Hearthstone’s March of the Lich King expansion is great, but Marvel Snap spoiled me

lich king ant manBlizzard Entertainment/Marvel

While Hearthstone’s newest expansion March of the Lich King is quite fun, nothing will be able to pull me away from how excellent Marvel Snap is.

Hearthstone has dominated the digital trade card game space since it officially launched in March 2014.

Blizzard’s card game based on the World of Warcraft universe has over twenty expansions and become a premiere title for Blizzard Entertainment. It rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars each year, with the latest expansion arguably being its most significant for various reasons.

After spending some time with the new expansion March of the Lich King, and the new Death Knight class, it hits the mark in terms of quality and balance. However, what I can’t say is that it will pull me back into the depths of Hearthstone addiction, as there’s another digital card game that’s hit the market I can’t keep my hands off of.

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Death Knight fits perfectly into Hearthstone

Hearthstone is on a regimented schedule of releasing three expansions each year, each with a unique theme that brings tons of new cards, and occasionally new mechanics, to the game.

hearthstone death knightBlizzard Entertainment
Death Knight is Hearthstone’s 10th Hero class.

With March of the Lich King, Blizzard finally took the plunge and brought the beloved Death Knight class from WoW over to Hearthstone, and the class absolutely does not disappoint. The single-player prologue shows the degeneration of Arthas Menethil, a once-great Paladin who becomes the Lich King and wields the army of the scourge at his disposal.

Death Knight is a great class for Hearthstone. The developers at Blizzard translated the class’s iconic three Runes of Frost, Unholy, and Blood, perfectly into the card game. The more powerful DK class cards get special card values in Runes, and each deck can only utilize up to three Runes in total.

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Blood Rune is focused on trading Health for damage, Frost allows you to freeze opponents and minions, and Unholy has lots of damage and utility. Also, exclusive to the Death Knight class is the new corpse resources they generate each time one of your own minions dies, which then can be used to upgrade their cards for more powerful effects.

All of this adds up to an awesome new class for Hearthstone. However, the release of this class comes at a time when one of its competitors is simply outdoing them at every turn.

Marvel Snap is unstoppable

However good march of the Lich King is, there’s simply nothing taking me away from my marvel Snap addiction at the moment.

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Marvel Snap is a new card game from developers at Second Dinner, led by former Hearthstone developer Ben Brode. The game simplifies digital card games, with only 12 cards allowed in each deck, and only six turns in total.

Marvel Snap artworkMarvel / Second Dinner
Marvel Snap launched with over 200 collectible cards available.

Matches are played at absolute lightning speed and feel incredibly satisfying to play. Climbing the game’s ranked ladder can be gamed with its Snap feature, allowing you to double-down on matches if you really think you’re going to win. It’s the kind of gambling on yourself I’m shocked I’ve never seen in other online games before and truly is an innovation in the competitive space that encourages you to continue to keep climbing the ranks.

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Brode also had a hand in creating cards that truly match the characters well. Spider-Man shoots webs that block your opponent from playing cards in one of the game’s Locations. Professor X locks down a location, making cards unable to be added or moved. Venom shreds apart your other cards and gains their power. It all matches the Marvel universe so well. I don’t consider myself a huge Marvel fan by any means (outside of my ride-or-die love for Spider-Man), but this game hits the spot for these characters more than any move I’ve seen in years.

Ben and his team have clearly taken everything they learned from designing Hearthstone, and made a faster and more simple version using one of the most popular entertainment brands on Earth.

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Empty those pockets

The main criticism you will see from Hearthstone fans online is that keeping up with the game requires an ungodly large financial investment.

With three expansions each year, you could be sinking upwards of $200 annually just to stay up to date with the metagame. In Marvel Snap, although you can collect more cards the more you pay, there’s a limit, and collecting cards always requires the player to actually play the game.

One of the biggest edges Snap has over Hearthstone is its progression system, as the more you upgrade the visuals of your cards the more you advance your Collection Level and ability to unlock new cards.

Although I’ve had fun in my initial days with March of the Lich King, taking me away from Marvel Snap is going to take a herculean effort from Hearthstone – one that is likely not possible.