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Is Hearthstone Still Competitive?

As the game has undergone some major changes, it’s to now surprise that people are now questioning the competitive viability of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Competitive Hearthstone has been a strange subject from the very beginning. The game is good, and it has a lot of unique characteristics, but it also is very heavily influenced by randomness.

This has never been more true than it is right now, as cards like Yogg-Saron have forever shifted the weight of randomness in the game of Hearthstone.

hearthstonerThat being said, let’s talk about why randomness in Hearthstone might be a good thing. I think we have a horrible habit of overlooking the nature of a risk and reward play style. An example of this is the class known for risk and reward. Warlock is an interesting class. The main card I want to break down to gain understanding is Lord Jaraxxus. Jaraxxus might be the most unique and interesting legendary minion in all of Hearthstone. He replaces your hero, equips you with a weapon, and gives you a hero power that summons 6/6 minions. This is pretty incredible, right?

The cost of having 15 max health, and being vulnerable to an instant kill from Sacrificial Pact is more than enough of a reason to avoid putting Jaraxxus in your deck. There are plenty of stipulations that some would not want to run the risk of. Now look at a card like Yogg-Saron. Yogg is never played on a winning board, unless the player who has him is insane or Brian Kibler. This is because with Yogg Saron, you run just as much of a risk of getting a Pyroblast to your own face as you do of getting Call of the Wild. It’s a real gamble, and it does give an opportunity for newer players who perhaps don’t have as extensive of a card collection to make daring comebacks.

The dynamic nature of Hearthstone in my opinion, has always been a big part of its charm. Maybe it doesn’t stand as the most tactically demanding TCG out there, but it is a good game with some pretty awesome mechanics. The competitive scene can still stand, and if not, perhaps we’ll have to think about what steps need to follow. But where the game stands, the victory more often than not will still go to the player with the best deck and the most tactical play style. That’s what makes it so good!

Written by Mustapha R. Price

Mustapha is a young yet spirited university student majoring in Game Art and Development. While he’s but a senior in college, he has an extensive history with the art of gaming journalism. Managing his own game review blog for several years, as well as attending events such as Boston FIG and PAX East has given him extensive experience in covering game news. His knowledge of game design also serves as a tool to develop finite understanding of what makes games work.

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