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Hearthstone: best decks, new cards… Our opinion on the Journey to the Heart of the Sunken City expansion

Game News Hearthstone: best decks, new cards… Our opinion on the Journey to the Heart of the Sunken City expansion

It was on April 05 that Blizzard decided to launch the new year of Hearthstone, its card game, more than three months after the start of 2022. A new year under the sign of the Hydra synonymous, among others, a revamped core set of cards as well as three new expansions. The first of these is called Heart of the Sunken City and is set in the elven city of Zin Azshari. Available since Tuesday 12 at 7:00 p.m., we were able to take a tour of everything it had to offer. We summarize all this in the article below.

Summary

  • The year of the Hydra: a year that changes (almost) everything
  • Under the ocean
  • Hearthstone: what are the best decks?

New for Battlegrounds / Champs de Bataille

If the favors are currently granted to Hearthstone and its standard mode, something new should pave the Battlegrounds. In question, the arrival of a new tribe with the nagas.

Never seven without eight! Hearthstone entered its eighth year last week. A new year of play whose development seems very similar to the previous four years: the content will be divided into three different phases, including three new expansions. The first is called In the Heart of the Sunken City and is available since Tuesday, April 12. It is the twentieth expansion of Blizzard’s card game and integrates, like its older sisters, 135 new cards as well as several mechanics. We take a look below before offering some leads on the best decks that emerged in the days following the expansion’s release.

The year of the Hydra: a year that changes (almost) everything

But before putting your cards on the table, it is good to remember something very important. Since March 2021, Hearthstone has included a set of cards called “fundamental“. It is composed of 235 cards and isfree for all : all cards are loaned to the player if he has reached level 10 of all classes in the game (Shaman, Hunter, Demon Hunter, Warlock, Druid, Warrior, Mage, Paladin, Priest and Thief). It is this set of maps that is playable (alongside expansions from the past two years) in Hearthstone’s default mode, called Standard Mode.

However, when announcing this set, Blizzard specified that it would change the integrated cards during each Hearthstonian year. Since April 05 and the year of the Hydra, about a third of the cards have left the set to make way for others. A modification that may seem minor at first glance, but which in practice changes a lot of things. One of them ? The construction of decks, the packs of 30 cards that players can make before attacking the ranking: it regularly happens that it is often the same powerful cards that are used. The rotation therefore makes it possible to refresh the map landscape with expansion cards that were no longer in the Standard format.

Under the ocean

Now that this fundamental set story, we can move on to the real novelties of the year of the hydra and it starts with its first extension: In the Heart of the Sunken City. 135 new cards whose theme revolves around Zin-Azshari: it is the former capital of the Night Elves, whose queen Azshara is built around an inexhaustible source of magic called the Well of Eternity. The explosion of the latter, caused by the War of the Ancients, splits Zin-Ashari in two: a first part fails in Kalimdor, north of the capital of the Horde, and becomes the region of Azshara. The second remains drowned under the waves. To protect her people, the queen decides to make a pact with the very old god N’Zoth: he then transforms the Night Elves into naga, these creatures from Hinduism which are a mixture between a human and a sea serpent. It is therefore no surprise that the nagas arrive as a new species. A new tribe (like that of the mechs, that of the pirates or even that of the beasts) whose synergies are centered around spells, justified by the scenario context mentioned above.

Speaking of pirates and mechs, they are also at the heart of this trip to Zin Azshari (or Nazjatar if we are talking about current times). Bin yes, to speak of a submerged city and inevitably, the looters thirsty for rum point the tip of their noses and highlight the new dredge mechanics. The latter consists of displaying the 3 cards from the bottom of the player’s deck so that he places one on top. A mechanic that can relieve players who feel like they never have the right cards in hand, especially when combined with cards that draw. Overall, this new way of playing is very interesting because it multiplies the decision-making that is required of the players: dredging makes it possible to secure one of the desired cards for the next turn, but the latter can be blocking depending on what the opponent is doing. Moreover, this mechanic allows the construction of many decks around it, such as the Mecha Mage which we will discuss later in this article.

And to combine well with this dredging mechanic, Blizzard has integrated special cards: when using them, they put a more powerful version of itself directly in the bottom of the deck. This is the case of Azshara Cleaner. This servant mech add the card to the bottom of the deck Sunken Cleaner at the bottom of the deck of cards. If the latter has the same stats, it allows three “Mech” type minions when played from the hand. Once the Azshara Cleaner played, so we can think of using the dredge mechanic to recover the sunken cleaner.

Finally, it is also the new keyword Colossal which was added in this expansion. A keyword that characterizes legendary servants, too big to fit on one card : as soon as they arrive on the game board, whether they are played from the hand or summoned in any way, they are accompanied by their other parts. For example, the Paladin’s colossal minion is the Leviathan. When it is summoned, it brings its claw onto the board: the first dredges when it attacks, while the second draws. A very practical sequence to filter the bottom of your deck.

Even if it remains difficult to have a definite opinion at the start of the expansion on this type of minion, it does not seem very predominant. This keyword does not offer new game plans since it is enough to play the minion, while the unique effects of the creatures are, for the moment, not revolutionary.

Hearthstone: what are the best decks?

Definition of the word meta

Before enlightening readers on the best decks of the moment, it is good to remember the definition of the word meta. It is an English acronym, meaning Most Efficient Technique Available. In the context of Hearthstone, these are therefore the most effective decks: gold, are considered effective those that display a win/loss rate greater than or equal to 50%. The meta is therefore a set of these decks.

Speaking of which, are there any decks that emerge in pole position? For the moment, it’s difficult to get your head out of the water in the landscape of ranked games: the meta is still far from stabilized. This is evidenced by an astonishing first day since no deck seems to have taken over… An observation that we did not make on previous expansions, or at least on a smaller scale: with the expansion In the Heart of the Sunken Citythe different classes still have their role to play even if two trends for the creation of decks are observed.

The first, which comes with each expansion, is to build a deck from the previous meta with the new cards in order to optimize it and make it competitive. This is for example the case of Pirate Warrior, who benefits from the addition of several cards and weapons to validate his quest. A similar observation can be observed for the Quest Hunter, which benefits from a small facelift and which will adapt to players on a small budget.

On the other, and this is fortunately the majority trend, it’s simply to create decks around new cards. We think in particular of the mecha mage who puts the pressure round after round with cards with high added value. On the paladin side, we observe a slower archetype that will focus on healing at the start of the game to kill the opponent in a single turn thanks to overboosted pirates. Shaman Bioluminescence also goes through taking control of the board, and kills the opponent thanks to the spell damage increased by his own creatures. Very funny, the Curse Warlock consists of putting cards in the opponent’s hand that inflict damage on him.

But we must recognize that a deck comes out of the fray more than the others: it is the Druid Ramp. The latter consists of winning mana crystals, the main resource for playing cards, faster than his opponent and then playing spells and creatures that he cannot manage. It is the version of Gaby, French crack of the Hearthstone currently top 1 Legend (the highest possible rank) on the European servers which is present below.

Deck Ideas

The decks, whose codes are below, have been played during various tests carried out by professional players and streamers on the game. This does not mean that they are the best decks of the moment but can nevertheless be used as inspirational pattern for other listings:

  • Bioluminescence Shaman:
    AAECAc+LBQTDkQSXoAT8tATntQQN04AEqIEEuZEE+ZEElZIE3JIE25QE+Z8E7bEEvLYEjboEh9QEmdsEAA==
  • Hunter Quest:
    AAECAYoWBtzqA/34A6mNBJegBMG5BIbJBAzb7QP3+AOpnwSqnwTjnwS7oAS/rATBrASdsASByQSEyQSM1AQA
  • Warlock Curse:
    AAECAaPDAwby7QOwkQSXoASEsATmvQSY1AQM1+0DvfEDg/sDsZ8E56AE26ME/rQEh7cE3L0E4r0Em9QEndQEAA==
  • Ramp Druid:
    AAECAc6LBQSJiwTxpASlrQSEsAQNyfUDr4AEsIAEiZ8Erp8E2p8Ez6wEjbIE/70E8L8ErsAEgNQE2qEFAA==
  • Pirate Warrior: AAECAQcEiKAE5bAE27kEm8kEDY7tA5X2A/iABJuBBPmMBPqMBImgBNKsBIy3BJC3BLi3BI7UBJDUBAA=
  • Mecha Mage: AAECAY0WBKCKBKiKBP+iBOy6BA3D+QOTgQTWoAT6rASStQThtQTJtwTKtwTduQTkuQSywQTY2QSUpAUA
  • Paladin Pirates:
    AAECAZm4BAaR7AO/gASoigTgiwSwsgSc1AQMzOsD8PYDt4AEi40E7p8E+aQEj7AE0L0E2r0EktQEodQE8PEEAA==

If it is difficult to compare it with previous expansions, we can say that In the Heart of the Sunken City does its job well. Despite legendary cards colossal much less impactful than cards questthe mechanics of dredging brings an additional layer of strategy and combines perfectly with the many playable cards of the game and in particular those of type exchangeable (arrivals with United in Stormwind). Moreover, this twentieth extension refreshes a dismal meta with 135 new cards and a fundamental set whose modification radically changes the construction of decks. And this is where In the Heart of the Sunken City contrasts with its older sisters: it brings up to date the taking of the board at the heart of its gameplay, where its predecessors had opted for a less interactive gameplay. With Journey to the Heart of the Sunken City, Blizzard therefore seems to want to put in its place a game focused on taking the board by the servants. The very essence of the card game.

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