BlizzCon 2018 Hearthstone: What’s Next Panel Transcript

TEAMS

Peter: All right. So, we have nine teams in the rumble, each of them corresponding to a class, and they all have some similarities. First off, they all have a Loa. This is a super awesome, legendary minion. They’re almost all beast. These are really powerful, cool cards that are finishers in some sense. They are the kind of cards that you play towards the end of the game if your deck is built in the right direction. And what’s the kind of deck that you build in that direction? Well, it ties into their spirit. So, the spirit is a card that manifests some of the Loa’s powers. They push in the same direction.

 

You saw the Spirit of the Bat and Hir’eek the Bat, and they go in this swarm type tech where you’re using the spirit to hand buff your minions, and Hir’eek has a whole bunch of minions that he summons. They all tie together.

 

The image here is the Spirit of the Tiger. It goes in a similar deck as Shirvallah the Tiger you saw earlier. Okay, so we got the Loa, we got the spirit. That’s sort of the tiger deck.

 

We also have a troll champion. Those are almost all legendary minions. One of them is also a hero card. So, every class has a legendary troll champion, most of whom you’ve seen from World of Warcraft in the past, and these tend to push in a different direction. These are cards that are good in the deck that’s different than the one that the Loa and the spirit are.

So, if you’re a Paladin player and you’re excited about this expansion, you can be excited about the tiger deck. You can also be excited about the deck the High Priest Thekal goes in. High Priest Thekal is the Paladin champion depicted here.

So, you’ve got those three cards, and then you’ve also got seven other awesome cards that all derive from that same theme. The glowing yellow magic, the Paladin vibe, the tiger claws, the upright trolls, they all derive their fantasy from the tiger Loa.

 

Liv: So, we have all the formalities out of the way. It’s time to begin the main event. It’s time for Rastakhan’s Rumble! Nine teams have assembled to fight for the glory of the rumble. Nine troll champions will lead those teams to victory. Let’s introduce them one at a time so you find out who you like, who’s your favorite, and who you just loved to hate.

First up, Bwonsamdi zombies for the priests.

 

Peter: Next, we have Shirvallah’s tigers for the Paladins.

 

Liv: Hir’eek’s bats for Warlock.

 

Peter: Gonk’s raptors, the druid team.

 

Liv: Halazzi’s lynxes for the hunters.

 

Peter: Krag’wa’s frogs for the Shaman.

 

Liv: Now, Jan’alai’s dragonhawks for the Mages.

 

Peter: Gral sharks for the rogues.

 

Liv: And finally, Akali’s rhinos for the warriors.

 

Peter: These are the nine teams in Rastakhan’s Rumble, and we’re going to go into them one at a time. We’re going to show you a couple more cards.

 

So, first off, we have Bwonsamdi zombies, and in addition to having the greatest name of all of the rumble teams, they are also masters of death. Bwonsamdi is the Loa of the dead, and he’s the only non-beast among all of the Loa. He’s the one who takes the trolls after they die, and he shepherds them off to wherever they go. Sometimes that’s undeath. Sometimes it’s a better place. He’s also a master of dark bargains. Just ask his champion, Princess Talanji, whose father sacrificed her future in order to save his kingdom, and we wanted to capture that mechanic of sacrifice, of dark bargains, in a Hearthstone card. So, let’s take a look at Surrender to Madness.

 

Surrender to Madness is a 3 Mana spell, and it gives all of the minions in your deck +2/+2. That’s like Prince Keleseth but twice as good. It does come with a small drawback though: it destroys three of your mana crystals. So, you need to figure out the right time to play this. Do you coin it out on turn 2, destroy 2 of your mana crystals and just be behind for the whole game but drawing awesome minions? Or do you wait until later in the game, turn 7, turn 8, maybe even turn 10, when losing those mana crystals is a much smaller price to pay, and you’ll get them back pretty quickly?

Liv: It’s pretty cool because you could put two of these in your deck, so you can have plus 4 plus 4 for all the minions in your deck.

Peter: At the low, low price of 6 mana crystals.

Liv: So, Shirvallah’s tigers are good. They’re pure. They’re righteous. They’re the golden gods of the arena. They’re a little bit arrogant, but they can back up their claims. They can do no wrong. They achieve victory through devotion and righteousness, and those that are truly devoted, live forever.

 

Immortal Prelate is a 2 mana 1/3 Paladin minion. It’s got Deathrattle: Shuffle this into your deck. It keeps any enchantments.

 

So, it’s like King’s Bane, but it’s way better in Paladin because they have so many different ways to buff their minions, whether it’s Blessing of Wisdom, or Blessing of Kings, or ###. There’s so many ways you can make Immortal Prelate nice and beefy. So, if you cast ### on Immortal Prelate, she’s got plus 2 plus 6 taunt and deathrattle: Revive the dinosaur, gets shuffled back in your deck. You play her again. Still has +2/+6. Still ###, and that works on forever, which is awesome. But you have to be careful because negative debuffs also stick forever. So paladins’ favorite combo, a quality Consecrate, can leave her at 1 Health for the rest of the game.

 

Peter: Not everybody wants to be a goody two-shoes though. Some of you want power at any cost, and that brings us to Hir’eek’s bats. These are the Warlock team, and they are all about sacrifice. They can attain great power, but they have to be willing to give up everything. They’re going to sacrifice their minions. You’ve seen Spirit of the Bat. You’ve seen Hir’eek. They’re willing to sacrifice their cards in their hand. They’ll throw away cards in their deck. They’ll sacrifice innocent bystanders. They’ll throw away anything as long as it means victory. You’ve seen Spirit of the Bat. You’ve seen Hir’eek. That really plays into that sense of have lots of minions out, throw them away, you’ll have this awesome end-game. If you throw away all of your resources, you’ll still have some great things at the end of the game.

 

Liv: All right? It’s time for the first fight of the night. Two teams have entered the arena. The winner gets a card revealed. The loser gets nothing. The audience decides who wins and who loses. The team with the loudest fans gets an additional card reveal.

 

Liv: Guys ready? Yeah! So, if you are good, if you are pure, if you would protect those who cannot protect themselves, if you are a divine gift from the gods, then let’s hear it. For Shirvallah’s tigers!!!

And if you would crush the weak and step on them with your heel, if you would give up anything for power, if you like being really, really mean, then let’s hear you scream for Hir’eek’s bats.

The Warlocks win! Darkness descends upon the arena as Paladin’s lights are snuffed out.

 

Let’s take a look at their card reveal.

 

Void Contract is an 8 Mana Warlock spell, and it says destroy half of your deck and half of your opponent’s. You remember how we said they like sacrificing things? Well, they would do anything. They would give up anything to make sure you don’t get your Shudderwock combo.

Peter: Void Contract is pretty awesome, but let’s move away from good and evil, all those kind of boring, old, out of date concepts. And let’s take a look at some dinosaurs.

Druid is Gonk’s raptors, and they are all about dinosaurs. They’ve got druids leaping from dinosaur to dinosaur before they pounce on their enemies. They’ll turn into dinosaurs. They have Wardruid Loti who is well-known in Battle for Azeroth for turning into a whole bunch of different dinosaurs. She is their champion. In fact, they’re all about being feral, being wild, and being vicious. And that brings us to our first druid card reveal.

 

Savage Striker is a 2 mana 2/3 with battlecry. Deal damage equal to your hero’s attack to a minion. In Rastakhan’s Rumble, your hero is going to get into the fight. This is how we’re trying to capture that sense of being a feral druid from World of Warcraft where your hero gains attack through claw, through bite, through nash. Malfurion’s hero power. You use these cards, and then Savage Striker pairs up with you to kill another minion. Having your hero get down and dirty in the arena, crushed minions all on his own, it’s really all about that troll spirit.

 

Liv: Now, Gonk’s raptors are big swampy dinosaurs, but Halazzi’s lynxes are fast, ferocious, and just a little furious. They’re led by the warlord Berzerker Zul’jin, who we recognize as a hero from Warcraft II. He is a hero in Heroes of the Storm; and now, he’s a hero card for Hearthstone. So… We don’t get to see him today. We’ve got to leave some surprises. Sorry.

 

So, the lynxes rely on tactics and speed to defeat their opponents running circles around them before finding the perfect opportunity to strike. Let’s take a look at that now.

 

Springpaw is a 1/1 beast. It’s got rush and a battlecry out of 1/1 lynx with rush to your hand. So, it’s a really versatile tool for hunters to use because they can split up the damage and take out 2 smaller targets. They can use them to team up and take down a bigger one. They can set up the perfect board for the most efficient trade, or they can set up the perfect Overkill trigger.

Halazzi’s lynxes are this ball of thing and fur and claws, and it’s absolutely terrifying. Springpaw may look small, but one damage can be the difference between defeat and lethal.

 

Peter: All right. You’ve seen the two wildest teams in the arena, and now, they go head to head with a card reveal on the line. So, if you love giant dinosaurs, if you want to crush your opponents beneath your enormous paws, then let’s hear it for Gonk’s raptors and the Druids. On the other hand, if you like fang and claw and ferocious beasts, if you would like to swarm your opponent with a horde of little raptors, then let’s hear it for Halazzi’s lynxes.

 

I think hunters have that one. Hunter wins!

 

Let’s take a look at Baited Arrow. The Hunter card revealed. Baited Arrow is a 5 mana spell. It deals 3 damage and has Overkill: Summon a 5/5 dinosaur. So, you really want to get that Overkill trigger, so you have to do some interesting things to make sure your opponent has a 2 health minion on the board. You can trade in things like Springpaw or the lynx that goes with it to make sure that they’ve got something small enough that you can get the Overkill and get your giant dinosaur out of it.

 

Liv: It’s also really awesome because this can go face. So, if your opponent has 2 health remaining on their hero, you hit them with a steak arrow, and then you get a dinosaur afterwards. It’s awesome.

Now, let’s get away from all that messy physical violence and get into something more spiritual and serene. Shaman are interesting because they are a versatile class that use both physical and magical means to defeat their opponents, but this time we’re leaning heavy into the spellcasting and the voodoo.

 

They’re led by Zentimo, who is a little weird. He worships a frog, but I mean… So his spells are weapons…or his spells are frogs… Of course they’re weapons. So, spells are frogs. His weapons are frogs. He attacks with frogs. He just loves frogs. So, it’s no surprise that his next card would have toads.

 

Reign of Toads is a 6 mana Shaman spell, summons three 2/4 toads at a time, has Overload (3). It’s a great tool that helps you get to the end-game, to help you collect all your combo pieces, to find your healing and heal up against those aggressive decks. Let’s take a look at that now. So, it’s turn 10. Our priest opponent has a 3/2 raptor. It’s looking aggressive. We’re going to play Reign of Toads. It’s amazing.

 

So, it’s a great tool that helps you get to the end-game, but you have to be really careful because it has such a high overload cost that you can’t play your end-game finishers if you’re already out 10 mana. So, you have to weigh between “Am I going to play Shudderwock? Do I need to hold out another turn? Do I need to find my healing?” There’s a lot of interesting choices to make with Reign of Toads.

 

Peter: All right. So, Shaman have their voodoo, they have their mysticism, but Mages have fire. Jan’alai’s dragonhawks love fire. They really, really, really, really like fire…like a lot. And there’s nobody who likes fire more than this card.

 

Pyromaniac is a 3 Mana 3/4. She’s literally on fire, and whenever your hero power kills a minion, you get to draw a card. Your hero power is firebolt, so a lot of the mage cards for Jan’alai’s dragonhawks tie into your hero power, either making it a little bit better, or taking advantage of it when you kill minions with it, or do other cool things with your hero power.

 

So, we’ve seen Sharman. We’ve seen Mages. What we haven’t seen yet today is a troll champion. So we are going to reveal either Zentimo, the Shaman champion; or Hex Lord Malacrass, the mage champion. So, if you love voodoo, if you love frogs, if you have one of those cool frog pennants, then let’s hear it for Shaman and Krag’wa’s frogs.

 

On the other hand, if you love fire, if you just really want to watch the world burn, then let’s hear it for Jan’alai’s dragonhawks.

Oh, man. That was pretty close.

Liv: I think Mages won.

 

Peter: I think Mages win. There was more whistling. All right. We get to see Malacrass. Let’s take a look.

 

Hex Lord Malacrass is an 8 Mana 5/5 legendary minion with Battlecry: Add a copy of your opening hand to your hand (Except this card). That is one of the coolest mechanics we have in this expansion. It’s just a weird thing that you’re like, “How could they possibly do that? It only makes sense in a digital game.” I’m pretty excited about it. It also makes me think about your mulligans differently.

If you are in a match up where you know it is going to be super super long, maybe you keep extra copies of your really really late game cards so that Malacrass will be able to get them back to you, and you will be able to get tons and tons of value in the late game.

In the other hand, if you are in a tempo match up, of course you are still going to mulligan through your cheap stuff, and then Malacrass is going to give you more copies of those cheap cards in the late game so that you can take advantage of them then.

It also means that you have to be pretty careful about remembering which cards you had in the opening hand, and taking advantage of that in the late game.

Liv: Now enough namby-pamby, weaklings! It is time to get to the heavy-metal team: Akali’s rhinos. They are all about charging in head first into the fray. Sul’thraze, which is a perfect example of how they like to solve their problems. Ramming their faces into over and over and over again. Faces go away when you do that. They live by Master Voone. He’s come all the way from Blackrock Mountain. They are all about heavy spikes, big chains, and melting faces.

 

Peter: Next up, we have Gral’s sharks, and in the Arena where there are no rules, they still find a way to cheat. They are led by Captain Hooktusk, and her band of pirates.

 

Rogues are all about cheating and doing weird deceitful tricks. They are the kind of people who would be willing to bribe the judges in the event. If there were any judges and there were any rules. We have already seen Spirit of the Shark earlier today. It let’s your minions’ battlecries and combos trigger twice. So that let’s you double up on your Lab Recruiters, and your Pogo-Hoppers to have an army of giant bunny mechs.

Gral’s sharks are pretty awesome. They combine piracy and deception. Two of the most fun things in Hearthstone.

Liv: But now it is time for the final fight of the night. Two teams remain. Are you guys ready? Release all the marbles so you are sure you give it all you have got. So if you live a life for the sea, and you live for the salt and the brine, and the wind on your sails… if you love the search of booty, then let’s hear it. For Gral’s sharks!!!

Peter: Sharks!!!

Liv: And if you would rather slip through the crowds, pickpocket some people, stick to the shadows and never be seen, and get out without anyone ever seeing you, then let’s hear it. For the Rogues!!!!

I think Gral’s sharks have it this time.

 

Peter: Would you be willing to say Liv bribed some judges?

Liv: Let’s take a look at the next pirate related card.

 

Cannon Barrage is a 6 Mana rogue spell. Deals 3 damage to a random enemy (which can go face), and behold your pirates fire their cannons on them as they shoot them. It’s awesome, and let’s show it to you right now.

So we have got a board full of pirates. The opponent has a pesky taunt on the way. So you are just launch a bunch of cannons at them. And now that the taunts are out of the way, we can attack with our pirates.

NEXT: TEAMS

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

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