Why Hearthstone’s Shaman class continues to dominate meta - Dexerto
Hearthstone

Why Hearthstone’s Shaman class continues to dominate meta

Published: 30/Oct/2019 12:57 Updated: 30/Oct/2019 13:18

by Kamil Malinowski

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Hearthstone fans have noticed a large amount of Shaman decks currently dominating the ladder, but what exactly happened to make this class rise to the top?

As with any game, Hearthstone has seen constant updates, balance changes, and more in an attempt to shake up the meta and keep things fresh.

The latest update hit the game on October 4. Doom in the Tomb was Blizzard’s latest attempt at revitalizing a stale competitive scene dominated by the same decks, and it worked, at least until everyone figured out how strong Shaman had become.

BlizzardHearthstone’s Shaman class has become incredibly popular.

The update re-added two old, iconic cards to each class which had been retired in previous years due to the game’s set rotation, as well as five neutral cards that all classes can use. This brought back fan favorites like Sylvanas Windrunner, Ragnaros the Firelord, and the Shaman’s Evolve.

Thanks to these cards being reintroduced exciting new decks could be made, which slowly led to people realizing how powerful the Shaman class now was, with three different decks becoming some of the best in the game, raising the class to an enormous 30% play rate.

BlizzardEvolve played a key role in Shaman’s rise.
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In a game with nine different classes, it’s difficult to imagine how one class could see such a large majority of play, especially as it is over double the class in second place, which is Rogue sitting at a 13.7% play rate.

It’s very rare for a deck to dominate so much in Hearthstone, but it is easy to see how it rose to power so quickly.

What makes Hearthstone’s Shaman so strong?

BlizzardHearthstone’s Shaman class is dominating the game.

Shaman decks were greatly improved by the return of Evolve – a card that turns all of a player’s minions into more powerful ones. This, combined with a large amount of cheap, easy to mass minions allowed the class to dominate the board from turn one and pile on the aggression.

An already powerful Shaman deck was also greatly improved by the card. A deck focused around Battlecry’s was a contender for one of the best decks before the patch, but instantly became the kingpin after the update hit.

This deck could make some incredibly strong plays like summoning three powerful minions in the early game with a Desert Hare card, which was only improved with Evolve upgrading them even further.

Now Shaman sits atop the Hearthstone ladder, taking on all in its path while fans call out for a solution from Blizzard, however, the company has yet to respond to their complaints.

Hearthstone

Hearthstone finally adding dual-class cards in Scholomance Academy

Published: 15/Jul/2020 5:07 Updated: 15/Jul/2020 7:06

by Isaac McIntyre

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Blizzard has confirmed Hearthstone will finally be adding dual-class cards in its upcoming expansion, Scholomance Academy, which is set to be released in early August according to the collectible card game developers.

Hearthstone has just unveiled its next major expansion, a wizarding school-themed set that evokes the world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise. The August expansion will be the second to be added in the Year of the Phoenix, following ‘Ashes of Outland.’

There are a few new features Blizzard are planning on bringing to their long-standing online trading-card game in the next expansion, they confirmed on July 14. Chief among them are “dual-class cards,” a first for Hearthstone.

Scholomance Academy feature image for Hearthstone expansion.
Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard just unveiled its next Hearthstone expansion, Scholomance Academy, set to be released in August.

It’s not the first time the base classes have shared limited cards; the title’s fourth expansion ‘Mean Streets of Gadgetzan’ added “tri-class cards” to the pool all the way back in December 2016. There were only nine classes back then, however.

Dual-class “Double Major” cards

With the addition of Demon Hunter at the start of Year of the Phoenix, Blizzard can now split cards into five groups, each with two related classes. There will be ten dual combos all up in the August expansion release:

  • Druid/Hunter
  • Hunter/Demon Hunter
  • Demon Hunter/Warlock
  • Warlock/Priest
  • Priest/Paladin
  • Paladin/Warrior
  • Warrior/Rogue
  • Rogue/Mage
  • Mage/Shaman
  • Shaman/Druid

Each class pairing will be given four of the 40 dual-class cards on the menu in Scholomance Academy, Blizzard revealed. The devs also confirmed each of the ten pairings would also get a Legendary ‘professor’ minion as well.

New mechanic: ‘Spellburst’

The “Double Major” cards won’t be the only new addition for Hearthstone in the upcoming August expansion either. As per usual, the devs will also be slapping a new mechanic on the table; this time, it’s called “Spellburst.”

Basically, it’s a delayed spell power for minions and players alike. The new effect warns that it will “trigger a one-time additional effect when a spell is played.” It’s almost like a trap card from rival series Yu-Gi-Oh!, but built into minions.

Hearthstone mage casts a Spellburst spell at a dummy in Scholomance Academy.
Blizzard Entertainment
Hearthstone fans will be able to pull off tricky spell traps with the new “Spellburst” cards.

New spells: ‘Studies’

The final new Hearthstone change for players to wrap their heads around for Scholomance Academy is a new spell type, “Studies.” These cards have Discover-only effects, but allow you to tutor up a specific type of card, like Demon or Mech.

Once you’ve collected your card, it will reduce the mana cost of the next card you play of that type. It certainly seems like a must-pick card for themed decks. The first that springs to mind is Paladin Murloc, which has run rampant in the Year of the Phoenix so far.

Murlocs charge forward in Hearthstone.
Blizzard Entertainment
The super-aggro Hearthstone deck “Murloc Paladin” will love to get its hand on the new Studies cards.

So there you have it; everything we know about Blizzard’s upcoming Hearthstone expansion Scholomance Academy. Keep your eyes peeled on Dexerto for more details on all 135 new cards set to be released in the August set.

The next Year of the Phoenix release is expected to drop in mid-August. Ahead of the official expansion release, fans can get an “Academy Bundle” for $49.99 USD, or book themselves a whopping 80 packs with the $79.99 “Mega Bundle.”