Hearthstone's new expansion, The Grand Tournament, launch today, and like everyone else I braved connectivity issues to open the 50 packs I received via Blizzard's pre-order special.
Unfortunately for me, I didn't get much out of it. While Jaz opened what seemed like legend after legend, I got only a tiny handful of epic cards and and one legend - Eydis Darkbane, who seems best-suited for a Warrior deck (Warrior is one of two classes that I haven't built up). I now sit with about 1000 dust and a lot of common cards.
Unlucky as I've been, though, I've still been able to cobble together a halfway decent Shaman deck based on some of my new Grand Tournament cards. Here are some of the notable additions:
Totem Golem: A really nasty early game card that's hard to remove. This is pretty much how the Shaman's Overload mechanic should work - an opportunity to get some powerful minions on the field early. The four health is especially tough to overcome for early game minions.
Tuskarr Totemic: Already a staple online, it seems. Summons a random totem, and if the RNG is in your favor, it can be something really great like the Mana Tide Totem, Vitality Totem, or even the aforementioned Totem Golem. A great addition to the Shaman's pool of cards.
Thunder Bluff Valiant: Hasn't come up in my hand yet, but seems pretty promising. The trick is making sure I have totems on the field. Thankfully, this is becoming increasingly easy with the help of the Tuskarr Totem and the Totem Golem.
Ancestral Knowledge: The Shaman really needed a good card draw. Now it has one.
Healing Wave: The card a lot of people pointed to when they said that The Grand Tournament would emphasize control decks at the expensive of aggro decks. The huge heal is a giant middle finger to Zoolocks and Face Hunters. It worked once for me against a Zoolock, but I still wound up getting overwhelmed and losing. My deck needs some work.
With all the new cards in circulation, the metagame is in an odd place right now. Even those who preordered the expansion are still working on getting enough cards to build a decent deck; and of course, people are still figuring out what works. It'll take a couple weeks for things to really shift. But once it does, I think we're going to see a very different game.
In the meantime, every class has at least one new and interesting toy at their disposal. Druid fans have Aviana, a legendary nine-drop who reduces the costs for every minion to one, meaning you can theoretically drop her alongside an Ancient of War and form a wall that's difficult to breath. Those who favor the Priest class are currently experimenting with dragon sets. It's a chaotic time, but also a bracing one. These are the periods where the best players emerge and dominate the metagame.
As for me, I'm debating whether to spend my dust on crafting some epic minions or trying to save up for an actual legend like the ever-popular Dr. Boom. I've never been much of an innovator in games like these, so I'll probably wait to see how everything shakes out before I start to invest seriously in new cards. It'll be interesting to see how everything turns out.
Have you had a chance to spend some time with The Grand Tournament? Jump into the comments and share your thoughts. I could use some good tips.