do your cool battlecries and combos before the game was decided, before it was turn 10 or turn 12 in, and a lot of the things had already happened.

 

Liv: So, we’ve mentioned Loa a couple times now, but what are they for Hearthstone? Well, they’re bad ass gods, so they just needed to be super awesome legendaries, right? We just needed them to be awesome cards that people are excited to put in their decks.

 

And Shirvallah is the core of what it means to be a Paladin. She has divine shield. She has rush. She has life steal. She has all of those things, and she also cost 25 mana. So, although she’s a beating because she’s so good at removal, she has such a big swing and a healing, but she also costs a lot. So, we wanted to make sure that the Loa didn’t go in every deck. We wanted to make sure that they went in the right deck. So, she also can cost 0 — if you build your deck around it, which felt really awesome.

 

Peter: So, Loa are awesome legendaries. Spirits are these build around 0/3 stealth minions. How do they work together? The answer is… really well. So let’s take a look at the Warlock spirit.

 

This is Spirit of the Bat. It’s a 2 Mana and a 0/3 with stealth for one turn because it’s a spirit; and after one of your minions dies, a minion in your hand gets +1/+1. So, this plays into that hand buffing theme that we started off with in Warlocks in the Boomsday Project with Soul Infusion. It pairs with cards like a Doubling Imp or Saronite Chain Gang. We’re just having lots of minions, particularly ones that replicate themselves.

 

And that brings us to Hir’eek the Bat. Hir’eek the Bat is an 8 mana 1/1. Those are great stats for the cost. It has the battlecry. It fills your board with copies of this minion. So, if you can get Spirit of the Bat out in the early game and a whole bunch of minions die, you can make your Hir’eek the Bat this enormous threat in the late game.

 

Liv: And it’s really cool because they work either way in this case. So, if you play a Hir’eek out before the Spirit of the Bat, you can use that to feed all the other minions that are in your hand and get those nice and big. So, let’s take a look at that in action. We’ve got a board full of minions. They’ve got a board full of minions. And we have initiative because with the Spirit of the Bat in the hands, we also have Hir’eek the Bat in hand.

So, we’re going to play out Spirit of the Bat, and we’re going to do what a Warlock does best: sacrifice away all their stuff, get rid of it. Hir’eek the Bat is now a 2/2. Now, he is a 3/3…4/4…5/5.

Now, he’s a 6/6, and now, we’re going to play him.

Peter: Ah, 8 mana 36/36.

Liv: That’s 72 stat. Not bad for an 8 mana 1/1.

 

NEXT: TEAMS

BlizzCon 2018 Hearthstone: What's Next Panel Transcript
1. Intro2. Overkill3. Spirits & Loa4. Teams5. Missions

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