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This morning, Dean “Iksar” Ayala posted an official “Hearthstide Chat” article discussing the adapt mechanic, confirming the previously-leaked-and-subsequently-all-but-confirmed-but-I’m-pretty-sure-up-until-now-not-officially-confirmed Gentle Megasaur card, and revealing two more cards sporting the Adapt mechanic. Dean explained that Adapt started out as a mechanic for one of the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan crime families, but was ultimately passed over and saved for another day. When the team decided to do Un’Goro, they wanted to make the dinosaurs within the crater unique to Hearthstone, and they determined “Adapt” was a good way to do so. There were originally 20 Adapt options, but the team whittled it down to the 10 that buffed the adapting minion. The entire post goes through the reasoning behind each of several adapt cards–including two new ones! Some of the cards were designed to introduce the new mechanic, some were designed to have synergy with other major archetypes, and some were designed

On April 10, 2017 (approximately 13 days and 21 hours from the time of writing, based on Blizzard’s nifty countdown), 48 national teams will compete in the Hearthstone Global Games! Players were nominated by Blizzard and voted on by the fans. Now, voting is closed and the teams have been revealed. Did your favorite player make the cut? Spoiler: if your favorite player is AKAWonder or Xixo, he did not make the cut, and all of Twitter is outraged with you. Check out all the teams, the nifty countdown, and tournament rules, here.

The spoilers continued fast and frequent today with two different reveals. First, E. Malone’s Third Journal–Week Three revealed that the name for the race of turtle-people is the tortollans, and that their leader is named Umbra. We know that the turtle-people will be represented in the set, and we fully expect Umbra to make an appearance–almost certainly as a legendary. In the journal, Umbra gives Malone to the murlocs, and later appears to give Megafin (the murloc leader) instructions, which may indicate some synergy between their cards/tribes. Finally, the journal makes reference to a massive purple “megasaur” upon the back of which the murloc village is located, which appears to be a reference to the previously leaked Gentle Megasaur card, below. Most directly, however, the Journal revealed some upcoming murloc synergy, including the shaman quest, Unite the Murlocs and the quest prize, Megafin itself. The cards come right as Everyfin

Introduction Standard includes Basic, Classic, and the two most recent years worth of expansions. With every new set comes the excitement of new cards and the promise of a new meta, but with the first set each standard-year comes a set rotation (and, thus far, changes to the evergreen sets). When Journey to Un’Goro releases next month, we are losing Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, and League of Explorers. There were a lot of impactful cards in those sets, which @OtakuMZ1978 and @hsdecktech break down for you below. We will give you a list of staple cards that will rotate to Wild play mode in early April. We also include suggestions on how to replace these cards in order to retain established deck types. But beware, there will be some that are not replaceable due to their unique effect (e.g. Brann Bronzebeard). If you think that we missed something important, please leave a comment

This week’s Tavern Brawl is Encounter at the Crossroads (again), but this time, with an exciting TWIST: the prize is a pack of Journey to Un’Goro, to be opened after the set releases. Make sure you get at least one win in this week, or you’ll be leaving sweet, sweet, dinos on the table. Remember, another wave of spoilers comes out this week and the set launch is scheduled to come out in “early April,” so from here on out the hype train is all steam ahead! Check out all the Un’Goro spoilers in our running set list, here.

It is no secret (and to some of us, no surprise) that the Heroic Tavern Brawl experiment last year was a massive success. While certainly not for everyone, the format scratched the competitive itch for well-known streamers and every-day players alike. For the former, it helped boost viewership; for the latter, it allowed a chance to live out our delusions of grandeur. It gave all of us the tournament mode that we’ve been asking for for ages (kind of). Just a few weeks ago, as part of the massive Year of the Mammoth reveal, Blizzard promised us a Wild-Format Heroic Tavern Brawl after Journey to Un’Goro launched. (link) Today, however, Blizzard announced that we would be getting a Standard-Format Heroic Tavern Brawl much sooner than that–next week, to be precise. (link) For anybody who did not participate last time, or wants a reminder, here is what you need to know:

 

Ben Brode’s Rap Song

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Ben Brode: Hearthstone game director, flannel mogul, and rap star? This morning, after some pressure from Reddit, Ben Brode uploaded a rap song to his Youtube account. Brode wrote, recorded, and mixed the song late at night, in the hallway of what appears to be a swanky Craftsman-style new-build home, most likely his own. Brode is a documented hip-hop fan, having previously written and rapped a song about his friends getting married (or something, I don’t remember exactly and couldn’t find the link because Google is now flooded with this newer rap). This morning’s song explores the recently-announced upcoming Hearthstone expansion, Journey to Un’Goro. In it, Brode highlights elementals, dangerous plants, and his frank self-doubt, all to a catchy tune. The video has since taken the Hearthstone and Reddit communities by storm (already becoming the new number one Reddit post of all time and spawning remixes, covers, and at least one rap-battle

As originally announced on the official Hearthstone page (link), Hearthstone will be hosting its second live stream developer Q&A tomorrow, February 21, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. PST. This Q&A intends to cover the Year of the Mammoth, the accompanying standard rotation, “expansions and missions” (“missions” apparently being the name for the mini-adventures that will now come out with the expansions instead of as stand-alone content), and the Wild format. As was the case last time, you can submit your questions to the team via twitter and/or the official forums. You only have one day left, so get those questions in soon! Don’t forget to check back in here after the stream for the official Blizzpro hot take. The entire original post was as follows:

 

January 2017 Arena Rankings

by hsdecktech on

This morning, Blizzard published a list of the top 100 arena players in each server during the course of the month of January, 2017. The players were ranked by average number of wins over a minimum of 30 arena runs. Unsurprisingly, longtime arena-aficionado and streamer “Kripparrian” topped the NA rankings with an average of 7.78 wins over his 37 runs. Other notable professional arena-streamers Hafu and Merps also made the list (at ranks 30 and 90, respectively). Self-proclaimed Chinese arena fangroup, “Meow,” also made a big mark on the NA rankings, taking 13 of the top 100 spots. The player with the highest average number of wins (an astounding 9.32!) was the aptly-named EU champion, “twlevewins.” Twelvewins also took rank 48 on the NA server with 6.76 wins per run, indicating that either EU arena is a lot easier and/or he started a new account on EU and benefited from the

A few hours ago, Game Director Ben Brode took to the Blizzard forums to discuss the meta, Shaman, and upcoming potential nerfs. As was the case in his recent Reddit post regarding design philosophy (discussed in our “Brode Post Roundup“), Brode’s post included some interesting, fairly-detailed explanations of Hearthstone balance philosophies. Here are some highlights: The post began with explanations of the terms “meta” and “balance.” Brode thinks the defining characteristic of  “meta” decks is frequency of use. Brode thinks “balance” has two meanings: 1) relative power levels of decks, and 2) relative frequency of use within the meta. He notes that usually people flock toward powerful decks, so the two forms of (im)balance tend to converge. “ believe, at its core, Hearthstone is more fun when you are having a variety of experiences… one of the biggest ways to give you different experiences (and problems to solve)