Shorter article today! Set 2 is so close that we can all taste it, so I am really just bidding my time until it is here. I have been impressed that the meta has continued to move around in these last couple of weeks, but at this point I feel like what we are largely seeing is a shuffle of established archetypes. I am still utterly floored by how robust Set 1 has been. As of this writing I have just hit one year in the game, and although there have been a ton of changes through rebalancing and promos, the core cards that define the game are the same today as they were a year ago. But with that, let’s talk about the future! My first chunk of the article is surrounding my personal musings about Set 2, and then I will have the poll for “Brewer’s Challenge #2”.
Set 2 Theories
I’m sure everyone here has spent a good deal of time theorizing over what could be in Set 2. We know bits and pieces, but most of that is fairly superficial. Here I am going to list off things we know, as well as my theories based on that information. I will try to make it clear what is coming from DWD statements versus my own imagination. I’m not going to be able to source everything that has been stated in the past, but a good deal has come from the Chapin AMA, so read that (or my summary) if you want to learn a little more. I also like to make clear when I am writing this type of content that I have no special information. Although I have had more direct interaction with DWD than the average player, everything in this article is either publicly stated, or my own personal musings. I will attempt to make it clear what is what at all times.
-Set 2 will focus on “off-faction” pairs (Argenport, Skycrag, Xenan and Hooru). As of right now there are 2 Commons, 4 Uncommons, 6 Rares and 5 Legends and 1 Jekk’s Bounty card for each 2-faction pair. If the off-faction cycle of Promos counts for the Jekk’s Bounty cards, we can probably expect the same number of cards for the off-faction pairs. That would actually equal 85 cards accounted for already, which makes me suspicious that much more space is going to be taken up by multifaction cards, given that the total set size is probably going to be 200-250. Maybe 1 or 2 cycles of multifaction cards that include the traditional pairings, but I doubt more than that.
-Set 1 was 416 cards with 60 Legends and 100 Rares. If we assume Set 2 is exactly half the size it would fit into the 200-250 range. With the same ratios there will be 30 Legends and 50 Rares. If you wanted to have a playset of each Rare and Legend on day 1 you would need to have 544,000 Shiftstone saved up approximately. If you are buying packs with Gold you get an average of about 400 a pack, meaning you would need to buy 1,360,000 Gold worth of packs to get everything. This however assumes you shift ever card that you open, and somehow open none of the cards you want, so I would expect that half that (688,000) would be more realistic. This also assumes you don’t draft (we don’t know yet how draft will work for Set 2). I expect that if you are good at draft and have a stockpile of 250,000-500,000 Gold you should be able to get most of Set 2 by the time you run out of Gold. Check out my article on costs if you are curious about how I got these numbers.
-As many have seen, there is a good chance we get some official announcement about tournaments soon. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, this picture was taken from the Google translated version of et.mail.ru, which is the Russian Eternal site (not a virus, I swear).
Sarius also did a translation for us (he speaks Russian). Says more-or-less the same thing.
This strongly suggests that DWD is moving towards an in-client tournament system. We have no details about this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were around the release of Set 2 that major announcements about tournaments are made and/or implemented. I imagine a lot of us are very anxious to hear more about this.
-We know from Chapin’s AMA that we should expect some modal spells, as well as some attachment hate. One of the things I am curious about is whether attachment hate will split into various forms. “Destroy enemy Relic”, “Destroy enemy curse” and “Destroy enemy weapon” all target subsets of the attachments in the game, which would allow DWD to push narrow attachment removal much harder. I have commented before about the power level disparity between Furnace Mage and Steward of the Past. Both are 4 drops that hose certain types of strategies, but one is roughly an 8/10, while the other is about 5/10. I think the difficulty is that if you had a Steward quality card for all attachment types it would efficiently hose everything from Rakano to Shimmerpack. By making cards that focus on sub-sets of attachments it would be less oppressive. I would also expect some of the modal cards to include attachment removal. I also expect many of the modal spells to be multifaction. LightsOutAce and I have suggested something along the following lines before:
-During the move to Open Beta one of the patch notes discussed Sanctuary Priest changing from 1/1 to 1/2, and said that they were making the change in preparation for an upcoming mechanic that cares about life gain. I expect it would be read like “Invigorate: Does something when you gain life.” I had originally thought this would be the Xenan mechanic since the Sanctuary Priest is in Time and there are a bunch of Time life gain cards, but Oathbreaker makes me think this might be the Argenport mechanic. An extremely basic implementation of the card might be something like “Argenport Officer” shown below. This card could just as easily be a Xenan card, depending on where they want to put this “Invigorate” mechanic, but my current bet is still Argenport.
-Rilgon, the star from the last “Brewer’s challenge”, along with cards like Hooru Envoy, suggest that the Hooru mechanic would relate to casting spells. It would be wicked if it is a cost reduction mechanic, but those are very dangerous and difficult to balance. It is more likely to be closer to “Sorcery: Does something when you play a spell.” This would make turn Rilgon and Fevered Scout into a Sorcery card retroactively. A simple implementation might be something like this:
-Continuing to the next faction, I think there is a pretty good chance we see a Skycrag mechanic that is similar to the Hearthstone “Spell Damage +X” mechanic. This is a popular and powerful mechanic that gives all spells that deal damage an additional X damage. This has a great overlap with the Hooru mechanic where you get doubly rewarded for playing spells, so there would be a lot of cross-over between the two factions (Primal Sorcery cards would fit into a Skycrag deck while Primal Spell Damage cards would fit into a Hooru deck). This is an obvious fit for Skycrag as almost all damage-dealing spells are either Fire or Primal (with the only excpetion being Spirit Drain I believe). They might write the mechanic such that it even works for all non-combat damage, which would be a boost for cards like Alpine Tracker and Caldaren Channeler. Given that Spell Damage is a Hearthstone term, DWD probably can’t use it. It might look something like the following:
- The last two factions I feel are harder to guess for. Arcanum Monitor, the Praxis promo (as well as Vault of the Praxis), suggests that Praxis will focus on a go-wide approach. There are a lot of possibilities to what this may look like mechanically. Could be something like “Heroism: gains an ability if you control 3 or more units” or “Banding: Does something when you play another unit” or even “Formation: Does something when you attack with 3 or more units.” I suppose it is possible instead that they formalize the “5 Attack or more” mechanic, but I feel like the space that plays in is difficult to formalize into one mechanic in a clean fashion (how do you write it so Saraupod Wrangler is included?). Azindel seems to imply a void-centric mechanic for the Xenan, but that could mean a lot of things. Some possibilities include variants of Morbid, Flashback or Embalm from Magic the Gathering. I imagine it will be unit-centric in some fashion, but that still leave a huge range of possibilities. I feel like any predicted cards will be less realistic than my guesses for Argenport, Hooru and Skycrag, so I will spare you.
Brewer’s Challenge 2
Fevered Scout – She has seen a little play in mono-Fire burn or together with Hooru Envoy, but has yet to make a real splash. This little lady packs a punch if she gets to take a clear shot, but that seems so rare. Maybe there isn’t actually much potential here, but I want to give her another chance.
Hero of the People – In looking for a mono-justice card to include, this was the only one that even vaguely interested me. Justice is a distinctly “fair” faction. Hero has been used in a number of decks I have seen already, but perhaps there is more work that can be done? Maybe there is a TJP Heros deck waiting to be cracked?
North Wind Herald – Once upon a time he was a ranked staple, but his time was brief. He still seems kinda busted if the right shell can be built, but I can’t figure out what that is supposed to be. Ageless Mentor + clone effects? Unstable Form Feln? So many possibilities!
Reality Warden – In a faction that is defined by big dumb idiots, lets play the biggest dumbest idiot! Seriously though, I am still surprised that Reality Warden doesn’t see more play, as he just has so many stats. Maybe he has a role in a Combrei midrange deck?
Nightmaw, Sight Unseen – Another card that looks to be in the “really powerful but doesn’t have a home” camp. I will be honest that I have never really tried with him, but I feel like no one has really tried to make Nightmaw work. Now might finally be his time!
And that’s all folks! See you next week!