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Hearthstone Pro Gets Instantly Wrecked By New Card

Illustration for article titled iHearthstone/i Pro Gets Instantly Wrecked By New Card

Hearthstone’s new Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion is out, and that means that on top of being able to play with fresh strategies, we get to partake in another more underappreciated pleasure: watching pro players fail to play around new cards.

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Illustration for article titled iHearthstone/i Pro Gets Instantly Wrecked By New Card

One recent shining example comes from Johnnie “Ratsmah” Lee, one of North America’s finest Arena players, who has a massive board and an almost-guaranteed win.

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“Hit yourself in the face, that’ll show me,” Lee says as his Warlock opponent plays a Flame Imp, which deals three points of self-damage when played.

Ironically enough, Lee himself has not one, but two Bittertide Hydra cards on the board that’ll make him hit himself in the face in just a second: for every tick of damage each Hydra takes, they’ll hurt Lee for 3 damage each. But since the card is a super-efficient 5-mana 8/8, it’s a fair drawback.

Illustration for article titled iHearthstone/i Pro Gets Instantly Wrecked By New Card
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What Lee isn’t prepared for is the new Warlock card Defile, which deals one damage to every minion on the board and triggers again each time a minion dies. First the card kills his 5/1 Menagerie Warden, causing it to re-trigger. Then it kills the Warlock’s Flame Imp, causing it to trigger again. Then it kills the Warlock’s Raging Worgen, triggering it a fourth time.

This wouldn’t be so bad except every time the card triggers, the Hydras take another hit of damage, and hit Lee for a combined six damage per tick. Once Defile has done its job, Lee has taken 24 damage and lost the game.

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While you’re struggling to learn all of Frozen Throne’s new cards, it’s nice to see that even professional-level players have an adjustment period too. It makes the Kpop song in the clip background, Red Velvet’s “Rookie,” feel almost too on-the-nose.

Joshua Calixto (@hitherejosh) writes about esports, culture, and technology.

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DISCUSSION

I’m not a pro but I’ve been wrecked by some of the new cards mostly because I don’t have them. I get into these games against people who’ve obviously spent a lot of money on the new cards and get trashed by them. I don’t know if that’s a failure of matchmaking or what, but I can’t afford to drop $100 on cards.